5.06 | Monday, Dec. 10, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: Doesn't want big road
:: SPOTLIGHT: Kaynard Photography
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: THE LIST: Great finals
:: QUOTE: Perspective
WHERE IS IT?
2012 -- While society has changed, children have not.
As a Mount
Pleasant mother of 9-year-old twin boys who worked as a preschool and
kindergarten teacher and has a degree in early childhood development,
I believe all children need fresh air and outdoor spaces to run, play
and grow. Nature connects children to learning in a very hands-on way.
But according to the American Heart Association, studies show that
one in three children are trending toward becoming diabetic, overweight
of focusing on outdoor adventures with my children, I decided to create
a blog -- PluffMudKids
-- to highlight our favorite places in the beautiful city of Charleston
and the great state of South Carolina. Pluff Mud Kids is designed
to give families researched details on activities in Charleston and South
Carolina to promote an active lifestyle.
Striking two from personal Bucket List
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 10, 2012 Talk about a Bucket List weekend! A Saturday trip to Philadelphia for the classic Army-Navy football game plus the unexpected Sunday pleasure of a world-class performance of Handel's Messiah at the Washington National Cathedral buttressed a weekend that will be hard to forget.
The trip started Thursday with an all-day train ride from Charleston to Washington. If you haven't lately taken the train or considered it for a long trip, you should put it on your to-do list. Amtrak's Palmetto departed from the North Charleston station on time at 10 a.m. And arrived just under 10 hours later at Union Station a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
A trip by train has several advantages if you don't need a car to haul other people or lots of stuff. First, it takes just about the same amount of time and you don't have to deal with traffic on a clogged Interstate 95. Second, the train offers wireless Internet service, which affords one the opportunity to do some work, surf the Web, catch up on Facebook, or read on a Kindle or iPad. Finally, it's less costly than a round-trip plane ticket about $270 round-trip in business class and you don't have to arrive very early to mess with security. A tip: Bring some of your own food. On the train, food and drinks are not great and overpriced.
By Saturday, my father, who arrived Friday from Atlanta, joined the weekend trip for a day outing to Philadelphia to witness America's Game, the 113th playing of West Point's cadets versus the midshipmen from Annapolis. This year's contest was everything you could hope for in what is described as one of the 100 sporting events you have to see before you die. (Below at leftt, Navy's band marches on the field.)
Army, which came in with a 2-9 record, had lost for 10 years in a row. Navy, with a 7-4 record and headed to a bowl game, wanted to strike an historic 11th victory. At the half, the score was tied at 10 points each. It looked like Army might have a chance as the team seemed to be controlling the ball better than Navy. Then Army went up by three, but Navy scrambled at the end for a touchdown and won again, 17-13.
People who have seen the game in person in the past often remark they have never been as cold as when they were at an Army-Navy game. Saturday's contest, while overcast with dank and droopy weather that foiled a jet flyover at the beginning of the game, found temperatures in the low 50s not bad for a December in Philadelphia. We were pleased to run into former Charlestonian David Agnew, now White House Director of Intergovernmental Relations, and his 7-year-old son Dallas, before the game.
What is most memorable, however, is the pomp, circumstance and pageantry throughout the game. Before kick-off, 30 companies of Navy midshipmen marched onto Lincoln Financial Field to the beat of a constant base drum and band music. In their dark-blue coats and white hats, they stood out on the green field. Then came 36 companies of cadets in gray, cape-draped great coats. Bunched together in tight formation on the field, the 3,000 cadets looked from the stands like 36 gray tank spoiling for a fight. At halftime before the bands played, Army handed off the day's dignitary, Vice President Joe Biden (at right), to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and the Navy side so Biden could sit with midshipmen for a half.
All in all, a great Saturday. Even a 1.5 hour delay on the train back to Washington didn't cast a pall over the day.
On Sunday, a younger sister treated me and her friend to the almost three-hour performance of Handel's masterpiece. All that can be said was that it was unforgettable. My sister, who has a master's degree in music and knows about these things, said the presentation was as good as we'd ever see. The soloists tenor Rufus Muller, bass Nathan Berg, soprano Gillian Keith and mezzo-soprano Julia Mintzer were out of this world. Backed by an orchestra playing on period Baroque pieces and a choir of children and adults, the music that filled the cathedral was inspiring, humbling and impressive.
haven't taken the train to Washington lately, give it a thought. There's
lots to do in the nation's capital.
To the editor:
As you know, many of the large roadways are pushed by investors, Realtors, and road-building companies that want to make huge amounts of money. Also, the impacts of the highways are extremely adverse for many property owners, who have to sell their property to Realtors because of the Eminent Domain Act and the Realtors increase the costs to DOT, cities and counties and make huge sums of money on lands. Roads are not generally built for common people. We need to keep smaller roads, and have light rail systems, buses, and bike paths for our people instead of large freeways!
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. Today we shine our spotlight on a brand new underwriter: Kaynard Photography, a business run by contributing photographer Michael Kaynard of West Ashley.
Kaynard Photography grew from Michael's love of walking the streets of the Charleston's historic district. It developed into a passion for capturing everything Charleston through a camera lens. Kaynard can be seen walking the streets of Charleston many days from dawn to darkness. He calls his work "At Street Level." His photos are available for viewing and sale at kaynardphotography.webs.com.
Four Charleston area residents who work at the Hollings Marine Laboratory received top federal awards Dec. 5 for their scientific work involving the Deepwater Horizon oil tragedy in 2010.
The Hollings laboratory is a unique partnership of governmental and academic agencies including NOAA's National Ocean Service, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the College of Charleston, and the Medical University of South Carolina.
Law school to offer first master's degree
School of Law is starting the nations first Master of Laws degree
in admiralty and maritime law on the East Coast, Dean Andy Abrams announced
Benefitfocus to unveil new building Tuesday
one of the nations leading health care and benefits technology providers,
will open its new Design and Engineering Building 2 p.m. Wednesday on
evolving health care market is full of new opportunities, and this one-of-a-kind
building is designed to fuel innovative thinking and agility in the development
of Benefitfocus technology, said Don Taylor, chief technology officer
at Benefitfocus. Its truly the ideal environment to draw out
the creativity of our associates as we move into the next generation of
our overall platform design and expand our workforce with new engineering
office space provides associates with a collaborative environment, complete
with a panoramic view of the Benefitfocus campus on Daniel Island. Full-length
windows and lounge areas with plush seating contribute to the ergonomic
design of the world-class engineering building. Mobile whiteboards are
available to facilitate the frequent brainstorming sessions and impromptu
meetings for which the engineers are known, reflecting the collaborative
spirit of the Benefitfocus culture.
Engineering is the epicenter of our companys culture, said Shawn Jenkins, president and CEO of Benefitfocus. This dedicated workspace is a testament of the appreciation we have for our engineering team and their ability to take visionary ideas and create remarkable products. Thats what keeps Benefitfocus at the forefront of technology.
wants to collect a ton of food for local food bank
Last month, the attraction offered $5 off of a $15 general garden admission ticket for visitors who donated one or more non-perishable health food items. This month, Magnolia will give a 50 percent discount to visitors who donate food items.
The discount is being continued due to an unexpected response from the public, said Magnolia's executive director, Tom Johnson, So far, we have collected more than 1,000 pounds of food for the food bank, an amount that I didnt expect us to receive, he said. This demonstrates that Charlestons spirit of giving is alive and well. Therefore, I want us to collect a ton of food so we are continuing this food drive through the Christmas season, the season of giving.
I am also calling on other businesses, particularly those in the hospitality industry, to do the same. We live in one of Americas most picturesque and historic cities, therefore, no one should be without in a city voted the best tourism destination in the world.
The healthy foods that support the Food Bank's nutritional initiative include protein products such as peanut butter, canned chicken, salmon and tuna in water.; dried lentils and beans; bread, flour and cereals should include whole wheat flour, 100 percent whole grain cereals and brown rice; low or no salt, low and sugar free canned fruits and vegetables; and snacks such as dried fruit and reduce or sugar free cookies.
How to get free downtown holiday parking
You can get two hours of free parking in downtown Charleston garages through Dec. 31.
of its history, agriculture virtually defined South Carolina, and no other
single force has so profoundly influenced the states economy, history,
demographics, and politics. For example, absent the states dependence
on slave-based staples such as rice and cotton, South Carolinas
fanatical defense of slavery to the point of disunion and war seems less
beginning South Carolina was conceived as an agrarian paradise. The Lords
Proprietors intended the colony to fill a niche in the English mercantile
system by supplying commodities not produced elsewhere in the empire.
At first, however, settlers struggled merely to survive. They raised corn,
cattle, and hogs for food while seeking a money crop to put the colony
on a paying basis. It was a slow process. Experiments with semitropical
plants such as ginger, silk, dates, almonds, and olives were disappointing.
Desperate for cash, settlers planted tobacco, the crop of Virginia and
Maryland, as a makeshift staple until a more suitable commodity could
be found. Thus tobacco became, albeit briefly, South Carolinas first
first significant commercial crop was rice. Small-scale experiments evolved
into an established crop culture by the 1720s. The Lowcountrys warm
climate and swampy landscape were perfect for growing rice, and an eager
market existed as well. Europeans were hungry for Carolina rice, and ships
laden with the staple called on London, Hamburg, and Rotterdam.
required substantial investments of capital and labor, and hundreds of
fields were cleared and thousands of enslaved Africans imported to toil
in them. Large plantations (some totaling thousands of acres) developed
along the regions tidewater rivers. Indeed, the expansion of rice
and slavery went hand in hand, and by 1740 Africans comprised two-thirds
of South Carolinas population. Black majorities were even greater
in the heavy rice-producing areas around Georgetown and the ACE Basin.
Thus the blend of Northern European and West African influences that became
the unique culture of South Carolina began in the rice fields of the Lowcountry.
Rice (and the bondage that supported it) dominated Lowcountry life for
1740s, indigo became an important staple. Eliza Lucas Pinckney is credited
with introducing indigo culture, although experienced French Huguenot
settlers doubtless refined the process. The English government encouraged
indigo by paying a bounty on the crop.
As settlement spread inland, so did indigo. Soon farmers in Colleton, Williamsburg, Camden, and Ninety Six were producing the blue dye. Slavery expanded apace, bringing significant numbers of Africans to the interior for the first time. Independence from Britain ended the subsidy on indigo, and overproduction lowered prices still further. In the 1790s high-grade dye produced in India (another British colony) drove South Carolina indigo from the market. Most producers shifted back to rice or a new commodity: cotton. ...
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Creative final exams
Toward the end of every semester, college students loathe the prospect of final exams. But some professors at the College of Charleston have taken an innovative approach to end-of-semester grading. Here are five interesting exams taking place this month:
Biology: Professor Alison Welch's students will use skills to get a first-hand experience of doing science by developing proposals for novel research on invasive or imperiled species. Then they'll present group proposals and the winner will earn funding. Presentations range from gopher tortoises to kudzu.
Spanish natural history: Students in C of C's Biology Professor Gorka Sancho's Natural History of Spain class in Trujillo, Spain, observe Mediterranean birds and plants in a place they haven't visited and record species. They're graded on quantification, quality and accuracy of field notes.
Theatre: Students in Mary Beth Berry's Intro to Theatre class develop stories and characters from random objects. Then they combine them into a script that is cast, rehearsed, staged and performed. They create something from nothing to better understand how they can be artists.
Water resources: Geology Professor Tim Callahan has students in his Water Resources class work with a graduate student to design a project that will propose green infrastructure additions and renovations on the college campus.
Healing narratives: Students in a class by English Professor Kathleen Beres Rogers and Psychology Professor Silvia Youssef Hanna offer presentations about interviews with a senior citizen they have interviewed. The presentations highlight how the person's illness intersects their psychology and English courses and offers a chance for students to outline what they learned from the experience.
"Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling?"
Big vote by County
Council: 5 p.m., Dec. 13, Council chambers, Lonnie Hamilton
Building, North Charleston. County Council will meet as the Finance Committee
of the whole to consider whether to hand over completion of Interstate
526 to the city of Charleston. Agenda.
(NEW) Book signing: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 15, Magnolia Cemetery, 70 Cunningham Ave., Charleston. Charleston writer Patrick Harwood, author of The Birds of Magnolia Cemetery: Charleston's Secret Bird Sanctuary, will sign copies of his 100-plus page coffee-table book. More info.
2 p.m., Dec. 15, Charleston Academy of Music, 189 Rutledge Ave.,
Charleston. Vocalist Ann Caldwell and accompanist Richard Harris White
Jr. will host a workshop to introduce attendees to various musical genres
including spirituals, country, gospel, blues and jazz. Admission is $10
for non-CAM families. RSVP here.
Yuletide doubleheader at the Dock Street: Charleston Stage will present two great holiday plays with "A Christmas Story" from through Dec. 16, and "Madeline's Christmas" on Dec. 15 and 16. Both festive tales will be presented at the Dock Street Theatre in downtown Charleston. There's lots of information online.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
New Year's on the Square: 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Dec. 31, Marion Square and surrounding locations. Family-oriented concerts and presentations will mark the coming of the new year in a non-alcoholic events and arts celebration.
Exploring the American Revolution: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 12, 2013, Washington Light Infantry armory, 287 Meeting Street, Charleston. A day filled with roundtable discussions about Southern campaigns during the Revolutionary War will occur with a "Dutch treat" lunch. Learn more online.
Hollingsworth show: Through Dec. 30, City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston. The city's Office of Cultural Affairs presents "Benjamin Hollingsworth: Grace," a show of new works from the emerging self-taught artist from North Carolina. More.
Holiday Festival of Lights: Now through Dec. 31, starting at 5:30 p.m. nightly. The annual three-mile drive through James Island County Park features hundreds of breathtaking light displays will millions of bulbs. Learn about more festivities here.
Seasonal Fashions: Winter in Charleston: Through Jan. 6, Charleston Museum, Charleston. The museum wraps up its year-long exhibit in its Historic Textile Gallery with a lively display of red and green garments surrounding a Christmas tree laden with antique ornaments and a grouping of vintage toys. The late 19th and early 20th century garments include those worn by fashionable men, women and children at holiday parties and while relaxing around the tree. 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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Saucy new book
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