Just got back from a New Year's Eve lunch with friends at Bonsai Japanese Restaurant. My fortune cookie: "Someone finds you wonderfully mysterious."
Just got back from a New Year's Eve lunch with friends at Bonsai Japanese Restaurant. My fortune cookie: "Someone finds you wonderfully mysterious."
Link - Scientific photography
BoingBoing points to Merlin Mann's "5ives" site. It's where he keeps very, very funny lists of five things. They list his "5 things I'll be doing while you're at Burning Man," but, in honor of New Year's Eve, here are his:
Link - Anyone who thinks the blues is dead need only to travel to the University of Mississippi Feb. 17-19 for Living Blues Magazine's third annual Blues Today Symposium. For more information, visit the Web site or contact Mary Beth Lasseter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link - She will never make the record books, but she has lived a life worth documenting. At age 119, Clinton Township resident Arbelia Wood may be the oldest living person in the world -- but she can't prove it.
"He is a good man, who can receive a gift well. We are either glad or sorry at a gift, and both emotions are unbecoming." -Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay Gifts
State newspapers have been busy collecting firsthand accounts from Mississippians who were in various countries affected by the tsunami. Susan and Scott Sweat were in Thailand. Joe Miller of Ocean Springs and Doug Pardue of Prentiss were in Cochin, India - wives spoke to the Sun Herald and the men spoke to Kevin Walters of The Hattiesburg American. (Kevin and I were in graduate school together - and we both survived years of teaching Freshman Comp!)
It seems like our black Lab has started the New Year's celebration early. She was acting a little funny yesterday and we couldn't quite figure out what it was. It seems that a bottle of white zinfandel uncorked itself somehow from our wine rack. And there's no evidence and no wine left in an empty bottle. We're guessing that Sassy "cleaned it up" for us - and spent yesterday sleeping it off. (Water! We don't need no stinkin' water - bring in the wine!) ;)
Link - A century after Einstein's miracle year, most people still do not understand exactly what it was he did. Here, we attempt to elucidate
Link - According to the Eastern Zodiac the upcoming year of 2005 will be the year of the Rooster; the year of Green Wooden Rooster to be exact. (Yes, I'm still going on about this being my Year of the Rooster."
Crossroads Film Society Monday Night 35mm Indie Films at Parkway Place Theatre in Flowood
Link - A group of architecture students from across the country spent part of yesterday in Biloxi touring the construction site of the new Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art. The students are attending an American Institute of Architecture Students conference this week in New Orleans.
Link - Tropical Wave, the Long Beach High show choir, needs money to fulfill a dream of performing on Inauguration Day. The award-winning choir has raised only $5,000 toward the $25,000 needed to send the 40 dancers and singers to Washington, D.C. Choir director Dianne Holbert, who refuses to throw in the towel with only five days to raise money, says this is the only inauguration-bound Mississippi choir.
Link - A South Mississippi couple are on their way to parts of Asia today for what was meant to be a series of Christian leadership conferences before a devastating tsunami killed thousands of people in six countries, from Africa to Indonesia.
Link - Three Mississippi soldiers have been honored with Bronze Stars for their service in Iraq. Sgt. 1st Class Hulet Moore of Bruce, Sgt. Ricky Browning of Calhoun City; and Sgt. Keith Seaton of Tupelo received the honor for their service in B Company 223rd Engineer Battalion. The men were deployed for 15 months in Iraq, said 1st Sgt. David Mitchell.
Link - Bubbly a popular part of New Year's Eve celebrations, but fans tout it all year long
MagazineLiteracy.org has added new features to its Web site. Visitors can now see what programs are in need and what programs currently have sponsors. The group has also expanded its children's magazine offerings with titles from the National Wildlife Federation, Girl's Life, and the Children's Better Health Institute. With the addition of Cooking Light, Food & Wine, Bucks and Boston magazines, they have also expanded support from consumer publications, which have offered advertising space to promote the program and its needs. Stay tuned for more changes in the New Year!
Link - Visit Amazon Light at www.kokogiak.com/amazon4, and you’ll see a plain search box that allows you to locate any product in Amazon.com’s database. Click on an item, and you’ll be taken to a page with the usual product image, price information, and customer reviews, and, of course, the familiar “Buy This” button. Amazon Light’s pages are deliberately less cluttered than those at Amazon itself, but the family relationship is obvious.
Ground Zero Blues Club has a waiting list to get in to their New Year's Eve House Party featuring Jimbo Mathus' Knockdown Society, Big George Brock, Cedell Davis, Terry "Harmonica" Bean, Wesley Jefferson and Mr. Tater. The party begins at 9 p.m. and will be broadcast on Mississippi Public Radio for those of us who didn't get tickets. At 11 p.m. National Public Radio will broadcast a portion of the event on Toast of the Nation.
The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra will present Fire and Ice featuring Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 on Jan. 8th at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson. Ani Aznavoorian will be the guest artist.
Link - A preservation agreement will keep about 1,060 acres surrounding Monticello - land that was once part of Thomas Jefferson's plantation - much as it was in his day.
Link - A series of interactive professional development seminars on American history will be broadcast on Mississippi Public Broadcasting Distance Learning newtowk on Jan. 19, Feb. 23 and April 6. Schools that want to participate should contact Lucy Ferron at email@example.com.
Link - The Mississippi Department of Health (MDH) encourages Mississippians to take action and keep their homes free of radon -- an odorless, tasteless gas and the second leading cause of lung cancer. In January, National Radon Action Month, the Mississippi Department of Health is offering educational opportunities for Mississippians on this public health issue.
Link - Mississippi is one of five states that requires four years of math for high school graduation, a standard recommended by a national research group. But Achieve, in its report "The Expectations Gap: A 50-State Review of High School Graduation Requirements," said all states are failing to do the job they need to do to prepare high school students for the world after high school.
Link - At least 500 Mississippians led by Gov. Haley Barbour and his wife, Marsha, plan to travel to Washington for President Bush's second inauguration Jan. 20 and related festivities, including eight evening balls. Republican Party leaders say the number, not including the bands, should top the 350 Mississippians who attended the Republican National Convention in New York City earlier this year and will exceed the number that attended Bush's first inauguration.
Link - If only people had been warned. An hour's notice for those living and vacationing along the coastlines of the Indian Ocean might have saved thousands of lives. But predictions, and acting on them, are not simple, geoscience experts say.
Link - College students, precollege teachers and nature enthusiasts are invited to explore the northern Gulf of Mexico through courses at the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory this summer. Registration opens Jan. 3 for the lab's summer field program, which emphasizes hands-on experiences in local coastal and marine environments in addition to time in the laboratory and the classroom. Courses are offered in three sessions, starting in May. The 2005 line-up also includes four mini-courses designed for teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade that last one week and carry two semester hours a credit each. Students may earn more than 12 semester hours in a summer. Credit earned is transferred to students' home institutions. For details, call Dawne Hard at (228) 872-4223 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (Or visit the link above.)
Link - The state of Louisiana loses 30 miles of coastline each year. A system of levies and canals that is designed to keep cities like New Orleans dry also keeps sediment from replenishing shrinking shorelines. That's where the Christmas trees come in.
Link - The number of holiday season shoppers who browsed its client retailers’ web sites before purchasing in stores rose 43% this year over the 2003 holiday season, to 14.7 million from 10.3 million, CrossMedia Services Inc. reports.
Link - A Natchez committee is already planning the party of the year for 2005. In May, Natchez, along with state and federal officials, will celebrate the opening of the final 8-mile stretch of the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Link - Yes, fellow list lovers, a fellow list lover has been creating a list of lists in 2004.
Link - Cult songwriter Warren Zevon's 1978 single Werewolves Of London has won a top accolade today beating songs such as Bill Haley and The Comets' Rock Around The Clock and Bruce Springsteen's Hungry Heart for the Greatest Opening Song Line in rock 'n' roll history.
Link - GED Integrated Online Solutions is offering Mississippi students a chance to prepare for the GED online using software and Internet technology - even if they can't afford Internet service on their home computers.
Link - Entrance fees are being increased at the Vicksburg National Military Parkand will be used for park improvements, officials say. On Jan. 1, 2005, the basic per-vehicle fee to enter the preserved Civil War battlefield will increase from $5 to $8. That fee allows a car or light truck carrying six or fewer passengers to enter the park for up to a week.
Link - MIT astrophysicists and their colleagues are excited about the latest milestone toward developing a giant telescope that among other things will allow direct observations of planets orbiting stars in solar systems beyond ours.
From the Chicago Tribune: "In Europe, even some old-guard publishers have jumped into the mobile format. The Munich-based Langenscheidt Publishing Group is a traditional, family-run company that would seem an unlikely player in this market. It has been publishing dictionaries, travel guides and map books since 1856 and is run by the fourth generation of the Langenscheidt family.
Link - The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater recently surveyed cities with populations over 200,000 to find the most literate cities for 2004. The Sun Herald reports that Birmingham, AL, (ranked 18th) beat out New York City (49th overall)Chicago (58th) and Los Angeles (68th). Montgomery beat those big cities, too, ranking No. 38 overall. The study looked at factors like libraries, newspaper readership, book stores, publications and education and compared them on a per-person basis. The study did not look at literacy rates. Other nearby cities that made the list include Atlanta, Ga. (15th); Nashville-Davidson, Tenn. (29th); Baton Rouge, La. (30th); New Orleans, La. (43rd); Shreveport, La. (50th); Houston, Tex. (63rd); and Memphis, Tenn. (67th).
Link - One of the best new books on innovation, How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate, by Andrew Hargadon (Harvard Business School Press, 2003), contains perhaps the most contrarian concept of how, in fact, breakthroughs do happen. It's not with out-of-the-box thinking or other facile forms of corporate creativity, but through the effects of community - the milieu, the culture, and the camaraderie in which innovators find themselves.
Link - Chuck Olsen is producing an independent documentary about blogs. He wants to know from bloggers:
Link - Benjamin Rosenbaum created a table with ratings by watchdog organizations on the efficiency of the relief organizations most prominently mentioned, plus news about the relief.
The traditional New Year's day dinner at my house...
Home Depotwill start selling appliances directly from its Web site. The Atlanta-based home improvement chain said the more than 1,800 products to be sold online include trash compactors, cooktops, dishwashers, washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, ranges and wall ovens. The appliances offered online will be sold for the same price as those in Home Depot stores, which began selling appliances in 2001. The company also said prices will not vary by region. (via Wall Street Journal)
Link - The massive earthquake that devastated parts of Asia permanently moved the tectonic plates beneath the Indian Ocean as much as 98 feet, slightly shifting islands near Sumatra an unknown distance, U.S. scientists said today.
Link - The deadly Asian earthquake may have permanently accelerated the Earth's rotation -- shortening days by a fraction of a second -- and caused the planet to wobble on its axis, U.S. scientists said today.
Link - From the New York Times
Link - His lab looks like a silicon slaughterhouse. Over here is a heap of mangled monitors, over there a sad little collection of flame-broiled mice. Brutally kicked keyboards, drowned hard drives, pounded PDAs and other tortured technology are piled under desks and stashed in corners.
Here's mine for Saggitarius...
This is what happens when aerobics instructors are holed up over Christmas holidays with all of those fitness magazines. We're in the middle of Brand New Body, which is 45 minutes of weights and toning, when the instructor tells us to get out the 10 lb weights. She then instructs us to put our hands on the weights in the push-up position. (We're all still with her here.) And then she tells us to do one-arm push-ups while lifting the 10-pound weight. The whole class just laughs. (In my over-15 years at the gym, I've never seen an entire class just start laughing when an instructor asks for an exercise.)
Howie Day – Collide
Link - It was in 1980 that John Anderson first wondered if something funny was going on with gravity.
Converse, the sneaker company that is owned by Nike, is asking fans to create short films inspired by their shoes. Some of the films will air as 30-second TV spots on MTV and other cable networks. The lucky film makers will each receive $10,000. See a gallery of the films here. (via Church of the Customer)
Link - MP3Jing opens the dance floor to amateurs
The Golf Insider has honored Dancing Rabbit and Pearl River Resort in the category of "Best Golf Resort Value" as part of their annual The Year in Golf Travel: Platinum Places 2004 Awards. This is the second consecutive year Mississippi has earned recognition from The Golf Insider. Last year, the state was ranked second in the "Top Ten Golf Travel Discoveries of the Year."
Link - Test your knowledge of some this year's most important and intriguing findings and events. If you can score 8 of 10, you've been paying close attention!
Link - Think of steam engines and hazy, romantic images of chugging great beasts of old fill the mind.
Link - International aid organizations are accepting donations to help victims of the powerful earthquake and resulting tsunamis that caused widespread destruction in parts of Asia and Africa. (compiled by CNN.com)
Link - With two bad knees, Shirley O. Corriher is not quite as nimble as she once was when she performs her "protein hop" - an interpretive dance of sorts to demonstrate the molecular transformations that turn flour, eggs and sugar into a cake.
Grade - A
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Starbucks Coffee Company supply chain member Mississippi River Corporation the first-ever approval to use recycled content in food packaging, specifically Starbucks hot beverage cups. Following successful testing, Starbucks expects to convert its hot beverage cups to 10% recycled material, which the company says is an industry first.
Link - When future astronauts try to decide where to place facilities and roads on distant planets, they may get help from a toolkit developed in Mississippi.
Link - Three years after the Sept. 11 attacks, partygoers are making Times Square in New York City the top destination spot to ring in the new year, according to a survey of Priceline.com hotel reservations.
Link - I still smile when I find a lucky penny on the street. But I don't think that's what they mean.
Link - Test your knowledge against some of the most puzzling topics in astronomy. These mysteries didn't get fully solved in 2004, but not for lack of effort. Each will occupy great minds in 2005 and beyond. Meanwhile, there are some known facts.
Link - Despite the fame that some writers achieve, most pass away with little fanfare. Alan Cheuse remembers writers who died this year, with help from poet George Garrett, who reads his poem "Anthologies."
Sean Thackrey is a well-respected winemaker from Northern California, who is unusual in that he prefers to learn from old writings on the subject than from modern enological studies. His personal website includes not only practical information and interviews, but a collection of his favorite texts about winemaking through the ages, with his own introductions. (via Metafilter)
Link - Four image galleries, neat photos
Link - CleanSoftware.org is a resource to help Windows users find the best free daily-use software, free from nasties: adware, spyware, harmful/intrusive components, and threats to privacy.
Link - Some forms of creative genius seem unfathomable. But as the author of A Beautiful Mind tells us, that doesn't mean we can't learn from them.
Link - The American dream says that anyone can be rich. But the real question is, Are you keeping up with the Joneses?
Link - FrontLine and the New York Times join forces to investigate an industry few Americans really understand.
Link - It’s called iTunes Producer, and it’s how the people at the iTunes Music Store take music and sell it to you for a buck a go. You can check out some really low-fi photocopied screenshots in their patent application. Oh, thank god for the searchable patent application database…
Link - A search tool for Del.icio.us.
Link - Freewheeling bloggers can boost your product—or destroy it. Either way, they've become a force business can't afford to ignore.
Link - News and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts.
I'm 100 Years by Five for Fighting...
Link - 75 Taste-bud Tingling Recipes to be Featured in Commemorative Twinkies Cookbook
Link - SuperJason created an RSS function to track UPS shipments.
Link - Explorations in kitchen chemistry...The term molecular gastronomy was coined in the 1980s by a French scientist, Hervé This, and Nicholas Kurti, who was a professor of physics at Oxford University in England. Both men were interested in food science, but they felt that empirical knowledge and tradition were as important in cooking as rational understanding.
Link - An introduction to biodynamics courtesy of wineanorak.com. There's also an interview with James Milton on the site about on the growing field of biodynamic wine producers.
Link - With electric and gas prices climbing, turning to the sun is an increasingly appealing idea. Made of lightweight plastic, this oven is easy to carry out to your deck or patio - put the food in the included pot and cook away while you lounge in the sunshine (which is required).
2005 is the year of the rooster. (My year - I was born in 1969.) Those born in a rooster year (1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981 and 1993, for example) make the very best chefs, restaurateurs and all-around foodies, it's said. Roosters are diligent, ambitious and hard working, but they are also vain. (And also 5 to 7 p.m. are the hours of the rooster, according to legend - the typical dining time.)
Link - Now you don't have to live in the country to have fresh eggs. The Omlet Eglu will make its American debut in March. The iMac lookalike contraption comes complete with everything from feed to egg boxes (and there's a 30-day money-back guarantee). The only requirement is a 20-square-foot yard. Suburban farmers can expect to collect from 8 to 12 eggs a week.
Link - Bergamots are the next Meyer lemon. Thought to be a hybrid of sour orange and lime, and now available in the U.S., the fruit is best known for perfuming fragrances and Earl Grey tea. Rising C Ranch sells fresh bergamots from $6 per pound plus shipping, 559-637-9546.
CaviArt is a colorful line of "costume" caviar from Denmark. It is a vegetarian alternative to roe, made from sustainably harvested Nordic seaweed. It doesn't have the bold, briny flavor of the real thing but it is an acceptable stand-in and much less expensive. There's no refrigeration required and the colors don't bleed so it can be added to hot or cold dishes. It is popular in Scandinavia, but won't be available in America until spring.
Chef Homaro Cantu of Moto in Chicago is using edible ink and soybean-cornstarch paper for a unique "tasting" menu at the restaurant. For example, the Italian entrees might taste of mozarella, basil and tomato. Sometimes, after you order your meal, a server will bring a small piece of paper on a plate - an edible photograph of the actual item that will follow.
Women earned 742,000 bachelor's degrees in 2002, and men just 550,000. The difference in education achievements between the two sexes is growing so large that most colleges are now quietly practicing affirmative action for male applicants. (USA Today)
Link - See the first sunrise of 2005 from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Maine's Acadia National Park. Each year, a small, champagne-fortified group treks the 3.5 miles up to the mountain, in the cold and the dark, to be the first to welcome the New Year. (Sounds like the perfect place for a New Year's Eve evening - and toast - to me!)
Sauternes are among "the greatest and longest-lived wines in the world," says James Suckling in Wine Spectator. Yet their very sweetness is why wine lovers continue to undervalue them. One good reason to get excited about Sauternes again is the 2001 Chateau Rieussec, from France's Bordeaux region, which is "phenomenal any way you look at it." In Wine Spectator's round-up of the year's 100 best wines, it was the only one to earn a perfect score of 100. The wine sells for about $80 a bottle.
Link - Despite Backlash, John Mellencamp Continues to Fight Authority
Link - New AM Station in Washington DC Caters To Federal Employees
Link - NPR's Ari Shapiro continues his series on the long-term impact on Florida from the record hurricane season this year. Biologists look to see if native species can successfully battle invasive species that blow in on the big winds.
Link - Researchers think new, flexible, lightweight organic solar cells may soon power everything from laptops to iPods. The abundance of solar energy is a tantalizing alternative to the dwindling reserves of fossil fuels.
Link - The Colts were playing a bit like the Saints today, but they did finally win. And Peyton did finally beat his tie with Dan Mareno.
Link - From game inventor and toy industry insider Tim Walsh comes The Playmakers, a celebration of classic toys and a tribute to the people who brought them to life. This 312-page book promises to take you on a toy trip of epic proportions, covering nearly 100 years worth of playthings and offering a delightful look back at many childhood favorites. With an accompanying blog also
Jonathan Green's vivid paintings of the Gullah coast are about to come alive. Dubbed a Southern soul ballet, a production of the Columbia City Ballet, Off the Wall and Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green, will tour three states in 2005 with hopes of mounting a national or worldwide tour. Gullah is a South Carolina native who now lives in Naples, Fla.
Link - The Alcorn State University Concert Choir will perform as part of the inaugural ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20.
Sean Ennis, a graduate student in English at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, is to be featured in Best New American Voices 2006, a short story anthology series that showcases promising new writers from around the country. Ennis' Going After Lovely will be published in the anthology.
Charles and Sally Carmichael of Jackson established the Mike Carmichael Scholarship Endowment at Ole Miss after their son's death from a heart condition to provide academic scholarships for physically challenged students. The couple recently added $200,000 to the endowment.
Link - Wade Jones likes Elvis, but he insists he's just a casual fan. That's why he decided to part with three tablespoons of water from a cup Elvis Presley used during a concert. The high bid on the online auction service Saturday night was $455. The auction closed at 4:30 p.m. Christmas Day.
Link - I found it ironic that a dry county's local newspaper had a caption of "Bars Save the Day," but alas, it was only breakfast bars.
Link - A trio of talented co-workers who produce the bi-monthly "Mississippi Magazine" have cooked up another successful project, destined to become a holiday classic.
Link - An unmanned Russian supply ship docked with the International Space Station on Saturday, delivering food, water and Christmas presents to astronauts running low on supplies.
Link - Boosting people's sense of self-worth has become a national preoccupation. Yet surprisingly, researchshows that such efforts are of little value in fostering academic progress or preventing undesirable behavior
Link - Renovations are continuing at a former ammunition plant where a high-tech defense contractor plans to set up shop next year with an anticipated 300 employees. Work began in mid-November to renovate 50,000 square feet of space for Ionatron, of Tucson, Ariz.
Link - Don McKee has seen a lot of birds in Mississippi this year. In fact he's seen more than anybody. But McKee says the most significant find he's seen while setting a new record for most species discovered in a year was the Ruddy Ground Dove found by Jim Norris of Cleveland at the Dahomey/Great River Road Christmas Bird Count. The Pascagoula native is one of more than 40 people who have visited Bolivar County since the rare bird was discovered here.
Link - Join NASA and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to celebrate the Einstein Centennial in 2005.
Link - It is one of the creepier of creatures: a squirming, snakelike fish, good mostly for sushi or bait. Nevertheless, Tim Watts is taking a stand to protect the American eel, which he says is in dangerous decline.
Link - Even in his most productive years, Tennessee Williams's life was a mess. If he was not an alcoholic, he was surely close. He was, as well, a prodigious pill popper -- uppers following downers in mighty doses -- and a heedless hedonist, by no means discreet about the boy toys he picked up at bathhouses and swimming pools. And this says nothing about his hypochondria, his haunted relationships with his difficult mother and his tragic sister (who was sequestered in a succession of mental institutions) or his vast range of louche and feckless friends on whom he squandered far too much doting attention.
Link - The waiting's over...now the clean-up begins!
My son got a SpiderMan Web Blaster as a present during our pre-Christmas Coast visit. My mother, whom I love dearly but easily exasperate (and vice versa), started telling Quentin about how he didn't need to throw the toy away because it was going to kill the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea. It was ecologically unsound, etc. etc. All I've found on the toy so far is a warning about how it could irritate eyes and skin. The other articles seem to say that it is usually banned because cities don't want to clean it up - not for any known dangers, besides the vague "environmental concerns" because it's not biodegradable. But do we ban all that is not biodegradable?
Link - The Yuletide evening sky is especially rewarding now. The eastern sky is filled with brilliant stars – sort of a celestial Christmas tree.
Link - Already the iPod, TiVo, Xbox, and other devices change the way we think of a PC and liberate it from the desktop. Get ready for the life recorder.
Grocerylists.org - What happens to all of those grocery lists? Find out here. (And see if yours turned up.)
Link - Kyocera is offering a pink and white ceramic model Santoku knife. And $5 for each knife sold goes to breast cancer research. ($79.95 at Chefsresource.com)
Willie King and his Liberators, Sunday night regulars at Bettie's Place in Noxubee County, recently released a live CD, Jukin' at Betties. The CD is the fifth from King, a native of Prairie Point who now resides in Memphis. King hosts the annual Freedom Creek Blues Festival in Memphis each year. The CD is available on King's Web site, which also features a short documentary about King, The Real Baptizing, by Oxford's Joe York.
Starting Dec. 26 through Jan. 2, Hinds County is offering several recycling sites for used live trees. The recycling program, Save One for the Chipper, will use the trees for mulch that will be used in city landscaping projects and also offered free to the public in January.
Link - Manuel: Star-Spangled Couture on view December 17, 2004–March 13, 2005 at Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville
Link - A widespread belief that dying people are able to postpone death until after important dates is simply not true, according to a US study of cancer patients.
Link - Fourteen billion years after the Big Bang started it all, there is still life in the old cosmos.
Link - Santa will have company in the sky over most of the United States this holiday season. The International Space Station is visible in the early morning, flying by at five miles a second. Information about how, when and where to see it is available on the Internet at http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/isssightings.
Link - "Netflix Movie Reviewer James Rocchi has the scoop on great DVDs, old and new, in his Recommendations -- you can also read his take on what's hot and what's not Now in Theaters! "
Link - A list of movie mistakes in 2004
Link - Will there be snow for Christmas? Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Order your SG4-LED Snow maker today to insure a White Christmas at your home! (I found this after trying to explain to my days away from 5-year-old son who has overdosed on Christmas movies at Grandma's house that it does not "automatically" start snowing on Christmas day...especially if you live in Mississippi!)
Link - Have Santa tell someone you know they'll be getting coal this year...
Link - They have sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and friends who are with them in spirit and silently supporting them from the other side of the world. But it would mean so much to our service members to be able to hear their voices.
I'm "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
Link - If you were wondering how to post via e-mail too, here's the Blogger.com answer. I'll have to try it from the Coast!
I'm heading to Waveland to visit with the folks till Christmas Eve morning. Then Quentin and I are headed back to Jackson. But then Christmas Day we're headed to Louisiana. (Why do they call this Christmas BREAK?) Anyways, we'll see if we continue to defy Newton's law claiming perpetual motion is not possible. (Yes, I'm ready for January.)
Link - Laughing diva Kitty Stallings, whose first CD of Christmas "ha-ha" melodies was cut in Biloxi five years ago, is scheduled to appear tonight with Jay Leno on NBC's "Tonight" show at 10:30 in connection with the nationwide release of her new Christmas CD.
Link - Veteran actor Morgan Freeman will be inducted into the Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce's Hall of Fame at the chamber's annual meeting in February.
Link - Leaders of the Mississippi Religious Leaders Conference, offering a $100,000 reward, ask those with information regarding the 1964 killings to contact the attorney general’s office at (601)359-4381. Information may be provided anonymously.
Link - NASA is on a collision course with a comet, and scientists say they can't wait to see what happens. The collision, which is to take place between a projectile fired from the space agency's Deep Impact spacecraft and a 4-mile-wide comet known as Tempel 1, is scheduled for July 4, 2005. That's when Tempel 1 will be close enough to Earth for astronomers to monitor the debris that the impact kicks up. If the mission is successful, it will help the scientists see for the first time just what comets are made of.
Link - R&B singer Roberta Flack plans to transform two abandoned brownstones in Harlem into a school of music to be opened next fall.
Link - We need a site like this for Mississippi. But I'm too lazy to build another Web site, so it will have to reside on this blog till someone volunteers to take it off my hands. Fellow Mississippians, if you overhear anything interesting, send it my way... And I'm a natural eavesdropper anyway, so it will be second nature for me, I'm sure.
Link - Millions of Americans who once worried about test scores in their school days are now discovering a new score is following them around as adults -- the credit score.
Link - Every day a different neck tie photo
Link - We don't think about it much, but most of our day-to-day activities including our economic lives are dependent on our trust in complete strangers like seamstresses, bankers, pilots, and builders. Our agreement among strangers and institutions to divide labor has made modern life possible, but it is a remarkable occurrence in the context of human evolution, says author Paul Seabright, a Professor of Economics at the University of Toulouse, France.
I have been compiling a list of Mississippi bloggers, that I will add to as I go. These bloggers updated their blog at least once during the month of December (except for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, which I let slide since I reside in their Hall of Fame for 1989)...But I am not endorsing the blogs in any way. I have not read all of them, except for making sure that entries were up to date. And I don't plan on reading all of them. They are just all blogging from Mississippi. (And if you are blogging from Mississippi and want to be included in the list, post your information in the Comments or send an e-mail to email@example.com.)
1. My first name is Shawn.
2. My middle name is Marie.
3. My maiden name was Zehnder.
4. I enjoy thunderstorms (and, I’ll admit, hurricanes).
5. I am 35 years old.
6. I remain fascinated by some of the search requests people use to find this blog.
7. I am short. (5' 2")
8. I enjoy mowing my lawn and doing yardwork.
9. I hate cleaning the house.
10. I’ve lived in Mississippi all of my life – but hopped around the state quite a bit.
11. I am a mom.
12. I am a wife.
13. I read the comics everyday.
14. I’ve always hated Celine Dion.
15. I’ve used a seat belt ever since I saw what my little brother’s face looked like after going through his car’s windshield.
16. I have a little brother. He just turned 30. (HE LIVED!)
17. I’ve never been to New York City. (I’ve never been north of Chicago even.)
18. I love books – even when I don’t have time to read them.
19. I really enjoy photography.
20. When I was a child, my phone number was 896-4845. (My parents must have ingrained it in my head well.)
21. I love my job.
22. I make friends easily.
23. But I’m not good at letting go.
24. I don’t watch much TV.
25. I am a gadget freak.
26. I am a fantastic cook.
27. I first learned about blogging when Wonkette outed Washingtonienne.
28. My favorite work of fiction is Streetcar Named Desire.
29. I am not a morning person.
30. My personality type is ENTJ.
31. I am an animal person – dogs, cats, fish, snakes, iguanas, pigs, etc. etc.
32. My favorite Christmas present ever was a Baby Alive.
33. I buy Folger’s coffee – custom roast.
34. Sunday is my favorite day of the week.
35. My first job was at Wendy’s.
36. My favorite poem is T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
37. My favorite poet is Ogden Nash.
38. I’ve never colored my hair. (And I’m from the South, so that’s saying a lot.)
39. If I had a $100 today to spend frivolously, I’d buy either books or clothes.
40. My best friend and I have been best friends since 7th grade.
41. I am a Sagittarius.
42. I don’t like to gamble.
43. I drive a red 1999 Lincoln Navigator.
44. Yahoo! is my home page – at home and at work.
45. I’ve never had braces or eye glasses.
46. I do not have any tattoos.
47. The only piercing I have is in my ears (and only one on each side).
48. I’ve had a full-body massage only once in my life.
49. I have no patience.
50. My favorite jacket is a long dark green leather coat. It was given to me by an ex-boyfriend. My husband used to hate that I still wore it. After 10 years of marriage, I guess he doesn’t care any more.
51. If I take a nap, I can’t sleep that night.
52. I don’t sleep well – even under the best circumstances.
53. I love to watch boxing and football.
54. I hate watching golf and basketball.
55. I am a people person.
56. I always cry at sad movies.
57. My dad made me stop watching Little House on the Prairie when I was little because I cried so much – and he didn’t want me to cry.
58. I have two half-brothers that I haven’t seen in years.
59. I have a half-sister that I have never seen.
60. I would prefer to know a little bit about everything rather than everything about a little bit.
61. I like monkeys.
62. I think New Year’s Eve is the most romantic holiday.
63. Christmas is my favorite holiday.
64. I am a movie fanatic.
65. I subscribe to Sirius satellite radio.
66. My Internet service is through Road Runner.
67. I am always listening to music – unless I’m sleeping or watching a movie.
68. I am creative.
69. I am sarcastic (and it sometimes gets me in trouble).
70. People always think I work wherever they need help.
71. I spend too much time online.
72. I have a burn scar on my leg from a three-wheeler accident in my teens.
73. I always play to win.
74. I usually win.
75. I have very vivid dreams.
76. I have an odd sense of humor.
77. I love to dance.
78. Daisies are my favorite flowers.
79. I am a sucker for personality tests.
80. I have sensitive skin.
81. I am great in a crisis.
82. I am addicted to blogging.
83. My favorite color is red.
84. I love to write.
85. I love long, hot baths with a cold glass of wine and a thick book
86. I trust people too easily
87. I played the clarinet in high school
88. I don’t wear perfume.
89. I learned French in high school.
90. I learned Russian in college.
91. I love Mexican food.
92. I never learned how to water ski, much to the chagrin of my father, who spent a lot of time trying to teach me.
93. I have weak ankles that I sprained quite a bit when younger. I can be walking along and if I step the wrong way, I’ll just fall flat on the ground. But I never break my ankle regardless – I always sprain it all over again.
94. I can do math fairly well in my head.
95. I love bodies of water of any kind – lakes, rivers, streams, seas, oceans, inflatable pools.
96. I hate monotony.
97. I graduated from Gulfport High School in 1987.
98. I adore Godiva chocolates.
99. I still love to roller skate.
100. I don’t smoke.
Link - His 48 favorite photos...
Link - Donation of historical recipes by Jan and Dan Longone is about more than cooking
Link - A Gift Guide from The Scientific American
Link - Ten laptops a-leaping, 9 PDAs dancing, 8 iPods playing...
Link - The coolest geek shopping list ever - 129 of the best screens, cams, phones, games and gadgets of the year
Link - During the World War I era (1914-18), leading newspapers took advantage of a new printing process that dramatically altered their ability to reproduce images. Rotogravure printing, which produced richly detailed, high quality illustrations—even on inexpensive newsprint paper—was used to create vivid new pictorial sections. Publishers that could afford to invest in the new technology saw sharp increases both in readership and advertising revenue.
1. Santa Baby
Link - Nauticos, under the direction of David Jourdan, plans to launch an expedition in the spring to find Amelia Earhart's plane. The latest expedition will use sonar to sweep a 1,000-square-mile area of ocean bottom near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean.
Link - What began as a joke in 1991 has become an obsession for Stephen Paul Jackson, curator of the museum. And he unwittingly started an entire aluminum Christmas tree movement. This year's collection includes 30 trees of all shapes and sizes. He even shipped 25 trees to a satellite museum in Nashville, TN, this year. The original museum is hosting the Elvis Tree and the Toilet Tree among many others.
Link - And you can pick from New Releases, Just Added, Top Songs, Top Albums and Featured Albums in addition to the genre categories.
Benefit your health and your city by joining the Got Milk? Great American Weight Loss Challenge sponsored by the Milk Processor Education Program. The community that drops the most pounds in 12 weeks wins $25,000 to support a local walking/fitness trail. To sign up, go to 2424milk.com.
Have an urge to jump out of airplanes or climb mountains? It may be your birth date: People born between October and March are more likely to try risky sports or other daring experiences than those born between April and September, reports a British study of 450 people. (See...it's not my fault!)
Link - Jones County Junior College's Adult Education Department is offering free classes that help build math, reading, writing and computer skills. Classes are available 8 a.m. till 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The department is also offering a beginning reading class from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m. on Mondays. The class is limited to eight students. Confidentiality is respected. JCJC also has a GED class that meets for six weeks from 8 a.m. till noon Monday through Friday. The GED test is administered to all students during the six weeks. For more information, call (601) 477-4164.
Link - Entergy Mississippi is giving Mississippians the chance to help fellow residents in need as temperatures continue to dip. Customers will find a card in their monthly statement that offers the chance to participate in the "Energy Concern" program. (Or you can donate online at the Web site.)
Link - Rural two-lane highways are the largest single class of roads in the United States -- and they are the deadliest, especially in the Southeast.
Students at Millsaps College can access online wireless services almost anywhere on the 100-acre campus now. Jackson-based Air2Lan already has dotted the Leggett Center with an access point. It's the first time Air2Lan has partnered with an academic institution. Within the next three months, Millsaps-Wilson Library, the Campbell College Center, Murrah and Olin halls and the Millsaps Bowl will be among common areas that will have WiFi. Dormitories and other campus sites will get several smaller antennae and WiFi access points during two other installment phases. It is unknown when the entire campus will have wireless access. Other state hotspots include Mississippi State University's Starkville campus and parts of Baptist Medical Center.
Link - Crossroads Christian Church in Lexington, KY, is approaching Christmas differently this year - it's skipping it. And through advertisements around town and their Web site, members of the church are urgin you do the same. Skip the stress, the overspending, the huge crowds. The church, a non-denominational Christian church, began a series of weekly discussions last month (available on the Web site). The sessions focus on helping the community find simplicity, joy, rest, belonging and Jesus.
Link - NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Stephen P. Banks, professor of communications at University of Idaho, about holiday letters. Banks coauthored the article "Constructing Personal Identities in Holiday Letters," which appeared in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships in 2000. We hear a few sample letters and Banks talks about his analysis of the genre.
Link - "To use Google Print, just do an ordinary Google search. For example, when you search on "Books about Ecuador Trekking" or "Romeo and Juliet," and we find a book that contains content that matches your search terms, we'll show links to that book at the top of your search results. Click on the book title and you'll see the page of the book that contains your search terms, as well as other information about the book. You can also search for other topics within the book. Click "Buy this Book" and you'll go straight to an online bookstore selling it. If the book was scanned from a library, click the library link to find a local library that has it.
Link - NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured Dione against the globe of Saturn as it approached the icy moon for its close rendezvous on Dec. 14, 2004. This natural color view shows the moon has strong variations in brightness across its surface, but a remarkable lack of color, compared to the warm hues of Saturn's atmosphere. Several oval-shaped storms are present in the planet's atmosphere, along with ripples and waves in the cloud bands.
Photographer Jim Brandenburg gave himself a challenge: for 90 days between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice he would take exactly one photograph each day, around his home near Minnesota's million-acre Boundary Waters Wilderness. He then repeated the challenge in the summer, again taking one photograph each day from the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox. You can see the results here: Chased by The Light and Looking for the Summer. (via MetaFilter)
Link - "The world's events we here rehearse—The year that's passed is told in verse" from The Economist
Link - If you live in California, this site will provide you with access to information on more than 63,000 persons required to register in California as sex offenders. Specific home addresses are displayed on more than 33,500 offenders in the California communities with the last registered address reported by the offender. An additional 30,500 offenders are included on the site with listing by ZIP Code, city, and county.
Link - Life can be cramped when you live on a remote cluster of tiny coral islands in the Indian Ocean, so the Maldives has plumped for a novel if seemingly extreme solution -- build a new island from scratch.
Link - Check this site out if you need to find some "emergency" fonts to finish that last-minute project that was dumped on your desk the week before Christmas. (Moi? Bitter?)
Link - With the free AvantGo software, you can download free news from sources like CBC, Canada.com, Reuters, MSNBC, Sporting News, Business Week, and Forbes. And read it on the road. Or in the airport. Or standing in line at Toys 'R Us.
A great romantic comedy is like a great motivational speaker...you leave ready to work wonders with your life (romantically). It brings hope back to women whose lives don't have much background music. And it's the damn background music that always gets us in those romantic comedies. Real life has no background music, sadly. (Cueing the orchestra in your head isn't quite the same either.)