September 26, 2014 archive

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.

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A Week of Focaccia

Sweet Focaccia with Figs, Plums, and Hazelnuts: photo 12recipehealthalt-tmagArticle_zpsb0c4d583.jpg

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

A couple of months ago, at the height of the summer tomato season, I gave you a recipe for a delicious whole wheat focaccia with tomatoes and fontina. I was so enthralled with the bread that I decided I’d come back to it and post a week’s worth of focaccia recipes. [..]

Focaccia takes more time to make than pizza, but I find that it’s less challenging to make and it’s more versatile in some ways. You can serve it warm or at room temperature, as a snack or as a small meal. It’s easy to transport, freezes well and lends itself beautifully to whole grain flour.

~ Martha Rose Shulman ~

Sweet Focaccia with Figs, Plums, and Hazelnuts

A lightly sweetened flatbread is topped with hazelnuts and the last plums and figs of summer.

Sweet Whole Wheat Focaccia with Pears and Walnuts

This is a beautiful, slightly sweet focaccia that goes well with cheese.

Potato Focaccia with Oyster Mushrooms

The potato in this savory focaccia is blended into the dough.

Whole Wheat Focaccia with Cherry Tomatoes and Olives

This focaccia looks and tastes like summer in Provençe or Tuscany.

Whole Wheat Focaccia with Peppers and Eggplant

This savory focaccia is garnished with a medley of Mediterranean vegetables.

Good News on XL?

Why It Matters That Statoil Just Shelved Its Multi-Billion-Dollar Tar Sands Project

by Emily Atkin, Think Progress

September 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Statoil is putting the project on hold for a few reasons, but the most notable is the company’s assertion that there is “limited pipeline access” for the oil. In other words, Statoil is not sure there is enough pipeline capacity for it to actually get the oil out of northern Canada. According to Reuters, Statoil is the first company to explicitly cite pipeline access as a reason for delaying or cancelling a project.

The momentum surrounding opposition to Keystone XL has done more than just delay the one pipeline – it’s made companies extremely wary of pursuing pipeline projects that cross the border to bring Canadian tar sands oil into the United States. According to Leach, that broader fact is now making some companies rethink tar sands production projects.

Because of Statoil’s postponement, some have called into question the accuracy of the State Department’s claim that building Keystone XL would not impact global greenhouse gas emissions, because the oil produced in Canada would get to market anyway. But as Leach points out, the State Department’s assessment only looked at the 800,000 daily barrels of oil that would be produced by Keystone – not the ripple effect approval might have on other cross-border pipeline projects.

Another reason Statoil may have put its project on the shelf is because of its shareholders. Unlike most Canadian-based oil companies, stockholders of the Norwegian energy company have put a decent amount of pressure on the company to make environmentally-friendly investments.

“Statoil has been under a lot of pressure at home in terms of their oil sands investments,” Leach said. “For them, building a new oil sands project is going to be difficult given the opposition … They won’t be able to push ahead if it’s even slightly risky.”

Dispatches from the New! Improved! War

Baris Karaagac is a lecturer in International Development Studies at Trent University, in Ontario.


The U.S. has begun its bombing campaign in Syria, ostensibly against the Islamic State, only a year after a failed effort by President Obama to initiate a bombing campaign against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Fighting between IS and various armed groups has brought about 140,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees across the border into Turkey. A member of NATO, Turkey has been playing a major role for the past couple of years in facilitating aid, armaments, transportation to Syrian rebel groups that had been fighting Assad. Though the Turkish government has said it will not be joining the broad coalition in the war against the Islamic State, being on the border with Syria, it is without question a major player here.

Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College.


Funny thing for the American president to talk about adhering to international laws. Also, Mr. Obama at the UN said that the large nations should not trample small ones in pursuit of what he called “territorial ambition”. These are curious statements coming from the American president at this time. There’s no UN resolution that allows the United States to carry out operations in Syria. You’ll remember that in Libya in 2011 there was a great hoopla made about the importance of getting a UN resolution. Here there was no attempt to get any resolution. They simply bombed in Syria. The question of international norms or international resolutions, you know, coming from Mr. Obama is not really about whether there are international norms or resolutions to uphold.

But why is Mr. Obama saying this? What is his audience? It’s plain that the American right wing, the Republicans and some sections of the Democratic Party, don’t really care about international norms. They believe in the executive authority of the president. They don’t even believe the United Nations or international law should play any role vis-à-vis American policymaking.

And then you have the world community. You know, when they hear things like big countries shouldn’t trample small countries, people keep thinking of Iraq. I mean, from 1991 till the present, Iraq sovereignty has been trampled by the United States. However you define territorial ambitions, it need not be a country that’s right next to the U.S. for it to exercise its extraterritorial or territorial ambitions. So most people around the world would not see the credibility of that statement.

I think this particular gesture comes towards the liberal wing of the American population that’s maybe a little anxious about this escalation into warfare. You know, there are people who are saying that they voted twice for Mr. Obama and they are now feeling a great sense of regret, not only over Guantanamo, etc., but now perhaps the entry into a new war in West Asia.

Liberal base sours on Obama

By Justin Sink, The Hill

09/26/14 06:00 AM EDT

Obama has taken a number of steps in recent months that put him out of step with the coalition of young adults, women and minorities that helped him win the White House.

The problems began last year with revelations about the National Security Agency’s top-secret surveillance programs – the same kind of programs that were condemned on the left during the George W. Bush years.

A Pew poll this summer found that, despite Obama’s efforts to explain and reform the surveillance programs, 58 percent of so-called “solid liberals” continued to oppose the NSA efforts.

Concerns about the president’s use of military force, meanwhile, have intensified with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Liberals largely elected President Obama in 2008 on the promise he would extract the U.S. from Middle East conflicts, and the prospect of a new military campaign is not sitting well with many of them.

Since announcing that he would delay executive action on immigration reform until after the midterm elections, Obama’s numbers have plummeted with Hispanic voters. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 47 percent of Latino voters approved of the president’s performance, down 15 points over the past 20 months.


The Breakfast Club (Deja Vu All Over Again)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

JFK and Nixon participate in TV’s first presidential debate; Cuba ends Mariel boatlift; Composer George Gershwin, poet T.S. Eliot and tennis star Serena Williams born; ‘West Side Story’ hits Broadway

Breakfast Tunes

On This Day In History September 26

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.

September 26 is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 96 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day on 1957, West Side Story premieres on Broadway. East Side Story was the original title of the Shakespeare-inspired musical conceived by choreographer Jerome Robbins, written by playwright Arthur Laurents and scored by composer and lyricist Leonard Bernstein in 1949. A tale of star-crossed lovers-one Jewish, the other Catholic-on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the show in its original form never went into production, and the idea was set aside for the next six years. It was more than just a change of setting, however, that helped the re-titled show get off the ground in the mid-1950s. It was also the addition of a young, relatively unknown lyricist named Stephen Sondheim. The book by Arthur Laurents and the incredible choreography by Jerome Robbins helped make West Side Story a work of lasting genius, but it was the strength of the songs by Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein that allowed it to make its Broadway debut on this day in 1957.

There are no videos of the original Broadway production which starred Larry Kert as Tony, Carol Lawrence as Maria, Ken Le Roy as Bernardo and Chita Rivera as Anita (Ms. Rivera reprized her role in the movie), so here is the Prologue from the Academy Award winning movie. The area that the movie was filmed no longer exists. The 17 blocks between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, from West 60th to West 66th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where he filming took place were demolished to build Lincoln Center for the Preforming Arts.

Late Night Karaoke

TDS/TCR (Gozer the Gozarian)


I like mine rare on the medium side.


Hey, what do you know, Stephen is the one with the web exclusive 3 part extended interview below with Bill Cosby.

Also the real news and next week’s guests.