Daily Archive: 01/11/2014

Jan 11 2014

2014 Throwball Conference Playoffs: Saints @ Seahawks

The Seahawks have the loudest stadium in the NFL.  The Saints at least have some experience playing in it though their last result wasn’t exactly outstanding, a 7 – 34 loss.

There are lots of sentimental reasons to root for the Saints, but all the smart money is on the Seahawks as you would expect from the top seed in the NFC.  You might argue that a short week is a disadvantage though is just as likely that the bye week is a greater liability.

The Seahawks are a straight expansion team founded in 1976 and there’s no particular reason to hate them (unless you’re a ‘9ers fan).  The Who Dats are another expansion from 1967 and after years of obscure futility started to show some life after Katrina under Quarterback Drew Brees.

Jan 11 2014

Random Japan

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Instant boyfriend and girlfriend curry pouches now on sale, shopkeepers “worried”

   Master Blaster

Strolling up and down the aisles of any supermarket in Japan, you are bound to come across several items in sealed vinyl retort pouches. Retort pasta sauce, retort rice porridge, and retort cat food can all be found freshly sealed and ready for quick heating if needed.

Now, all the hassle of landing a boyfriend or girlfriend has been removed, thanks to Retort Boyfriend (Retoruto Kareshi) and Retort Girlfriend (Retoruto Kanojo). Sounds great, but the new product has caused some, like the manager of the Village Vanguard shop pictured above, to become “worried about the future of Japan.”

Jan 11 2014

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

Tonics and Teas

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Last week, in the course of cleaning out my office and downsizing my cookbook library, I came across an interesting book called “Tonics” by Robert A. Barnett. The book is a collection of recipes, not just for liquid tonics, but for all sorts of dishes made with foods and herbs thought to improve well being.

It was a rare cold day in Los Angeles and I was inspired by the book to make some tonics of my own: hot infusions made with ingredients I had on hand in my pantry and produce basket. I brewed and tasted, and thought of the founders of Celestial Seasonings tea company, who in the late 1960s and early ’70s had come up with such household favorites as Red Zinger and Sleepytime Tea doing just what I was doing.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Barberry and Orange Tea

A delicious drink made with sour, zingy, vitamin C-rich dried fruit.

Rose Petal and Vanilla Tea

A sweet infusion made with just water and three ingredients.

Meyer Lemon and Ginger Infusion With Turmeric and Cayenne

You might want to reach for this tea if you feel a sore throat coming on.

Dried Apricot, Cherry and Cranberry Infusion

Simmering dried fruit with some sweet spices results in a great beverage for a snowy day.

Coconut Ginger Tea With Lime, Honey and Turmeric

The smell of coconut inspired this infusion.

Jan 11 2014

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

Dave Johnson: New Fast-Track Bill Means Higher Trade Deficits and Lost Jobs

Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Representative Dave Camp (R-Mich.) have officially introduced fast-track trade authority legislation in Congress. Fast track is a process that bypasses Congress’ constitutional role in the treaty process. Fast track prohibits amendments to a trade treaty, limits Congress’ right to debate and requires an up-or-down vote (even though Senate Republicans have filibustered more than 400 other times since President Obama took office) within 90 days of the treaty coming before the Congress.

A number of Democrats as well as Republicans in the House have already stated objections to the fast-track process, so the bill faces an uphill battle. But the giant multinational corporations will push very hard to get this. [..]

Note that fast track is not necessary to pass trade agreements. Even without fast track, President Clinton was able to implement more than 130 trade agreements, including granting most-favored-nation status to China. This is all about setting up a process that enables the giant multinational corporations to push through the coming Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Joe Conason: Fighting Poverty the Republican Way, With Fresh (and Not-So-Fresh) Ideas

Listening to Republican politicians these days as they talk (and talk and talk) about poverty and inequality can be a poignant experience. They want us to know they’re worried about the diminishing economic prospects confronted by so many Americans. They hope we will admire their shiny new solutions. And they are so eager for us to believe they care.

But however concerned these Republican worthies may be, they still insist on promoting the same exhausted and useless ideas favored by their party for decades. The sad result is that almost nobody believes that they care at all-and their “anti-poverty initiatives” tend to be dismissed, with a snicker, as public relations rather than public policy.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Chris Christie Is the True Face of the Republican Party

Some Republicans are claiming Chris Christie isn’t really one of them. Some pundits are claiming, even as scandal erupts around him, that he’s a “different kind of Republican.” He’s more than that: He is the archetypal Republican, the incarnation of its arrogant, corporatist soul. [..]

It’s true that Republicans are hypocritical in word and deed. But while they may be false to an ideology, they’re always true to their mission: to promote and serve the interests of big corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals. And when it comes to that agenda, all of them — the Chris Christies as well as the Paul Ryans — are as extremist as the political climate will permit. Whether the subject is taxation, “corporate personhood,” or the future of the planet, there’s no room for either moderation or ideology in the service of corporate goals.

Eugene Robinson: Hard to See the Victim Here

You know a politician is having a bad day when he has to stand before a news conference and plead, “I am who I am, but I am not a bully.”

Frankly, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was unconvincing on that score Thursday as he attempted to contain a widening abuse-of-power scandal. Moreover, Christie displayed a degree of egocentrism that can only be described as stunning. His apologies would have sounded more sincere if he hadn’t portrayed himself as the real victim. [..]

That was the central message of Christie’s two-hour performance before reporters: I was betrayed by people I trusted. I’m the victim here. [..]

If voters see Christie’s pugnacious, in-your-face political persona as refreshing, he has a big future. If they see it as thuggish, he doesn’t. In that sense, you’re right, Governor. This is all about you.

David Sirota: Reefer Sanity Takes Hold in Colorado

Seven years before legal marijuana went on sale this month in my home state of Colorado, the drug warriors in President George W. Bush’s administration released an advertisement that is now worth revisiting. [..]

Why is this spot worth revisiting? Because in light of what’s happening here in Colorado, the ad looks less like a scary warning than a reassuringly accurate prophecy. Indeed, to paraphrase the ad, for all the sky-will-fall rhetoric about legalization, there haven’t been piles of dead bodies and overdoses. Nothing like that has happened since we started regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol.

Jan 11 2014

A Walk Across New Hampshire For Aaron

Aaron Swartz photo imagesqtbnANd9GcSri_QsacSc5jhQFcunN_zps1a2d5300.jpg Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of Aaron Swartz, the computer coder and Internet freedom activist, who committed suicide while facing prosecution on federal hacking charges. So, today, in Aaron’s memory and for the causes he believed in, Harvard University Professor Lawrence Lessig is walking across New Hampshire

He is trying to build a coalition called New Hampshire Rebellion to fight the corrupting influence of money in politics ahead of the crucial 2016 presidential primary in the state. [..]

Lessig said it was a conversation with Swartz that propelled him to shift the focus of his work from Internet freedom to political corruption in 2007.

“He said to me, ‘Why are you wasting your time working on these Internet issues or these copyright issues, when you know that none of the ideas you’re pushing would ever be addressed because of the political system?'” Lessig recalled.

Lessig is asking supporters to join him as he walks across New Hampshire in segments — 10 miles on Saturday, 20 miles on Sunday, more down the road — to reach out to voters. His walk also will honor the work of Doris Haddock, more commonly known as Granny D, the New Hampshire political activist who advocated campaign finance reform until her death in 2010 at age 100.

Aaron’s Walk: The New Hampshire Rebellion

By Lawrence Lessig, Huffington Post

A year ago tomorrow, Aaron Swartz left. He had wound us all up, pointed us in a million directions, we were all working as hard as we could, moving things forward. And then he was gone. [..]

I wanted to find a way to mark this day. I wanted to feel it, as physically painful as it was emotionally painful one year ago, and every moment since. So I am marking it with the cause that he convinced me to take up seven years ago and which I am certain he wanted to make his legacy too.

On Saturday, we begin a walk across the state of New Hampshire, to launch a campaign to bring about an end to the system of corruption that we believe infects DC. This is the New Hampshire Rebellion.

Fifteen years after New Hampshire’s Doris Haddock (aka, “Granny D”), at 88, began her famous walk from LA to DC with the sign “CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM” on her chest, a dozen or so of us will start to walk in Dixville Notch, NH, the place the first 2016 presidential ballots will be cast. For two weeks, with more than 100 joining us along the way, we will walk south across New Hampshire, ending up in Nashua, NH, on the day Granny D was born.

Along the way, we will recruit everyone we can to do one thing: We want them to ask every presidential candidate at every event between now and January 2016, this one question: “How will YOU end the system of corruption in DC?” [..]

You can help. Please help. You can still join the walk. You can spread the word of the walk (tweet #NHRWalk linked to nhrebellion.org). You can sign a petition from wherever you are to push the candidates to answer this one question. Or, with just a few clicks, you can send support that will help this movement grow.

For Aaron

Jan 11 2014

You Are What You Eat

Imagine if you will a life with no pain, all your physical needs taken care of, never hungry or cold, all your wants provided for, and no thinking involved.

Because you have no cerebral cortex to feel pain or hunger or cold signals with or to think with.


Cramped cages. Extreme temperatures. Filthy surroundings. No doubt about it: Our industrial food system treats animal welfare as an afterthought. As a commentary on today’s “modern” farming, a London architecture student has created a thought-provoking design for a chicken farm that strips the birds of their mobility-and their brains.

Royal College of Art student André Ford created the installation, dubbed The Centre for Unconscious Farming. It’s a pretty grim affair, made of a massive steel frame that would contain up to 1,000 birds. In it the chickens are completely immobilized-their feet are removed (to save space), and the birds receive food, water and oxygen through an intricate network of tubes. In order to eliminate the suffering that chickens would face under such conditions, Ford proposes that the birds’ cerebral cortex be removed, leaving the brain stem (and key homeostatic functions) intact. The chickens would continue to grow, but would basically spend their lives in a coma.

More:  Are Brainless Chickens the Solution to Animal Cruelty?

Jan 11 2014

On This Day In History January 11

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.

January 11 is the 11th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 354 days remaining until the end of the year (355 in leap years).

On January 11, 1908, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt declares the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument.

Though Native Americans lived in the area as early as the 13th century, the first European sighting of the canyon wasn’t until 1540, by members of an expedition headed by the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. Because of its remote and inaccessible location, several centuries passed before North American settlers really explored the canyon. In 1869, geologist John Wesley Powell led a group of 10 men in the first difficult journey down the rapids of the Colorado River and along the length of the 277-mile gorge in four rowboats.

By the end of the 19th century, the Grand Canyon was attracting thousands of tourists each year. One famous visitor was President Theodore Roosevelt, a New Yorker with a particular affection for the American West. After becoming president in 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley, Roosevelt made environmental conservation a major part of his presidency. After establishing the National Wildlife Refuge to protect the country’s animals, fish and birds, Roosevelt turned his attention to federal regulation of public lands. Though a region could be given national park status–indicating that all private development on that land was illegal–only by an act of Congress, Roosevelt cut down on red tape by beginning a new presidential practice of granting a similar “national monument” designation to some of the West’s greatest treasures.

Grand Canyon National Park became a national park in 1919. So famous is this landmark to modern Americans that it seems surprising that it took more than thirty years for it to become a national park. President Theodore Roosevelt visited the rim in 1903 and exclaimed: “The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison–beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world …. Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”

Despite Roosevelt’s enthusiasm and his strong interest in preserving land for public use, the Grand Canyon was not immediately designated as a national park. The first bill to create Grand Canyon National Park had been introduced in 1882 and again in 1883 and 1886 by Senator Benjamin Harrison. As President, Harrison established the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve in 1893. Theodore Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon Game Preserve by proclamation in 1906 and Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908. Senate bills to establish a national park were introduced and defeated in 1910 and 1911; the Grand Canyon National Park Act was finally signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. The National Park Service, which had been established in 1916, assumed administration of the park.

The creation of the park was an early success of the environmental conservation movement; its National Park status may have helped thwart proposals to dam the Colorado River within its boundaries. (Lack of this fame may have enabled Glen Canyon Dam to be built upriver, flooding Glen Canyon and creating Lake Powell.) In 1975, the former Marble Canyon National Monument, which followed the Colorado River northeast from the Grand Canyon to Lee’s Ferry, was made part of Grand Canyon National Park. In 1979, UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site.

The Grand Canyon itself, including its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for the combination of large size, depth, and the exposed layering of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times. It was created through the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries after the Colorado Plateau was uplifted and the Colorado River system developed along its present path.