Monthly Archives: July 2011

in fashion & life: a lesson on boldness

In the online article below, 64-year-old designer and fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg shows her boldness and difference – characteristics that seem to have contributed to her great professional successes. 

Some favorite lines from the piece:

–> ‘‘I’ve always been a strong believer in saying what you want to accomplish out loud. But when you go into a meeting and say ‘I want to dress every Chinese woman’, people give you odd looks.’’

–> This modern fixation with perfection is ‘‘ridiculous and dangerous’’, she says. ‘‘But I think the pendulum will swing back the other way. The whole point about beauty is its imperfection.’’

–> So what’s the best thing about getting older? ‘‘That you have lived so much,’’ she says. ‘‘And the worst thing is that you have less time ahead. It’s very simple.’’


Diane von Furstenberg: “I used being a woman to my advantage”

April 7, 2011 from The Age

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Good Life

I hope this upbeat musical spark of the day gets you going in all sorts of great ways:


Musicians: One Republic





Consistency & Collaboration

I find it incredible that an international group of scholars over multiple generations worked together since 1921 on a single project of such complexity.  What a valuable contribution and what a positive example of professional collaboration!


Ancient world dictionary finished — after 90 years

By SHARON COHEN, AP National Writer Sat Jun 4, 9:56 am ET

CHICAGO – It was a monumental project with modest beginnings: a small group of scholars and some index cards. The plan was to explore a long-dead language that would reveal an ancient world of chariots and concubines, royal decrees and diaries — and omens that came from the heavens and sheep livers.

The year: 1921. The place: The University of Chicago. The project: Assembling an Assyrian dictionary based on words recorded on clay or stone tablets unearthed from ruins in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, written in a language that hadn’t been uttered for more than 2,000 years. The scholars knew the project would take a long time. No one quite expected how very long.

Decades passed. The team grew. Scholars arrived from Vienna, Paris, Copenhagen, Jerusalem, Berlin, Helsinki, Baghdad and London, joining others from the U.S. and Canada. One generation gave way to the next, one century faded into the next. Some signed on early in their careers; they were still toiling away at retirement. The work was slow, sometimes frustrating and decidedly low-tech: Typewriters. Mimeograph machines. And index cards. Eventually, nearly 2 million of them.

And now, 90 years later, a finale. The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary is now officially complete — 21 volumes of Akkadian, a Semitic language (with several dialects, including Assyrian) that endured for 2,500 years.


To continue reading the article, click here.


Chicago Assyrian Dictionary:



Pon and Zi

Pon & Zi are characters in an amazing comic series.  The series presents snippets of life’s ups and downs, particularly in relationships.  There’s a certain sweetness – even in some of the angst-ridden scenarios – that flows through the pieces. 

Some examples are below:

Information about the comic series creator, Jeff:

Samples from the comic collection:




Inspirational message from today’s song: Have hope, carry on, and never give up.



Musician: Shaggy



Have you chilled out or relaxed (i.e., chillaxed) lately?

Sometimes we need to turn to animals to get some reminders about how to be…  Cats are good at reminding us to relax in particular.  Rest is so important.  Without rest, it would be hard to accomplish all those big and bold things we try to do each day.

Check out the following slideshow on the website Uproxx for some funny and what I think are inspirational photos of cats doing what they do best:

50 Cats Straight Chillin’

Written by RoboPanda – 04.18.11


Some examples from the slideshow are below:






Dog Days Are Over

Today’s musical spark:


Florence and the Machine’s official website:

Background information on the group:



Something New to Learn

There are a variety of ways to learn something new.  Reading, discussions, and workshops are just a few examples.  Given our technological advances, more and more people are turning to / experimenting with online videos as another method for teaching and learning.  The Khan Academy is a one-man university of sorts online.  There is now a whole non-profit team behind the project, and the number of videos and teaching endeavors is expanding.


Some of his tutorials may be useful to you.  The main website is at homepage says”With a library of over 2,400 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 125 practice exercises, we’re on a mission to help you learn whatever you want, whenever you want, at your own pace.”  What’s great, too, is that the whole video selection is free to viewers.


CNN posted a piece about the Khan Academy today as well:

Free learning videos go viral

By Salman Khan, Special to CNN
July 24, 2011 9:30 a.m. EDT

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Fun Fruits

In the article below, Alexandra Gekas profiles ten different fruits: rambutan, durian, African cucumber, ackee, Buddha’s hand, monstera deliciosa, chayote, cherimoya, salak, and dragon fruit.  My personal favorites are rambutan, salak, and dragon fruit. 🙂  I think Gekas uses the adjective “exotic” because these fruits are not common in the average American diet, which is probably part of the reason why they are pricey at most grocery stores in the U.S.  If you can spare a bit of extra money, I think it might be fun to splurge a bit and try something out of the ordinary.  You might be able to find good deals on fruit and lots of other healthy items at local ethnic markets, too.  Check online for the shop locations nearest you or ask around for recommendations.


10 Exotic Fruits You’ve Probably Never Tried

Posted March 17, 2011 from

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Modern Music Fusion

On April 14, 2011, a musician by the name of Kevin Olusola uploaded the following video to YouTube.  The arrangement for cello and beatbox gives “Julie-O” by Mark Summer a different spin:



Kevin Olusola is an accomplished cellist, saxophonist, beatboxer, and composer.  His personal website is .  According to his biography, Kevin combines jazz, classical, and hip-hop influences with beatboxing to create his own special style of music.


I appreciate this artist’s creativity and how he finds ways to fuse seemingly disparate musical approaches into a cohesive whole.  He’s making his own path, but building bridges in the process.



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