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Sunday, March 31, 2013


Shoot, shovel, and shut up

       Where I live, we all work together, as best we can.

            On my 1905 kitchen wall is a reproduction of a Maxwell House Hotel Christmas menu from 1879. One of the items on the menu was leg of Cumberland Mountain Black Bear.

            Now we don't have them, and in my opinion it is probably because we ate them all.

            In the last few years, our government is trying to reintroduce these black bears into the area where I live. Even where I live I have found a foot print of such a bear. So I think they are coming back.

            But I also think local people are covering up the effort, too. That effort is basically protecting themselves, their Families, and their pets. Mostly it means shoot, shovel, and shut up. I suspect even our local law enforcement people are in on the effort, too.

            So how do we recover a species?

            Where I live I would suggest to the savvy leaders that we all work together, as best we can.

            None of this idea  is rocket science.

            And, of course, this is just an opinion.

A simple consensus on a good time to plant

       The "quorum" was a group of old people, like me; and some young people, too. The location was the local rural grocery store, which is at around 36 degrees north latitude, and around  1,900 feet of altitude.  The general area was the Cumberland Plateau in east Tennessee.

            The general consensus was that we can plant cool season things already, like onions. Heck, I even have wild onions already growing up in my yard, and the dandelions have popped yellow flowers, too.

            Now the warm season plants, like tomatoes, are subject to frosts. And around here the suggested planting time follows the "ole granny" ideas, like May 15th.  Now lower in altitude, like 800 feet lower in Cookeville, TN, then the suggested tomato planting time is May 1st.

            Said another way, during the winter, what might be rain in Cookeville is snow where I live. What a difference 800 feet of altitude makes.

            Yep, we can still be politically incorrect in using terms like "ole granny" planting times, now that spring is here. Like nobody really cares as long as the best planting times are used.

            Maybe our ancestors did have some collective wisdom we can benefit by?

            I am, that is I do benefit by these ideas.

            Even I am going to do another micro garden idea, like using old tires full of local dirt to grow tomatoes and potatoes. While I don't have a green thumb, I do like to eat when hungry, and I appreciate learning things like "old granny" stuff. Mostly I like just using what my ancestors, and others, have already figured out.

Easter stats

       These are weekly statistics from a blog that I do as a hobby. They are somewhat fuzzy on my screen. To summarize, this blog used to do about 50 to 100 hits a week. Now it is closer to 2,000 hits a week. And Firefox is beating out Internet Explorer, too.
 

            The intent of the blog is survival type things if times get hard. I try to focus on things that will help me, and then share it. I try to ignore politics, as there are plenty of other better ways to keep up with politics.

            Interpret them as you choose.

Administering drugs

The idea behind this post is just to inform those who might have to function if times get hard.
From wikipedia
            Drugs, both medicinal and recreational, can be administered in a number of ways. Many drugs can be administered in a variety of ways rather than just one.


A better wiki link on the subject can be found at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug

 

Spring Outlook

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) issued the three-month U.S. Spring Outlook today (3/21/13), stating that odds favor above-average temperatures across much of the continental United States, including drought-stricken areas of Texas, the Southwest and the Great Plains. Spring promises little drought relief for most of these areas, as well as Florida, with below- average spring precipitation favored there. Meanwhile, river flooding is likely to be worse than last year across the country, with the most significant flood potential in North Dakota.
 

"This outlook reminds us of the climate diversity and weather extremes we experience in North America, where one state prepares for flooding while neighboring states are parched, with no drought relief in sight," said Laura Furgione, deputy director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "We produce this outlook to help communities prepare for what's likely to come in the next few months and minimize weather's impacts on lives and livelihoods. A Weather-Ready Nation hopes for the best, but prepares for the worst."

The U.S. Spring Outlook identifies the likelihood of spring flood risk and expectations for temperature, precipitation and drought. The outlook is based on a number of factors, including current conditions of snowpack, drought, soil moisture, streamflow, precipitation, Pacific Ocean temperatures and consensus among climate forecast models.


After a year of reprieve, the Red River of the North between eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, and the Souris River in North Dakota have the potential for moderate and major flooding. Devils and Stump Lakes in northeast North Dakota have a 50 percent chance of rising approximately two feet, which would flood 20,000 acres of farmland and roadways.

The melting of late-season snow may cause minor to moderate flooding in the upper Mississippi River basin, including southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and northern Missouri. The tributaries in the plains of the upper Missouri River basin, specifically along the Milk River in eastern Montana, the Big Sioux River in South Dakota and the Little Sioux River in Iowa may also see minor to moderate flooding. With significant frozen groundcover in these areas, spring flood risk is highly dependent on rainfall and the speed of the snowmelt.

Areas along the middle Mississippi, lower Missouri and Ohio River basins have already experienced minor flooding this year and the threat of minor flooding will continue through the spring. These basins include portions of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, eastern Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Minor flooding also is possible for the lower Mississippi River basin and in the Southeast, including portions of Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia.


Above-normal temperatures this spring are most likely across most of the continental U.S. and northern Alaska. Below-normal temperatures are favored for the Pacific Northwest and extreme northern Great Plains. For precipitation, odds favor wetter-than-normal conditions in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions. Drier-than-normal conditions are most likely in much of the West, the Rockies, parts of the Southwest, much of Texas, along the Gulf Coast and Florida. Hawaii has an enhanced chance of being cooler and drier than normal.  


Fifty-one percent of the continental U.S.--primarily in the central and western regions--is in moderate to exceptional drought. Drought conditions are expected to persist, with new drought development, in California, the Southwest, the southern Rockies, Texas, and Florida. The outlook favors some improvement in the Midwest, the northern and central Great Plains, Georgia, the Carolinas, and northern Alaska.

"Weather can turn on a dime, so it's important to stay tuned to the daily weather forecast. Spring weather, such as tornadoes and flash floods, develop quickly and require preparation and vigilance," added Furgione. Get ready for spring weather threats - buy a NOAA Weather Radio, bookmark www.weather.gov to check your daily forecast, and visit FEMA's ready.gov website for preparation and safety information.

The entire link is at:  http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/20130321_springoutlook.html


North Korea: What happens if Kim Jong-un acts on his threats?

In the event that the 'bellicose rhetoric' of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un turns into something more serious, the opening hours of conflict could be 'pretty ugly,' defense analysts warn.

By Anna Mulrine, Christian Science Monitor Staff writer

Veteran North Korea watchers, citing what they see as increasingly troubling signs coming from the dictatorial regime, are voicing concerns that its new young leader, Kim Jong-un, could do something ill-advised, even start a war.

On Friday North Korea renewed what the U.S. has condemned as its “bellicose rhetoric,” saying Kim had ordered the nation’s missile forces to prepare to strike the United States and South Korea.

In response to the prospect of North Korea following through on this and other marginally less dire threats, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday that the US military “will unequivocally defend, and [is] unequivocally committed to the alliance with, South Korea.”

But if hostilities were in fact to erupt, how might they play out?

Some former US Special Operations Forces and longtime Korea defense analysts have their own thoughts on what an “unequivocal” US military response could look like, including how US troops would be deployed in the event of a lethal first strike on US and allied military forces by North Korea – precisely the sort of move Mr. Kim has been threatening to make.

What would such a first North Korean move resemble? It might involve small-scale infiltrations using mini-submarines, assassination attempts, “maybe shooting someone on the DMZ [demilitarized zone] or missile tests that fly too close over Japan,” says Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.

This might be done “to show he’s in charge, he won’t be intimidated, or because he’s truly desperate,” Dr. Cronin says.

In the past, most such provocations generally have been met with international condemnation and strengthened sanctions.

Should Kim choose to do “something even more outlandish,” the US military and South Korean response would be more dire, he adds.

One of the scenarios that most concerns US defense analysts, for example, involves North Korea’s estimated 500,000 to 700,000 rounds of artillery aimed at Seoul, says retired Brig. Gen. Russell Howard, former commander of the 1st Special Forces Group, which has an Asia focus. 

Should Kim decide to begin firing them, he says, “in the first few hours of the conflict, it would be pretty ugly.”

At the same time, North Korea could begin “swarming” its sizable contingent of 600,000 Special Operations commandos, adds Mr. Howard, now the director of the Terrorism, Research, and Education Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies

The “sole purpose” of this group, he adds “is to infiltrate the South and create havoc.”Skip to next paragraph

The realistic goal of the North Korean military would likely be to get some 150,000 of them over the border, where they would “go for infrastructure,” such as communications and transportation systems. 

Complicating efforts to find these infiltrators would be a massive influx of North Korean refugees, in the neighborhood of 3.5 to 4 million into China and another 2.5 million likely moving south into South Korea.

“It’s going to be a human disaster that we’ve never experienced – there are going to be so many refugees,” Howard says. “It would just be a nightmare to try to separate civilians from the battlefield.” 

Regular North Korea units might attempt to come across the border “with a huge burst of energy in the very beginning,” he says.

“But as the ammunition starts to run low, as food is low, with counterattacks, I have my own personal view that they would probably start to disintegrate within the first week,” Howard adds. “I’m not being flip when I say this, but it really depends on how hungry they are.”

Analysts suspect that the North Korean military is not particularly well-fed. Even though humanitarian rations meant for the North Korean population were once diverted to feed them, there are growing indications that this is no longer happening under Kim, Howard says. 

The US military would immediately respond to the initial barrage of artillery with air power, using B-52s and highly-accurate B-2 stealth bombers to take them out, along with other key command-and-control targets. 

But while the US would no doubt disable these systems, “the artillery or chemical weapons that North Korea is capable of firing into Seoul – a city of some 20 million – would still have a devastating impact,” says Victor Cha, the Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. 

“We would counter, but they could fire thousands of rounds of artillery first, before we could neutralize it. That has always been one of the problems,” he adds: While the North Korean military may not be particularly well-rounded or strong, it “can still do a terrible amount of damage.” 

One key focus for the US and South Korean militaries would be psychological operations, which would be focused on trying “to dissuade the North Korean public from believing all this propaganda they’ve been hearing their whole lives.” 

This, too, would be no small feat. This is true, for example, even among North Korean defectors. 

“Even though they know they’re starving and it takes a lot of courage to defect, they are still hesitant to blame North Korean leadership,” Howard notes. “Often they are still more inclined to blame the West. North Korea is so isolated, the US is viewed as ‘the great Satan’ on steroids.” 

Most difficult of all, perhaps, would be the mission that US Special Operations Forces would be given: There is little doubt that they would be deployed with an urgent order to secure North Korean weapons of mass destruction. 

Accomplishing that “would be tough,” Howard says. “It would be very tough.”

 

Comments on the article

            1)  There is no mention of Russian or Chinese involvement.

            2)  There is no mention of any post-war planning.

            3)  There is no mention of USA political involvement.

            4)  There is no mention of miscalculation on all sides.

The Hunt for Herman Melville

The best biographers are scholars on wheels assiduously dogging their subjects' footsteps


Saying that Hershel Parker is as angry as Ahab isn't a flippant or disparaging remark. Like Herman Melville's enraged sea captain, this supremely accomplished scholar believes he is taking on a world that has tried to destroy him.

Mr. Parker is the author of the most thorough and authoritative account of Melville's life ("Herman Melville: A Biography," published in two volumes, in 1996 and 2002). The capstone of five decades of research, textual editing and literary analysis, the work is a masterpiece of the biographer's art. Nearly every page abounds with discoveries that plug the holes and correct the errata of other biographers, even as Mr. Parker adds to their best insights.

Melville Biography: An Inside Narrative

By Hershel Parker
Northwestern, 587 pages, $45

Biography is accretion, where one detail builds gradually upon another creating over time a complex portrait. Mr. Parker has spent a lifetime in archives—in New York City, London and virtually everywhere else Melville traveled, resided or worked—uncovering all sorts of fresh material. He has tried, for instance, to find every book, magazine or newspaper Melville ever read. Even Mr. Parker marvels at the single-mindedness with which he has pursued his subject—"more than half a century for a biography of only one writer!" he exclaims in his fascinating new account of his career and his craft.

Mr. Parker is one of the class of scholar-adventurers that originated in the 18th century, with James Boswell scooping up every scrap of Dr. Johnson's words and exploring every relationship that made the slightest difference in the Great Cham's life. James Anthony Froude was the only 19th-century biographer to rival Boswell's achievement. His thorough and candid life of Thomas Carlyle (1882-84) brought upon him the carping of literary critics, who believed he had revealed too much about his choleric subject's life and even accused him of fabricating intimate details. Boswell had also been so chastised by the literary establishment.

Biography didn't really recover from the opprobrium directed at Boswell and Froude until the mid-20th century, when a sequence of great works put it on new footing: Leon Edel on Henry James (1953-72), Richard Ellmann on James Joyce (1959), Richard Sewall on Emily Dickinson (1974) and Joseph Frank on Dostoevsky (1976-2002). Then came Richard Holmes, with his biographies of Shelley (1974) and Coleridge (1989, 1998), and Norman Sherry, with his multi-volume Graham Greene (1989- 2004), who made of the biographer a heroic figure, an intellectual daredevil assiduously tracking his subject's "footsteps"—to cite the title of Mr. Holmes's classic account of his arduous travels as a "romantic biographer."

The best biographers aren't your stay-at-home types; they are scholars on wheels—on foot, on skis—doing whatever it takes to get the story. In the episodic chapters of "Melville Biography: An Inside Narrative" (a play off the subtitle of "Billy Budd"), Mr. Parker sets out to explain and justify his work as researcher and biographer. He writes about theories of biography, the importance of textual fidelity and the travails of archival work. Anyone who wants to learn how to write a multi-volume life of a writer could start here.

But Mr. Parker also believes that critics representing two mighty forces (academia and the New York intellectual world) are bent on destroying the kind of scholarship that he has practiced his whole career. "Despite its immense popularity, literary biography is under attack from subversive interlopers," he writes, and ticks off a literary enemies list of academic critics, mainstream book reviewers and "interpretive" biographers who scorn careful research while favoring their own pet theories and interpretations. In "Melville Biography," he wants to turn the tables on "agenda-driven reviewers" and "recidivist critics" who have written negatively about his own books or who, he believes, have recklessly distorted Melville's life and work. Unusually, he names names—critics like Edmund Wilson, James Wood and Andrew Delbanco and many other prominent intellectuals come in for rough treatment.

Mr. Parker's first brush with this literary-critical tribunal came in 1968, when Wilson published an attack in the New York Review of Books on the scholarship that he and other young researchers had done for the Modern Language Association's editions of canonical American writers. Their textual and historical grunt work was designed to shed light on such basic and important scholarly building blocks as printer's errors in different version of Hawthorne, Melville and Howells. Wilson savaged the MLA's editions, saying that such pedantic compilations of lists of data were of minimal significance. "The old Tyrant of Talcottville," as Mr. Parker calls him, dismissed these diligent scholars for being more concerned with documents than literature. And "Wilson's prestige," Mr. Parker recalls, "was such that flatterers leapt to endorse his views," without ever reading the works. Mr. Parker found that, in his own department at the University of Southern California, his work had lost all "social legitimacy." "Even thirty and forty years later," he claims, "younger critics justified themselves to their coteries by huddling behind the corpse of Wilson as they lobbed fuzees underhanded toward scholarly editions and biographies."

In those days, literature departments were still dominated by the "New Criticism," a philosophy of literary interpretation that dismisses the artistic process. The finished work is all that matters. ("The design or intention of the author is neither available nor desirable as a standard for judging the success of a work of literary art," wrote the New Critics W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley in 1954.) The emphasis on "theory" that supplanted New Criticism, including such approaches as Deconstruction and the New Historicism—to name just two fashionable academic innovations—were even more inimical to biography. Acolytes operated from the assumption that biographical data was unstable, because the very notion of an "author" in command of language is dubious.

Such intellectual fads, Mr. Parker argues, deprive literature of the very life out of which it springs. Academic critics behave as though published texts are some unified whole, when in fact many literary classics exist in flawed versions—indeed, if one looks far back enough they exist only in corrupt editions that keep us from knowing fully what the author intended. Meticulous work with original documents can result in radical changes in our understanding of an author.

Mr. Parker describes how his sense of the relationship between Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne was altered when he looked more closely at Hawthorne's account of one of their meetings. Mr. Parker realized that Hawthorne had not looked "mildly"—as several commentators supposed—but "wildly." This one word matters because it reveals a more emotional Hawthorne than other accounts would have us believe. Melville sought not merely Hawthorne's support as a fellow author, but the older writer's affection. Hawthorne never seemed quite prepared to reciprocate Melville's desire for intimacy, but a Hawthorne who looks at Melville wildly suggests the former felt something after all. On "one wobbly letter," Mr. Parker demonstrates, a world of meaning hangs. Only the research biographer, learning how to read his subject's handwriting and studying his letters and everything that is legible in a life, can hope to understand the play of a writer's mind.

Mr. Parker (born 1935) began as a disciple of Jay Leyda, an indefatigable amateur scholar who developed a consuming obsession with the life and work of Herman Melville. Combing through archives of letters, newspaper stories and even the proverbial laundry lists, Leyda (with the aid of fellow Melvilleans like the young Hershel Parker) compiled countless facts and documents that were then logged into an all-encompassing "Melville Log" (published in two volumes in 1951, and again with a supplement in 1969). Leyda & Co. established a chronology of Melville's day-to-day life, and their tireless efforts uncovered numerous primary sources that shaped modern Melville studies. Anyone who writes about Melville today relies upon the vast stores of material that they accumulated—though it is Mr. Parker who drew most extensively upon them for his monumental biography.

Yet throughout his career, Mr. Parker complains, popular reviewers and academic critics have derided him as a collector of trivialities. He cites James Wood complaining, in the New Republic in 1997, that too many pages in the first volume of his biography were spent recapitulating the reviews of "Omoo," Melville's second novel and his second semi-autobiographical account of life in the Pacific. Mr. Parker contends, though, that what can seem like minutiae is crucial to explaining what was happening in the life of the 28-year-old writer. Unfavorable notices of "Omoo"—a best seller in the end—would have meant that he and his fiancĂ©e, Elizabeth Shaw, could not have announced their engagement. Nor could Melville have "confidently embarked on 'Mardi' "—yet another South Pacific narrative but one linked less to Melville's own adventures than to his emerging worldview and philosophical musings. This was where his art began to turn toward the type of writing that produced "Moby-Dick," and thus a decisive moment in Melville's life hinged on whether he could become a family man and support his family as an author. The reviews, in short, mattered deeply to Melville, as they must to the scholar, if not the critic. The Melville of theorists and literary critics, Mr. Parker suggests, is an "amputated manikin," "a condensed version"—primarily a high-minded writer of literary prose, and not the workaday writer whom Mr. Parker presents.

Mr. Wood accused Mr. Parker of being a slave to "Lilliputian facts." It is a common critique. In truth, though, Mr. Parker's Melville biography goes adrift in the opposite direction, inclining toward occasional overstatement and over-certainty about Melville's life. Mr. Parker writes with such assurance that he sometimes omits the qualifying "perhaps" or "maybe." He assumes that readers know how biographer's words arise out of a supply of facts, evidence and inferences that sometimes amount to imaginative leaps. And he uses that dreaded phrase "must have been" with so little compunction that he seems to want someone to take up his dare.

Mr. Parker's greatest enmity is reserved for Andrew Delbanco, professor of American studies at Columbia University, who the biographer believes has deliberately tried to discredit him. Mr. Delbanco dismissed the first volume of "Herman Melville" in the New York Review of Books in 1997. He not only disparaged the new data that Mr. Parker contributed to Melville biography but also suggested that Mr. Parker invented details to suit his all-consuming quest to tell his subject's story—a nearly mortal blow to a biographer who has spent his entire career documenting every aspect of his subject's life.

Mr. Parker quotes Mr. Delbanco questioning the former's characterization of Melville as "the first American author to become a sex symbol" and dismissing the evidence as merely a phrase taken from "one woman's fan letter." In fact, Mr. Parker says, he was relying on what he calls "many diverse pieces of evidence," including the responses of numerous men in contemporary reviews and newspaper notices who found "Typee" titillating because it described the sailor-narrator's romps with native women on a South Seas island. Mr. Parker cites one newspaper that greeted Mr. Melville's engagement announcement with the quip that the "fair forsaken Fayaway [the novel's South Seas heroine]" should sue for "breach of promise." Mr. Parker emphasizes that he was describing reactions to Melville's writing, not the behavior of the man: Mr. Delbanco's claim that the biographer portrays a strutting, "randy young man" attributes a vulgar idea to Mr. Parker that is nowhere in his text.

The point of this particular disagreement becomes clear when Mr. Parker notes that, in "Melville: His World and Work" (2005), Mr. Delbanco described Melville as "the randy young globe-trotter up in the attic reliving his escapades." Imagine Mr. Parker's chagrin when he saw Mr. Delbanco's words referring to the novelist as bait for the "nineteenth-century equivalent of a rock star's groupies"! He has a right to wonder: "Is there a technical term in rhetoric, poetics, or jurisprudence for what Delbanco has achieved here in the reuse of material, mine and his?"

Such subtle pilfering, indeed, is all too characteristic of the high-toned critics writing for the major book-reviewing publications. They are paid to review a biography and instead raid the text in order to show off their knowledge (gained from the very book under review), adding some interpretive flourish and later republishing the agglomeration in their own books. A new biography is always welcome, but too often the popular press pays attention only to the new, and Mr. Parker clearly feels that authors who write "interpretive biographies" and lean on his scholarship are in some way passing his work off as their own.

Mr. Parker has a word for the mentality of such men: archivophobic. "We have entered a period when very few academics do archival research," he writes. They hardly ever venture in the stacks and almost never explore the wider world. He thinks Mr. Delbanco gets the details wrong in his 2005 book, when discussing such matters as the novelist's time in upstate New York. Mr. Parker corrects Mr. Delbanco: "Why he thought Melville would have written in the attic of the Lansingburgh house is beyond me," he comments, "and I have been up there to check out that low dark space."

The contemporary aversion to research is bitterly ironic because it is easier to do than ever before. The digitization of old documents and proliferation of scholarly databases has revolutionized the way scholars can pursue a paper trail, providing virtually instant access to materials from across the world.

Mr. Parker himself revels in the new online world, in the new Melville facts to be gleaned from newly available newspaper archives, for instance. He takes great enjoyment in drawing a contrast between the ephemera produced by prominent dilettantes and the lasting contributions of diligent but barely known literary bloggers—"divine amateurs"—who have made important discoveries of Melville sources. One blogger, Nicole Perrin, even discovered, through her "marathon reading of Melville," a source for a passage in the author's book-length poem "Clarel"—a source that Melville scholars had never considered.

Digging in the archives, Mr. Parker believes, is the only method for turning up new discoveries about important figures like Melville. The pleasures of the text will always make an exclusive appeal to academic and literary critics who prefer their literature pure. But, as another distinguished biographer, Michael Holroyd, has written, the function of biographies is to make us less "bookish." I once listened to an academic biographer of Marianne Moore give a talk and be asked about the people he had interviewed. "Interviews," the man said in a dismissive voice. "They're so messy." Exactly so, and literature cannot be conceived aside from that mess. It is what life, and art, are made of.

"Melville Biography" is a superb contribution to a fledgling field: the study of the writing of literary lives. To a young academic with even the faintest interest in biography, Mr. Parker's book may come as a revelation, as well as a horrifying insight into the way biographers and biography have been abused. It should also be a call to arms, although I doubt that in the tenure-bound, cliquish world of the academy many will follow Hershel Parker into the breach.

—Mr. Rollyson is the author of "A Higher Form of Cannibalism? Adventures in the Art and Politics of Biography." His most recent biography is "American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath."

A version of this article appeared March 30, 2013, on page C5 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: The Hunt for Herman Melville.


The Nutrition of Chicken

Chicken is a common ingredient in many recipes because it's high in protein and tastes great. Not all chicken meat is alike. The truth is that certain cuts of chicken meat are much healthier than others. In addition, fried chicken or chicken prepared with lots of oil, sugar or other fatty ingredients pack a lot of calories.

Dark Meat Chicken vs. White Meat Chicken

Many diet plans recommend dieters abstain from eating dark meat chicken, because dark meat usually contains more calories than white meat. But dark meat chicken isn't quite as unhealthy as you may have been led to believe. Dark meat chicken is rich in myoglobin, a compound packed with iron found in muscle cells. The dark meat parts of the chicken, like the chicken's legs, are rich in myoglobin, whereas white meat chicken contains no myoglobin at all. In addition, dark meat chicken contains more zinc and B vitamins than white meat chicken.

The bottom line is dark meat chicken still contains more calories and fat than white meat, although dark meat does pack greater nutritional value. If you're watching your weight, you'll probably want to eat mostly white meat chicken. Occasional consumption of dark meat chicken is also a healthy option.

Calories in Chicken Skin

On average, a 6 oz. piece of white meat chicken breast with skin has approximately 340 calories. If you remove the skin from that same piece of chicken breast, it will contain only 240 calories. Chicken skin mostly consists of fat, so by removing it you'll be able to save at least 100 calories per 6 oz. serving. In addition, chicken skin contains an alarming amount of fat. A 6 oz. skinless piece of chicken breast contains a mere 3 g of fat, but that same piece of chicken with skin contains a whopping 14 g of fat.

Nutrients in Chicken

Chicken is a great source of protein. One 6 oz. serving of chicken contains 48 g of protein. Chicken is also rich in potassium, calcium and contains no carbohydrates. The nutritional makeup of chicken makes it a healthy, filling food option. By eating healthy cuts of chicken, you'll consume only a small amount of calories and your stomach will stay full for hours. This decreases your likelihood of snacking on unhealthy foods later in the day.

Unhealthy Chicken Options

Although chicken is a naturally healthy food, it's easy to mistakenly consume unhealthy chicken dishes. The best way to prepare chicken is to simply grill it or bake it. You should avoid deep frying or stir frying chicken, as this imparts a ton of calories and grams of fat. If you'd like to marinate the chicken beforehand, avoid fatty dressings and instead try just a little bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper. If you need to use oil to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan, it's best to use a light coating of nonstick spray.

Here is the link for the complete article:  http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-chicken.html

We're Doomed, Send Money Fast!


It's a perennial favorite of scammers to claim we face pending doom that can be averted only if we quickly send them more money or do what they want us to. From The Music Man's "Ya Got Trouble" to the emails purporting to be from family members who've been robbed or imprisoned overseas, the game is a constant money maker for the con men who employ it.

Count President Obama as one of the masters of the art of diverting attention from facts, crying doom and grabbing yet more money from our pockets to enrich his buddies, increase his power and further impoverish us.

Two stories along this line caught my attention this week. First there was this Bloomberg news report:

President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.

The result could be significant delays for natural gas-export facilities, ports for coal sales to Asia, and even new forest roads, industry lobbyists warn.

"It's got us very freaked out," said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, a Washington-based group that represents 11,000 companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Southern Co. (SO) The standards, which constitute guidance for agencies and not new regulations, are set to be issued in the coming weeks, according to lawyers briefed by administration officials.In taking the step, Obama would be fulfilling a vow to act alone in the face of a Republican-run House of Representatives unwilling to pass measures limiting greenhouse gases. He'd expand the scope of a Nixon-era law that was first intended to force agencies to assess the effect of projects on air, water and soil pollution.

Then the AP noted this specific directive from the administration:

The Obama administration proposed new regulations Friday to clean up gasoline and automobile emissions, claiming the new standards would provide $7 in health benefits from cleaner air for each dollar spent to implement them. The costs likely would be passed on to consumers in higher gasoline and automobile prices.The Environmental Protection Agency said the new rule would reduce sulfur in gasoline and tighten automobile emission standards beginning in 2017, resulting in an increase in gas prices of less than a penny per gallon. The agency estimated it also would add $130 to the cost of a vehicle in 2025, but predicted it would yield billions of dollars in health benefits by slashing smog- and soot-forming pollution. EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe said the proposal is designed to "protect the environment and public health in an affordable and practical way." The oil industry, Republicans and some Democrats wanted EPA to delay the rule, citing higher costs. An oil industry study says it could increase gasoline prices by 6 to 9 cents a gallon.

Driving energy costs higher has always been on the administration's stated agenda. Ostensibly this is because of the need to cut greenhouse gases. This week some argued that the rationale for these two economically devastating new initiatives had been undercut by the federal government's own scientists within days of being proposed. 

NASA's Langley Research Center has collated data proving that "greenhouse gases" actually block up to 95 percent of harmful solar rays from reaching our planet, thus reducing the heating impact of the sun. The data was collected by Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry, (or SABER). SABER monitors infrared emissions from Earth's upper atmosphere, in particular from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances thought to be playing a key role in the energy balance of air above our planet's surface.

Watts up with That indicates this report was misinterpreted, that while it is true with respect to the upper atmosphere "(thermosphere) when it gets hit by solar flares," it ought not to be taken as an accurate description of what occurs at lower atmospheres: "It is a twisting of the facts in a press release about solar flares and the thermosphere to make it look like the lower atmosphere works the same way. To some extent it does, but the direction of the source of LWIR [ed. heat] energy is reversed, and CO2 and other GHG's [ed: Green House Gases] impede the transfer of LWIR energy to the top of the atmosphere where it is finally re-radiated into space. Without GHG's, the lower atmosphere would be very cold."

While the latest NASA report might have been misunderstood by those skeptical of the claims of climate warm-mongers, there's no doubt that the models that the AGW zealots have been touting can't answer why it is that with carbon emissions rising, world temperatures have remained flat. The Economist offers up several possibilities, but there is as yet no definitive answer. (One person commenting on the article ("daddy") counted 25 "ifs","mights","mays", and "coulds". ) 

The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now. It does not mean global warming is a delusion. Flat though they are, temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century remain almost 1°C above their level in the first decade of the 20th. But the puzzle does need explaining.The mismatch might mean that -- for some unexplained reason -- there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-10. Or it might be that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period. Or, as an increasing body of research is suggesting, it may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before. This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy.

Perhaps it is that I grew up in Middle America in the mid-50s that I am skeptical about doomsayers. I have a greater natural optimism about man, nature, and the future than people pitching the AGW doomsday approach and demanding yet more power and money to deal with such an as yet difficult to explain and measure phenomenon as weather.

Perhaps, it is because daily I read that those benefitting from the claims of doom are big contributors to the president and his party and, in turn, great beneficiaries of the government's largesse with our money -- all to no obvious benefit to us. (See, i.e., here) Often, as in this case, the recipients of federal funds then contribute to tax-exempt outfits like Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC ) which, in turn blocks conventional energy development, thereby enriching their benefactors. Does this sound as circular and corrupt to you as it does to me? Donor makes contribution to president and gets millions in Stimulus funds to build  lithium batteries for electric cars no one is buying, hires a few people (32) to produce them, makes another contribution to an eco-advocacy group that fights conventional energy production and advocates for electric cars...

Then there are, as Jeff Dunetz (Yid with a Lid) documents, the ridiculous claims made by the climate warmist believers:


And maybe, too, I have been jaded by the repeated claims of ecological disasters from Malthus to the Club of Rome that never proved true:

In the 1970's we were warned that a new ice age was around the corner, in the 1980's the drumbeat included nuclear winter, catastrophic asteroid impacts, and the disastrous climate impacts of the Iraqi burning of the Kuwaiti oilfields. For decades there were claims of peak oil, food shortages, and shortages of vital materials. NONE OF THESE THINGS HAPPENED.

Ecological doomsters -- often rent-seeking scientists and outfits -- and starving media trying to gin up revenue -- never give up despite being proven wrong over and again:

Predictions of ecological doom, including recent ones, have such a terrible track record that people should take them with pinches of salt instead of lapping them up with relish. For reasons of their own, pressure groups, journalists and fame-seekers will no doubt continue to peddle ecological catastrophes at an undiminishing speed. These people, oddly, appear to think that having been invariably wrong in the past makes them more likely to be right in the future. The rest of us might do better to recall, when warned of the next doomsday, what ever became of the last one.

[snip.]

You can be in favour of the environment without being a pessimist. There ought to be room in the environmental movement for those who think that technology and economic freedom will make the world cleaner and will also take the pressure off endangered species. But at the moment such optimists are distinctly unwelcome among environmentalists. Dr. Ehrlich likes to call economic growth the creed of the cancer cell. He is not alone. Sir Crispin Tickell calls economics "not so much dismal as half-witted".

Environmentalists are quick to accuse their opponents in business of having vested interests. But their own incomes, their advancement, their fame and their very existence can depend on supporting the most alarming versions of every environmental scare. "The whole aim of practical politics", said H.L. Mencken, "is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." Mencken's forecast, at least, appears to have been correct.

The record of mispredicted food supplies is even worse.[snip] The facts on world food production are truly startling for those who have heard only the doomsayers' views. Since 1961, the population of the world has almost doubled, but food production has more than doubled. As a result, food production per head has risen by 20% since 1961 (see chart 2). Nor is this improvement confined to rich countries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, calories consumed per capita per day are 27% higher in the third world than they were in 1963. Deaths from famine, starvation and malnutrition are fewer than ever before.

The world is getting healthier, richer, cleaner, and will continue to do so unless we foolishly continue to divert ever more resources to these con men and further stifle the free market which has developed the resources that "bring good things to life".