July 19, 2014 archive

Saturday Night Movie

Another Obama Sell Out to the Kochs and Big Oil

The hits keep right on coming from an Administration that makes Boss Tweed and Warren Harding look like Mother Theresa.

Hunt for oil and gas to begin off East Coast

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill

07/18/14 01:47 PM EDT

The Obama administration opened up the Atlantic to oil and gas exploration for the first time in nearly four decades on Friday.

The announcement from Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) allows the use of air guns and sonic sensors to search off of the East Coast.

It is a major step toward allowing future drilling in the Atlantic, which has remained off-limits for over 30 years.

While the decision doesn’t guarantee that lease sales for drilling in Atlantic waters will be included in the Interior Department’s five-year plan for 2017-2022, it is a step in that direction.

“For more than 30 years, the Atlantic coast has been off limits to offshore drilling. Today, our government appears to be folding to the pressure of Big Oil and its big money,” said OCEANA spokeswoman Claire Douglass.

Green groups say the tests could kill thousands of marine mammals, injuring dolphins and endangered whales.

The Natural Resources Defense Council called seismic testing the “gateway drug to offshore drilling.”

Choosing Big Oil over whales: Obama opens East Coast for offshore exploration

Lindsay Abrams, Salon

Friday, Jul 18, 2014 03:09 PM EST

Federal waters off the East Coast are officially open for oil exploration, the Obama administration announced Friday, meaning energy companies can begin surveying the Eastern Seaboard, from the coast of Delaware down to Florida, in preparation for potential drilling.

The most immediate concerns, to environmentalists, are the air guns and sonic sensors used to find the oil, which can harm endangered whales and other marine life, like fish and sea turtles. In its environmental impact study conducted ahead of the approval, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimated that more than 138,000 sea creatures could potentially be harmed by the activity, including nine north Atlantic right whales. Only 500 of the whales remain worldwide.

And where there’s oil exploration, there usually ends up being oil drilling, to which coastal states, concerned about fisheries, tourism and the potential for spills, are largely opposed. Michael Jasny, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Marine Mammal Protection Project, told Fuel Fix that seismic exploration is “a gateway drug to offshore drilling.” Fuel Fix has more on how the fossil fuel industry is exerting its influence:

Friday’s move also helps pave the way for possible drilling off the East Coast in the 2020s, by giving the industry a new chance to prove the oil and gas potential of the area right as the Obama administration is assembling a five-year plan for selling offshore energy leases beginning in late 2017.

Remember, this is not “Energy Independence” oil (though that would be bad enough in terms of climate change), this is “Export Oil” that Big Carbon sells overseas to line the pockets of their Executive Oligarchs.


The Breakfast Club (Eshew Tonality)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgYou may well ask why I’m concentrating on French composers (those of you who’ve noticed) and the answer is of course 2 words- Le Tour.  At the turn of the century there were few names more closely associated with French classical music than Claude Debussy (the other would be Maurice Ravel and you can hardly write about him without everyone asking, “Where’s Boléro and Bo Derek?”).

Just don’t call it Impressionist because he hated that.

He wrote only one Opera, Pelléas et Mélisande, based on a Symbolist play of the  same name by Maurice Maeterlinck.  It’s in five acts rather than the traditional 2 or 3 and according to Wikipedia the plot goes a little something like this-

Prince Golaud finds a mysterious young woman, Mélisande, lost in a forest. He marries her and brings her back to the castle of his grandfather, King Arkel of Allemonde. Here Mélisande becomes increasingly attached to Golaud’s younger half-brother Pelléas, arousing Golaud’s jealousy. Golaud goes to excessive lengths to find out the truth about Pelléas and Mélisande’s relationship, even forcing his own child, Yniold, to spy on the couple. Pelléas decides to leave the castle but arranges to meet Mélisande one last time and the two finally confess their love for one another. Golaud, who has been eavesdropping, rushes out and kills Pelléas. Mélisande dies shortly after, having given birth to a daughter, with Golaud still begging her to tell him “the truth”.

What is truth? (John 18:36)  Eh, crucify him.

Now among French composers this particular work was almost as influential as Wagner of whom Debussy was for a time (as were many) a great admirer, though it is hard to imagine a style more different and fundamentally innovative.  As far as I’m concerned Wagner was a derivative hack who never had a musical thought he didn’t steal from Beethoven.

Pierre Boulez is still alive as far as I know and was conducting as recently as 2008.

Obligatories, news and blogs below.

On This Day In History July 19

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.

July 19 is the 200th day of the year (201st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 165 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1848, a two-day Women’s Rights Convention opens in Seneca Falls, New York. There the “Bloomers” are introduced.

The Seneca Falls Convention was an early and influential women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York, July 19-20, 1848. It was organized by local New York women upon the occasion of a visit by Boston-based Lucretia Mott, a Quaker famous for her speaking ability, a skill rarely cultivated by American women at the time. The local women, primarily members of a radical Quaker group, organized the meeting along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a skeptical non-Quaker who followed logic more than religion.

The meeting spanned two days and six sessions, and included a lecture on law, a humorous presentation, and multiple discussions about the role of women in society. Stanton and the Quaker women presented two prepared documents, the Declaration of Sentiments and an accompanying list of resolutions, to be debated and modified before being put forward for signatures. A heated debate sprang up regarding women’s right to vote, with many including Mott urging the removal of this concept, but Frederick Douglass argued eloquently for its inclusion, and the suffrage resolution was retained. Exactly 100 of approximately 300 attendees signed the document, mostly women.

The convention was seen by some of its contemporaries, including featured speaker Mott, as but a single step in the continuing effort by women to gain for themselves a greater proportion of social, civil and moral rights, but it was viewed by others as a revolutionary beginning to the struggle by women for complete equality with men. Afterward, Stanton presented the resulting Declaration of Sentiments as a foundational document in the American woman’s suffrage movement, and she promoted the event as the first time that women and men gathered together to demand the right for women to vote. Stanton’s authoring of the History of Woman Suffrage helped to establish the Seneca Falls Convention as the moment when the push for women’s suffrage first gained national prominence. By 1851, at the second National Women’s Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts, the issue of women’s right to vote had become a central tenet of the women’s rights movement.

Le Tour 2014: Stage 14, Grenoble / Risoul

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Bad day for Sky.  As of today Le Tour is 2/3rds done and yesterday was not a good one for their emergency team leader, Riche Porte, who started fading with 25 km to go ending up 11 minutes behind stage winner and maillot jaune Vincenzo Nibali.  After Le Tour Dave Brailsford, the General Manager, may be looking for other employment as the decision to drop Bradley Wiggins looms large.  James Murdoch will, of course, never be replaced- nepotism.

What?!  You didn’t know Team Sky was part of Rupert’s media empire (a minor one to be sure)?  I find it hard to feel too badly for them.

Stage results- Vincenzo Nibali, Rafal Majka (:10), Leopold Konig (:11), Alejandro Valverde BelMonte (:50), Thibaut Pinot (:53), Tejay Van Garderen and Romain Bardet tied at (1:23), and Laurens Ten Dam (1:36).  Jean-Christophe Péraud, Frank Schleck, and Bauke Mollema tied at 2:09, Pierre Rolland and Rui Alberto Costa tied at 3:01, Michael Rogers (3:07) and Christpher Horner (3:11).  Ben Gastauer (4:02) and Michal Kwiatkowski (4:12).  Everyone else was almost 6 minutes behind or more.

In the General Classification, Vincenzo Nibali,  Alejandro Valverde BelMonte (3:37), Romain Bardet (4:24), Thibaut Pinot (4:40), Tejay Van Garderen (5:19), Jean-Christophe Péraud (6:06), Bauke Mollema (6:17), Jurgen Van Den Broeck (6:27), Rui Alberto Costa (8:35), Leopold Konig (8:36), Michal Kwiatkowski (8:51), Lauren Ten Dam (9:18), and Pierre Rolland (9:48).  Everyone else is over 10 minutes behind.

For the Points Championship it’s Peter Sagan (341), Bryan Coquard (191), Alexander Kristoff (172), Marcel Kittel (167), Mark Renshaw (118), André Greipel and Vincenzo Nibali tied at 117, Greg Van Avermaet (115).  Everyone else is over 28 points behind.

In Climbing competition we have Vincenzo Nibali (again) (70), Joaquim Rodriguez (53), Thibaut Pinot (41), Alejandro Valverde BelMonte and Rafal Majka tied at 40.  Everybody else at least 6 points behind.  Between the Teams it is AG2R, Belkin (9:24), Sky (23:46), Astana (29:20), BMC (33:31), Movistar (45:25), and EuropCar (55:33).  Omega Pharma leads a group of 10 teams at under 2 hours behind and the rest are over 3 hours back.  In the Youth Contest it is Romain Bardet, Thibaut Pinot (:16),  Michal Kwiatkowski (4:27), and Tom Dumoulin (37:50).  Everyone else is over an hour behind.

Today’s stage is 110 miles long.  Mercifully for the sprinters the Sprint Checkpoint is early before any of the climbs.  There are 2 Category 1s and 1 Beyond Categorization.

Distance Name Length Category
Km 82.0 Col du Lautaret (2 058 m) 34 km @ 3.9% 1
Km 132.5 Col d’Izoard (2 360 m) – Souvenir Henri Desgrange 19 km @ 6% H
Km 177.0 Montée de Risoul (1 855 m) 12.6 km @ 6.9% 1

What they are chiefly is very, very long and the finish up hill.  It is our last day in the Alps, tomorrow will be a day for the sprinters if any of them are left.

Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan

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Can I have some more fries? For the next 60 minutes, you can have as many as you want!

    KK Miller

Japan is home to some of the strangest collaborative promotions you will ever find. There’s been everything from Mountain Dew combining powers with a chip company to convenience store teaming up with a menstruation website. Many times the promotions are endless and maybe even seem pointless! But the new collaboration between Docomo, the cell phone company, and Lotteria, the burger shop, is a month of blood clot-forming, salt-coma inducing greatness. This campaign is going to make people who like to talk on their phones and also people who like to stuff their face with French fries very, very happy!!!

Beginning on July 24 and lasting until August 31, customers at Lotteria can buy a medium French fries at 270 yen (US$2.66), or a combo that includes a medium fries, and get all-you-can-eat French fries for 60 minutes!

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.

These Fruits Were Made for Grilling

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On the Fourth of July, before the meat and fish hit the grill, I decided to throw on some fruit. I’ve always loved the way roasting summer stone fruit like peaches and apricots deepens their flavors, and I thought a sizzle on the grill might do the same. It did. Just a few minutes on each side – enough to create griddle marks on a peach or an apricot and soften it, but not so long that the fruit collapses, brought out the juices and warmed the fruit through. When I removed the peaches and apricots from the grill I tossed them with a little honey and lemon zest. [..]

I couldn’t get grilled fruit out of my head, and worked on other recipes after I grilled the peaches and apricots – not just desserts, but salads with grilled fruit (some wonderful combinations) and a starter of grilled figs.

Arugula Salad With Grilled Apricots and Pistachios

Grilling the apricots makes them contrast beautifully with the pungent arugula in this salad.

Grilled Figs With Pomegranate Molasses

Serve these figs warm as an appetizer with goat cheese, or as a dessert with ricotta or yogurt.

Crêpes With Grilled Peaches and Apricots

Crêpes are great to have on hand for desserts, and easy to make with a nonstick or seasoned crêpe pan.

Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad

A winning combination: sweet, juicy watermelon paired with salty cheese and pungent onions.

Grilled Vanilla-Ginger Pineapple

A sweet and pungent mix of vanilla and ginger syrup adds new dimension to a grilled pineapple.