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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Study: Organic Produce Has Fewer Pesticides, More Antioxidants

Study: Organic Produce Has Fewer Pesticides, More Antioxidants


Study: Organic Produce Has Fewer Pesticides, More Antioxidants

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 11:28 AM PDT

Organically-grown fruits, vegetables and grains have substantially higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides than conventionally-grown produce, according to a comprehensive review of earlier studies on the matter.

Organic crops contain 17 percent more antioxidants than conventionally grown crops, according to the study, to be published next week in the British Journal of Nutrition.

"It shows very clearly how you grow your food has an impact," Carlo Leifert, a professor of ecological agriculture at Newcastle University in England who led the research, told the New York Times. "If you buy organic fruits and vegetables, you can be sure you have, on average, a higher amount of antioxidants at the same calorie level."

The findings contradict a similar analysis published two years ago by Stanford scientists, who found that there are only minor differences in the nutritional content of organic and conventionally-grown foods.

However, the new study does not claim eating organic food leads to better health. However, many studies have suggested that antioxidants have been linked to a lower risk of cancer and other diseases.

Organic food purchases accounted for just over four percent of the total food market in the United States last year, or $32.3 billion.

[NYT]

Man Convicted of Deadly Attack on Sleeping Kids

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 11:13 AM PDT

(CAMDEN, N.J.) — A New Jersey man has been convicted of killing a 6-year-old boy who was trying to protect his sister from a sexual assault.

Osvaldo Rivera, of Camden, was found guilty Friday of felony murder and numerous other charges by a jury that reached its verdict after deliberating for less than three hours. He faces life in prison when he’s sentenced Oct. 23.

Authorities said Rivera, 33, broke into the children’s home in September 2012 while they were asleep and their mother was in the hospital recovering from a surgical procedure. Rivera was trying to assault a 12-year-old girl when her little brother intervened to protect her, investigators said.

Rivera slashed the children’s throats, authorities said. The girl ran to a neighbor’s house for help.

Two other girls, ages 9 and 14, were inside the home but weren’t injured.

At the time of Rivera’s arrest, there was speculation that he had been smoking “wet,” or marijuana laced with PCP. But authorities said that has never been confirmed, and the issue wasn’t raised during the trial.

Claims were made at trial that Rivera was drunk when the assault occurred, but prosecutors said there was no evidence Rivera had consumed alcohol around the time of the attacks.

They also noted his winding escape route, which they said showed a clear awareness of having committed an offense, and his physical actions — such as leaping fences — that demonstrated balance and coordination unlikely in a person so intoxicated they would be unaware of their actions.

Besides the felony murder count, Rivera was also found guilty of murder, attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault, burglary, making terroristic threats, weapons offenses and two counts of child endangerment.

Tommy Ramone: A Rock n’ Roll Life in Photos

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 11:02 AM PDT

Why LeBron Can’t Go Home Again

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 10:49 AM PDT

In his essay in Sports Illustrated about his return to play for Cleveland, LeBron James announced, "I'm coming home." And, while his very personal and emotional explanation will resonate with many, others will find it disingenuous and self-serving. Because the awful truth is, as Thomas Wolfe titled one of his most well-known novels, "You can't go home again."

Wolfe, who took that title with permission from writer Ella Winter, used it to mean that once we leave home and are battered about by our adventures in life, we become changed. And in our disillusioned minds our "home" becomes a romanticized symbol of our innocence where we dreamed limitlessly and were loved unconditionally. But that home, too, has changed because of our absence. The residents are more wary.

So it is with LeBron and Cleveland.

To some skeptical residents, LeBron's return to Cleveland is less that of the prodigal son's triumphant return home than the straying husband who abandoned his longtime partner to chase a younger, hotter, firmer slice having second thoughts. Having realized he traded a deep love for a sweaty romp, he's coming home with a bouquet of roses in one hand and a diamond bracelet in the other, begging forgiveness for his foolish mistake of lustful youth.

All that doesn't make LeBron's desire to return any less sincere. Who hasn't at some time or other hurt those we loved? And it takes a lot of courage to return to what many Clevelanders might consider "the scene of the crime." LeBron is one of the best players in the world. He could have gone anywhere, but he chose Cleveland, knowing he would have to endure a firestorm of criticism. Had he stayed in Miami or gone elsewhere, he would have been hoisted on shoulders and paraded through the streets. That testifies to his sincerity.

I've had some experience with wanting to go home. After playing with the Milwaukee Bucks for a few years at the beginning of my career, I had a longing to return to New York City. Oscar “The Big ‘O’” Robertson had retired, and without him we had come in last, with no significant draft picks and little hope of turning things around the next year. I didn't go to the press to negotiate for more money or a better deal. I went to the owner and we had an amiable chat. We shook hands and kept it between ourselves so the team could make the best deal for them and me because we each felt loyalty to the other.

My attempt to return home failed because New York had no players Milwaukee wanted. Instead, I went to Los Angeles (a second home, since I attended UCLA) along with Walt Wesley and the Bucks got four players in exchange: Dave Meyers, Brian Winters, Elmore Smith and Junior Bridgeman.

When LeBron left Cleveland he celebrated it as the Exodus from Egypt and enslavement, and that arrogance left a bitter taste in his fans' mouths. It was like showing up at a party with his new girlfriend when he knew his ex would be there. Tacky. Even his return to Cleveland might have been seen as more from the heart, as he states in his essay, if it had just been announced as a fait accompli instead of the press and fans waiting in anticipation for the word to come down from the mountain inscribed on tablets.

LeBron's return to the Cavaliers is good for basketball. Each game now comes with a movie narrative attached: underdogs, redemption, forgiveness. I certainly will be watching. But the "coming home" narrative has been a little too orchestrated to silence the critics and slighted fans. But I think this passage from Wolfe's “You Can't Go Home Again” sums up LeBron's dilemma: "He had learned that in spite of his strange body, so much off scale that it had often made him think himself a creature set apart, he was still the son and brother of all men living. He had learned that he could not devour the earth, that he must know and accept his limitations. He realized that much of his torment of the years past had been self-inflicted, and an inevitable part of growing up. And, most important of all for one who had taken so long to grow up, he thought he had learned not to be the slave of his emotions." In that way, LeBron can come home because he's grown up and realizes that being away from home made it that much more valuable.

But in another way, LeBron can't go home again. At least not to the home he once knew. They may be grateful and joyful, but they are also wiser. Like the betrayed spouse, they will have to wait and see, they will have to be wooed, they will have to be convinced that his sincerity, to quote Porgy and Bess, ain't a sometime thing.

U.N. Calls for Israeli-Palestinian Ceasefire in Gaza Bombardment

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 10:43 AM PDT

The United Nations Security Council called Saturday for a ceasefire in the Palestinian-Israeli bombardments as casualties in the Gaza Strip continue to rise.

All 15 Security Council members approved of a statement that called for a de-escalation of violence. The statement also suggested direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians aimed at achieving a comprehensive peace agreement based on a two-state solution, the Associated Press reports.

The Security Council did not give a timeline for a ceasefire, but Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour said it should be understood to go into effect immediately.

Israeli airstrikes have killed over 120 people in the Gaza Strip since bombardments began this week. Over half of the casualties are civilians, including women and children. A mosque and a center for the disabled were struck Saturday, while Israel later said the mosque was being used to store rockets to be fired at Israeli territory.

In total, around 1,000 Palestinians have been killed or wounded in recent bombardments of the Gaza Strip, said Mansour. No Israeli civilians have been killed as a result of the nearly 700 rockets fired into Israeli territory over the past several days.

The Security Council said it was concerned with the “the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides” and called for “respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.”

 

Ramadan, Day 16: Faith and Good Works

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 10:34 AM PDT

In Christian theology there is a debate and divide between Catholics and Protestants on whether faith and good works are needed to achieve salvation or if faith alone can get us there.

Interestingly, in the Islamic tradition there is also a very rich conversation about the relationship between faith and good works and salvation. One of the most common phrases in the Qur'an (more than 43 times) to describe the righteous and even the way to salvation is "have faith and do good works." The two seem quite inseparable. Good works are a natural manifestation of belief, and good works are what support and sustain faith – beyond, of course, the good graces of God.

This natural relationship and supposition between faith and good works is indicated in many of the Prophet Muhammad's most famous sayings. There is the golden rule, for example, in which the Prophet said: "None of you believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself." Another time the Prophet said that one does not truly believe if they go to sleep with a full stomach while their neighbor goes to sleep hungry. Similarly the Prophet said that a person "will not enter paradise" if their neighbors are not safe from their wrongdoings.

How about good works without faith? In the Islamic tradition, our good works have to be attached to the highest intention – which is to serve God. This is because any other motivation is temporary and fleeting and conditional, while God is permanent and unconditional. Doing good works for the sake of God is the protection needed from doing good just to satisfy one's ego.

From a faith-based perspective, it is in reality God who gives us the motivation and the capacity to do good works – and, therefore, thanks and glory should be properly directed to the source of all good. In the words of Shaykh Ibn 'Ata'illah al-Iskandari (d.1309), in his Book of Wisdoms, "Let no good works make you joyous because it comes from you, but rather, be joyous over it because it comes from God to you."

Like Catholics, Muslims would readily admit that our good works – no matter how many or how great or how sincere – are by themselves enough for salvation. Salvation is something that is granted by the good graces and mercy [rahmah] of God. Traditions abound in Islamic sources about people who lived less than righteous lives but who were ultimately granted salvation because God accepted one of their seemingly simple but sincere good works, such as giving a thirsty dog something to drink or removing a harmful branch from the road.

But, the dynamic duo of faith and good deeds are what put us on the path to receiving this rahmah that God, ultimately, grants to whomsoever God wishes. It is arahmah that is given out of wisdom and knowledge by the One who truly knows what is hidden deep down in the hearts of people.

Ramadan is an intense period to devote and train the soul in constantly inclining toward doing good works. The Prophet was described as the most generous among people, and in Ramadan his generosity was described like a wind that kept on giving. Ramadan is also known as the month of salvation because good deeds are accepted even more favorably from God than during any other month. All of this should inspire us to complete the remaining days of Ramadan with as much devotion to doing good works as we can. May God accept it abundantly from us!

Sohaib N. Sultan is a chaplain and the first full-time Muslim Life coordinator at Princeton University.

Will the Germany vs. Argentina World Cup Final Be Any Good?

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 08:53 AM PDT

Lionel Messi doesn't take up much space on the field, given that he's all of 5-ft.-7 in. tall, if that. Then again, he doesn't need much. Messi is one of those performers who, like a sunbeam splitting through thickening clouds, produces a moment of brilliance when things are getting dark. He did it against Nigeria, Iran and Switzerland to keep Argentina marching toward the final.

Argentina is likely to need such a Messi moment to be able to win its third World Cup title in this, its third World Cup final against Germany. The Argentines won 3-2 in 1986 on the chubby legs of Diego Maradona, equal parts devil and delight in that tournament, delivering the pass that created his team's winning goal, and enshrining himself in his nation's history.

Four years later, a fading Maradona and Argentine team got rolled by a multitalented German team that included current U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann. It was a match widely considered to be one of the worst finals ever because Argentina went into a defensive shell, never to emerge. Too bad only one team came to play, noted the acerbic German coach Franz Beckenbauer after the game.

You couldn't blame current Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella one bit if he were tempted by that approach this Sunday at the famed Maracanã stadium. Given the way Germany stormed past Brazil 7-1—with multiple scorers and multiple points of attack— taking shelter could prove the wiser strategy than throwing caution to the wind.

Please don't, Alejandro. This World Cup final deserves both teams on full display at both ends of the pitch. We certainly know that Argentina can defend. Against the Netherlands in the semifinal, a Javier Mascherano-marshaled back line repelled Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Robin Van Persie as if they were tropical mosquitos, leaving Dirk Kuyt to launch clueless crosses to nowhere.

That was by design.

"They think about what they're doing and they're not easy to break down," noted the French great Bixente Lizarazu, a World Cup winning defender about the Albiceleste. "Their forwards' speed, liveliness and technical ability are impressive, but what has struck me the most about them is the way they break up their opponents' rhythm."

Without Angel di Maria in the lineup against the Netherlands due to injury, Argentina clearly lost some of its own rhythm. The Dutch supplied Messi with a pair of escorts whenever he got on the ball and Germany will pay similar attention. DiMaria's ability to exploit defenders with his speed down the flank has to be respected–which could yield the little man a little more breathing room. If di Maria isn't available, the return of a fully Sergio Agüero will also make things easier for Messi.

“But we can’t burden him with all that responsibility," said Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez. "We know he’s a game changer, but we have to support him. The upside is that the group is well drilled: everyone knows their role, “

Argentina might profit by considering the two teams that gave Germany fits in this World Cup: Ghana, which drew 2-2 with them in the group stage, and Algeria, which went out 2-1 in extra time in the round of 16. Both teams shared a go-flat-out philosophy of pressuring the Germans all over the park, and attacking wide and furiously. It worked so well that Germany coach Joachim Low had to change formations and move Philipp Lahm back into defense from midfield.

This approach for Argentina would not be without risk. "The German outside wingers will track defensively for the entire match," says former Iranian assistant coach Dan Gaspar, whose team lost 1-0 to Argentina. "My concern about Argentina is that when they fly forward their tendency is not to have the same willingness to recover as the Germans. As a result, Argentina may find itself down in numbers defensively."

And that, notes Gaspar, is a very bad thing.

In scoring four goals against Portugal and seven more against Brazil, Germany's midfield trio of Mesut Özil, Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos demonstrated how quickly it converts defense into attack. At the same time Miroslav Klose was able to set the World Cup career scoring record. Germany is about options, all of them good.

"I think Germany can and will contain Messi," notes Gaspar. "And they will be able to pierce the Argentina midfield and defense through the middle unlike the Dutch, who only seemed to play from the wings in the semifinal"

But like a lot of fans, he's also pulling for La Pulga, the flea, as Messi is known. The four-time world player of the year will always be one of the greatest players the game has known. But there's nothing like a World Cup trophy to confirm it.

A Guam-Bound Flight Made an Emergency Landing at a WWII Battle Site

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 08:48 AM PDT

A United Airlines flight en route from Hawaii to the Pacific island of Guam was diverted to the remote U.S. island of Midway due to a mechanical problem.

The Boeing 777 was destined for Guam when it was diverted, and a replacement aircraft brought the 335 passengers back to Honolulu Friday morning, the Associated Press reports. The Guam-bound passengers were then put on another flight to the U.S. territory.

Pilots flying over long stretches of water often fly routes designed to keep them as close to land as possible in case of the need for an emergency landing like this one.

Midway was the site of decisive American World War II victory over Japan’s forces in 1942. It was later used as a base during the Cold War. Today, it’s a wildlife refuge home to more than 1 million seabirds, green sea turtles and endangered Hawaiian monk seals. Locals maintain the runways, which provide a vital link off the island.

[AP]

Crumbs Might Not Crumble After All

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 07:19 AM PDT

Cupcake chain Crumbs filed for bankruptcy Friday evening, with plans to sell to a large investor group and reopen for business after abruptly shuttering its dozens of stores earlier this week.

A financier group that includes CNBC host Marcus Lemonis and Dippin’ Dots owner Fischer Enterprises plans to finance Crumbs during the bankruptcy process and intends to reopen Crumbs stores, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Cupcakes will continue to be central to Crumbs’ menu.

“Crumbs is known for its high-quality cupcakes, which will remain a mainstay in the new company but will be supplemented by a much improved product mix to broaden its appeal to a larger customer base,” Scott Fischer, the chief operating officer of Fischer Enterprises, said in a statement.

Crumbs has listed assets and liabilities of between $10 million and $50 million each, according to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing made Friday. The company defaulted on a $9.3 million loan shortly before closings its stores.

Crumbs began in 2003 as a shop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan run by a husband-and-wife team, Jason and Mia Bauer. It then went public in 2011 as part of a boutique cupcake craze. But the company has been hemorrhaging money in the past two years, losing $18.2 million last year, and posting a $10.3 million loss in 2012 as customers’ desire for the sweet pastries seems to have faded.

The Chapter 11 reorganization will shoot some life into the teetering company, said the company’s new investors.

“Our goal is to create a viable business model by making Crumbs the nation’s ‘sweet and snack’ destination,” financier Lemonis said in a statement.

[WSJ]

AMC: Better Call Saul Will Be Set in 2002

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 06:29 AM PDT

Better Call Saul, the spinoff of the Emmy-winning series Breaking Bad, will be a period piece set in 2002, the AMC network confirmed.

The show will feature Breaking Bad veterans Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, Michael McKean as Chuck, Rhea Seehorn as Kim, Patrick Fabian as Hamlin and Michael Mando as Nacho, AMC said.

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan directed the first episode of the show, which has already been approved for a second season of 13 episodes. The debut season will consist of 10 episodes and will appear in early 2015.

Better Call Saul will portray Saul Goodman six years before he meets Walter White. In the show, Goodman will at first be known as as Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer searching for his fate, and then gradually transform into the Goodman fans know from Breaking Bad.

 

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