Reactions to adversity

Interesting take on two people dealt with adversity:

Yesterday morning, two miles away from my house, a man named Jim Adkisson burst into a church and started shooting people.  Today we found out that Mr. Adkisson has not been able to find a job, and that he’d hoped to die in the shooting, too.

Last Friday, another man named Randy Pausch  did die, after first inspiring an entire nation with his positive approach to life even as he was battling terminal cancer. 

I do not presume to know why these two men reacted so differently to
the adversity they faced.  We *can not know* why some people are so
much more resilient than others, nor what battles other people may
still be fighting.

Read more.

Twitter as personal news-wire

Twitter chartThis chart, posted on the Twitter blog, shows trending of the use of the word “earthquake ” following the earthquake in Southern California on Tuesday. The two headlines are from a San Diego TV station and, nine minutes after the quake, the AP.

In the not-so-distance past, getting the story out within nine minutes was considered damn good. The TV station got something out four minutes after the quake. The first Twitter, seconds after the quake. Yeah, it’s different, but it’s still news.

By the time AP moved a story, Twitter already had thousands of first-hand reports. Twitter has often been described as micro-blogging, but the Twitter blog says that for many people, the concept of Twitter is evolving to personal news-wire. We’ve seen this all along, but it’s growing. Here’s the LA Times story on quake twittering.

From the Twitter blog:

Many news agencies get their feed from a news wire service such as the Associated Press. “Strong quake shakes Southern California” was pushed out by AP about 9 minutes after people began Twittering primary accounts from their homes, businesses, doctor’s appointments, or wherever they were when the quake struck. Whether it’s updates from best friends, internet pals, companies, brands, or breaking world events, the real-time aspect of sending and receiving Twitter updates continues to motivate our work.

Craigmillar Castle photo

Thumbnail image for Schmap guideOne of my photos (on left in image at right) of Craigmiller Castle got included in the “newly released fifth
edition of our Schmap Edinburgh Guide.” The screen shot at right shows how it looks in an iPhone/iTouch and here is how it looks in its regular web version.

I suspect the creative commons license I use was appealing, but  Schmap  did ask to use it and I’m happy if someone likes it. It was taken during our vacation last summer.

A living treasure


Ben Owen Pottery

Meredith Veto at d/visible has written an excellent piece on one of my favorite potters, Ben Owen III, who lives down the road from Seagrove, NC, in Moore County. Pictured at right is one of his pieces that I bought in, my god, 1998.

“Country potters used to make things for everyday life, like jugs for storage. My grandfather, while he was working for Jugtown, looked at the Orient and began making decorative designs, away from utilitarian purpose.” Owen had previously traveled to Japan in order to immerse himself in the culture that had inspired his grandfather, who embraced the simplicity of Asian artistic traditions: “It’s easy to make things complicated,” he would say. “The challenge is to keep things simple.”

Veto notes that Owen, whose grandfather was known as North Carolina’s Master Potter, has been designated a “North Carolina Living Treasure.” I say he makes treasures.

Owen is one of the leaders in creating a rival pottery festival this year in Seagrove on the weekend before Thanksgiving. There will be dueling pottery festivals that weekend.