12/14/2013 archive

Saturday Night Movie

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Robot Lego Pokemon are the coolest things we’ve ever seen!

  Michelle Lynn Dinh

Legos make everything better. And when those little plastic bricks are used to make some of our favorite Pokemon, the coolness goes well over 9,000. Let’s take a closer look at this awesome engineering, including a peek inside the boardable mecha-type lego Pokemon!

The mastermind behind these Poke-Legos goes by the handle “Stormbringer” on Flickr. He seems to be a Lego genius, creating numerous recognizable characters, including an entire scene from Attack on Titan completely made out of Legos. But it was his Venasaur, Charizard, and Blastoise that really caught our eye.

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

Nuts About Greens

Spaghetti with Briccoli and Walnut/Ricotta Paesto photo 11recipehealth-articleLarge_zps3b4d60a4.jpg

I was planning to devote this week’s Recipes for Health to walnuts, as the California walnut harvest took place just a few weeks ago and the walnuts I am buying in my farmers’ market couldn’t be fresher (well, they could be a little fresher – slightly moist, the way fresh, undried walnuts are sold in French produce markets. But the California growers dry their nuts before sending them to market, as the spoilage risk for moist fresh walnuts is high.) I began working on recipes, and once I had written out and begun testing I realized that each dish was a winter greens recipe that included walnuts. The two foods go wonderfully together.

Martha Rose Shulman

Mixed Grains Risotto With Kale, Walnuts and Black Quinoa

A comforting risotto with a little crunch.

Mâche and Radicchio Salad With Beets and Walnut Vinaigrette

A salad that is high in omega-3s and doesn’t need much dressing.

Spaghetti With Broccoli and Walnut/Ricotta Pesto

Small broccoli florets soak up the sauce in a delicious way in this creamy dish.

Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw With Walnuts

A briny slaw that gets its crunch from red cabbage and walnuts.

Spinach With Garlic Yogurt and Walnut Dukkah

A healthy dish inspired by a favorite Middle Eastern spinach recipe.

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

Bill Moyers: The Great American Class War

I met Supreme Court Justice William Brennan in 1987 when I was creating a series for public television called In Search of the Constitution, celebrating the bicentennial of our founding document.  By then, he had served on the court longer than any of his colleagues and had written close to 500 majority opinions, many of them addressing fundamental questions of equality, voting rights, school segregation, and — in New York Times v. Sullivan in particular — the defense of a free press. [..]

Although a liberal, he worried about the looming size of government. When he mentioned that modern science might be creating “a Frankenstein,” I asked, “How so?”  He looked around his chambers and replied, “The very conversation we’re now having can be overheard. Science has done things that, as I understand it, makes it possible through these drapes and those windows to get something in here that takes down what we’re talking about.”

That was long before the era of cyberspace and the maximum surveillance state that grows topsy-turvy with every administration.  How I wish he were here now — and still on the Court!

Richard Reeves: The Drone Next Door

The news of the day Friday included a dispatch from Saudi Arabia reporting that 11 people were killed by drone-fired missiles in a remote corner of Yemen. The story added that five days before, three men were killed in a drone attack in another part of the country.

The official story is that all the victims of the Friday strike were associated in one way or another to al-Qaida. That’s probably true, but The New York Times story was headlined: “Drone Strike in Yemen Hits Wedding Convoy, Killing 11.” [..]

The whole idea, of course, is terrifying: Air Force pilots on the ground in big leather chairs in New Mexico or outside Syracuse pushing buttons and killing people thousands of miles away, then going home for dinner. But then, so was the idea of dropping atomic bombs on Japanese cities more than 60 years ago. But the bombs undoubtedly saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of young Americans training to invade Japan.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: We Have Met the Enemy and She Is Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,” the William Butler Yeats poem begins, “And nodding by the fire …

Our culture has always been emotional — sentimental, even — about old age. So when did older people become The Enemy? Last week a judge ruled that Detroit could move forward with its plan to cut pensions for retired city workers. This week Washington is celebrating a budget deal which harms older people economically in several ways.

And a society which grows teary-eyed with each new viewing of On Golden Pond seems okay with that.

In a December 5 opinion, a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled that Detroit could go forward with its plans to cut city workers’ pensions. He did so despite a state law making such cuts illegal, and despite his observation that Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s unelected city manager, “did mislead the public about the status of pensions in bankruptcy.”

In the kind of Bizarro-world inversions common to today’s corporate-funded politics, Orr and the Republican governor who appointed him argued against the conservative principle of states’ rights in order to move forward with their plan. When principles conflict with profits, apparently profits win every time.

Eugene Robinson: The Republican Mainstream Strikes Back

The unusual display of reasonable behavior by House Republicans this week should be seen as a retreat-a change in tactics-but not a surrender. Democrats had better note the distinction.

Sooner or later, it had to dawn on the GOP that repeatedly re-enacting Pickett’s Charge was not advancing the party’s agenda or enhancing its electoral prospects. In martial terms, President Obama and the Democrats held the high ground; they were the ones visibly making an effort to govern, while Republicans did nothing but throw themselves into battles they were sure to lose.

The “fiscal cliff” showdown last December established the template: House Republicans made absolute and unrealistic demands, Obama said no, Democrats maintained their unity-and Republicans eventually caved amid bitter recriminations. This pattern held all year, through the debt-ceiling fight and the government shutdown. In each instance, I believe, Republicans could have won more concessions if they had chosen to negotiate rather than throw a tantrum.

Joe Conason: Mandela’s Crucial Lesson for America — And The Republicans Who Never Learn

Beyond the eulogies bestowed this week on the late and truly great Nelson Mandela, a visionary, revolutionary, and peacemaker, there is much for Americans to learn from the story of his vexed relationship with our country. We will forget the mistakes perpetrated in dealing with him at our own peril.

To put it simply, the same Washington figures who so wrongly coddled Pretoria’s apartheid regime three decades ago — people like Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives — now tell us, wrongly again, that the United States should abandon negotiations with Iran and continue the embargo of Cuba. (And of course these are the same experts, politicians, and pundits who promoted war against Iraq, while assuring us that the invasion would be a cheap cakewalk.)

Tony Hewman: Stop Sending Undercover Cops Into Our Schools to Entrap Our Kids on Drug Charges

Here we go again. Undercover cops pose as students, make friends, build trust, and then arrest teenagers for selling mostly small amounts of marijuana. Yesterday nearly two dozen students were busted at two southern California high-schools, according to Riverside County Sheriff officials.

Two undercover cops, a woman and a man, had been posing as students since the beginning of the year. The majority of the drug buys were small amounts of marijuana, but there were some other drugs seized including cocaine and prescription pills.

The campus was shaken yesterday, according to a story in the Press Enterprise.Students were shocked to see their friends arrested in class and left wondering who they can and cannot trust in their peer groups.

I’m disgusted by the trend of undercover cops infiltrating schools and targeting our kids. Last December, “Operation Glass House” made national news. Police officers, posed as ordinary students, were stationed in three California high schools. It led to the arrest of 22 children, the majority of whom were special needs students, including the autistic son of Doug and Catherine Snodgrass.

Democracy Now: The Capture of Nelson Mandela


On This Day In History December 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.

December 14 is the 348th day of the year (349th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 17 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1995, the Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris.

The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement, Dayton Accords, Paris Protocol or Dayton-Paris Agreement, is the peace agreement reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in November 1995, and formally signed in Paris on December 14, 1995. These accords put an end to the three and a half year long war in Bosnia, one of the armed conflicts in the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. Some articles erroneously refer to the agreement as the Treaty of Dayton.


Though the basic concepts of the Dayton Agreement began to appear in international talks since 1992, the negotiations were initiated following the unsuccessful previous peace efforts and arrangements, the August 1995 Croatian military Operation Storm and its aftermath, the government military offensive against the Republika Srpska, in concert with NATO’s Operation Deliberate Force. During September and October 1995, many of the world powers (especially the USA and Russia), gathered in the Contact Group, applied intense pressure to the leaders of the three sides to attend the negotiations in Dayton, Ohio.

The conference took place from November 1 to November 21, 1995. The main participants from the region were Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic (representing the Bosnian Serb interests due to absence of Karadzic), Croatian President Franjo Tudman, and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic with Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey.

The peace conference was led by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, and negotiator Richard Holbrooke with two Co-Chairmen in the form of EU Special Representative Carl Bildt and the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Ivanov. A key participant in the US delegation was General Wesley Clark (later to become NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) in 1997). The UK military representative was Col Arundell David Leakey (later to become Commander of EUFOR in 2005). The Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG) served as legal counsel to the Bosnian Government delegation during the negotiations.

The secure site was chosen in a bid to curb the participants’ ability to negotiate in the media rather than at the bargaining table.

After having been initiated in Dayton, Ohio on November 21, 1995 the full and formal agreement was signed in Paris, France, on December 14, 1995 also by French President Jacques Chirac, U.S. President Bill Clinton, UK Prime Minister John Major, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.

The present political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its structure of government were agreed upon as part the constitution that makes up Annex 4 of the General Framework Agreement concluded at Dayton. A key component of this was the delineation of the Inter-Entity Boundary Line, to which many of the tasks listed in the Annexes referred.

The agreement mandated a wide range of international organizations to monitor, oversee, and implement components of the agreement. The NATO-led IFOR (Implementation Force) was responsible for implementing military aspects of the agreement and deployed on the 20th December 1995, taking over the forces of the UNPROFOR.

Ironically, the chief architect of the Dayton Accord, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, died yesterday, December 13, in Washington, DC. May he rest in peace.

Friday Night at the Movies