Daily Archive: 08/04/2012

Aug 04 2012

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness News 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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

A New View of Tofu

Spiacy Tofu Marinade

If you’re stuck in a summer heat wave and can’t imagine firing up the stove, think tofu. Enjoy it cold, with dipping sauces or in a sandwich. This week I’m presenting a selection of sauces, which you can make up in advance and have on hand in the refrigerator. You might want to sear or grill the tofu first, but I am even more likely to enjoy my tofu uncooked, spread with or dipped into a sauce. It provides high-quality protein in a very light package that’s just right for hot summer days. Even the sodium in these recipes may be welcome if you are dealing with very hot weather.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

FOOD’s Amazing Cilantro Tofu Sandwich

This hearty sandwich consists of tofu dipped in a delicious cilantro-spiked marinade, briefly baked, then topped with a roasted corn relish.

Tofu With Peanut-Ginger Sauce

This sweet and pungent mixture also makes a nice dip for crudités or spring rolls.

Tofu With Hot Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Don’t throw out the spicy adobo that canned chipotles are packed in: It gives this dish a real kick.

Spicy Tofu Marinade

This mixture works as a marinade or dipping sauce for pan-seared, grilled or plain cold tofu.

Tofu With Orange Miso Peanut Sauce

Pomegranate molasses, a Middle Eastern food, is a guest star in this otherwise Asian production.

Aug 04 2012

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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

New York Times Editorial: Stuck in Place

With 163,000 new jobs created, July’s employment growth topped both analysts’ expectations and the meager job gains in May and June. While that growth was not enough to reduce the jobless rate – now 8.3 percent – it was enough to boost the stock market. For investors, the job tally was just high enough to be a pleasant surprise and low enough to give them hope that the Federal Reserve would soon intervene to juice the economy.

The market’s reaction aside, the report actually shows how bad things are and highlights what needs to be done to improve conditions. [..]

Responding to the latest employment report, the White House noted correctly that major areas of job weakness – including positions in construction and teaching – are precisely those that would have been the subject of the jobs bill proposed in 2011 by President Obama. That legislation was blocked by Congressional Republicans.

Mitt Romney responded to the July report by saying that the numbers reflect the failure of Mr. Obama’s policies when, in reality, they reflect the success of the Republican obstructionism.

Joe Nocera: Frankenstein Takes Over the Market

This week, yet another Wall Street firm most people have never heard of, relying on a computerized trading program that they can’t possibly understand, shook investors’ faith in the market. This is happening a little too frequently, don’t you think?

What makes this particularly painful is that over the last four decades, we have built a society that has become deeply reliant on the stock market. It is how we are supposed to finance our children’s college education and our retirement. With the bursting of the housing bubble, the stock market, in some ways, is all we’ve got left. It is difficult to depend on something that seems so frequently unreliable.

One wonders if Wall Street itself is beginning to question if it can rely on the monster it has created – and which it no longer seems able to control. In the immortal words of the screenwriter William Goldman, “Nobody knows anything.” He was talking about Hollywood. But the same could be said today for Wall Street and its fixation with computerized trading.

Gail Collins: Congress Goes Postal

Just this week, Congress failed to protect the Postal Service from tumbling, and the service defaulted on a $5.5 billion payment for future retiree health benefits. It was the first time that the U.S. mail system failed to meet a financial obligation since Benjamin Franklin invented it.

The Postal Service has multiple financial problems, and, earlier this year, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill to deal with them. It would not have fixed everything, or even resolved the question of whether the strapped agency would be allowed to discontinue Saturday mail delivery as a cost-savings measure. “It’s not perfect,” admitted Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, one of the sponsors.

At this point, the American public has been so beaten down by Congressional gridlock that “it’s not perfect” sounds fine. In fact, we’d generally be willing to settle for “it’s pretty terrible, but at least it’s something.”

Eugene Robinson: The Emerging ‘Drone’ Culture

The age of the drones has arrived. It’s not possible to uninvent these Orwellian devices, but we can-and must-restrain their use.

As instruments of war, pilotless aircraft have already become essential. The Washington Post reported last year that more than 50 countries had developed or purchased drones to use in surveillance-and that many of those nations were working to weaponize the aircraft. Deadly missiles fired from drones are among the most effective U.S. weapons against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

There has been far too little discussion of the moral calculus involved in using flying robots as tools of assassination. At the very least, the whole thing should leave us uneasy. Collateral damage-the killing of innocents-can be minimized but not eliminated. And even if only “bad” people are killed, this isn’t war as we’ve traditionally understood it. Drone attacks are more like state-sponsored homicide.

Richard Reeves: Train Doctors and Nurses, Not Soldiers

Some days, I feel I have seen it all. Other days, I just don’t want to get out of bed. Over eight years my family has been hit with lung cancer, brain cancer, strokes and various other medical calamities. My wife has had eight operations, in the United States and in France. [..]

American medical care is still getting by with Medicare, machines built by General Electric, and doctors and nurses from India and the Philippines. And with the blind faith of Americans that we have the best medical care in the world. A myth.

As you know, we have national academies to train soldiers, sailors and airmen, probably the best in the world. No tuition.

Why not medical academies? The U.S. social welfare and medical system was built on the assumption that people, on average, would live to 65. No longer. People are now living well into their 80s in relatively good health. That’s why Social Security will face crisis after crisis. That is why Medicare and Medicaid will eventually collapse. Our “safety net” was designed in the 1930s. Different time. Different problems.

David Sirota: Congressional Carnivores Rage Over ‘Meatless Monday’

To understand how utterly broken our society is, how hostile to sacrifice we are and how willfully ignorant we have become, you need only look at the historic drought hammering the heartland-and how our elected officials are responding to that cataclysm.

As you likely know from this arid summer, America is suffering through the worst drought since 1950. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, half of all counties in the nation are officially disaster areas-a situation that has devastated the country’s supply of agriculture commodities. Consequently, food prices are expected to skyrocket, and eventually, water-dependent power plants may be forced to shut down.

This is a full-on emergency, and USDA, a key agency involved in the national security issues surrounding our food and water supply, last week responded with a minor non-binding recommendation. In its inter-office newsletter to agency employees, it suggested that those who want to conserve water could simply refrain from eating meat on Mondays.

Aug 04 2012

On This Day In History August 4

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.

Click on images to enlarge

August 4 is the 216th day of the year (217th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 149 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1964, the remains of three civil rights workers whose disappearance on June 21 garnered national attention are found buried in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, both white New Yorkers, had traveled to heavily segregated Mississippi in 1964 to help organize civil rights efforts on behalf of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). The third man, James Chaney, was a local African American man who had joined CORE in 1963. The disappearance of the three young men led to a massive FBI investigation that was code-named MIBURN, for “Mississippi Burning.”

On Junr 20, Schwerner returned from a civil rights training session in Ohio with 21-year-old James Chaney and 20-year-old Andrew Goodman, a new recruit to CORE. The next day–June 21–the three went to investigate the burning of the church in Neshoba. While attempting to drive back to Meridian, they were stopped by Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price just inside the city limits of Philadelphia, the county seat. Price, a member of the KKK who had been looking out for Schwerner or other civil rights workers, threw them in the Neshoba County jail, allegedly under suspicion for church arson.

After seven hours in jail, during which the men were not allowed to make a phone call, Price released them on bail. After escorting them out of town, the deputy returned to Philadelphia to drop off an accompanying Philadelphia police officer. As soon as he was alone, he raced down the highway in pursuit of the three civil rights workers. He caught the men just inside county limits and loaded them into his car. Two other cars pulled up filled with Klansmen who had been alerted by Price of the capture of the CORE workers, and the three cars drove down an unmarked dirt road called Rock Cut Road. Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney were shot to death and their bodies buried in an earthen dam a few miles from the Mt. Zion Methodist Church.

Aug 04 2012

XXX Olympiad- Day 11

Today is the ‘scandal ridden’ Badminton Women’s Doubles Final, 1:30 pm on MSNBC.

Broadcast Schedule

Time Network Sport Competitors
6 am Vs. Men’s Basketball RUS v ESP
7 am MS Men’s Football JPN v EGY
8 am Vs. Women’s Beach Volleyball (Round of 16) ESP v ITA
8:30 am CNBC Boxing (Light Fly, Light Welterweight, Round of 16) elimination
8:30 am MS Men’s Water Polo MNE v ROU
9 am NBC Tennis (Women’s Singles Final) (Medal) Williams v Sharapova
9 am Vs. Cycling (Track) all
9:30 am Vs. Men’s Basketball USA v LTU
9:30 am MS Men’s Football (Elimination) MEX v SEN
11 am NBC Women’s Trampoline (Final) (Medal) all
11 am NBC Track & Field (Men’s 100m, 400m, Women’s Pole Vault) all
11 am MS Badminton (Men’s Singles Final) (Medal) CHN v CHN
11:30 am Vs. Tennis (Men’s Doubles Final) (Medal) USA v FRA
11:30 am NBC Men’s Volleyball USA v RUS
noon MS Men’s Football BRA v HON
1:30 pm NBC Track & Field all
1:30 pm MS Badminton Women’s Doubles Final (Medal) CHN v JPN
2 pm NBC Cycling (Track Finals) (Medal) all
2 pm Vs. Women’s Field Hockey USA v NZL
2:30 pm MS Men’s Football GBR v KOR
2:30 pm NBC Men’s Water Polo USA v SRB
3:30 pm Vs. Equestrian (Jumping) all
3:30 pm CNBC Boxing (Light Fly, Light Welter, Light Heavyweight, Round of 16) elimination
3:30 pm NBC Rowing (End of competition, Women’s Single Sculls, Men’s 4, Men’s and Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls Finals) (Medal) all
4 pm NBC Track & Field (Men’s 10000m Final) (Medal) all
4 pm MS Track & Field all
4:30 pm Vs. Shooting (Women’s Trap Final) (Medal) all
5 pm NBC Men’s Beach Volleyball (Round of 16) USA v RUS
5 pm Vs. Men’s Volleyball BUL v ARG
5:30 pm MS Weightlifting (Medal) all
7 pm Vs. Women’s Beach Volleyball (Round of 16) BRA v CZE
8 pm NBC Prime Time (Swimming (End of competition) Men’s and Women’s Medley Relays, Women’s 100m (Track), Women’s Springboard (Diving), Women’s Beach Volleyball (USA)) (Medals) all
12:30 am NBC Late Night (Cycling (Track), Swimming Men’s 1500m Final, Women’s Discus Final) (Medal) all
1:30 am NBC Prime Time repeat
3 am CNBC Boxing repeats elimination
4 am Vs. Badminton (Men’s Singles, Bronze) (Medal) all
5 am Vs. Cycling (Track) all

All this is sourced through the NBC Olympics broadcast schedule.  Competition starts again at 6 am tomorrow.  

Competitions designated by (Medal) will award winners that day.  ‘all’ means not specified.  Sometimes NBC especially does mashups and doesn’t include event or competitor information.  Elimination means no round robin, one and done.

These schedules are a place for you to make sure you don’t miss a sport you like and share your observations.  Have fun today!

Saudi woman is first to compete in Olympics

By Liz Clarke, Washington Post

Published: August 3

Clad in a white judo uniform and snug, black headcovering, 16-year-old Wojdan Shaherkani stepped onto a judo mat here Friday to enthusiastic applause after being introduced as “the first woman ever from Saudi Arabia!”

Eighty-two seconds into her competition, Shaherkani’s Olympics ended in defeat; the repercussions of her participation may be far more wide-reaching. As the first Saudi Arabian woman to compete in an Olympic Games in any sport, she has been vilified by some and quietly cheered by others in her country.



Shaherkani’s participation in London, along with that of fellow Saudi Sarah Attar, a U.S.-based runner who’ll compete in the 800 meters next week, has been hailed as a diplomatic coup by the International Olympic Committee, which pressed all competing nations to include at least one woman on their teams.

The three that had historically refused – Saudi Arabia, Brunei and Qatar – relented.

Track athletes enjoy some fast times at London Olympics

By Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times

August 3, 2012, 5:45 p.m.

When Britain’s Jessica Ennis set an Olympic heptathlon hurdles record Friday morning, she also set the pace for the opening day of track and field competition.



In distances short and long, with hurdles to conquer or nothing between them and the finish line but raindrops, athletes covered ground in astonishingly fast times Friday. “It felt nice,” Cheruiyot said of conditions in the stadium. “The wind was very quiet. I enjoyed it.”



“It’s a very fast track. I love it. I loved the crowd,” said Kerron Clement, whose season-best 48.48 in the first round of the 400 hurdles led all three Americans into Saturday’s semifinals. “The crowd’s great on the first day. I’m pretty impressed by that.”

With an overturned result, US men’s boxing avoids total elimination from Olympics

By Associated Press

Published: August 3

A few hours after the U.S. men’s boxing team thought its London Olympics were over, amateur boxing’s governing body decided Errol Spence deserved to fight on.

The AIBA overturned Spence’s loss to Indian welterweight Krishan Vikas late Friday night, five hours after the defense-minded Vikas had apparently clutched and grabbed his way to a 13-11 victory.

After the American team protested the result, AIBA’s competition jury reviewed the bout and ruled Vikas had committed nine holding fouls in the third round alone. He also intentionally spat out his mouthpiece in the second round, which should have resulted in at least four points of deductions.



Spence felt he had won the bout afterward, expecting his hand to be raised in the ring, but wasn’t terribly surprised when Vikas got the nod. The welterweight from Dallas already was the last U.S. man standing after his eight male teammates lost in the previous five days, including three-time Olympian Rau’shee Warren’s 19-18 loss to France’s Nordine Oubaali an hour earlier.

Spence stopped the eight-fight skid, but must beat Zamkovoy to save the most successful country in Olympic boxing history from its first medal shutout and its worst showing at any games – although three U.S. fighters are in the first Olympic women’s boxing tournament, which begins Sunday.

Olympic Viewing: NBC’s Poorly Timed Commercial

By DAVID BAUDER AP Television Writer

August 3, 2012

NBC says no offense was intended by a poorly timed promotional ad featuring a monkey on gymnastics rings that aired on the network directly following a commentary by Bob Costas on Gabby Douglas’ gold medal inspiring other African-American girls to take up the sport.

The gymnastics-themed ad for the upcoming NBC comedy “Animal Practice” was specifically timed to run late Thursday night following the women’s gold medal competition. NBC said it was scheduled to run before the network knew about Costas’ commentary.

“Much of America has fallen in love with Gabby Douglas,” Costas said. “Also safe to say that there are some young African-American girls out there who tonight are saying to themselves, ‘Hey, I’d like to try that, too.'”

Then NBC switched to the commercial with the small, widely grinning monkey on the rings. Blacks in the past have been disparagingly referred to as monkeys to the point where it is considered a common slur.

Aug 04 2012

Overcoming The Odds

Age, heart conditions, and traumatic events were no deterrents to achieving their goals of reaching this Summer’s Olympics games in London and for some it has earned them gold.

Swimmer Dana Vollmer overcame a heart condition to win Olympic Gold and set a couple of world records

Dana Vollmer, 2012 OlympicsAt the age of 15, already an elite swimmer, Ms. Vollmer, from Granbury, Tex., was taken to a local doctor after experiencing dizzy spells while training. Doctors discovered she had an abnormal heartbeat and set up a procedure to correct it. But they then discovered she had a genetic cardiac electrical disorder called long QT syndrome, which could lead at any moment to sudden cardiac arrest.

The diagnosis was sobering. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, each year about 2,000 people under the age of 25 die of sudden cardiac arrest in the United States, most because of long QT syndrome and other electrical and structural defects in the heart. While sudden cardiac arrest can strike those who are sedentary, the risk is up to three times as great in competitive athletes.

Such diagnoses have derailed the ambitions of many young athletes. But Ms. Vollmer and her family decided against what may have been a career-ending decision to implant a defibrillator in her heart, and instead chose – with the approval of her doctors – to allow her to continue training as long as an external defibrillator was always within reach.

In 2004 in Athens at the age of 16, Dana won her first Olympic gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay event. Dana didn’t qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but has since returned, renewed and refreshed overcoming her physical problems and the psychological effects that were holding her back. Monday night, she not only won the gold in the 100 meter butterfly, she did it in won in 55.98 seconds, breaking the world record. Then on Wednesday night at the Olympic Aquatic Centre, Dana Vollmer swam the second leg of the 4×200 freestyle relay, along with Missy Franklin, Shannon Vreeland, and Allison Schmitt on the last leg, the U. S. swim team won the Olympic gold medal and setting an Olympic record. The U. S. women’s team hadn’t won a swimming relay eight years at the Olympics.

Overcoming the psychological trauma of being sexual assaulted by her coach when she was 13 years old, Kayla Harrison won the first gold medal in judo for the United States.

Kayla Harrison, 2012 OlympicsIn November 2007, a man pleaded guilty in a federal court in Dayton, Ohio, to illicit sexual conduct involving a 13-year-old girl. He was a judo coach, and the girl was a student he had trained closely and brought to international tournaments. Her name was given in court papers simply as “K.H.” or “the victim.” [..]

Harrison is simply the best on the team. It helps that she is also good-natured. And that she has a story she is not afraid to tell, a story that is jarring even for a sports press that can be nearly unhinged in its pursuit of the next inspirational tale.

The questions she fielded at the end of her match, about what she was thinking on the podium, about what the medal means to her, about how this compares to her own struggles, could be wince-inducing in their coy inquiries into such a painful topic.

But she answered them all with the same composure she had just used against her opponents on the mat.

“It’s no secret,” she began, after a long pause, when a reporter asked her to name the worst moment she had to face in her career, “that I was sexually abused by my former coach. And that was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to overcome.”

Harrison has told her story before, first to USA Today only days after the indictment of Jerry Sandusky came down and the front pages were full of news about Penn State, sexual abuse and coaches who exploit their authority.

She said she felt it necessary to speak out so that others in her position could take heart.

Kayla is not a “victim”, she is a hero and a champion.

And for us for us seniors, who think that our time is over to be Olympic competitors  there is Equestrian Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan the London Olympics oldest athlete:

Hiroshi Hoketsu, 2012 OlympicsThe crowd did not go wild for Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan as he rode Whisper out on to the sand of the Greenwich Park equestrian arena at one o’clock on Thursday afternoon. It wasn’t a question of bad manners; more a question of consideration.

A stadium-sized roar to acknowledge the arrival of the Games’ oldest competitor – a ramrod-straight and dapper man of 71 – would have frightened the mare and probably embarrassed her rider.

Hoketsu, after all, had not travelled from his home in Germany to fly the flag for older athletes, nor had he come to court the sympathy vote.

He had come to London, as he went to his first games in Tokyo in 1964, and to Beijing four years ago, to compete and, hopefully, to win.

And beneath a bright sky that turned Whisper’s brown coat a dark gold, that is what he tried his best to do. [..]

His white-gloved hands keeping her on a tight rein, Whisper executed a neat diagonal cross of the arena before pausing and reversing neatly to one corner. Seven minutes later, after she had appeared to jog on the spot, skip and goose-step her way around the arena, Whisper came to a stop in front of the judges. As the first drops of rain began to fall from a greying sky, the crowd burst into applause and Hoketsu raised his hat in acknowledgement.

And with that, the oldest Olympian rode out of the arena, to finish 17th out of 24.

When he was asked about his performance and  if he would compete in Rio in four years, he blamed any errors on himself and said that competing was in doubt because of his partner Whisper’s age. He also lamented how the Olympics have changed since he started competing 48 years ago:

“The Olympic Games itself has changed a little bit,” he said. “At that time, participation was of more importance to everybody. But now I think medals are much more important, not only for athletes but also even for politics.

We salute all the champions at the Olympics.

Aug 04 2012

Popular Culture 20120803: Leroy Jethro Gibbs

NCIS is really a good TeeVee program.  The writing is realistic, the characters well developed, and the mysteries usually pretty good, often with last minute twists.  Of all of the characters, Gibbs (played with aplomb by Mark Harmon) is by far the most complex.

This piece is not intended to be a history of the show, but rather my take on the personality of the character.  Various scenes that I remember may be used to illustrate my points, but once again this is more of a character analysis of Gibbs than a narrative of the program.

First and foremost, Gibbs is damaged goods.  He was always in trouble when he was a kid, often rescued by his father, Jackson (played by the wonderful Ralph Waite).  Some of these incidents are told in flashback, and the young Gibbs is played by Sean Harmon, Mark Harmon’s son by Pam Dawber.