Daily Archive: 08/08/2015

Aug 08 2015

Random Japan

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History crash course: Charming animation shows 80 years of Singapore history in 16 minutes【Video】

Joan Coello

Singapore is an island country so small you can barely see it on the world map. But despite its modest size, Singapore is among the most globalised countries you’ll ever visit, one of the world’s major commercial hubs, and sees over 15 million tourists each year. And no, in case you were wondering, Singapore is not a part of China.

Some of you may have visited the city-state on a vacation or business trip, but do you know Singapore beyond its modern, bustling cityscape? In celebration of the nation’s 50th National Day, animation director Ervin Han and team created a 16-minute animation that looks back at the 80 years of ups and downs Singapore went through to get to where it is today. Get your history crash course after the break!

Aug 08 2015

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

Trevor Timm: We’re a year into the unofficial war against Isis with nothing to show for it

This Saturday marks one full year since the US military began its still-undeclared war against Islamic State that the government officials openly acknowledge will last indefinitely. What do we have to show for it? So far, billions of dollars have been spent, thousands of bombs have been dropped, hundreds of civilians have been killed and Isis is no weaker than it was last August, when the airstrikes began.

But don’t take it from me – that’s the conclusion of the US intelligence community itself. As the Associated Press reported a few days ago, the consensus view of the US intelligence agencies is that Isis is just as powerful as it was a year ago, and they can replace fighters faster than they are getting killed.

Like it does for every stagnant and endless war, this inconvenient fact will likely will only lead others to call for more killing, rather than an introspection on why continuing to bomb the same region for decades does not actually work. Perhaps we’re not firing missiles at a high enough rate, they’ll say, perhaps we need a full-scale ground invasion, or perhaps we need to kill more civilians to really damage the enemy (yes, this is an actual argument war mongers have been making).

Richard (RJ) Eskow: The GOP Debate: It’s What Oligarchy Looks Like

In the run-up to the first Republican presidential debate, a flurry of news stories about the candidates offered glimpses of oligarchy in action. [..]

John Kasich’s super PAC raised $11 million in a little more than two months. Out of 166 reportable contributions, 34 were for $100,000 or more. A number of donors gave $1 million or more.

Several leading Republican presidential candidates received most of their funding from a few high-dollar donors. Marco Rubio and Scott Walker each received most of their backing from just four donors. The campaigns of Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry have each largely been financed by a single donor.

Some political high rollers don’t understand why that might be a bad thing. Silicon Valley investor Scott Banister, who gave $1.2 million to Rand Paul’s Super PAC, said, “I’d think that the fact that I’m willing to spend money in the public square rather than buying myself a toy would be considered a good thing.”

Mr. Banister may be well intentioned, but many Americans would rather see him buy a toy than let American democracy become a plaything of the rich.

Steven W. Thrasher: Black lives don’t matter, apparently, to Republican candidates for president

Do black lives matter to the Republican Party?

The answer was a resounding no if the Thursday night Republican primary debate on Fox News accurately reflected their views.

As Americans across the nation have been talking about the one-year anniversary of the killing of Mike Brown this weekend – which brought the Black Lives Matter movement to the forefront of the national political consciousness over the past year – Fox News dedicated less than two minutes out of a two-hour political debate to questions about police violence, racism or any of the ways black America has been undeniably and uniquely under attack in modern society. [..]

No, black lives certainly didn’t matter last night. But to the Republicans and Fox News, neither did the lives of women, immigrants, homosexuals, or transgender soldiers. All Americans should be offended at how limited an idea of America came across in a major party debate, and that the frontrunner, Donald Trump, said we are a nation which “can’t do anything right.”

Megan Carpentier: Medical records must stay private – even for prospective presidents

The cyclical focus on each presidential candidate’s medical records – which has begun in earnest with Hillary Clinton this week and extended to Jeb Bush’s diet – is a political charade designed to allow their opponents to mine for political cudgels what in any other circumstance would be appropriately confidential medical records. But electing a president who later dies in office or becomes physically incapable of serving in the role is an entirely possible and provided-for (if not predictable) circumstance of the US political system, and no amount of listing candidates’ colonoscopy results will prevent it. [..]

The calls for candidates to release their medical records aren’t an attempt to assure the American people that the candidate will survive a four-year term if elected – no one can guarantee that. But it is an opportunity for a would-be president’s opponents and detractors to dig through the most intimate details of his or her life in order to take advantage of existing stigmas under the guise of transparency.

George Zornick: Rand Paul’s Eye-Roll Marked the End of the 9/11 Era

The attacks of 2001 are no longer the potent GOP rallying point they once were.

 Republicans didn’t bother to hold their 2004 nominating convention in some far-flung purple state where every county was going to count that November. The Bush-Cheney campaign, which started running advertisements featuring a charred World Trade Center literally one day after the president announced his re-election bid, had a much more potent idea. The RNC happened only three miles from Ground Zero, at Madison Square Garden. Dick Cheney thundered from the stage that “if the killers of September 11 thought we had lost the will to defend our freedom, they did not know America and they did not know George W. Bush.”

Fast forward twelve years to Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, the first of the 2016 campaign. Chris Christie was eager to capitalize on his experience as a U.S. Attorney in New Jersey following the attacks, delivering a saccharine line about how “the hugs that I remember are the hugs that I gave to the families who lost their people on September 11th.”

Senator Rand Paul, at that moment engaged with Christie on a debate about mass surveillance, then gave what we’ll unilaterally dub as the most monumental eyeroll in presidential debate history

 

Aug 08 2015

The Breakfast Club (WQXR)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgI don’t make a really big deal about it and I’ve spent a lot of time in other places, but in terms of media culture I’m totally a creation of the New York metropolitan area.  I had two of every network, including PBS as well as about 5 independent channels and that was just TV.

On the radio side there were 2 News Radio stations and WCBS 880 remains my favorite.  I don’t listen to much music at all, just news and sports.  I have also gone though periods where I was a fan of the Hard Rock and Alternative formats and I listened to Howard Stern’s final day at WNBC live.

However one that’s stuck with me is WQXR.  Until 2009 they were owned by The New York Times and it’s been on the air broadcasting classical (or what we now call Art) music in one form or another since 1929.  Oddly enough it started as an experimental TV station in a now abandoned format.

The format hasn’t changed much over the years though there is a little more concentration on 20th century composers of whom Francis Poulenc is one of my favorites mostly based on this one piece, his Sonata for Horn, Trombone, and Trumpet which he composed in 1922.

As a Brass player let me tell you all the parts are fiendishly difficult with contrapuntal rhythyms, tricky fingerings, and immense range, yet despite its complexity it’s extremely pleasant to listen to, kind of light and frothy.

Anyway I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  This particular performance is by the faculty of Michigan State University.

Obligatories, News and Blogs below.

Aug 08 2015

On This Day In History August 8

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

August 8 is the 220th day of the year (221st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 145 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1974, Richard M. Nixon becomes the first President to resign.

In an evening televised address, President Richard M. Nixon announces his intention to become the first president in American history to resign. With impeachment proceedings underway against him for his involvement in the Watergate affair, Nixon was finally bowing to pressure from the public and Congress to leave the White House. “By taking this action,” he said in a solemn address from the Oval Office, “I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.”

Just before noon the next day, Nixon officially ended his term as the 37th president of the United States. Before departing with his family in a helicopter from the White House lawn, he smiled farewell and enigmatically raised his arms in a victory or peace salute. The helicopter door was then closed, and the Nixon family began their journey home to San Clemente, California. Minutes later, Vice President Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States in the East Room of the White House. After taking the oath of office, President Ford spoke to the nation in a television address, declaring, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.” He later pardoned Nixon for any crimes he may have committed while in office, explaining that he wanted to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal.

Aug 08 2015

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

Greens for the Summer Heat

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Spinach is the green that comes to mind for light summer dishes. It’s available year-round both at farmers’ markets and supermarkets, wilts in minutes, and afterward keeps well in the refrigerator.

In summer, you can use it for cold soups or quick omelets, or combine it with seasonal tomatoes in easy pastas. Spinach contains iron, vitamin A and vitamin C, manganese, folate, calcium, potassium and a variety of other nutrients.

One thing to note: The sodium content can be high in some brands of bagged spinach. A 3-ounce serving of Dole organic baby spinach, for example, contains 135 milligrams of sodium. The same amount from Fresh Express contains 65 milligrams. The difference may have to do with the solution that certain commercial producers use to wash the spinach.

If you do use bagged baby spinach, check the values on the package. A 3-ounce serving (85 grams) should not have more than 70 milligrams of sodium.

Pasta With Tomatoes, Spinach and Goat Cheese

Spinach and Yogurt Soup With Walnuts

Sautéed Spinach With Mushrooms

Spinach Salad With Tomatoes, Cucumber and Feta

Spinach Omelet With Parmesan

Aug 08 2015

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

Greens for the Summer Heat

Photobucket

Spinach is the green that comes to mind for light summer dishes. It’s available year-round both at farmers’ markets and supermarkets, wilts in minutes, and afterward keeps well in the refrigerator.

In summer, you can use it for cold soups or quick omelets, or combine it with seasonal tomatoes in easy pastas. Spinach contains iron, vitamin A and vitamin C, manganese, folate, calcium, potassium and a variety of other nutrients.

One thing to note: The sodium content can be high in some brands of bagged spinach. A 3-ounce serving of Dole organic baby spinach, for example, contains 135 milligrams of sodium. The same amount from Fresh Express contains 65 milligrams. The difference may have to do with the solution that certain commercial producers use to wash the spinach.

If you do use bagged baby spinach, check the values on the package. A 3-ounce serving (85 grams) should not have more than 70 milligrams of sodium.

Pasta With Tomatoes, Spinach and Goat Cheese

Spinach and Yogurt Soup With Walnuts

Sautéed Spinach With Mushrooms

Spinach Salad With Tomatoes, Cucumber and Feta

Spinach Omelet With Parmesan