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I’m crossing the Cape Fear River right now.

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Nice dockside place for an evening meal. Full disclosure: none of these boats is mine.

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Sunday morning view from my new apartment. Earl’s brush lowered the humidity and the temperature. That’s Spanish moss on live oaks in the background. Very nice.

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Moving to NC

Bye, Cincy pals. Enjoy Reds taking World Series in 6.

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Great press for this interactive community project celebrating Cincinnati Public Radio. Pianos all over Cincinnati for anyone to play (even total klutzes such as myself, though I will not).

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Many fine pickers from Nashville and elsewhere are here. Really cool.

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Salami cake

Good-looking, n’est-ce pas? This beauty is in honor of Nipper Newbold’s 15th birthday.

Nipper is a cocker spaniel. The cake is made of icing, salami, bacon and several kinds of dog biscuits. Nipper and the other dogs seem to be enjoying it. Especially the salami, which they are eating with great gusto, courtesy of Marsie Newbold.

Bon appetit!

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Here’s a nice little quiz that doesn’t just tell what’s wrong with multiple choice, it shows you.

It’s from the blog Making Change.

(Thanks to Brain-Friendly Trainer)

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One of my favorite bloggers, Cecil Adams of The Straight Dope, has a column from his Chicago series about whether – and how – public schools in large urban districts can be improved. My wife and I made the decision several years ago to move to a district where our taxes would greatly increase, but with great public schools.

It was well worth it, but as a result we really don’t have direct experience with the kind of situation Cecil is referring to. What his recommendations are founded on is a high level of parental involvement. That’s certainly true of Wyoming, OH. And I suspect elsewhere as well. What I like about this column is how it takes the generalization ‘parental involvement’ and goes on to give specific, practical examples. There are no magic bullets. But there is hope.

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just about the most amazing graph ever

I recently saw a LinkedIn discussion about how to define the South. Think there’s no such thing? Think again.

This graph from the ASARB in 2002, available from the Glenmary Research Center in Nashville, shows the distribution of church membership. The different colors signify the predominant religious denomination in each county in the U.S. Black dots signify that there is an absolute majority of that denomination in the county. Click on the map to enlarge.

Care to guess what the red counties mean?

Southern Baptist, of course. If like me you grew up in the South you know intuitively what this means. I found this map while researching a course on Faulkner I taught for Miami’s Institute for Learning in Retirement in 2007 (you can find a PDF of my PowerPoint on my Presentations).

Oh, and there is one other way. I can’t locate it now, but I remember reading about a study that looked in Yellow Pages to find occurrences of the word “Dixie” in business names. Not surprisingly, as I recall, the percentage was highest in Alabama and Mississippi. But I don’t think the results were as striking as this.

I can only think of one other graphic I have ever seen that so effectively captures meaning. (Sorry to be mysterious, but I’ll have to blog about that later).

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