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Duncan Brook

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That creature must've been from Gn'awlins.

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Arcade Fire's new album, the whole thing (except for the disc one pregap hidden track, which dreamily mirrors the whole thing). The movie is Black Orpheus. The music is fantastic.

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500px chose one of my fotos for its Weekly Monday Contest (mine is the window of leafy silhouettes). I'm rather taken aback. They picked twelve from over 1,200 submissions ... so that's pretty cool!

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At the Redwood Volunteer Fire Department...

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A Red-Spotted Purple butterfly (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) sits still for me on a bridge railing at William B. Umstead State Park.

If I can ever get one of the yellow butterflies to admit that it has a crack problem, maybe treatment would help it calm down enough to be photographed like one of its occasionally-more-sedate blue cousins...

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I love that I took this photo with my phone.

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The very snazzy 2012 U.Va. President's Report is worth your time for a multitude of reasons. The "Year in Review" section strikes an interesting balance: a) Read about all the cool stuffs! Wahoowa! and b) Also, read about the crazy stuffs that sneak-attacked in June! DRAGAAAAAAS! Those stuffs are addressed directly and dispassionately, but there's subtext happening everydamnwhere in this document. The "Shaping the Future" section takes on a different import after urgent nattering about "strategic vision" (or was it "strategic planning"? — or maybe "dynamism"...) became some sort of summery Cavalier refrain, sung o'er & o'er.

Look! Colors and videos and oohs/ahhs! The design and multimedia integration here are fluidly and confidently realized. However — but seriously — you'll need to look closely to spot the single most on-the-nose statement in this report.

The same challenges crystallizing at U.Va. also increasingly threaten the future of our nation's entire system of public higher education. Ultimately, absolutely everything — from who gets to decide for America what that future will look like, all the way down to (or perhaps I'll say, "up to," because here I refer to the most important constituency of all) what sort of person can even consider pursuing the American Dream through education, at Thomas Jefferson's University or any other institution — everything ultimately connects back to funding, which is to say: money, money, money.

Consider: state funds account for only 9.5% of the University of Virginia's academic (non-hospital) budget.

So. On the "About" page of this impressively designed and intelligently considered annual report from the chief public officer helming the Commonwealth of Virginia's flagship institution for the education of its citizens and future leaders, there's a note. That little gathering of words in tiny, tiny type says, about the document:

"Produced with private funds."
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