08/18/2012 archive


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.

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Tomatoes à la Provence


This is the first summer in a long time that I haven’t had a tomato garden. My garden needed a rest, and my plan was to work on my annual tomato piece for Recipes for Health during the two weeks I spent in Provence, where my love affair with Mediterranean cuisine began. It was an easy assignment. Summer cooking here revolves around tomatoes, squash and eggplant, and these ingredients pretty much dominated my market baskets.

When I started going to Provence more than 30 years ago, the tomatoes were superior to anything I could find in the States. Now that’s not the case, thanks to our wonderful farmers’ markets, which offer a wider variety of these nutrient-dense vegetables than any French market I visited this summer. An added benefit is that in American markets you are much more likely

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Pain Catalan With Extra Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

This dish is inspired by the Catalan signature dish, but mustard takes the place of the traditional raw garlic.

Provençal Tomato and Squash Gratin

Tomatoes do double duty here, forming a sauce and decorating the top of the dish.

Rainbow Trout Baked in Foil With Tomatoes, Garlic and Thyme

Cooked in packets, this savory fish dish can be assembled well ahead of time and baked at the last minute.

Tomato, Squash and Eggplant Tian

A tian takes a little time to assemble, but you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful presentation of summer’s bounty.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Dijon mustard spread on the pastry dough before baking adds even more French flavor to this dish.

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”.

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Robert Naiman: Let’s Help #WikiLeaks Liberate the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiating Text

On September 6, negotiators will go to Leesburg, Virginia, for the latest round of secretive talks on the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” agreement. This proposed agreement threatens access to essential medicines in developing countries (pdf), threatens environmental regulations (pdf), and threatens internet freedom. Even Members of Congress and their staff have been blocked from seeing the draft text, while corporate representatives have been allowed to see it.

Americans – and citizens of the other countries that would be covered by the agreement – have a right to see what our governments are proposing to do. Parts of the draft negotiating text have been leaked. But don’t we have a right to see the whole text before the agreement is signed? After the agreement is signed, if there’s anything in it we don’t like, we’ll be told that it’s too late to change it.

Just Foreign Policy is issuing a reward if WikiLeaks publishes the TPP negotiating text. Instead of getting one rich person to put up the money, we’re “crowdsourcing” the reward. We figure, if many people pledge a little bit, that will not only potentially raise a helpful sum of money for WikiLeaks, it will show that the opposition to this secretive agreement is widespread.

Kevin Gosztola: Why Did Ecuador Grant Asylum to Julian Assange?

On the morning of August 16, in the face of rumors that British authorities were considering storming the Ecuadorean embassy in London to arrest Julian Assange, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patiño, announced that his country will grant the WikiLeaks founder diplomatic asylum. He declared that his government endorsed the “fears” expressed by Assange that he could face political persecution if sent to Sweden, and that such asylum would protect him from the possibility of being extradited to the United States. [..]

Patiño, like many of Assange’s supporters, also acknowledged that Assange must answer for the allegations of sexual assault that have been leveled against him, but added that Swedish prosecutors have undermined his procedural rights during their investigation. Ultimately, he said, “if Mr. Assange is reduced to custody in Sweden (as is customary in this country), [it] would start a chain of events that would prevent the further protective measures taken to avoid possible extradition to a third country.”

New York Times Editorial: Long Lines and Big Dreams

The lines on Wednesday were huge, like the ribbon of humanity at Navy Pier in Chicago that snaked through halls and stairwells and along the pier and then stretched, amazingly, out to and under Lake Shore Drive. Young illegal immigrants by the tens of thousands formed similar lines in other cities across the country. They lined up outside churches and nonprofit agencies, holding paperwork and folders, to learn more about a new Obama administration policy that would protect them from deportation and give them permission to work.

It was the first day of applications for the administration’s “deferred action” program, which does not give legal status to unauthorized immigrants, just a two-year reprieve from expulsion. It’s simply a step away from indiscriminate deportations, a reordering of enforcement priorities to shield law-abiding young people who were brought here illegally as children.

It’s also an application of common sense. But to Mr. Obama’s more strident critics, Wednesday was no less than the beginning of the end of the Constitution. One of them called it “A-Day,” for amnesty, and invoked the fall of the Roman Empire.

Donna Smith: Dead Woman Working: American Dream Died Long Ago

It was a slow and torturous death, my American dream.  And for millions of others, I am guessing it is the same.  Nothing this current round of politicos is planning to do can restore it.  Just like there is nothing to being a little bit pregnant, there is nothing anyone can do to breathe life back into what once seemed possible.  Now I just hang on waiting to die.

This piece is not about who will or will not be our president or vice president, as after voting in every election since the 1970s, I am pretty sure what I need and want isn’t coming from any of them.

When I launched into my adult life as a rather average American woman, I held dear all the illusions that I could work my way out of any financial or societal calamity if only I had the spirit and drive to do so.  I was so wrong.  I was born into a working class family where my parents struggled and worked hard to make sure I was positioned with an education and life experiences to live a better life than they had and perhaps struggle a little less.  It was all for naught.

David Suzuki: How Environmental Destruction Causes Illnesses and Diseases

Preventing illness is the best way to get health-care costs down. So why aren’t governments doing more to protect the environment? We’ve long known that environmental factors contribute to disease, especially contamination of air, water, and soil. Scientists are now learning the connection is stronger than we realized.

New research shows that 60 percent of emerging infectious diseases affecting humans-those that rapidly increase in incidence or geographic range-start with animals, two-thirds from wild animals. Lyme disease, West Nile virus, Ebola, SARS, AIDS… these are just a few of the hundreds of epidemics that have spread from animals to people. A study by the International Livestock Research Institute concludes that more than two-million people a year are killed by diseases that originated with wild and domestic animals. Many more become ill.

Tom Englehardt: Baseless Deconstruction: How Your Dollars Became Ghost Towns in Iraq

A war and occupation thousands of miles away that lasted seven years and involved more than 1.5 million Americans, military and civilian, has passed into the history books and yet we still know remarkably little about so much of it.  Take American military bases in Iraq.  There were, of course, none in March 2003 when the Bush administration launched its regime-change invasion with dreams of garrisoning that particular stretch of the planet’s oil heartlands for generations to come.

At the height of the American occupation, in the face of Sunni and Shiite insurgencies and a bloody civil war, the Pentagon built 505 bases there, ranging from micro-outposts to mega-bases the size of small American towns — in one case, with an airport that was at least as busy as Chicago’s O’Hare International.  As it happened, during all but the last days of those long, disastrous years of war, Americans could have had no idea how many bases had been built, using taxpayer dollars, in Iraq.  Estimates in the press ranged, on rare occasions, up to about 300.  Only as U.S. troops prepared to leave was that 505 figure released by the military, without any fanfare whatsoever.  Startlingly large, it was simply accepted by reporters who evidently found it too unimpressive to highlight.

On This Day In History August 18

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.

August 18 is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 135 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified when the Tennessee General Assembly, by a one-vote margin became the thirty-sixth state legislature to ratify the proposed amendment. On August 26, 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the amendment’s adoption.

It took 70 years of struggle by women of the Suffrage Movement headed by Susan B. Anthony to get this amendment passed. Gail Collins’ NYT Op-Ed recount of the story puts it in great perspective:

That great suffragist and excellent counter, Carrie Chapman Catt, estimated that the struggle had involved 56 referendum campaigns directed at male voters, plus “480 campaigns to get Legislatures to submit suffrage amendments to voters, 47 campaigns to get constitutional conventions to write woman suffrage into state constitutions; 277 campaigns to get State party conventions to include woman suffrage planks, 30 campaigns to get presidential party campaigns to include woman suffrage planks in party platforms and 19 campaigns with 19 successive Congresses.”

As Ms. Catt tells it and to no one’s surprise the Senate was the biggest obstacle, so the Suffragettes decided to take it to the states and amend all the state constitutions, one by one.

The constitutional amendment that finally did pass Congress bore Anthony’s name. It came up before the House of Representatives in 1918 with the two-thirds votes needed for passage barely within reach. One congressman who had been in the hospital for six months had himself carted to the floor so he could support suffrage. Another, who had just broken his shoulder, refused to have it set for fear he’d be too late to be counted. Representative Frederick Hicks of New York had been at the bedside of his dying wife but left at her urging to support the cause. He provided the final, crucial vote, and then returned home for her funeral.

The ratification stalled short of one state when it came to a vote in the Tennessee Legislature on August 18, 1920 and was short one vote to ratify when a young state legislator got a note from his mother:

Ninety years ago this month, all eyes turned to Tennessee, the only state yet to ratify with its Legislature still in session. The resolution sailed through the Tennessee Senate. As it moved on to the House, the most vigorous opposition came from the liquor industry, which was pretty sure that if women got the vote, they’d use it to pass Prohibition. Distillery lobbyists came to fight, bearing samples.

“Both suffrage and anti-suffrage men were reeling through the hall in an advanced state of intoxication,” Carrie Catt reported.

The women and their allies knew they had a one-vote margin of support in the House. Then the speaker, whom they had counted on as a “yes,” changed his mind.

(I love this moment. Women’s suffrage is tied to the railroad track and the train is bearing down fast when suddenly. …)

Suddenly, Harry Burn, the youngest member of the House, a 24-year-old “no” vote from East Tennessee, got up and announced that he had received a letter from his mother telling him to “be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt.”

“I know that a mother’s advice is always the safest for a boy to follow,” Burn said, switching sides.

We celebrate Women’s Suffrage Day on Aug. 26, which is when the amendment officially became part of the Constitution. But I like Aug. 18, which is the day that Harry Burn jumped up in the Tennessee Legislature, waving his mom’s note from home. I told the story once in Atlanta, and a woman in the audience said that when she was visiting her relatives in East Tennessee, she had gone to put a yellow rose on Harry Burn’s grave.

I got a little teary.

“Well, actually,” she added, “it was because I couldn’t find his mother.”

Pirates And Emperors Are The Same Thing

Noam Chomsky and Schoolhouse Rock.

Noam Chomsky – In Depth – Pirates and Emperors Part 1

06/01/2003 C-span – Noam Chomsky, professor of Linguistics at MIT University in Cambridge, MA, talked about his life and career as a political activist and critic of U.S. foreign policy. Among the topics he addressed were efforts to combat terrorism, war with Iraq, and Bush administration economic and foreign policy. He also responded to questions from viewers on the telephone and submitted by fax and electronic mail.

This video from our friend David Waldman at Daily Kos lead to the Chomsky video.

Privateers of the Caribbean


No Dancing

I think I’ve mentioned that I had a life as a semi-professional DJ, not that I didn’t charge but I didn’t quit my day job either.  I was usually partnered with my buddy who had a very extensive CD collection and some high end hardware to play it on.  We mostly did Club Mixers and Receptions and it can be a lot of fun if people are into the music.

Among the things I learned is that there are many excellent songs that are either impossible to dance to or that no one will dance to because they’re not familiar.  This is why we still have the Chicken Dance even though everyone hates it.

Middle schoolers are a particularly tough audience because if it hasn’t been on Radio Disney 100 times today you might as well be playing a waltz.

Anyway I thought I’d share some of the stuff that I liked that but could never use.  The problem with Soft Parade is that nobody able to move anymore has ever heard of Jim Morrison and it’s got tempo changes (Paradise by the Dashboard Light on the other hand is a sure hit and I hope I never hear it again).

Soft Parade