March 2014 archive

What We Learned This Week

MSNBC’s “Up” host, Steve Kornacki discusses what he and his guests have learned this week.

March Madness 2014: Men’s Regional Final

Time Network Seed School Record Seed School Record Region
6:00 TBS 1 Florida (35 – 2) 11 Dayton (26 – 10) South
8:30 TBS 1 Arizona (34 – 4) 2 Wisconsin (29 – 7) West

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

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March Madness 2014: Women’s Regional Semi-Finals Day 1

What about Sepang do we not understand?

Today’s Games

Time Network Seed School Record Seed School Record Region
noon ESPN 2 Baylor (31 – 4) 3 Kentucky (26 – 8) East
2:00 ESPN 1 Notre Dame (34 – 0) 5 Oklahoma State (25 – 8) East
4:30 ESPN 1 UConn (36 – 0) 12 BYU (28 – 6) East
6:30 ESPN 3 Texas A&M (27 – 8) 7 DePaul (30 – 6) MidWest

On This Day In History March 29

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.

March 29 is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 277 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1951, the Rosenbergs are convicted of espionage.

In one of the most sensational trials in American history, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of espionage for their role in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets during and after World War II. The husband and wife were later sentenced to death and were executed in 1953.

The conviction of the Rosenbergs was the climax of a fast-paced series of events that were set in motion with the arrest of British physicist Klaus Fuchs in Great Britain in February 1950. British authorities, with assistance from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, gathered evidence that Fuchs, who worked on developing the atomic bomb both in England and the United States during World War II, had passed top-secret information to the Soviet Union. Fuchs almost immediately confessed his role and began a series of accusations.

Fuchs confessed that American Harry Gold had served as a courier for the Soviet agents to whom Fuchs passed along his information. American authorities captured Gold, who thereupon pointed the finger at David Greenglass, a young man who worked at the laboratory where the atomic bomb had been developed. Gold claimed Greenglass was even more heavily involved in spying than Fuchs. Upon his arrest, Greenglass readily confessed and then accused his sister and brother-in-law, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, of being the spies who controlled the entire operation. Both Ethel and Julius had strong leftist leanings and had been heavily involved in labor and political issues in the United States during the late-1930s and 1940s. Julius was arrested in July and Ethel in August 1950.

By present-day standards, the trial was remarkably fast. It began on March 6, and the jury had convicted both of conspiracy to commit espionage by March 29. The Rosenbergs were not helped by a defense that many at the time, and since, have labeled incompetent. More harmful, however, was the testimony of Greenglass and Gold. Greenglass declared that Julius Rosenberg had set up a meeting during which Greenglass passed the plans for the atomic bomb to Gold. Gold supported Greenglass’s accusation and admitted that he then passed the plans along to a Soviet agent. This testimony sealed Julius’s fate, and although there was little evidence directly tying Ethel to the crime, prosecutors claimed that she was the brain behind the whole scheme. The jury found both guilty. A few days later, the Rosenbergs were sentenced to death. They were executed on June 19, 1953 in Sing Sing Prison in New York. Both maintained their innocence to the end.

Since the execution, decoded Soviet cables, codenamed VENONA, have supported courtroom testimony that Julius acted as a courier and recruiter for the Soviets, but doubts remain about the level of Ethel’s involvement. The decision to execute the Rosenbergs was, and still is, controversial. The New York Times, in an editorial on the 50th anniversary of the execution (June 19, 2003) wrote, “The Rosenbergs case still haunts American history, reminding us of the injustice that can be done when a nation gets caught up in hysteria.” This hysteria had both an immediate and a lasting effect; many innocent scientists, including some who were virulently anti-communist, were investigated simply for having the last name “Rosenberg.” The other atomic spies who were caught by the FBI offered confessions and were not executed. Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass, who supplied documents to Julius from Los Alamos, served 10 years of his 15 year sentence. Harry Gold, who identified Greenglass, served 15 years in Federal prison as the courier for Greenglass and the British scientist, Klaus Fuchs. Morton Sobell, who was tried with the Rosenbergs, served 17 years and 9 months. In 2008, Sobell admitted he was a spy and confirmed Julius Rosenberg was “in a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets classified military and industrial information and what the American government described as the secret to the atomic bomb.”

Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan

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Daughter of Osamu Tezuka, God of Manga, discovers his stash of hand-drawn sexy mouse artwork

  Casey Baseel

Do you think Walt Disney ever scratched his butt in public?

Sure, it may not be the classiest thing to do, but sometimes when you’ve got an itch, it needs to be scratched right away. It doesn’t make him a monster, it just means, like all of us, he occasionally his base urges won out against social propriety.

Still, it’s a little hard to reconcile the man responsible for Mickey Mouse having an itchy behind. Just like it’s a little shocking to learn that Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy, kept a stash of sexy mouse drawings locked in his desk.

In Japan’s sizeable pantheon of beloved comic artists, Tezuka is Zeus. He’s uniformly referred to as Manga no Kami-sama, literally the “God of Manga.” Despite having passed away more than 25 years ago, Tezuka is still so famous and uniformly revered that fans will come to see exhibitions of things as mundane as a desk he worked at.

March Madness 2014: Men’s Regional Semi-Finals Day 2

Last Night’s Results-

Seed School Record Seed School Record Score Region
10 Stanford (23 – 13) 11 * Dayton (26 – 10) (72 – 82) South
2 * Wisconsin (29 – 7) 6 Baylor (26 – 12) (69 – 52) West
1 * Florida (35 – 2) 4 UCLA (28 – 9) (79 – 68) South
1 * Arizona (33 – 4) 4 San Diego St. (31 – 5) (70 – 64) West

Root much?  Nope.

Tonight’s Games-

Time Network Seed School Record Seed School Record Region
9:57 TBS 1 Virginia (30 – 6) 4 Michigan State (28 – 8) East
7:27 TBS 3 Iowa State (28 – 7) 7 Connecticut (28 – 8) East
9:45 CBS 8 Kentucky (26 – 10) 4 Louisville (31 – 5) MidWest
7:15 CBS 11 Tennessee (24 – 12) 2 Michigan (27 – 8) MidWest

Saturday’s and Sunday’s Results below the fold.

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.

Inspired by Irish Soda Bread

Inspired by Irish Soda Bread photo recipehealthpromo-tmagArticle_zpsd3d714da.jpg

I put a little bit of white flour in my loaves, but you could use all whole-wheat flour if you prefer. With whole wheat, your bread will have more fiber, zinc, B vitamins and iron, and its glycemic index will be considerably lower than that of bread made with white flour. Irish-style wholemeal flour, available from King Arthur Flour and from importers, has a coarse crumb that is typical of Irish soda bread. I achieved the same crumb using my Community Grains whole-wheat flour and adding oatmeal to the mix. I used buttermilk as the liquid, but you can also use yogurt or a mix of yogurt and milk. You do need the acid from the fermented milk to react with the baking soda.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Scones With Raisins and Oatmeal

These are diminutive, light scones like the ones that originated in Britain and Ireland.

Moist Brown Soda Bread Loaf With Oats

This soda bread is baked at a lower temperature so that it doesn’t develop a hard crust.

Whole-Wheat Soda Bread With Raisins (Spotted Dog)

A mix of raisins sweetens this brown soda bread.

Brown Soda Bread Loaf With Caraway Seeds and Rye

A regional version of soda bread that is dark-brown, grainy and moist.

Savory Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Scones With Rosemary and Thyme

A whole-grain scone that pairs well with cheese.

Policing Gender

Sunnie Kahle, 8, prefers to have short hair and dress comfortably (t-shirts, jeans and sneakers).  Officials at the school she has attended, Timberlake Christian School near Lynchburg, VA, decided that wasn’t appropriate for one of their students.  So they wrote to Sunnie’s grandparents, who are also her guardians, to inform them that Sunnie would have to dress more femininely if she wanted to attend that school.

Despite what you may see in any headlines, Sunnie is not transgender.  She is perfectly satisfied with being a girl.

The school officials, however, expressed their concern about her appearance and cited their policy against condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle, or having an alternative gender identity.

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

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NSA ally Mike Rogers to leave House intelligence committee for talk radio

Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian

Friday 28 March 2014 10.25 EDT

Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan, the powerful chairman of the House intelligence committee and a former FBI agent, announced on Friday morning that he is leaving Congress at the end of his term to start a conservative talk radio show.

The surprise move comes four days after Rogers introduced a bill that would significantly constrain the NSA’s bulk collection of US phone data, a policy Rogers said he came to reluctantly after recognizing the lack of public and congressional confidence in the most domestically controversial of surveillance programs exposed by Snowden through the Guardian.

Rogers’s bill, however, provides fewer judicial obstacles to the government’s continued acquisition and search of phone and email data than does a competing proposal from members of the Senate and House judiciary committees and a new offering to end bulk data collection from the Obama administration.

Supporters of the latter proposals believe their efforts have been made tougher after the House parliamentarian, allegedly at the behest of the House speaker, John Boehner, gave the intelligence committee primary jurisdiction of Rogers’ bill on Thursday. Some House aides suspect the move is a prelude to a quick floor vote on the measure. But that was before Rogers announced his retirement, adding an unexpected element to the legislative competition.

When asked if the intelligence committee even knew how many more NSA disclosures were yet to come, Rogers’ chief Democratic ally on the committee, Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, quipped: “The Guardian will take care of that.”

Rogers thanked supporters in a statement announcing his retirement.

“As I close this chapter please know that I am not finished with the effort to bring back American exceptionalism,” Rogers said.

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