Daily Archives: February 15, 2011

17 posts

Tracking the Crazies: Fruitarians

Did you know that group of people who only eat fruit based on the theory that fruit is “Mother’s milk” from the earth. If you eat seeded fruit then poop out the seeds, you are repopulating the fruit population. So, clearly, it’s a circle of life situation and so nature clearly intended for everyone to only eat fruit. There are people who religiously believe this.

Here’s the website where some of them gather if you don’t believe me. You can waste quite a bit of time on this site if you’re bored at work. You might be surprised to learn that “fruit” includes sprouted seeds and nuts, which is a darned good thing, because otherwise I think you’d pass out from hunger on this diet. Fruitarians only eat raw food on the theory that it is living food and therefore has special powers to heal you and make you more complete and happy. Much like other raw foodists (there are others that embrace the vegetable family and some that even eat raw meat GAH), they believe that cooking food destroys important enzymes.

Here’s a quote from the website (I really can’t put this any better) “the fruitarian participate in the nature way of propagating life, spreading the seeds of fruits (we co-operate with the reproduction of new trees and new fruit) and living without killing any form of life which happens when eating vegetables (you have to plant them again).”

Isn’t this awesome? I am dying to know how much time and energy goes into preparing the average fruitarian meal. Next, I start to wonder about the cost, especially in the winter time. I’m a firm believer in eating more fruits and vegetables (even though vegetables are murder according to this theory) and I think most people could stand to eat more produce.

However, I don’t think planning your diet should take upwards of 50% of your time or your budget and I have trouble picturing how you’d manage this diet efficiently.

There are some critics of fruitarians out there. Some are former fruitarians. One wrote that many fruitarians become obsessed with their diets and bowel movements and often become socially isolated. I have hunch that discussing diets and bowel movements are related to the social isolation. Other people experience intense cravings and go on non-fruit binges. It’s not hard to see how that happens either.

My criticism is that this diet sounds awfully religious and that anytime your diet becomes a religion or obsession, you are probably barking up the wrong tree. There are some excellent explanations and critiques of this and other extreme diets at this site if you want to learn more.

Welcome to the First Crasstalk Writing Workshop

Well hello there, cuties! Welcome to the Crasstalk writing clusterfuck. If you have an author’s account or are planning to write in the near future, you are in the right place. Tonight we are going to try to get everybody ready to post or to improve your posts if you already are. I am going to try and cover some basic issues about the mechanics of posting, but I also want people to kick around some ideas and coordinate with one and other if you are working on related topics. I will be around for the next few hours and will occasionally add to the post, so refresh your screen now and again for new announcements. I will be in the thread so feel free to asks questions, but since I am drinking some delicious beer tonight look for the last 20 minutes or so to consist of my sending you bunny pictures and typing I love you guys in all caps through my drunken sobs.

All right, let’s get to work. First, everyone of you need to go and read this now. Yes, you! I don’t care if you read it yesterday, take 5 minutes and look it over again. I’ll wait.

Ok, so now I want to post something for those of you who are new to Word Press. First, click on this link and bookmark it. This will answer 99% of your questions about creating a post. Also, if you have never posted watch this video to help get you started.

Ready? Great! Now that you have Word Press mastered you are set. Now, let’s move to the next issue. What the hell are we going to write about? There are no content limitations for the most part and there are no assigned beats. Write whatever you are passionate about. Don’t feel like you have to have some amazing topic to get started. Write about what you find interesting and your enthusiasm will probably spread to your readers. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge. We are all pretty nice over here. Also, the beauty of Word Press is that if you really hate it you can just take it down. Take a deep breathe, you are going to be good at this.

So let’s go ahead and throw out a few ideas for each other and try to give each other some feedback so everyone can develop their ideas. Please post ideas if you have them, or if you want to see what people think about a topic. Also, I know several of you have similar interests, so maybe you can work together to come up with some stuff. I know there are a lot of TV fans out there, so we can try to come up with what shows you guys want to cover.

Here are a few things that myself, Dogs, and Meat want to stress:

  • Please try to take the time to write up good material. You don’t have to write a novel, but you are making this for our community, so give them something good.
  • Please don’t over post. Everyone who is taking the time to write here deserves to have their stuff seen.
  • Don’t be a jerk commenter to people who are just getting the hang of this. I should not have to add any more to this.
  • Let us choose the categories for the posts. It is necessary to keep the front page looking orderly.
  • Make sure you have a thumbnail image for every post. You must load the image into the media library and link it from there. You can not just copy the link from the internet.
  • Ask of if you have any questions are need help. The admin types here are doing this because we really enjoy all of you guys, we are here to help.

I am going to post a few links to some good stories that have been posted in the past. Please take a look at them because I think they will really help you.

Here is a wonderful story from Aunt Betty Crocker.

A great music column from Left Coast Lady.

Great political column from Arken. I think this was Arken’s first post so he deserves a bro hug.

I can’t even really explain this one, although it is an example of a post from a recurring column.

Ok, let’s get to it. Post your questions, ideas, irrational fears below and we will all try to make sense of this.

Quick note: If you are interested in a certain topic, put that word first in your reply so others can find you. Second, please thank Coffee and Cigs for being our sexy secretary this evening.

New Update:

I am putting some topic threads below. If you are interested in those topics, put a reply in the disscusion so I can see who is who. Also, I noticed no one said thank you to Coffee and Cigs for taking notes. Don’t make me take the cute bunny pics away.

BTW, here is a really fun TV column.

OK. I am going to take a break for a minute. Please take a brief dance break.

Also, I could really use a few news items for tonight’s overnight open thread. Send ’em if you got ’em.

Update: I think we have had a productive night. If you are reading this late still feel free to add comments and sign up under a topic section. I will check this post in the next couple of days to see what people are thinking and what they are interested in. I think the next step will be to have some posts for each section so we can help each other develop our posts. I will try to get that started in the next week. In the meantime, please feel free to put up posts and get started if you haven’t already. Let us know if you need help.

It has been an honor to serve with you all. Together, we will win the internet.

It’s (Not) The End of the World

“They say that the world will end in December 2012. The Mayan elders are angry with this. The world will not end. It will be transformed.” – Carlos Barrios

(Title changed because of an insight that Arken made in the comments.)

In 1999, at the height of the pre-millennial Y2K panic that had seemingly swept the U.S., I sought out a deeper understanding of the apocalyptic mindset that was behind this widespread collective fear I was witnessing at the time. I find it to be quite relevant as we approach the time of many prophecies: the year 2012.

To be clear, this is not science or any kind of factually-based theorizing. It is my interpretation of the writings of a man that comes from a long history of Mayan wisdom.

I came upon the writings of a Mayan historian and anthropologist named Carlos Barrios, who had been studying with traditional Mayan elders for over a quarter century, since the age of 19. As I read his main article on the subject of apocalyptic predictions – which is very hopefully entitled “The World Will Not End.”

Mr. Barrios is a historian and anthropologist. Many years ago, he began studying with traditional elders (at the age of 19). He and his brother Gerardo began a deeper inquiry into the various Mayan calendars. They studied with many teachers, and Gerardo interviewed nearly 600 traditional Mayan elders to widen their scope of knowledge.

The Mayan Calendars’ comprehension of time, seasons, and cycles has revealed itself to be expansive and sophisticated. The Maya understand 17 different calendars, some of them charting time accurately over a span of more than ten million years. The calendar that has steadily drawn global attention since 1987 is called the Tzolk’in or Cholq’ij.

According to Mr. Barrios’ interpretation of what his Mayan elders taught him, from that 1987 until now, we have been in a time when much of the materialistic world is disappearing, slowly but inexorably. We are on the verge of an era when peace begins, and people live in harmony with Mother Earth.

As we pass through a time of transition there is a colossal, global convergence of environmental destruction, social chaos, war, and ongoing Earth changes. All this, Mr. Barrios says, was foreseen via the simple, spiral mathematics of the Mayan calendars.

“It will change,” Mr. Barrios has said. “Everything will change.” He said that Mayan elders view the Dec. 21, 2012 date as a rebirth. This process has already begun, Mr. Barrios suggested. “Change is accelerating now, and it will continue to accelerate.”

If the people of the earth can get to this 2012 date in good shape, without having destroyed too much of the Earth, Mr. Barrios said, we will rise to a new, higher level. But to get there we must transform enormously powerful forces that seek to block the way.

According to Mr. Barrios, we are living in the most crucial era of the Mayan calendars and foretellings. All the prophecies of the world, all the ancient traditions, are coming together now. The spiritual ideal of this age is conscious action. Many powerful souls have been born in this era, with a lot of power. This is true on both sides, the light and the dark. High magic is being utilized by the light and the dark.

Mr. Barrios received a message from a Mayan elder in the mountains of Guatemala, who called for human beings to unite in alignment of life and light. Right now, individually and collectively, we are all going our own ways. The Guatemalan elder said there is hope if the people of the light can come together and unite in some way.

Elaborating on this, Mr. Barrios explained that we live in a world of polarity: day and night, man and woman, positive and negative. Light and darkness are a balance for each other. The dark side is very strong, and clear about what they want. They have their purpose clearly held. On the light side, everyone thinks they are the most important, that their own understandings, or their group’s understandings, are the key. There’s a diversity of cultures and opinions, so there is competition, diffusion, and no single focus.

As Mr. Barrios sees it, the dark side works to block unity through denial and materialism. It also works to destroy those who are working with the light to get the Earth to a higher level. They like the energy of the old, the materialism. They do not want it to change. They do not want unity. They seek to unbalance the Earth and its environment so we will be unready for the alignment in 2012. We need to work together for peace. We need to take care of the Earth that feeds and shelters us.

Mr. Barrios says that we are at a critical moment of world history. “We are disturbed,” he said. “We can’t play anymore. Our planet can be renewed or ravaged. Now is the time to awaken and take action.” He offered suggestions to help people walk in balance through the years ahead. “The prophesied changes are going to happen,” he said “but our attitude and actions determine how harsh or mild they are.”

Following is a guide that he recommends:

• Meditation and spiritual practice are good, but also action. It’s very important to be clear about who you are, and also about your relation to the Earth.

• Develop yourself according to your own tradition and the call of your heart. But remember to respect differences, and strive for unity. Eat wisely. A lot of food is corrupt in either subtle or gross ways. Pay attention to what you are taking into your body. Learn to preserve food, and to conserve energy. Learn some good breathing techniques, so you have mastery of your breath.

• Be clear. Follow a tradition. It is not important what tradition, your heart will tell you, but it must have great roots.

• Go to the sacred places of the earth to pray for peace, and have respect for the Earth which gives us our food, clothing, and shelter. We need to reactivate the energy of these sacred places. That is our work.

Article Source:

Manatak American Indian Council


SEE ALSO: “2012 is Fiction” by plmyshkin


CBS Correspondent Lara Logan Sexually Assaulted in Egypt

While covering the celebration in Tahrir Square on Friday, February 11th, CBS News Correspondent Lara Logan was surrounded by a mob and brutally sexually assaulted and beaten. Logan was rescued by women in the crowd and Egyptian soldiers and was able to return to the United States. She was admitted to a hospital here, where she remains under care.

CBS released a short press release.

Before this, I thought Anderson Cooper was brave. As better-known correspondents, including CBS’s evening news anchor Katie Couric, were pulled from the region due to safety concerns, one wonders whether covering stories like this is an occupational hazard or whether news agencies have an obligation to use local media sources rather than injecting occasionally unwelcome U.S. journalists in to volatile situations or regions. Logan was not a war correspondent or an embedded journalist. Do the benefits of on-the-scene coverage outweigh the risks?

ETA: Logan is a war correspondent who serves as CBS’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, covering Afghanistan and Iraq as an embedded journalist for “60 Minutes” and the “CBS Evening News.” Her extensive and impressive bio is here.

Out with the old, and… In with the old!

Yes folks, some of us have decided to bring back one of the most consistently entertaining aspects of The Place Which Shall not Be Named – Live Blogs!

Our first victim?  Syfy’s own Face-Off.

It airs Tuesdays at 10 PM. If you’re not familiar, Face-Off is a reality competition show for special-effects make-up artists. It has the same format as every other cable channel TV show I’ve ever seen, as in there’s a mini-challenge at the beginning of the episode, then the contestants have a themed challenge that they have x-number of hours to complete, rinse, repeat.

The thing is, the challenges are pretty damn cool and the judges actually have a clue.  We get to hear the words of wisdom from industry pros such as Ve Neill, of Pirates of the Carribbean and Edward Scissorhands fame, and winner of three of those Academy Award thingies, which is cool, I guess.  Also, Glenn Hetrick of Heroes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the FREAKING X-FILES people, and Patrick Tatopoulos, who had a hand  in Underworld, Independence Day, and Resident Evil: Extinction.

Those Independence Day aliens were wicked cool, y’all. Especially the one that got punched in the face by Will Smith. Ok, so the face punching was the cool part, but still.

Tonight’s challenge apparently involves “Friday the 13th” director Sean Cunningham and the creation of horror movie villains. Sounds interesting. And gory. Mmmmm…. gore….

So, Syfy (Still hate that name) at 10 PM. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday Afternoon Super-Fantastic Open Thread

Good afternoon. Just a couple of quick announcements for you Crasstalkers:
Please take a moment to read the new commenting guidelines and the writing rules posted by our Beloved Leader last night. Also, there will be a writers workshop thread starting about 8 pm EST tonight. Please join in if you are writing or want to in the future. Also Coffee and Cigarettes is hosting the first Crasstalk Book Club Meeting on Sunday. Better get to reading, kids. Continue reading

Il Fenomeno Retires

Ronaldo (not the pretty-boy Portuguese one, the gap-toothed Brazilian one) retired yesterday. He was nicknamed Il Fenomeno because, well, he was one of the most hyped and anticipated young players the world had ever seen when he first came on the scene. He ended his career in somewhat Favre-esque levels of public shame but nevertheless should be remembered as one of perhaps the ten greatest footballers to ever play the sport.

The first time I really started hearing about Ronaldo was back in 97 and early 98, during the run-up to the 98 World Cup in France. He had just spent his first great season at Inter Milan and the 98 Cup was his massive international breakout.

I remember first seeing this Nike ad on TV in the U.S. and being absolutely blown away that they would put a soccer commercial on the air.

I just watched this video for the first time in years and was surprised that it featured so many of Ronaldo’s teammates because in my mind, this was the Ronaldo commercial. It didn’t hurt Nike that Ronaldo had an excellent cup run (despite a poor final showing against France) and ended his career as the all-time top goal scorer in World Cup history.

So over the next ten years, Ronaldo would go on to star at Inter Milan and then Real Madrid. What made him so dangerous is that he combined the excellent dribblling and passing skills of a playmaking midfielder with the killer instinct of a striker.

Here’s a 15 minute video of dribbling highlights:

Here are gobs of great Ronaldo finishes:

Here’s the thing, though. Ronaldo, much like Elvis, went through a sort of crazy period late in his career. A few seasons ago, back playing in Brazil for Corinthians, the media started noticing the Fat Ronaldo.

Now, this physique might not be an issue for baseball or football fans, but soccer players are expected to run a few miles at full speed in every match. And when Ronaldo didn’t score a goall, his weight became an easy scapegoat for the absolutely brutal soccer media. (Yesterday he mentioned a thyroid condition as one of the causes of his retirement.)

Then three years ago he was extorted by three tranny prositutes he met in a Rio nightclub. You know, typical stuff!

Oh, and back in December, after a paternity test revealed that he had a fourth kid after he knocked up a waitress, he publicly announced his vasectomy and said he’s “closing the baby factory.”

OK, so he may have had a bit of a bumpy road there in the past few years, and he had to suffer the indigignity of having his name appropriated by the thoroughly unlikeable Cristiano Ronaldo. But despite all that, no one can take away Ronaldo’s 15 World Cup Goals, two World Cup trophies, dozens of major league championships and three Fifa World Player of the Year Awards. And most of all… that goofy gap-toothed smile.

Recipe: Spicy Honey Chicken? Yes You Can!

Hi, my name is GtCosita, and I love P.F. Chang’s Chang’s Spicy Chicken. I am not ashamed to put this love out there for everyone to see. You would think that as someone who loves food, I’d be all about trying new things. You would be correct, except for the fact that money is tight and Orlando, FL is not exactly a Mecca of diversity when it comes to restaurants. A few years ago, one of the servers at Chang’s let me in on a little secret: order the honey chicken, ask for a side of Chang’s spicy sauce, and mix. I’ve been hooked on that combo ever since. Last night I felt like making my own, and found two recipes that I merged into the following deliciousness:

Spicy Honey Chicken (2 servings)

Total prep time: About 20 minutes
Total cooking time: About 15 minutes

Two medium chicken breasts cut into nuggets (or any size you prefer)
1/3 cup cornstarch in a medium bowl
2 garlic cloves – minced
1 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
2 tablespoons chopped onion (if you have green onions feel free to substitute)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili sauce (more or less depending on your spice preference)
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (you can substitute apple cider vinegar or white vinegar)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed in 1 tablespoon of water
Vegetable oil for frying

Heat up oil in a wok or skillet under medium heat. I use enough oil to almost cover the chicken without completely submerging it. While the oil is heating up, combine the soy sauce, chili sauce, honey, vinegar, salt, and the 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. Stir and set aside.

Don’t be afraid to try the sauce and adjust the spice to your liking (if you use your finger to try the sauce, you may want to wash that finger after you’ve put it in your mouth). Add the chicken pieces (a few at a time) to the bowl with the cornstarch and “bread” the pieces with a light coating.

Once the oil is hot (you can test dunk one piece of chicken – if it starts bubbling, you’re ready to go), fry the chicken pieces (turning once) until the chicken is cooked through (about 3 minutes per side for nugget-sized pieces). Take the chicken out and place on a plate with paper towels to drain. Carefully, remove some oil from your wok or skillet (you can put the excess oil in a ceramic bowl to cool), leaving about 1/2 an inch of oil.

Place the wok/skillet back on the burner (still at medium heat), add the onions, garlic, and ginger and cook for about two minutes. Add the sauce and stir for a few more minutes. Once the sauce starts boiling, add the cornstarch/water mixture, and stir for about two minutes. Once the sauce thickens, add the fried chicken back and stir to coat and heat through, about 1 minute. Serve with sticky white or brown rice.

Friday Night Lights Wasn’t a Hit, You Can Still Watch

Last week, the 5th and final season of the critically acclaimed drama Friday Night Lights came to a beautiful conclusion. Many of the storylines were wrapped up, important characters got their send-offs. But the particulars are not important and considering how small the audience is it would be pointless to even talk about it. What I want to explore is how can a show that combines America’s number one obsession with well-done family drama fail so miserably to find an audience? Why did a show that preached family values more than any program on CBS miss with Middle America?

Friday Night Lights was always plagued with low ratings. It never garnered more than 8 million viewers in its first season and was constantly shuffled around by NBC before finally landing, ironically, in the Friday Night Death Slot.

This was not even a case of NBC messing shit up as they have been known to do. The show was aggressively promoted online, given a cushy timeslot and a full 22 episode run to no avail.

Somehow, a TV show with a ludicrous assortment of attractive people (seriously, just stare at Taylor Kitsch for 10 seconds and see if your special parts don’t tingle) about high school football had failed to connect with anyone that would seemingly love it. The people who loved football couldn’t buy into the ridiculous game sequences (after 5 seasons I’ve lost count as to how many times a game has ended on a 50 yard Hail Mary pass); the ones who stayed for emotional drama were bored by the football. Everyone wrote it off as either a soap opera or a sports show. People punished it for doing both.

For a country that is full of rabble-rousers who bemoan the lack of “Christian, family values” they sure as hell couldn’t find FNL on the TV. But that was because Friday Night Lights didn’t pretend to be a wholesome sitcom with a fat, lazy husband and way too attractive wife and two smart-aleck kids. It defined raw emotion.

The characters wore their hearts on their sleeves, you cried and cheered and did everything in between watching them. Perhaps the raw honesty was unsettling and turned off viewers. But it never made sense to me why millions of people watch emotionally manipulative porn like Extreme House Makeover but couldn’t get invested in FNL.

A lot of TV viewers will tell you that watching a show about a happily married couple is boring, but it’s a load of shit. You won’t find a more honest portrayal of marriage than the one between Eric and Tami Taylor. There are no crazy subplots, no attempts to add any “wow” factor, just eighty episodes of two characters that love each other unconditionally and provide support during the most tumultuous of times. I guess simple and earnest just doesn’t garner a lot of interest. But the show attacked a ton of issues and did so with earnestness. Racism, teen sex, abortion, public education, feminism. You’re not watching a show about football; it’s about Dillon, Texas and the people who live there.

I’m not going to pretend the show was perfect, that each storyline hit every emotional beat and every arc came to a satisfying conclusion. That’s not true, and the second season is one of the more uneven (crappy) things I’ve subjected myself to. But to those who have never seen an episode or might have given up, I say give it another try. If you can subject yourself to Gossip Girl or One Tree Hill then watch a show that does it right.