December 12, 2011 archive

Obama counter-threatens to take Iran to Judge Judy!

Now I know for sure that Obama is trying to kill us by making us choke on our lunches with laughter.  Obama wants his spy drone back from Iran!

“We have asked for [our Sentinel drone] back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond,” Obama said during a joint news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki after the two met at the White House.

I’m sorry, but this ranks with the stupidest thing ever done by George W.  Talk about fulfilling a more humble foreign policy.  Assemble the laughingstocks!  (didn’t brooklynbadboy just wax rhapsodic about Obama’s passion for foreign policy?)

Meanwhile, Iran is extracting the espionage data in order to file a lawsuit against the US for the invasion of Iranian airspace.

I am going to poop myself.  If anything makes me support Barack Obama in 2012, it’s this kind of slapstick.  Kapow!

Seriously.  I am done.  Bring the straitjacket, cuz I can’t contain it.

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On This Day In History December 12

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

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.

December 12 is the 346th day of the year (347th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 19 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1787, Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the Constitution, by a vote of 46 to 23. Pennsylvania was the first large state to ratify, as well as the first state to endure a serious Anti-Federalist challenge to ratification.

Pennsylvania drafted the most radical of the state constitutions during the War for Independence. By excluding Quakers and all other pacifists unwilling to take oaths of allegiance to the Revolutionary cause, a fervently anti-British and anti-Indian Scots-Irish faction had seized power for the first time in the remarkably diverse state. Only when pacifists were again able to exercise the franchise in peacetime was it conceivable that the more conservative U.S. Constitution might pass in Pennsylvania. Large states had the most to lose by joining a strengthened union. James Wilson’s genius in describing the nature of layered sovereignty in a federal republic, using the solar system as an analogy, was invaluable in convincing Pennsylvanians to ratify. Anti-Federalists found themselves in the hypocritical position of criticizing the federal Constitution for failing to codify the freedom of religious practice they had actively denied their fellow citizens during the War for Independence.


Sugar and Spies

Frack You Very Much!

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

middle_finger_flameA Profile in Fracking: How One Tiny Hamlet Could Be Devastated by Gas

By Molly Oswaks, The Atlantic

Dec 7 2011, 10:02 AM ET

Hancock is home to four bait-and-tackle shops, three beauty salons, six churches, ever more vacant and dilapidated-looking homes, one video rental thrift store hyphenate, and one funeral parlor. The stateliest establishment in this otherwise decidedly unstately community is the Hancock House Hotel; here you will find Honest Eddie’s Tap Room, a dimly lighted wood-paneled bar named for the major league baseball player John Edward “Honest Eddie” Murphy, who was born in Hancock in 1891. The food menu at Honest Eddie’s includes items like “They’re Smothered!” (thick-cut fries blanketed in a melty cheese sauce) and “The Deep-fried Pickle” (which is exactly what it sounds like). There is also an off-menu rice pudding, which they serve in a tall bevelled glass sundae cup and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream. The pudding has no spice.

Here, some 9,000 feet below traversable ground, lies a particularly profitable piece of the Marcellus Shale, a 400-million year old formation of marine sedimentary rock rich with reserves of untapped natural gas. Shale gas reserves are extracted by means of a multi-step process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Chemical fracking fluid is pumped into a targeted borehole drilled deep into the ground; sand is then introduced into the fluid to maintain the integrity of the fracture. The pressure and depth at which this is executed produces a subterranean climate porous and permeable enough for shale gas to be recovered profitably: this is a “frack job.”

For a cash-strapped community like Hancock, fracking would seem a high-yield stimulus plan millennia in the making: there is, of course, the economic appeal of home-sourced natural gas, but there are also land royalties to be reaped by residents and money to be made from all the supplies and sandwiches sold in town to the fracking crew itself. Not to mention jobs.

It’s difficult to predict whether Hancock’s soil and water will, in fact, be poisoned once the drilling begins. Various assessments of the environmental impact of fracking have been conducted, at both state and national levels. The second-hand damage is much easier to forecast.

The roads and highways that run through town will experience a significant surge in traffic, with large trucks and heavy machinery traveling to and from the drill sites, and all the accompanying noise pollution. The bucolic natural landscape, which has long drawn lucrative hunting and camping tourism at peak season, will be cut up and and cordoned off for pipes and drills and gas collection.

It’s a paradox: The town needs money to survive, but the money being offered comes at the expense of the town itself. It would seem, then, however ironic, that capitalism is killing the company town.

Actually, it’s not at all difficult to predict that “Hancock’s soil and water will, in fact, be poisoned once the drilling begins.”

Serious Classy Republican Debate

Personally?  I think it’s just exactly as Serious as the Very Serious People.

And twice as classy.

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.

You must live for another if you wish to live for yourself.

–Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Feathering 2

Late Night Karaoke

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is 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.

Gifts to Savor, Bite by Bite

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

In addition to this week’s recipes, some of my past Recipes for Health would also make great gifts. I’ve always enjoyed making huge batches of granola and sending nice-looking bags or jars filled with it to family and friends. This year, though, I had another idea: packaging dry ingredients for pancakes and other baked goods with labels that specify the wet ingredients and instructions for mixing, like a cake mix. ~ Martha Rose Shulman

Marinated Goat Cheese

Package in a jar and add a note reminding the recipient that these are especially nice to have on hand for adding to salads and quick toasted open-faced sandwiches. Suggest they place a round on a piece of bread, pop it in a toaster oven and toast 3 to 4 minutes.

Lemon Olive Oil

“The lemon oil goes beautifully with vegetables or fish, and is lovely on a salad or drizzled over bread,” says Ms. Shulman

Pili Pili (Spicy Herb Oil)

“This spicy oil with an African name is popular throughout Provence. It’s usually on the table in pizzerias for drizzling, but it’s also terrific drizzled over vegetables, grilled meats or fish, grains and bread – whatever you want to add a kick to,” explains Ms. Shulman. “In France it is made with very hot bird chilies. You could use fresh Thai chilies for this, but I’m using dried chiles de arbol, because that’s what I have on hand and it makes an oil that will last for months.”


Harissa is that fiery paste used in Tunisian cuisine. You can get it in tubes, but the homemade version tastes much fresher. “Make a note on the label to top up with olive oil whenever the harissa is used so that it will keep for a long time,” she advises.

Sweet Peppers Conserved in Oil

Roasted peppers always look beautiful in a jar of olive oil. Feel free to add other herbs, like oregano or basil, to the mix.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

The reason people buy mixes is to save the time it takes to measure and sift ingredients. “So why not take the dry ingredients called for in this recipe, put them in a nice bag and put a label on the package,” suggests Ms. Shulman. The label should say something like: “Beat together 2 extra-large eggs with 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 3 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk in the pancake mix. Add berries, chopped fruit or dried fruit as desired.”

Buckwheat and Amaranth Muffins

Same idea; mix up the dry ingredients and package them, then write out the missing ingredients and instructions on your homemade label. Or consider giving dry mix gifts for a variety of Ms. Shulman’s muffin recipes or Cornmeal Cranberry Scones.

Holiday Granola

“I used to make a rich holiday granola, but often it burned and stuck to the baking sheets,” says Ms. Shulman. “One of the reasons: I used wheat germ, which browns more quickly than oats. Now I keep the heat low in my oven and line my baking sheets with parchment. Be sure to stir the granola every 10 to 15 minutes, and switch the trays from top to bottom each time you stir. If you want to make a smaller amount, you can halve this recipe.”

We Value Our Age

The wife and I value our age.

We don’t have to endure much more of this fucked up travesty.

Pique the Geek 20111211: Would I Lye To You?

Sodium hydroxide, aka lye, is one of the most important basic chemicals used in industry, and until not too long ago, for several home uses.  It can still be found in a few consumer products, but because of its usefulness as a chemical reagent for clandestine preparation of methamphetamine, is hard to get now without a legitimate business reason.  However, I found some at Lowe’s a couple of years ago (under a different label) for opening drains.  I wanted some to show my relatives how to make soap.

A significant amount of this material is still used for making soap, but its uses are so widespread and pervasive that soapmaking is just a small fraction of the applications for this material.  Industrially it is used when a strong, cheap base is needed, because it is amongst the strongest and cheapest, other than perhaps calcium hydroxide (lime), but sodium hydroxide is very soluble in water where calcium hydroxide is not.