Daily Archive: 09/06/2014

Sep 06 2014

Random Japan

 photo top2_zpsfe22ef6f.jpg

McDonald’s Japan is bringing Mushroom Risotto Balls this autumn and people couldn’t be angrier

   Master Blaster

If we’ve learnt one thing from the vast number of articles on this site, Japanese fast food chains like McDonald’s come up with some really good ideas to keep people coming to their restaurants. Regardless of whether they turn out delicious or disgusting, inventions such as the luxury burger line-up, avocado burger, and tofu nuggets are hard to ignore.

It’s gotten to the point that people in Japan may have grown too accustomed to the nice things served at fast food outlets. For example, McDonald’s recently announced their new autumn special – Mushroom Risotto Balls – and online reaction could largely be described as righteous indignation with comments like “only an idiot would eat that!”

Sep 06 2014

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s 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

Couscous Salads, Big Bowls and Casseroles

Couscous Salads, Big Bowls and Casseroles photo 03recipehealthalt-tmagArticle_zps77914b57.jpg

I took advantage of my garden’s tomato bounty and made a pasta-like dish with sautéed cherry tomatoes and a sort of eggplant Parmesan casserole with a layer of Israeli couscous at the bottom. The couscous absorbs the wonderful flavors of the tomato sauce and eggplant. I also pulled some leftover cooked beans from my freezer and tossed them with the couscous, a tomato concassé and lots of basil for a wonderful main dish salad. [..]

I’m still focused on salads as the warm weather continues. So with the half-cup of brown rice, two tablespoons of red lentils and third of a cup of barley that were lingering in the pantry, I made a main-dish mixed-grains salad with a creamy curry dressing. It’s amazing how you can make grains and legumes stretch to make a filling meal.

Israeli Couscous, Eggplant and Tomato Gratin

An eggplant Parmesan of sorts on a bed of Israeli couscous is a good way to use the fresh tomato sauce you’ve made over the summer, though canned tomatoes will work, too.

Israeli Couscous with Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

A simple, quick dish with few ingredients and lots of flavors.

Israeli Couscous, Bean and Tomato Salad

Finely chopped tomatoes seasoned with garlic, balsamic vinegar and basil serve as dressing and vegetale in this main dish salad.

Romaine Salad with Couscous Confetti

A lemony, colorful mix of chopped peppers and couscous adds substance to this romaine salad.

Brown Rice and Barley Salad with Sprouted Red Lentils and Green Beans

This hearty salad, with a creamy, spicy dressing, can be made with a number of different grains.

Sep 06 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

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Democrats, Meet the Minimum-Wage Movement

“We’re a movement now,” fast-food worker Latoya Caldwell said Wednesday of the effort by employees in her industry to raise their minimum wage to $15 per hour. That movement’s latest action was a one-day strike that took place in 150 cities across the country on Thursday. It included acts of civil disobedience that activists said led to more than 500 arrests (including that of Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore).

New York. Detroit. Kansas City. Chicago. Los Angeles. Little Rock. Atlanta. Boston. Charleston. Hartford. Miami. Philadelphia… All day long there was a sense of electricity in the air as reports came in from one city after another.

The fast-food workers’ issue, a higher minimum wage, is one most Americans understand. It is a cause, and a source of political energy, that Democrats would be wise to embrace. With the midterm elections only two months away, the Democratic Party’s prospects seem doubtful. Experts give Democrats little chance of retaking the House, and they are in grave danger of losing the Senate.

The party needs a spark, a fire, a source of inspiration. It may find those things in an embrace of the minimum wage.

Latonya Allen: Do you want someone caring for your elderly parent to make minimum wage?

I’m a home health care aide, and I joined the fast food protest because a living wage is not too much to ask

Home care workers like me do hard work but don’t get paid enough to live on – just like fast food workers. Those workers have been protesting in my state and around the country for a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour. On Thursday, I joined them because I need what they need – a living wage, benefits like paid sick leave, and the right to form a union without retaliation.

Home care workers want states, the companies we work for, and our elected officials to ensure that seniors and people with disabilities can live at home with dignity and independence. They should be cared for by trained workers, like me, who also are treated with dignity and a little appreciation for the professional service we provide. [..]

Something is wrong in America when many of the people who do essential work that makes the country run every day don’t have enough money to live on, while big companies are making billions of dollars. Whether we work in home care or fast food or some other kind of job, it’s time for us to work together and change that.

Jessica Valenti: Domestic violence is a problem we are barely managing. But we need to end it

Reporting, prosecution and incarceration haven’t eliminated intimate partner violence. Some new solutions offer women hope

Despite decades of work, activism and policy around intimate partner violence, too many women are still beaten by the men they love.

The feminist response to high-profile public cases of domestic violence – like those of Chris Brown, who was convicted for brutally beating his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, or the NFL players Ray Rice, arrested on domestic violence charges in February, and Ray McDonald, who was just arrested on felony domestic violence charges for assaulting his fiancée – is largely one of frustration. It’s aggravating to watch as the media props up abusers as “good guys”, the victim-blaming that almost always follows, and the attendant lack of punishment for those who perpetrate violence.

Steven W. Thrasher: The long walk to gay equality is the great civil-rights stumble of our time

It’s been a stop-and-start kind of year. But equality is not all court cases and headlines, because a judge doesn’t change hearts and minds. Queer people do

Between 2011 and 2013, theater educator and activist Alan Bounville walked 6,000 miles across the United States with the modest goal “to end gender and sexual orientation discrimination”. Along the way, he went through 21 pairs of shoes, but not a single state he walked through offered equality – not the marriage kind, or much of any other variety.

By the time Bounville reached New York City, however, a lot had changed. Marriage was legal in many more states than when he’d departed. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell had been repealed for gay, lesbian and bisexual service members. President Obama came out more forcefully for certain gay rights.

Now, a year after his walk and the supposedly breakthrough Doma and Prop 8 decisions at the US supreme court, Bounville isn’t especially optimistic about the state of queer rights, despite all the progress. “We aren’t changing much. We are, but we’re not,” he told me this week, the day a Louisiana judge broke a streak of same-sex marriage equality rulings – and the day before an appeals court struck down gay marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana. He emphasized violence, transphobia and economic injustice. He’s appalled schools that “still don’t have the resources, even here in New York City”, to deal with anti-gay bullying.

Dennis J. Kucinich: ISIS, Libya, NATO, and Preventing the Next 9/11

Those who call for immediate military action rarely have a long-term strategy. That is why America’s march of folly from Iraq to Libya has been a recruiting tool for jihadist forces, including ISIS.

As a member of Congress before and after 9/11, I took (and continue to take) the threat of terrorism seriously, and therefore I vociferously warned against military actions in Iraq and Libya; military actions which ultimately undermined our national security.

The West launched an attack against Libya, amid false claims about an impending massacre in Benghazi, to justify regime change. However, it was obvious to me, and a vocal minority at the time, that military strikes and the arming of unknown rebels (i.e. non-state actors: terrorists) would the result in instability, hurt innocent civilians, and create regional chaos, empowering extremists.

Lindsay Ambrams: The EPA is (finally) taking on air travel

After years of pressure, the agency took a first step toward regulating a major source of emissions

It looks like it might finally be time to start talking about the big flying elephant in the fight against climate change. Air travel, its many benefits aside, is our most carbon-intensive mode of transportation. Right now, it accounts for about 4 percent of total U.S. emissions. Globally, aircraft-related emissions are projected to rise at an alarming rate: about 3 to 4 percent annually, meaning they could quadruple by midcentury. And Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency took the first step in a process that could end in the decision to regulate those emissions, announcing its intention to study the health dangers they pose.

This is a long, long time coming. A coalition of environmental groups have been pushing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from domestic and foreign aircraft that land at U.S. airports since 2007, and have been struggling, since then, to compel the agency to take action. The EPA continued to drag its feet even after a judge found, in 2011, that it was mandated to study the effects of aircraft emissions; at the beginning of August, two groups, the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth, notified the agency of their intention to sue for a second time over its “unreasonable delay.”

Sep 06 2014

The Breakfast Club (Papa Haydn)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgIn about 1759 or so, a new musical format started taking the world (and by ‘world’ I of course mean the elite upper class courtiers of certain western European Kingdoms and Principalities) by storm called the Symphony.

These pieces were typically quite short by comparison with Operas and Sacred works and scored for Concert Orchestra or Band while excluding vocalists which made a lot of sense in that they were normally abstract and non-representational (at least during the Classic period) and used as introductory, inter-act or movement, and departure music for more ambitious compositions.

Just like Sonnets there were competing formats the oldest being the Italian and distinguished by 3 movements, typically a Presto, an Andante, and another Presto in a different key or time signature.

Later many Symphonies were composed using the ‘German’ or 4 movement style consisting of an Allegro, an Adagio, a Minuet or Scherzo, and a Rondo.  More particularly 4 movement Symphonies can be characterized as Austrian since their most popular and prolific composers were Joseph Haydn (107) and Wolfgang Mozart (47).

And that is one of the reasons they called him ‘Papa’ (Mozart died a little too young).  It’s often thought Haydn ‘invented’ the Symphony, but among others with claims there are some who composed much earlier including Tomaso Albinoni and Antonio Vivaldi.  His day gig was Kapellmeister of Esterházy and during his long term of service there he helped out a lot of musicians who were basically otherwise unemployable.  He was incredibly fecund with all manner of musical amusements (hey, when it’s deadline time you take whatever crap you got, put a -30- under it, tear it out of the typewriter and hand it to the copy boy) and was actually constantly spoofing himself with things like the Surprise Symphony and the endless ‘false’ endings which became ‘Classical’ Clichés simply because lesser lights didn’t appreciate the irony (5 minutes in the dryer, I’m telling you).

It’s not that hard to see why I identify.

The downside is that the next major musical movement, Romanticism, came to be defined in opposition to his contributions which were not nearly as sterile and stylised as his detractors claimed.  Heck, one thing he did invent was Sturm und Drang.

Oh, and he had his head stolen.

That happened about a week after the funeral and nobody noticed for 11 years.  When they did the conspirators hid it in a mattress and parked one of their wives on top claiming she was menstruating.

Ick (one of many ways of pronouncing ek) said the searchers.

Anyway the thieves came up with another skull, continued to hide the real one, and it was 145 years before Yorick was reunited.

I came across this YouTube that represents about 5% of Haydn’s total Symphonies by Opus (as opposed to duration since it covers his first 5 which are very short).

Obligatories, News, and Blogs below.

Sep 06 2014

The Breakfast Club (Papa Hadyn)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgIn about 1759 or so, a new musical format started taking the world (and by ‘world’ I of course mean the elite upper class courtiers of certain western European Kingdoms and Principalities) by storm called the Symphony.

These pieces were typically quite short by comparison with Operas and Sacred works and scored for Concert Orchestra or Band while excluding vocalists which made a lot of sense in that they were normally abstract and non-representational (at least during the Classic period) and used as introductory, inter-act or movement, and departure music for more ambitious compositions.

Just like Sonnets there were competing formats the oldest being the Italian and distinguished by 3 movements, typically a Presto, an Andante, and another Presto in a different key or time signature.

Later many Symphonies were composed using the ‘German’ or 4 movement style consisting of an Allegro, an Adagio, a Minuet or Scherzo, and a Rondo.  More particularly 4 movement Symphonies can be characterized as Austrian since their most popular and prolific composers were Joseph Haydn (107) and Wolfgang Mozart (47).

And that is one of the reasons they called him ‘Papa’ (Mozart died a little too young).  It’s often thought Haydn ‘invented’ the Symphony, but among others with claims there are some who composed much earlier including Tomaso Albinoni and Antonio Vivaldi.  His day gig was Kapellmeister of Esterházy and during his long term of service there he helped out a lot of musicians who were basically otherwise unemployable.  He was incredibly fecund with all manner of musical amusements (hey, when it’s deadline time you take whatever crap you got, put a -30- under it, tear it out of the typewriter and hand it to the copy boy) and was actually constantly spoofing himself with things like the Surprise Symphony and the endless ‘false’ endings which became ‘Classical’ Clichés simply because lesser lights didn’t appreciate the irony (5 minutes in the dryer, I’m telling you).

It’s not that hard to see why I identify.

The downside is that the next major musical movement, Romanticism, came to be defined in opposition to his contributions which were not nearly as sterile and stylised as his detractors claimed.  Heck, one thing he did invent was Sturm und Drang.

Oh, and he had his head stolen.

That happened about a week after the funeral and nobody noticed for 11 years.  When they did the conspirators hid it in a mattress and parked one of their wives on top claiming she was menstruating.

Ick (one of many ways of pronouncing ek) said the searchers.

Anyway the thieves came up with another skull, continued to hide the real one, and it was 145 years before Yorick was reunited.

I came across this YouTube that represents about 5% of Haydn’s total Symphonies by Opus (as opposed to duration since it covers his first 5 which are very short).

Obligatories, News, and Blogs below.

Sep 06 2014

The Breakfast Club (Papa Hadyn)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgIn about 1759 or so, a new musical format started taking the world (and by ‘world’ I of course mean the elite upper class courtiers of certain western European Kingdoms and Principalities) by storm called the Symphony.

These pieces were typically quite short by comparison with Operas and Sacred works and scored for Concert Orchestra or Band while excluding vocalists which made a lot of sense in that they were normally abstract and non-representational (at least during the Classic period) and used as introductory, inter-act or movement, and departure music for more ambitious compositions.

Just like Sonnets there were competing formats the oldest being the Italian and distinguished by 3 movements, typically a Presto, an Andante, and another Presto in a different key or time signature.

Later many Symphonies were composed using the ‘German’ or 4 movement style consisting of an Allegro, an Adagio, a Minuet or Scherzo, and a Rondo.  More particularly 4 movement Symphonies can be characterized as Austrian since their most popular and prolific composers were Joseph Haydn (107) and Wolfgang Mozart (47).

And that is one of the reasons they called him ‘Papa’ (Mozart died a little too young).  It’s often thought Haydn ‘invented’ the Symphony, but among others with claims there are some who composed much earlier including Tomaso Albinoni and Antonio Vivaldi.  His day gig was Kapellmeister of Esterházy and during his long term of service there he helped out a lot of musicians who were basically otherwise unemployable.  He was incredibly fecund with all manner of musical amusements (hey, when it’s deadline time you take whatever crap you got, put a -30- under it, tear it out of the typewriter and hand it to the copy boy) and was actually constantly spoofing himself with things like the Surprise Symphony and the endless ‘false’ endings which became ‘Classical’ Clichés simply because lesser lights didn’t appreciate the irony (5 minutes in the dryer, I’m telling you).

It’s not that hard to see why I identify.

The downside is that the next major musical movement, Romanticism, came to be defined in opposition to his contributions which were not nearly as sterile and stylised as his detractors claimed.  Heck, one thing he did invent was Sturm und Drang.

Oh, and he had his head stolen.

That happened about a week after the funeral and nobody noticed for 11 years.  When they did the conspirators hid it in a mattress and parked one of their wives on top claiming she was menstruating.

Ick (one of many ways of pronouncing ek) said the searchers.

Anyway the thieves came up with another skull, continued to hide the real one, and it was 145 years before Yorick was reunited.

I came across this YouTube that represents about 5% of Haydn’s total Symphonies by Opus (as opposed to duration since it covers his first 5 which are very short).

Obligatories, News, and Blogs below.

Sep 06 2014

On This Day In History September 6

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

September 6 is the 249th day of the year (250th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 116 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1995, Cal Ripken Jr of the Baltimore Orioles plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a record that stood for 56 years.

Calvin Edwin “Cal” Ripken, Jr. (born August 24, 1960) is a former Major League Baseball shortstop and third baseman who played his entire career (1981-2001) for the Baltimore Orioles.

During his baseball career, he earned the nickname “Iron Man” for doggedly remaining in the lineup despite numerous minor injuries and for his reliability to “show up” to work every day. He is perhaps best known for breaking New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played, a record many deemed unbreakable. Ripken surpassed the 56-year-old record when he played in his 2,131st consecutive game on September 6, 1995 between the Orioles and the California Angels in front of a sold-out crowd at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. To make the feat even more memorable, Ripken hit a home run in the previous night’s game that tied Gehrig’s record and another home run in his 2,131st game, which fans later voted as Major League Baseball’s “Most Memorable Moment” in MLB history. Ripken played in an additional 502 straight games over the next three years, and his streak ended at 2,632 games when he voluntarily removed his name from the lineup for the final Orioles home game of the 1998 season. His record 2,632 straight games spanned over seventeen seasons, from May 30, 1982 to September 20, 1998.

Sep 06 2014

Party at SHG- How Does It Feel?

How’s it going, Partiers? Tonight’s tunes are all about feelings, moods, emotions, you know what I mean. So, we’ll take it where ever that leads and I’ll kick it off with a few~

I Second That Emotion