Posts Tagged ‘yoga

10
Mar
15

3.10.15 … caw, caw, caw …

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“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Advent Labyrinth Walks (19/40),  Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte, Yoga on Gaiam TV:

John has been encouraging me to take up yoga … he bought me a book on Sunday.  And I have agreed.  So this year, beginning this week,  I’m going to try for the next month to also add a daily yoga session, either in a group at the Y,  a private yoga studio, or at a minimum, using the TV service Gaiam TV.:)
So today, I tried  Gaiam TV  on Roku.  I must admit I enjoyed it.
Breath.  The Offering today: The offering as we work through the practice today is continue to work the breath as much as you can to be even. The deeper we breathe the more relaxed body becomes and the more receptive our body is to change.
Sweet intention for me, today: Let me be open to receive  what this breath, this practice, has to offer me.  Go at your own pace, with your own breath…
My labyrinth walking and yoga work together …
A few  hours later … the walk.
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I enter the labyrinth after reading from First Presbyterian Church’s Lenten Devotional Book. Today’s devotional  is by Scott P.  Scott has me focus on being able to quiet my mind and listen to what God is telling you.  And that is the nature I think of all spiritual practices … I think a more universal definition is also about centering yourself, being at peace with yourself and your body and connecting with your inner self. For those viewing it as a religious practice, it is connecting with that power or the person you consider God.
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I am very interested to see where this takes me, and if it changes my walk if I have already done the yoga before the walk, or if the walk changes my yoga if it follows.
I’m also beginning to focus on the “dignity of difference” which I will be teaching at a Sunday school class the last two weeks of March. Interesting, for those that follow here, I would love your thoughts of what those words mean to you. Good or bad, I am following our senior minister who will introduce the topic.
These are my thought going in … Release the anxiety of the class …
I am now approaching the center, and I have to laugh, because I wonder if I have not raised by heart rate rather than calmed myself down.  But you have to accept where you are when you walk.
Psalm 119:105 —  “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  I will focus on that as I walk around the center.
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And then a laugh at myself, again.   I wonder if I will be able to do this with an Apple Watch, rather than my iPhone. Will it be less intrusive. I know some people think I should leave my phone away from the labyrinth. However, I really do enjoy taking pictures and putting my thoughts into the written word, and then organizing them afterward, and rethinking about what I thought about.
While in the center I realize that today is all about the sounds I hear … a cacophony:  water rushing in the fountain, birds wildly chirping,  chimes gently, very gently, ringing, an airplane roaring overhead. And then a large bird caws, and some dogs bark.  I can also hear traffic on the nearby Park Road.  Do I hear children?  I definitely hear children, there is a preschool nearby, but these voices are farther … It must be at the Episcopal Church preschool about a quarter-mile down the road.  I then hear some other birds, they have a more gentle, more peaceful call.  And then back to the crows …. Caw, caw, caw…
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On my walk out, I think to pull up the bird call app that my friend Catherine showed me last summer. I never thought about it, but I do not know the call of the robin. I now know that I am definitely hearing crows and robins. What fun …
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30
Jan
14

1.30.14 … “Over the years I have felt the truest, purest love — the love of God, really, I imagine that’s what God’s love feels like — is the love that comes from your dog.” – Oprah

Oprah, Her Dog Sophie, greatest teachers, man’s best friend, purest love:

Oprah is a woman who loves her dogs. She’s had 21 pups in her adult life — including 11 at one time. “Nothing makes me happier than being with my dogs,” she says. In the above video from “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” we look back at the incredible bond she’s experienced with her animals.

“Over the years I have felt the truest, purest love — the love of God, really, I imagine that’s what God’s love feels like — is the love that comes from your dog,” Oprah says.

Though she loved them all, “Oprah Show” fans will remember one special cocker spaniel who rarely left Oprah’s side. “One of my greatest teachers is my dog, Sophie,” Oprah says. “Sophie lived for 13 years and came to work with me every day. Was there for every show, was backstage at the Oscars, at the Emmys, was waiting in the car if I went to the gynecologist.”

Solomon, Oprah’s other cocker spaniel, also went with her everywhere — but Sophie would cling even closer, as the pooch would get separation anxiety whenever Oprah left the room.

Sadly, Sophie died on March 10, 2008. “It wasn’t until she passed away that I really understood the depth of my love for her,” Oprah says. “Because I learned from a show we did many years ago with Gary Zukav that there are big souls and little souls. And Sophie was a little soul – just a little soul, but had a great impact on my life. And when I lost her is when I realized that nobody on earth had ever loved me like that little dog.”

via Oprah Remembers Her Dog Sophie As One Of Her Greatest Teachers (VIDEO).

college education, college financing,  The Daily Beast, The War Room:  INSANE! My daughter and I were talking about the price of Davidson, when I went, 1978, and today. The numbers in this article are fairly accurate.

Since 1978 the price of college has increased in absolute dollars by 1120 percent, more than any other good or service in the U.S. economy. (For example, the cost of food has increased by just 244 percent and healthcare by 601 percent in the same period). A widely cited study by Richard Arum, Academically Adrift, concludes that 36 percent of college students show no significant gains in learning over the course of their four years in college. Indeed, 68 percent of students at public colleges and universities fail to graduate in four years. And in 2012, over 50 percent of graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

via The Price of College Has Increased 1120 Percent Since 1978, So Is It Worth It? – The Daily Beast.

And a friend sent me this and it makes some very good points!

The plain fact of the matter is this:

1. Certain colleges are a complete waste of time and money.

2. Certain majors are not only a waste of time and money, but risk making you stupider for having studied them.

3. Certain kids just shouldn’t go to college at all. They don’t like it, they’re not good at it, and they’re going to hate it.

via Stupid college tricks: should you go to college? | The War Room.

random, sperm donors, when worlds collide:  What a great story!

So Mikayla, a San Diego native, messaged Emily right away, suggesting they room together. It was too late; Emily already had a roommate. But the girls friended each other on Facebook anyway.

Then on Father’s Day, Mikayla posted a glib Facebook status. “Thank you Colombian sperm donor, for one of my X chromosomes.”

“That’s odd,” thought Emily, whose parents also had selected a donor of Colombian heritage.

She responded by writing, “Not to be creepy. But kinda think we could have same donor.”

The idea was so far-fetched that neither gave it much thought, they said. But when the girls arrived at Tulane in the fall, they met and jokingly referred to each other as “sister.”

They were placed in the same dormitory, one floor apart, and both landed parts in the same theater production, “The Vagina Monologues.” Throughout the first semester, they said hello in the stairwell but were more acquaintances than friends.

Then, over Thanksgiving break, both freshmen were part of a larger group of Tulane students that didn’t go home. They ended up at the Gonzales outlet mall, as part of a Black Friday shopping trip. Each spent the day shopping with their own friends, then discovered on the bus ride home that they’d bought the same sweater in different colors.

The similarities continued to pile up.

They both sleeptalk and sleepwalk — so much so that their parents used to put an extra lock on the door at night, for fear they’d walk outside. And back in the early 1990s, their parents had gone to the same place, California Cryobank, and selected a Colombian sperm donor with an interest in theater out of hundreds of potential candidates for insemination.

via Genes that fit: Tulane freshmen discover shared sperm-donor dad | Home | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA.

character counts, deviations from gender norms, double standards, shame on you:  It’s not the little white lie, it’s that she left her husband after he paid off her loans.  And yes there are double standards, but I try to hold both sexes to the same standards.  Shame on you, Wendy Davis.

Now the question is whether Slater’s sexist narrative will hurt Wendy Davis’ chances. It’s hard to imagine that there are many Texans who were considering voting for a pro-choice Democrat but would be too scandalized by her deviations from gender norms to vote for her now. The biggest obstacle that Davis faces—that she’s a Democrat in a solidly red state—hasn’t changed a bit. And the fact that the attacks on her are getting so shrill suggests that perhaps Republicans are really beginning to fear she has a chance.

via Wayne Slater paints Wendy Davis as a gold-digger and a bad mother in the Dallas Morning News..

And a little of my conversation …

I don’t know…regardless of party affiliation …people don’t like it when one is loose with the truth. She has been loose with the truth. Her one big thing is abortion.

“Loose with the truth”? She was separated at 19 and divorced at 21, rather than divorced at 19. And she “only” lived in a trailer for a few months. And she got help paying for law school. That’s the best they got. I don’t think she will win, but she just raised $12 million and the TX Repubs are scared s**tless.

The Republicans just might tear each other appart in the primaries, leaving whichever candidate wins vunerable. The attacks on one area congressman have already started, without any mention of who is running against him.

 This may be setting her up for a US House run in 2016. The districts have been heavily gerrymandered, but there still are some Democratic districts.

She is undoubtedly intelligent, attractive and came from modest means. Why couldn’t that be enough? Why have to “exaggerate” the true circumstances of her life just to get some easy to remember narrative (divorced teen mom who pulled HERself up to make it through Ha rvard Law all alone). After decades of being told ‘it takes a village’

…why can’t the true narrative of her life be enough? We should celebrate that she was able to surpass 2 of the 3 biggest causes for women to be in poverty (teen mom, no degree) to become an attorney and state office holder. So she had help, that’s great!

I guess she is a natural blonde………

yoga,  Doga,  Secret Yoga, follow-up, London’s Most Curious Yoga Classes, Completely London Blog: As a follow up to my “naked coed yoga’ article … Doga and Secret Yoga!  Those Brits … They have a better idea shen it comes to yoga.

Doga

Your dog + yoga = doga. Yes, we’re serious. Classes with Swiss instructor Mahny involve four-legged friends in your yoga practice to help you both relax. Expect mediation, stretching and gentle poses, whether you’re lifting your Chihuahua for a sun salutation or using your Labrador as a yogic bolster. And lots of jokes from your friends about the downward dog. SW6

Secret Yoga Club

Rather than a weekly drop-in, serious yoga fans might want to treat themselves to this pop-up/fitness hybrid. Held at clandestine venues across London – Secret Yoga Club provides a dynamic hour-long Jivamukti flow class, a Savasana (the relaxation bit at the end) serenaded by a singer and a three-course vegan menu. They say: ‘leave with a soul full of joy and a tummy full of goodness’. We say: ‘Sign us up!’. Find their weekly classes here.

via London’s Most Curious Yoga Classes | Completely London Blog.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, New Olympic Uniforms, Ugly, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com: Once again … UGLY!

olympic uniforms ralph lauren ugly review nbc today showThe U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms for the opening ceremonies at Sochi were unveiled Thursday on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and the reactions have been, ah, not so terrific.

The uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, were modeled on the show by figure skater Evan Lysacek, hockey player Julie Chu, ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis, and freestyle skiers Hannah Kearney and Alex Schlopy.

The Outside staff had this to say about them.

via The New Olympic Uniforms Are Pretty Ugly | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

They look like they came from QVC’s Quacker Lady line!

Looks like my Grandmother’s sweater…but, at least they were made in America!

decades-long mystery, seemingly random letters: I loved this FB post!

” This is cool not only because it is a prayer (oops, spoiler alert!), but because it demonstrates what can happen when we share, collaborate compassionately, and lend our minds and time to others in need. Surely that must be among the highest callings and most ardent lessons we can know or share? Surely.”

Yesterday afternoon, a woman seeking help with a decades-old family mystery posted a thread on Ask Metafilter titled “Decoding cancer-addled ramblings”:

My grandmother passed away in 1996 of a fast-spreading cancer. She was non-communicative her last two weeks, but in that time, she left at least 20 index cards with scribbled letters on them. My cousins and I were between 8-10 years old at the time, and believed she was leaving us a code. We puzzled over them for a few months trying substitution ciphers, and didn’t get anywhere.

The index cards appear to just be a random series of letters, and had confounded the poster’s family for years. But it only took Metafilter 15 minutes to at least partially decipher them. User harperpitt quickly realized she was using the first letters of words, and that she was, in fact, writing prayers:

AGH, YES! Sorry for the double post, but:OFWAIHHBTNTKCTWBDOEAIIIHFUTDODBAFUOT

AWFTWTAUALUNITBDUFEFTITKTPATGFAEA

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name… etc etc etc

via Ask Metafilter: A decades-long mystery over a series of index cards with seemingly random letters was solved..

Facebook, predictions,  Princeton’s Demise, Digits – WSJ:

After a Princeton University study came out predicting Facebook’s demise, Facebook has responded with its own “research” predicting the downfall of Princeton: http://on.wsj.com/M47gZu

Photo: After a Princeton University study came out predicting Facebook's demise, Facebook has responded with its own "research" predicting the downfall of Princeton: http://on.wsj.com/M47gZu</p><br /> <p>Credit: Facebook

On Thursday, Facebook went a step further with its own mock academic research. “Princeton will have only half its current enrollment by 2018, and by 2021 it will have no students at all,” wrote Mike Develin, a data scientist at Facebook.

Develin said he analyzed various data points, including the percentage of queries on Google Scholar matching the query “Princeton.” Develin’s research showed the percentage had dropped dramatically since 2000, an “alarming” number, he wrote.

“In keeping with the scientific principle ‘correlation equals causation,’ our research unequivocally demonstrated that Princeton may be in danger of disappearing entirely,” Develin wrote.

The paper authors could not immediately be reached.

Facebook’s posting Thursday ends on an ominous note. “While we are concerned for Princeton University, we are even more concerned about the fate of the planet–Google Trends for “air” have also been declining steadily, and our projections show that by the year 2060 there will be no air left.”

via Facebook Responds by Predicting Princeton’s Demise – Digits – WSJ.

Maria Tallchief, the first Native American prima ballerina, Mighty Girls:  Interesting history from the art world.

Photo: Today in Mighty Girl history, Maria Tallchief, the first Native American to become a prima ballerina, was born in 1925. One of the most acclaimed ballerinas of the 20th century, Tallchief grew up on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma. As noted in a NY Times tribute to her, "Growing up at a time when many American dancers adopted Russian stage names, Ms. Tallchief, proud of her Indian heritage, refused to do so, even though friends told her that it would be easy to transform Tallchief into Tallchieva." </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Tallchief kept her name and made her mark throughout the dance world, dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942 to 1947 and the New York City Ballet from its founding in 1947 through 1965. She is pictured here in the title role of George Balanchine's ballet "Firebird." This dance legend passed away this past April at the age of 88. </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>There are two wonderful books for young readers about her life: "Who Is Maria Tallchief" for ages 8 to 12 (http://www.amightygirl.com/who-is-maria-tallchief) and "Tallchief: American's Prima Ballerina" for ages 4 to 9 (http://www.amightygirl.com/tallchief-america-s-prima-ballerina).</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>She is also one of several women role models featured in the picture book “Every-Day Dress-up” for ages 3 to 8 at http://www.amightygirl.com/every-day-dress-up</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Tallchief is also highlighted in our blog post, "A Celebration of Native American and Aboriginal Mighty Girls for Native American Heritage Month," at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=5226</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>For more stories of girls and women in dance and the arts, visit our "Creative Arts" section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/general-interest/creative-arts</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>To learn more about Tallchief's life, the NY Times released an excellent tribute to her following her death last year at http://tinyurl.com/bul6zyo

Today in Mighty Girl history, Maria Tallchief, the first Native American to become a prima ballerina, was born in 1925. One of the most acclaimed ballerinas of the 20th century, Tallchief grew up on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma. As noted in a NY Times tribute to her, “Growing up at a time when many American dancers adopted Russian stage names, Ms. Tallchief, proud of her Indian heritage, refused to do so, even though friends told her that it would be easy to transform Tallchief into Tallchieva.”

Tallchief kept her name and made her mark throughout the dance world, dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942 to 1947 and the New York City Ballet from its founding in 1947 through 1965. She is pictured here in the title role of George Balanchine’s ballet “Firebird.” This dance legend passed away this past April at the age of 88.

Van Gogh’s paintings brought to life, Breakthru films, feature-length painted animation, YouTube, new technology:  very cool concept …

Concept trailer for the new production from Oscar-winning studio Breakthru films, a feature-length painted animation. A murder mystery about the life and death of Vincent van Gogh told through revealing interviews with the characters from van Gogh’s own paintings.

via ▶ Loving Vincent – Van Gogh’s paintings brought to life – YouTube.

06
Dec
11

12.6.2011 …. icbg … .. time for a second opinion … I think I will just go for the bg part … and don’t you think Jane looks lovely :)

yoga, Ayn Rand:  Makes you think …

The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing something selfish and virtuous at the same time. You are sweating and suffering and honing a “watchful mind,” but also taking a break from your daily burdens and acquiring fantastic-looking abs. And that’s the genius of Ayn Rand: She made egoism the ultimate good. What Christianity labels as the unfortunate consequence of original sin, Rand saw as man’s natural and best state. (Interestingly, while Ayn Rand’s atheism bothers conservative evangelicals, it seems to bother some of them less than does yoga, which they view as paganism parading as a health movement. John Galt, at least, would have shared their hatred of Obamacare.)

— Slate on the Who Is John Galt quasi-meme and what Aynd Rand and yoga have in common

via curiosity counts – The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing….

eternal youth, Tony Bennett, music, kudos:  Never liked him, but kudos!

In a youth-oriented industry, Tony Bennett is enjoying some of his greatest successes at the age of 85.

In September, the acclaimed vocalist scored his first-ever No.1 album on the Billboard 200, becoming the oldest living person to top the chart. Last week, he garnered three Grammy nominations for his hit album “Duets II.” And when he stopped by the Wall Street Journal’s acoustic music showcase the WSJ Cafe he talked about collaborating with such stars Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and Amy Winehouse, the British vocalist who passed away earlier this year at the age of 27.

via Tony Bennett: How To Be No.1 Your Whole Life (WSJ Cafe) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

apps, NPR:  Mu local station  has an app … which is great … now I can just pull up NPR.

NPR News: The ultimate portable NPR experience for your iPhone or iPod Touch. Follow local and national news and listen to your favorite NPR stations wherever you are and whenever you want to.

via App Store – NPR News.

Campbell Soup Company, csr, kudos: Idealistic Realistic …

Instead of making lethal cuts, we decided that our dream — our vision — was to transform Campbell into a place where employees wanted to be…and wanted to stay. You can’t have an organization that consistently delivers high performance unless you have a consistently high level of engagement predicated on trust. We needed to restore both — trust and engagement. If we could do that, then we were sure the profits would follow. There were a lot of things we changed, from the leadership team to package design — you’ve read about those. But what took the momentum at Campbell to an even higher level in terms of employee engagement happened more recently.

One of the primary things that makes Campbell a place where people want to come to work is the company’s earnest and ongoing commitment to our communities around the globe. We forged an ambitious plan to make Camden, our hometown for more than 140 years, a better place. That is what is helping employees feel more fulfilled despite even this latest economic crisis.

As a food company, working hand-in-hand with a cadre of strategic local and national partners, we centered our efforts on health and nutrition. The project, still in its infancy, is focused on cutting the BMI (Body Mass Index) of Camden’s 23,000 children in half over the next decade. It includes bringing nutritionists into schools and having Campbell’s chefs help parents think about ways to serve healthy food at home. And that is just the beginning: Today, Campbell is working to attract food retailers to Camden’s food desert — the city has only one supermarket — and helping to build neighborhood gardens to get children closer to the food supply. Campbell is also sponsoring activities for youth to increase physical fitness in schools and to help them remain active and occupied when school is not in session. And the company is developing the areas all around its world headquarters — leveling run-down buildings to attract commerce.

It is an ambitious agenda but it is right in Campbell’s sweet spot. And why not? It has advanced our corporate agenda. Focusing these efforts on food and nutrition has allowed us to smartly leverage our resources. Another part of the corporate social responsibility plan — committing to cut Campbell’s carbon footprint by half — has saved money and lowered costs. Campbell is earnestly and sincerely helping to build a better world within the scope of what the company does well. But even more than that, employees are proud to be associated with a company that is doing this kind of work, and consumers in the community and beyond have supported our efforts and our business.

The flywheel effect is astounding and ongoing: Winning in the community leads to winning in the workplace and winning in the marketplace. The more the Company takes care of the world, the more the world responds. The more the company leans into building a better society in a strategically focused way, the better the company performs.

Gallup, the polling and research firm, studied the engagement levels of Campbell’s managers back in 2002 and found that for every 2 people actively engaged in the business, 1 was actively disengaged. Anecdotally, those numbers were the worst for any Fortune 500 firm at the time. As of 2011, the story is far different: 17 Campbell employees are actively engaged for every 1 employee who is actively disengaged. Gallup considers twelve to one to be world-class.

via The Idealistic Realistic: What Really Helped Elevate Campbell Soup Company – Douglas R. Conant – Harvard Business Review.

short film:

Beautiful animated short film about a racist barber in 1930s New York, who moves away from bigotry after a magic trumpet arrives at his shop

via curiosity counts – Beautiful animated short film about a racist….

Christmas, cake balls:  This is my life for the next few weeks!

Easy to make and delicious to eat, cake balls can be made out of any of your favorite cake recipes.  All you do is make the cake, crumble it up and mix it with frosting or cream cheese then roll the cake mixture into balls, bake and dip.  But, don’t take our word for it, look at  Bakerella‘s video below.

Karen Chiumento uses only fresh, all natural ingredients in her hand made cake balls. Yes, they ship! Photo by Jacqueline Marque

Bakerella explains it very easily.  She also wrote the Cake Pops book (below) with recipes and decorating ideas. Cake Pops are Cake Balls with a lollipop stick in them!

Christmas Cupcakes, Cake Balls and Mini-Pies Baking Supplies | The Daily Basics.

journalists, media:  As a lawyer, I often feel “attacked” … never thought about the journalists feeling that way!

Writers from around the country have posted pictures and life stories at the ‘We Are Journalists‘ blog on Tumblr.

Launched  by St. Petersburg Times reporter Emily Nipps (pictured, via) the site gives journalists a place to share why they keep writing despite a challenging economy and a rapidly changing profession. Why do you keep writing?

Here’s more from the site: “We are journalists. We are proud of what we do. We are tired of bad press about the press. We are trying to be ‘team players.’ We are terrified of more layoffs and paycuts. We would like to produce quality work without ‘obamasux99′ posting some non-sequitur rant at the end of it. We complain because we want things to be better. We would like some respect, plz. We are journalists.”

via Writers Proudly Post at ‘We Are Journalists’ Blog – GalleyCat.

design, dichotomies, makes you think …:  Excellent essay … makes you think …

We’re at the apex of our power, but the nadir of our potency. Let’s start with the biggest heartbreaker of them all: We are at a moment in history when, as designers, we are at our most powerful. There is almost nothing we cannot make, enjoying the triumphs of research and development in materials science, manufacturing technology, and information systems. We can get any answer we seek through social networks, peer communities, or hired guns. We have sub-specialties at unimaginably thin slices of expertise—from ubiquitous computing to synthetic biology—and a plumbing system in the Internet that is simultaneously unprecedented in human history and entirely taken for granted.

At the same time, unbelievably, we have never been in worse shape: We are witnessing the collapse of every natural system on earth. Take your pick—on the ground we’ve got clear-cutting, desertification and agricultural run-off. Underneath we’ve got fracking and groundwater contamination. In the air, greenhouse gasses; in the oceans, ice sheet melting, acidification and Pacific trash vortices; in space we have the ghastly and ultimately impossible problem of space debris (we won’t be able to leave even when we’re ready to, and nobody will be able to get in to help us if they wanted to). We carry body-burdens of toxic chemicals leached and outgassed from our homes, our cars, our food packaging. The consequences of industrialization metastasize out to slave factory labor, massive river diversions, obesity, malnutrition, gender inequality, rampant poverty, minefields. We tax our economies with war machinery instead of fueling healthcare and education provision. We feel helpless on the one end and hopeless on the other.

How can we be so strong and yet so weak? How can it be that we, as a species, are at the absolute height of our power at exactly the same moment that we are on the precipice of self-annihilation?

via 1000 Words: The Critical Dichotomies of Design – Core77.

psychology, the mind, makes you think…: Another good essay …

If someone asked you to describe the psychological aspects of personhood, what would you say? Chances are, you’d describe things like thought, memory, problem-solving, reasoning, maybe emotion. In other words, you probably list the major headings of a cognitive psychology text-book. In cognitive psychology, we seem to take it for granted that these are, objectively, the primary components of “the mind” (even if you reject a mind/body dualism, you probably accept some notion that there are psychological processes similar to the ones listed above). I’ve posted previously about whether the distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive even makes sense. But, here, I want to think about the universality of the “mind” concept and its relationship to the modern view of cognition.

In fact, this conception of the mind is heavily influenced by a particular (Western) cultural background. Other cultures assign different characteristics and abilities to the psychological aspects of personhood. Wierzbicka (2005) delves into this problem in detail. She argues that speakers of a particular language make assumptions about what must be universal based on their own ability to imagine doing without a certain concept. Important cross-cultural differences in meaning become lost in translation. For instance, Piaget’s “The moral judgment of the child” was translated to English by substituting the French “juste” with the English “fair.” So, English readers think they are reading about the development of fairness in children, when this was not the author’s intention.

via Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists: How Universal Is The Mind?.

Christmas, Christmas carols, history:  this is a great history of Christmas carols in particular and Christmas generally.

At face value, the Christmas carol may be the least captivating style of occasional song. While other popular tunes arise from passion or desire, heroism or defeat, the Yuletide songbook is a catalog of modest thrills and postindustrial neuroses. A quick survey turns up portraits of manic stress release (“Jingle Bells”), overwrought hallucination (“Do You Hear What I Hear?”), complex Freudian trauma (“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”), desperate midlife lechery (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”), forced enthusiasm (“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”), and thinly veiled xenophobia (“Dominick the Donkey … the Italian Christmas donkey!”). It was apparently decided long ago that we can overcome these demons by frightening them away with feckless vocalization. Carol-singing, like drinking, accounts for a large part of boisterous group behavior in this country. If a large posse of merrymakers rings your doorbell in the quiet suburban night, there is an equal chance that you should call the cops or offer them a nutmeg-flavored snack.

Consider, too, that Christmas carols have no obvious counterparts among the other holidays. Large group odes are not sung in anticipation of Memorial Day.

If anything, their legitimacy as tradition has only increased in recent years. Today’s carols are one of our few genuine access points to the history of Western pop music, the centuries of mainstream fare buried beneath our own.

via The Long, Strange History of Christmas Carols – Slate Magazine.

flash sites, fashion, GILT:  I have never bought anything from a flash fashion site … new term for me … but have bought from groupon, etc.

It’s not surprising that fashion deal sites like Gilt Groupe, Rue La La and Ideeli, which often offer designer merchandise discounted up to 80%, have garnered more than 5 million members in just a few short years. Known for “flash sales”—deals that typically last just 36-48 hours—these members-only websites feature excess inventory from more than 1,000 brands at steeply reduced prices.

Gilt Groupe launched in fall 2007, and the industry has quickly become packed with competitors, with Amazon.com’s MyHabit launching in May. “There are lots of outlets that offer consumers huge assortments that take a lot of time to shop,” says Steve Davis, president of Rue La La. “The beauty of the flash business is that we’re perfect for that time-starved consumer. You can shop our site for five minutes every day. It’s a very specific, curated assortment, and we help to pick the right things for you.”

But the bargain sites aren’t just booming among consumers. In May, CNN Money reported that flash sites made $1 billion in sales in 2010, with a projected $6 billion revenue figure by 2015. As these retailers expand to include travel, home and culinary deals, TIME Moneyland asked the presidents and CEOs of the top five fashion flash sites about making the most of the online deal-hunting experience.

via Taking Advantage of Flash Fashion Sites | How Online Shoppers Can Make the Most of Fashion Flash Sites | Moneyland | TIME.com.

Jane Austen:  New picture … changed perception … This discovery reminds me of the movie Possession …

Jane Austen scholar Dr Paula Byrne claims to have discovered a lost portrait of the author which, far from depicting a grumpy spinster, shows a writer at the height of her powers and a woman comfortable in her own skin.

The only accepted portraits of Austen to date are her sister Cassandra’s 1810 sketch, in which she looks cross, and an 1870 adaptation of that picture. But when Byrne, biographer of Evelyn Waugh and Mary “Perdita” Robinson and with an Austen biography due out in 2013, was given a portrait of a female author acquired by her husband, Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate, at auction, she was immediately struck by the possibility that it could be a lost drawing of Austen.

The portrait drawing, in graphite on vellum, had been in a private collection for years, and was being auctioned as an “imaginary portrait” of Austen, with “Miss Jane Austin” written on the back. “When my husband bought it he thought it was a reasonable portrait of a nice lady writer, but I instantly had a visceral reaction to it. I thought it looks like her family. I recognised the Austen nose, to be honest, I thought it was so striking, so familiar,” Byrne told the Guardian. “The idea that it was an imaginary portrait – that seemed to me to be a crazy theory. That genre doesn’t exist, and this looks too specific, too like the rest of her family, to have been drawn from imagination.”

Byrne pointed out that Austen did not become famous until 1870, 50 years after her death, and the portrait has been dated to the early 19th century, around 1815, on the basis of the subject’s clothes. “Why would someone have wanted to draw her from their imagination, when she was not popular at that time?” she asked.

via Jane Austen biographer discovers ‘lost portrait’ | Books | guardian.co.uk.

media:

One of the coolest and most charming book releases of this year, The Influencing Machine is a graphic novel about the media, its history, and its many maladies — think The Information meets The Medium is the Massage meets Everything Explained Through Flowcharts. Written by Brooke Gladstone, longtime host of NPR’s excellent On the Media, and illustrated by cartoonist Josh Neufeld, The Influencing Machine takes a refreshingly alternative approach to the age-old issue of why we disparage and distrust the news. And as the book quickly makes clear, it has always been

via The Influencing Machine: A Brief Visual History of the Media | Brain Pickings.

 Kathryn Schulz, psychology, regret, TED: TED provides me with some of my favorite information.

My friend Kathryn Schulz, who penned the excellent book Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error and who is, in my opinion, one of the finest, bravest, most thoughtful journalists working today, recently gave a TED talk about regret. As the new owner of ink that makes me very happy, what got me to pay even closer attention was Kathryn’s extended example of her own tattoo as a lens for examining the psychology of regret, a vehicle for her characteristically potent formula of universal wisdom channelled through personal anecdotes and hard data.

Make sure you watch to the very end, it’s well worth it.

via Kathryn Schulz on the Psychology of Regret and How to Live with It | Brain Pickings.

Twitter, ideal life:  I follow a couple of these …. Martha Stewart Wannabees …

 For more holiday ideas and inspirations, pop over to the rest of the #HolidayHQ posts today and discover what the experts are decorating, cooking and planning for a festive December.  And then join us on Twitter Thursday 8 December at 8pm EST for the popular #HolidayHQ tweet chat for even more holiday ideas.

http://www.housewifebliss.com/?p=1029.

Christmas, salt dough ornaments:  Add another to the list?

 

My fondest Christmas memory is sitting around our kitchen table watching my mother turn dough into works of art, she effortless hand crafted a jointed Santa Clause, an ornate rocking horse and many other keep sake ornaments while I fiddled around with gingerbread cookie cutters wondering why I did not inherit her creative gene.  While those around me are turning their kitchens into cookie factories, churning out confections for countless recipients, parties and hostess gifts, I am recreating my favourite Christmas memory and creating the most delightful decorations for our holiday tree, gift toppers and garlands.  While many of us think of salt dough crafts as the back bone of elementary school projects (and granted mine do have that air about them), artisans have been working with salt dough for centuries creating elaborate works of art using the most basic of ingredients:  salt, water, flour and paint.

viahttp://www.housewifebliss.com/?p=1029.

04
Dec
11

12.4.2011 … FPC’s sanctuary looks beautiful! I love this old church … in the right place this Second Sunday of Advent …

FPC, Sunday School, Dr. Greg Snyder, history, archeology, Jesus, Josephus:  First in Sunday SchoolDr. Greg Snyder led our discussion of  the historical and archeological evidence supporting Jesus’ birth, ministry and death.

“Preparing Room: The Birth Narrative in Context”

This class will explore the first century Palestinian (social, political, economic and religious) context in conversation with the birth narratives of the synoptic gospels.

Dr. Greg Snyder (M.A., MDiv., PhD.) is currently a professor of Religion at Davidson College. Dr. Snyder teaches courses on New Testament history and literature, non-canonical gospels, Roman Religion, and the History of the Bible in America. His research interests include the social history of religious and philosophical groups under the Roman Empire; the results of this study are gathered in his book, Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World (London: Routledge, 2000). Dr. Snyder is also a co-editor of In Search of the Early Christians: Selected Essays of Wayne Meeks (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002) and has published several articles.

via First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.

historical …

In his writings, Josephus mentions the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians. He mentions Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, Jesus (twice) and James the brother of Jesus. He also mentions the Essenes – the strict religious sect within Judaism that founded the Qumran community, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In fact, Josephus says that he spent some time with the Essenes. This is how he describes it (Cited by Carsten Peter Thiede in ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish origins of Christianity.’):

When I was about sixteen, I wanted to gain first-hand experience of our different movements. There are three: first, the Pharisees, second the Sadducees, and third the Essenes – as I have noted frequently. I thought I would be able to choose the best, by learning about all these schools. Thus I steeled myself for the task and studied the three courses with some effort.

In book 18 of the Antiquities, 63-64, the text of Josephus as we have it today says:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is lawful to call him a man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the prophets of God had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

In fact, this text is a bit too much of a good thing for our purposes. It seems unlikely that a Jew such as Josephus would have written some of the things in this passage. Most scholars today agree that it has been altered by early Christians seeking to ‘improve’ it. It seems more likely that Josephus originally wrote something like this:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

via What the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus says about Jesus Christ.

Archeology

  • tomb containing ossuary of Caiphas
  1. Limestone bone box size of microwave.
  2. Inscription in Aramaic
  3. High class ossuary
  4. Knowledge of greek ?  Evidence that more knew Greek.
  5. Mortality rates … 40 of 63 in Caiphas tomb under 12.
  6. Miriam – body had greek coin in mouth. Greek custom … Pay to cross to afterlife.
  • Yechohanan’s remains
  1. Crucified nail in bone
  2. Romans there. Crucifixion roman.
  • Deep oppressive ubiquitous roman presence?
  1. Romans content to leave status quo as long as taxes flowed back to Rome.
  2. Most roman presence in cesaria except in pilgrimage times .. Passover.
  • Herod the Great
  1. Josephus has pages about him
  2. Sarcapoghus of Herod the Great
  3. Herodium –Theater with VIP box painted walls (Prepared for Mark Anthony); also friend of Cesar Augustus .. Helpful in conquer Egypt
  4. Grest builder:  cesaria, Masada, herodium, temple in Jerusalem
  5. Caught in vice: Jewish vs Greco roman. Romans eagle above entrance to tomb
  6. 5 wives.10 children very conniving.
  7. “Rather be herod’s pig than his son!”In his advancing paranoia, he was continually writing to Rome for permission to execute one or two of his sons for treason. Finally even his patron and friend Augustus had to admit, “I’d rather be Herod’s pig than his son.” It was not only a play on the similar sounding Greek words for son and pig, but a wry reference to the fact that pork, at least, was not consumed by Jews.via History of King Herod: Why was he called Great? — Bill Petro.
  8. Death and everything unraveled …Judea carved up among 3 sons ..
  • Slaughter of the infants .. Tintoretto painting
  1. Josephus – Herod rounded up and killed young men on his death
  2. But slaughter of infants very similar to Moses.
  3. Birth narrative theologically motivated … Literature
  • Interesting tidbit … Netzer, archeologist,  died at site.

JERUSALEM — Ehud Netzer, one of Israel’s best-known archeologists who unearthed King Herod’s tomb near Bethlehem three years ago, died on Thursday after being injured in a fall at the site. He was 76.

Mr. Netzer was leaning on a wooden safety rail on Monday when it gave way, sending him tumbling 15 feet. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem with critical injuries and died there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the death “a loss for his family, for scholars of Israel’s history and for archeology.”

Mr. Netzer, who was professor emeritus of archeology at Hebrew University, had led high-profile digs across the country and helped educate several generations of Israeli archeologists.

After three decades of research, he was the pre-eminent expert on Herodium, a fortified palace complex that Herod built atop a small mountain near Bethlehem when he ruled in the decades just before the birth of Jesus. Herod, the Rome-appointed king of Judea from 37 to 4 B. C., was famed for his monumental structures, including the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the desert fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea and Herodium.

via Ehud Netzer, Archeologist Who Unearthed Herod’s Tomb, Dies at 76 – NYTimes.com.

FPC, Rev. Roland Purdue, worship: The sermon, “A world Whirled and Staggered,” …

Notes:

  • Isaiah 7:10-14 (RSV)10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,11 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”

    12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.”

    13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?

    14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman’u-el.

    via Isaiah 7:10-14 “Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,…” RSV – Online Bible Study – Online Bible Study Tools.

  1. Staggering things but no one aware of anything in particular.
  2. Ahaz pious and refuses to test God
  3. isaiah: God give sign if you will trust in Lord
  4. Women give birth all the time? Probably child born of Ahaz or Isaiah … Isaiah known for naming children prophetically.  Probably of Isaiah.
  5. Ahaz refuses
  • Matthew 1:18-25Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

    20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

    22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).

    24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

    via Bible.

  1. 7 centuries later
  2. After Jesus birth and death, Matthew and Christian community take the Isaiah prophesy
  • Peace candle only God’s gift allow us to enjoy that peace
  • Salvation among us because of Gid’d gift
  • Gift uniquely bundled up on a child
  • Since birth of Jesus no child ever the same.
  • Time to be responsible adults and reach out to the children ours or another. Say to child that they are a sign of God in your life.

Nobel Prize, economics, macroeconomics, Great Recession: Fascinating …

 “If it’s a prank,” she whispered, “they’re doing a pretty good Swedish accent.”

At the same hour, near the campus of New York University in Manhattan, Thomas J. Sargent was already wide awake. He, too, had received an unexpected call.

Stockholm was on the line. The two men, intellectual sparring mates for more than 40 years, had won the Nobel in economic science. (They are to collect it on Saturday.)

And yet, in this time of economic angst, with the fate of the euro and the course of the global economy uncertain, these two Americans have reached the pinnacle of a profession that, to many, seems to have failed miserably. The financial crisis of 2008-09, the Great Recession, the debt mess in Europe — few economists saw all of it coming. For all its elegance, modern macroeconomics seemed to provide little help when the world needed it most.

Today, solutions to our economic troubles, from onerous government debt to high unemployment, remain elusive. And the field of economics, like Washington politics, seems as polarized as ever.

Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent neither prescribe cures nor forecast the future. Nor do they deal in the sound bites of talking heads on cable TV. They are reluctant celebrities, men whose work can baffle even Ph.D.’s.

So it comes as a surprise, not least to Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent, that these two now find themselves thrust into an uncomfortable spotlight. Conservative voices, like the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, have claimed them as their own. The men’s work on economic cause and effect and the theory of rational expectations — which maintains that people use all the information available in making economic decisions — proves that Keynes had it wrong, these commentators say.

It would be a provocative thesis — if it were true. But Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent say their work is being misread. Both, in fact, are longtime Democrats who maintain that government can, and should, play a role in economic affairs. They stand behind many recent policies of the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve. They even have some ideas about how European governments might defuse the running crisis on the Continent.

They won their Nobel for “their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy,” in the academy’s words. What that means, in part, is that they have done some serious math. Today, ideas they largely formed in the 1970s and ’80s help shape the thinking inside the Fed and on Wall Street.

via Nobel Winners in Economics – The Reluctant Celebrities – NYTimes.com.

 

movies, J Edgar, biopic, history:  Always fascinated by K Edgar hoover … want to see J. Edgar (2011) – IMDb…. was he gay?

Sitting in front of Hoover’s grave in Congressional Cemetery (an inspired touch) Schwarz argues that in the movie, “Mr. Hoover was portrayed as an individual who had homosexual tendencies and was a tyrannical monster…That is clearly not true.” To prove his point, Schwarz mentions that the real Hoover wrote personal notes to his agents to mark births, deaths and anniversaries. For Schwarz this is clear enough evidence that Hoover was not an administrative monster with no social life. But it is the same love of rules that also implies to Schwarz that there was no chance that Hoover was homosexual.

Schwarz’s belief is based on the notion that Hoover condemned extra-marital affairs and anyone who was homosexual was considered a “security risk.” (Although if Armie Hammer was your assistant you might bend the rules, too.) For Schwarz, there is no way a man who condemns homosexuality could possibly be gay. Apparently he has chosen to ignore the many former Congressmen and religious leaders who put the lie to that belief and is also completely unaware of the human capacity to protest too much.

via Ex-FBI Agents Angered by Clint Eastwood’s Portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover as Gay in New Biopic | Entertainment | TIME.com.

Ayn Rand, yoga, lululemon, mash-up:  Interesting mash-up!  And that is the first time I have used that term!  Atlas Stretched: What Ayn Rand, yoga, and lululemon’s new shopping bags have in common. – Slate Magazine.

The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing something selfish and virtuous at the same time. You are sweating and suffering and honing a “watchful mind,” but also taking a break from your daily burdens and acquiring fantastic-looking abs. And that’s the genius of Ayn Rand: She made egoism the ultimate good. What Christianity labels as the unfortunate consequence of original sin, Rand saw as man’s natural and best state. (Interestingly, while Ayn Rand’s atheism bothers conservative evangelicals, it seems to bother some of them less than does yoga, which they view as paganism parading as a health movement. John Galt, at least, would have shared their hatred of Obamacare.)

— Slate on the Who Is John Galt quasi-meme and what Aynd Rand and yoga have in common

via curiosity counts – The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing….

‘Leonardo da Vinci’ , National Gallery in London, travel, museum exhibits, London: I want to go, I want to go …

Despite all the madness Mr. Syson, who is leaving the National Gallery to become curator of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Met in January, has a message he hopes the exhibition is delivering: Realizing that Leonardo has recently been prized more as a scientist than as an artist, he wants the public to see how painting was actually central to the master’s way of thinking. Judging by the show’s popularity, that point is getting across.

“I don’t mean to sound like a mystical priest, but on some level these paintings communicate soul to soul,” he said. “Great art does work on people in mysterious ways.”

via‘Leonardo da Vinci’ Blockbuster at National Gallery in London – NYTimes.com.

 Great White,  Wilmington NC, North Carolina:  dun-dun! dun-dun! dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun, da-na-na!

This is a great PR opportunity for the Iphone 4s – a Massachusetts man captured HD footage of an 18-foot Great White shark off the coast of North Carolina over the weekend. Matt Garrett and friends were 25 miles off the coast of Wrightsville Beach on a day fishing trip when out of the deep the shark came.

The footage is as stunning as it is chilling, particularly given the calm waters on that sun-filled day.

“Off in a distance we saw two big fins sticking up in the water. We thought it was a couple Atlantic Sunfish or two dolphins. As the two fins approached a little closer, we noticed it was a giant shark.” Garrett said.

Watch the video for all the details and think twice before you surf in Hatteras again.

via Incredible Great White Footage Captured off North Carolina – USATODAY.com.

Davidson College, Davidson basketball:  Talking points …

One of the main points of emphasis on this year’s Wildcats’ team has been to make the game go as fast as it can go.

via Davidson sets fast pace, keeps Furman on the run | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

David Foster Wallace, academic resources: Want to know what it would be like to have David Foster Wallace as a professor? Check out his English 102 syllabus …  I had to check out who he was  …

David Foster Wallace, whose prodigiously observant, exuberantly plotted, grammatically and etymologically challenging, philosophically probing and culturally hyper-contemporary novels, stories and essays made him an heir to modern virtuosos like Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, an experimental contemporary of William T. Vollmann, Mark Leyner and Nicholson Baker and a clear influence on younger tour-de-force stylists like Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer, died on Friday at his home in Claremont, Calif. He was 46.

A spokeswoman for the Claremont police said Mr. Wallace’s wife, Karen Green, returned home to find that her husband had hanged himself. Mr. Wallace’s father, James Donald Wallace, said in an interview on Sunday that his son had been severely depressed for a number of months.

via David Foster Wallace, Influential Writer, Dies at 46 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com.

Book cover. Click to enlarge.

 

Annotated pages . Click to enlarge.

Annotated pages from David Foster Wallace’s teaching copy of C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Harry Ransom Center.

A small but significant portion of the David Foster Wallace archive represents his teaching career, from his graduate school years through to his work as a faculty member at Pomona College in the years before his death. Wallace not only had high expectations for his students, but took his own role as a teacher very seriously. Syllabi, paper topic handouts, quizzes, vocabulary lists, heavily annotated teaching texts, and other documents dating from the late 1980s to 2008 are represented in the collection. Shown here are assignments and books representing various periods in his teaching career.

via Teaching materials from the David Foster Wallace archive.

Kodak, brand, “creative destruction”:  Kodak was the best … I remember the first time I bought Fuji film!

Kodak Brownie and Instamatic cameras were once staples of family vacations and holidays — remember the “open me first” Christmas ad campaigns? But it may not be long before a generation of Americans grows up without ever having laid hands on a Kodak product. That’s a huge comedown for a brand that was once as globally familiar as Coca-Cola.

It’s hard to think of a company whose onetime dominance of a market has been so thoroughly obliterated by new technology. Family snapshots? They’re almost exclusively digital now, and only a tiny fraction ever get printed on paper.

Eastman Kodak engineers invented the digital camera in 1975; but now that you can point and click with a cheap cellphone, even the stand-alone digital camera is becoming an endangered species on the consumer electronics veld. The last spool of yellow-boxed Kodachrome rolled out the door of a Mexican factory in 2009. Paul Simon composed his hymn to Kodachrome in 1973, but his camera of choice, according to the lyrics, was a Nikon.

It’s not uncommon for great companies to be humbled by what the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter called the forces of “creative destruction.” Technology, especially digital technology, has been the most potent whirlwind sweeping away old markets and old strategies for many decades. Changing economics and global competition have reduced behemoths of the past, such as General Motors, into mice of the present.

via Kodak’s long fade to black – latimes.com.

Great Recession,  European Financial Mess:  Help …

Much like our own recent housing crisis, the European financial mess is unfolding in a foreign language. It is the lingua franca of financial obscurity — “sovereign credit spreads” and other terms that most people don’t need, or care, to know.

Yet the bottom line is simple: Europe’s problems are a lot like ours, only worse. Like Wall Street, Germany is where the money is. Italy, like California, has let bad governance squander great natural resources. Greece is like a much older version of Mississippi — forever poor and living a bit too much off its richer neighbors. Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia are like the heartland states that learned the hard way how entwined so-called Main Street is with Wall Street. Now remember that these countries share neither a government nor a language. Nor a realistic bailout plan, either.

Lack of fluency in financialese shouldn’t preclude anyone from understanding what is going on in Europe or what may yet happen. So we’ve answered some of the most pressing questions in a language everyone can comprehend. Though the word for “Lehman” in virtually any language is still “Lehman.”

via Translating the European Financial Mess – NYTimes.com.

Chelsea Clinton: Very enjoyable article … I wonder why she named her dog “Soren” [Kierkegaard]?

OVER a series of casual dinners at neighborhood restaurants near her Flatiron District apartment in the spring, Chelsea Clinton began talking to a couple of longtime friends about something she’d been mulling for a while.

It was quite an assertion from someone who — despite the very public profile of her parents, one a former president and the other the current secretary of state — had lived most of her 31 years at a far remove from the spotlight.

And in her most high-profile move so far, she has taken a job with NBC News as a special correspondent, contributing to the network’s “Making a Difference” franchise. On Dec. 12, Ms. Clinton will make her first appearance on the prime-time newsmagazine “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” with a segment she developed about a nonprofit organization in Pine Bluff, Ark.

As she headed to the airport in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday evening, after filming her NBC segment, Ms. Clinton discussed in a phone interview her decision to take on a more public role. “My parents taught me to approach the world critically, but also to approach it with a sense of responsibility,” she said.

Mr. Mezvinsky, a former Goldman Sachs banker, will soon start a hedge fund with a friend. The couple’s apartment, shared with a miniature Yorkshire terrier named Soren, after the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, is said to be overflowing with books. On the phone from Arkansas, Ms. Clinton talked about her husband’s continuous support and their habit of talking “about everything, almost sometimes ad nauseam.”

via Chelsea Clinton, Living Up to the Family Name – NYTimes.com.

Newt Gingrich, Maureen Dowd: scathing!

NEWT GINGRICH’S mind is in love with itself.

It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker.

His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior.

He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

“Part of the question I had to ask myself,” he said in a 1985 Wall Street Journal piece about war wimps, “was what difference I would have made.”

Newt swims easily in a sea of duality and byzantine ideas that don’t add up. As The Washington Post reported on Friday, an America under President Gingrich would have two Social Security systems — “one old, one new, running side by side” — two tax systems and two versions of Medicare.

Newt’s the kind of person whom child labor laws were created to curb. He sounds like a benign despot with a colonial subtext: Until I bring you the benefits of civilization, we will regard you as savages.

He’s Belgium. The poor are Congo.

via Out of Africa and Into Iowa – NYTimes.com.

12
Dec
10

12.12.2010 Thunder Road was a success for John … my favorite Advent service tonight …

FPC, Advent:  Taize Service tonight.  This may be my favorite one.

“…in our silence.”

December 12, 2010

This evening service will remind us that among the noise of the holiday, God’s voice is still able to speak to us in the stillness and silence. Taize is a worship style from France that seeks to contrast noise and silence, and light and darkness as we worship God.

art, Norman Rockwell:

Norman Rockwell’s America still has its fans—both at home and overseas. His first major British exhibition will open Dec. 15 at London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery. On Thursday in New York, his work saw strong sales at a Sotheby’s auction.

It wasn’t always so: For decades, much of the art world looked down on Rockwell’s idyllic portraits of ball games, Boy Scouts and freckle-faced kids. But in recent years, collectors and museums have come to embrace the artist. At auction, 87% of the Rockwell oil paintings offered for sale this year have been sold, up from 73% last year.

via Norman Rockwell Paintings Sell Well at Sotheby’s – WSJ.com.

lawyers, ex-lawyers, yoga: Yoga teacher!

But nineteen months ago, Stuart lost his job.  He responded by becoming a yoga instructor. WTF Stuart?

“All I can tell you is that when you get older there are certain things that start coming to your mind that you can’t possibly explain or understand when you’re younger,” says Stuart. “It’s like trying to explain puberty to a five-year-old.  The concept of now or never really does begin to hit you, and you realize: Well, wait a second if I don’t this now, I’m never going to do it.  It’s not like oh geez I’ll do this when I retire.  I’m 55. A lot of people retire at 55.”

via From BofA Attorney to Yoga Instructor, Stuart Dean | The Ex-Lawyers Club.

holidays:  To call Christmas an agnostic holiday bothers me even more than a cultural holiday.  Holiday is by definition a holy day.  Interesting interview/book … Agnostic Holidays: Green With ‘Spiritual Envy’? : NPR.

culture, medicine, ethics:

PlanetHospital’s most affordable package, the “India bundle,” buys an egg donor, four embryo transfers into four separate surrogate mothers, room and board for the surrogate, and a car and driver for the parents-to-be when they travel to India to pick up the baby.

via Assembling the Global Baby – WSJ.com.

 




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