November 23, 2013 archive

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The Stars Hollow Gazette

Day of the Doctor


An Anthology of Turkey Day Helpful Hints and Recipes

Republished from November 18, 2012 because it’s that time of year again.

PhotobucketOver the last couple of years I’ve shared some of the recipes that I served at the annual Turkey Feast. There have also been diaries about cooking the bird, whether or not to stuff it and suggestions about what to drink that will not conflict with such an eclectic meal of many flavors. It’s not easy to please everyone and, like in my family, there are those who insist on “traditions” like Pumpkin Pie made only from the recipe on the Libby’s Pumpkin Puree can slathered with Ready Whip Whipped Cream. For my son-in-law it isn’t Thanksgiving without the green bean casserole made with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. Thank the cats we have a crowd that will eat just about anything on the table that looks pretty. Rather than reprise each recipe, I’ve compiled an anthology of past diaries to help you survive the trauma of Thanksgiving Day and enjoy not just the meal but family and friends.

  • What’s Cooking: Stuffing the Turkey Or Not
  • Health reasons why not to stuff that bird and a recipe with a clever decorative way to serve the dressing.

  • What’s Cooking: What to Drink with the Turkey
  • Suggestions on wine and beer pairings that go with everything including brussel sprouts.

  • What’s Cooking: Sweet Potato Mash
  • A great substitute for those sticky, over sweet, marshmallow topped tubers that goes well with pork or ham and breakfast.

  • What’s Cooking: Autumn Succotash, Not Your Usual Suspect
  • Hate those gritty, tasteless lima beans in succoatash? I do but this recipe using edamame change my mind

  • Pumpkins, Not Just For Carving
  • Includes a great recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake that will please even those diehard traditional pumpkin pie lovers.

  • What’s Cooking: Pumpkin Soup
  • Any squash can be substituted for pumpkin in this recipe. My daughter is using butternut served with a dollop of cumin flavored sour cream.

  • What’s Cooking: Don’t Throw That Turkey Carcass Out
  • Besides making turkey soup or hash with those leftovers and the carcass, there is also some great recipes like the mushroom risotto in this essay.

    May everyone have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.  

    Nothing to see here

    So not the droids you’re looking for.

    N.S.A. Report Outlined Goals for More Power

    By JAMES RISEN and LAURA POITRAS, The New York Times

    Published: November 22, 2013

    In a February 2012 paper laying out the four-year strategy for the N.S.A.’s signals intelligence operations, which include the agency’s eavesdropping and communications data collection around the world, agency officials set an objective to “aggressively pursue legal authorities and a policy framework mapped more fully to the information age.”

    Using sweeping language, the paper also outlined some of the agency’s other ambitions. They included defeating the cybersecurity practices of adversaries in order to acquire the data the agency needs from “anyone, anytime, anywhere.” The agency also said it would try to decrypt or bypass codes that keep communications secret by influencing “the global commercial encryption market through commercial relationships,” human spies and intelligence partners in other countries. It also talked of the need to “revolutionize” analysis of its vast collections of data to “radically increase operational impact.”

    Intent on unlocking the secrets of adversaries, the paper underscores the agency’s long-term goal of being able to collect virtually everything available in the digital world. To achieve that objective, the paper suggests that the N.S.A. plans to gain greater access, in a variety of ways, to the infrastructure of the world’s telecommunications networks.

    Yet the paper also shows how the agency believes it can influence and shape trends in high-tech industries in other ways to suit its needs. One of the agency’s goals is to “continue to invest in the industrial base and drive the state of the art for high performance computing to maintain pre-eminent cryptanalytic capability for the nation.” The paper added that the N.S.A. must seek to “identify new access, collection and exploitation methods by leveraging global business trends in data and communications services.”

    And it wants to find ways to combine all of its technical tools to enhance its surveillance powers. The N.S.A. will seek to integrate its “capabilities to reach previously inaccessible targets in support of exploitation, cyberdefense and cyberoperations,” the paper stated.

    The agency also intends to improve its access to encrypted communications used by individuals, businesses and foreign governments, the strategy document said. The N.S.A. has already had some success in defeating encryption, The New York Times has reported, but the document makes it clear that countering “ubiquitous, strong, commercial network encryption” is a top priority. The agency plans to fight back against the rise of encryption through relationships with companies that develop encryption tools and through espionage operations. In other countries, the document said, the N.S.A. must also “counter indigenous cryptographic programs by targeting their industrial bases with all available Sigint and Humint” – human intelligence, meaning spies.

    One of the agency’s other four-year goals was to “share bulk data” more broadly to allow for better analysis. While the paper does not explain in detail how widely it would disseminate bulk data within the intelligence community, the proposal raises questions about what safeguards the N.S.A. plans to place on its domestic phone and email data collection programs to protect Americans’ privacy.

    N.S.A. officials have insisted that they have placed tight controls on those programs. In an interview, the senior intelligence officials said that the strategy paper was referring to the agency’s desire to share foreign data more broadly, not phone logs of Americans collected under the Patriot Act.

    Above all, the strategy paper suggests the N.S.A.’s vast view of its mission: nothing less than to “dramatically increase mastery of the global network.”

    On This Day In History November 23

    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.

    November 23 is the 327th day of the year (328th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 38 days remaining until the end of the year.

    On this day in 1936, the first issue of the pictorial magazine Life is published.

    Life actually had its start earlier in the 20th century as a different kind of magazine: a weekly humor publication, not unlike today’s The New Yorker in its use of tart cartoons, humorous pieces and cultural reporting. When the original Life folded during the Great Depression, the influential American publisher Henry Luce bought the name and re-launched the magazine as a picture-based periodical on this day in 1936. By this time, Luce had already enjoyed great success as the publisher of Time, a weekly news magazine.

    In 1936 publisher Henry Luceaid $92,000 to the owners of Life magazine because he sought the name for Time Inc. Wanting only the old Life’s name in the sale, Time Inc. sold Life’s subscription list, features, and goodwill to Judge. Convinced that pictures could tell a story instead of just illustrating text, Luce launched Life on November 23, 1936. The third magazine published by Luce, after Time in 1923 and Fortune in 1930, Life gave birth to the photo magazine in the U.S., giving as much space and importance to pictures as to words. The first issue of Life, which sold for ten cents (approximately USD $1.48 in 2007, see Cost of Living Calculator) featured five pages of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s pictures.

    When the first issue of Life magazine appeared on the newsstands, the U.S. was in the midst of the Great Depression and the world was headed toward war. Adolf Hitler was firmly in power in Germany. In Spain, General Francisco Franco’s rebel army was at the gates of Madrid; German Luftwaffe pilots and bomber crews, calling themselves the Condor Legion, were honing their skills as Franco’s air arm. Italy under Benito Mussolini annexed Ethiopia. Luce ignored tense world affairs when the new Life was unveiled: the first issue depicted the Fort Peck Dam in Montana photographed by Margaret Bourke-White.

    Late Night Karaoke

    Random Japan

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    Feed your inner monster with adorable Totoro cream puffs


    Sometimes food is so beautifully prepared it seems like a shame to eat it. And yet, the beautiful preparation makes it that much more enticing. The Japanese are without a doubt the masters of this skill, ranging from the exquisite jewel-like arrangements of chic kaiseki-ryori to the saccharine adorableness of the average kid’s bento.

    But we’ve discovered an almost-too-squee-inducing-to-eat treat that should appeal to adults and children alike: cream puffs shaped like Ghibli animation favorite Totoro.

    The creams puffs are the creation of Shirohige Shu-Cream Kojo (Whitebeard’s Cream Puff Factory), a pastry shop with attached cafĂ© off a tiny side street in the Daita neighborhood of Tokyo. Once we heard about it, we naturally had to go check it out for ourselves, so on a brisk fall afternoon ideal for hunting forest spirits, we headed to Shirohige to see if these cuties taste as good as they look.

    Friday Night at the Movies

    Health and Fitness News

    Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a 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.

    Gluten-Free Pies for Thanksgiving

    Roasted Sweet Potato Pie photo 15recipehealth-articleLarge_zps6e5d6f47.jpg

    I know there are probably ready-made crusts out there, and there is plenty of gluten-free flour mix on the market; but I have yet to find a gluten-free all purpose flour that doesn’t taste like bean flour, and that just doesn’t work for me.

    After a few false starts, I finally came up with a whole grain crust that held together well and did not have a chalky texture. Rather than use the combination of 30 percent potato starch or cornstarch and 70 percent whole grain flour that I use in other baked goods, I used a combination of fine cornmeal, or corn flour, oat flour, and a small amount of almond flour. The oat flour was the key – it has a wonderful flavor and a fine, starchy texture, but it’s not chalky. You do have to check that it is processed in a facility that does not process wheat, however. Bob’s Red Mill is a good source.

    ~Martha Rose Shulman~

    Gluten-Free Dessert Pastry

    After much trial and error, a pie dough that’s delicious and gluten-free.

    Pumpkin Pie

    A pie that is sweet with spices but not too sugary.

    Apple Tart With Almond Topping in a Gluten-Free Shell

    Caramelized apples are baked into a delicious desert.

    Pear Ginger Tart

    Poaching the pears until they are just tender results in a delicious fruit tart.

    Roasted Sweet Potato Pie or Flan

    An untraditional flan that is irresistibly creamy.

    Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2013

    The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.  The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999.  Rita Hester’s murder – like most anti-transgender murder cases – has yet to be solved.

    –Gwendolyn Ann Smith, founder

    Normally TDoR is observed on November 20, but I am a worker.

    The list is lengthy, as it seems to be every year.  And this list is incomplete.  I’d estimate that it represents about a quarter of those gender-variant people who were killed for being differently gendered since last November.  Transgender Europe will release a more complete number, for the calendar year of 2013, in the future.

    We matter!

    We shall strive not to forget.