Archive for January 2012

A Brief History Of Hamburgers

By Mr. Lew, Burger Expert for the Menuism Burger Blog
In 2012, the hamburger is prominently woven in the fabric of our day-to-day lives. Whether it be in your local family restaurant, your fast food favorites, or your higher end sit-down establishment, the hamburger has a place everywhere. It wasn’t always so Read more

When Mitt Romney Comes to Town

It’s never good news when Mitt Romney comes to town.
It wasn’t good news when Romney was in the business world, experience upon which he has staked his entire candidacy. Just ask the folks at Dade Behring.
After Romney’s investment firm bought the profitable medical-equipment company and ran it into the ground, 850 workers in Miami — and twice as many nationwide — lost their jobs. For most businesses, that would count as a devastating failure. For Romney and his fellow corporate raiders at Bain Capital, it was a rousing success: they made nearly $250 million by driving Dade Behring into bankruptcy.
Romney is running as a self-described “job creator,” but the facts at that factory and so many others across the country tell a much different story Read more

The Pro Bowl Problem

After what can be charitably called some lackluster effort at the Pro Bowl Sunday night, I thought I’d outline a few issues surrounding the game, a game many think should not even be played.
While there was little action on the field, the action around the Pro Bowl is off the field. There is no gathering on the NFL calendar, including this week’s Super Bowl, quite like it. It is a toxic mix of superstar players and their families, agents there to either protect their assets or poach on new ones, and assorted others. Before getting to that, here are some business aspects of the game itself:
Pro Bowl bonuses
A good percentage of veteran contracts in the NFL have incentives for making the Pro Bowl, with amounts ranging from around $25,000 up to $500,000 Read more

Chinas Bavarian Beach Town

The next time you’re in the mood for an ice cold beer and head to Qingdao, a huge city in Eastern China where German settlers built the Tsingtao Brewery, constructed Bavarian-style beer gardens and created an International Beer Festival. FATHOM contributor Adam Graham checks out the scene.
Did you hear the one about the Chinese-German fusion restaurant? An hour after you eat, you’re hungry…for power. Two cliches in combination create a third. Still, Qingdao, a former German colony dangling off China’s Shandong Peninsula — and the home to not a few German-Chinese fusion restaurants — is more of a testament to unpredictable cultural mixes than to the simple addition of stereotypes.
Seven hours north of Shanghai and six hours south of Beijing, Qingdao has made itself a posh summer resort city for China’s emerging bourgeoisie, and claims some of the republic’s highest living standards Read more

FAA Bill Risks End Of Tarmac Rule

In the continuing Joint House-Senate Committee debate on the final form of the FAA Reauthorization Bill, the House of Representatives is winning the battle over removing the law prohibiting airlines from keeping passengers on the tarmac for over three hours from the bill. They propose that the Congress passes a bill that has everything in it but the three hour time limit and mandates that the DOT set the time frames for domestic and international flights.
Why is that a problem? In the last administration the DOT’s relationship to the airlines was strong and they are taking this stand for the three hour time limit because President Obama, by executive order, told them to. The DOT operates at the “will” of the president Read more

A Tale of Two Scriptures The American Book of Mormon and the Tibetan Book of the Dead

On Jan. 14, the New York Times published a piece entitled, “The Theological Differences Behind Evangelical Unease with Romney.” According to the article, one of these differences is scriptural: Mormons revere several scriptures that (other) Christians reject. The most famous of these is The Book of Mormon. The doctrinal differences between the various Protestant denominations and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have been widely reported throughout the Republican primaries Read more

Facebook Birthday Wishes Are An Important Social Tradition

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to meeeee! Yes, I am singing to myself because when I switched over to the newly mandated Facebook timeline, I somehow deleted my birth date from my profile. As a result of this oversight — my bad, all of it — most of my friends didn’t remember that Wednesday was my birthday.
What was most startling was realizing just how much a part of my annual birthday celebration that avalanche of birthday well wishes on Facebook has become. Since nobody (except my BFF Amy) still sends cards via snail mail, Facebook is now the way to go. And until this week, I didn’t appreciate that getting messages from dozens — dare I say hundreds? — of people actually counts for something Read more

Flying for Me

I suppose I should preface this post by saying that by its very nature, it may make some people feel old. I apologize for that.
While coming back to Boston a few weeks ago after the holiday vacation, I passed time on the ferry ride across Long Island Sound by re-reading one of the books I’d gotten for Christmas, June Scobee Rodgers’ Silver Linings: Triumph of the Challenger 7. I’d wanted the book for a while because Dr. Scobee Rodgers’ first husband, astronaut Francis “Dick” Scobee, is one of my heroes, and I was eager to learn more about his life Read more

Pretty Little Liars Recap The Liars Tell Truths And Emily Says I Love You

Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 18 of ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars, entitled “A Kiss Before Lying.”
Our Hanna-less “Pretty Little Liars” are still keeping secrets from the foursome’s only blonde and examining the video with Caleb (again) to try to figure out what was in Ali’s box.
Of course, Hanna calls all four of them before Spencer — who discovers she’s “the low man on the totem pole” — finally answers.
It’s an awkward conversation to say the least and when Emily drops a glass, prompting Aria to yell her name, not-so-blonde-in-the-brains Hanna realizes Spencer is keeping something from her.
But no time to worry about Hanna: Is that a driver’s license in the video?
Is it Melissa? Is it Jenna? No, it’s Super Ali … with dark hair!
“Why would she need an ID that didn’t even look like her?” far-too-logical-for-this-shit Spencer asks Read more

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Clippers Recap January 30 2012 ESPN

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Clippers  Recap  January 30 2012  ESPN

Source:Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin’s jaw-dropping one-handed jam over Kendrick Perkins sent Los Angeles Clippers fans into a frenzy, fired up his teammates, lit up the Twitterverse and burned the Oklahoma City Thunder.
More Thunder-Clippers Coverage
The Los Angeles Clippers shined in what could be the beginning of a rivalry with the Oklahoma City Thunder, writes Arash Markazi. Story
• Lob City Ledger | Clips Blog | ESPN LA
Griffin had 22 points to go with Chris Paul’s 26 points and 14 assists in a 112-100 victory Monday night that snapped the Thunder’s four-game winning streak in a matchup of division leaders.Griffin downplayed his monster move after the game, a sly smile only briefly breaking his serious expression.”CP commands so much attention out there. He came off the pick-and-roll and he hit me in stride,” Griffin said.Paul added: “I told Blake after the game, ‘Thanks for letting me be part of that.’ “DeAndre Jordan grabbed Griffin from behind in a celebratory bear hug as the basket got replayed over and over in the third quarter.Jordan, who had 11 points and 11 rebounds, couldn’t help himself.”I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do, so I just grabbed him. I hit him kind of hard,” he said. “I’m going to go home and watch it again. It’s probably going to be the screensaver on my phone.”
Twitter Reaction To Griffin’s Dunk
Blake Griffin’s one-handed jam over Kendrick Perkins on Monday brought down the house in L.A. and set off Twitter.
“Dunk of the Year!! @blakegriffin just dunked on Kendrick Perkins so hard!! Wow!! I guess I’m #2 now. Move over #6″ — Heat forward LeBron James
“The best dunk I have ever seen in my life!!!! I can’t stop rewinding it!! @blakegriffin #posterized Kendrick Perkins.” — Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp
“Blake Griffin just made one of the top dunks of the season. Maybe even his career! #Beast” — Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald
“OMG!!! OMG!!! Who just saw the dunk by @blakegriffin on kendrick perkins?!! This dude is a beast!!” — ex-NFLer Terrell Owens
“Blake Griffin should be locked up for the way he dunked on Perkins. If this was the NFL he would get fined. No regard for human life! LOL” — Raiders cornerback Chimdi Chekwa
“My neighbor just knocked on my door to see if I was ok. Told her, blame Blake Griffin for making me jump off my couch and yell like that.” — Bills linebacker Kirk Morrison
Griffin said he knew he’d made an impression judging by the crowd’s raucous response. Then he felt Jordan behind him.”He armlocked me,” Griffin said. “I couldn’t breathe.”Paul had 26 points and 14 assists, Caron Butler also had 22 points, Chauncey Billups scored 13 and Mo Williams 12 as the Pacific-leading Clippers dunked with high-flying abandon against the team with the NBA’s best record at 16-4. They won their third in a row to follow up a 109-105 victory at Denver a night earlier that began a stretch of five games in seven nights.”We’re not going to read too much into it,” Paul said of the back-to-back wins. “It let us know what we’re capable of. We can explode offensively.”Kevin Durant had 36 points and 13 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook added 31 for the Northwest-leading Thunder, whose league-best road record dropped to 8-3. They had won 11 of their previous 12.”Chris Paul was running around, getting what he wanted to get on the floor and making passes to guys for wide-open dunks and 3s,” Durant said. “It’s tough to stop.”Griffin’s monster mash had everyone talking and tweeting, but the Clippers put together a stunning sequence going into halftime.They shocked the Thunder with four consecutive 3-pointers in less than a minute to lead 64-46. The flurry by Williams (two), Butler (one) and Billups (one) stopped the Thunder’s 11-2 run that had drawn them within six points.”I told Mo that might have been the greatest exchange I have been part of since I’ve been in the NBA,” Paul said. “That got the crowd into it. Four 3s in under a minute is unbelievable.”Jordan said: “We were just hot. It really didn’t look like it was real. We were on a high, but we knew we had to come out in the third and knock them out flat.”The Thunder bumbled their way into the half, with Westbrook and Durant combining on three straight turnovers that led to the Clippers’ long-range fireworks. Williams and Butler had two steals in the run.”That doesn’t happen, and it probably won’t happen again the rest of the year, that a team will make that many 3s in a minute,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “But they made the shots. They started the game with a lot of urgency and they had us back on our heels.”Los Angeles shot 71 percent from long range in a half that also featured a series of huge dunks by Jordan, Griffin, Durant and Westbrook, although both teams missed their share of dunks, too.Daequan Cook was the only other Oklahoma City player in double figures with 12 points. Durant and Westbrook scored all but two of the Thunder’s 25 points in the third quarter, which the Clippers ended on a 3-pointer by Paul to lead 90-70.Durant and Westbrook began the fourth on the bench, although they both stood up when Cook hit his second 3-pointer of the period to get the Thunder to 95-81. Griffin then scored five in a row, capped by a two-handed jam that extended the Clippers’ lead to 100-81.The Thunder outscored Los Angeles 30-22 in the fourth, but never made a big run to get close.The Clippers made 13 3-pointers — just off their season high of 14 against Denver on Sunday.They made 10 3s in the first half, led by four from Butler, who connected from his favorite spot in the left corner.The Thunder’s only lead was four points to start the game.Game notes Butler reached the 10,000-point mark on his third 3-pointer in the first quarter. … Durant and Westbrook have scored at least 25 points each 37 times in their four seasons together. … The Clippers improved to 10-2 at home. … It was the Clippers’ 12th consecutive sellout this season and 24th in a row overall dating to last season. The crowd of 19,404 included Larry King and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Dan Haren.
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Gossip Girl 100th Episode Recap GGs Identity Revealed Blairs Wedding Daze

Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 5, Episode 13 of The CW’s “Gossip Girl,” entitled “G.G.”
For the first time in recent memory, this week’s milestone episode of “Gossip Girl” finally recaptured the confident plotting and razor sharp shocks of its first two seasons. “G.G.” honored the 99 episodes that preceded it while setting the board for some intriguing new plot moves. Not only did we finally learn the true identity of our titular gossip-monger, but Blair and Louis’ ill-conceived wedding played out in the most realistic way possible, leading to moments that should satisfy both the vocal Chair and Dair factions.
Since there’s so much to discuss, let’s jump straight into the top five most memorable moments from the 100th episode.
1 Read more

The Bachelor Recap Top 6 Memorable Quotes

Note: The following contains spoilers if you have not seen Season 16, Episode 5 of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”
Buenos das, “Bachelor” fans! Week five finds us in beautiful Puerto Rico where Ben is going above and beyond to prove that he is ready to find love while wearing only henley shirts from the cool side of the color wheel. In this episode, we were reminded that black underwear shows through white linen pants, all life’s goals can be accomplished by the age of 24 and contrary to popular belief, courtesy of “A League Of Their Own” … there is crying in baseball. I’ve narrowed the brutal two-hour beating of a show into six memorable one liners that will help you navigate all “The Bachelor”-related topics of conversation of the day Read more

Why Im Scared To Have A Baby

As some of you have read I recently had a miscarriage. It was horrid but it has been one of my greatest lessons.
I thought I wanted a baby, but actually, when I was faced with the reality I freaked out.
I didn’t enjoy being pregnant at all. The romantic ideal of a blossoming mother-to-be was very opposite of my bloated, nauseous and pale self. In truth, I felt out of control, as if I’d been invaded by an alien Read more

February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. During this month, and at all times, parents need to be aware of the issue of teen dating violence. For as much as domestic violence among adults is an issue that is too often not discussed — and too often kept a secret by the victim — teen dating violence is even less discussed, and even less reported by victims. Nevertheless, in a recent survey of over 4,000 9th through 12th graders, one in five reported being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
The sad fact is that two out of three teens in an abusive relationship don’t ever tell anyone about the abuse Read more

The Three Words That Will Cost Mitt Romney the Election

Every presidential race has a few key moments and phrases that define it years after the race has come to an end. The 1980 campaign had the question, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” The 1988 campaign had the Willie Horton ad. 1992 had “It’s the economy stupid” and “I didn’t inhale.” Amidst the temporary distraction of words like “Tiffany’s account” and “open marriage” there will likely be three words that we will all remember after the 2012 presidential campaign is long over: “I didn’t inherit.”
At the beginning of the GOP primary former Gov. Mitt Romney was preoccupied with trying to convince voters that he was or was not the various political caricatures his opponents (and his own record) painted him as, the most obvious (and likable in my book) being Mitt the Moderate Read more

Timetravel to Peru With My Son

My eight year old son, right before going to sleep, says he wants to go on a trip to Lima, Peru — the place I was born in and grew up before coming to Los Angeles — so he can see me as a little kid.
What can I say? There is something so charming about the thought that travel, from his perspective, could be not just about going from point A to point B on a map, but from being a forty-something year old man to a child his same age. So, as he is all bundled up inside the blanket, and his eyes struggle to remain open, I hold his hand and wonder what such a trip would look like.
There are some complications, of course. For starters, I would have to figure out at what stage to transform myself from my current physical state of a somewhat responsible parental figure to the little kid I once was, the one my son wishes to get in contact with. I would venture to say it should happen sometime after we got through security at LAX; if not, that would most likely guarantee us a false start, and the two of us kids would be put in a taxi by a TSA representative and sent back home to my wife Read more

I Hate Homework A Mothers Confession

When it came time for my daughter to start Kindergarten, it suddenly hit me. I would have to get her to school each morning. On time. For 13 years Read more

Republicans Lose Big on Redistricting Gamble Brown Moves Forward

California is in the midst of a big experiment in political reform, which has already led to a huge defeat for an increasingly right-wing Republican Party. Open primaries have replaced partisan primaries and redistricting has been taken away from the politicians, with each disrupting comfy old arrangements. Though these moves, adopted by initiative, were heavily backed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, they’ve been heavily opposed by most Republicans.
The California Republican Party put most of its remaining marbles on a desperate bid to derail the Citizens Redistricting Commission. The effort went on for more than a year, first to undermine and try to de-legitimize the work of the commission set up by initiative to take legislative and congressional redistricting out of the hands of the legislators — a commission which, mind you, had an over-representation of Republicans on it — and then to block the state Senate districts by a referendum.
That effort ended in abject failure on Friday, with a 7-0 vote of the Republican majority California Supreme Court upholding the commission’s lines even if a referendum to overturn them does qualify for the November ballot Read more

Strategic Vision

Excerpted from the introduction to Strategic Vision: American and Crisis of Global Power (Basic Books)
The world is now interactive and interdependent. It is also, for the first time, a world in which the problems of human survival have begun to overshadow more traditional international conflicts. Unfortunately, the major powers have yet to undertake globally cooperative responses to the new and increasingly grave challenges to human wellbeing–environmental, climatic, socioeconomic, nutritional, or demographic.
And without basic geopolitical stability, any effort to achieve the necessary global cooperation will falter. Indeed, the changing distribution of global power and the new phenomenon of massive political awakening intensify, each in its own way, the volatility of contemporary international relations Read more

Lets Get Mortified

On the first day of my memoir writing elective for this school term, my teacher handed out a sheet of paper with a series of diary-style letters on it. These letters were written by a really random variety of famous people (everyone from J.K. Rowling to Hugh Jackman to Suze Orman to Stan Lee) to their teenage selves. At first, when I read some of the names on the paper, I thought the letters would just be generic suggestions of celebrities telling themselves how famous they’d someday be, or to invest in Mac or something Read more

Three Years Ago Today Fairness Prevailed

I grew up in Possum Trot, Ala., chopping cotton in the springtime and picking it in the fall. The work was hard on our hands and the sun was hot on our skin. But we learned early on — boys and girls alike — that we had to do a good day’s work for a good day’s pay.
Years later I was hired as an overnight manager at a Goodyear factory. I thought the same principle I learned in my poor, rural town still was true, so I worked just as hard as everyone else.
I got some treatment you might expect as a young woman at a factory in the South — so I worked even harder to prove to the men around me that I was smart and good at what I did Read more

Canadian Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Why the Deception

Why are congressional advocates of the Canadian Keystone XL oil pipeline resorting to so many deceptive claims when there is no dispute the project would create American jobs and bring business to our Gulf Coast refineries?
The answer is that there is much more to the story than its face value and it is all about drawbacks. When you get past the Republican hype designed to politically embarrass President Obama for refusing to approve the project’s route across the American heartland, you discover the pipeline is not the economic bonanza or environmentally benign entity depicted by its boosters. On the contrary, a strong case can be made that our nation would be better off with no Keystone XL pipeline whatsoever. One needs only examine the proponents’ exaggerated claims (including downplaying of environmental risks) to see why.
TransCanada Corp., the corporate sponsor behind Keystone, actually admits that if its tar sands oil is piped down to our Gulf Coast refineries, it would be shipped overseas for a more attractive price than it could garner here Read more

Tunisias Revolution an Example for the Region

“People thought: you get democracy, you get jobs,” Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki explained to us, as he described the fragility and urgency of the situation facing the government and the dependency of achieving political reform on securing economic growth. If job creation is not forthcoming, the public could lose their patience with the path to achieve democratic institutions.
Despite the significant progress Tunisia has made in its political process one year after its revolution, a fragile economy and the danger of political polarization threaten its future. Improving the economy and job creation are the primary focus of the government with unemployment currently higher than it was before the revolution. Tunisia’s new coalition government’s failure to address the economic needs and the creation of jobs could derail the political project of democratization including the building of strong institutions Read more

Occupy Wall Screen A Renowned French Media Artist Takes On Wall Street VIDEO

French media artist Maurice Benayoun is way ahead of today’s economists. He long ago figured out that collective emotions trackable on the Web might be used to predict market ups and downs. Recent books like Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy echo the notion that the market has become a histrionic arena that begs for regulatory controls, and there is at least one hedge fund that uses the analysis of mass tweets to make stock predictions. But Benayoun is no Wall Street gambler trying to game the system Read more