4.27 | Monday, May 7, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: About cutting cable
:: SPOTLIGHT: SCRA
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: QUOTE: Big difference
:: BROADUS: Honor guard
WHERE IS IT?
MAY 7, 2012 -- That's a question posed to me in one form or another since the Aquarium announced a year ago that it's next changing exhibit would be focused on this remote, exotic island off the southeast coast of Africa. Madagascar Journey opened to the public on Saturday.
For 12 years, the Aquarium's central storyline has adhered to the rich habitats and species of South Carolina, literally "from the mountains to the sea." The astonishing diversity of wildlife found in our own backyard, our rivers and streams and salt marshes, and just off our coast, is almost unparalleled. It's a place we're proud to call home.
So why Madagascar -- about as far away as you can get from Charleston before heading back again?
The short answer is simple. Madagascar is also a remarkably diverse place, and the environmental pressures found there are remarkably similar to those once found here. Deforestation, unabated agriculture, and industrial pollution are all factors that threaten wildlife. The good news is that increased awareness of sound conservation practices and policies in South Carolina has resulted in a more promising future here. Madagascar is not so fortunate.
Unequalled in biodiversity, Madagascar is one of the world's top conservation priorities. Nearly 70 percent of the 250,000 species found there exist nowhere else on the planet. Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island, carved away from the African mainland millions of years ago. Humans did not arrive until 1,500 to perhaps 2,000 years ago, resulting in an astonishingly diverse and pristine environment.
Thanks to the popularity of the DreamWorks animated Madagascar films, lemurs are probably the best known animals from Madagascar. Lemurs are a type of "pre-primate" separate from the better-known anthropoid primates like monkeys, apes and humans. There are more than 100 species of lemurs, ranging in size from a little more than one ounce to 20 pounds (although a gorilla-sized lemur roamed Madagascar once upon a time, until humans arrived).
Four ring-tailed lemurs are at the heart of the Madagascar Journey exhibit. A father and three sons, these lemurs are well adapted to humans and intensely social and curious. When not clambering on a series of rope vines, they are often found grooming each other with detailed care and affection. They also are not shy about coming to the glass and extending an outstretched hand. Visiting children (and as it proves, some adults) will enjoy crawling through a tunnel into a pop-up acrylic bubble in the middle of the exhibit for a closer look.
This family of lemurs comes to us not direct from Madagascar but by way of the Duke Lemur Center at Duke University. Duke has been on the ground in Madagascar for more than four decades, helping to conserve and catalog its endangered species. The Duke Lemur Center provides non-invasive research on a diverse range of topics including genomics, behavior and ecology.
The South Carolina Aquarium is proud to partner with Duke on an exciting new initiative in the SAVA region of northeastern Madagascar. This is the last remaining unspoiled frontier on this impoverished island, but it too is in dire danger of immediate destruction from illegal logging interests. Working with Duke, we will be crafting compelling educational messages and teaching aids to help Malagasy teachers - the most highly respected members of the local villages -- teach and engage children on the importance of their environment and the animals that dwell there.
We hope our schoolchildren, families and tourists will walk away from Madagascar Journey with a similar sense of appreciation for wildlife and wild places. Madagascar Journey is the single largest new exhibit since the Aquarium opened, and it is rich with fun experiences like an interactive jeep, and teeming with exotic species from hissing cockroaches to a Nile crocodile.
In the end, the question "Why Madagascar?" is perhaps best answered: Because Madagascar needs us.
MAY 7, 2012 -- It's the season for graduation speeches and former President Bill Clinton gave a good one Saturday to the 235 graduates of Columbia College in our capital city. (Watch the speech.)
"He said, 'If we don't get out of here right now, we're going to drown. If you want to get a copy of my prepared remarks, you write me and I'll send them to you. Good luck.'"
And that was the mayor's speech. "I'd give anything if you could remember my talk that well," Clinton added as the audience chuckled.
Clinton told the audience that they already had been given good advice throughout their education.
"Thomas Jefferson, when he was helping to pen our founding documents, said that we are all endowed by our creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- not with the right of happiness, but the pursuit of happiness. Turns out the joy is in the pursuit. And the real personal value of a university diploma is that it gives you more choices and more power to follow your heart as well as your mind.
"It's been my experience in life that most people are happiest when they do what they're best at. But the importance is to do what you wish most deeply to do, because then it doesn't feel like work. People tell me all of the time that I'm working too hard, but I don't work but an hour a day because I like what I'm doing."
Clinton voiced serious topics, such as encouraging graduates to engage in "creative cooperation" in our modern society in which we often overlook others. He said graduates should understand they're not right -- or wrong -- all of the time and that they can learn from others by listening and paying attention.
"Even a broken clock is right two times a day," he said.
Clinton related that he had a habit of attending his high school and college reunions every five years -- and the 50th high school reunion was coming up. The people who seemed to be happiest, he said, were the ones who didn't live "failure-free lives."
"The ones who are happiest are the ones who just kept getting off the map and pursuing their dreams and going on.... The ones who are saddest are not the ones who failed, but the ones who didn't try. You have the power to try with this degree and you have the responsibility to use it."
This theme -- of not being afraid to fail -- seems to be a common thread in commencement addresses.
U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, speaker at Charleston Southern University's Saturday graduation, noted: "Sometimes life is going to get you on the blind side. You have to learn to fail forward." He urged them to make the most of unexpected challenges.
Other examples that echo the advice of Clinton and Scott can be found through a simple Internet search.
for example, to the words of director and movie producer Jerry Zucker
(not the late Charleston businessman) in a 2003 speech at the University
yourself one question: If I didn't have to do it perfectly, what would
I try? ... It doesn't matter that your dream came true if you spent your
whole life sleeping. So get out there and go for it, but don't be caught
waiting. It's great to plan for your future. Just don't live there, because
really nothing ever happens in the future. Whatever happens, happens now,
so live your life where the action is - now."
the most famous graduation speeches is a 2006 address by Charleston's
Stephen Colbert at Knox College. He focuses on responsibility in between
have two last pieces of advice. First, being pre-approved for a credit
card does not mean you have to apply for it. And lastly, the best career
advice I can give you is to get your own TV show. It pays well, the hours
are good, and you are famous."
year, comedian Conan O'Brien gave a humdinger at Dartmouth College when
he observed, "Whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come.
The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity; and with
clarity comes conviction and true originality."
to area college and high school graduates. Live life fully ... and prosper.
is actually in regards to Andy Brack's Grand media experiments start this
week. I kicked the cable television habit last year and use Netflix. Love
the cost savings. I miss some of the news stories on television yet catch
them online. My most missed are HGTV and the cooking shows.
am researching to find a less expensive way to access wireless Internet
on my laptop. Please share if you have ideas. Regarding The Post and Courier
charging: Enjoy reading it online daily, yet refuse to pay for it. So
I will join the rest and see how this pans out.
Charlestoncurrents.com, appreciate the diversity in articles, and hope
you don't join Post and Courier in media experiments that would include
limiting online content to non-paying subscribers.
More cable comments via Facebook
We got several Facebook comments on publisher Andy Brack's commentary about cutting off cable in his home.
A West Ashley woman wrote: "I haven't ever had cable TV. It can be done!" Another added that her family hadn't had cable for years. "We use Netflix and we have an antenna in our attic which gets us all the major networks, including several PBS stations."
A colleague in Rhode Island wrote that his family had no cable until he and his wife had children and they discovered the magic of DVR. An Arkansas friend remembered how her father cut the TV plug off of the TV in the 1960s. And a California college classmate said her family had been without cable for a decade because now, "everything you need is online."
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. In this issue, we shine the spotlight on SCRA, a global leader in applied research and commercialization services with its headquarters in North Charleston. SCRA collaborates to advance technology, providing technology-based solutions with assured outcomes to industry and government, with the help of research universities in South Carolina, the U.S. and around the world. Managing more than 100 national and international programs worth over $1.3B in applied R&D contract value, SCRA has a results-based management approach that assures delivery of technology solutions to complex client challenges. Learn more here.
MAY 7, 2012 -- Happy Mother's Day (a few days early) to all our Charleston Currents moms. Whether your mother taught you how to cook, as mine did, or taught you how not to cook -- perhaps she was the queen of the TV dinner -- she surely had a role in your earliest ideas about food and cooking.
I'm blessed to still have my mother and first cooking teacher, Edith Mitchell, going strong. Now in her 80s, she doesn't cook as much as she used to, but her culinary gifts keep on giving -- I use her tips and tricks in my kitchen almost every day. As just one example, she taught me to use white pepper instead of black pepper in light-colored dishes where the dark flecks of black pepper might make someone think, "Ew, what's that black speck in my cream sauce?" She also made the best, creamiest, richest-tasting scrambled eggs -- and taught me to add an extra yolk or two (without their whites) to get that same depth of flavor. (Low cholesterol, no; awesome, yes.)
For Mother's Day this year, why not teach the mom in your life (mother, wife, significant other, etc.) a thing or two about cooking? Sign her up for a cooking class - even better, sign yourself up, too, so you can enjoy some quality time together. I scanned the websites of our three most popular cooking-class providers and saw bunches of classes - really, something for just about every kind of mom you can think of. Here are a few that caught my eye. For more ideas, go to the Web sites listed below.
The College of Charleston is one of five U.S. universities sending four or more Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars abroad for the 2012-13 academic year. The college's Rotary Scholars are sponsored by local Rotary clubs of District 7770.
While abroad, Rotary Scholars participate in community service projects and speak at local Rotary club meetings and conferences, schools, civic organizations, and other forums where they serve as goodwill ambassadors for their home countries.
Garden lovers, students to have big Magnolia Friday
Hundreds of garden lovers and students are expected to take part in the fourth annual National Public Gardens Day Friday at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
Magnolia, the oldest garden in the United States, is a member of the American Public Gardens Association and the only garden in South Carolina participating in the observance.
"Being among some of the nation's best gardens that open their doors to allow Americans to experience a public garden comes at a special time for Magnolia," said Tom Johnson, Magnolia's director of gardens. "Recently, we were selected as a Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society. This international award coincides with an expanded summer garden for our guests.
"The educational programs we are offering have been designed to match the standards being taught in social studies and science," Johnson said. "This is our contribution to education at a time when the demands on teachers and budget cuts force educators to look for other ways to enhance the educational experience for our students.
Friday's free educational program for school children will include demonstrations with small animals, guided tours that discuss the role African Americans played at Magnolia and a discussion about plants that are native to Lowcountry South Carolina. Students, teachers and chaperons from James Simons and Sanders-Clyde Elementary schools, Charleston Development Academy and Midland Park Primary School have been invited to participate in the four-hour field day.
Three join county parks board
Three Charleston County residents are new members of the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission as it changed leadership recently. Among the new commissioners on the seven-member board are:
Former Secretary-Treasurer Benjamin Cooke was elected vice chair of the commission, and commission member J. Michael Surles was named to the position of secretary-treasurer. Ravi Sanyal remains chair of the commission. Also on the commission is Lisa S. King. Read more. More.
the facts about heartworm disease
Pet Helpers is urging
area dog lovers to treat their pets for heartworm disease and offers this
easy-to-understand guide from Dr. Jack Love, the organization's veterinarian.
The group urges proactive, preventive health care as being more humane
and more cost-effective than expensive heartworm treatments.
is heartworm disease?
should you be concerned about heartworm disease?
How can you protect your pet?
What happens if your dog gets heartworms?
live oak trees shade the quiet burial ground that surrounds the ruined
Sheldon Church of Prince William's Parish (today's Beaufort County). Its
molded brick columns support a nonexistent portico and continue between
arched openings along the side walls to lend a sense of enclosure to the
Even in ruins, Sheldon Church symbolizes Beaufort County's prosperity during South Carolina's early years as a royal colony. Sophisticated in its architecture and craftsmanship, this isolated brick edifice was among the first examples of the temple design in the English-speaking world.
In the 1730s influential planters began moving to the former Indian lands, bringing their slaves and creating wealth, and in 1745 the Commons House of Assembly established Prince William's Parish. No longer was it necessary to travel to St. Helena's Parish for worship or voting.
So that a church could be built, Elizabeth Bellinger donated a fifty-acre tract of Tomotley Barony, next to William Bull's Sheldon Plantation. Construction was funded largely by the Bulls, supplemented by legislative appropriations. The result, completed in 1757, was "esteem'd a more beautiful Building than St. Philip's. It is far more elegant than St. Michael's."
of English political and religious organization was burned in 1779 by
a band of Beaufort Tories. Not until 1825 did commissioners advertise
for estimates "to cover the Ruins of the Sheldon Church. with a plain
strong wooden Roof, putting Doors, Windows, Benches, and a Floor to the
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The buzz on B
Kathleen Allison of the Chautauqua Day School and Academy of Dance Arts on Johns Island offers the five most important foods for you that start with the letter "B."
"There is a difference between conceit and confidence. Conceit is bragging about yourself. Confidence means you believe you can get the job done."
Kentucky Chorale: 7:30 p.m., May 8, First Scots Presbyterian Church, Charleston. The University of Kentucky Chorale will be in Charleston to perform wide variety of sacred choral classics. The group has performed all over the world. More.
Theater "Shorts:" 8 p.m., May
10 to May 12; 3 p.m., May 13. at Midtown/Sheri Grace
Productions, 915 Folly Road, James Island. "Short: Fun-size Theatre"
is a weekend of 10-minute plays presented by Charleston Acting Studio's
Theatre Outside the Box series. Featuring the talents of 15 local acres,
half of the shorts are world premieres written by local playwrights. Tickets
are $10 for adults, $5 for students. More
Greek Festival 2012: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 11 and May 12; Noon to 5 p.m., May 13, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 30 Race Street, Charleston. Enjoy delicious Greek food and beverages, Greek music, folk dance performances and much more for just $3 per person. Learn more.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Stroke screening: 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., May 16, Trident
Medical Center. Free stroke prevention assessments will be offered by
appointment. To reserve your place, call 797.3463. AT noon, there will
be a free lunch in Cafe B of TMC featuring a talk by Dr. Thomas Privett.
Yappy Hour: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., May 17, James Island County Park's dog park. Live music will be provided by local band Folk Grass. Other Yappy Hours planned for June 7 and Aug. 23. Free with admission to park. More.
Weekend water fun. Splash Zone Waterpark at James Island County Park, Splash Island at Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park, and Whirlin' Waters at Wannamaker County Park will be open on weekends in May. Splash Zone will open daily beginning May 21, Whirlin' Waters and Splash Island open daily beginning May 28. More: www.splashparks.com
contest: Entries due June 6. If you want to submit pictures
to the 2012 photo contest by Magnolia Plantations and Gardens, you can
start taking picture now. Submissions start April 1 for photos
taken between March 5 and May 31. More
Bird walks: 8:30 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday and Saturday. This is the time of year that a great variety of migrating birds fly through the Lowcountry so what better time to take part in one of the regular early morning bird walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Pre-registration is suggested. Cost is $5. Learn more online.
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of old cans
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