Randomly Noted

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Zoo Atlanta's baby panda turns 1 tomorrow and you don't even have a gift yet?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Po, the most delicious black and white cookie in Zoo Atlanta's baby animal bakery, is celebrating his first natal anniversary tomorrow, November 3.

Zoo Atlanta is having a thing for him — "the first 100 fans to arrive at the giant panda habitat by 11 a.m. will receive a special piece of Po panda-rabilia"— and, BELIEVE ME, you don't want to show up to the Po party empty handed.

Luckily, you can count on us for last minute gift suggestions ...

A Roomba. Because no one doesn't want one of these.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

SCAD has lousy "climate for academic freedom," says profs' group

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 12:58 PM

The Savannah College of Art and Design, although perhaps the country's largest arts college, has always been an odd outlier in the world of academia. It isn't a member of the prestigious Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, along with such peers as Parsons, the Rhode Island School of Design and NYC's School of Visual Arts. Nor is it accredited by the industry-standard National Association of Schools of Art and Design. And the private, intensely for-profit school has fostered a reputation of secrecy and top-down totalitarianism that occasionally surfaces in complaints over suppression of student and/or instructor expression.

Now comes the American Association of University Professors, which issued a report this past month censuring — or rather, re-censuring — the school for its Soviet-style repression of academic freedom.

The irony is that SCAD brought the new criticism on itself by inviting AAUP's scrutiny. The group had censured the college back in 1993 — long before it came to Atlanta — when SCAD had sacked a couple of teachers it suspected of encouraging student demonstrations. Apparently, last year the school asked AAUP to consider removing its censure and, in return, agreed to implement a handful of progressive policy changes and to offer settlement packages to former staffers it had terminated under dubious circumstances. All that was left was a brief, on-campus visit from an association representative.

Then things went south. According to the new censure report (PDF), after the college agreed on a date for the visit, SCAD President (and owner) Paula Wallace canceled the appointment and then issued a set of outrageous conditions, including the demand that the AAUP inspector could only see what the school wanted him to see.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Atlanta lawyers and their really great gimmicks

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Look, Ma. No hair.
  • Look, Ma. No hair.
A thing you might not have realized: The quantity and density of one's hair is inversely related to his capabilities as a lawyer. Therefore, lawyers with little to no hair are more likely to successfully prosecute your personal injury claims in a court of law. (Eyebrows are, of course, exempt from this rule.)

I learned this by inventing it in my head after seeing a billboard on I-85 last night for Mason & Associates, a local law firm that can be located on the Internet at Mybaldlawyer.com. Founding partner Chandler W. Mason, has no hair, you see, so he decided to parlay his follicular deficiency into what's probably the most confusing personal-injury-attorney-gimmick in the greater metro Atlanta area.

Confusing ... or BRILLIANT.

There are a lot of personal injury attorneys in this world. To snag the attention of a finite group of litigious-and-injured peoples these guys need an angle, something that stands out, that speaks (loudly) to people — even if all it's saying is, "Hey, look at me! I'm bald! AND I'M ALL YOURS." I guess they also need a web address that's easy to remember. Some more local favorites ...

"The Super Lawyer"

www.greenelegalgroup.jpeg

Also bald and heavily represented on billboards around town, Gerald A. Greene is called the super lawyer for his "level of skill, experience and commitment" — and his affinity for hyperbole.

"The Strong Arm"

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C'maaaan, John Foy. No one's gonna buy the strong arm stuff with it lamely draped over a stack of dumb legal books all the time.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rev. Joseph Lowery is turning the big nine-o

Posted By on Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 8:32 AM

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The man whom Jon Stewart has called "the cutest civil rights leader ever" is turning 90. The diminutive Rev. Joseph Lowery is being honored with a birthday celebration that will bring a few big names to Atlanta Symphony Hall on Sunday.

With hosting duties covered by CNN's Soledad O'Brien, the event will feature appearances and performances by Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Holliday, Peabo "Tonight I Celebrate My Love" Bryson and the Morehouse and Spelman glee clubs. Tickets range from $50-100.

If you're wondering where you've seen Lowery, perhaps it was when he delivered the benediction at President Obama's inauguration — or perhaps it was at some juncture of his 60-year civil rights career, such as when he helped lead the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott or when he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with his fellow Doc./Rev., Martin Luther King Jr., in 1957.

Anyway, Lowery's actual birthday was Thursday. A card would be nice.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

I <3 U Mormons, but enough with the commercials during 'Jeopardy!'

Posted By on Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Anyone been watching "Jeopardy!" lately? Well, a guy named Joon is killing it (which gave Alex Trebek the opportunity to quip that "Joon's busting out all over" — oy vey), and two or three times every single commercial break, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is running ads to convince me that Mormons are just like the rest of us (which isn't to say I believed anything to the contrary — 'cept for the whole abstention from drugs, alcohol and caffeine thing). Seriously, one second you think you're watching a commercial for ITT Tech, then all of a sudden you're dick-deep in a sales pitch straight from SLC.

Par exemple (Yiddish and French in one post!) ...

Apparently, Atlanta is one of a dozen lucky cities where the campaign was rolled out earlier this week. Think a certain someone's presidential bid has anything to do with it?

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Finally, a yard sale for green-thumbed Atlantans

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 6:04 PM

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Trees Atlanta is holding its 12th annual tree sale fundraiser Oct. 8 at its headquarters in Reynoldstown. But this year's event won't just be a basic tree sale. No, sir. In addition to offering more than 1,000 dogwood, elms, bald cypress, crape myrtles, yellow flowering magnolias, an American wisteria called 'Amethyst Falls', American hazelnut, dwarf tulip-poplar, five varieties of silver bells, and 19 varieties of oak … um, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah — in addition to selling a buttload of trees, the good folks at Trees Atlanta will also be throwing a wingding of sorts:

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be music by Smokey's Farmhouse Band, beverages from Honest Tea, tree care demonstrations, speakers, a small petting zoo of sheep by Ewe-niversally Green, and much more, including opportunities to learn about the components of a LEED-certified building.

That's right, people: much more! Actually, if you've never checked out TA's Kendeda Center offices, it's worth a visit — if only to see a nonprofit organization where the employees don't have to use cardboard boxes for desks, write on paper salvaged from recycling bins and work by candlelight.

Anyway, the location is 225 Chester Ave., off Memorial Drive and just west of the Beltline.

NOTE: An earlier version of this post contained a major brain fart that named the wrong date.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

¡You can soon fly straight from Atlanta to Cuba!

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Well, not you, in the technical sense, but come early December, people able to secure Treasury Department authorization can board a Delta jet at H-J's Terminal E and fly non-stop to HAV, known to the indigenous communistas as Aeropuerto José Martí.

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Last week, Miami-based Marazul, the country's oldest Cuba-centric travel agency, announced it would be starting weekly direct flights from Atlanta to Havana on Dec. 7. The company will be using chartered Delta planes and crew, so you shouldn't get your hopes up about free rum drinks and lunches of fresh paella.

So, who gets to go? Frankly, it's the same people already eligible for travel visas to Cuba: folks with approved academic, religious, medical, research, humanitarian or diplomatic reasons to be there. Oh, and journalists, because we're doing God's work. In the absence of one of the above exemptions, American nationals are, of course, still prohibited from traveling to Cuba unless they can prove they have family down there.

Round-trip tickets will cost around $400, which may sound like a lot for a 90-minute flight, but you'd likely pay twice as much flying out of Mexico or Canada to get around the travel ban.

Not that you, personally, can go to Cuba, as we determined. But look on the bright side — if you stay put, you're much less likely to end up on a no-fly list.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How do we feel about the billboards featuring sullen, overweight children?

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Surely, you've noticed the Stop Childhood Obesity campaign's billboards. The ones with pictures like this:

You will NOT remain unaware of childhood obesity.
  • strong4life.com
  • You will NOT remain unaware of childhood obesity.

Oh, but the billboards also have text, stuff like, “WARNING: Stocky, chubby, chunky are still fat" and "He has his father's eyes, his laugh and maybe even his diabetes." Way harsh, Tai.

First, who are these kids? Were they aware they'd be jammed into too-small polo shirts and their photos blown up several-stories tall to glare at motorists on some of the busiest highways in the Southeast? Can children even consent to this? And, as Scott Henry said, "I thought we were supposed to be directing all our efforts to giving kids an inflated sense of self-worth and entitlement, not picking on them for being fatties."

A guy named Ron Frieson who masterminded the campaign explained his angle:

“We talked to overweight and obese kids all over Georgia, and they resoundingly responded, ‘Give it to us straight,’” said Ron Frieson, senior vice president of external affairs for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and chair of the ad campaign. “They told us exactly how to communicate and reach them. So that’s exactly what these ads are doing, talking to kids exactly how they want.”

Oh, yeah? You know what else kids want? They want to eat pizza three times a day, replace water fountains with orange Fanta fountains and play video games until their eyeballs fall out of their big, dumb heads.

Maybe what kids want isn't always what's best?

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Start your morning right with Augustus Koch's pretty, zoom-tastic map of Atlanta in 1892

Posted By on Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 8:55 AM

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  • BigMapBlog
Atlanta-philes are most likely familiar with Augustus Koch's 1892 map offering a bird's-eye view of the city. But never before have we seen it with a feature that allows viewers to zoom to specific blocks. The beautifully drawn map with labeled streets gives a good idea of how the city looked post-Sherman and notes several prominent buildings and businesses. (Keep in mind that the map's probably not entirely to scale.) Oakland Cemetery can be seen in the southeast corner and the Goat Farm — formerly known as the Van Winkle Gin and Machinery Company — is visible at the top of the map. Peters Street looked pretty happening. And look at the size of the Capitol! Click on the image above (or here), tinker with the map, and feast your eyes on what Atlanta looked like before we built an interstate through its heart, ruining our hopes and dreams, forever. (H/T Atlanta subreddit)

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mexico opens its borders... to Georgia peaches

Posted By on Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 10:49 AM

After several years of negotiations between the U.S. and Mexico, Georgia farmers are finally able to export peaches south of the border.

It's been nearly 17 years since Mexico banned southeastern farmers from exporting peaches due to concerns over invasive pests. The new deal has set in place strict protocols to ensure pests aren't carried to Mexico.

Fox News reports that according to Desmond Layne, a peach specialist at Clemson University, the new agreement can prove to be profitable to Southern farmers:

"It gives them more places to sell their product for profit," said Layne, also known as "Dr. Peach." ''That's a great thing for our growers. There are a lot of people in Mexico, and a lot of people who eat peaches."

So far, Titan farms, the Southeast's largest peach farm, is the only grower that's taken advantage of the new Mexican market.

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