Wednesday, June 30, 2010


 Originally, tea cups and plates were stored on a long wooden board set against a wall, much like a special table to display china. Eventually these boards were stacked on top of one another, creating open shelving, like bookshelves, which later morphed into cabinets with doors that opened and closed.
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"Competition is a painful thing, but it produces great results." – Jerry Flint


Kalyan Banerjee, of the Rotary Club of Vapi, Gujarat, India, was elected president of Rotary International in 2011-12 by delegates during the fourth plenary session at the 2010 RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
"I thank you from the depths of my heart for this incredible opportunity to serve the world's most outstanding service organization," said Banerjee, who stood beside his wife, Binota. Banerjee told attendees about his first encounters with Rotary in India. "I loved the way the Rotarians seemed to enjoy meeting friends and enthusing about community service projects to benefit hundreds of people," he said. "I decided then that I must be a Rotarian as soon as I could make it." As Rotary continues to grow and become more influential, it increases its capacity to effect change in India, Banerjee said. "As I have seen more and more Indians choose to become Rotarians, and I have seen what those Rotarians have achieved, it has become clear to me that India and Rotary International are part of a symbiotic relationship: Each is making the other stronger," he said, pointing to the PolioPlus program as a sign of Rotary’s ongoing success in India and other polio-endemic countries. "In a way, some parts of India still exemplify a developing country, and this gives me perhaps a different perspective on Rotary's international service," he said. "I have seen the impact that our simplest projects can have. I have seen firsthand our work in literacy, in health, in hunger, in providing safe water -- and I have seen the difference it makes to each village, each family, and each individual human life." Banerjee encouraged all Rotarians to self-reflect and to serve generously. "Through service, we are able to look within ourselves to find reserves of generosity, of grace, and of care and concern, and to seek a deeper meaning to our daily lives. We discover what it means to help a human being and, in so doing, become more fully human ourselves," Banerjee said.

Read Banerjee's acceptance remarks
The Rotarians who will serve as RI directors in 2011-13 were also elected: José Antonio F. Antiório, of the Rotary Club of Osasco, São Paulo, Brazil; Kenneth R. Boyd, of the Rotary Club of Kerman, California, USA; Yash Pal Das, of the Rotary Club of Ambala, Haryana, India; Elizabeth S. Demaray, of the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, USA; Allan O. Jagger, of the Rotary Club of Elland, West Yorkshire, England; Paul Knyff, of the Rotary Club of Weesp (Vechtstreek-Noord), The Netherlands; Shekhar Mehta, of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India; Ju-In Park, of the Rotary Club of Suncheon, Jeonranam, Korea; and Kenneth M. Schuppert Jr., of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, USA. RI General Secretary Ed Futa also declared elected the nominees for district governor in 2011-12 and announced the officers for Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland in 2010-11: President James A. Moulson, of the Rotary Club of Paisley Callants, Strathclyde, Scotland; Vice President Ray M. Burman, of the Rotary Club of Kelvedon & District, Essex, England; and Honorary Treasurer Greg Thacker, of the Rotary Club of West Woodspring, Avon, England.
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Porterhouse steak on a grillImage via Wikipedia
Cooking instructor and author of Planet Barbecue Steven Raichlen knows a thing or two about grilling a steak, and today he's debunking a few grilling myths that'll help make your weekend barbecue that much better.
The perfect steak is one of the "high holies" of the grill. So let's dispel some common myths to help you nail the perfect steak every time.

Myth 1:

A steak is a steak is a steak.


Not all steaks are created equal and each requires its own special way of grilling. Thin ones, like skirt and flank steaks, should be grilled quickly over a hot fire. Thick steaks, like a porterhouse or T-bone, require a two zone fire - the hot zone for searing, the medium hot zone for cooking the meat through. Tough, fibrous steaks, like flank steaks, should be scored on the top and bottom to tenderize them and thinly sliced across the grain when served. Lean steaks, like filet mignon, require added fat, either in the form of an oil-based marinade or a wrapping of pancetta or bacon.

Myth 2:

You should bring a steak to room temperature before grilling.


Leaving meat out at room temperature is a formula for disaster and there isn't a respectable steak house in the world that does it. Steaks (indeed, any meat) should be kept ice-cold - and bacteria free - until the moment they go on the grill. (When you're working over a 600° to 800°F fire, it takes mere seconds to take the chill off the meat.)

Myth 3:

Salt toughens steak. Don't apply it before grilling.


A generous sprinkling of salt (kosher or coarse sea salt) and cracked black peppercorns applied just prior to grilling gives you the savory crust and robust flavor characteristic of the best steak house steaks. Grill masters from Florence to Florianópolis back me up on this. Season steaks right before they go on the grill. Just don't season them hours ahead or the salt will draw out the meat juices and make the steaks soggy.

Myth 4:

A barbecue fork is the proper tool for turning a steak.


Stabbing a steak with a fork serves only to puncture the meat and drain out the juices. Turn your steaks with tongs.

Myth 5:

Turn the steaks often while grilling.


If you watch really top steak masters from around the world, you'll notice they turn a steak only once. Why? This produces a better crust.

Myth 6:

The best way to check a steak for doneness is to cut into it with a knife.


Again, cutting the meat releases the juices. The best way to check for doneness is to poke a steak with your finger. A rare steak is soft and squishy; a medium rare steak is yielding; medium is gently yielding; medium-well is firm; and well-done is hard and springy.

Myth 7:

Steak tastes best sizzling hot off the grill.


Like most grilled meats, a steak hot off the grill will taste leathery and dry. You need to let it rest for a few minutes on a warm plate before serving. This allows the meat to "relax," making for a juicier, more tender steak.
Finally, for flavor, sheen, and succulence, don't forget to drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil, melted butter, or beef fat over your perfectly grilled steak before serving. Think of it as the varnish on your masterpiece.
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Country music legend Dolly Parton and Boys Scouts of America Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca inspired Rotarians at the fourth plenary session on 23 June to keep serving their communities and underscored the common bond their organizations share with Rotary, in philosophy and in practice.
After greeting the audience by singing her hit song "9 to 5," Parton recited The Four-Way Test, saying she also sought a "short, simple, and powerful" statement to guide the Dollywood Foundation: Dream more, learn more, care more, be more. The philanthropist and literacy advocate went on to explain her foundation’s Imagination Library , which promotes reading among preschool children by providing them with a free book each month from birth until age five. The program, which has received support from more than 115 Rotary clubs, has grown from its base in Parton’s home state of Tennessee, USA, to other communities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Parton said she was inspired by her father, who was illiterate but "one of the smartest people" she knew. "He knew it was a crippling thing not to be able to read and to write, so he was proud when people would call me the 'book lady.' And he lived long enough to see my dream come true with the Imagination Library. He was with me all the way." Rotary Foundation Trustee Vice Chair John F. Germ, also from Tennessee, joined Parton on stage to present her with Paul Harris Fellow Recognition. "This is a wonderful friendship, us working together, and I hope to continue doing my part," Parton said. "Thank you for accepting me and believing in the program." Mazzuca told attendees that the Rotary and Scout movements are similar in their ability to develop leaders, citing a shared history. "Rotary founder Paul Harris and James E. West, our first chief scout executive, were dear friends," said Mazzuca. "They traveled the country together, establishing local Boy Scout councils. And our relationship continues to be strong today, with Rotary clubs in the U.S. sponsoring more than 1,400 Scout units serving 45,000 young people." The similarities also extend to The Four-Way Test and the Boy Scout Oath and Law, Mazzuca said. "Each offers words to live by that have served us, and the communities we serve, extremely well over the decades." He encouraged both organizations to extend a hand to children and younger generations, especially those at risk of disease. "Together, our job is to mold and shape those young minds to keep them healthy, and help them to not only survive but to thrive during difficult times -- to teach them why Scouting and Rotary’s values are so crucial to our future as a people, and to teach them that they must pay forward what they learn from us," Mazzuca said. Ontario’s lieutenant governor, David C. Onley, a polio survivor and disability rights advocate, also spoke to Rotarians. He urged the audience to work with disabled communities and help eliminate prejudices against people with disabilities.
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1870:Ada H. Kepley becomes the first woman to receive a law degree when she graduates from the Union College of Law, now Northwestern University Law School.

1906: Responding to the “muckraking” reporting of Upton Sinclair and other Progressive era authors, Congress passes the Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act.

1936: Former Atlanta Journal reporter Margaret Mitchell publishes the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Gone With the Wind.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


If every Rotarian planted just one tree, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would be reduced by one billion lbs annually. This is almost 5% of the amount that human activity pumps into the atmosphere each year.




The pit and upper levels of the reconstruction...Image via Wikipedia
Though the real origin of the phrase ‘break a leg’ is debated, it is thought to be like this: In the days of the Globe Theatre, if an actor received enough curtain calls, s/he would be allowed to forgo the usual 5th position bow/curtsy, and actually take a knee, thereby breaking the leg line. Likewise, if money was thrown onto the stage they were allowed to break their leg to bend down and pick it up.
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On the 2001 New Zealand census, 53,715 people listed their religion as “Jedi.”


1958:A 17-year-old Pele—then the youngest soccer player ever in a World Cup—scores two goals as Brazil beats host nation Sweden 5-2 in the final game of the FIFA World Cup.

1613: London’s Globe Theatre, site of the debut performances of many of William Shakespeare’s plays, burns down during a performance of the Bard’s
Henry VIII.

1995: NASA’s Atlantis shuttle docks with the Russian space station Mir, forming the largest spacecraft ever to orbit the Earth and paving the way for the construction of the International Space Station.


New York state school officials had promised to crack down on soft test-grading to end the near-automatic grade-advancement by students unprepared for promotion. However, a June New York Post report found that the problem lingers under the current grading guideline called "holistic rubrics." Among examples cited by the Post (from a 4th-grade math test): How many inches long is a "2-foot-long skateboard"? (Answer: 24; "half-credit" answer: 48). Also, if you have 35 book boxes, and each contains 10 books, how many books are there? (Answer: 350; "half-credit" answer: 150).
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Monday, June 28, 2010


"Nothing is easy to the unwilling." – Nikki Giovanni





More than 18,000 Rotarians from 154 countries and geographical areas left the 2010 RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada, on 23 June after being challenged to finish the job of eradicating polio and reminded that their efforts are making a difference, even when the results aren’t immediately apparent.
"Your commitment to Rotary service projects is critical, but you may seldom have the opportunity to hear the details of the impact," said Jo Luck, president of Heifer International and a member of the Rotary Club of Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. "But always know you have made a difference."
During four packed days of plenary and breakout sessions, Rotarians attending the convention were privy to an impressive lineup of speakers, including Luck; best-selling author Greg Mortenson, cofounder of the Central Asia Institute, which builds schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Bob Mazzuca, chief scout executive of the Boy Scouts of America; and country music singer and philanthropist Dolly Parton.
Attendees were also dazzled by a variety of entertainment acts, including the Irish singing group Celtic Thunder, known for its combination of soloists and ensembles; the daring acrobatics of the Cirque du Soleil; and the soaring vocals of tenor Russell Watson.
Parton entered the stage singing her hit song "9 to 5," and thanked Rotary for partnering with her foundation's Imagination Library to promote children’s literacy. She engaged in a comedic question-and-answer session with Rotary Foundation Trustee Vice Chair John F. Germ before finishing with a song she wrote for the Imagination Library called "Try." Read more.
Mazzuca noted the long relationship between the Boy Scouts and Rotary, and stressed the importance of giving children viable and healthy alternatives amid the array of choices -- many unhealthy and downright dangerous -- facing young people and families today. He noted the many similarities between The Four-Way Test and the Scout Law. Read more.
Queen Noor of Jordan praised Rotarians for their work in promoting world peace and building global coalitions, and said Rotarians have pioneered the type of collaborations necessary to make a difference in the world. She said that the environment and nuclear weapons pose the biggest threats to world peace, and shared the work of her foundations in promoting international understanding and goodwill. Read more.
Bruce Aylward, director of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative at the World Health Organization, encouraged Rotarians to share the "terrific news" that polio is on the run, and that Rotary’s vision of a polio-free world is within sight. "You have fundamentally changed the polio eradication game, and you have changed it in your favor." Read more.
Polio survivor Ramesh Ferris, a member of the Rotary Club of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, hand-cycled from the Palais des congrès to Bonsecours Market in Old Montréal for a ceremony to illuminate the landmark with En finir avec la polio (End Polio Now), adding it to a growing number of buildings and monuments that have been lit up with the message.
Mortenson encouraged Rotarians to keep working to make the world a better place and thanked Rotary for its efforts to eradicate polio in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He stressed the similarities between how his organization works and how Rotarians operate -- the importance of building relationships and involving local leaders.
"All of us here, as Rotarians or honorary Rotarians, we are compelled to help people," he said. "The real key, and Rotarians do this, is that it’s not about helping, but it’s about empowering people. And when you empower people, then you can make a change in the world." Read more.
Father Marciano "Rocky" Evangelista, founder of the Tuloy Foundation Inc. and a member of the Rotary Club of Alabang, Metro Manila, Philippines, told Rotarians about the urgency of helping street children.
"Children in distress cannot wait," he said. "For you or me, what is a day or two? But for a child who is slowly being toughened and hardened by the harsh realities of the school of the streets, waiting is just a luxury that he or she cannot afford." Read more.
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Hectic lifestyles and limited time makes cooking a lost art. The free Stonesoup e-cookbook's emphasis on five-ingredient meals you can prepare in under ten minutes is just the ticket for a busy person such as yourself.

The Stonesoup cookbook (available as a free PDF download) breaks each of its recipes down to the minimal amount of ingredients, steps, and kitchen tools necessary. It's efficient cooking and eating at its best so that you don't end up resorting to eating out, which is costlier and most often less healthy. The cookbook covers snacks, soups, salads, and pastas all with an emphasis on balanced eating with a variety of creative spins.
(Link below)
5 Ingredients/10 Minutes cookbook
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1914:Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, are assassinated in Sarajevo, precipitating the outbreak of World War I. Exactly five years later, the Treaty of Versailles will be signed in France, ending the Great War and proposing the creation of the League of Nations.

1969: Patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village gay bar, clash with New York City police. The three day of riots that follow will be regarded as the birth of the gay rights movement.

1978: The U.S. Supreme Court sides with Allan Bakke in a landmark decision that racial quotas in university admissions are unconstitutional because they violate the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010




(All Installation Dinner photos can be viewed at the web site


"Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same." – Pearl Buck



1950:President Harry S. Truman orders U.S. air and naval forces to aid democratic South Korea in repelling the invasion of the communist North.

1844: An angry mob murders Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, as they are held in a Carthage, Ill., jail on charges of treason and conspiracy.

1985: Route 66, often called the “Main Street of America,” is decertified as a road by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials as larger interstates make the iconic highway all but obsolete.


Driving in California could get a little more annoying in the coming days. The Legislature  is now considering a bill which would allow the beginning of research into electronic license plates for vehicles. The new-fangled plates would look just like regular ones when a vehicle was in motion, but would flash awesome advertisements and other messages when stopped for more than four seconds. One San Francisco based startup, Smart Plate, is already hard at work on developing just such a device, but they're not in production yet. The measure is seen largely as a money making scheme for California. . If approved, the DMV will be required to submit its research and findings to the Legislature by January of 2013.