Daily Archive: 03/17/2011

Mar 17 2011

from firefly 17.3.11

Regular Daily Features:

Mona Lisa’s & Mad Hatters start the day in Late Night Karaoke, mishima DJs

Six Brilliant Articles! from Six Different Places!! on Six Different Topics!!!

                Six Days a Week!!!    at Six in the Morning!!!!

Gha!

Essays Featured Thursday, March 17th:

Another one of Nature’s Beauties to Behold are the Thursday Open Thoughts from mplo

Cornucopia Hibernian Thursday, a weekly feature from Ed Tracey brings a delightful collection of items and ….well, just plain whimsy…..

a heartfelt outpouring from davidseth in A Beautiful Day to Die

join the conversation! come firefly-dreaming with me….

Mar 17 2011

Round of 64 Day 1 Evening

It seems I’ll have to update the late afternoon games on a rolling basis.  In case you haven’t noticed this is a lot of work.

The two upsets so far are Morehead over Louisville and Richmond over Vanderbilt.  Princeton played tough.

Of the Evening games in the first group of 4  I’ll be watching Connecticut v. Bucknell (sorry Armando, no ‘Gators).  Realistically Connecticut (the cheaters) should crush them like bugs.

In the second group I’m rooting for Michigan State (who had a puzzling and terrible year) against UCLA and St. John’s (I don’t understand why they’re so highly seeded either) aganst Gonzaga (despite their cool name).

Yes, yes I am that shallow.  Wait until I start picking teams based on their colors.

Check out who the winners are playing next at CBS Sports.

This Afternoon’s Results

Seed Team Record Score Seed Team Record Score Region
5 *West Virginia 21 – 11 84 12 Clemson 23 – 12 76 East
8 *Butler 24 – 9 60 9 Old Dominion 30 – 7 58 Southeast
4 Louisville 27 – 10 62 13 *Morehead St. 25 – 9 61 Southwest
7 *Temple 26 – 7 66 10 Penn St. 20 – 15 64 West
4 *Kentucky 32 – 8 59 13 Princeton 25 – 7 57 East
1 *Pittsburgh 30 – 5 74 16 UNC-Asheville 20 – 14 51 Southeast
5 Vanderbilt 23 – 11 66 12 *Richmond 28 – 7 69 Southwest
2 *San Diego St. 34 – 2 68 15 No. Colorado 21 – 11 50 West

Current Matchups

Date Time Network Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
3/17 6:50 pm TBS 2 Florida 28 – 7 10 UC Santa Barbara 19 – 13 Southeast
3/17 7:15 pm CBS 3 BYU 32 – 4 14 Wofford 21 – 12 Southeast
3/17 7:20 pm TNT 3 Connecticut 28 – 9 14 Bucknell 25 – 8 West
3/17 7:27 pm True 4 Wisconsin 24 – 8 13 Belmont 30 – 4 Southeast
3/17 9:20 pm TBS 7 UCLA 24 – 10 10 Michigan St. 21 – 14 Southeast
3/17 9:45 pm CBS 6 St. John’s 22 – 11 11 Gonzaga 27 – 7 Southeast
3/17 9:50 pm TNT 6 Cincinnati 27 – 8 11 Missouri 25 – 10 West
3/17 9:57 pm True 5 Kansas St. 24 – 10 12 Utah St. 35 – 3 Southeast

Follow the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on The Stars Hollow Gazette.

If you don’t like squeeky shoes you can look for alternate programming here-

Mar 17 2011

Round of 64 Day 1 Evening

It seems I’ll have to update the late afternoon games on a rolling basis.  In case you haven’t noticed this is a lot of work.

The one true upset so far is Morehead over Louisville.

Of the Evening games in the first group of 4  I’ll be watching Connecticut v. Bucknell (sorry Armando, no ‘Gators).  Realistically Connecticut (the cheaters) should crush them like bugs.

In the second group I’m rooting for Michigan State (who had a puzzling and terrible year) against UCLA and St. John’s (I don’t understand why they’re so highly seeded either) aganst Gonzaga (despite their cool name).

Yes, yes I am that shallow.  Wait until I start picking teams based on their colors.

Check out who the winners are playing next at CBS Sports.

This Afternoon’s Results

Seed Team Record Score Seed Team Record Score Region
5 *West Virginia 21 – 11 84 12 Clemson 23 – 12 76 East
8 *Butler 24 – 9 60 9 Old Dominion 30 – 7 58 Southeast
4 Louisville 27 – 10 62 13 *Morehead St. 25 – 9 61 Southwest
7 *Temple 26 – 7 66 10 Penn St. 20 – 15 64 West
4 Kentucky 31 – 8 ### 13 Princeton 25 – 6 ### East
1 Pittsburgh 30 – 5 ### 16 UT-San Antonio 20 – 13 ### Southeast
5 Vanderbilt 23 – 10 ### 12 Richmond 27 – 7 ### Southwest
2 San Diego St. 33 – 2 ### 15 No. Colorado 21 – 10 ### West

Current Matchups

Date Time Network Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
3/17 6:50 pm TBS 2 Florida 28 – 7 10 UC Santa Barbara 19 – 13 Southeast
3/17 7:15 pm CBS 3 BYU 32 – 4 14 Wofford 21 – 12 Southeast
3/17 7:20 pm TNT 3 Connecticut 28 – 9 14 Bucknell 25 – 8 West
3/17 7:27 pm True 4 Wisconsin 24 – 8 13 Belmont 30 – 4 Southeast
3/17 9:20 pm TBS 7 UCLA 24 – 10 10 Michigan St. 21 – 14 Southeast
3/17 9:45 pm CBS 6 St. John’s 22 – 11 11 Gonzaga 27 – 7 Southeast
3/17 9:50 pm TNT 6 Cincinnati 27 – 8 11 Missouri 25 – 10 West
3/17 9:57 pm True 5 Kansas St. 24 – 10 12 Utah St. 35 – 3 Southeast

Follow the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on The Stars Hollow Gazette.

If you don’t like squeeky shoes you can look for alternate programming here-

Mar 17 2011

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”

Robert Sheer: No Nukes Is Good Nukes

When it comes to the safety of nuclear power plants, I am biased. And I’ll bet that if President Barack Obama had been with me on that trip to Chernobyl 24 years ago he wouldn’t be as sanguine about the future of nuclear power as he was Tuesday in an interview with a Pittsburgh television station: “Obviously, all energy sources have their downside. I mean, we saw that with the Gulf spill last summer.”

Sorry, Mr. President, but there is a dimension of fear properly associated with the word nuclear that is not matched by any oil spill.

Even 11 months after what has become known simply as “Chernobyl” I sensed a terror of the darkest unknown as I donned the requisite protective gear and checked Geiger counter readings before entering the surviving turbine room adjoining plant No. 4, where the explosion had occurred.  

John Nichols: Wisconsin Senators “Sell Out” to Corporate Interests as DC Crowds Pick Up the Chant: “Recall!”

Wisconsin Republican state Senators, fresh from passing draconian anti-labor and privatization legislation, jetted into Washington, D.C., Wednesday night to collect tens of thousands of dollars in contributions from the one constuency group that approves of what Governor Scott Walker and his GOP allies are doing: corporate lobbyists.

But if Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Joint Finance Committee co-chair Alberta Darling thought they could get away from the mounting campaign to remove Republican state senators and shift control of the chamber to the Democrats, creating a check and balance on Walker, they were mistaken.

Outside the offices of the BGR Group, “B” stands for Barbour, as in Mississippi Governor and potential GOP presidential candidate Haley, as many as 1,000 workers, students, union activists and allies filled the streets of downtown Washington. Many surged into the building where the senators met with lobbyists who paid as much a $5,000 to “host” the gathering to thank the Wisconsin Republicans.

They DC protesters chanted many of the same unions slogans that have been heard at mass protests in Wisconsin. And they picked up a political slogan as well: “Recall!”

Eartha Jane Melzer : Michigan’s ‘Emergency Manager Law’ Epitomizes State-Level ‘Shock Doctrine’

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to get Emergency Manager powers this week

Public workers in Michigan lost job security yesterday as the state House signed off on a bill that allows the governor to appoint people to take over financially troubled local governments and schools and cancel labor contracts.

Less than two months after Gov. Rick Snyder asked the Legislature to expand the state’s ability to intervene in communities facing budget problems, the Republican-controlled House and Senate have finalized a bill that gives unprecedented power to appointed Emergency Managers.

The Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act creates a range of triggers for state involvement in local communities and allows the governor to appoint managers to fire local elected officials, break labor agreements, suspend collective bargaining rights for five years, order millage elections, take over pension funds and even dissolve local governments.

Mar 17 2011

Round of 64 Day 1 Afternoon

The commentators last night were dividing the day into 4 groups of 4 and that makes a certain amount of sense.  I’m posting Afternoon and Evening editions so there are 2 groups of 4 in each piece.  I don’t have eight eyes like a spider or 4 TVs so I’ll generally be concentrating on 1 game in each group with sporadic updates on other contests.

Then there are errands to run and my beauty sleep.

In the first group of 4 games the one I’m most interested in is West Virginia v. Clemson.  Clemson looked dominating against Alabama-Birmingham and West Virginia is one of the toughest teams in The Big East, but streaky.  I have no idea about the individual matchups (I’m not that into it).

As always feel free to contribute your commentary about any game.

In the late Afternoon group Pittsburg just crushed in The Big East regular season and I expect they’ll do the same to UNC Asheville.

This all makes much more sense if you take a look at my Master Bracket Schedule for the Round of 68.  For a more traditional bracket try CBS Sports.

Yesterday’s Results

Seed Team Record Score Seed Team Record Score Region
16 *UT-San Antonio 20 – 13 70 16 Alabama St. 16 – 18 61 East
11 USC 20 – 14 46 11 *Virginia Commonwealth 24 – 11 59 Southwest

Current Matchups

Date Time Network Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
3/17 12:15 pm CBS 5 West Virginia 20 – 11 12 Clemson 23 – 11 East
3/17 12:40 pm True 8 Butler 23 – 9 9 Old Dominion 30 – 6 Southeast
3/17 1:40 pm TBS 4 Louisville 27 – 9 13 Morehead St. 24 – 9 Southwest
3/17 2:10 pm TNT 7 Temple 25 – 7 10 Penn St. 20 – 14 West
3/17 2:45 pm CBS 4 Kentucky 31 – 8 13 Princeton 25 – 6 East
3/17 3:10 pm True 1 Pittsburgh 30 – 5 16 UNC-Asheville 20 – 13 Southeast
3/17 4:10 pm TBS 5 Vanderbilt 23 – 10 12 Richmond 27 – 7 Southwest
3/17 4:40 pm TNT 2 San Diego St. 33 – 2 15 No. Colorado 21 – 10 West

Follow the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on The Stars Hollow Gazette.

If you don’t like squeeky shoes you can look for alternate programming here-

Mar 17 2011

On This Day in History March 17

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

March 17 is the 76th day of the year (77th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 289 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 461, Saint Patrick, Christian missionary, bishop and apostle of Ireland, dies at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland.

Much of what is known about Patrick’s legendary life comes from the Confessio, a book he wrote during his last years. Born in Great Britain, probably in Scotland, to a well-to-do Christian family of Roman citizenship, Patrick was captured and enslaved at age 16 by Irish marauders. For the next six years, he worked as a herder in Ireland, turning to a deepening religious faith for comfort. Following the counsel of a voice he heard in a dream one night, he escaped and found passage on a ship to Britain, where he was eventually reunited with his family.

According to the Confessio, in Britain Patrick had another dream, in which an individual named Victoricus gave him a letter, entitled “The Voice of the Irish.” As he read it, Patrick seemed to hear the voices of Irishmen pleading him to return to their country and walk among them once more. After studying for the priesthood, Patrick was ordained a bishop. He arrived in Ireland in 433 and began preaching the Gospel, converting many thousands of Irish and building churches around the country. After 40 years of living in poverty, teaching, traveling and working tirelessly, Patrick died on March 17, 461 in Saul, where he had built his first church.

First St. Patrick’s Day parade

In New York City, the first parade honoring the Catholic feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is held by Irish soldiers serving in the British army.

Early Irish settlers to the American colonies, many of whom were indentured servants, brought the Irish tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s feast day to America. The first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade was held not in Ireland but in New York City in 1762, and with the dramatic increase of Irish immigrants to the United States in the mid-19th century, the March 17th celebration became widespread. Today, across the United States, millions of Americans of Irish ancestry celebrate their cultural identity and history by enjoying St. Patrick’s Day parades and engaging in general revelry.

Mar 17 2011

The Wearing Of The Green

The Wearing Of The Green
O Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?

The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!

No more Saint Patrick’s Day we’ll keep, his color can’t be seen

For there’s a cruel law ag’in the Wearin’ o’ the Green.

I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand

And he said, “How’s poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?”

“She’s the most distressful country that ever yet was seen

For they’re hanging men and women there for the Wearin’ o’ the Green.”

So if the color we must wear be England’s cruel red

Let it remind us of the blood that Irishmen have shed

And pull the shamrock from your hat, and throw it on the sod

But never fear, ’twill take root there, though underfoot ’tis trod.
When laws can stop the blades of grass from growin’ as they grow

And when the leaves in summer-time their color dare not show

Then I will change the color too I wear in my caubeen

But till that day, please God, I’ll stick to the Wearin’ o’ the Green.

You can listen to it here.

Mar 17 2011

Six In The Morning

US charters planes to help its citizens leave Japan

State Department authorizes voluntary evacuations; meanwhile, Japanese official says ‘there is absolutely no reason to leave Tokyo’

NBC, msnbc.com and news services

Airlines scrambled to fly thousands of passengers out of Tokyo on Thursday as fears about Japan’s nuclear crisis mounted and the United States joined other nations urging their citizens to consider leaving.

The U.S. authorized the first evacuations of Americans out of Japan and warned U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to any part of the country as unpredictable weather and wind conditions risked spreading radioactive contamination.

The State Department said the government had chartered aircraft to help Americans leave Japan and had authorized the voluntary departure of family members of diplomatic staff in Tokyo, Nagoya and Yokohama – about 600 people.

Mar 17 2011

What’s Cooking: Stout Stew and Stilton Crust

Most people when they think of St. Patrick’s Day food think of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Being an bit of an adventurous cook and not overly fond of the cabbage part of the traditional cuisine, I found a recipe that had the beef and potatoes but also, the addition of an Irish Stout. A bit more work and planning, it is a hearty stew for any chilly day, looks pretty and goes well with a hearty Irish Stout. The stew is simmered slowly on the top of the stove and finished with the Stilton Crust in a hot oven.

Beef and Stout Pie with Stilton Crust

Ingredients:

   * 7 Tbs. olive oil

   * 1 lb. white button mushrooms, quartered

   * 2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed

   * Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

   * 3 1/2 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

   * 1 cup all-purpose flour

   * 3 garlic cloves, minced

   * 2 Tbs. tomato paste

   * 2 1/2 cups Irish stout

   * 1 cup beef broth

   * 1 lb. carrots, cut into chunks

   * 1 lb. red potatoes, cut into chunks

   * 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme

   * One 16-inch round Stilton pastry (recipe below)

   * 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water

Directions:

In a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Season the beef with salt and pepper. Dredge the beef in the flour, shaking off the excess. In the Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add one-third of the beef and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Transfer to a separate bowl. Add 1/2 cup water to the pot, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Pour the liquid into a separate bowl. Repeat the process 2 more times, using 2 Tbs. oil to brown each batch of beef and deglazing the pot with 1/2 cup water after each batch.

Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the beef, stout, broth and reserved liquid, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots, potatoes and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef and vegetables are tender, about 3 hours.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Stilton Pastry

Ingredients:

   * 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

   * 2 tsp. salt

   * 1 Tbs. sugar

   * 16 Tbs. (2 sticks/250g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

   * 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

   * 4 oz. Stilton cheese, crumbled

Directions:

In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar and pulse until blended, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Add 1/3 cup of the ice water and pulse 2 or 3 times. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 Tbs. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour, place on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and roll out into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the cheese over half of the dough, then fold the other half over the cheese. Roll out the dough into a 16 1/2-inch square. Using a paring knife, trim the dough into a 16-inch round.

Refrigerate the dough until firm, about 10 minutes, then lay the dough on top of the beef and stout pie and bake as directed in that recipe. Makes enough dough for a 16-inch round.

Brush the rim of the pot with water. Lay the pastry round on top, allowing it to droop onto the filling. Trim the dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang, and crimp to seal. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture, then cut 4 slits in the top of the dough. Bake for 30 minutes. Let the potpie rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

Mar 17 2011

Stout Stew and Stilton Crust

Most people when they think of St. Patrick’s Day food think of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Being an bit of an adventurous cook and not overly fond of the cabbage part of the traditional cuisine, I found a recipe that had the beef and potatoes but also, the addition of Guinness Stout. A bit more work and planning, it is a hearty stew for any chilly day, looks pretty and goes well with a hearty Irish Stout. The stew is simmered slowly on the top of the stove and finished with the Stilton Crust in a hot oven.

Ingredients:

   * 7 Tbs. olive oil

   * 1 lb. white button mushrooms, quartered

   * 2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed

   * Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

   * 3 1/2 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

   * 1 cup all-purpose flour

   * 3 garlic cloves, minced

   * 2 Tbs. tomato paste

   * 2 1/2 cups Irish stout

   * 1 cup beef broth

   * 1 lb. carrots, cut into chunks

   * 1 lb. red potatoes, cut into chunks

   * 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme

   * One 16-inch round Stilton pastry (see related recipe at left)

   * 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water

Directions:

In a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Season the beef with salt and pepper. Dredge the beef in the flour, shaking off the excess. In the Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add one-third of the beef and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Transfer to a separate bowl. Add 1/2 cup water to the pot, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Pour the liquid into a separate bowl. Repeat the process 2 more times, using 2 Tbs. oil to brown each batch of beef and deglazing the pot with 1/2 cup water after each batch.

Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the beef, stout, broth and reserved liquid, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots, potatoes and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef and vegetables are tender, about 3 hours.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

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