Monday, April 23, 2012
MIT is leading an ambitious new project to reinvent how robots are designed and produced. Funded by a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the project will aim to develop a desktop technology that would make it possible for the average person to design, customize and print a specialized robot in a matter of hours.
“This research envisions a whole new way of thinking about the design and manufacturing of robots, and could have a profound impact on society,” says MIT Professor Daniela Rus, leader of the project and a principal investigator at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). “We believe that it has the potential to transform manufacturing and to democratize access to robots.”
“Our goal is to develop technology that enables anyone to manufacture their own customized robot. This is truly a game changer,” says Professor Vijay Kumar, who is leading the team from the University of Pennsylvania. “It could allow for the rapid design and manufacture of customized goods, and change the way we teach science and technology in high schools.”
The five-year project, called “An Expedition in Computing for Compiling Printable Programmable Machines,” brings together a team of researchers from MIT, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, and is funded as part of the NSF’s “Expeditions in Computing” program.
It currently takes years to produce, program and design a functioning robot, and is an extremely expensive process, involving hardware and software design, machine learning and vision, and advanced programming techniques. The new project would automate the process of producing functional 3-D devices and allow individuals to design and build functional robots from materials as easily accessible as a sheet of paper.
“Our vision is to develop an end-to-end process; specifically, a compiler for building physical machines that starts with a high level of specification of function, and delivers a programmable machine for that function using simple printing processes,” Rus says.
Researchers hope to create a platform that would allow an individual to identify a household problem that needs assistance; then head to a local printing store to select a blueprint, from a library of robotic designs; and then customize an easy-to-use robotic device that could solve the problem. Within 24 hours, the robot would be printed, assembled, fully programmed and ready for action...
They say silence is golden – but there’s a room in the U.S that’s so quiet it becomes unbearable after a short time.
The longest that anyone has survived in the ‘anechoic chamber’ at Orfield Laboratories in South Minneapolis is just 45 minutes.
It’s 99.99 per cent sound absorbent and holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s quietest place, but stay there too long and you may start hallucinating.
The Anechoic Test Chamber at Orfield Laboratories was deemed the quietest place on Earth in 2004 - a record it still holds to this day
It achieves its ultra-quietness by virtue of 3.3-foot-thick fiberglass acoustic wedges, double walls of insulated steel and foot-thick concrete.
The company’s founder and president, Steven Orfield, told MailOnline: ‘We challenge people to sit in the chamber in the dark - one reporter stayed in there for 45 minutes.
‘When it’s quiet, ears will adapt. The quieter the room, the more things you hear. You'll hear your heart beating, sometimes you can hear your lungs, hear your stomach gurgling loudly.
‘In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.’
And this is a very disorientating experience. Mr Orfield explained that it’s so disconcerting that sitting down is a must.
He said: ‘How you orient yourself is through sounds you hear when you walk. In the anechnoic chamber, you don't have any cues. You take away the perceptual cues that allow you to balance and manoeuvre. If you're in there for half an hour, you have to be in a chair.’
The chamber is used by companies all over America – including Nasa, which puts their astronauts to the test in there, floating in a water-filled container, to see ‘how long it takes before hallucinations take place and whether they could work through it’.
As Mr Orfield explains, space is like one giant anechoic chamber, so it’s crucial that astronauts are able to stay focussed.
The chamber is also used by a multitude of manufacturers, which test how loud their products are...
The discovery of a giant meat-eating dinosaur sporting a downy coat has some scientists reimagining the look of Tyrannosaurus rex.
With a killer jaw and sharp claws, T. rex has long been depicted in movies and popular culture as having scaly skin. But the discovery of an earlier relative suggests the king of dinosaurs may have had a softer side.
The evidence comes from the unearthing of a new tyrannosaur species in northeastern China that lived 60 million years before T. rex. The fossil record preserved remains of fluffy down, making it the largest feathered dinosaur ever found.
If a T. rex relative had feathers, why not T. rex? Scientists said the evidence is trending in that direction.
"People need to start changing their image of T. rex," said Luis Chiappe, director of the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who was not part of the discovery team.
Much smaller dinosaurs with primitive feathers have been excavated in recent years, but this is the first direct sign of a huge, shaggy dinosaur. Scientists have long debated whether gigantic dinosaurs lost their feathers the bigger they got or were just not as extensively covered.
The new tyrannosaur species, Yutyrannus huali, is described in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. Its name is a blend of Latin and Mandarin, which translates to "beautiful feathered tyrant."
As we near the 75th anniversary of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, a high-tech search for the lost pilot will begin.
There is evidence suggesting that Earhart may have survived as a castaway on an island.
The new search will use deep underwater vehicles to scout for possible remains of Earhart and her plane...
Political Activist Filmmaker Kevin Booth Retained by Cannabis Science to Film Specialty Documentary
DENVER, Mar 19, 2012
Cannabis Science, Inc. a pioneering U.S. biotech company developing pharmaceutical cannabis (marijuana) products, is thrilled to announce that the company has retained filmmaker Kevin Booth to collaborate on a documentary researching cannabis as a medicine and the truth behind the science of marijuana.
Many people know Kevin Booth’s work with the late comedian, Bill Hicks. Kevin produced most of Bill’s CDs and videos that led to the comedian’s own HBO specials and multiple appearances on David Letterman. The story of Kevin’s seventeen-year friendship and working partnership with Bill Hicks was recently explored in a feature length BBC documentary that just ended a year long run of festivals and theatrical screenings. After Bill’s death from pancreatic cancer in 1994, Kevin’s filmmaking took on a political turn and he produced documentaries with talk show host Alex Jones about the incident in Waco, Texas, the American two-party political system, and 9/11. In 2005, Kevin traveled to the UK in order to promote his book titled “Agent of Evolution” about his friendship with Bill Hicks - published by Harper Collins.
Several of Kevin’s family members died as a result of alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceutical use. In 2003 Kevin began investigating the drug war in the United States and produced the documentary “American Drug War: The Last White Hope.” In his investigations, he discovered the United States government considers marijuana more dangerous than crack cocaine or crystal meth. Kevin sought to separate fact from fiction by traveling across the United States, documenting the “fallout” from the War on Drugs and seeking possible solutions and alternatives that have worked elsewhere. Kevin has toured the country, showing his film and lecturing at universities in hope of sparking a meaningful debate. “American Drug War” won best feature documentary at several film festivals from coast to coast and aired continuously on the Showtime network between 2008-2010. During this same time the film was also broadcasted on major networks in Canada, Australia, Poland, Lebanon and South Africa. Kevin recently returned from filming in Juarez Mexico for the follow up to “American Drug War" and is aiming for the sequel’s release later this year.
Kevin Booth’s body of work also include “How Weed Won the West" (a light hearted and humorous look into the California Cannabis culture) “Bill Hicks - Sane Man”, multiple music videos, feature length comedy concerts of Bill Hicks, Fear Factor’s Joe Rogan and groundbreaking comic Doug Stanhope. Kevin’s production of the Hick’s CD “Rant in E Minor” was recently awarded the 11th best comedy album of all time by Spin magazine competing against Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, Lenny Bruce, Rodney Dangerfield, Eddie Murphy, Sam Kinison, Woody Allen, George Carlin and Richard Pryor just to mention a few. Kevin’s audio productions “Rant in E Minor”, “Arizona Bay” and “Marble Head Johnson” all contain music written and performed by Kevin Booth and Bill Hick who first started playing music together in a high school punk-rock band named STRESS.
Today Kevin runs Sacred Cow Productions dba SCP Enterprises and self distributes through his own sites including SacredCow.com, AmericanDrugWar.com and Amazon. Several of his titles can be found distributed through Warner Brothers and Gravitas VOD that has now broken Booth’s work into the Latin market on both Netflix and ITUNES.
As previously announced, Cannabis Science has begun pre-production of its documentary, in which prohibition of marijuana, medicinal benefits of the plant, and international medical marijuana programs will be explored. Booth’s interests and demonstrated experience will be a true asset to Cannabis Science’s endeavors. The documentary will expose audience members to the subject of medical marijuana so that they may gain a better understanding of the research, science, and planning that goes into running Cannabis Science, one of the top marijuana research companies. The documentary will teach viewers about the medicinal benefits for a wide variety of conditions and show them that prohibition is unnecessary. This is clearly a topic for which Kevin Booth will provide great assistance, and Cannabis Science is excited to begin this project.
About Cannabis Science, Inc.
Cannabis Science, Inc. is at the forefront of pharmaceutical grade medical marijuana research and development. Our formulations will address the needs of patients choosing to use concentrated cannabis extracts to treat their ailments. Eventually, all Americans will have access to a safe and effective FDA approved medicine regardless of which state they live in. To maintain that marijuana is a dangerous, addictive drug with no medical value is scientifically absurd. Cannabis medicines, with no effective lethal dose, are far safer than aspirin, acetaminophen, and most other OTC drugs that kill thousands of Americans every year.
The Company works with world authorities on phytocannabinoid science targeting critical illnesses, and adheres to scientific methodologies to develop, produce and commercialize phytocannabinoid-based pharmaceutical products. In sum, we are dedicated to the creation of cannabis-based medicines, both with and without psychoactive properties, to treat disease and the symptoms of disease, as well as for general health maintenance.
Forward Looking Statements
This Press Release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. A statement containing works such as "anticipate," "seek," intend," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "project," "plan," or similar phrases may be deemed "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Some or all of the events or results anticipated by these forward-looking statements may not occur. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include the future U.S. and global economies, the impact of competition, and the Company's reliance on existing regulations regarding the use and development of cannabis-based drugs. Cannabis Science, Inc. does not undertake any duty nor does it intend to update the results of these forward-looking statements.
SOURCE: Cannabis Science Inc.
Dr. Robert J. Melamede, 1-888-889-0888
President & CEO
Robert Kane, 1-561-234-6929 Investor Relations Management firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
A company dubbed the "Walmart of Weed" is putting down roots in America's capital city, sprouting further debate on marijuana — medical or otherwise.
Just a few miles from the White House and federal buildings, a company that candidly caters to medical marijuana growers is opening up its first outlet on the East Coast. The opening of the weGrow store on Friday in Washington coincides with the first concrete step in implementing a city law allowing residents with certain medical conditions to purchase pot.
Like suppliers of picks and axes during the gold rush, weGrow sees itself providing the necessary tools to pioneers of a "green rush," which some project could reach nearly $9 billion within the next five years. Admittedly smaller than a big box store, weGrow is not unlike a typical retailer in mainstream America, with towering shelves of plant food and vitamins, ventilation and lighting systems. Along with garden products, it offers how-to classes, books and magazines on growing medical marijuana...
At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, March 16-Sept. 30, 2012
Confirmed cities on the exhibition tour include Boca Raton, Fla.; Seattle; Yonkers, N.Y.; Toledo, Ohio; Flint, Mich.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Miami, Fla.
Billionaire Paul Allen Pours $500 Million Into Quest To Find The Essence Of Humanity In The Brain
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is donating $300 million of his $14 billion fortune in his eponymous Allen Institute for Brain Science to fund new projects to map and observe the human brain and, in Allen’s words, “to one day understand the essence of what makes us human.” That brings the total amount Allen has invested in the Institute to $500 million.
The announcement was made at a press conference today in Seattle and in a commentary in Nature, one of the world’s best scientific journals, written by Christof Koch, the Institute’s Chief Scientific Officer, and R. Clay Reid of Harvard Medical School. They lay out a way of doing brain research that involves optogenetics, a kind of deep stimulation of the brain using light, connectomics, the study of connections in the brain, and brain observatories, ways of monitoring what happens in the brain in real time. Right now, because the mouse is smaller and simpler, much of the early efforts focus on the mouse brain. One of Allen’s new efforts is to map the visual connections between the brain and the mouse. There, mice have perhaps 2 million neurons involved in vision, compared to 5 billion such cells for humans.
“If you start out as a programmer, as I did in high school, the brain works in a completely different fashion than computers do,” Allen said, calling the effort “fascinating” and “noting that he’s been touched by neurodegenerative diseases” — his mother has Alzheimer’s. On the call he noted that while it’s possible to teach a student — a human brain — to program a computer in a matter of years, a computer can’t learn to function like a human brain even given a lifetime of opportunity. “”You can’t create an artificial intelligence,” Allen said, “unless you know how the real thing works.”
By 2020, the word "computer" will have vanished from the English language, physicist Michio Kaku predicts. Every 18 months, computer power doubles, he notes, so in eight years, a microchip will cost only a penny. Instead of one chip inside a desktop, we'll have millions of chips in all our possessions: furniture, cars, appliances, clothes. Chips will become so ubiquitous that "we won't say the word 'computer,'" prophesies Mr. Kaku, a professor of theoretical physics at the City College of New York. "We'll simply turn things on."
Mr. Kaku, who is 65, enjoys making predictions. In his latest book, "Physics of the Future," which Anchor released in paperback in February, he predicts driverless cars by 2020 and synthetic organs by 2030. If his forecasts sound strange, Mr. Kaku understands the skepticism. "If you could meet your grandkids as elderly citizens in the year 2100," he offers, "you would view them as being, basically, Greek gods." Nonetheless, he says, "that's where we're headed," —and he worries that the U.S. will fall behind in this technological onrush.
To comprehend the world we're entering, consider another word that will disappear soon: "tumor." "We will have DNA chips inside our toilet, which will sample some of our blood and urine and tell us if we have cancer maybe 10 years before a tumor forms," Mr. Kaku says. When you need to see a doctor, you'll talk to a wall in your home, and "an animated, artificially intelligent doctor will appear." You'll scan your body with a hand-held MRI machine, the "Robodoc" will analyze the results, and you'll receive "a diagnosis that is 99 percent accurate."
In this "augmented reality," as Mr. Kaku calls it, the Internet will be in your contact lens. "You will blink, and you will go online," he says. "That's going to change everything." Students will look up the answers to tests while taking them. Actors will cheat from their scripts while performing onstage. Foreigners will translate their conversations with natives instantly. Job-seekers will identify "who to suck up to at any cocktail party" surreptitiously. And President Obama "will never have to have teleprompters in front of him," he jokes.
Although these gadgets seem light years away, Mr. Kaku insists that they're "coming very, very fast." The military already has a prototype of the contact lens called "Land Warrior." In 2010, he tried out the device while filming a special for the Science channel, on which he appears regularly. The Land Warrior is a helmet with an eyepiece that allows the wearer to see the entire battlefield. "You see friendly forces, enemy forces, artillery, aircraft, everything," Mr. Kaku says, "just by flicking it down right over your eye."
Here's news that is both big and unsurprising. The Britannica, which was the standard bearer for encyclopedias in the pre-Internet era (no offense to the World Book Encyclopedia) has announced it will stop printing them and focus solely on digital editions. For more information on the history of this highly influential series, please visit Wikipedia...
FDA admits in court case that vaccines still contain mercury
Ethan A. Huff
Sunday, April 01, 2012
It is a common myth today that the vaccines administered to children no longer contain the toxic additive thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative linked to causing permanent neurological damage. But a recent federal case involving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed that, contrary to this widely-held belief, thimerosal is actually still present in many batch vaccines, including in the annual influenza vaccine that is now administered to children as young as six months old.
Filed by a citizen-backed coalition advocating vaccine safety, the lawsuit against the FDA alleged that the agency's continued endorsement and approval of thimerosal as a vaccine additive is a serious public health threat, especially since safer alternatives already exist and are widely used voluntarily by many vaccine manufacturers. But Judge Brett Kavanaugh, siding with antiquated pseudoscience, decided that thimerosal is not a health threat, and that those who wish to avoid it can simply choose thimerosal-free alternatives...
The fact that Judge Kavanaugh refused to hear the case is tragic in and of itself, as thimerosal, which is composed of 50 percent mercury, has been proven to cause serious health damage. But what may be even worse is the fact that many people falsely believe that thimerosal is not even included in vaccines anymore, which is leading them to blindly allow them to be administered to their children. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA have continued to provide dubious and misleading information on the subject, which the mainstream media has been complicit in spreading over the years.
But the FDA explains, in no uncertain terms, directly on its website that thimerosal is still added to certain vaccines. For this reason alone, it is crucial that parents who choose to vaccinate their children ask for an ingredients list for each and every vaccine before allowing them to be administered to their children...
McDonald's Shamrock Shake
St. Patty's Day has passed, but here's a recipe so you can still have McD's tasty Shamrock Shakes:
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 1/4 cups low fat milk
1/4 teaspoon mint extract (not peppermint)
8 drops green food coloring
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Stop blender to stir with a spoon if necessary to help blend ice cream.
2. Pour into two 12-ounce cups and serve each with a straw.
The Moby Dick Sandwich
The latest big eating challenge in baseball comes from Eastlake, Ohio, home of the Lake County Captain.
The Moby Dick is 15 inches long, weighs over three pounds, and is over 2,000 calories with 200 grams of fat. The price: twenty bucks.
Here's what is stuffed into the sesame seed hoagie roll:
• Five quarter-pound fish filets.
• Eight slices of cheese.
• Six ounces of clam strips.
• A third-pound of french fries.
• A cup of cole slaw.
• "Gobs" of lettuce, tomato, pickles and tartar sauce.
Pepto Bismol is extra...
Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals have their own mammoth meal in honor of superstar pitching prospect Stephen Strasburg:
"Weighing eight pounds total (including toppings), the StrasBurger is a monstrous all beef burger (combination of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs). The burger is served on a large burger bun with our secret sauce, American cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, pickle chips and served with a cone basket of fresh cut fries and a pitcher of your choice of soft drink. This signature dish is the perfect entrée to share at this affordably-priced family restaurant."
The Champion Dog
Finally, there's The Champion Dog at Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers.
According to Reuters, it's "a 2-foot-long beast that busts the scales at one pound. The Texas-sized dog is also topped with sautéed onions, shredded cheese, jalapenos and chili and served with a side of French fries."
The cast is a bit pricy, though: $26 for an entrée meant for sharing with three or more people...
Ben & Jerry's Flavor of the Month: Apple-y Ever After
An apple pie-flavored ice cream in support of gay marriage. Sadly, it's only available in the UK...
New Top Five Restaurant Chains
Wendy's has dethroned Burger King as the country's second biggest hamburger chain.
Wendy's edged out Burger King in U.S. sales volume for the first time last year since Wendy's was founded in 1969, according to a report by the food industry research firm Technomic Inc. that's set to be released next month.
Wendy's had sales of $8.5 billion in 2011, compared with $8.4 billion for Burger King. McDonald's remained far larger than both with $34.2 billion in sales...
The sales rankings for the top five restaurant chains have undergone another dramatic shift in the past five years, according to Technomic. In 2006, the No. 2 and No. 3 spots were held by Burger King and Wendy's respectively, making the top three companies all hamburger chains.
Subway now is No. 2 with $11.4 billion in sales last year and Starbucks is No. 3 with $9.8 billion. U.S. sales at both companies have grown at a much faster rate than the top three hamburger chains, with Subway sales up 48 percent from five years ago and Starbucks sales up 39 percent.
Enoteca Maria celebrates Grandmas from every culture. Even during times of hardship they have fashioned gourmet meals from the simplest of ingredients, poverty driven dishes, which have become the jewels in the crown of many 5 star Michelin Chefs! They are the foundation on which all else is set. To all who stand tall on the shoulders of these Matriarchs, Enoteca Maria says, Sit down Sonny, Grandma’s here!
Uncle Fats' Tasty Meal:
Spiced Pork Chops with Apple Chutney
Uncle Fats says:
We had this last night with oven fries and it was out of this world! So subtle and very easy, the chutney perfectly complements the spiciness of the pork. I grilled the pork on the Rig Easy. Fat Boy Approved!
Had a panini with cheese, sliced pork chop and chutney with the rest of the potatoes cut up and heated in a non-stick skillet. This is a keeper for sure.
YIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chop and about 1/3 cup chutney)
COURSE: Main Dishes
1 tablespoon butter
5 cups (1/4-inch) cubed peeled apple (about 3 apples)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed
1. To prepare chutney, melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add cranberries and the next 6 ingredients (through allspice); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until apples are tender; stir occasionally.
2. To prepare pork, while chutney simmers, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine chipotle and next 4 ingredients (through black pepper); sprinkle over pork. Coat grill pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with chutney.
Slender haricots verts are a pretty and quick-cooking complement to the meal. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 12 ounces haricots verts to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned.
Amount per serving
Saturated fat: 4.2g
Monounsaturated fat: 3.6g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g
Search for Recipes by Nutrition Data
Cooking Light MARCH 2009
Roast Pork Tenderloins with Roasted Carrot, Parsnip, Potato and Warm Apple and Savoy Cabbage Slaw
From my Aunt Shlee, via RachelRay.com, another tasty pork recipe...
2 pork tenderloin filets, 1 package, trimmed of silver skin
Kosher salt and pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 cup grainy Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fennel seed
3 carrots, sliced on an angle
2 parsnips, sliced on an angle
1 large Russet potato, scrubbed well, skin left on, thinly sliced
About 3 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to coat
3 tablespoons butter
2 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and chopped
1 small head of Savoy cabbage, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Heat oven to 400°F.
Season the pork liberally with salt and pepper, sprinkle evenly with granulated onion and garlic, and slather each tenderloin with mustard. Sprinkle the fennel seeds over top.
On a rimmed baking sheet or in shallow roasting pan, toss carrots, parsnips and potatoes with oil to coat then season with salt and pepper. Push veggies off to each side of the pan and set tenderloins down the middle. Roast 35-40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 145°F. Let meat stand 10 minutes before slicing.
For the slaw, melt butter in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté to light golden, 5 minutes. Wilt in cabbage in handfuls, season with salt and pepper. When cabbage has wilted into pan, douse with cider, vinegar and sugar, and cook 5 minutes more at a simmer.
Serve sliced pork with roasted carrots and parsnips, and slaw alongside.
Keeping up with the pork theme...
Pork lo Mein
cook time: 3 h 30 min
recipe source: Better Homes and Garden
This pork dish cooks all day, making it a tender and flavorful entree. While lo mein gets its name from the type of Chinese noodle traditionally used in this dish, other types of noodles, including angel hair pasta and vermicelli, can easily be substituted in this slow-cooker special. Serve the pork mixture over the noodles, and sprinkle with cashews.
1-1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
2 cups frozen sliced carrots
1 12-ounce jar teriyaki glaze
1 cup thinly bias-sliced celery
1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 5-ounce can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 6-ounce package frozen snow pea pods
1 cup broccoli florets
9 ounces dried curly thin egg noodles
1/4 cup cashews
1 Trim fat from pork. Cut pork into 3/4-inch pieces. Combine pork, onions, frozen carrots, teriyaki glaze, celery, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and ginger in a 3-1/2 or 4-quart slow cooker.
2 Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 6 1/2 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours.
3 If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in frozen pea pods and broccoli. Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more or until pea pods are crisp-tender.
4 Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Serve pork mixture over noodles. Sprinkle each serving with cashews.
Giovana Gambino's Cheesy Arancini
Giovana Gambino of Enoteca Maria says this version of the classic Sicilian dish is simple enough for anyone to make.
For the rice mixture:
1 lb. rice (any type)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 egg yolks
salt and pepper, to taste
2 egg yolks to coat rice balls
For the coating:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1 cup breadcrumbs (plain or Italian seasoned)
Cook the rice according to package directions. Let cool.
Heat oil in a deep fryer for frying. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix the first six ingredients together in a mixing bowl. With your hands, shape the mixture into small balls.
Combine the water and flour in a small bowl, and roll the balls in the flour mixture to coat.
Roll each ball in the breadcrumbs.
Heat cooking oil in a deep fryer and carefully place rice balls in the fryer and cook until golden.
Remove from oil, place in a baking dish and bake in the oven for five to six minutes.
Junk Food Makeover: Healthier Chicken Nuggets
Tricia Williams and Elisabeth Nelson
Serve these little bites with homemade Honey-Dijon Mustard or Barbecue Sauce.
12 oz. ground chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup quinoa flakes
1/3 cup golden flaxseed meal
1/3 cup oat flour
1/3 cup arrowroot
3 large egg whites
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. safflower oil
INGREDIENT INFO: Golden flaxseed meal and oat flour can be found online at bobsredmill.com . Arrowroot, a thickening agent, is available in the spice section of many supermarkets and at natural foods stores and Asian markets.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place chicken in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Using a 1-oz. melon baller, scoop out 26 portions of chicken, transferring them to prepared baking sheet as you go. Chill chicken on sheet for 20 minutes.
Combine quinoa flakes, flaxseed meal, and flour in a small bowl. Place arrowroot in another small bowl. Whisk egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy. Gently press chicken portions to flatten slightly. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll chicken in arrowroot, dip in egg whites, and dredge in flaxseed mixture. Return chicken to baking sheet.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken nuggets and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer nuggets back to baking sheet and cook in oven for 6 minutes.
Veggie Burgers from NYTimes.com:
Curried Lentil, Rice and Carrot Burgers
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced carrots
6 ounces mushrooms, sliced or finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
Pinch of cayenne (or to taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils, drained
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a heavy ovenproof skillet and add the onion and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until just about tender, about 3 minutes, and add the mushrooms, ginger, turmeric, cumin, curry powder, mustard seeds and cayenne and a pinch of salt. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, until the vegetables are tender and fragrant and the spices aromatic. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the rice.
2. Purée the lentils with the egg and add to the vegetable and rice mixture. Stir together, season with salt and pepper, and shape into 6 patties.
3. Heat the ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and, working in batches if necessary, cook the patties for 2 minutes on one side, or until nicely browned. Carefully turn the patties over and place in the oven. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the patties are lightly browned and don’t fall apart. Remove from the heat and serve, with or without buns, chutney or ketchup and the works.
Advance preparation: These can be put together and shaped up to 3 days before browning. They can also be cooked ahead and reheated in a low oven or in a pan on top of the stove. Keep them well wrapped in the refrigerator.
Nutritional information per serving (6 servings): 208 calories; 6 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 31 milligrams cholesterol; 29 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams dietary fiber; 33 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 11 grams protein
Beet, Rice and Goat Cheese Burgers
For some reason these pink burgers tasted better to me after they’d sat for a day in the refrigerator. So make them ahead for quick meals through the week and reheat in a medium oven or a frying pan.
2 cups cooked brown or white rice
1 cup finely diced or grated roasted beets
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, like a mixture of parsley and dill
1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or canola oil, as needed
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the rice, beets and herbs in a large bowl.
2. Purée the beans with the lemon juice and egg in a food processor fitted with the steel blade or with a fork. Scrape into the bowl with the rice and beets. Add the goat cheese, salt and pepper, and mix the ingredients together.
3. Moisten your hands and form 6 patties.
4. Working in batches, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil at a time in a heavy ovenproof skillet and brown the patties on one side for 2 minutes. Turn over onto the other side and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve with or without buns, ketchup and the works.
Yield: 6 burgers.
Advance preparation: You can make these up to 3 days ahead, either through Step 3 or 4, and keep in the refrigerator. They can also be cooked ahead and reheated in a low oven or in a pan on top of the stove.
Nutritional information per serving (6 servings): 227 calories; 10 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 41 milligrams cholesterol; 29 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 238 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 10 grams protein
Finally, for dessert:
OREO Ice Cream Cake
3 hr 30 min
1 container (1-1/2 qt.) chocolate ice cream (7x4-1/2x4 inches), divided
20 OREO Cookies, coarsely chopped, divided
3 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
LINE 9x5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Cut chocolate ice cream crosswise in half, then cut each half into 4 slices. Place 4 slices on bottom of prepared pan; press to form even layer covering bottom of pan. Reserve 1/2 cup chopped cookies; set aside.
SPRINKLE half the remaining cookies over ice cream layer in pan. Cover with vanilla ice cream; press firmly to form even layer. Top with remaining chopped cookies. Cover with remaining chocolate ice cream slices; press firmly to completely cover cookie layer. Freeze 3 hours or until firm.
INVERT dessert onto platter just before serving. Remove pan and plastic wrap. Top dessert with reserved cookies.
Prepare using your favorite flavor of OREO Cookies.
An Interview with Dr. Marc Faber
As the world economy teeters on the brink and rising oil prices threaten to de-rail the delicate roots of recovery Oilprice.com asked legendary investor Dr. Marc Faber to join us and give his views on high gasoline prices, the shale boom, alternative energy, developments in the Middle East and much more.
In the interview Mark talks about the following:
• Why investors shouldn't buy oil right now
• Why alternative energy investments are a bad idea for investors
• Why Iran should be allowed Nuclear weapons
• Which direction oil prices could go and why
• Why Investors should be taking money off the table NOW.
• Why we shouldn't be pinning all our hopes on natural gas
• Why selling down the strategic petroleum reserve to reduce oil prices is a useless strategy.
• Why the shale boom won't affect US foreign policy priorities
• Why Obama is a disappointing president
Dr. Faber is a very well known commentator throughout the investment community. He regularly appears on CNBC and is a member of the Barrons round table.
Marc is the editor and publisher of the Gloom Boom & Doom Report, which is a very popular investment newsletter that highlights unusual investment opportunities for its subscribers. You can find out more about the Gloom Boom & Doom Report at Marc's website: www.GloomBoomDoom.com.
OilPrice.com: A number of our readers have been enquiring about the recent oil price increases, where a few weeks ago we saw them rise to a ten month high. Where do you see oil prices going from here, and what do you see as the main reasons for the rapid increase?
Marc Faber: I think there is a risk that oil prices will go much higher. At the same time, the bullish consensus on oil is now at one of the most elevated levels it's ever been. In other words, from a contrarian point of view, you shouldn't buy oil right now. I think it may go down somewhat. In general, if trouble breaks out in the Middle East, or if there is a war, I think the price of oil could go much higher.
OilPrice.com: What are your 3-5 year projections for oil prices?
Marc Faber: Well, you'll have to give me a second. I need to call Mr. Ben Bernanke and ask him how much money he will print. Commodity prices were in a bear market from 1980 to 1998, and since then they've gone up. But because of expansionary monetary policies and artificially low interest rates they have increased more than would have otherwise been the case. We don't know exactly how long this asset bubble will last - but say if you had interest rates in real terms, of five percent, instead of negative five percent, then I think all commodity prices, including gold, would be lower.
OilPrice.com: Obama is being pressured by the Democrats to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to flood the market with a large supply of oil in an attempt to drive down prices. Some commentators seem to think that this will help, although only in the short term because low supply isn't the cause of the high prices. Do you think it's sensible advice to use the reserves now to lower short term prices or should Obama remain strong and only use the stockpile for what it was designed for?
Marc Faber: I think selling down the reserves would be a useless strategy as one of the main reasons prices are rising is due to international tensions. It's possible for an increase in supplies to drive down the price a little bit. But in emerging economies like China and India, the demand continues to go up. Now, it may not go up every year by the same quantity it did in the last 3 years, because in the last 15 years, oil demand in China tripled, from 3 million barrels a day to 9 million barrels a day. So it's conceivable that in a recessionary environment in China, oil demand will not go up substantially for one or two years. But because the per capita consumption is so low in countries like China and India compared to say the U.S. and Japan and Western Europe, I think the trend will continue to increase.
OilPrice.com: There's a great deal of political theater going on around the Keystone XL pipeline. Do you see the pipeline as being essential to U.S. energy security and something that has to be pushed through at some point?
Marc Faber: Yes, I think it would be important to have the pipeline. But as you say, there's a lot of political pressure and so forth. I think it would be very desirable for the U.S. to become energy self- sufficient. Some observers and forecasters say they can achieve this goal within ten years, due to advances in natural gas extraction. I don't believe it, but I have to respect the view of some experts.
OilPrice.com: The media has been full of reports on the coming shale gas boom. What are your thoughts on shale gas? Is it the energy savior we are hoping for?
Marc Faber: I doubt it. But as long as the market believes it, we have to translate every forecast and every view into investment opportunities. I think a lot of people believe in shale Gas's potential and so this may underpin some strength in equities and currencies. But as I said, I don't believe it.
OilPrice.com: Do you think the shale boom could lead to a change in U.S. foreign policy priorities?
Marc Faber: Well, I don't really believe it. But as you know, Mr. Obama has engaged in more foreign policy initiatives in Asia. For what, I'm not quite sure. The thinking is in the U.S. is that China is a threat. Therefore, they have to increase their cooperation with Asian countries, such as India and the Philippines.
Personally, I think it's an ill-timed move, because I don't think that China has any military ambitions in Asia. But put yourself into the chair of China's leadership. What is the top priority? China obtains 95% of its oil from the Middle East. The top priority is to make sure that this oil continues to flow and that the supply is secure. So they have to secure the oil shipping lanes, from the Middle East, past the southern tip of India, through the Straits of Malacca, up the Vietnamese coast, into China.
Each time they do that or attempt to do that, America and it allies in Asia perceive it as a threat. So the tensions increase.
OilPrice.com: You just mentioned that you don't believe China has any military ambitions in Asia, but we're seeing quite a lot of tension in the South China Seas, especially the Spratly Islands and the energy resources located there. How do you see the situation playing out between China and its small neighbors in this region who all have a good claim on the resources?
Marc Faber: As I just mentioned, China's a huge country. They have certain views about territories in Asia, and I think the U.S. would not react particularly positively if say China or Russia or any other nation had numerous military and naval bases, in the Caribbean or in the Pacific, and military bases in Canada and Mexico.
You have to look at the world from the perspective of the Chinese. I'm not saying that because I'm super-bull about China. On the contrary, I think the Chinese economy faces numerous problems. But I'm saying that if you put yourself into their position, a top priority is to secure a regular supply of oil, iron ore, and copper. If you look at the Kondratiev Cycle where Kondratiev said it's not a business cycle. It's a price cycle, and certain things happen during the downward wave, and certain things happen during the upward wave.
During the upward wave, we have rising commodity prices, which is a symptom of shortages. Then countries become more belligerent, because they begin to be concerned about the supply of commodities, and so tensions increase.
I'm not saying war will break out tomorrow. I'm just saying the conditions have improved.
OilPrice.com: Aside from the South China Seas, where do you see the potential flash points in the world over resources?
Marc Faber: Well, I think a big potential flash point is obviously the Middle East and Central Asia, because neither Russia nor China wants permanent American military bases in Central Asia and to be encircled. The Chinese are encircled by the Americans in the Pacific with naval bases, plus the Americans have 11 aircraft carriers. The Chinese have just one. Plus, in the last 12 months, Mr. Obama has made initiatives to have India as a strategic ally. The result of this is that China, which always had good relationships with Pakistan, has strengthened their relationships with Pakistan. This of course has increased tensions in the region.
OilPrice.com: Moving off fossil fuels, what role do you see renewable energy playing in the future? Do you think government should help innovation in this area?
Marc Faber: This is a very difficult question to answer. Basically, I'm convinced that, over time, to drill a hole in the ground in the Middle East or in other emerging economies and then bringing that oil through a pipeline onto a ship into the countries that consume oil is not an elegant solution to the energy problem. I think eventually this will go away. But in the meantime, alternative sources of energy are extremely expensive. Unless the oil price collapses to like $50, most alternative sources of energy will not be profitable. If someone says to me, we need alternative sources of energy for security reasons, yes, I agree. But for profitability I doubt it.
OilPrice.com: As an investor then, are there any renewable sectors you're bullish on? Or would you stay away from the space entirely?
Marc Faber: I would stay away from it.
OilPrice.com: Following the Fukushima disaster Japan has now shut down 54 nuclear power plants. The population's trust in nuclear energy has been shattered – but do you think this is only temporary and how would Japan make up the energy shortfall - as before Fukushima Japan met around a third of its energy demand with nuclear?
Marc Faber: Well, I guess they'll lean towards more natural gas and more oil so they can offset this shortfall of nuclear energy. Now I don't think that this will change the nuclear energy prospects long term in the world, because other countries like India and China will build their numerous nuclear energy plants. In the case of Japan, I think the power plants which had the problems were antiquated. In other words, they were not up to modern standards.
OilPrice.com: Iran has finally offered to resume talks about its nuclear program and has agreed to allow UN inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit its Parchin military complex where a nuclear weapons program is suspected of be being developed. How do you see events developing here and how can investors protect themselves from an escalation in this region?
Marc Faber: Well, if there are escalations, then obviously you have to be long, oil and gold. My sense is that the Iranians are playing the same game the Japanese played in the '70s and '80s. They always negotiated but never did anything about the changing balances - they just want to delay the hour of truth. Every day, I think the Iranians are getting closer to having nuclear weapons. I can understand why. The whole world is hostile towards Iran, and they are encircled.
In the west, France has nuclear weapons and Britain and the U.S., and their neighbor Israel, towards the west. Then in the east, India and Pakistan and of course China. So why shouldn't they have nuclear weapons?
Mind you, either there is all around abandonment of nuclear weapons by all the powers, or every country should be allowed to have them. We in the Western World, we have the misguided belief that we are there to judge which countries may have and which countries should not have nuclear weapons.
But maybe our view is wrong. My view is that if I were looking after Iran, for sure I would want to have nuclear weapons. For sure!
OilPrice.com: Okay. So on to investments - you've mentioned oil and gold, but which other sectors are you bullish on, and what would you advise investors to avoid?
Marc Faber: Basically, since March 2009, equities have doubled in value by and large. Some have gone up more than 100%, some a little bit less, we've had a huge bull market. Last year, almost a year ago on May 2nd, the S&P reached a high of 1,370. Then we dropped into August and into October, and we bottomed out on the S&P at 1,074 on October 4th. Since then, we have a 25% rally. The mood in October and November of last year was extremely negative.
I think this is the time to be rather cautious. Personally, if I had heavy exposure to equities, I would take some money off the table.
OilPrice.com: Where do you see the best opportunities for investors in Asia at present?
Marc Faber: Right now, for the next one or two months, I don't think that stocks will go up a lot. I personally think they will correct. But long term, I still like Asia. My concern is if the Chinese economy slows down meaningfully that we could have economic weakness spreading around Asia as well, as well as in countries that supply commodities to China, like Australia, Brazil, Argentina, and so forth.
Right now, say for the next two months, I'm very cautious.
OilPrice.com: I was looking through some of your previous interviews as well, and in one of them, you mentioned Barack Obama. You said he was by far one of the worst presidents that the U.S. has had, and that you still believe he'll be re- elected. In what ways do you think he is unsuitable as a president? I mean, are you fundamentally against his ideas and position on certain topics?
Marc Faber: I don't want to get into an overly political discussion, but I think that first of all, we have in the U.S. and elsewhere highly expansionary fiscal and monetary policies, but we have restrictive regulatory policies. In other words, Obamacare is a big problem for many medium sized and even large companies, because they don't know exactly how much it will cost them. That has retarded hirings of people.
Mr. Obama has intervened into the economy massively, left, right, and center. Every government intervention has consequences. Just to give you an example, the U.S. government debt - I'm only speaking about the government debt, not the prime debt - has gone from essentially zero 200 years ago, to a trillion dollars in 1980.
By the year 2000, we were roughly at $5 trillion. Now in 12 years, we've gone to close to $16 trillion. That excludes the unfounded liabilities. Under Mr. Obama, the fiscal deficit has exploded.
The big question is: Will we ever, in the U.S., have a fiscal deficit of less than $1 trillion or $1.5 trillion? I don't see it. Under Mr. Obama, spending has gone up and tax revenue has gone down. Change, if there was any change under Mr. Obama, it was for the worse. In my view, he's a very disappointing president.
OilPrice.com: Marc, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. It's been a pleasure speaking with you.
Marc Faber: It was my pleasure.
Article originally published at: Oil, Alternatives, and Nuclear Weapons - An Interview with Marc Faber
Interviewer: James Stafford, Editor Oilprice.com
Awesome Quotes: Stanley Kubrick
"Never, ever go near power. Don't become friends with anyone who has real power. It's dangerous."
Rock Tour of the Year: Kiss & Motley Crue
As Gene Simmons put it, "Come out, we’ll blow shit up, go home and fuck your girlfriend!"
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/kiss-and-motley-crue-announce-the-tour-20120321
Football Moves & Analysis
* Denver Broncos sign Peyton Manning
End result: Good but not great. Whether it's Manning or Tebow, John Elway's team isn't a major Super Bowl threat. They'll probably win the AFC West again, though.
* Tim Tebow to the New York Jets
End result: A terrible move. A better place for Tebow would have been either Jacksonvile or New England, where he could learn under the best behind Tom Brady, like how Steve Young sat for four years behind Montana.
I'm no Tebow hater, but he needs either one of two things to succeed: a team where he is either the clear starter or a competitive option to be one, or a team where he is clearly a backup without soap opera, where he can sit and learn. The Jets are the worst of all worlds, a place already with unproductive soap opera that will only get worst with Tebowmania, and his inclusion in the roster will only rattle an already suspect Mark Sanchez. Instead of having two good QBs this year they will likely have zero.
I'm a big fan of Rex Ryan (hell, the Jets were my Super Bowl pick last year) but I'm kind of worried that he may turn out to be the Billy Martin of football. A smart guy who does know strategy, a great motivator when he comes to a team, but a dude that has an act that runs thin after a couple of years. The Tebow move smacks of desperation, and it doesn't help sway my suspicions at all.
The Jets probably won't make the playoffs in 2012, and don't be surprised if they end up last in the AFC East.
* Jacksonville Jaguars don't land Tebow
End result: The Los Angeles Jaguars become increasingly likely.
* San Francisco 49ers don't sign Manning, sign Alex Smith
End result: If anyone can repair the damage done to Smith's confidence over SF's inclusion in the Manning lottery, it's coach Jim Harbaugh. Signing great receivers like Randy Moss and Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham helps even more, along with what should be the best defense in the NFL. Look for the 49ers to win the 2013 Super Bowl.
* New Orleans Saints get busted over player bounty scandal, leading to coach Sean Payton's suspension by the NFL for the entire 2012 season
End result: Major bad. What would've been in my top three teams to win Super Bowl XLVII (along with SF and the Detroit Lions) probably won't make the playoffs in a highly competitive division, even if Bill Parcells became the temporary coach. Still, the penalties were necessary and deserved for the crimes. Look at the Cam Newton-led Carolina Panthers winning and the Atlanta Falcons getting a wild card. Despite the setbacks, Drew Brees will have another superstar year, and they will be back in 2013.
God Bless America
Bobcat Goldthwait has delivered a movie that may just be the perfect antidote for everything that's wrong in the USA. Here's Richard Metzger of DangerousMinds.net describing it:
The great French film director Jean-Luc Godard once famously quipped “All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl,” but it’s unlikely that he had anything like Bobcat Goldthwait’s outrageous new satire, God Bless America in mind when he said that.
The most vicious, hilarious and timely takedown of American culture since Network, God Bless America follows the downward trajectory of the dismal life of Frank (Joel Murray), an unemployed sad-sack everyman who is given the sort of medical diagnosis that no one wants to hear. Alone, dejected, depressed and suicidal, Frank opts to put a gun in his mouth and pull the trigger, but is distracted by a monstrously selfish Beverly Hills teenager on a TV reality show. In a flash, Frank decides that if he’s going to go, he’s going to take this pampered brat with him.
Frank’s execution of Chloe is witnessed by one of her classmates, Roxy, played by Tara Lynne Barr in perhaps the single most gleefully nihilistic performances a teenage girl has ever given in all of cinematic history. Roxy’s Tarantino-esque rant about why Alice Cooper is the greatest, most influential rockstar of all time— I mean, she does prove it here beyond all argument— is one of the film’s comic highlights.
Egged on by his curiously homicidal teen accomplice, Frank decides to mow down more rude, selfish people before his disease takes him. Like a Bonnie and Clyde for the YouTube era, Frank and Roxy embark on a wave of carnage and mayhem, eliminating a blowhard TV pundit based on Glenn Beck, religious extremists and in the film’s over-the-top climax, most of the studio audience at an American Idol-type program.
As Frank so earnestly puts it: “I only want to kill people who deserve to die.”
John Edwards Named in Prostitution Ring
Robalini's Notes: I know Edwards is considered persona non grata at this point, but it's hard to not be cynical that the only three politicians outed in US prostitution scandals (Edwards, Eliot Spitzer and Dominique Strauss-Kahn) happen to be three guys who were potentially the biggest threats to the banking establishment...
Obligatory Dick Cheney Joke
Dick Cheney received a heart transplant from a donor. No word what they did to the donor's body after slicing him open in offering to Satan...
YouTube Special: The Mason's Secret's in the Bible Exposed
Welcome back, Mad Men & Game of Thrones...
Adam Sandler Flick Jack and Jill sweeps all ten categories at the Razzies:
Ashton Kutcher to play Steve Jobs on film:
Tiger Woods wins again:
Magic Johnson becomes the new face of the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership for $2 billion:
12-year-old Tom Schaar becomes the first skateboarder to land a 1080:
The 2012 Basketball Hall of Fame class, led by Reggie Miller, Don Nelson and Ralph Sampson, was announced:
The Kentucky Wildcats (coached by John Calipari, who previously took two other schools two the Final Four without a championship) cruised to victory behind the dominating presence of Anthony Davis on defense:
Meanwhile, Baylor, led by Brittney Griner, won the women's title, capping an undefeated season Griner may be the best female player ever, and they will be decided favorites to repeat undefeated next year, with the possibility of breaking UConn's 90-game win streak in 2013-14:
Chaleo Yoovidhya, co-founder of Red Bull, the energy drink company:
Earl Scruggs, bluegrass banjo player:
March 10, 2012
Tonight's show was just an amazing romp through Kenn Thomas land, where you will hear, as he says on his site Steamshovel Press, "All Conspiracy. No Theory." And I neglected to thank our kind columnist Adam Gorightly for the intro, so I thank him here and now.
We talk about the enigmatic Fred Crisman and the strange way that Kenn was initially drawn into the whole Danny Casolaro story. There's way too much to write about here, so just listen. Then, check out Kenn's books. Welcome to the edge.
You can also download it at The Konformist
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Slaloming the Malibu through cavalcades of tumbleweed and dust mixed with the flower petals of Almond trees, I jettisoned myself further away from Barstow. 5 was even bleaker. The northward travail punctuated with signs that read: Congress Created This Dust Bowl with Pelosi’s, Costas’s and Boxer’s names crossed out. NAFTA uber alles. Thought of all the produce I had eaten in my life that was grown in this region. No more.
A bit of rain and fifty degrees gave me relief from the desert harshness I had escaped but the gas station I had stopped at seemed but an odd oasis of sorts. Not meant to be there although the 4.70 per gal. prices said otherwise. I leave and a giant tumbleweed careens into my grill, shatters and vaporizes before the north wind sweeps it away instantly.
Road fatigue didn’t set in until I passed through Bakersfield and managed to bail out on a much welcomed side road, working my way through some verdant, mountainous terrain. A tenuous sense of peace pervaded, like being on the cusp of something unique, if not extraordinary. Yet this too was co-opted territory. By what I couldn’t tell.
Met my host in a small town at a Safeway, after passing by a lake rendered idyllic by twilight. I followed her through the dark and serpentine roads for well over an hour until we reached a depressed town on the edge of an Indian reservation.
Definite meth stronghold here I felt.The dark didn’t really add anything to the gloom, but I was glad when we reached the gate of her property and made it to the top of Spirit Mountain. Greeted by a 140 lb. German Shepherd and a sophisticated Doberman who was a bit demure at first, it was nice to get out of the car.
A pleasant alpine expanse greeted me the next morning, home to Black Bears and Mountain Lions. The terrain seemed content somehow, assuaged by clouds and fog. A bit of climactic respite, although the feeling of something looming prevailed.
Too many high eyes in these parts for a teetotaler such as myself. Stoned is more than just a way of life, rather a blight that makes people content with their own mediocrity. In a trailer, I was forced to listen to this doped up woman patronize a carpenter 30 plus years older than her. She claimed she could see his glowing soul through his skin but I could see otherwise-her cosmically sourced, ulterior motives were quite transparent to me. I got up and left without excusing myself and apparently that offended her from what I heard the next day. Nothing that the acupuncture she learned to do couldn’t cure. The scene left me wishing for some needles stuck in my own meridians -primarily in hopes that they would alleviate the lingering disgust I had-for the carpenter-who was more than mesmerized by her uplift rap.
Time to sign off folks. My green tea is getting cold here in this coffee shop. I’ve got to tough it out at least until the fall. Funny what having no money forces a person to do-just never thought it would be like this-the desperation that is.
Meanwhile, on March 1st, Sterling & Dolan were at the Golden State Collective Cannabis Lab in Santa Monica for another worthy cause. It was The 420 Collection, an exhibition of paintings by Grace Slick to raise awareness on the issue of medical cannabis. It was a honor meeting Ms. Slick, who literally had a deep conversation with the two of us for over a half hour. A portion of the proceeds went to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). For more info:
Fri March 30, 2012
Former Soviet spy Leonid Shebarshin, who was very briefly head of the KGB, was found dead Friday in his apartment in Moscow, an apparent suicide, officials said.
The 76-year-old left a suicide note, the state-run news agency Itar-Tass reported Friday, citing city police. A weapon was found near the body, Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.
The contents of the note were not disclosed "in the interest of the investigation," according to police, the news agency said. Shebarshin was alone in the apartment, it added.
According to Itar-Tass, Shebarshin was born in Moscow in 1935. He served as an intelligence officer under diplomatic cover in Pakistan, India and Iran and took high-ranking positions in the KGB beginning in 1983. He was appointed deputy chairman in 1989. He led the KGB for one day only, on August 22, 1991, and retired the following month.
The Hypocritical Use of Piracy As a Corporate Weapon
March 31, 2012
Rupert Murdoch, media tycoon, founder and Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, has been a fanatical supporter of tougher anti-piracy legislation including PIPA and SOPA in the US. But this week it was claimed that Murdoch’s piracy crusade is a rather hypocritical one, with his News Corporation now at the center of a major piracy scandal in which it’s accused of encouraging piracy to cripple competitors.
Troubled international media giant News Corporation felt the ice crack beneath its feet this week after years of enduring ill winds blowing from phone hacking scandals in the United Kingdom and United States.
The Australian Financial Review and the BBC’s Panorama programme combined to publish a four-year investigation into the operations of News Corporation subsidiaries, unveiling damaging claims of a plot to facilitate and encourage piracy with the aim of crippling pay-television rivals.
The allegations cast shadows across the main-stream media landscape, with implications for the conduct of news outlets and the arguments of anti-piracy lobby groups through to the structure of the pay-television landscape itself.
The reaction of News Corporation’s 81-year-old Australian founder and CEO was swift. Rupert Murdoch used his new love of micro-blogging platform Twitter to rubbish the claims, the publishers and make implied threats of legal action against those raising the allegations.
Murdoch’s sensitivity is understandable. The negative publicity generated by earlier phone hacking scandals could be alleviated in part by suggesting that if immoral – even illegal – activity had taken place, it occurred during the pursuit of journalism, however tawdry or overzealous.
Using piracy as a corporate weapon to damage competitors contains no such narrow mountain trail to the moral high ground. Worse, it undermines a global campaign against piracy led by Hollywood lobby groups such as the MPAA, of whom News Corporation is a major member via its entertainment subsidiary, FOX...