07/05/2014 archive

Random Japan

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Tokyo Disneyland Hotel adding new rooms that let you stay with Alice, Belle, and Cinderella

   Casey Baseel

With Japan’s love of travel and fictional characters, it was really only a matter of time before hotels started offering rooms based on popular animated franchises. You can always count on Disney to have its finger on the pulse of travelers, and sure enough the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel has a block of rooms decorated with the cast of its classic films.

It’s been six years since the hotel opened, though, and management has decided it could use a little sprucing up, So next year the character rooms are being renovated, with some returning favorites getting new amenities plus the hotel debut of a few more.

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

Adopt a Bean and Cook With It

Adopt a Bean and Cook With It photo 01recipehealth-tmagArticle_zpsaf35634e.jpg

This week I cooked up two simple pots of beans using two varieties: a somewhat large, roundish dark reddish-brown mottled bean called Good Mother Stallard, and a gorgeous black and white mottled bean, a little larger than standard black beans, called vaqueros. All I did was add a quartered onion, a few minced cloves of garlic, and plenty of salt to the soaked beans; I didn’t even sauté the onion and garlic first.

I cooked the beans in their soaking water, simmering them for about one and a half to two hours, and ended up with deeply flavored, plush beans that really could have stood alone. In fact, the following day – and beans are always better on the following day – I just snipped a little bit of cilantro into the broth and enjoyed them just so; they were even good cold.

Martha Rise Shulman

Two-Bean and Tuna Salad

This is the most amazing version of tuna and bean salad I’ve ever tasted, thanks to Good Mother Stallard beans.

Big Bowl With Spicy Brown Bean, Squash and Corn Succotash

This version of succotash is lima-bean-free, with a kick that is a lively contrast to the sweet corn.

Tostadas With Smashed Black Beans or Vaqueros, Salsa Fresca and Avocado

Refried heirloom vaquero beans add a special touch to these tostadas, but black beans work, too.

Arugula and Corn Salad With Roasted Red Peppers and White Bean

Canned beans can also be used in this composed salad with a base of sweet corn and pungent arugula.

Orecchiette With Fresh and Dried Beans and Tomatoes

Once the beans are done, this pasta dish takes only 15 minutes.

Thank Democrats

Got NDAA? Thank democrats. Got a collapsed economy? Thank democrats. Got Obama? Thank democrats.

Going back to Iraq? Thank democrats. It’s not a war, you’re just bombing kids? Thank democrats.

Don’t have a republican in the white house so you don’t have to pretend for years to be opposed to all the reeking republican neocon assholianist crap the democrat in the white house does? Thank the democrat in the white house.

Got unprecedented deportations? Thank democrats. Got unprecedented oil drillling? Thank democrats. Got unprecedented persecution of whistleblowers? Thank democrats.

Got Chained CPI? Thank democrats. Got TPP? Thank democrats. Got XL Keystone Pipeline? Thank democrats. Got NDAA on steroids? Thank democrats.

Got a collapsing climate and global ecology? Thank democrats.  

World Cup 2014: Quarter Finals Day 2

Yesterday’s 2014 World Cup Quarter Final matches saw Brazil and Germany advance to the semi-finals, sending France and Columbia home. They will meet each other on Tuesday July 8. The match between Brazil and Columbia was more rough and tumble than the statistics showed, with the referees failing to control the game. As a result, Brazil lost a key player, Neymar, when in the 87th minute of play, a Colombian player, Juan Camilo Zuniga, planted his knee in Neymar’s back fracturing a vertebrae. The penalty? None. Columbia was not the only side playing very rough, so was Brazil and the referees did little to stop it.

So what happened to Neymar? How did the face of this tournament end up in a hospital? Brazilian fans will not like to hear it, but while Zuniga was directly responsible for causing Neymar’s injury, Neymar’s teammates – specifically Fernandinho, though there were others – as well as the referee, Carlos Velasco Carballo, deserve their share of the blame, too. They did not commit the crime, but they contributed to an environment of lawlessness that led to Neymar being battered.

If that sounds harsh, consider that Brazil’s coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, made a point of saying before the game that there was no historical rivalry between Brazil and Colombia and that games between the teams are “friendly matches.” Thiago Silva, the captain, said that playing against Colombia’s considerable skill players would make for a cleaner, more fluid game.

Yet from the first minute it appeared that Brazil was determined to play the game cynically, tripping and pushing and kicking at Colombia’s players, especially James Rodriguez, the team’s wunderkind scorer. Colombia, on the other hand, seemed almost deferential at first. When Neymar went off on a spirited run six minutes into the game, the Colombian defenders did little to try to knock him off stride, let alone scythe him to the ground as previous opponents had done. He ran freely.

When Rodriguez went to claim the ball a few minutes later, however, Brazil’s Oscar ran right into Rodriguez’s back as if to make clear to the Colombian that no space on the Fortaleza field would be a safe space. Rodriguez’s teammates were understandably upset, but there was no retaliation – the feeling of violence in the game, especially early on, came almost exclusively from Brazil.

Two minutes after Oscar’s foul, Marcelo blasted the Colombian midfielder Juan Cuadrado. Three minutes after that, Fernandinho, a midfielder who often plays with an edge, slammed into Rodriguez again. Velasco Carballo blew his whistle and called a foul but did not show Fernandinho a yellow card.

And on and on it went to the end. There was a lot of media criticism, heaped mostly on the referees, and rightfully so. Hopefully this isn’t a harbinger of the game on Tuesday or today’s matches.

Speaking of today’ matches for the second day of the 2014 Quarter Finals, first up at Noon EDT is Argentina and Belgium, who are pretty evenly matched as far as player strength and scoring goes. All of their previous games were missing the drama of yellow and red cards.

Costa Rica is considered the underdog in its match against the Netherlands, whose players are considered bullies, especially their star, Arjen Robben, known for his foul creating theatrics.

ABC and ESPN are juggling the matches with the tennis world’s Wimbledon Women’s and Men’s Finals. The Argentina – Belgium match is being shown on ABC with coverage starting at 11:30 and the game beginning at Noon. ESPN takes over for the Costa Rica – Netherlands game starting at 3:30 with kick-off at 4 PM. All times EDT.

The Breakfast Club (1812)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgDid I tell you I spent a summer at Boston University ‘studying’ Journalism?

Perhaps that’s too strong a word though my professor was an actual practicing Journalist and I learned a lot from him, maybe more than he realized at the time since I was by all outward appearances a slacker who spent my days playing Dungeons and Dragons and my nights at Franken’Furters drinking every beer known in the world alphabetically and watching silent movies.

It was there I picked up my first stalker, a guy who had a 500 page manuscript of the Doctor meeting every other science fictional character ever which he would shove under my door in under door shovable installments with a yellow post-it that had a crudely drawn cartoon bomb pasted on top.

I was nice to him, once…, well actually continuously, because I’d really read them and then return them sans post-it by leaving them stuck to my dorm room door while I was in fact about as far away as the T would take me.

Unlike my stalker I had friends, wierd friends, but friends and on a day that was not the 4th of July we went down to the Esplanade to watch the Pops do a recycle.

I suppose it was the weather but our evening was hardly better.  We were able to park ourselves in the front row and could barely see the Shell.  The fireworks mere thumps and splashes of light in the fog.  It wasn’t actually raining but we were happy enough to duck into a pizza joint near Copley where I heard this song for the first time and knew that Disco was dead Jim dead.

Oh, 1812.  Well Journalism is just the first draft of History and I was never an English major, no market for it.

I still have somewhere in my dusty vault Antal Doráti’s 1954 Mercury recording with the overdubbed West Point cannon and satanically reversed Yale Carillon.  Other than the thumps it’s hard to point out why it’s a 4th of July staple.  The piece is even internally inconsistent, La Marseillaise was banned in 1805 (for those of you who consider time stamps important) and there was no ‘official’ Russian anthem until 1815.  This is the kind of trivia that makes you a Cliff Clavin Jeopardy wiz so pay attention.

It was personally conducted by Tchaikovsky in 1891 at the opening of Carnegie Hall in New York City.

So this is how sausage is made-

Wars on the other hand…

Asia is huge and to think you can take out a whole people by merely conquering a few cities is folly.

They live here.  Eventually you will go away,

Napoleon wasted his entire Army and Empire on that.  I was a History Major and those who do not remember are condemned to repeat.

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.

Requiem for a Nun Act 1, scene 3

Obligatories and news below.

On This Day In History July 5

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.

Click on images to enlarge.

July 5 is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 179 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1937, Spam, the luncheon meat, is introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.

Spam (officially trademarked as SPAM) is a canned precooked meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation. The labeled ingredients in the classic variety of Spam are chopped pork shoulder meat, with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, and sodium nitrite as a preservative. Spam’s gelatinous glaze, or aspic, forms from the cooling of meat stock. The product has become part of many jokes and urban legends about mystery meat, which has made it part of pop culture and folklore.

Varieties of Spam include Spam Classic, Spam Hot & Spicy, Spam Less Sodium, Spam Lite, Spam Oven Roasted Turkey, Hickory Smoked, Spam with real Hormel Bacon, Spam with Cheese, and Spam Spread. Availability of these varieties varies regionally.

Spam that is sold in North America, South America, and Australia is produced in Austin, Minnesota, (also known as Spam Town USA) and in Fremont, Nebraska. Spam for the UK market is produced in Denmark by Tulip under license from Hormel. Spam is also made in the Philippines and in South Korea. In 2007, the seven billionth can of Spam was sold. On average, 3.8 cans are consumed every second in the United States.

Name origin

Introduced on July 5, 1937, the name “Spam” was chosen when the product, whose original name was far less memorable (Hormel Spiced Ham), began to lose market share. The name was chosen from multiple entries in a naming contest. A Hormel official once stated that the original meaning of the name “Spam” was “Shoulder of Pork and Ham”. According to writer Marguerite Patten in Spam – The Cookbook, the name was suggested by Kenneth Daigneau, an actor and the brother of a Hormel vice president, who was given a $100 prize for creating the name. At one time and persisting to this day in certain books, the theory behind the nomenclature of Spam was that the name was a portmanteau of “Spiced Meat and Ham”. According to the British documentary-reality show “1940s House”, when Spam was offered by the United States to those affected by World War II in the UK, Spam stood for “Specially Processed American Meats”. Yesterday’s Britain, a popular history published by Reader’s Digest in 1998 (p. 140), unpacks Spam as “Supply Pressed American Meat” and describes it as an imported “wartime food” of the 1940s.

Many jocular backronyms have been devised, such as “Something Posing As Meat”, “Specially Processed Artificial Meat”, “Stuff, Pork and Ham”, “Spare Parts Animal Meat” and “Special Product of Austin Minnesota”.

According to Hormel’s trademark guidelines, Spam should be spelled with all capital letters and treated as an adjective, as in the phrase “SPAM luncheon meat”.

Le Tour 2014: Prolog

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.  Oh, did I mention I’m totally overwhelmed today?

My thawing hamburger waits next to my Hummel hot dog and will no doubt turn rancid as I sleep off the effort it’s taken me to arrive at this point, not that I’m complaining- I chose this life and it’s little enough compared to those that truly suffer (I’ll take that hair shirt and scourge now please).

What is immediately notable is that the first two stages take place in England and the 3rd in Brittany over the slick cobblestones that have wrecked many a rider.  Le Tour strives to be exciting and this race promises to be exactly that, but more later.

It’s really July 2nd.

The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro

by Frederick Douglass

July 5, 1852

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable- and the difficulties to he overcome in getting from the latter to the former are by no means slight. That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude. You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence I will proceed to lay them before you.

God speed the year of jubilee

The wide world o’er!

When from their galling chains set free,

Th’ oppress’d shall vilely bend the knee,

And wear the yoke of tyranny

Like brutes no more.

That year will come, and freedom’s reign.

To man his plundered rights again


God speed the day when human blood

Shall cease to flow!

In every clime be understood,

The claims of human brotherhood,

And each return for evil, good,

Not blow for blow;

That day will come all feuds to end,

And change into a faithful friend

Each foe.

(h/t Black Agenda Report)

Full text below.

Party at SHG- Get This Party Started

Hello Party People, and happy 4th of July! Tonight at the Party you might think we would be featuring tunes about freedom or independence or whatnot…nah! Tonight we will be posting tunes by artists who are losing more of their freedom by the day–females! Shall we get this Party started?

Get This Party Started