Saturday, July 31, 2004

Time for a road trip?

Link - This site is one of the better travel sites for back-road ramblings around the USA. Not only are the routes described some of the best, the writing is extensive, of high quality and obviously by someone who has traveled every single mile personally. Recommended for the arm-chair or car-seat traveler alike!

Friday, July 30, 2004

Fault zone poses $3B threat to Miss., Ole Miss study says

Link - A university report suggests an earthquake along the southern end of the New Madrid Seismic Zone could cause more than $3 billion in damage in Mississippi. Over a third of the damage would be in DeSoto County, which borders Memphis.

The New Madrid Fault Zone includes Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. The White River Fault Zone also passes through DeSoto County and runs through northwest Mississippi into Arkansas. That fault is associated with the earthquake at Courland in 1999 and Mississippi's greatest earthquake in Charleston in 1931.

Food Pyramid to get redesign

"The pyramid has crumbled," said a food industry consultant. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion hired the Porter Novelli PR firm to redesign the Food Pyramid, or, as one PR pro called it, the "Food Guidance System, so it's not prejudiced that it's going to be a pyramid." Food is a $500 billion industry, so "everybody and their dog" is interested, said the Wheat Foods Council president. Concerned groups include the U.S. Potato Board, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Atkins Nutritionals and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The USDA will pay Porter Novelli at least $1.6 million over the next year, for the redesign, slogan, Internet work and educational materials, reports Adweek. Source: Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2004

One million legal music d/ls

Link - Here's a wiki that's attempting to collect links to 1,000,000 legal music downloads.

New Orleans coach to conduct businesslike camp as Saints seek to end 3-year playoff drought

Link - New Orleans Saints coach Jim Haslett is excited about the start of training camp — more excited than he's been since his first year with the team.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

A Jolt from the Past

Link - My favorite retro brand, Jolt, is back. (Remember the great slogan..."All the sugar, twice the caffeine!") New Jersey-based GumRunners LLC licensed both the Jolt name and the caffeine kick, then tossed in some ginseng and turned it into gum. Two pieces equals one cup of coffee. Jolt's Caffeine Energy Gum is $1.49 at convenience stores or online. And you can still buy the Cola there too!

Trade gap

The global economy is thriving in Middle America. Evidence? Check the "made in" tags on the clothes at your local Gap. Here's an inventory of one store: Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macao, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Northern Mariana Islands (USA), Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USA, Vietnam. For a complete list of Gap's supplier nations, click here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Blogging and business moving mainstream

Link - Blogs are fast gaining corporate recognition and soon may be acknowledged simply as important.

ABCNews.com Says Blogs are a Form of Media

Link - ABCNews.com has a six-part article on how blogging is now basically a form of media.

Alabama governor is blogging

Here's the story and the blog. (The Web site for the blog was down when I posted this. I guess those Bama boys just headed right for the blog and crashed the server!)

Wall Street Journal now offering RSS feeds

Link - Headlines only, and you still have to be a subscriber to read the full stories. But it's still a big endorsement of this technology by a major newspaper.

Internet use and personality study

Link - Survey tool by the University of Baltimore

Stewardess uniform collection

Link - More than 330 different stewardess uniforms from 184 airlines.

Ted Turner is mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore...

Link - How government protects big media--and shuts out upstarts like Ted Turner.

Why women cry at movies...

Link - Movies Can Alter Hormone Levels

BIG IDEAS

Link - "Eating, sleeping, procreating, laughing - and trying to create a world in which we can do these things unmolested - have all been far greater drivers of human ingenuity than time machines or battery-operated scooters." - "We may no longer hold high hopes of the state, but if the study of individuals reminds us of our common humanity and prompts us to reassess the merits of the collective, let’s welcome it."

First X Prize attempt set for Sept. 29

Link - SpaceShipOne group lays out timetable

That's No Space Station...

Link - Soon after orbital insertion, Cassini returned its best look yet at the heavily cratered moon Mimas (398 kilometers, 247 miles across). The enormous crater at the top of this image, named Herschel, is about 130 kilometers (80 miles) wide and 10 kilometers (6 miles) deep.

Armstrong wins record 6th Tour

Link - Star wins by wide margin, this time, says he might not compete next year...

Yesterday's transportation future

Link - A neat Web site/gallery featuring some of the fantastic oddities and plans of futurists from the first half of the 20th century about the far-off world of 1980!

My iTunes purchases this week...

Fatboy Slim – The Joker
Martina Topley-Bride – Soul Food
Keane – Somewhere Only We Know
Dr. John – I Ate Up the Apple Tree
Beck - Tropicalia

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Outcome May Be Wired, but Nothing Like the Venue

Link - If there is one thing that will unite the thousands of delegates, executives, reporters and lobbyists who are converging on the Democratic convention here this week, it is the need to communicate. That is one reason the convention will showcase the latest telecommunications technology, from cellphones to fiber-optic networks.

Tour de Lance

Link - Everyday is a winding (and "windy") road...

Krispy Kreme Sells Liquid Doughnuts

Link - As if we all weren't fat enough...liquid doughnuts!

Mobile iTunes

Link - Apple just announced a new iTunes mobile version that Motorola will load onto their "mass-market music phones" in the first half of next year.

Disneyland 1968 family photos

Link - Here's a wonderful set of family holiday snapshots from a modern-day blogger's childhood trip to Disneyland in 1968 -- and good as the photos are the reminisces that accompany them are even better.

How-To Turn your iPod in to a Universal Infrared Remote Control

Link - Just one more reason to love your iPod...

Bigger breasts offered to U.S. soldiers

Link - So...are they considered weapons or protection?

Monday, July 26, 2004

Gawker covers important DNC information

Link - The Hilary Clinton Fashion Report, etc. etc.

Dresden exhibit needs visitors

Link - Promoters of The Glory of Baroque Dresden exhibit are encouraging citizens to visit the Mississippi Arts Pavilion during the display's final weeks in Jackson.

Mississippi communities project reaches out to children in Iraq

Link - Victor Renard Powell has teamed with a group of Jackson-based National Guard soldiers stationed in Iraq and their families at home to distribute 8,000 backpacks to Iraqi school children.

Bird-watching takes flight with new Mississippi map

Link - On Aug. 2, Audubon Mississippi, the state chapter of The National Audubon Society, will release "The Mississippi Coastal Birding Trail," a full-color map of 50 bird-watching hot spots in Mississippi's six southernmost counties.

Model "Marketing" For Playboy

Marketing" is one of those squirrelly words that has a hundred definitions depending on who's speaking. AdRants reports that Czech model Eva Herzigova is modeling in the August issue of Playboy to market her new swimwear line. "For me, Playboy is on the career list," she says. "[It] is a great concept. It shows the beauty of the body in an elegant way." Yes, and men read it for the articles.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Signing off for a while...

I am leaving in the morning for the Southern Public Relations Federation annual meeting - won't be back till late Saturday. I am also signing off of my Operation Healthy Vote blog till then. (I'm not sure about Internet access in the rooms or elsewhere, and I am going to try and make myself stay off the computer and stay on the beach when at all possible!);)

Cowboy photographer

Cowboy Photographer Erwin E. Smith didn't just photograph cowboy life - he lived it. This Web site presents more than 750 images from the surviving collections of Smith's work. These online reproductions were made from Smith's original negatives, irreplaceable objects that capture the old-time cowboy as he really was—a working man on horseback.

Happy 35th Moonshot Day

Getting there, landing, getting back. And here's a panorama.

Cameraphone hysteria recapitulates portable camera hysteria of 1888

Link - Great PBS piece traces the history of the reaction to the portable camera -- eerily familiar to the reaction today to the phonecam.

Blues club in Mississippi Delta like coming home to B.B. King, others

Link - Greats such as Ray Charles, B.B. King, Ike Turner, James Brown, Howlin' Wolf, Bobby "Blue" Bland and Willie Clayton have played at the modest blues club, which has stood at the same spot since 1945.

Top 25 Celebrities Turned Politicians

Link - A reference for seekers of truth

We don't need no stinkin' log-in

Link - Wired News has a good piece on the backlash against the growing trend of news-sites requiring logins to read their articles, covering automated tools like the Mozilla bugmenot plugin that automatically spoofs your logins to 14,000+ sites.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Blogging From a Palm Now Possible

Link - Now you can easily blog on the road thanks to Palm's new HBlogger software. Bloggers can prepare and send posts to multiple blogs at the same time. HBlogger supports Live Journal, Blogger.com and Moveable Type.

"This Land" Cartoon Provides Equal Opportunity Offending and Laughs

Link - Brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis of JibJab media have a mega-hit on their hands with their "This Land" cartoon animation that contains something to offend every Democrat and Republican and something to make each of them laugh too.

'Jeopardy' Millionaire Is Smart, but Is He a Genius?

Link - Interesting article about what it takes to win big on Jeopardy!

Word of the Day from the Oxford English Dictionary

Link - This is the only free and accessible part of the OED on line. It contains the full dictionary entry for the chosen word of the day; complete with etymology, pronunciation, timeline, (my favorite part!) and full quotations. It is also available via e-mail.

iPod Nation

Link - In just three years, Apple’s adorable mini music player has gone from gizmo to life-changing cultural icon

Produce delivered to your door

Link - Make eating more fruits and vegetables easier by signing up with a local farm to have fresh produce delivered to your home or office. You can choose how much you want to receive and how often, and some farms will also let you specify foods you don't want. As a bonus, many offer organic produce as well as other foods like honey and eggs. Delivery is usually included in the price ($25 and up per week for a box of produce that easily feeds two or more.)

Live strong: wear yellow

In 1997, the Lance Armstrong Foundation was created to improve the quality of life for young cancer survivors and their families. This year, the foundation is seeking to raise $5 million through the sale of yellow rubber wristbands bearing Armstrong's mantra, "Live Strong." (The color yellow signifies the yellow jersey awarded to the victor in each day's segment of the Tour De France, which Armstrong has won five times.) Ten wristbands are $10 at wearyellow.com. For more information, visit laf.org.

iPod speakers made from Altoids tins

Link - The winner of a contest to invent a MacGyver-style invention using Altoids tins is a peach: make a set of iPod speakers out of two Altoids tins, two playing cards, and a set of headphones.

Sunspot activity hits 1,000-year high

Link - The Sun is burning brighter than at any time over the past 1,150 years, according to a study by a professor at a Swiss university. Professor Sami Solanki said this could be compounding the effects of greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming.

Poetry.net

Link - Ah, where has all the poetry gone? Here. Links to poetry sites as well as poems listed...this will keep you busy for awhile.

Elvis enters public domain in UK next year

Link - On January 1, 2005, Elvis Presley's "That's All Right" -- a 50-year-old tune currently enjoying the #3 chart spot in Great Britain -- will enter the public domain.

Paul Holmes: PR People, Take Blogs Seriously

Link - The following very lengthy article ran in The Holmes Report, an influential PR industry newsletter, and is reprinted in this blog with the full permission of Paul himself.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Alice in Wonderland precursor manuscripts scanned and posted

Link - A Dutch university student has scanned in an original manuscript for Alice's Adventures Underground, Lewis Carroll's precursor to Alice in Wonderland.

Something Phish-y

Link - What's phishing? According to Privacy, Inc., "any email communication that looks legitimate, but its sole purpose is to defraud you of your account information and the money in your account." Usually it's an e-mail, purportedly from your bank, your Internet provider or eBay. A problem with your account requires you to confirm your Social Security number, bank account number, credit card information or passwords. You're asked to click on a link, but instead of the actual site you're delivered to a cleverly disguised mock site. The data you enter is captured by scammers who want to steal your identity, drain your accounts or both.

Fifty-seven million people in the United States have been on the receiving end of a phish-ing attempt within the past year. Spend a few minutes at this site to check up on the latest "line" from the phishers. And Internet provider Earthlink offers a downloadable toolbar available to all Internet users. It can alert you before you enter a known scammer's Web site.

Word constellations

Link - The Visual Thesaurus maps relationships among words in three dimensions--rotating to reveal the entire universe of related words. Placing the cursor over a word reveals its meaning. Placing it between words shows how they are related. Clicking on a meaning reorders the universe with the new word at the center. Online subscriptions are $11.95 a year.

Where old Web sites go to die...

The average life span of a Web page is just 77 days. But, thanks to a half-dozen archive services, millions of sites are saved everyday. The Internet Archive saves billions of pages each year. The Web site even has a Wayback Machine that resurrects favorite oldies.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Test your punctuation skills...

Link - Are you a stickler for punctuation too? Play this game and see how you stack up.

A very good stock and stock market site

Link - A vast array good articles on technical and fundamental analysis.

Modern Times - Classic Films

Link - Descriptions, scene shots, sounds and tons of other classic film related film information organized into categories.

Coffee Research

Link - The Coffeeresearch.org Web site is dedicated to advancing coffee quality through education and science. Embedded with over three hundred pages are tips and information on coffee brewing, espresso preparation, coffee roasting, coffee blending, and recipes. Advanced topics include information about the coffee market, consumption statistics, the coffee sciences, coffee agriculture, and the social issues related to coffee.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Mississippi Film Office Hotline

The 1st annual Ocean Springs Film Festival is accepting entries from all ages in all categories of film. Juried entries will be screened Sept. 18-19, 2004 at the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center for Arts and Education in Ocean Springs, MS. Entry fee is $20 for each feature, $15 each for all other categories. All entries for youth under 18 are $10 each. Entry DEADLINE is Aug. 2. For info, call (228) 818-2878 or visit www.geocities.com/osfilmfest.

On the Writing Road

Link - Ever want to chuck it all and drive cross-country, keeping a travel journal along the way? Your journal would be literary, of course, and immediately snapped up by a hungry publisher upon your return. The royalties would allow you to retire, write and travel full time. Ah, were it so easy.

New Stage - Buy Early Bird Subs NOW!

Link - New Stage Theatre has extended its deadline for early bird subscriptions to July 31! Subscribe now and you'll receive a substantial savings over the price of single tickets. Current subscribers are guaranteed their same seats if they renew by July 31st. New subscriptions are processed in the order received, so subscribe now for best seats! As a subscriber you'll be able to exchange your tickets for another night if you can't make your scheduled performance. You'll also receive discounted tickets for your friends to any of our subscription shows.

The Station Agent

 I was impressed with The Station Agent. I was even more impressed when I read that it was McCarthy's first screenplay. He definitely gets the award for the most well-rounded dwarf character in moviedom. But the best part of the movie is that it's really not about being too short--it's about trains. And movement. And freedom. Escape...wanting to go somewhere else (anywhere else!) and finding out that once you get there, it's very similar to the place you were running from.
 
But everyone knows that trains (like blimps) are intrinsically cool. Your first flattened penny after the train rushes by. The sound of a train in the distance. Waving to the conductor. My grandparents had a flea market-type shop in Mobile called The Whistle Stop, because it was right next to the train tracks. I rented a house right across train tracks for years in Gulfport. This movie made me want to go walk the tracks at night again.
 
But I think I've been watching too much Trading Spaces because every time I looked at the train station I kept thinking, "Hey, that would be a cool place if he'd just fix it up a little." And I kept imagining Olivia's paintings in my living room.

Stephen Hawking changes mind on black holes

Link - After almost 30 years of arguing that a black hole swallows up everything that falls into it, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking backpedaled Thursday. In doing so, he lost one of the most famous bets in recent scientific history.

Red or Blue—Which Are You?

Link - Red and blue are states of mind, not actual states. Red and blue aren't absolute predictors of political leanings, either. There are plenty of blue cities in red states, red enclaves in blue states, red-leaning governors of blue states, people who vote Republican but are of a blue state of mind, and so on. It's not as simple as liberal vs. conservative, elite vs. populist, urban vs. rural, religious vs. nonreligious, educated vs. uneducated, rich vs. poor—if it were, the terms "red" and "blue" wouldn't have taken off as the best shorthand for a divided America.

Tickets on sale for DeSoto County Blues Festival

Organizers announced tickets are on sale for this summer’s DeSoto County blues festival, 7 p.m. Aug. 14. at the DeSoto Civic Center.

The lineup for the second annual concert leads-off with Greenville Mississippi’s own Tyrone Davis, the king of romantic Chicago soul. Along with Davis is folk-funk trailblazer Bobby Rush, former Hi Records alum Willie Clayton, Miami Grammy winner Betty Wright, blues guitarist and bandleader Theodis Ealey, legendary ladies man Marvin Sease and the prince of southern soul, Sir Charles Jones.

Tickets are $40.75, available at the box office and area Ticketmaster locations. For details call 901-525-1515 or 662-470-2131 or visit http://www.ticketmaster.com or http://www.desotociviccenter.com.


Preview of Gmail

Link - Michael Heraghty over at Media Junk has posted some details from a Gmail beta tester that provide some insight into the impressive features that the Web based email system will contain.

Gender, Job Drive Search Choices

Link - Survey finds search clickthrough behavior can be predicted by gender, education and other factors.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Blogger Turns the Table on Wedding Announcements

Link - A 29year-old blogger is mimicking wedding announcements on his blog by reporting break-ups instead.

Adventures in George W. Bushspeak

Link - Adventures in George W. Bushspeak - Updated Frequently.

Today In History: The Library of Congress Site

Link - Today in History is an incredible resource from the Library of Congress. Well written and well presented with links to all the relevant collections. The links are exhaustive and touch upon all aspects of the on line holdings at the Library site including text, photos, motion pictures and sound recordings.

EPA's m.p.g. ratings get an inspection

Link - In an election year when Middle East turmoil has boosted gasoline prices and highlighted America's dependence on foreign oil, a brouhaha has erupted over mileage stickers. The debate boils down to this: Would consumers buy more fuel-efficient cars if they knew the real guzzling potential of America's new-car fleet?

Marriage No-Shows

Link - Why is the media now obsessed with gay marriage? The bigger scoop is the heterosexual men who have no interest in marriage, family and children. The Rutgers study in the article profiles the "marrying kind"--pretty funny stuff though it's supposed to be serious.

Last week, I also ran across this NoMarriage.com site--books, quotes, etc. from a lot of upset men encouraging single men NOT to get married. It's funny...and sad.

Subway Ride in Stop Motion

Link - A hypnotic journey through the subway systems of the world. The focus here is on people--beautifully photographed.

How do I get Toner off my clothes?

Link - Be careful if you get toner on your clothes...it can be extremely hard to remove if not taken care of in the correct manner. (Yes, I found out the hard way.)

Kid Rock in Jackson, MS

Kid Rock wrote the following lyrics about Jackson, MS:

And when the sunshine showed
Her face i felt like i was ready to die
Went lookin for a place to hide
A hole i could crawl inside
Long lines
Whiskey bottles
And the same old song
I smell death in the air
And i know it wont be long

And i could say im trying to change
But thats just another lie
Its been a day and a half
And im still high

And i feel like jackson mississippi
A river runnin
Like jackson mississippi
A river runnin
Like jackson mississippi
A river runnin thru my viens

And when the daylight dissapeared
I took a good look inside
Behind my pride
I sat down and cried
I know im not a fool
But i dont know whats wrong
Mabe its time to pack
And just move on

And i could say im trying to change
But that would just be a lie
Im lookin for some one to tell me why

The Kid will now be in Jackson on July 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Coliseum. Tickets are $34. For more info, call (601) 353-0603.

Why Jackson, MS, in the lyrics? Rumor has it that Rock spent time in Jackson when he was writing his first album. (And the Pearl River does run right through the heart of Jackson!)

Interest in New Orleans streetcar renewed

New Orleans, home of the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world, had done away with everything but the St. Charles line, which runs through the Garden District. But now a third streetcar line just reopened and perhaps a dozen others--including the famous Desire Street line--are on the planning board.

In New Orleans, which once had 225 miles of streetcar lines, the old cars began disappearing in the 1930s. The St. Charles remained because ridership remained strong over the years.

And here's Blanche's famous line from my favorite play, A Streetcar Named Desire:

“They told me to take a street-car named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at–-Elysian Fields.”

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Protect your PC for free

Anti-virus software is a big business. But some software is available with fewer bells and whistles free of charge:

AVG Free Edition - will scan your computer and e-mail for bugs

K9 - Probability-based filtering software that will learn to recognize key words and phrases in spam and will also check your e-mail against DNS Blackhole Lists, which tracks spanner-only domain names.

Zone Labs ZoneAlarm - Worried about hackers using your PC for malicious deeds? ZoneAlarm is a firewall--it blocks outsiders and lets you control unwanted access from the Internet.

Nike hires Gawker Media

Link - Nike is now paying Gawker Media to create a blog as part of its new marketing campaign.

Feedster to Launch New Way to View Blogs

Link - One of the the new features Feedster plans to unveil this week is the ability to view all of a blog's posts by date in a monthly calendar view and who links to each post.

Joe Trippi is Blogging

Link - Former Howard Dean Campaign Manager Joe Trippi, the man behind Dean's innovative use of the Web, has started a blog. The site is a companion to his new book, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

A Glossary of Rhetorical Terms with Examples

Link - A browsable list of terms related to rhetoric.

Tony Soprano on Management

Link - Economic uncertainty. Employee loyalty. Power struggles. Conflict resolution. Tony Soprano has to deal with management problems just like any CEO. Aside from "whacking" people (a definite no-no in most corporate environments), his strategies and tactics can work for you. He's direct, he's fast, and he's successful. Learn what makes him such an effective leader in this offbeat leadership guide.
With case studies, worksheets, tips on delegating and managing up, as well as a chapter on what Tony does wrong, this is a business book like none you've ever read. Use it to gain new insight-and find street-smart ways to manage your own workplace family.

The Official John Kerry Waffle House Page

Link - Pretty funny stuff... I especially like the "If you don't vote for my dad, he'll sue you" sign!

The Eloquence of Senator Ditka

Link - Mike Ditka is considering a senatorial bid in Illinois (yes, that Mike Ditka). Here, the Chicago Sun Times gives us some of his oratorical blasts from the past, to prepare us for what is to come....

Ditka: "I'm not begrudging anybody anything. I'm just saying before you can eat the whole pie, there's got to be a whole pie there. You just can't eat more pie than there is. If the owner bakes one pie, you can't eat two. If he bakes one and a half and says, 'This half is for me and nobody can touch it,' then you better eat just one pie."

You think this could end up in the federal budget proposal?

National Barbie in a Blender Day

Link - Freeculture.org is throwing a "National Barbie in a Blender Day" to celebrate the victory over Mattel, which sued a photographer for taking pictures of nude Barbies.

Unlinkable NYT doomed to google-obscurity

Link - The NYT's online registration system and expiring pages have doomed them to google-obscurity. Wired News argues that they've gone from being the paper of record to a Web-era irrelevancy, and all to protect a Lexis-Nexis agreement and to bring in two to three percent of the digital division's profits.

Origin of color-trends

Link - Teresa Nielsen Hayden has written a great piece on the Color Marketing Group, a trade association that determines each season's "in" colours and dictates the national pallette. (Didn't you always wonder who decides what colors are "in" this season?)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

2,000-year-old dating advice

Link - Around 20 B.C., the Roman poet Ovid penned his monumental treatise on love...how to go about it, how to get past first base, why not to ask a woman about her age, good pickup lines to use at triumphal processions, the whole deal. Just can't get enough of Ovid's love, babe? There's more free reading here.

Wacky town names

Link - Of course, they don't list Intercourse, PA, but there are some other pretty good ones on this list, like Sweet Lips, TN and Why, AZ.

Alanis Morissette: We're with the Band

Link - Alanis is on tour, and the camera crawls into every crack and crevice to see what happens off stage for one show.

"Country on Beale" to run all summer

There's more country music in Memphis this summer thanks to the free weekly concert series on Beale Street. Sponsored by Chuck Hutton Chevrolet and Kix 106, "Country on Beale" features some of Nashville's lesser stars every Thursday through September 2. Concerts start 8:15 p.m. in Handy Park.

Scheduled to perform:

Rushlow, July 15

Chely Wright, July 22

Blue County, July 29

Big & Rich, August 5

Emerson Drive, August 12

Buddy Jewel, August 19

Rodney Adkins, August 26

Craig Morgan, September 2


Late artist's visions and dreams on display at Ole Miss museum

For the next four to six weeks, patrons of the Kate Skipwith Teaching Museum at the University of Mississippi will be privy to the paintings and writings of one of Ole Miss' own, the late Theora Hamblett.

Hamblett, who grew up in a small town called Paris near Oxford, didn't receive any formal training in painting and artistry until she was in her mid-50s in 1955.

Born and raised on her father’s farm in Lafayette County, Miss Hamblett attended a small school in Paris only a mile from home. A teacher following high school, she dropped that vocation to care for her mother who was ill. The year 1939 found her renting rooms to University of Mississippi students in Oxford.

In 1950, the Art Department at Ole Miss began offering adult night classes in painting, and Miss Hamblett realized a long held dream, to paint the vivid colors she had grown to love over the years. She looked on painting as a way to record her religious visions and "the joys and sorrows of a vanished way of life."

Upon her death in 1977, she left her artwork to the University of Mississippi museums.

Other information from:
The Ogden Museum

Chicago Blues Exhibit opens this week in Clarksdale

Link - Visitors can take a trip through the 20 most influential years in blues music history starting July 16 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. That's when the Delta Blues Museum opens the major traveling exhibit, "Sweet Home Chicago: Big City Blues 1946 to 1966."

Go to Space Cheap -- with One Catch

Link - Isn't there always a catch?

Monday, July 12, 2004

iTunes hits one hundred millionth download on July 11

Link - Apple Computer reported that its iTunes online digital music service crested 100 million downloads on July 11.

The forbidden library

Link - Banned and challenged books...

Laurie Anderson, NASA artist-in-residence

Link - Newsweek's Brian Braiker recently did a Q&A session with legendary geek art goddess Laurie Anderson, who is currently -- of all things -- NASA's first-ever artist-in-residence.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Reading at Risk survey

Link - The NEA survey showing that literary reading in America sees dramatic decline...

Steak & Stake event to benefit children

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast will host the 13th annual Steak & Stake Dinner and silent auction on Tuesday, July 27 to raise money for general support of the five clubs in Hancock and Harrison counties.

This year's event is expected to draw more than 500 elected officials, business and community leaders and volunteers and 300 club members, said Lester Mitchell, the club's director of development.

Also at the dinner, club members will perform 10 acts for the attendees. Members from each of the clubs will play the piano, sing, dance and perform with the club's drill team. They worked with Elaine Kulick and Anthony Starcher of the Gulf Coast School of Performing Arts to prepare their pieces for the dinner.

The silent auction and a pre-dinner reception will start the evening. Items donated for the auction include pottery, gift certificates, books, toys and specialty items.

What: 13th Annual Steak & Stake Dinner and silent auction

When: 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 27

Where: Grand Gulfport Event Center

To help: Call 228-374-2330 for information on donating an auction item, purchasing a seat or sponsoring a table.

On the Web: www.bgcgulfcoast.org to preview silent auction.

JPS Teachers need supplies - donate before school starts

Link - Jackson Public Schools' Partners in Education store is accepting donations of school supplies for teachers for the fall semester.

JPS Teachers need supplies - donate before school starts

Link - Jackson Public Schools' Partners in Education store is accepting donations of school supplies for teachers for the fall semester.

The Weblogs Compendium

Link - This is a compendium of resources, and tools for bloggers, has everything from definitions to hosting services.

The Cure: Album by Album

Link - Robert Smith sits down with a reporter from Rolling Stone and a stack of CDs. He proceeds to explain each of his albums from his perspective. Just like heaven...

Sesame Street character test

Link - I am Elmo.

Mythography

Link - Explore mythology and art with information about the classic stories of heroes and gods...from the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, to the legends of the Celts. Mythography also presents resources and reference materials about mythology - including recommended books, and lexicons that explain Greek, Roman, and Celtic terms and words.

Kerry-Edwards

Link - So much love...

Friday, July 09, 2004

Found in translation

Link - Apple iPod now has software, Talking Panda, that allows you to download more than 300 commonly used phrases from foreign languages into your iPod--instantly organizing words into categories like shopping, dining, emergency, etc. You can access the needed word in English using the touch-wheel scroll device and then clicking on the sentence you want. The translation appears on the screen and is also recited clearly through your headphones. Downloads are only $10 each but languages are limited to French, Spanish and Japanese. And the software works only on new, third-generation iPods using Mac OS X version 10.2 or later (a Windows version is promised soon though).

MDAH gathers information on notable women's sites

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) is participating in a nationwide search for historical sites associated with notable women. The information from each state will be compiled and used in the establishment of the Museum of Women's History in New York City as well as on that organization's Web site. All sites submitted must be open to the public. Gravesites are eligible, but if a cemetery contains the graves of several prominent women it should be listed as a single entry with brief information about each woman included. All submissions must be made by August 15, 2004.

MDAH would also like information on significant sites that are not open to the public, such as homes of notable women. This list will be posted on the MDAH Web site, along with the site information gathered for the national museum.

Anyone with questions or wishing to recommend a site should contact Chrissy Wilson of MDAH at (601) 576-6857. Submission forms can be found here.

Virtual Tour: Eudora Welty House

Link - A virtual tour of the Eudora Welty House in Jackson is now available through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The house will open to the public in 2005 as a literary house museum. The garden is now open to the public on Wednesdays, 10 a.m. till 2 p.m., by appointment. Call Mary Alice White, Welty House director, at (601) 576-6965 or (601) 353-7762.

Corinth Civil War Center opens

The new Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center will be formally dedicated on July 24 at 1:30 p.m. The 12,000-square-foot center is the first component of the Corinth Unit of the Shiloh National Military Park and will serve visitors wishing to explore the area's many surviving Civil War resources.

The $9.5-million center will interpret the total Civil War experience in the north Mississippi and southwest Tennessee region, particularly the 1862 Siege and Battle of Corinth.

The center includes an interactive museum, 80-seat auditorium, 5,000 square feet of exhibit space and a museum shop. For more information, contact the Corinth Area Tourism Promotion Council at (800) 748-9048.

The 90s - A to Z

Link - Daily Camera takes a look back at the '90s, from A-Z: An alphabetical look at the decade...

How to Show Off Your Google PageRank on Your Blog

Link - Google Blogoscope talks about a small snippet of HTML code you can add to your blog to show off your Google PageRank.

Add your open-source links to the Wikipedia of Free Culture

Link - Creative Commons is creating a "Wikipedia of Free Culture" with links and annotation for every bit of open-licensed material in the universe. You're invited to help!

Do-It-Yourself astronomical images

Link - The European Space Agency, the European Southern Observatory, and NASA just released a free Photoshop plug-in that gives anyone access to archival astronomical images and spectra from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and others.

Jackson catfish bound for Iraq

Link - A festive catfish, bound for the Mississippi National Guard's 185th Aviation Group on active duty in Iraq, flops from public art parade to international ambassador.

Ocean Springs novelist's family-inspired story now in print

After more than 15 years of researching, writing and finding a publisher, Ira Brown Harkey's historical novel, Black Sugar, detailing the life and times of his illustrious great-grandfather, Gen. Jean (John) Baptiste Levert, is on the market.

After fighting in key battles as a Confederate private in the Civil War, Jean returned to south Louisiana and became a dominating sugar baron. "At one time he owned 14 sugar plantations," Harkey said. His descendants are part of Levert Industries, which is still into sugarcane, rice, crawfish and catfish and real estate.

Harkey dedicated his first novel to his late mother, Marie Ella Levert Gore Harkey. Harkey said the title "represents the very rich, black cane-growing soil in Southwest Louisiana where much of the book takes place. The book cover shows those cane fields and an 1861 painting of the family's St. John Plantation, St. Martin Parish.

Black Sugar is published by Xlibris Corp. of Philadelphia (1-888-795-4274 ext. 276), a branch of Random House. The book is available through Coast-area bookstores.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Be a wino in any of the 50 states of America...

Link - There are now wineries in every state in the Union. This fairly new site aims to list all the wineries in all fifty, and includes (sometimes humorous) descriptions of some of the lesser-known wine grape varieties - Frontenac or Marechal Foch, anyone?

For fellow candyfreaks...

Link - The Web site of the National Confectioner's Association includes the history of favorite candies, quizzes to test your candy knowledge, recipes, and a calendar of candy holidays in the U.S. If you missed Chocolate Day on July 7th, don't worry - Gummi Worm Day is coming up on the 15th.

Bill Clinton's Blog

Link - Obviously 900 pages just wasn't enough!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Oprah bankrolling new Boys & Girls Club in Kosciusko

Oprah Winfrey, through the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, will fund construction of a new, 30,000-square foot Boys and Girls Club facility in Kosciusko, according to a press release from her organization.

"Ms. Winfrey has been a proud supporter of the Boys and Girls Club here ever since it was chartered in 2001," said Paul Powers, the organization's founding president and district manager for Entergy, as he announced the gift. "Her foundation has given us a number of grants that helped get us started."

Over the years, Winfrey has contributed to a number of initiatives in Kosciusko.

Powers said plans for a new Boys and Girls Club facility have been in the making since 1998, when Winfrey visited Kosciusko to attend the dedication of a Habitat for Humanity home built in her honor.

He and other organizers have spent the last two years consulting with architects from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to finalize the design of the new facility.

The multi-purpose facility will be built on eight acres of land provided by the city and adjacent to Jason Niles Park on Knox Road. Architect Robin Henry of the Johnson-McAdams firm of Greenwood is leading the design team, Powers said.

Groundgreaking is planned for Oct. 1.

When completed in 2005, the building "will provide an environment for education, arts, sports, technology, dance, karate and a multitude of other activities for youth ages 6-18," Powers said. He said it is expected to draw 300-400 children daily from city and county school systems.

"A project of this magnitude will help us serve the needs of a larger and more diverse student population," said Tony McGee, president of the Boys and Girls Club of Kosciusko and principal of Kosciusko Junior High School. "It will give the young people of this community a positive focus in their lives and more outlets for creativity and learning."

The facility also will be used for community functions, meetings, chamber of commerce events and other civic activities, Kosciusko Mayor Jimmy Cockroft said.

"This is a much needed facility in our area and it will be something that everyone can be proud of," Cockroft added.

The Oprah Winfrey Foundation awards grants to organizations that "support the inspiration, empowerment, education and well-being of women, children and families around the world."

The Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program funds scholarships through specific educational institutions. In Mississippi and in the Delta, Ms. Winfrey has supported academically talented prep school scholars and teaching scholars to help boost the state's pool of qualified teaching candidates. The Oprah Winfrey Foundation provides opportunities for students to study with the stipulation that students use their education to give back to their communities.

"We are very fortunate that Ms. Winfrey wants to stay connected to Kosciusko and help our community progress," Powers said. "This is something that will be treasured through the generations."

More Southern primers...

Link - And if you need more instruction on all things Southern, subscribe to South magazine, recently started by a former boss of mine. The Sweet Potato Queens are on the cover of the most recent edition.

Mississippi Encyclopedia

Link - My brother-in-law, a political prof at USM, wrote entries for one of the first editions...and I have the coffee table book to prove it! ;) But, hey, all of my out-of-state friends are saying that Mississippi is like a foreign country, so here's your translation book. Start with grits, blues, buttermilk biscuits, tomato gravy and, of course, Y'ALL.

Red Hat Society

Link - Don't worry. Be happy. That's essentially the message of the Red Hat Society anyway. It began "as the result of a few women deciding to greet middle age with verve, humor and elan," to quote founder Sue Ellen Cooper from their Web site. "We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together." The Web site lists 24 Jackson-area chapters.

Bunco

Link - Bunco dates back to the late 1800's and was played by groups of women, school children, and couples. The old fashioned game of the future is becoming ever more popular at parties, social events, and new groups are popping up across the state. (My local PRAM Chapter has a bunco group that I'm a member of.) This site has rules, information and free scoring sheets.

Shakespeare essentials

Link - This great Web site has plays, analysis, a virtual encyclopedia of Big Bill Shakespeare.

The Hipster's Dictionary

Link - A copasetic compendium of hep cat hype and swing-era slang.

Crafty laptop sleeves

Link - Foofbags are Powerbook/iBook sleeves handsewn out of fun-fur and fleece.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Bethsaida Baptist cookbook ...‘A Touch of Sunshine’

Bethsaida Baptist Church in Neshoba County offers “A Touch of Sunshine” with the publication of its latest cookbook.

The cookbook, which is dedicated to missionaries worldwide, contains 301 recipes, from young to old, men and women alike contributing recipes, along with a few old recipes incorporated from longstanding members and several in memory of deceased church members.

Everything from appetizers, breads, cakes, main dishes, pies and soups are included in the cookbook, as well as a special section in the front for “Kids Kuisine” favorites. The book also contains helpful household hints in the back of the book including cooking and cleaning tips.

Cookbooks may be purchased by calling Judy Ward at 601-650-1979 after 6 p.m. or Linda Hardy at 601-656-5866 before 3 p.m. or you may e-mail judyward2003@hotmail.com.

LEMON ICEBOX CAKE
1 yellow cake mix
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 containers Cool Whip
Bake yellow cake mix in two layers and slice to make four layers (or bake in three layers).
While cake is baking, mix sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice and place in refrigerator to chill. After cake is completely cool, use the milk mixture to stack the cake, reserving one cup of the mixture for the frosting. Mix one cup of milk mixture and Cool Whip to ice the cake.
Cake must be refrigerated.
Linda Hardy

ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
3/4 cup butter-flavored or regular Crisco
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine Crisco, light brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Stir or beat with mixer (I stir with a spoon) until well blended. Stir or beat egg into creamed mixture. Mix flour into creamed mixture just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans, if desired. Drop by rounded tablespoons three inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake one baking sheet at a time for eight to 10 minutes for chewy cookies.
Cookies will appear moist. Do not overbake. Cool and remove to serving platter. Makes 40 to 50 cookies.
Lisa Pierce

FRUIT CAKE COOKIES
1 cup oleo
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups cake flour
3 eggs
1 quart pecans
1 pinch salt
4 slices canned pineapple
1/2 pound each red and green cherries
1 box raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon soda
Mix all ingredients with a spoon and then drop with spoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 300 degrees.
Glenda Winstead

OLD FASHION SUGAR COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 cups self-rising flour
Cream oil, butter and sugars together. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each; then add vanilla. Sift flour with the cream of tartar and add to cream mixture, one cup at a time. Refrigerate for one hour. Roll into balls and flatten lightly with sugared glass bottom on baking sheet.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until light brown. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer to platter.
Stephany Winstead

CORNFLAKE CANDY
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter-flavored syrup
6 cups cornflakes
1 cup peanut butter
Put sugar and syrup in a large boiler and bring to a rolling boil. Take off stove. Add cornflakes and peanut butter. Mix together. Drop by spoonfuls on wax paper.
Renee Mowdy

CHEESY CHICKEN POTATO
CASSEROLE
6 boneless chicken breasts
4 large potatoes
1 large bottle ranch dressing
1 package shredded cheddar cheese
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese
Bacon bits
Grill chicken and cut into cubes. Peel and slice potatoes and boil until tender (do not overcook). Put chicken in a large casserole dish. Layer with chicken, then potatoes, dressing, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and bacon bits. Bake at 350 degrees until hot and cheeses are melted. Serve hot.
Nancy Hardy

CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE
2 large or 3 medium chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups instant rice
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans warm water
1 cup cheese (more or less)
Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Brown in a skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper, Season-All, etc.
In a casserole dish, mix cream of chicken soup and warm water until well blended. Add rice and mix well. Stir in chicken.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand for two to three minutes.
Judy Ward

HERSHEY PIE
23 large marshmallows
6 Hershey bars
1/2 cup milk
2 (8-ounce) Cool Whips
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 graham cracker crust
Melt marshmallows and 5 1/2 Hershey bars with milk over low heat. Stir and cool. Add one container of Cool Whip and pecans. Pour over crust. Refrigerate at least four hours. Top with remaining Cool Whip. Grate remaining candy bar on top.
Martha Smith

PINEAPPLE PIE
16-ounce sour cream
2 small boxes vanilla pudding
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 graham cracker crust
8-ounce Cool Whip
Mix sour cream, vanilla, pudding and crushed pineapple together. Pour in crust. Top with Cool Whip.
Glenda White

Gulfport High grad achieving acting success

Former South Mississippian Jonathan Aldridge is starting to make a name for himself with such impressive résumé entries as professional baseball player, model and actor.

The 1994 Gulfport High graduate said he has wanted to act, model and play baseball since he was 6 years old. After attending graduate school at Jackson State University, Aldridge played baseball for the Jackson DiamondKats in Mississippi and the Madison Black Wolves in Wisconsin. He has also played for the Rio Grande Valley Whitewings in Texas and Iowa's Sioux City Explorers. He was named the fastest player in the Canadian Baseball League in 2003 while playing for the Saskatoon Legends. Aldridge retired from baseball in 2004 to pursue his acting and modeling careers full-time.

He started in commercials in Mississippi, breaking in with an ad for Edgewater Mall. Thus far, Aldridge is featured in seven commercials, including commercials for Hershey's Swoops and Brewster's Ice Cream. He also plays a special agent in the upcoming film "The Manchurian Candidate" and will be featured in two upcoming episodes of the soap opera, "Passions."

Ugandan children's choir adds Gautier to '05 tour

The Harvest Worship Center is making plans to host the Watoto Children's Choir from Uganda next year at the Gautier Convention Center.

Charles W. Clonts, a member of the pastoral council, said the church is fortunate to be included on the choir's American tour and is holding the performance at the Convention Center on March 16 to allow more people to attend.

Watoto means the children in Swahili. The choirs have been touring since 1994 as a fund-raising effort for their orphanage.

The child care center, founded in 1992, grew out of an English-speaking church established in 1983 by Canadian missionaries. There are approximately 2 million orphaned children in Uganda as a result of civil war and AIDS.

Two choirs, each comprising 24 children ages 10 to 13, tour the U.S., Canada, England and Australia.

The 1½-hour performance is a soulful blend of African rhythms, contemporary and gospel music and ethnic dances. The children wear colorful, traditional Uganda clothing.

Would-be Beatles plan benefit show

Four young musicians will perform as the Un"Beatle"bles at a July 10th benefit concert for the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center. The quartet will impersonate two stages of the Beatles' careers. The group includes Alex Scharr (as Paul McCartney), Daniel Lorrain (George Harrison) and Bradley Dale (Ringo Starr), all Ocean Springs High School students. Alex's older brother, Travis Scharr (John Lennon), who attends Millsaps College in Jackson, rounds out the group.

The musicians, who also perform in their own band known as Figment, got the idea for the concert when they saw a Beatles cover band at Disney World.

Big fans of the Beatles, the musicians dreamed of doing a show of their music for a long time. They also wanted to perform at the O'Keefe Center, formerly the old Ocean Springs High School. They see it as a way to combine their dreams and raise money to complete the renovation of the old school building.

The first half of the Un"Beatle"bles concert will feature the early Beatles songs, with the quartet dressed in suits similar to the ones the group wore in their debut performance in America on The Ed Sullivan Show. The second part of the show will cover the psychedelic years, with costuming to match. The two-hour performance will feature up to 30 of the Beatles' songs.

Advance tickets for the 7 p.m. show can be purchased at the Mary C. O'Keefe Center or the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce for a $5 donation. For more information call 228-818-2878.

Web-based weight loss groups

Diet Supporters - It welcomes people from all diet plans to discuss their successes and share tips.

My Diet Buddy - This is the Match.com of weight loss. It will hook you up with members who have similar struggles.

South Beach Diet - You'll find encouragement, new recipes and success stories from other South Beach dieters.

Download the US Constitution for your iPod

Link - The Constitution of the United States was released for the iPod by the American Constitution Society in June.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Women with messy houses like mine heading for the day care tomorrow morning, take heart...

A recent National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-funded study of 835 kids found that those who'd had no fevers before their first birthday had a 50 percent chance of developing allergies to cats, dogs, ragweed, bluegrass or dust mites by age 6 or 7, compared with a 31 percent chance for kids who'd had fevers early in life. Fever, they reason, is a sign of infection due to germ exposure. And a Danish study of 24,000 families found that babies who had older siblings or pets, lived on farms or went to day care had fewer allergies as they grew up. Now experts wonder whether nearly sterile modern surroundings help explain the recent rise in childhood asthma and allergies.

A new way to network

To make more friends, meet a mate or land a job, nix happy hour mixers and business lunches and do some good instead. Eighty percent of people who volunteer say they have made pals as a result, and 10 percent have scored a job or even a significant other, finds a survey from Lions Club International. Locate a cause that thrills you in your area here.

Do the ripe thing

Meeting your daily produce goal has been more eco-friendly. Get your fruits and veggies from a community-supported agriculture farm (find one here). You'll help small organic growers succeed while receiving your share of the bounty.

Easy ways to go green

The Natural Resources Defense Council has quick, simple strategies for using less electricity every day, such as unplugging your cell phone charger until it's needed.

Eartheasy.com offers tips for making natural alternatives to household cleaners, including homemade shoe polish (use olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice) and air fresheners.

Learn how to conserve water in every room with the interactive floor plan here. (Click on To Do My Part on the home page, then Water Saving Tips.)

Check the government's Consumer Handbook for Reducing Solid Wastes at www.epa.gov. The basic philosophy: Reduce, reuse, recycle, respond.

Clean air info

For $30, Trees for the Future will plant more than 200 trees in your name, offsetting years of on-the-road emissions.

See how clean your local air is here.

Test your knowledge of pollution policies here.

More energy use means more power plant use, so find energy-efficient appliances here.

Check out which cars get the best mileage and air-pollution ratings here.

Jackson's Oak House Museum hiding clues to the 19th century

Bricks that once formed a kitchen hearth and small buttons (one from a Union Army jacket) have been found at The Oaks House Museum, 823 N. Jefferson St., Jackson, MS.

Broken shards of pottery near the kitchen and signs of a garden were found by anthropology students from the University of Southern Mississippi in recent weeks.

Mud-caked remnants of family life in the mid-1800s may provide insight into the everyday activities of James Boyd's family. Boyd, one of Jackson's early mayors, built the antebellum cottage around 1850.

The state chapter of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, caretakers of the museum, gathered $25,000 in grants and in-kind donations to examine the grounds.

Boyd's home is one of the few structures that survived the Civil War when Union troops came through the state's capital, burning homes and businesses.

Boyd and his wife, Eliza, raised six children in the house, which was on the then-outskirts of Jackson. The items found will be analyzed at USM and turned over to the state Department of Archives and History.

Creative ideas for old bridesmaid dresses

Uglydress.com - A treasure trove of the world's worst bridesmaid/prom dresses. Don't miss the flag-motif Prom Patriot, the Teal Green Camaro Dress and the Granny Special.

Bridesmaid.com - Full of good tips on how to make the best of a bad situation, incuding a product called Diva Dots, self-adhesive bra-substitute stickies that "prevent perky nipples from garnering a bridesmaid unwanted attention."

Fairgodmothersinc.com and The Cinderalla Project - Donate the dress to charity for young women who lack the financial resources to buy gowns for high school proms

Unfortunately, this is not a joke...

Link - The US Centers for Disease Control offer print-and-clip collectable disease trading cards.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Best fat-free homemade Caesar dressing

I can't remember what Web site I got this from, but I made it last week and it is the BEST fat-free dressing I have ever had. It does have a bit of a Dijon tang to it, but you could replace the Dijon with regular mustard if you don't like Dijon.

1/2 cup non-fat mayonaisse
2 tbsp grated nonfat Swiss cheese (I just used regular Kraft Parmesan in the green can, worked out just fine)
1 tbsp lemon juice (I actually did squeeze a REAL lemon, are you impressed?...but I'm sure ReaLemon would work fine too.)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp black pepper

Put in a cruet and shake, shake, shake. (After it sat in the fridge for a while, I would have to add a little water before using because it got a little thick for my taste. I like liquidy dressings.)

Red Potato Salad with Soy Bacon and Fresh Herbs

I tried this recipe from Shape (July 2004) for 4th of July. I'll have to admit I used regular bacon, not soy bacon, but after trying it I think it would be just as good with no bacon at all and extra red onion. I'll also confess here that I used all dried herbs and not the fresh ones used in the recipe, but hell I did boil potatoes...I was tired of cooking after that! ;)

2 lb small red potatoes, quartered
8 strips soy bacon
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup fat-free mayonaisse
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place potatotes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover. Set pan over high heat and bring bo a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 min. or until potatoes are fork-tender Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a skillet over med-hi heat until crisp (about 2 min. each side). Break into small pieces and add to drained potatoes along with the minced onion.

Stir remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Add dressing to the potatoes and toss to coat. Serve warm or chilled. (Salad will last up to three days in the fridge.)

Nutrition score per serving (1 cup): 322 calories, 5% fat (2 g; 0 g saturated), 81% carbs (66 g) 14% protein (11 g), 6 g fiber, 44 mg calcium, 4 mg iron, 884 mg sodium

No-cook pasta sauce

In a blender or food processor, puree four ripe, raw tomatoes with a couple of cloves of garlic and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add one hand-chopped tomato to the mix for texture. Pour the room-temperature sauce over a pound of cooked pasta and serve with a squeeze of lemon and freshly grated Parmesan. Salt to taste. Serves 4. (from Real Simple, August 2004)

Spiderman 2 review

I don't get it. All of the critics said this one was SO MUCH better than the first one. I thought it was OK but just more of the same. And the Green Goblin's son (sorry, don't know the actor's name) is not believable at all as a high-powered businessman. He was OK as a son trying to live up to his father's expectations, but I can't see him in the second-tier role in Spiderman 3, which, of course, will be fare for next summer.

The special effects were better. The monster was scary. But the love story was a big part of the movie and was extremely boring this time. (I found myself agreeing with my four-year-old son, who said YUCK! every time MJ kissed someone!) I know it was not a love story, but if you're going to write it in there for God's sakes do something with it.

And I haven't read any of the Spiderman comic books but I'm sure that there has to be some evil nemesis just as interesting as the goblin...why oh why do we have to do all of this over again?

NY Post Larry David Story

Link - I love Curb Your Enthusiasm. And I like Larry David even more after the story. Obviously there's lots of others out there trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up! And Lord knows he could've stopped working for money after Seinfeld...

Shannon Plumb's short online films

Link - NYC-based Shannon Plumb makes odd little movies with a Super 8 camera, and you can watch them online. Quirky, funky--like something Jacques Tati and Charlie Chaplin would brainstorm over a drink in a Brooklyn dive bar.

Get ready for hurricane season...

Hurricane season is now underway and forecasters are now issuing severe-wave and tide warnings using a prediction system called Wavewatch III. Forecasters can currently issue three-day wave forecasts and plan to expand that later this summer to five-day warnings ahead of a storm.

On the Web:
NOAA National Weather Services
NOAA Environmental Modeling Center
NOAA Ocean Prediction Center

UM Film Workshop

Scheduled for July 12-15 on the Oxford campus of the University of Mississippi (UM), the intensive four-day Ole Miss Filmmaking Workshop is open to high school students, college students, teachers and other adults interested in the techniques of filmmaking. The registration deadline is July 7 and the cost is $300 for commuters, $400 for dormitory guests and $600 for Ole Miss hotel guests.

Primary instructor for the workshop is sound specialist and film director Samuel H. Crow. For more information or to register, call Robert Fox at (662) 915-1408.

Vintage values

Dandelion-Vintage.com - collectible and wearable clothing from the Victorian era to the 1960s

VintageVixen.com - More than 5,000 pieces of women's, men's and kids' clothing and accessories from the 1870s to the 1980s. Also has extensive fashion history and vintage clothing resources information.

KingPoodle.com - Period items cost less than $10 and most are in near-perfect condition.

RustyZipper.com - Offers more than 5,000 pieces of clothing from the 1940s to the 1970s. Also has an eclectic book collection, classic sewing patterns and T-shirt iron-ons.

Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame coming to Jackson International Airport

The Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, in existence since 1998 but homeless, is set to open soon at the Jackson International Airport, where nearly two million travelers pass through annually. The 5,326-square foot museum/restaurant will resemble a Hard Rock Cafe and will be at the entrance to the airport's west concourse.

Six years into its existence, the Hall of Fame has 64 inductees. Among the items to be displayed will be Elvis' birth certificate and draft card, a one-of-a-kind Robert Johnson model guitar made by Gibson, Cochran's gold records he wrote for Patsy Cline and a costume worn by 'N Sync's Lance Bass in concert. A CD of the Hall of Fame's members will provide background music. There is a small stage set for live performances also.

Who's In:

Classical
John Alexander - Meridian
Ruby Pearl Elzy - Pontotoc
Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield - Natchez
Samuel Jones - Inverness
Willard Palmer - McComb
Leontyne Price - Laurel
William Grant Still - Woodville
Walter Turnbull - Greenville

Country
Hank Cochran - Greenville
Faith Hill - Star
Elsie McWilliams - Meridian
Ben Peters - Greenville
Charlie Pride - Sledge
Jimmie Rodgers - Meridian
Conway Twitty - Friars Point
Tammy Wynette - Tremont

Jazz
Mose Alisson - Tippo
Milt Hinton - Vicksburg
Jimmie Lunceford - Fulton
Cassandra Wilson - Jackson
Gerald Stanley Wilson - Shelby
Lester Young - Woodville

Rhythm and Blues
Little Milton Campbell - Inverness
Sam Cooke - Clarksdale
Bo Diddley - McComb
John Lee Hooker - Clarksdale
Dorothy Moore - Jackson
Davis Ruffin - Meridian

Blues
Willie Dixon - Vicksburg
Robert Johnson - Hazlehurst
B.B. King - Itta Bena
Charlie Patton - Edwards
Muddy Waters - Rolling Fork
Howlin' Wolf - White Station

Gospel/Religious
James Blackwood/Blackwood Brothers - Ackerman
Canton Spirituals - Canton
Mississippi Mass Choir/Frank Williams - Jackson
Pop Staples/Staples Singers - Winona

Popular
Lance Bass - Laurel/Clinton
Guy Hovis - Tupelo
Van Dyke Parks - Hattiesburg
Nanette Workman - Jackson

Rock and Roll
Jimmy Buffett - Pascagoula
Jerry Lee Lewis - Nesbit
Elvis Presley - Tupelo
Ike Turner - Clarksdale
Mary Wilson - Greenwood

Theater/Broadway Movie
Glen Ballard - Natchez
Dee Barlton - Houston/Starkville
Olu Dara - Natchez
Lehman Engel - Jackson
Mundell Lowe - Laurel
Mary Ann Mobley - Brandon
Lloyd Wells - Laurel

Production/Recording Promotion
Blackberry Records - Summit
Delta Records/Jimmie Ammons - Jackson
Johnny Vincent (John Imbragulio) - Laurel
Malaco Records - Jackson
Willard and Lillian McMurry - Jackson
Peavey Electronics/Hartley Peavey - Meridian
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Saturday, July 03, 2004

Disorganized, messy? Take a free organization course

Every Wednesday night in July from 6:30 to 7:30, Kim Sullivan is teaching a FREE home organization class at the First Baptist Church on U.S. 49 in Richland. It's open to the public and child care will be provided. Those planning to attend do need to call (601) 939-1715 to reserve a spot.

The classes will cover a variety of topics, such as running errands efficiently, organizating important records and warranties, streamlining meals and shopping trips and other topics.

The class is part of the church's GEMS Ministry (Growing, Enriching, Ministering and Serving) that was developed specifically for women. This class will also have references to scripture and ow that relates to the household.

Images of rings beamed from Saturn

Link - The Cassini spacecraft sent back "mind-blowing" photographs on July 1 of the planet's shimmering rings. The photographs showed concentric bands. Cassini, a spacecraft the size of a bus, passed between two of the rings on June 30 and settled into orbit around the planet to begin the most detailed study ever of Saturn and many of its 31 moons. The $3.3 billion mission is funded by NASA and the European and Italian space agencies. Cassini is the first spacecraft to orbit the solar system's second-largest planet.

Mississippi issuing passports to help identity theft victims

A new program overseen by Mississippi's Attorney General should help victims of identity theft. The state is issuing identity theft victim passports that can be used to clear up confusion as a result of the identity theft. Also, a law went into effect on July 1 increasing the maximum jail sentence for identity theft conviction from five years to 15. A person convicted of identity theft must pay the victim restitution and pay double the cost of the investigation.

For additional information or to obtain the Attorney General’s publications on identity theft, consumers can contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418.

Other Identity Theft links:
The Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft home
Fight Identity Theft

Basic ingredients for non-toxic home cleaners

From Natural Home Magazine and Eco-Cycle:

- Baking soda: Cleans and deodorizes. Good scouring powder. Good for removing scuffs off floor.

- Borax (available in laundry section of grocery store): Good disinfectant and deodorizer.

- Soap (sold as liquid, flakes, powder or in bars): Biodegrades safely and is non-toxic.

- White vinegar: Cuts grease and soap build-up, absorbs odors.

- Club soda: Good for window cleaner, shining fixtures, cleaning plants.

- Tea tree oil: Natural antimicrobial, good in toilet bowl or to get rid of mold.

- Olive oil: Good for furniture polish.

- Lavendar, peppermint: Disinfectant, natural fragrance.

- Salt, mixed with water: Destroys bacteria.

- Baking soda with vinegar rinse: For stainless steel

Trading Spaces rebuilding its format

Trading Spaces will undergo a makover this fall. Second-quarter ratings for TLC's most popular show have dropped 50 percent from the same period last year. TLC says that the show will "evolve" when season five launches in October. TLC is offering no details, for competitive reasons, but says the show will be "less predictable and more spontaneous" but the basic structure and on-air talent will stay the same. The show will incorporate more behind-the-scenes looks into the design process.

Top dancers help Jackson's IBC mark 25 years

On July 10, the International Ballet Competition (IBC) will hold its 25th Anniversary Reunion Gala at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson. Caught, by Parsons Dance Company of New York, will close the show. For the gala, Rasta Thomas, Wu Haiyan, Joseph Phillips, Jackson's own Kathy Thibodeaux, Danny Tidwell, April Ball, Simon Ball, Sarah Lamb, Mikhail Ilyin, Irina Dvorovenko, Katia Carranza, Luis Serrano and other favorites from past competitions will reunite to celebrate the birthday. Held every four years, the Olympic-style contest is regarded as one of the most prestigious dance events worldwide. There will also be a post-performance gala party at the Capital Club. For tickets or more information, call (601) 960-1535.