August 9, 2014 archive


The Breakfast Club (Inconceivable!)

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I do not think that word means what you think it means.

So recently I’ve seen a couple of pundits, columnists, and reporters who should know better use “Baroque” to describe something.  For example-

Argentina accuses US of judicial malpractice for triggering needless default

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph

7:56PM BST 31 Jul 2014

In a sign of how Baroque this saga has become, Argentina actually tried to wire the payment to US banks in New York but the money was returned in order to comply with a court order, leaving it unclear whether this will trigger credit default swaps on Argentina’s debt worth $1bn. The Argentine press said the government may pay the interest into an escrow account to maintain the goodwill of the main bondholders.

Baroque is an artistic style that uses exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, and music.

I think, from context, instead they mean Byzantine (definition 4)- overly complex or intricate, or of a devious, usually stealthy manner of practice.

So Baroque is kind of exactly… the opposite.

Now I could waste a lot of time and pixels explaining why the Eastern Roman Empire inspired that kind of definition, but that’s about 1200 years of history and I’d rather talk about music and not misshapen pearls.

Although it was long thought that the word as a critical term was first applied to architecture, in fact it appears earlier in reference to music, in an anonymous, satirical review of the première in October 1733 of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734. The critic implied that the novelty in this opera was “du barocque,” complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was filled with unremitting dissonances, constantly changed key and meter, and speedily ran through every compositional device.

Well, that would be “every compositional device” known to the Renaissance where ‘daring’ meant 4 part harmony (with feelin’ and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining how it is to be used in evidence against me.  Sucks to have a logical mind, gravity, and a VW Microbus with shovels, rakes, and implements of destruction, I might not be moral enough).

We’ll just wait until it comes around on the Gamba again.

This particular piece by Montaverdi is an example of mid-Baroque and like many was Liturgical in nature, the title translates roughly to “Prayers for the Blessed Virgin” and has 8 part harmony.

Which, though it seems rather pedestrian today, was peculiar in the most unusual way they could cook up back when they were still figuring out how to write music down at all and weren’t even concerned about 12 tone atonalism and serial minimalism (no, I don’t really understand Philip Glass either).

Any who, Obigatories, News, and Blogs below the fold.

On This Day In History August 9

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

August 9 is the 221st day of the year (222nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 144 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1974, one day after the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford is sworn in as president, making him the first man to assume the presidency upon his predecessor’s resignation. He was also the first non-elected vice president and non-elected president, which made his ascendance to the presidency all the more unique.

Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974. As the first person appointed to the vice-presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment, when he became President upon Richard Nixon’s  resignation on August 9, 1974, he also became the only President of the United States who was elected neither President nor Vice-President.

Before ascending to the vice-presidency, Ford served nearly 25 years as Representative from Michigan’s 5th congressional district, eight of them as the Republican Minority Leader.

As President, Ford signed the Helsinki Accords, marking a move toward detente in the Cold War. With the conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam nine months into his presidency, US involvement in Vietnam essentially ended. Domestically, Ford presided over what was then the worst economy since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure. One of his more controversial acts was to grant a presidential pardon to President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal. During Ford’s incumbency, foreign policy was characterized in procedural terms by the increased role Congress began to play, and by the corresponding curb on the powers of the President. In 1976, Ford narrowly defeated Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination, but ultimately lost the presidential election to Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Following his years as president, Ford remained active in the Republican Party. After experiencing health problems and being admitted to the hospital four times in 2006, Ford died in his home on December 26, 2006. He lived longer than any other U.S. president, dying at the age of 93 years and 165 days.

Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan

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 Get ’em while they’re cold! Tokyo restaurant has chilled chicken skewers in collagen blocks

   Casey Baseel

Japan takes skincare pretty seriously. Aside from all the parasols, cosmetic-grade sunscreens, and arsenal of lotions stocked at every drug store, some people look for a skin-beautifying boost in the foods they eat.

Collagen-rich dishes are particularly popular, especially when cooked in a hot pot. But what if you don’t just want food that contains collagen, but globs of it that contain food? Then this Tokyo yakitori restaurant has just the thing with its chicken skewers inside blocks of collagen.

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.

Fresh and Fruity Salsas

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Cooking Up Change is a national healthy cooking competition that challenges teams of students to create menus that meet the national nutrition standards and budgetary restraints for school lunches. Mendez and Sanchez, both from Manual Arts High School, beat out students from other Los Angeles high schools for the chance to compete in Washington. They placed second over all.

Mendez and Sanchez’s recipe is served as a fruit cup and will be on the menu at Los Angeles schools during the next academic year. The reason it inspired me to make some fruit salsas is because they season their fruit with a little bit of chili powder and cayenne. I love the juiciness and sweetness of fruit against heat and pungency, so I decided to make some salsas with fruit and chiles. I worked with watermelon and with pineapple this week, as well as with mangoes.

~Martha Rose Shulman

Pineapple Avocado Salsa

A sweet, fruity flavor and a mix of textures set this salsa apart. It goes great with salmon or just about any other fish.

Roasted Corn and Tomato Salsa

Grilling tomatoes, jalapeños and corn makes for a nice mix of flavors. The sweetness of the corn contrasts well with the charred and picante flavors of the salsa.

Salsa Fresca with Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi, with its crisp texture, is a pleasant surprise diced into this tomato salsa. It goes well with chips, nachos, tacos and quesadillas, or with fish and chicken.

Grilled Mango Salsa

A mango’s rich flavor is deepened through grilling in this salsa full of contrasts. It also works if you do not want to grill the mango.

Watermelon and Tomato Salsa

Sweet, juicy watermelon and spicy chiles combine to create a surprising summer salsa with a kick. It goes especially well with grilled fish.

So much hate, so little reason…Laverne Cox explains it

On July 30 a 15-year old trans girl boarded a Metro green line train in the District of Columbia with a couple of her friends.  One might assume that was a peaceful act.

But when 24-year old Reginald Anthony Klaiber of Greenbelt, MD boarded the same car on that train, he reacted to the trans girl violently.  At first he disliked her hair color (the girl was wearing a red wig).  Then he questioned her clothing.  When the girl asked him to leave her alone, her friends say he asked her, “Are you a boy?  Are you a boy?  …Why are you looking like a girl?”

He came to my friend and said you have red hair.  My friend said ok, and then he said, ‘Oh, you’re a man!’

Then he started bothering my friend.  My friend got up out of her seat to go by the door while the train was moving and told him to please leave her alone.  He faced her and said I will stab you up and blow your brains out.

Jae-la White, friend of the victim