01/15/2011 archive

Divisional Throwball Playoffs: Saturday

2011 Throwball Playoffs

It’s hard to say whether having a bye week is an advantage.  On the one hand you have a week to rest up and get healthy (and not expose yourself to further injuries), but on the other hand it does kind of disrupt your practice schedule.  You could point at the record, but I’d say it’s not dispositive since the teams that get the bye are selected based on their superior record and are presumably better teams anyway.

Today Ravens @ Steelers is the early game at 4:30 pm on CBS.  I think the Steelers are as good as anyone this year so I would expect them to have no problem with the Ravens, but I’m frequently wrong and unexpected things happen which is why they play the games.

The late game at 8 pm on FOX I have an actual rooting interest in.  The Packers are my second favorite team in the league and as I explained last week it’s not just an accident of birth.  To quote from Wikipedia

The Packers are the only non-profit, community-owned franchise in American professional sports major leagues. Typically, a team is owned by one person, partnership, or corporate entity, i.e., a “team owner.” The lack of a dominant owner has been stated as one of the reasons the Green Bay Packers have never been moved from the city of Green Bay, a city of only 102,313 people as of the 2000 census.

As of June 8, 2005, 112,015 people (representing 4,750,934 shares) can lay claim to a franchise ownership interest. Shares of stock include voting rights, but the redemption price is minimal, no dividends are ever paid, the stock cannot appreciate in value – though private sales often exceed the face value of the stock, and stock ownership brings no season ticket privileges. No shareholder may own over 200,000 shares, a safeguard to ensure that no individual can assume control of the club. To run the corporation, a board of directors is elected by the stockholders.

Green Bay is the only team with this form of ownership structure in the NFL; such ownership is in direct violation of current league rules, which stipulate a limit of 32 owners of one team and one of those owners having a minimum 30% stake. However, the Packers corporation was grandfathered when the NFL’s current ownership policy was established in the 1980s, and are thus exempt. The Packers are also the only American major-league sports franchise to release its financial balance sheet every year.

So Falcons fans (and there must be some of you), it’s not so much that I dislike your team, but they’re in the way of my Packers getting a chance to crush da Bears in the Conference Championships next week.

Nothing personal.

The usual nonsense below the fold.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

This week the New York Times did an insightful article about the first responders and Emergency Room staff at the University Medical Center in Tuscon, AZ with interviews of the Paramedics and Trauma Surgeons. It is graphic and may make some a little squeezy but it gives the reader a new perspective on what we, in Emergency Medicine, are often confronted with and the split second decision making that’s involved. It is well worth reading. I congratulate them on a job well done.

From Bloody Scene to E.R., Life-Saving Choices in Tucson

Soups With Grains


Whole grains have higher fiber content than pasta and white rice, and because they’re slowly digested, they have less impact on blood levels of insulin than refined grains. They also bring more nutritional value. So if you’re mulling over ways to get more grains into your diet, think soups.

Even light soups can be transformed into more of a main dish with the addition of whole grains. Add quinoa to your garlic soup or bulgur to chicken broth. You can cook the grains separately and add them to the soup, or cook them right in the broth with the other ingredients. The grains will be particularly tasty, as they’ll absorb the flavors in the broth.

Garlic Soup With Quinoa and Snap Peas

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Farro and Vegetable Soup

Bean Soup With Cabbage, Winter Squash and Farro

Chicken Soup With Lemon and Bulgur

Random Japan


Bullet trains running between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka have introduced “family cars” for people with kids in tow, allowing them “to feel more at ease traveling with rowdy or crying children.”

The education ministry announced that nearly 5,500 Japanese schoolteachers took sick leave for depression and “other mental disorders” during the past academic year.

An anonymous donor left ten randoseru knapsacks worth a total of ¥300,000 at a children’s welfare facility in Maebashi on Christmas Day.

Officials at the Saitama Children’s Zoo gave their capybaras-large rat-like creatures from South America-a hot yuzu-filled citrus bath on winter solstice.

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 Naiman: Tunisian Protests Move Hillary’s Line on Democratic Reform

Yesterday, Secretary Clinton delivered what the New York Times called a “scalding critique” to Arab leaders at a conference in Qatar.

“The region’s foundations are sinking into the sand,” Clinton said, calling for “political reforms that will create the space young people are demanding, to participate in public affairs and have a meaningful role in the decisions that shape their lives.” Those who would “prey on desperation and poverty are already out there,” Clinton warned, “appealing for allegiance and competing for influence.”

As Secretary Clinton made her remarks, the Times noted, “unrest in Tunisia that threatened its government while serving to buttress her arguments” was among the events that “echoed loudly in the background.”

Today, Tunisian president Ben Ali has reportedly fled the country and the Tunisian prime minister says he is now in charge.

Popular protest can bring down the government in an Arab country. Who knew?

Paul Krugman: A Tale of Two Moralities

On Wednesday, President Obama called on Americans to “expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.” Those were beautiful words; they spoke to our desire for reconciliation.

But the truth is that we are a deeply divided nation and are likely to remain one for a long time. By all means, let’s listen to each other more carefully; but what we’ll discover, I fear, is how far apart we are. For the great divide in our politics isn’t really about pragmatic issues, about which policies work best; it’s about differences in those very moral imaginations Mr. Obama urges us to expand, about divergent beliefs over what constitutes justice.

And the real challenge we face is not how to resolve our differences – something that won’t happen any time soon – but how to keep the expression of those differences within bounds.

Bob Herbert: Helpless in the Face of Madness

In case we hadn’t noticed, a photo and a headline on the front page of The New York Times this week gave us some insight into just how sick our society has become. The photo showed 11-year-old Dallas Green weeping and using his left arm to wipe his eyes during the funeral for his sister, Christina-Taylor Green, who was 9 years old and was killed in the attack in Tucson that took the lives of five other people and left Representative Gabrielle Giffords gravely wounded.

Beneath the photo was the headline: “Sadness Aside, No Shift Seen On Gun Laws.”

What is the matter with us? Are we really helpless in the face of the astounding toll that guns take on this society?

More than 30,000 people die from gunfire every year. Another 66,000 or so are wounded, which means that nearly 100,000 men, women and children are shot in the United States annually. Have we really become so impotent as a society, so pathetically fearful in the face of the extremists, that we can’t even take the most modest of steps to begin curbing this horror?

Where is the leadership? We know who’s on the side of the gun crazies. Where is the leadership on the side of sanity?

On This Day in History January 15

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.

January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 350 days remaining until the end of the year (351 in leap years).

On this day in 1559, Elizabeth Tudor is crowned Queen of England.

Two months after the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary I of England, Elizabeth Tudor, the 25-year-old daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, is crowned Queen Elizabeth I at Westminster Abbey in London.


Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen regnant of England and Queen regnant of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. The daughter of Henry VIII, she was born a princess, but her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed two and a half years after her birth, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her brother, Edward VI, bequeathed the crown to Lady Jane Grey, cutting his sisters out of the succession. His will was set aside, Lady Jane Grey was executed, and in 1558 Elizabeth succeeded the Catholic Mary I, during whose reign she had been imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.

Elizabeth set out to rule by good counsel, and she depended heavily on a group of trusted advisers led by William Cecil, Baron Burghley. One of her first moves as queen was to support the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement held firm throughout her reign and later evolved into today’s Church of England. It was expected that Elizabeth would marry, but despite several petitions from parliament and numerous courtships, she never did. The reasons for this outcome have been much debated. As she grew older, Elizabeth became famous for her virginity, and a cult grew up around her which was celebrated in the portraits, pageants, and literature of the day.

In government, Elizabeth was more moderate than her father and siblings. One of her mottoes was “video et taceo” (“I see, and say nothing”). This strategy, viewed with impatience by her counsellors, often saved her from political and marital misalliances. Though Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs and only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands, France and Ireland, the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated her name forever with what is popularly viewed as one of the greatest victories in English history. Within 20 years of her death, she was celebrated as the ruler of a golden age, an image that retains its hold on the English people.

Elizabeth’s reign is known as the Elizabethan era, famous above all for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Sir Francis Drake. Some historians are more reserved in their assessment. They depict Elizabeth as a short-tempered, sometimes indecisive ruler, who enjoyed more than her share of luck. Towards the end of her reign, a series of economic and military problems weakened her popularity to the point where many of her subjects were relieved at her death. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor, in an age when government was ramshackle and limited and when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones. Such was the case with Elizabeth’s rival, Mary, Queen of Scots, whom she imprisoned in 1568 and eventually had executed in 1587. After the short reigns of Elizabeth’s brother and sister, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity.

Six In The Morning

Two Countries That Have Vastly Different Views Of The World Whats Not To Mistrust    

‘Distrust lingers on both sides,’ Clinton says of U.S.-China relations

Reporting from Washington – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that the U.S.- China relationship does not fall “neatly into black-and-white categories like ‘friend’ or ‘rival.’ ”

Clinton, assessing the important relationship in a speech in advance of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington next week, acknowledged that in President Obama’s first two years in office the two nations have had “some early successes, but also some frustrations.”

What could possibly go wrong?

BP Forms Partnership To Explore In Russia

By JULIA WERDIGIER, The New York Times

Published: January 14, 2011

The British oil giant BP agreed on Friday to a partnership with Rosneft, a Russian company, forming an alliance to explore the Russian Arctic.

The two companies would explore three license blocks on the Russian Arctic continental shelf that were awarded to Rosneft last year and span about 50,000 square miles.

“This acquisition will almost certainly complicate the politics of levying and collecting damages from BP following their Gulf of Mexico oil spill,” Mr. Markey said.

As part of the agreement, Rosneft and BP will set up an Arctic technology center in Russia “to develop technologies and engineering practices for the safe extraction of hydrocarbon resources from the Arctic shelf,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Presidential Oil Spill Commission Final Report

Popular Culture 20110114: Gold

This is designed to be a companion piece to a new Pique the Geek installment of the same title that will be published Sunday.  The idea for this dual treatment of gold was inspired by our good friend and supporter from the other two sites to which I contribute, ek hornbeck.

This half of the couple has to do with gold in a nontechnical sense.  The one on Sunday gets, obviously, much more Geeky.  However, technical uses aside, gold has been part of the popular culture since prehistory.  Only recently have truly technical uses for gold been found, and those will be covered elsewhere.

Tonight we shall look at some of the history of gold in popular culture, and finish with a discussion of the so-called gold standard and the numerous sales pitches that dominate the conservative airwaves.  We shall try not to get too Geeky.

Prime Time

Some premiers.  The secret ingredient in Mystic Pizza sauce (yes, there actually is such a place) is copious quantities of crushed red pepper.

Klaatu barada nikto.


Dave hosts Joan Rivers, Jeff Caldwell, and Wintersleep.  

There’s nothing strange about Washington, Mr. Carpenter.

A person from another planet might disagree with you.

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Tunisian president quits after violent protests

by Mohamed Hasni and Hamida Ben Salah, AFP

14 mins ago

TUNIS (AFP) – Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali quit on Friday after 23 years in power and fled the north African state as the authorities declared a state of emergency following deadly protests.

Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced on state television that he had taken over as interim president, after a day of violent clashes between rock-throwing protesters and riot police in the streets of central Tunis.

“I call on Tunisians of all political persuasions and from all regions to demonstrate patriotism and unity,” Ghannouchi said in a solemn live address.