Sunday, January 25, 2015

Today's Quote

Love is our true destiny.

~Thomas Merton

The WayBack Juke Box - Dire Straits - Sultans Of Swing (Alchemy Live)


3 Girls Got On National Television And Told The Not-So-Pretty Truth About America. Fearless.

Somewhere in America, there is hope because of brilliant, talented girls like this.

Symptoms of Bird Flu

The Center for Disease Control has released a list of symptoms of bird flu.

If you experience any of the following, please seek medical treatment immediately:

1. High fever
2. Congestion
3. Nausea
4. Fatigue
5. Aching in the joints
6. An irresistible urge to shit on someone's windshield.

North Carolina frees innocent man after spending half his life in jail

After DNA testing on the contents of a long-forgotten envelope opened another path to innocence, a 70-year-old African American prisoner who has lived behind bars in North Carolina for more than 36 years was cleared on Friday of the double murder for which he was convicted.

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These are the 12 worst ideas religion has unleashed on the world

Some of humanity’s technological innovations are things we would have been better off without: the medieval rack, the atomic bomb and powdered lead potions come to mind. Religions tend to invent ideas or concepts rather than technologies, but like every other creative human enterprise, they produce some really bad ones along with the good.

I’ve previously highlighted some of humanity’s best moral and spiritual concepts, our shared moral core. Here, by way of contrast, are some of the worst. These twelve dubious concepts promote conflict, cruelty, suffering and death rather than love and peace. To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, they belong in the dustbin of history just as soon as we can get them there.

Chosen People –The term “Chosen People” typically refers to the Hebrew Bible and the ugly idea that God has given certain tribes a Promised Land (even though it is already occupied by other people). But in reality many sects endorse some version of this concept. The New Testament identifies Christians as the chosen ones. Calvinists talk about “God’s elect,” believing that they themselves are the special few who were chosen before the beginning of time. Jehovah’s witnesses believe that 144,000 souls will get a special place in the afterlife. In many cultures certain privileged and powerful bloodlines were thought to be descended directly from gods (in contrast to everyone else).

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American Sniper: Anti-Muslim threats skyrocket in wake of film’s release

Redneck nation...

American Sniper continues to draw record-breaking audiences as it barrels into its second weekend in wide release, but a group representing Arab-Americans says the rate of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim threats resulting from the Oscar-nominated war film has already tripled.

Citing what an executive for the group told the Guardian was a “drastic increase” in hate speech on social media, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee wrote letters this week to actor Bradley Cooper and director Clint Eastwood to ask them to speak out “in an effort to help reduce the hateful rhetoric”.

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Dear Obama Hater - You Just Wasted A Decade Of Your Life

Lots of you continue to get unhinged emails from people on Facebook, your drunk uncle, and various Tea Party relatives. Here's a gentle response to them....

Pretty soon Obama will be gone and you will have to face up to the fact that you will have lost a whole decade of your life passing around conspiracy theories and whipping yourself into a frenzy of hatred. All of you lost friends, severed relationships with family members, and some of you even lost your job or your marriage due to your unhinged behavior.

You lost that decade wailing about Obama the gay Communist Muslim narcissist dictator who was going to let the UN invade America and various hoaxes like "death panels," birth certificates, Iraq's WMDs, and the "Ground Zero Mosque" (remember how you wasted two years of your life over that?). Just think of what you could have accomplished if you hadn't wasted all that time. You could have gotten a college degree, you could have written a book, you could have run your first marathon, you could have built a boat and sailed it around the world. You could learned to speak another language - oh wait, you never would have done that.

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Ten True Facts Guaranteed to Short-Circuit Republican Brains

As a public service to those who find themselves inextricably cornered by aggressively ill-informed Republicans at work, on the train or at family gatherings, presented here are ten indisputably true facts that will seriously challenge a Republican’s worldview and probably blow a brain cell or two. At the very least, any one of these GOP-busters should stun and confuse them long enough for you to slip quietly away from a pointless debate and allow you to get on about your business.

1. The United States is not a Christian nation, and the Bible is not the cornerstone of our law.

Don’t take my word for it. Let these Founding Fathers speak for themselves:

John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)

Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)

James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)

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Washington Post/ABC Poll Shows Hillary Clinton Crushing Every Potential GOP Candidate

Hillary Clinton enjoys double digit leads over five prominent Republican contenders, according to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll.

The how and why of heroin addiction.

Old Fashioned Crispy Fried Chicken

Crunch into what you remember as a child with Old Fashioned Crispy Chicken. This classic recipe pays tribute to old fashioned cooking and it's simplicity. Extra crunchy, extra tasty, and extra great, you'll consider this to be one of the best chicken recipes.

• 1 large chicken, 4 pounds, cut into pieces
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 cup peanut oil
• 1 bunch parsley, rinsed and dried, for garnish

1.Rinse the chicken well and pat it thoroughly dry.

2.Sift the flours and the spices together into a small paper bag, so they are well mixed. Drop the chicken, two or three pieces at a time, into the bag, hold the bag closed, and shake it so the chicken is thoroughly covered.

3.Transfer the chicken to a wire cake rack and let it sit, refrigerated, for 2 hours, so the flour will adhere. Reserve the remaining flour mixture.

4.Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge the chicken once more in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.

5.When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the chicken, making sure you do not crowd the pan. Cover, and cook until the chicken begins to turn brown, about 8 minutes, reducing the heat slightly if necessary. Turn the chicken, cover, and continue cooking until it is cooked through and the juices from the thigh run clear when pricked with a fork, an additional 10 minutes.

6.Arrange the chicken on a brown paper bag to drain, and leave it for about 5 minutes. Then transfer the chicken to a warmed serving platter, garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Prep Time 60 min
Total Time 60 min
Servings 36

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ peanut butter cookie mix 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
 1 egg  
36 Hershey's® Kisses® Bd milk chocolates, unwrapped
white decorating gel Bett
holiday candy sprinkles
red decorating icing

1 Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, oil, water and egg until dough forms.

2 Shape dough into thirty-six 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

3 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely, about 20 minutes. Decorate as desired using remaining ingredients.

Another Blonde Joke

Two blonde builders were working on a house. One blonde was on a ladder nailing. Each time she reached into her nail pouch and pulled out a nail, she'd look at it, and either toss it over her shoulder or proceed to nail it into the wood.

The other blonde watched for a while, puzzled. Then she couldn't stand it any longer and yelled up, "Why are you throwing some of the nails away?"

The first blonde explained, "When I pull it out of my nail pouch, if it's pointed toward me I throw it away. If it's pointed toward the house, then I can use it safely!"

The second blonde got very frustrated at this and started to call her all kinds of names. She explained, "Don't throw away the nails that are pointed toward you! They're for the other side of the house!"

Banana Nut Waffles

Here is my favorite waffle receipe:

2 Cups Bisquick
1 cup mashed VERY ripe bananas (2 med)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 Tbls Veg Oil
1 egg

Heat waffle iron; grease w/veg oil or shortening.
Stir ingredients until blended. Pour into center of hot waffle iron.
Bake 5 minutes or until steaming stops.
Makes 12 waffles. I wrap the leftovers in foil - and then have them to pop in the toaster during the week.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Today's Quote

"The law of attraction is a law of nature.  It is as impartial as the law of gravity."

- Rhonda Byrne: Australian television writer and producer

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

Make Breakfast while you sleep in tomorrow. Breakfast casserole in the crock pot! Cooks while you sleep!

1 bag 26 oz. frozen hash browns
12 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 16 oz. roll sausage
maple, sage or regular sausage.
Salt and pepper
16 oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese

1. Spray crock pot and evenly spread hash browns at the bottom.
2. Crack 12 eggs in a large bowl.
3. Mix well (and slowly) using a whisk.
4. Add the milk.
5. Go ahead and sprinkle in the ground mustard. This might sound like a weird ingredient, but I've come to love (and use) this in most of my recipes.
6. Add plenty of salt...and lots of fresh pepper. Mix well and set aside.
7. Cook the sausage on high heat, drain and set aside.
8. Add sausage on top of hash browns.
9. Is this enough cheese? Maybe? Probably. Throw the whole big bag in there.
10. Mix it up well. Or good, depending on where you're from.
11. Pour the egg mixture over everything in the crock pot. Using a wood spoon, even everything out so it's spread evenly.
12. Turn the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Today's Quote

Be happy for this moment, this moment is your life.

~Omar Khayyam

Maple-Roasted Chicken With Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4
preparation : 15 minutes   
cooking : 100 minutes  

1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces 
1 yellow onion, cut into 1-inch wedges 
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
3 tablespoons maple syrup 
6 sprigs fresh thyme 

1.Heat oven to 400° F.

2.Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Arrange the chicken, onion, and sweet potatoes in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Drizzle the oil over the chicken and vegetables and season with the salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Drizzle with the maple syrup and top with the sprigs of thyme.

3.Roast, stirring the vegetables once, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

The Moth Presents Kimberly Reed: Life Flight

Sweet and Salty Mixed Nuts

Cooking Oil Spray
1lb unsalted dry roasted mixed nuts
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
2 tbls lightly packed brown sugar
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

Pre-heat oven to 300.
Spray a baking pan such as an 11' x 17" jelly roll pan - with cooking oil spray.
In medium size mixing bowl, combine nuts and maple syrup.
Stir until the nuts are well coated.
Sprinkle brown sugar and salad dressing over nuts and stir gently to coat the nuts.
Arrange nuts on prepared baking sheet.
Bake stiring every 5 minutes until lightly browned - about 20 minutes.
Cool for 5 mins. Break up clumps.
Cool to room temp.
Makes 3 cups.

7 cultural concepts we don't have in the U.S.

Perhaps one of these ideas will inspire you to think differently in your day-to-day life.

A guide to the policies Obama mentioned in the 2015 State of the Union

The State of the Union is really two speeches in one. First, it's a description of where the country is at this moment in time (and if you're interested in that, here are 33 charts and maps that tell the tale). But second — and more importantly — it lays out the president's agenda to address the nation's most serious problems.

In this post, Vox has pulled apart those two threads of the speech: these are the policy proposals Obama laid out — both what he said and what the underlying policy would do

Ebola has killed third of world’s gorillas, chimpanzees

The current Ebola crisis has taken a terrific toll in West Africa, stressing budgets, stretching fragile health systems to the breaking point and leaving more than 8,600 people dead since it returned to the region early last year. But seldom noted is the toll Ebola has taken on some of the world’s most endangered creatures — the great apes.

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Chocolate-Mint Thumbprints

Prep Time 60 min
Total Time 2 hr 15 min
Servings 36

  1 cup butter, softened
  1 cup powdered sugar
  1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  2 egg yolks
  16 drops green food color
2 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  1/4 teaspoon salt
  3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  3 tablespoons whipping cream
  3 tablespoons butter
  18 thin rectangular crème de menthe chocolate candies, unwrapped, cut in half diagonally

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper.

2 In large bowl, beat 1 cup butter and the powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in peppermint extract, egg yolks and food color until blended. On low speed, beat in flour, baking powder and salt.

3 Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Using end of handle of wooden spoon, press a deep well into center of each cookie.

4 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Reshape wells with end of handle of wooden spoon. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

5 In medium microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, cream and 3 tablespoons butter on High 1 minute, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Fill each well with about 1 teaspoon chocolate mixture; garnish with candy piece. Let stand about 1 hour until chocolate is set.

Electronic Age

Traveling down the interstate and needing to use the bathroom, I stopped at a rest area and headed to the restrooms.

I was barely sitting down when I heard a voice from the other stall saying: 'Hi, how are you?'

I'm not the type to start a conversation in the restroom and I don't know what got into me, but I answered, somewhat embarrassed, 'Doin' just fine.'

And the other person says: 'So what are you up to?'

What kind of question is that? At that point, I'm thinking this is too bizarre so I say: 'Uhhh, I'm like you, just traveling.'

At this point I am just trying to get out as fast as I can when I hear another question. 'Can I come over?'

Ok, this question is just too weird for me but I figured I could just be polite and end the conversation. I tell them 'No..I'm a little busy right now!'

Then I hear the person say nervously... 'Listen, I'll have to call you back. There's an idiot in the other stall who keeps answering all my questions.

Question of the Day

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Today's Quote

"Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it's beauty."

- Albert Einstein