Daily Archive: 10/04/2014

Oct 04 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.

This week’s digest is abbreviated since I’ll be traveling this week.

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

Smoothies, Hold the Dairy

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I’ve been giving some thought to dairy-free, not-too-sweet smoothies. I usually use yogurt or buttermilk in my smoothies, but this week I wanted to make some drinks using almond milk and coconut milk. I looked around for some brands that tasted good to me (and I did need to look around), and found some great almond milk made with just about only almonds and water (it has less than 2 percent added ingredients but no sweeteners). For the others, I wanted to use coconut milk, not coconut water, which I think tastes pretty bad no matter how good for you it’s supposed to be. I used light coconut milk in conjunction with almond milk in a few of this week’s smoothies.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Berry Coconut Almond Smoothie

Cinnamon is the secret ingredient in this rich berry smoothie.

Banana Oatmeal Almond Smoothie

Oatmeal bulks up this smoothie, making it more filling.

Frozen Strawberry-Coconut Smoothie With Pomegranate Molasses

Fruity pomegranate molasses is the perfect sweetener for this thick strawberry smoothie.

Peach Almond Smoothie

Peaches and almonds are closely related and make a great match in this not-too-sweet smoothie.

Cantaloupe-Lime Agua Fresca With Chia Seeds

A light, refreshing blender drink that is sweet and a little bit tart.

Oct 04 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

Glenn Greenwald: After Feigning Love for Egyptian Democracy, US Back To Openly Supporting Tyranny

It is, of course, very difficult to choose the single most extreme episode of misleading American media propaganda, but if forced to do so, coverage of the February, 2011 Tahrir Square demonstrations in Egypt would be an excellent candidate. For weeks, U.S. media outlets openly positioned themselves on the side of the demonstrators, depicting the upheaval as a Manichean battle between the evil despot Hosni Mubarak’s “three decades of iron rule” and the hordes of ordinary, oppressed Egyptians inspirationally yearning for American-style freedom and democracy.

Almost completely missing from this feel-good morality play was the terribly unpleasant fact that Mubarak was one of the U.S. Government’s longest and closest allies and that his “three decades of iron rule” – featuring murder, torture and indefinite detention for dissidents – were enabled in multiple ways by American support. [..]

During the gushing coverage of the Tahrir protests, Americans were told almost none of this (just as most Arab Spring coverage generally omitted long-standing U.S. support for most of the targeted tyrants in the region). Instead, they were led to believe that the U.S. political class was squarely on the side of democracy and freedom in Egypt, heralding Obama’s statement that Egyptians have made clear that “nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day.”

That pro-democracy script is long forgotten, as though it never existed. The U.S. political and media class are right back to openly supporting military autocracy in Egypt as enthusiastically as they supported the Mubarak regime.

Naomi Klein: Yep, the Strawmen Do Keep Coming

Recently, people have been telling me that capitalists are investing lots of money in renewable energy, or that some companies have decided to reduce their environmental impact out of self-interest.

Thanks for the info, guys.

But again, I thought it might be useful to point these people to my book – y’know, since they clearly haven’t read it yet. [..]

It’s one thing to say that forward-thinking businesses can make a positive contribution to solving the climate crisis (surely they can). But it’s quite another thing to say that voluntary initiatives can get us to zero carbon in a couple decades.

David Sirota: Why Economic Inequality Is Not a Bigger Political Issue

If critics of income inequality are wondering why the growing gap between rich and poor hasn’t been a more potent political issue in the upcoming elections, a new study offers some answers: Americans grossly underestimate this inequality. That’s one of the key findings of a survey showing the gap between CEO and average worker pay in America is more than 10 times larger than the typical American perceives.

In the report, Harvard University and Chulalongkorn University researchers analyzed survey data from 40 countries about perceptions of pay gaps between rich and poor. In every country, respondents underestimated the size of the gap between CEO and average worker pay. In the United States, for example, the researchers found the median American respondent estimated that the ratio of CEO to worker income is about 30-to-1. In reality, the gap is more than 350-to-1. [..]

In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, one of the researchers who conducted the study said Americans’ inaccurate beliefs about the pay gap may be the reason economic inequality hasn’t become more of a political issue.

Joe Conason: Those Budget-Busting, Job-Killing GOP Governors

Even as Republicans boast of their chances to take over the United States Senate come November, their party’s governors across the country are facing dimmer prospects. From Georgia to Alaska, right-wing ideological rule imposed by GOP chief executives has left voters disappointed, disillusioned and angry.

The problem isn’t that these governors failed to implement their promised panaceas of tax cutting, union busting and budget slashing, all in the name of economic recovery; some did all three. The problem is that those policies have failed to deliver the improving jobs and incomes that were supposed to flow from “conservative” governance. In fact, too often the result wasn’t at all truly conservative, at least in the traditional sense-as excessive and imbalanced tax cuts, skewed to benefit the wealthy, led to ruined budgets and damaged credit ratings.

Eugene Robinson: Secure the People’s House

Put a taller fence around the White House complex and lock the doors.

Then get rid of the dry rot in the Secret Service bureaucracy, restore staffing to reasonable levels, adopt the latest technology and develop new protocols to replace the ones that didn’t work. But don’t use the recent shocking lapses in presidential security as an excuse to further separate Americans from the symbols of their government.

Actually, “shocking” is an understatement. I still can’t get my mind around the fact a man could climb over the White House fence, run across the North Lawn, barge through the main entrance and make it all the way down the hallway to the ceremonial East Room before being stopped. Minutes earlier, fortunately, President Obama and his family had departed the premises by helicopter.

Oct 04 2014

The Breakfast Club (Autumn)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Breakfast Tunes

Oct 04 2014

On This Day In History October 4

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 4 is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 88 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1883, the Orient Express commences its first run.

The Orient Express is the name of a long-distance passenger train, the route for which has changed considerably in modern times. The first run of The Orient Express was on 4 October 1883. The train travelled from Paris to Giurgiu in Romania, via Munich and Vienna. At Giurgiu, passengers were ferried across the Danube to Ruse in Bulgaria to pick up another train to Varna. From here they completed their journey to Istanbul by ferry.

The Orient Express was the name of a long-distance passenger train originally operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. Its route has changed many times, and several routes have in the past concurrently used the name, or slight variants thereof. Although the original Orient Express was simply a normal international railway service, the name has become synonymous with intrigue and luxury travel. The two city names most intimately associated with the Orient Express are Paris and Istanbul, the original endpoints of the service.

The original route, which first ran on October 4, 1883, was from Paris, Gare de l’Est, to Giurgiu in Romania via Munich and Vienna. At Giurgiu, passengers were ferried across the Danube to Rousse in Bulgaria to pick up another train to Varna, from where they completed their journey to Istanbul (then called Constantinople) by ferry. In 1885, another route began operations, this time reaching Istanbul via rail from Vienna to Belgrade and Nis, carriage to Plovdiv and rail again to Istanbul.

In 1889, the train’s eastern terminus became Varna in Bulgaria, where passengers could take a ship to Istanbul. On June 1, 1889, the first non-stop train to Istanbul left Paris (Gare de l’Est). Istanbul remained its easternmost stop until May 19, 1977. The eastern terminus was the Sirkeci Terminal by the Golden Horn. Ferry service from piers next to the terminal would take passengers across the Bosporus Strait to Haydarpasa Terminal, the terminus of the Asian lines of the Ottoman railways.

The onset of World War I in 1914 saw Orient Express services suspended. They resumed at the end of hostilities in 1918, and in 1919 the opening of the Simplon Tunnel allowed the introduction of a more southerly route via Milan, Venice and Trieste. The service on this route was known as the Simplon Orient Express, and it ran in addition to continuing services on the old route. The Treaty of Saint-Germain contained a clause requiring Austria to accept this train: formerly, Austria allowed international services to pass through Austrian territory (which included Trieste at the time) only if they ran via Vienna. The Simplon Orient Express soon became the most important rail route between Paris and Istanbul.

The 1930s saw the zenith of Orient Express services, with three parallel services running: the Orient Express, the Simplon Orient Express, and also the Arlberg Orient Express, which ran via Zürich and Innsbruck to Budapest, with sleeper cars running onwards from there to Bucharest and Athens. During this time, the Orient Express acquired its reputation for comfort and luxury, carrying sleeping-cars with permanent service and restaurant cars known for the quality of their cuisine. Royalty, nobles, diplomats, business people and the bourgeoisie in general patronized it. Each of the Orient Express services also incorporated sleeping cars which had run from Calais to Paris, thus extending the service right from one edge of continental Europe to the other.

The start of the Second World War in 1939 again interrupted the service, which did not resume until 1945. During the war, the German Mitropa company had run some services on the route through the Balkans, but partisans frequently sabotaged the track, forcing a stop to this service.

Following the end of the war, normal services resumed except on the Athens leg, where the closure of the border between Yugoslavia and Greece prevented services from running. That border re-opened in 1951, but the closure of the Bulgaria-Turkey border from 1951 to 1952 prevented services running to Istanbul during that time. As the Iron Curtain fell across Europe, the service continued to run, but the Communist nations increasingly replaced the Wagon-Lits cars with carriages run by their own railway services.

By 1962, the Orient Express and Arlberg Orient Express had stopped running, leaving only the Simplon Orient Express. This was replaced in 1962 by a slower service called the Direct Orient Express, which ran daily cars from Paris to Belgrade, and twice weekly services from Paris to Istanbul and Athens.

In 1971, the Wagon-Lits company stopped running carriages itself and making revenues from a ticket supplement. Instead, it sold or leased all its carriages to the various national railway companies, but continued to provide staff for the carriages. 1976 saw the withdrawal of the Paris-Athens direct service, and in 1977, the Direct Orient Express was withdrawn completely, with the last Paris-Istanbul service running on May 19 of that year.

The withdrawal of the Direct Orient Express was thought by many to signal the end of Orient Express as a whole, but in fact a service under this name continued to run from Paris to Budapest and Bucharest as before (via Strasbourg, Munich, and Budapest). This continued until 2001, when the service was cut back to just Paris-Vienna, the coaches for which were attached to the Paris-Strasbourg express. This service continued daily, listed in the timetables under the name Orient Express, until June 8, 2007. However, with the opening of the Paris-Strasbourg high speed rail line on June 10, 2007, the Orient Express service was further cut back to Strasbourg-Vienna, departing nightly at 22:20 from Strasbourg, and still bearing the name.

I still have my compartment key

Oct 04 2014

How do you fight?

Lately I’ve been getting deluged with emails from politicians like President Obama, various Democratic Party fundraisers and political organizations that go a little like this:

Dear Joe,

Evil Republicans!

Koch Brothers!

The Senate!

I want to fight for you!

Can you help me out with $3, $5, $10 or more?

Really? These folks want to fight for me?

fight

Look Honey, there’s a fella in a thousand dollar suit who wants to fight for me!

Were these guys fighting for me when they failed to meaningfully address climate change, or when Mr. Obama created and doggedly stuck to his disasterous “all of the above” energy policy? Were these guys fighting for me when they extended yet again the endless war – draining the blood and treasure of America despite the fact that those we are wasting trillions to incinerate pose no imminent threat to the United States? How about when they set up the Catfood Commission and tried to grand bargain away some part of my Social Security benefits? Was “my team” fighting for me when they set up secret trade deals that give corporations vast powers to force their demands on communities and destroy the environment with impunity?

Say, do you remember when Mr. Obama promised repeatedly that his signature accomplishment, Obamacare, would be transparent and negotiated in public on C-Span and then decided that the public didn’t need to see what the choices are? Who was “our team” fighting for when they froze out advocates of a single payer health system and then passed a new law guaranteeing a $100 billion a year subsidy to the insurance industry but leaving millions of Americans uninsured?

How about when a bunch of corrupt bankers crashed our economy, costing average Americans huge amounts of money, robbing state and local budgets of money for citizen services and threw millions of Americans out of work?  Oops, wait a minute…

Oct 04 2014

Party at SHG- Old And New

TGIF, Party People! This week’s theme is old and new, and we’ll loosen that up to include age, youth, change, and anything along those lines. That can be titles, lyrics, group or artists, so let’s jump in.

An Old Fashioned Love Song