July 12, 2014 archive

2014 World Cup Third Place Match: Brazil – Netherlands

This afternoon Brazil will try to salvage its World Cup with a win in the Third Place Match against Netherlands (Holland).

Semifinal Losers Will Vie for Third Place, Like It or Not

World Cup 2014: Brazil and Netherlands to Play for Third Place, a Game No One Wants

Brazil lost its World Cup semifinal match to Germany by a devastating 7-1 score. The Netherlands lost its game against Argentina in a penalty shootout after 120 minutes of tense scoreless play.

After each match, the losing players wandered off the field, glassy eyed, crushed that their World Cup dreams had ended so close to the final.

The last thing any of them wanted to think about for a long time was soccer.

But their World Cup is not over. Instead, the losing semifinalists have had to haul their tired bodies and their dashed hopes to Brasília, where they will compete one more time on Saturday, for third place.

The third-place game is an oddity that many coaches, players and fans wish would fade into history. Netherlands Coach Louis van Gaal minced no words about the game.

“I think that this match should never be played,” he said. “The worst thing is that there is a chance you are going to lose twice in a row. And in a tournament in which you have played so marvelously well, you go home as a loser.”

C’est la vie, M. van Gaal. The man needs to stop whining about who went first and why.

Van Gaal remains convinced, though, that the World Cup was set up to favour Brazil. “I will stick to the facts,” he said. “The facts are that Brazil started first. And Brazil again has played first again and we played a day later.

“These are the facts. I am not going to beat around the bush. Then you know what the implications are if that is the case. The question is why? I think Scolari should think about that if he wants to do that and is allowed to do that.”

Van Gaal’s annoyance has clearly been heightened by the fact that Brazil have had another day to prepare for the third-place play-off. “We have one day less than Brazil,” Van Gaal added. “We have to get into shape in two and a half days, which physically is hard.”

Although much of the protesting has slowed, the corruption and political controversy of the game continued:

World Cup 2014: Executive Is Called Fugitive in Ticket-Selling Case

by Seth Kugel, The New York Times

A police investigation into an illegal ticket-selling scheme at the World Cup took a cinematic turn as one of the suspects slipped out of an employee entrance of the luxurious Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro just minutes before the police arrived to arrest him.

The suspect, Ray Whelan – an executive with Match Services, the company contracted by FIFA to sell match tickets and hospitality packages – can be seen on security footage casually following his lawyer, Fernando Fernandes, out an employee entrance of the hotel on Thursday afternoon. Police officers arrived minutes later with an arrest warrant. Whelan had been arrested earlier in the week and then released by a judge after a habeas corpus request. [..]

The police have been investigating an alleged Ticket Mafia, as the Brazilian press has called it, that supposedly acquired and sold World Cup match tickets and packages for well above list prices. The Rio de Janeiro police have recorded 50,000 phone calls, including around 900 calls between Whelan and Mohamadou Lamine Fofana, an Algerian who officials said was the mastermind of the operation, the police investigator Fabio Barucke told The Associated Press.

Investigators have accused 12 men of charges including ticket scalping, criminal conspiracy and, in three cases, bribing police officers in a sting operation. All but Whelan and José Massih, who assisted investigators during his initial arrest, are in police custody.

Brazilians Grumble and Take Stock After Crushing World Cup Loss

by Simon Romero, The New York Times

The hosting of the World Cup has been politicized from the moment FIFA, the scandal-tarred organization that oversees global soccer, awarded the tournament to Brazil in 2007. Back then, the economy was booming and the president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, viewed the Cup as an opportunity to celebrate Brazil’s achievements on the global stage.

Now the economy is sluggish, in its fourth consecutive year of slow growth. While the feat of lifting millions out of poverty over the past decade remains intact, Mr. Lula da Silva’s handpicked successor, Dilma Rousseff, has grappled with widespread protests over political corruption and spending on lavish stadiums.

Just last week, a survey suggested that Brazilians were softening in their views of the Cup, buoyed by a series of stunning matches and a lack of major problems in the hosting of the tournament itself. Antigovernment protests had dwindled substantially, even though discontent continued to smolder over the public financing of stadiums when other large-scale projects remained unfinished.

On the lighter side, if you liked the Lego movies and videos, The Guardian has an on going series of videos that highlight the best and worst moments of global sports, called “Brick by Brick.” The last several have focused on the 2014 World Cup starting with the first game between Brazil and Croatia to Suárez playing hero and villain, poster-boy Neymar’s injury and Brazil’s humiliating exit

The coverage for today’s game is on ESPN with pre-game hype starting at 3:30 PM EDT and kick off at 4 PM EDT.


The Breakfast Club (Animals)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgAlmost everyone is familiar with today’s featured piece as it’s very popular and frequently performed, especially at Young People’s Concerts which were one of my favorites on CBS back in the day.  Hard to imagine a network doing something like that now.

But I was always weird, listened to WQXR before I picked up News Radio 88 (with traffic and weather together on the eights at 8, 18, 28, 38, 48, and 58 minutes past the hour).

The themes are used in many movies and commercials and it’s very, very short (for those with limited attention spans).

To Camille Saint-Saëns it was an elaborate musical joke, intended for private performances with his friends.  He’d just finished a Smell the Glove like tour of Germany and was pretty fed up with the music scene as you can tell by the titles of some of the sections (Wild Asses, Personages with Long Ears, Pianists, Fossils, c’mon)

Today’s clip is an abridged version, which I don’t normally do, a full version is below along with some other ‘long haired’ music.

“The Turtle”, “The Mule”, “The Cuckoo” and “The Swan” are omitted, a brief version of “The Pianists” is heard in the end credits, and the verse for “The Mule” is tacked onto the verse for “The Jackass.”

Also below- Obligatories and News.

On This Day In History July 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.

Click on images to enlarge

July 12 is the 193rd day of the year (194th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 172 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1862, the Medal of Honor is created.

President Abraham Lincoln signs into law a measure calling for the awarding of a U.S. Army Medal of Honor, in the name of Congress, “to such noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection.” The previous December, Lincoln had approved a provision creating a U.S. Navy Medal of Valor, which was the basis of the Army Medal of Honor created by Congress in July 1862. The first U.S. Army soldiers to receive what would become the nation’s highest military honor were six members of a Union raiding party who in 1862 penetrated deep into Confederate territory to destroy bridges and railroad tracks between Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia.


The first formal system for rewarding acts of individual gallantry by American soldiers was established by George Washington on August 7, 1782, when he created the Badge of Military Merit, designed to recognize “any singularly meritorious action.” This decoration is America’s first combat award and the second oldest American military decoration of any type, after the Fidelity Medallion.

Although the Badge of Military Merit fell into disuse after the American Revolutionary War, the concept of a military award for individual gallantry by members of the U.S. armed forces had been established. In 1847, after the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, a Certificate of Merit was established for soldiers who distinguished themselves in action. The certificate was later granted medal status as the Certificate of Merit Medal.

Early in the Civil War, a medal for individual valor was proposed by Iowa Senator James W. Grimes to Winfield Scott, the Commanding General of the United States Army. Scott did not approve the proposal, but the medal did come into use in the Navy. Senate Bill 82, containing a provision for a “Medal of Honor”, was signed into law (12Stat329) by President Abraham Lincoln on December 21, 1861. The medal was “to be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen, landsmen, and Marines as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry and other seamanlike qualities during the present war.” Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles directed the Philadelphia Mint to design the new decoration. Shortly afterward, a resolution of similar wording was introduced on behalf of the Army and was signed into law on July 12, 1862. This measure provided for awarding a Medal of Honor, as the Navy version also came to be called: “to such noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities, during the present insurrection.”

As there were only two medals that could be issued until the World War I including the Purple Heart, the Medal of Honor was sometimes awarded for deeds that would not later merit that distinction. In 1917, when other medals were created for bravery, a recall was requested for 910 Medals of Honor that had been previously issued, but no longer considered that noteworthy. Thereafter, and until the present day, the Medal was awarded for deeds that were considered exceptional.

Le Tour 2014: Stage 8, Tomblaine / Gérardmer La Mauselaine

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Flaming chunks of twisted metal!  You could hardly ask for better weather or roads than you got in Stage 7 and still you had massive, race altering crashes.  So much for your theories about cobbles, or rain, or ‘selfies’.

‘Selfies’! even my activist brother who admits he can’t watch 15 minutes of Le Tour without falling into a coma of boredom repeated that laughable excuse.  Folks, spectators have been crowding the road and even dashing into the middle of the course to take pictures since the invention of the camera, which is to say basically forever.  I wonder what the tough guys of the first Tour would have to say about these whiny ass pretty boys when they rode cobbles almost every day and had to deal with flash powder explosions?

Stef Clement, Belkin captain, withdrew after a crash at km 40 (dead flat and dry), but then again he wasn’t expected to even start.  Mathias Frank withdrew early in the stage and Danny van Poppel at km 120 leaving Simon Yates, who scored the Climbing point for Côte de Maron, the youngest rider left at 22 years old.  Shortly after Tejay van Garderen who fancied himself a contender in the General Classification at (2:11) was involved in a crash and ended up losing 1:03 on the day and taking out his team mate Darwin Atapuma.  

In the last km there was another crash when Andrew Talansky went down during the final sprint and it looked like Peter Sagan would get his first stage win only to be aced out by Matteo Trentin in a photo finish.

On the stage it was Trentin and Sagan followed by 25 other riders who scored the same time as the leaders.  In the General Classification it is still Vincenzo Nibali followed by Jakob Fugslsang (:02), Peter Sagan (:44), Michal Kwiatkowski (:50).  Three more riders are under 2 minutes back, Tony Gallopin, Riche Porte, and Andrew Talansky and only 10 more under 3 minutes including Alberto Contador (2:37).  In Points competition the leader is Peter Sagan (259), Brian Coquard (146), Marcel Kittel (137), Alexander Kristoff (117), Mark Renshaw (85), and André Greipel (91); the next rider is 31 points behind.  In the Climber contest another static day, Cyril Lmoine (6), Blel Kadri (5), Jens Voigt and Nicolas Edet tied at 4.  Among the Teams it’s Astana, Belkin (4:18), Sky (6:31), BMC (7:08), and Trek (8:25).  Everyone else is over 10 minutes behind.  In Youth competition nothing changed, Peter Sagan, Michal Kwiatkowski (:06), Roman Bardet (1:27), Tom Dumoulin (1:41), and Thibaut Pinot (2:40).  Everyone else is over 11 minutes out.

Today’s stage is almost exactly 100 miles.  It starts out fairly flat though constantly ascending and the Sprint Checkpoint is at exactly 100 km.  After that the day goes up hill for the pure sprinters as we finish with 2 Category 2 climbs, Col de la Croix des Moinats and Col de Grosse Pierre, and in a Category 3 climb to the line in Gérardmer La Mauselaine.  This is the start of 6 more days in the Vosges which while not as tall as the Alps or Pyrenees are pretty steep and narrow.  We shall see in the standings start to change.

Coverage will be on NBC proper, not Vs. (or NBC Sports as it is now known) at 8 am ET.  Your usual schedule of constant repeats will be interupted by IndyCar racing and Outdoor shows though they will do the customary noon and 8 pm.

Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan

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Life-size Totoro FOUND! Live out your Ghibli fantasies in Tochigi Prefecture

    KK Miller

While the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka is a truly whimsical place, transporting you into the magical world of animator Hayao Miyazaki and friends, an adult may feel that their immersion is incomplete. In particular, the children-only play area that features a “life-size” cat bus practically begs you to step over the velvet rope and throw the makurokurosuke in the air like a kid on a sugar high, but to do so would likely result in your ejection from the building.

But fear not! There is one other place in Japan where even grown-ups can wander happily through the imaginary world of My Neighbor Totoro: The Teddy bear Museum in Tochigi Prefecture.

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.

Adopt a Bean and Cook With It

Adopt a Bean and Cook With It photo 01recipehealth-tmagArticle_zpsaf35634e.jpg

This week I cooked up two simple pots of beans using two varieties: a somewhat large, roundish dark reddish-brown mottled bean called Good Mother Stallard, and a gorgeous black and white mottled bean, a little larger than standard black beans, called vaqueros. All I did was add a quartered onion, a few minced cloves of garlic, and plenty of salt to the soaked beans; I didn’t even sauté the onion and garlic first.

I cooked the beans in their soaking water, simmering them for about one and a half to two hours, and ended up with deeply flavored, plush beans that really could have stood alone. In fact, the following day – and beans are always better on the following day – I just snipped a little bit of cilantro into the broth and enjoyed them just so; they were even good cold.

Martha Rise Shulman

Two-Bean and Tuna Salad

This is the most amazing version of tuna and bean salad I’ve ever tasted, thanks to Good Mother Stallard beans.

Big Bowl With Spicy Brown Bean, Squash and Corn Succotash

This version of succotash is lima-bean-free, with a kick that is a lively contrast to the sweet corn.

Tostadas With Smashed Black Beans or Vaqueros, Salsa Fresca and Avocado

Refried heirloom vaquero beans add a special touch to these tostadas, but black beans work, too.

Arugula and Corn Salad With Roasted Red Peppers and White Bean

Canned beans can also be used in this composed salad with a base of sweet corn and pungent arugula.

Orecchiette With Fresh and Dried Beans and Tomatoes

Once the beans are done, this pasta dish takes only 15 minutes.