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Saturday, 17 March 2012

INTERESTING STUFF – 17 March 2012

HILLARY ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a fine speech on women's rights worldwide last week at end of the Women in the World conference in New York and you can see the entire 30 minutes here – it is well worth your time.

As chief foreign officer of the U.S., Ms. Clinton usually keeps a careful distance from commenting on domestic politics but this short clip from her speech, given at the height of the commotion over politicians' continuing attacks on women's rights in the U.S., was a terrific moment:

MERYL STREEP INTRODUCING HILLARY CLINTON
We don't hear too much about what Secretary Clinton is doing. Her kind of work is not the sort that does nor should end up in the press. So it was good to hear actor Meryl Streep's exceptionally good introduction - tribute, really - to Ms. Clinton at the Women of the World conference.

Yes, I know. It's 14 minutes long but if you've got the time, I think you will enjoy it.

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA SHUTS DOWN AFTER 244 YEARS
We are living through disruptive times and now, the venerable Encyclopedia Britannica has announced that the 2010 print edition is its last:

“'It’s a rite of passage in this new era,' Jorge Cauz, the president of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., a company based in Chicago, said in an interview. 'Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now. The Web site is continuously updated, it’s much more expansive and it has multimedia.'”

Encyclopaedia_Britannica

Only 4,000 copies of the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs in at 129 pounds, have been sold at $1,395. The encyclopedia will continue to be published and updated online where subscriptions cost $70 per year. You can read more here.

KEROUAC'S ON THE ROAD
During my beatnik period in the late-1950s, Jack Kerouacs' On the Road was required reading. Since then, in one list, the book is ranked at 55 on the 100 best books of the 20th century and it is a touchstone for the beatnik era.

Although there have been many attempts during the past half century to make a movie of the book, it has never been done – until now. With Frances Ford Coppolla as executive producer, On the Road at last has been filmed. It will be released later this year. Here is the trailer:

It's a dangerous thing to translate an iconic book to the screen especially when many who are of the cultural period are still alive. It seems to me that they are bound to get it wrong. Or maybe not.

ULYSSES S. GRANT AND AMERICAN JEWS
Did you know this? That during the U.S. Civil War, General Ulysses S. Grant issued Order No. 11 expelling all “Jews as a class” from his war zone? I surely did not know this. Here is a short video from Jonathan Sarna explaining the incident and Grant's later repudiation of his order:

Jonathan Sarna is a professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University. His book, When General Grant Expelled the Jews, resurrects this historical event from obscurity. And, you can watch an hour-long lecture on the subject that Professor gave at Columbia University last fall.

GOLDMAN SACHS EXECUTIVE EXPLAINS HIS RESIGNATION
In the four years since the worldwide financial collapse, not a single executive of the banks and Wall Street firms who, there is no longer any question, caused the meltdown, have been accused, arrested or prosecuted.

In their own eyes these bankers are, as Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfrein, proudly proclaimed, doing “God's work.” Well, maybe not everyone there thinks so anymore.

Last Wednesday, in an Op-Ed at The New York Times, Greg Smith who was executive director and head of Goldman Sachs' United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, explained his resignation:

”Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it...

“It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as 'muppets,' sometimes over internal e-mail.”

Mr. Smith's statement is a stunning break from the one percents' stonewall defense. Of course, they are already concocting stories to discredit Smith. Go read his whole statement. Nothing there that you didn't not expect, but it's good to hear it from an insider.

GOOGLE EXECUTIVE EXPLAINS WHY HE QUIT
It's been a big week for resignations by executives disenchanted with the culture of the big-time corporations they served. On Tuesday, Google engineering director, James Whittaker, explained why he left. This is only the most colorful part of his explanation:

”Google+ and me, we were simply never meant to be. Truth is I’ve never been much on advertising. I don’t click on ads. When Gmail displays ads based on things I type into my email message it creeps me out. I don’t want my search results to contain the rants of Google+ posters (or Facebook’s or Twitter’s for that matter). When I search for 'London pub walks' I want better than the sponsored suggestion to 'Buy a London pub walk at Wal-Mart.'”

Me too, which I why I switched to Bing as my default search engine some time ago.

It's fascinating to watch these high-powered men stop drinking the corporate Kool-Aid. I wonder if two executive resignations from gigantic corporations is a trend? You can read more of Whittaker's explanation here.

THE CARTIER COUGAR ODYSSEY
Yes, it is a commercial – a long one. Yes, it is for a product far beyond the reach of anyone in the 99 percent, which feels way too decadent to bother with during our current economic clime. But it is also breathtakingly gorgeous. Definitely worth a click on that button for full screen viewing.

PREGNANCY TIMELAPSE VIRAL VIDEO
This was the viral video of the week. A young couple's record of the nine months of their baby's gestation in under two minutes. Wonderful.

AMAZING SLOW MOTION POLLINATION
TGB reader Larry Beck sent along this beautiful video of the many ways of pollination – all in slomo and taken from a TED talk. Don't miss it.


Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” in the upper left corner of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I probably won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog if you have one.


Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Good stuff. Thanks, Ronni. Have a great w/end. Dee

Hilary Clinton is my hero. During the last presidential election season, when she was competing in the Democratic primary with Barack Obama, I was absolutely heartbroken to hear the vicious things said about her BY DEMOCRATS. I will never forget this as long as I live.

I hope you heard the interview with Meryl Streep on NPR (Fresh Air with Terry Gross) recently. It was so fascinating. She talked about the research and practice she had to do to accurately portray the voices of Julia Child and Margaret Thatcher, among many other things. She is such an interesting person.

Yes, interesting post!

Re Google: I hate those "targeted" ads, too! Very creepy. It feels like a corporate Big Brother is watching every keystroke I make. I've been considering switching to Bing, and perhaps this is the impetus I need to do it.

I actually have tears in my eyes after just viewing Meryl Streep's amazing introduction of Hilary Clinton. Hilary has been my hero (and was my candidate choice) for years.

Thanks for the Google piece, too. I'm going to take another look at Bing. I've been upset with the changes to Google's search pages and email. You expect ads on Facebook (which, incidentally, you can turn off), and Amazon, etc., but to be flooded with sales pitches during routine internet tasks, bah! Very disappointing to see a company that allegedly had ideals, go the way of all flesh.

Free adblocker software - no ads!

As usual, you feature some especially interesting news items. Was familiar with many, but didn't know about Grant. Appreciate all the videos, Pollination and Pregnancy I hadn't seen.

I understood there was live streaming video of Women's Conf. I thought I could watch, but disappointingly was unable to access (prob. due to my poor tech skills though I've seen other streaming video.)

Glad you reminded about "On The Road" movie release. Would be interesting to read John Steinbeck II's wife's perspective of the movie since she knew the main characters well. She wrote of them in her book I reviewed 9/15/10.

Seems wise to have switched to Bing and think I should have, but may still. Long ago enthusiasm with this new-to-me digital technology, naivety and poor judgement finally caused me to realize email should be limited, but not sure if there are other options to gmail which I continue to use -- but in a strict limiting manner.

FB has little info on me, and I've so limited "friends" that it's hardly in use. I rarely post anything there and months can go by before I visit the site -- don't go to others FB pages. Did have a couple of old school friends find me there, somehow.

Wish there was a central site I could go to for all these different companies with detailed instructions on how to shut off or limit and protect from the info gathering, ads and like -- a list of companies that were preferable to use with pros and cons. Current sources for such info I've had in past not as viable any more.

My initial reaction to the Cartier ad was much like yours. It's so inappropriate in today's America. But I began to appreciate it more (from a creative point of view) as I learned more about it, its production, its story, and Cartier. This is a global celebration of Cartier's 165th anniversary, and few companies have been around that long. There's a beautiful website that tells all about it: http://www.odyssee.cartier.us/#/home

I watched the video clips in order: first, the intro by Ms Streep, then, the short portion of Secy Clinton's speech. Wow!
It is too bad that Ms Clinton didn't get the opportunity to broaden women's horizons even more by becoming President of the United States of America. She is a class act with the brains to match her huge heart.

Love it! ALL of it!

Also... I was watching the BBC's "Qi" a while back (with Stephen Frye) and they (the panel of English people) all seemed to be quite knowledgeable about the fact that Henry Ford was anti-semetic. (sp?) I don't remember ever hearing that before! Did I miss that part of my education in America? Is that something everyone knows except for ME?!?

Wow you've outdone yourself! Great collection of videos.

I hadn't heard that a movie had been made of Kerouacs' "On the Road". Will put that on my "must see" list.

I'm an avid fan of well-done period pieces. Hope this one is done with some class.

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