10/11/2014 archive

Random Japan

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 Travelers pick the top three destination restaurants in Japan

   Casey Baseel

Between the country’s natural beauty and historic sites, there are plenty of things to see on a trip to Japan. Eventually, though, you’re going to have to take a break from sightseeing in order to eat, and even then you’re in luck, since Japan is a foodie’s paradise.

But while it’s true that Japan is filled with great restaurants, only one can be at the top of travelers’ dining wish list, as decided by users of travel website Trip Advisor in a recent ranking of where they want to eat in Japan.

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

How to Make Pickles Without Canning

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The idea for this week’s recipes began during a week and a half I spent in Boston and New York in early September, when I kept noticing that pickled peaches were on many restaurant menus. Chefs were throwing them into salads and using the sweet and sour peaches to accompany meat and fish. I came back to Los Angeles and went right to the farmers’ market, intent on storing some of that summer bounty myself.

I then looked at the New York City Greenmarket website to see if the fruits and vegetables I wanted to pickle would still be available at the end of September in the Northeast. I was in luck; according to the site, peaches are available through September, and beans, corn and squash through October. I also wanted to make a pickle with green tomatoes, because this is the time of year when the last of your summer tomato crop may be on the vine, but it won’t necessarily ripen. When I went to my own farmers’ market in Los Angeles one grower had a huge supply of green tomatoes, right next to his ripe red ones. I bought a few pounds and made a cross between a relish and a pickle (the tomatoes and onions are sliced but the other ingredients are chopped).

~ Martha Rose Shulman ~

Pickled Peaches With Sweet Spices

A balance of sweet, sour and spice makes for an irresistible combination.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

A delicious cross between a pickle and a relish.

Refrigerator Corn Relish

A colorful relish that is both mildly spicy and sweet.

Summer Squash Refrigerator Pickles

Pickled squash that can go in salads or complement a variety of grains, meat or fish.

Pickled Green Beans

Serve these beans as an aperitif, garnish or side, or cut them up and add them to salads.

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

David Sirota: How Big Brother Can Watch You With Metadata

Why did Bradley Cooper and Jessica Alba fail to record a tip when they paid their cabbies during New York City taxi rides back in 2013? Why was Cooper near a Mediterranean restaurant in Greenwich Village? Why was Alba at a ritzy hotel in Soho?

We don’t know the answers, but we do know exactly when and where the movie stars were going, and we also know there’s no record of them forking over any gratuity. What’s worrisome, say privacy experts, is that we know all of this not from some special government sting operation but from publicly available data about millions of people’s movements throughout New York City.

That information, released in an open records request, validates the concerns of those who argue that while consumers’ digital metadata may seem to be anonymous, it actually isn’t. It takes just one or two other pieces of information to turn seemingly anonymous tranches of metadata into specific information about individuals-and not just those who are famous.

Juan Cole: Rather Than Just Honor Nobelist Malala Yousafzai, We Should Listen to Her

Malala Yousafzai has become the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in history, sharing it this year with India’s Kailash Satyarthi, a children’s rights activist. [..]

There is always a danger that in honoring a figure like Malala Yousafzai, the world will drown out her more challenging views.  Martin Luther King, Jr. is now mainly lauded for his “I have a Dream” speech but his socialism, anti-imperialism, and opposition to the Vietnam War is little remembered.  Likewise, Lila Abu-Lughod has warned against the use of Ms. Yousafzai by powerful white men as a symbol whereby they can pose as champions of Muslim women against Muslim men- an argument first made powerfully in a another context by Gayatri Spivak.  The real Malala Yousafzai is harder to deploy for those purposes than is Malala the symbol. [..]

Honoring someone with the bravery and resiliency and ethical intelligence of a Malala Yousafzai is easy.  Taking her more challenging positions seriously and engaging with them is much more difficult.

Medea Benjamin: The Fourth Estate in Flames

A war-weary American public that a year ago resoundingly rejected US military intervention in Syria to overthrow the Assad regime now is rallying behind the use of force to destroy the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). In just three months, from June to September, support for US airstrikes in Iraq soared from % percent to 71%, and to 65% for airstrikes in Syria.

How did such an astounding turnabout occur? Certainly it wasn’t due to the persuasive powers of President Obama, who seems to have been reluctantly dragged into a conflict that he once acknowledged has no military solution.

The credit for selling Obama’s war on ISIS must go to the mainstream American media.

Day after day, night after night, the press relied on propaganda from both ISIS and the US government to whip up fear and a thirst for revenge in the American public. Gruesome beheading videos distributed by ISIS were played over and over. The media not only regurgitated official US messages but packaged them better than the government itself ever could.

Arvina Martin: Scott Walker lost his fight for voter ID. He’s still everything that’s wrong with the GOP

My governor’s ‘pro-business’ policies aren’t, he’s facing corruption charges and he tried to keep grandmothers from voting. He cares less about Wisconsin than running for president

When Scott Walker ran for governor of Wisconsin in 2010, he portrayed himself as an affable, thrifty guy, who brought his lunch to work in a brown paper bag just like the people he promised to serve. He promised in his campaign that his pro-business reforms would bring 250,000 jobs to the beleaguered state’s manufacturing base. And he swore he’d be different than all those other politicians who’d come before.

The governor that Walker became in office is decidedly a different character than the average Joe we saw on the campaign trail: a governor whose political aspirations lie far beyond Madison. Governor Walker is facing charges of illegally steering campaign donations and backing terrible environmental legislation from those donors. He couldn’t find it in his heart to reach out to LGBT Wisconsinites and congratulate them on their new right to marry. He’s still backing a voter ID law that would disenfranchise the state’s elderly, minority, and low income voters in the hopes that’ll it’ll keep him in office, even though the US supreme court blocked it in an emergency ruling on Thursday.

And that’s just in the last month.

Alba Morales: Kids Shouldn’t Be at Rikers, Period

New York State’s top corrections official said this week that he supports moving all adolescent inmates off Rikers Island. His statement raises hopes for an end to what the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a scathing recent report, called a “deep-seated culture of violence” against youth in the United States’ second-largest jail, where the vast majority of inmates are adults. [..]

The adult criminal system is not equipped to take children’s needs and traits — and special rights — into account at any stage of the prosecution process. Unlike a juvenile court, the adult system is punitive by design. Once convicted in adult court, children acquire adult criminal records that can haunt them for the rest of their lives. A criminal conviction obtained at age 16 can prevent a person from getting a job decades later, and can make it difficult to obtain housing and student loans. In researching a recent report, I spoke to dozens of kids who had been prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system in Florida. They reported being confused by court proceedings, abused in the adult institutions where they were incarcerated, and plagued by records that branded them criminals for life. “I felt like my life was gone,” one 17-year-old, in adult prison for a crime he committed at 16, told me. I can’t imagine that New York’s children fare any better when put through the adult system.

People younger than 18 cannot vote, drink, or rent a car in any US state. Just this year, New York raised the age at which someone can buy cigarettes to 21. Yet the state continues to treat all 16- and 17-year-olds charged with crimes as if they were adults. Fortunately, there is a growing campaign to raise the age at which a person can be prosecuted as an adult in New York, and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has established a commission in support of that goal. Moving kids off Rikers Island would be an essential step, but that shouldn’t obscure the fact that the better approach would be not to treat adolescents as adults in the first place.

The Breakfast Club (Cold and Flu Season)

I could make more elaborate excuses, but they’d just suck down the energy I’ve found in such short supply the last couple of days.  I’m hopeful I’ll get back to my normal level of obnoxiousness soon, but it’s a wish not a promise.

In today’s highly abbreviated version I haven’t even bothered to summarize the news with quotes, it’s all links all the time.



Today in History

Your sympathy is not required.  My apologies are.

On This Day In History October 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.

October 11 is the 284th day of the year (285th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 81 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1982, The Mary Rose, a Tudor carrack which sank on July 19 1545, is salvaged from the sea bed of the Solent, off Portsmouth.

The Mary Rose was a carrack-type warship of the English Tudor navy of King Henry VIII. After serving for 33 years in several wars against France, Scotland, and Brittany and after being substantially rebuilt in 1536, she saw her last action on 19 July 1545. While leading the attack on the galleys of a French invasion fleet, she sank in the Solent, the straits north of the Isle of Wight. The wreck of the Mary Rose was rediscovered in 1971 and salvaged in 1982 by the Mary Rose Trust in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology. The surviving section of the ship and thousands of recovered artefacts are of immeasurable value as a Tudor-era time capsule.

The excavation and salvage of the Mary Rose was a milestone in the field of maritime archaeology, comparable in complexity and cost only to the raising of the Swedish 17th-century warship Vasa in 1961. The finds include weapons, sailing equipment, naval supplies and a wide array of objects used by the crew. Many of the artefacts are unique to the Mary Rose and have provided insights into topics ranging from naval warfare to the history of musical instruments. Since the mid-1980s, while undergoing conservation, the remains of the hull have been on display at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. An extensive collection of well-preserved artefacts is on display at the nearby Mary Rose Museum.

The Mary Rose had no known career as a merchant vessel. She was one of the largest ships in the English navy throughout more than three decades of intermittent war and was one of the earliest examples of a purpose-built sailing warship. She was armed with new types of heavy guns that could fire through the recently invented gun-ports. After being substantially rebuilt in 1536, she was also one of the earliest ships that could fire a broadside, although the line of battle tactics that employed it had not yet been developed. Several theories have sought to explain the demise of the Mary Rose, based on historical records, knowledge of 16th-century shipbuilding and modern experiments. However, the precise cause of her sinking is still unclear, because of conflicting testimonies and a lack of conclusive physical evidence.