09/14/2013 archive

Random Japan

JR Kyushu shows off new luxury train

Kyushu Railway Co. on Friday unveiled the ¥3 billion Seven Star luxury sleeper train ahead of its inaugural run on Oct. 15.

The event, held at a rolling stock factory in Kitakyushu, followed the signing a day earlier of a charter service contract with a Hong Kong travel company, the first overseas client for the new train, which boasts stylized interior pieces and furnishings.

JR Kyushu allowed the media to see the first three of the seven cars of what it calls the nation’s first cruise train. It will depart from, and terminate at, Hakata Station in Fukuoka, taking passengers through scenic spots in Kyushu as part of a one-night, two-day package, or a three-night, four-day package.

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Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness NewsWelcome 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

Quick Breads That Are Sweet, Savory and Whole Wheat

Olive Oil Plumm Bread photo 09recipehealth-span-articleLarge_zps0eef0c90.jpg

Savory quick breads go well with meals and they are also great for snacks. You can stir all sorts of healthy ingredients into a quick bread batter or dough – nuts of all kinds and dried fruit, and different grains like oatmeal and rye. I like to serve some savory quick breads, like the olive oil bread with figs and hazelnuts that I made this week, as hors d’oeuvres with drinks.

~Martha Ros Shulman~

Olive Oil Plum Cake

You can serve this as a dessert, a coffee cake, or a sweet snack.

Savory Oatmeal Pan Bread

A savory herb quick bread that’s baked in a pan.

Soda Bread With Walnuts and Golden Raisins

An Irish soda bread inspired by a classic, but updated to be whole wheat.

Savory Olive Oil Bread With Figs and Hazelnuts

Pepper and fennel seeds contribute spice to this nutty fruit bread.

Honey Spice Bread

This moist sweet bread doesn’t have any added fat.

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 Board: Deceptive Practices in Foreclosures

In early 2012 when five big banks settled with state and federal officials over widespread foreclosure abuses, flagrant violations – including the seizure of homes without due process – were supposed to end.

But abuses keep coming to light. Despite happy talk about a housing rebound, nearly three million homeowners are in or near foreclosure, and many continue to be victimized by improper and possibly illegal practices.

A lawsuit filed this week http://www.housingwire.com/ext… (pdf) by the attorney general of Illinois, Lisa Madigan, and a report by The Times’s Jessica Silver-Greenberg have detailed one such abuse.

Charles M. Blow: Occupy Wall Street Legacy

When Occupy Wall Street sprang up in parks and under tents, one of the many issues the protesters pressed was economic inequality. Then, as winter began to set in, the police swept the protesters away. All across the country the crowds thinned and enthusiasm waned, and eventually the movement all but dissipated.

But one of its catchphrases remained, simmering on a back burner: “We are the 99 percent.” The 99 percent were the lower-income people in this country – the rest of us – struggling to make a change, make a difference and just make a living while the stiff, arthritic grip of the top 1 percent sought to manipulate the social, political and economic levers of powers.

Glen Ford : Obama’s Humiliating Defeat

It was a strange speech, in which the real news was left for last, popping out like a Jack-in-the-Box after 11 minutes of growls and snarls and Obama’s bizarre whining about how unfair it is to be restrained from making war on people who have done you no harm. The president abruptly switched from absurd, lie-based justifications for war to his surprise announcement that, no, Syria’s turn to endure Shock and Awe had been postponed. The reader suddenly realizes that the diplomatic developments had been hastily cut and pasted into the speech, probably only hours before. Obama had intended to build the case for smashing Assad to an imperial peroration – a laying down of the law from on high. But his handlers threw in the towel, for reasons both foreign and domestic. Temporarily defeated, Obama will be back on the Syria warpath as soon as the proper false flag operations can be arranged.

Gail Collins: Back to Boehner

Back to Congressional gridlock. Back to watching John Boehner provide exciting updates like “we’re continuing to work with our members.” Maybe, if the stalemate goes on long enough, he will once again tell reporters: “If ands and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas.” I always enjoy that part.


For the last few weeks, we’ve been awash in worries about profound problems in foreign affairs, but now we’re going domestic again. We’re back in budget crisis territory. Compared with Syria, it seems like a walk in the park. Good old fiscal cliffs.

It’s possible you’ve lost track of this over the summer, so I have prepared a calendar of upcoming events. Feel free to put it on the refrigerator: [..]

Sarah van Gelder: Peace Pushes Back: How the People Won Out (For Now)

In Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other cases, the people protested and got war anyway. Why-at least, so far-has the story played out differently with Syria?

Just two weeks ago, the United States stood at the brink of yet another war. President Obama was announcing plans to order U.S. military strikes on Syria, with consequences that no one could predict.

Then things shifted. In an extraordinarily short time, the people petitioned, called their representatives in Congress, held rallies, and used social media to demand a nonviolent approach to the crisis. The march toward war slowed. [..]

If these diplomatic efforts to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles are successful, historians may look back at this as a moment when the people finally got the peace they demanded.

David Sirota: he Lessons of Colorado’s Gun Debate

The day after this week’s elections, the National Rifle Association got exactly what it wanted: a front-page New York Times story about Colorado results that supposedly sent “lawmakers across the country a warning about the political risks of voting for tougher gun laws.” That article, and many others like it, came after the gun lobby mounted successful recall campaigns against two state legislators who, in the wake of mass shootings, voted for universal background checks, limits on the capacity of bullet magazines and restrictions on domestic abusers owning firearms.

Despite the recalls being anomalously low-turnout affairs, the national media helped the gun lobby deliver a frightening message to politicians: Vote for modest gun control and face political death.

On This Day In History September 14

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.

September 14 is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 108 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this Day in 1901, U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

President and Mrs. McKinley attended the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He delivered a speech about his positions on tariffs and foreign trade on September 5, 1901. The following morning, McKinley visited Niagara Falls before returning to the Exposition. That afternoon McKinley had an engagement to greet the public at the Temple of Music. Standing in line, Leon Frank Czolgosz waited with a pistol in his right hand concealed by a handkerchief. At 4:07 p.m. Czolgosz fired twice at the president. The first bullet grazed the president’s shoulder. The second, however, went through McKinley’s stomach, pancreas, and kidney, and finally lodged in the muscles of his back. The president whispered to his secretary, George Cortelyou  “My wife, Cortelyou, be careful how you tell her, oh be careful.” Czolgosz would have fired again, but he was struck by a bystander and then subdued by an enraged crowd. The wounded McKinley even called out “Boys! Don’t let them hurt him!” because the angry crowd beat Czolgosz so severely it looked as if they might kill him on the spot.

One bullet was easily found and extracted, but doctors were unable to locate the second bullet. It was feared that the search for the bullet might cause more harm than good. In addition, McKinley appeared to be recovering, so doctors decided to leave the bullet where it was.

The newly developed x-ray machine was displayed at the fair, but doctors were reluctant to use it on McKinley to search for the bullet because they did not know what side effects it might have on him. The operating room at the exposition’s emergency hospital did not have any electric lighting, even though the exteriors of many of the buildings at the extravagant exposition were covered with thousands of light bulbs. The surgeons were unable to operate by candlelight because of the danger created by the flammable ether used to keep the president unconscious, so doctors were forced to use pans instead to reflect sunlight onto the operating table while they treated McKinley’s wounds.

McKinley’s doctors believed he would recover, and the President convalesced for more than a week in Buffalo at the home of the exposition’s director. On the morning of September 12, he felt strong enough to receive his first food orally since the shooting-toast and a small cup of coffee. However, by afternoon he began to experience discomfort and his condition rapidly worsened. McKinley began to go into shock. At 2:15 a.m. on September 14, 1901, eight days after he was shot, he died from gangrene surrounding his wounds. He was 58. His last words were “It is God’s way; His will be done, not ours.” He was originally buried in West Lawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio, in the receiving vault. His remains were later reinterred in the McKinley Memorial, also in Canton.

Czolgosz was tried and found guilty of murder, and was executed by electric chair at Auburn Prison on October 29, 1901.

BP Blowout

Friday Night at the Movies