Daily Archive: 10/26/2013

Oct 26 2013

Random Japan

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 Bring your child’s imagination to life: 3-D printed figures of children’s drawings are awesome!

Preston Phro

3-D printing is bringing us a whole new world of possibilities, from fetus replicas to Link’s adventuring weapons, and while the technology is still in development, it often seems like there’s nothing a MakerBot can’t make out of thin air.

But here’s something you probably had no idea a 3-D printer could do: Bring children’s imaginations to life.

And we don’t mean that in the Disney way either. The Osaka company 3D Remind has started offering a unique service called Rakukuri, which will delight both children and their proud parents by taking children’s scribbles and turning them into actual figures using 3-D printing! Just think how happy your children will be when they see their drawings given form in colorful plaster!

Oct 26 2013

Live Stream: Stop Watching Us Rally

Livestream: Stop Watching Us Rally

Live streaming video by Ustream

On October 26th, the 12th anniversary of the PATRIOT Act,

The full list, in order of appearance, includes:

Daniel Ellsberg, “Pentagon Papers” whistleblower

Phil Donahue, television talk-show pioneer

US Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee

David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress

Maggie Gyllenhaal, actor and activist

Oliver Stone, director of The Untold History of the United States and Nixon

John Cusack, actor and activist

Wil Wheaton, actor and writer

Molly Crabapple, artist and writer

Jesselyn Radack, U.S. Department of Justice whistleblower and national security and human rights director at the Government Accountability Project

J. Kirk Wiebe, NSA whistleblower

Mark Klein, AT&T whistleblower who revealed the telecommunications company’s collaboration with the NSA in collecting customer data

Thomas Drake, NSA whistleblower

Cindy Cohn, Legal Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Dan Choi, LGBTQ activist and Iraq War veteran

Lawrence Lessig, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School

Oct 26 2013

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

Eat Your Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli photo recipehealthpromo-tmagArticle_zpsb0164f9c.jpg

Whether you enjoy your broccoli raw or cooked, you will benefit from its many nutrients. In addition to the sulfur-containing phytonutrients that all members of the brassica family contain, broccoli is a good source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to protect the eyes against macular degeneration. It is also an excellent source of vitamins C, A, K, folate, and fiber, and a very good source of manganese, tryptophan, potassium, b-vitamins, magnesium, omega 3’s, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin E.

Broccoli, Quinoa and Purslane Salad

Slice the raw broccoli very thin for this delicious salad.

Broccoli Stem and Red Pepper Slaw

Broccoli stems are too often an afterthought. Use them in this delicious salad so they don’t go to waste.

Roasted Broccoli With Tahini Garlic Sauce

Broccoli florets remain crisp after roasting and go wonderfully with a classic and irresistible tahini garlic sauce.

Noodle Bowl With Broccoli and Smoked Trout

A filling but light meal in a bowl that works with fish or tofu.

Savory Bread Pudding With Broccoli and Goat Cheese

A comforting gratin starring steamed broccoli.

Oct 26 2013

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 thea Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Alan Grayson: Congressional oversight of the NSA is a joke. I should know, I’m in Congress

I’ve learned far more about government spying on citizens from the media than I have from official intelligence briefings

In the 1970s, Congressman Otis Pike of New York chaired a special congressional committee to investigate abuses by the American so-called “intelligence community” – the spies. After the investigation, Pike commented:

  “It took this investigation to convince me that I had always been told lies, to make me realize that I was tired of being told lies.”

I’m tired of the spies telling lies, too. [..]

Pike’s investigation initiated one of the first congressional oversight debates for the vast and hidden collective of espionage agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA). Before the Pike Commission, Congress was kept in the dark about them – a tactic designed to thwart congressional deterrence of the sometimes illegal and often shocking activities carried out by the “intelligence community”. Today, we are seeing a repeat of this professional voyeurism by our nation’s spies, on an unprecedented and pervasive scale.

Charles M. Blow: Billionaires’ Row and Welfare Lines

A report last week in The New York Times says that developers are turning 57th Street in Manhattan into “Billionaires’ Row,” with apartments selling for north of $90 million each. [..]

It’s a great time to be a rich person in America. The rich are raking it in during this recovery.

But in the shadow of their towering wealth exists a much less rosy recovery, where people are hurting and the pain grows. [..]

The number of Americans now enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is near record highs, and yet both houses of Congress have passed bills to cut funding to the program. The Senate measure would cut about $4 billion, while the House measure would cut roughly ten times as much, dropping millions of Americans from the program. [..]

There is an inherent tension – and obscenity – in the wildly divergent fortunes of the rich and the poor in this country, especially among our children. The growing imbalance of both wealth and opportunity cannot be sustained. Something has to give.

New York Times Editorial Board: N.S.A. Snooping and the Damage Done

President Obama spent this week trying to persuade America’s close allies, France and Germany, that the National Security Agency’s extensive eavesdropping in those countries is under adequate control. He was not entirely successful. His efforts to reassure President François Hollande of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany seem to have been as incomplete as the explanations the administration has given to the American public about the agency’s excessive domestic surveillance. [..]

Such surveillance undermines the trust of allies and their willingness to share the kind of confidential information needed to thwart terrorism and other threats. When the N.S.A. violates French or German law, law enforcement agencies in those nations cooperate with the agency at their own risk. There is also the more subtle damage done by the feeling that the United States plays by its own rules and respects neither the sovereignty nor the political sensibilities of some of its closest democratic allies.

Gail Collins: Roll Out the Health Care

If you’re a citizen who tries to keep up with current affairs, your latest responsibility is having a strong opinion about the troubled rollout of the health insurance marketplace.

Really makes you miss the government shutdown, doesn’t it? Try leading a lively dinner table conversation on software coding errors.

The Democrats are depressed. The Republicans enjoy pointing out that the Obamacare rollout has been a mess. But they obviously can’t pretend to be upset that people are finding it hard to sign up for a program their party wanted to kill, eviscerate and stomp into tiny pieces, which would then be fed to a tank of ravenous eels.

Well, actually, they can.

Eugene Robinson: Hail to the Washingtons

I’m a bit late to the topic, but the Washington, D.C., professional football team really ought to change its name. As encouragement for the franchise’s stubborn owner, we should just stop saying the offensive word.

The term “redskins”-it’s hard to write a column about a word without using it, I’m afraid-is a racial slur. Fans of the team, myself included, have pretended not to notice this uncomfortable fact for many years. Now we’re beginning to confront it.

The name fails the most basic tests of acceptability. Can you imagine employing it to address someone? Would you use it to describe anyone not associated with the team? If you overheard someone using the term in a non-football context, would you think more of that person or less?

The answers are obvious. To be honest, they always were.

Ralph Nader: Opting Out From the Corporate State of Surveillance

America was founded on the ideals of personal liberty, freedom and democracy. Unfortunately, mass spying, surveillance and the unending collection of personal data threaten to undermine civil liberties and our privacy rights. What started as a necessary means of reconnaissance and intelligence gathering during World War II has escalated into an out-of-control snoop state where entities both governmental and commercial are desperate for as much data as they can grab. We find ourselves in the midst of an all-out invasion on what’s-none-of-their-business and its coming from both government and corporate sources. Snooping and data collection have become big business. Nothing is out of their bounds anymore. [..]

It’s time for citizens to stand up and demand their right to privacy, which is a personal property. Mass surveillance and rampant data collection are not acceptable and should not be the status quo. Recall that there was once a time when the federal government could defend our nation without limitless access to computer records, emails, online search histories and wiretapping phone calls without open judicial authorization. Businesses could be successful without tracking and saving your shopping habits and student records were not commodities to be traded away. Why do they now do what they do? Because they can.

Oct 26 2013

On This Day In History October 26

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.

October 26 is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 66 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1881, the Earp brothers face off against the Clanton-McLaury gang in a legendary shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

On the morning of October 25, Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury came into Tombstone for supplies. Over the next 24 hours, the two men had several violent run-ins with the Earps and their friend Doc Holliday. Around 1:30 p.m. on October 26, Ike’s brother Billy rode into town to join them, along with Frank McLaury and Billy Claiborne. The first person they met in the local saloon was Holliday, who was delighted to inform them that their brothers had both been pistol-whipped by the Earps. Frank and Billy immediately left the saloon, vowing revenge.

Around 3 p.m., the Earps and Holliday spotted the five members of the Clanton-McLaury gang in a vacant lot behind the OK Corral, at the end of Fremont Street. The famous gunfight that ensued lasted all of 30 seconds, and around 30 shots were fired. Though it’s still debated who fired the first shot, most reports say that the shootout began when Virgil Earp pulled out his revolver and shot Billy Clanton point-blank in the chest, while Doc Holliday fired a shotgun blast at Tom McLaury’s chest. Though Wyatt Earp wounded Frank McLaury with a shot in the stomach, Frank managed to get off a few shots before collapsing, as did Billy Clanton. When the dust cleared, Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers were dead, and Virgil and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday were wounded. Ike Clanton and Claiborne had run for the hills.

Aftermath

The funerals for Clanton and the McLaurys (who were relatively wealthy men) were the largest ever seen in Tombstone, drawing over 2,000 people. The fear of the Cowboys caused many Tombstone residents and businesses to reconsider their calls for the mass killing of Cowboys. Although rowdy, the Cowboys brought substantial business into Tombstone.

The fear of Cowboy retribution and the potential loss of investors because of the negative publicity in large cities such as San Francisco started to turn the opinion somewhat against the Earps and Holliday. Stories that Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury were unarmed, and that Billy Clanton and Tom McLaury even threw up their hands before the shooting, now began to make the rounds. Soon, another Clanton brother (Phineas “Fin” Clanton) had arrived in town, and some began to claim that the Earps and Holliday had committed murder, instead of enforcing the law.

The Spicer hearing

After the gunfight, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday (the two men not formally employed as law officers, and the two least wounded) were charged with murder. After extensive testimony at the preliminary hearing to decide if there was enough evidence to bind the men over for trial, the presiding Justice of the Peace Wells Spicer ruled that there was not enough evidence to indict the men. Two weeks later, a grand jury followed Spicer’s finding, and also refused to indict. Spicer, in his ruling, criticized City Marshal Virgil Earp for using Wyatt and Doc as backup temporary deputies, but not for using Morgan, who had already been wearing a City Marshal badge for nine days. However, it was noted that if Wyatt and Holliday had not backed up Marshal Earp, then he would have faced even more overwhelming odds than he had, and could not possibly have survived.

The participants in later history

A few weeks following the grand jury refusal to indict, Virgil Earp was shot by hidden assailants from an unused building at night – a wound causing him complete loss of the use of his left arm. Three months later Morgan Earp was murdered by a shot in the back in Tombstone by men shooting from a dark alley.

After these incidents, Wyatt, accompanied by Doc Holliday and several other friends, undertook what has later been called the Earp vendetta ride in which they tracked down and killed the men whom they believed had been responsible for these acts. After the vendetta ride, Wyatt and Doc left the Arizona Territory in April, 1882 and parted company, although they remained in contact.

Billy Claiborne was killed in a gunfight in Tombstone in late 1882, by gunman Franklin Leslie.

Ike Clanton was caught cattle rustling in 1887, and shot dead by lawmen while resisting arrest.

Later in 1887, just over six years from the time of the O.K. fight, Doc Holliday died of tuberculosis in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, aged 36.

Virgil Earp served as the “Town Marshal,” hired by the Southern Pacific RR, in Colton, California. He lived without the use of his arm, although continued as a lawman in California, and died of pneumonia at age 62 in 1905, still on the job as a peace officer.

Johnny Behan failed even to be re-nominated by his own party for the sheriff race in 1882, and never again worked as a lawman, spending the rest of his life at various government jobs, dying in Tucson of natural causes at age 67 in 1912.

Wyatt Earp, the last survivor of the fight, traveled across the western frontier for decades in the company of Josephine Marcus, working mostly as a gambler, and eventually died in Los Angeles of infection, in 1929, at the age of 80.

A legacy of questions

The issue of fault at the O.K. Corral shooting has been hotly debated over the years. To this day, Pro-Earp followers view the gunfight as a struggle between “Law-and-order” against out-of-control Cowboys; Pro-Clanton/McLaury followers view it as a political vendetta and abuse of authority.

A recent attempt to reinvestigate part of the matter aired on an episode of Discovery Channel’s Unsolved History using modern technology to re-enact the shotgun shooting which was part of the incident. However, the re-enactment did not use 19th century period technology (a late 19th century shotgun messenger type short shotgun, brass cases, black powder). The episode concluded that Doc Holliday may have triggered the fight by cocking both barrels of his shotgun, but was likely not the first shooter.

In April 2010, original transcripts of witness statements were rediscovered in Bisbee, Arizona, and are currently being preserved and digitized. Photocopies of these documents have been available to researchers since 1960, and new scans of them will be made available for public viewing online.

Oct 26 2013

Blowback Deux

As Europe erupts over US spying, NSA chief says government must stop media

Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian

Friday 25 October 2013 15.22 EDT

There are three points worth making about these latest developments.

  • First, note how leaders such as Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted with basic indifference when it was revealed months ago that the NSA was bulk-spying on all German citizens, but suddenly found her indignation only when it turned out that she personally was also targeted. That reaction gives potent insight into the true mindset of many western leaders.
  • Second, all of these governments keep saying how newsworthy these revelations are, how profound are the violations they expose, how happy they are to learn of all this, how devoted they are to reform. If that’s true, why are they allowing the person who enabled all these disclosures – Edward Snowden – to be targeted for persecution by the US government for the “crime” of blowing the whistle on all of this?…
  • Third, is there any doubt at all that the US government repeatedly tried to mislead the world when insisting that this system of suspicionless surveillance was motivated by an attempt to protect Americans from The Terrorists™? Our reporting has revealed spying on conferences designed to negotiate economic agreements, the Organization of American States, oil companies, ministries that oversee mines and energy resources, the democratically elected leaders of allied states, and entire populations in those states.

Can even President Obama and his most devoted loyalists continue to maintain, with a straight face, that this is all about Terrorism? That is what this superb new Foreign Affairs essay by Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore means when it argues that the Manning and Snowden leaks are putting an end to the ability of the US to use hypocrisy as a key weapon in its soft power.

Speaking of an inability to maintain claims with a straight face, how are American and British officials, in light of their conduct in all of this, going to maintain the pretense that they are defenders of press freedoms and are in a position to lecture and condemn others for violations? In what might be the most explicit hostility to such freedoms yet – as well as the most unmistakable evidence of rampant panic – the NSA’s director, General Keith Alexander, actually demanded Thursday that the reporting being done by newspapers around the world on this secret surveillance system be halted (Techdirt has the full video here).

Oct 26 2013

Friday Night at the Movies

Oct 26 2013

What’s Cooking: Fried Green Tomatoes

Green Tomaotes photo 0608_recipe_green_tomatoes_zpscfa26172.jpgThe night is coming earlier and the air is cooler, crisper. In many places the leaves have already fallen off the trees. It’s the end of the growing season, the final harvest is at hand and all those tomato plants are now starting to look a little rangy but are still laden with unripe tomatoes, green tomatoes. Don’t let them got to waste. Now is the best time for Fried Green Tomatoes, traditionally a Southern recipe but versions of the dish are also found in the more northern states. In Louisiana, fried green tomatoes are served with cold tart rémoulade sauce.

This is the basic southern version of Fried Green Tomatoes substituting vegetable oil in place of bacon fat.

Fried Green Tomatoes photo 242647_zpsbfe8b2eb.jpgIngredients:

  • 4 large, firm green tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or pimentón (a Spanish smoked paprika, available at latienda.com)
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil

Preparation:

  1. Sprinkle the tomato slices with the salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. Combine the cornmeal and paprika in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs.
  3. Cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with 1/2 inch of oil, then place it over medium-high heat.
  4. Coat the tomato slices in the egg, then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture.
  5. Fry as many tomatoes as fit comfortably in the pan until nicely browned, about 2 minutes a side.
  6. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined platter. Repeat until all the tomatoes are cooked.

Now if you have some firm sandwich bread, toast it on one side under the broiler until golden brown. Fry up some bacon until crisp. Then take some fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, a few washed and dried basil leaves, the crispy and several slices of the Fried Green Tomatoes and layer in the untoasted side of the bread. Slather you favorite sandwich dressing and top with another slice of the toasted bread, toasted side up. Voila! A Fried Green Tomato BLT.

If you want to go Creole, you can top it with a spicy rémoulade sauce that’s a favorite in New Orleans where the sizzling Fried Green Tomatoes are top with the sauce and chilled cooked shrimp. Rémoulade is a great substitute for tartar sauce. too.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Rémoulade photo fried-green-tomatoes-with-shrimp-re_zps42e37c45.jpgIngredients:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 2 teaspoons drained tiny capers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 scallion (3 inches of green left on), very thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Set aside, covered, in the refrigerator.

Makes one cup.

So get out there and harvest those green tomatoes.

Bon Appétit