March 8, 2011 archive

Mardi Gras

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Fat Tuesday is what it means in English. It’s the last day for some Christians to eat all the food they like and party before the season of fasting before Easter, Lent. In many traditions it isn’t just one day. Mardi Gras, or Carnival season, starts in January after 12th Night or the Epiphany, culminating at midnight on the day before Ash Wednesday. English traditions call the day Shrove Tuesday and for many religious Christians a time for confession. Celebrations vary from city to city and by country but many of the traditions are the same masks, beads, parades and parties. In Mobile, Alabama,the former capital of New France, the Mardi Gras social events start in November with “mystic society” balls on Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve with more parades and balls in January and February ending on the traditional Tuesday before Lent. And you thought New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro were the party cities, heh. Many if these balls raise large amounts of money for charity, justifying in a way the “decadence”. In other places with a French heritage, like Louisiana, where the revelry also starts weeks before with parades and parties celebrating the arrival of the “Krewes” or organizations that sponsor various parades, the day is an official holiday. Like anyone in New Orleans is going to the office that day. There’s many traditional foods, too, like pancakes, fruit laden sweet breads and sugary pastries. Any food with lots of fat and eggs. Look out arteries here it comes.

A Little History

Mardi Gras was introduced to America in colonial days as a sedate religious tradition by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, in the late 17th century, when King Louis XIV sent the pair to defend France’s claim on the territory of Louisiane.

The expedition, led by Iberville, entered the mouth of the Mississippi River on the evening of March 2, 1699, Lundi Gras, not yet knowing it was the river explored and claimed for France by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in 1683. The party proceeded upstream to a place on the west bank about 60 miles downriver from where New Orleans is today, where a small tributary emptied into the great river, and made camp. This was on March 3, 1699, Mardi Gras day, so in honor of this holiday, Iberville named the spot Point du Mardi Gras (French: “Mardi Gras Point”) and called the small tributary Bayou Mardi Gras. Bienville went on to found Mobile, Alabama in 1702 as the first capital of French Louisiana. In 1703 French settlers in that city began to celebrate the Mardi Gras tradition. By 1720, Biloxi was made capital of Louisiana. While it had French settlers, Mardi Gras and other customs were celebrated with more fanfare given its new status. In 1723, the capital of French Louisiana was moved to New Orleans, founded in 1718. With the growth of New Orleans as a city and the creolization of different cultures, the varied celebration of Mardi Gras became the event most strongly associated with the city. In more recent times, several U.S. cities without a French Catholic heritage have instituted the celebration of Mardi Gras, which sometimes emerged as grassroots movements.

I mentioned traditional food and no traditional Mardi Gras celebration would be without a King Cake. This cake is actually a sweetened yeast bread, usually baked in a ring shape. The cake is frosted with gold, green, and purple icing representing in order, power, faith, and justice. The traditional colors on the King Cake date back to 1872 and were taken from a prominent parade group, called a krewe. Although this cake is colorful and tasty, the real fun hides within the cake.

The maker of each King Cake hides a token in the cake. The tokens used are a dried red bean or a figurine of a baby, representing the Christ child. When the cake is cut and shared, the finder of the hidden treasure is said to enjoy good luck for the coming year. The lucky recipient may also be expected to bake the King Cake or throw the Mardi Gras party for the following year.

As they say in New Orleans, Laissez les bon temps rouler, or Let the good times roll!

Main Street Insider Releases Groundbreaking New Congressional Transparency Tool

For over a year now, Main Street Insider has been busy developing a single online location that combines a free schedule of U.S. House and Senate committee activities with live video of these events whenever available. We call it the Committee Dashboard, and this week we are thrilled to announce that it is open to the general public.

‘gotta be the so called conservative mentality’

In honor of International Women’s Day

Now why would someone, or a group, target a site such as this? It would be really interesting to find the sources and ask them. Are they funded by the wealth already going after women’s rights or just pranksters with a sick agenda? Something tells me there’s more to this than that.

Hackers target ‘Women’s Day’ site

Six In The Morning

Discord Fills Washington on Possible Libya Intervention



By DAVID E. SANGER and THOM SHANKER Published: March 7, 2011

WASHINGTON – Nearly three weeks after Libya erupted in what may now turn into a protracted civil war, the politics of military intervention to speed the ouster of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi grow more complicated by the day – for both the White House and Republicans.

President Obama, appearing Monday morning with Australia’s prime minister, tried to raise the pressure on Colonel Qaddafi further by talking about “a range of potential options, including potential military options” against the embattled Libyan leader.

Despite Mr. Obama’s statement, interviews with military officials and other administration officials describe a number of risks, some tactical and others political, to American intervention in Libya.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

My darling girl, when are you going to understand that “normal” isn’t a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage.

–Stockard Channing



Kernel 2

Late Night Karaoke

FSZ “2.0” Now Open For Registration!

Awwww yeah:

http://thefreespeechzone.us

We on a cloud server that gives me unlimited databases and bandwidth.  This means I can make like 50 blogs on the “http://thefreespeechzone.us” domain root.  So I did 4 or 5 just to test it, and it worked.  Since the server is virtual and we own it, that means me and my “associates” get to encrypt the hell out of it in the future.

Gonna make an identical soapblox like the old place to establish a “Fight Club” we can have in the basement:

More below the fold…

600,000 Afghan Children on the Street

Pomegranate
Two girls share a pomegranate in Kabul

At least 600,000 children live on the streets of Afghanistan.

Street

The Horse Farm

Well the farm part was excellent, sort of.  They cribbed most of the fences and some of the barn but the indoor arena and plenty of stalls was a plus.

Why the low price?  Well the house was close to a tear down and start over.

Back to the Apocalypse Ranch drawing board.