By Jonathan Miller, on Fri May 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM ET
As the U.S. Senate continues to debate the Farm Bill, which pro-hemp advocates are hoping to amend with legalization lanaguage, Stephen Colbert takes to task Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul — Colbert calls them “Mitch and Chong” — for supporting industrial hemp legalization.
By John Y. Brown III, on Fri May 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM ET
A form of intellectual creative destruction. Or the iconoclasts role in developing authenticity.
As a college student in 1985, after much research and questioning, I found this recording and ordered it from the back of a magazine.
It’s the only known recording of American essayist and celebrated cynic, Henry Louis (H.L.) Mencken.
I read Mencken voraciously as a young college student and think I am the better because of it. Much of what Mencken says in this interview comes from his writings.
Mencken, in my view, is a purely American concoction of ill-tempered irreverence, agitated playfulness, omnivorous erudition and literary elegance. He is perhaps our nation’s greatest iconoclast.
As a college student I used to think a course in Mencken should be required of all college freshmen. Why? Because Mencken served the role of the great destroyer of convention and institutions –of all things status quo. Do I think that is a good thing? By itself, of course not. But as part of a learning process where young people are forced to let go of old assumptions to eventually, on their own terms and for their own personal reasons, come to their own beliefs about the world we live in, I think the iconoclast plays a most integral role.
Mencken, for me, was a catalyst for me releasing the second-hand ideas I adopted as a child and cleared the way for me to come to my own conclusions. Most interestingly, many of my “own conclusions” turned out to be consistent with the “second hand ideas” took on in my youth. But now they were mine and I understood them at my core….not just repeated them from rote memory and pretended they were my beliefs.
In that sense, the HL Menckens of the world serve as intermediaries to our most sacred beliefs.
Of course, Mencken wold probably chafe at such a compliment and dismiss it with hilarious and savage sarcasm. And force me to rethink the proclamation and make a more subtle, accurate, and personally compelling description of Mencken’s impact. Just as he forced me to do with so many other of my beliefs.
I’m thankful I had the “Mencken threshold” as part of my mental and moral development—that opinions and viewpoints I was developing had to overcome before I would settle on them.
I wish the same for any college freshman or curious person who is not afraid of stripping down completely intellectually and seeing where the truth leads them.
You’re wearing a shirt and tie along with your boxer shorts and slippers. Let me guess…you’re on a Skype call. Am I right? Well, you’re not the only one In fact, one of my clients recently confessed he had done just that. Though the correct camera angle can conceal what shouldn’t be seen, you should still focus on your overall telepresence. There are many aspects to this, beyond whether or not you are wearing pants. Read on for 7 suggestions on how best to present yourself for video conferencing, including what to wear and related etiquette points.
1) Wear a full outfit
Business on top and party on bottom works in some situations — but not here. What if you have to jump up from your desk to adjust lighting or equipment? Not to mention, being dressed professionally from head to toe (including shoes) will put you in a productive business mindset .
2) No busy patterns
Much like with what to wear for headshots, you shouldn’t wear anything that’s apt to distract the person with whom you’re conferencing. Busy patterns can become wavy lines on video, so stick with subtle patterns or solids. Generally, blues and purples look good, and you should avoid white, black or red. Also, if you’re sitting against a solid background, make sure you don’t wear the same color as that of the wall behind you.
3) Check yourself
Before starting the call, make sure everything is in place visually by either previewing yourself on your computer camera or recording a test video of yourself using software like Vodburner (for Windows) or Pamela (for Mac). Check out your teeth and your nose to make sure nothing is where it shouldn’t be. Also, take a look at your hair. It may look fine in the bathroom mirror but fuzzy and strange on camera depending on how much light is behind you. You may need some extra product, and previewing yourself is the best way to determine that.
Read the rest of… Julie Rath: What to Wear for Video Conferencing
Never mind that I had to get up early on a weekend morning.
Never mind that I had to park a few blocks away to get to the venue so I would not have to search for a parking spot.
Never mind the fact that I waited in a line stretching to another state on a bridge for 2 hours to get through security.
Never mind that I did not have time to eat a breakfast or for that matter lunch today.
Never mind that it was so hot I was a sweaty mess by the time the event actually started.
Never mind any of those things from today.
They do not matter, for I had the great fortune of being in attendance today as the Dalai Lama spoke to an audience of thousands in Louisville.
Once I was able to see him and hear his message, any of the above frustrations was gone from my memory. His Holiness had a simple message; we are all capable of compassion. It is our “default setting” as one of the speakers, Dr. Doty stated in his remarks. Sometimes it is our circumstance, our ego, our bias or our environment that clouds this default nature within us.
Regardless, we are all capable of compassion by seeing ourselves in others. Even for wrongdoers, we can show them compassion by separating the wrongdoer from their action. It is a world of compassion, of tolerance, of humanity that we are looking to create “as man has matured” and we have expanded our scope with small acts of kindness. Though compassion makes for a good slogan, this goes beyond words; this compassion in us begins by taking action.
This compassion and kindness towards others is what I experienced in line waiting for this event. In my 28 years in Kentucky, I had never seen a more diverse group of people gathering for an event. There were people of many different nations, languages, religions, dress all gathered for one single purpose. The air amongst the crowd was of understanding, of tolerance, of compassion.
In particular, the individuals around me were amazing. There was the young mother from my hometown of Bowling Green, KY who had offered to both her sons the opportunity to see the Dalai Lama speak, and her 8 year old choosing to come with her.
Then there was the mother and son duo who had flown from Texas to Louisville for the sole purpose of seeing the Dalai Lama speak.
For me, it was an honor to hear the Dalai Lama speak. He exuded a sense of calmness, peace, and serenity. I enjoyed listening to every word he spoke and watching every action he made in greeting every person he came across. You could tell the audience felt the same way. As he spoke the entire audience hung on his every word. He captured and sustained their attention the way he captured mine.
As we all left at the end of the event, the serenity and peace of his presence stayed with us. His compassion inspired you, regardless of faith, to be a better human being, full of compassion, caring and tolerance. “Compassion begins here [points to his heart]“. I truly believe this was a great start to experience this compassion.
By Artur Davis, on Thu May 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM ET
To no one’s surprise, a few feverish days of the unprecedented—establishment media organizations beating up on Barack Obama’s leadership—are already giving way to a series of smart, nicely reasoned analyses of why the IRS/DOJ/Benghazi revelations are not genuinely scandal-worthy. (See Ezra Klein and Noam Scheiber for some of the best representative samples, and Charles Blow for one of the more in-the-tank ones). And the early revisionists are right, as I acknowledged in my previous posting, that these fiascoes have little in common with the substance of Watergate, and its nest of garden variety obstructions of justice, as well as the obviously critical distinction that Richard Nixon was caught directing those obstructions from his presidential desk, while Obama is by every account a sidelines bystander.
But it’s worth making several rejoinders to the budding “much ado about nothing” narrative. The first is that if the standard for comparison is not the most discredited president in my lifetime, but a random Fortune 500 company, that Obama’s administration struggles mightily with the threshold concept of accountability.
Three examples: (1) how does a Department of Justice with any measure of historical memory sign off on such a sweeping dragnet of reporter phone records, especially with nothing more at stake than ferreting out how the AP learned an obscure detail that compromised no ongoing investigations? Even allowing for the obvious, that Attorney Generals have no business discussing with presidents the content of secret subpoenas, the presidentially selected leadership at DOJ seemed weirdly clueless about the depth of the breach into reportorial work product. In fact, so clueless that it reflected an indifference to the axiom of any investigation that what is on paper will inevitably surface and have to be defended in a public or judicial context.
(2) When the hierarchy of the IRS learned that lower level bureaucrats were mixing political criteria with scrutiny of tax returns, what is it about the culture of this executive branch that kept that information from filtering up to Congress or to more senior officials at the Treasury Department or the White House? Why didn’t evidence of political censorship by tax officials stand out as the kind of thing Obama, or at least his senior staff or his Attorney General, might want to know?
Read the rest of… Artur Davis: Obama’s Weak “I’m No Nixon” Defense
There are many; articles, blogs, and research in general about exercise/fitness written and seen everyday. Today’s media is obsessed with showing us the latest fitness fads to boost ratings and make mucho dinero. We are all inundated with countless “lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks” tag lines everyday of our lives. From P90X to Insanity to diet pills and the latest fad diet, this country is on fitness overload. But there remains one problem…we are STILL the fattest country on planet earth. Why? Why do millions of Americans sign up for a gym membership and stop using it after three months? Why are diet books sales at an all time high but yet obesity rates continue to climb? I have found a glaring hole in this fitness lexicon; personality.
Personality? I thought everyone was suppose to do three sets of 15 on the bench press, eat the same food over and over and hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes? Where the hell does my personality come into play?
Having been a trainer 10 years, I will say the most important lesson I have learned is; the client’s personality, goals and abilities dictate how I train them not what I want. Personality traits have been used for years in other industries to pick workers in the right career position or match single up for date. Why do we not include this when participating in fitness?
Today we start. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
1. For your workouts to be a success, do you find you need to be continually challenged or have more structure?
This is a great question that will forecast where your fitness journey will take you (at least at first). If challenge is what you need, we first must define what challenges you. Running, lifting, obstacle courses, cross training can be challenging on different levels, if your personality drifts that what, keep it fresh to keep from getting bored. If structure is what you need, switching things up to quickly may overload you. CrossFit or P90X may not be something for you if structure is your goal. Keeping your exercise somewhat predictable may allow for more adherence and consistency. What if you don’t know or you have never exercised? Think about what you prefer in everyday life and apply it to your exercise program.
Read the rest of… Josh Bowen: What is your Fitness Personality? 3 Questions You Must Ask Before Starting a Program
By John Y. Brown III, on Wed May 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM ET
Never do anything that you can’t successfully apologize your way out of
If you aren’t a good apologizer, don’t even think about it.
If you are a good apologizer, make sure you are assessing yourself accurately.
Ask a friend beforehand if they think you are a good enough apologizer to apologize your way out of doing something bold (or daring….or reckless, depending on hindsight).
If your friend tells you “No. You aren’t a good enough apologizer.” ask two more friends. If those two friends agree with the first, ask four more friends.
And so on.
Eventually, if it is truly a bad idea, you will spend so much time trying to get a majority of your friends to support you that you will forget what it was you were thinking of doing in the first place.
By Jonathan Miller, on Wed May 22, 2013 at 8:30 AM ET
When asked about the art of pairing bourbon with food, the James Beard finalist for best chef: Southeast, Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia, offers valuable advice. ”If you don’t eat with bourbon, you’re gonna get real drunk.”
This tongue-in-cheek maxim aside, Lee articulates an oft-overlooked truth about the meaning of Southernness, something many bourbon drinkers appreciate. ”Being Southern is not geographical; it’s an emotional connection.”
The same could be said about bourbon. Contrary to popular belief, not all bourbon is made in Kentucky. The Bluegrass State, however, is the predominant source, creating 95% of the beverage. And many would say it’s done best here.
There’s no doubt that no one throws a bourbon party like Kentuckians. Case in point: The Bourbon Classic, a two-day event celebrating all aspects of the libation. Organized by The Bourbon Review and FSA Management Group, the revelry took place from March 22-23, 2013, at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville near the famed Whiskey Row. In its inaugural year, The Bourbon Classic provided a chance for attendees to sample bourbon in many forms: served neat at tastings, mixed into cocktails, or cooked into savory hors d’oeuvres.
Guests had a chance to sample multiple innovative dishes from some of Kentucky’s finest chefs on the Bourbon Classic’s opening night. Pairing up with master bartenders, chefs participated in a “Cocktail Challenge,” which required each team to provide a coordinating beverage and small plate featuring bourbon. Along with Chef Lee, judges included Joy Perrine, author of The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book, and Noah Rothbaum, editor-in-chief of Liquor.com. A buzzy crowd of serious connoisseurs and curious imbibers mingled over glasses of Seviche chef Anthony Lamas’ Tuna Old-Fashioned and Jonathan’s Chef Jonathan Lundy’s bourbon banana pudding.
Other highlights of the Bourbon Classic included a master distillers roundtable featuring the patriarchs of bourbon, who shared lore and described the craftsmanship of their storied products. Breakout sessions provided a range of ways to experience the brown nectar, from pairing chocolates with bourbon (courtesy of Holly Hill Inn chef Ouita Michel) to concocting a cocktail called the Boulevardier to listening to tales of historical bourbon barons.
After two days of tastings, after-parties, and after-after-parties set at local hotspots, participants walked away well-fortified with mash and a collection of new friends.
If you’re already salivating for next year’s event, we have something to tide you over. Bourbon Classic 2013 Grand Champion Jared Schubert of the Monkey Wrench in Louisville kindly provided his recipe for the “Dust Bowl Smash,” which snagged the award for best Contemporary Cocktail. Schubert’s tipple provides a taste of bourbon in the new era, while maintaining that quintessential Kentucky flavor.
Dust Bowl Smash
2 ounces Four Roses Single Barrel
½ ounce Honey Syrup*
1 dash Bitterman’s Hellfire Shrub
2 dashes Peychauds Bitters
6 large mint leaves
Combine ingredients in a shaker. Shake vigorously, and double strain into a double old-fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with a leaf of mint.
* To make honey syrup, combine two parts honey with one part water. Stir until thoroughly combined.
By Lauren Mayer, on Tue May 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM ET
Americans have always had a love-hate relationship with France. On the one hand, we use “french” as a positive adjective, applied to everything from kissing to toast, and we admire French cuisine and fashion. (I’ve always had this image of impeccably chic French women with a spartan wardrobe of 3 perfectly fitted sweaters, a pair of slacks, a pencil skirt, and 2 Hermes scarves, out of which they create 300 different, equally stunning outfits. As well as never getting fat despite enjoying daily champagne and truffles.) But we also use being French as a symbol of snobbery and effete-ness (remember how John Kerry was attacked during the 2004 election for speaking fluent French?, which was supposed to reflect everything that was wrong with his privileged background). And there was that unfortunate episode in 2003 when France’s refusal to participate in the Iraq war resulted in Congress renaming a familiar side dish – anyone remember “freedom fries”?
So France’s latest news will probably cause some mixed reactions, but I for one am thrilled that the country we associate with ooh la la and romance has now opened up official recognition of romance (i.e. marriage) to same sex couples. Sure, France is a largely Catholic country, but it’s also a place we associate with l’amour, toujours l’amour. (Madame Popejoy, my high school french teacher, would be proud of me, I didn’t even have to look up the spelling!)
Quick disclosure – I was actually born in France. (I have no french roots, but my dad was in the airforce about to be stationed in Labrador; he & mom had a whirlwind courtship and he swore the last thing he would do before he shipped out was to get her pregnant. And it was. So she went to France, where her parents were on sabbatical and which was at least a little closer to Labrador. So while I have no recollection of my 3 formative months in France, I have a soft spot for the country.) (And my parents checked, as a US citizen born in an Air Force Hospital, I could run for President. Of course, at the time they checked, Donald Trump wasn’t around. . . . )
Anyway, here’s this week’s song in celebration of France joining the increasingly large list of countries that have legalized same sex marriage: