Artsy Fartsy – Banksy does Gaza (The Power of Art)

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Banksy revealed the locations of the pieces in Gaza in Palestine. Inspired by a sculpture of Niobe, a Greek mythological figure, the first piece is entitled “Bomb Damage” and obviously with Banksy, the placement is just on point. Niobe’s children were killed out of spite and then in her mourning she turned into a stone that was constantly weeping.

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Two quotes were enclosed with the images of the new stenciled pieces:

Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no-one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons – they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost everyday.  – Banksy

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A local man came up and said ‘Please – what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website – but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens. — Banksy

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Weekend Inspiration – Leonard Nimoy (RIP) “LIVE LONG AND PROSPER”

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“LIVE LONG AND PROSPER”

The Vulcan greeting and the finger-separating hand gesture that accompanies it first appeared in the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series, during an episode titled “Amok Time.” Spock himself (actor Leonard Nimoy) has made no secret of the fact that the gesture and phrase were his idea, and that he based them on Orthodox Jewish blessings he remembered from his childhood. In the Jewish blessing, the position of the fingers forms the Hebrew letter “Shin,” which represents the name “Shaddai” (Almighty God). Nimoy put his own spin on the traditional gesture by holding up just one hand (instead of both) and changing

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Happy National Strawberry Day!!! (Feb. 27th) – Croissant French Toast With Fresh Strawberry Syrup

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Croissant French Toast With Fresh Strawberry Syrup

Ingredients

4 large day-old croissants

3/4 cup milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Sweetened Whipped Cream (optional)

Fresh Strawberry Syrup

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Directions

Slice croissants in half lengthwise.

Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into a shallow dish. Dip croissant halves into egg mixture, coating well.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add four croissant halves, and cook about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat procedure with remaining butter and croissant halves. Sprinkle with powdered sugar; top with Sweetened Whipped Cream, if desired, and Fresh Strawberry Syrup.

Credit: My Recipes

HAPPY NATIONAL PISTACHIO DAY!!! (FEB. 26TH) – HEALTH BENEFITS OF PISTACHIOS

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Heart Health
 – Pistachios have been shown to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol after only a short period of regular consumption. High in antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, they fight inflammation, protecting blood vessels and reducing risk of heart disease. Even a moderate intake of pistachios has been shown to increase levels of lutein, an antioxidant well known for protecting against oxidized LDL, reducing heart disease.

Diabetes Help
 – Eating pistachios may help to prevent Type 2 diabetes. 60 percent of the recommended daily value of the mineral phosphorous is contained in just one cup of pistachios. As well as breaking down proteins into amino acids, phosphorous aids glucose tolerance.

Healthy Blood
 – Pistachios are an incredibly rich source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is essential to make hemoglobin, the protein responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood stream to cells, and is also shown to increase the amount of oxygen carried.

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Nervous System
 – The vitamin B6 so abundant in pistachios has wide-ranging effects on the nervous system. Messaging molecules called amines require amino acids to develop, which in turn rely on vitamin B6 for their creation. Furthermore, B6 plays a crucial role in the formation of myelin, the insulating sheath around nerve fibers that allows optimal messaging between nerves. Furthermore, vitamin B6 contributes to the synthesis of serotonin, melatonin, epinephrine and gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, an amino acid that calms the transmission of nerve impulses throughout the nervous system.

Eye Health – 
Pistachios contain two carotenoids not found in most nuts. These carotenoids, called lutein and zeaxanthin, function as protective antioxidants, defending tissues from damage from free radicals. They have been linked with a decrease in the risk for developing age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of visual impairments and acquired blindness in the United States.

Immune System – 
A healthy immune system requires adequate intake of vitamin B6, which pistachios abound in. A surfeit of vitamin B6 can retard brain activity as well as decrease the effectiveness of the immune system for fighting infections. Vitamin B6 found in pistachios also helps the body make healthy red blood cells, and helps maintain the health of lymphoid glands, such as the thymus, spleen and lymph nodes, ensuring the production of white blood cells that defend the body from infections.

Skin Health
 – Pistachios are a great source of vitamin E, a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, essential for maintaining the integrity of cell membranes and often recommended for healthy and beautiful skin. Vitamin E does an excellent job protecting the skin from UV damage, providing daily defense against premature aging and skin cancer.

Woman Crush Wednesday – Academy Award Winner, Patricia Arquette

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Happy Clam Chowder Day!!! (Feb. 25th) Recipe Courtesy of Dave Lieberman

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Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 celery stalks (reserve tender leaves) trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4-inch pieces

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice

1 cup heavy cream

2 bay leaves

1 pound Idaho potatoes, cut into 1/2- inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pan Toasted Croutons:

2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Pan Toasted Croutons:

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, mixing often. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly. Add the stock, juice from 2 cans of chopped clams (reserve clams), cream, bay leaves, and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken), then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are nice and tender. Then add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.

For the Pan Toasted Croutons:

Melt the butter in a large skillet and toss the bread cubes in the butter until browned and toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Forget Me Not – (Harold Ramis) – How do you feel about the New All-Female Ghostbuster Cast?

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Harold Allen Ramis (November 21, 1944 – February 24, 2014) was an American actor, director, and writer specializing in comedy. His best-known film acting roles are as Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters (1984) and Russell Ziskey in Stripes (1981); he also co-wrote both films. As a writer-director, his films include the comedies Caddyshack (1980), National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), Groundhog Day (1993) and Analyze This (1999). Ramis was the original head writer of the television series SCTV, on which he also performed, and one of three screenwriters of the film National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978).

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Ramis’ films have influenced subsequent generations of comedians and comedy writers.[1] Filmmakers including Jay RoachJake KasdanAdam Sandler, and Peter and Bobby Farrelly have cited his films as among their favorites. He won the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay for Groundhog Day

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An all-female Ghostbusters Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones

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Happy National Margarita Day!!! (Feb. 22nd) – Tell us how much do you love margaritas and what type?

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Today is National Margarita Day! The margarita cocktail—a famous concoction of tequila, Cointreau or Triple Sec, and lime juice—has been around since the 1940s. Every bartender in the world has put a unique spin on this classic, but no one knows who created the original.

Dozens of people claim that they invented the margarita, including a bartender named Willie from Mexico City. He said that in 1934 he created and named the drink for his friend Marguerite Hemery. Another popular legend is that Carlos “Danny” Herrera developed the drink at his restaurant in Tijuana in 1938. He invented it for Marjorie King, a customer who was allergic to all hard alcohol except tequila, and didn’t like its sour taste. Another story is that the Dallas socialite Margarita Sames mixed up the drink in 1948 for a house full of guests. One of them was Tommy Hilton who later added the drink to the bar menu at his hotels.

While the true identity of the tequila master may never be known, the margarita will go down in history as one of the most popular mixed drinks of all time. To celebrate National Margarita Day, invite some friends over and enjoy a pitcher of homemade margaritas!  

Credit: Punchbowl

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Forget Me Not – Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987)

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Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist.

Warhol’s art used many types of media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1984, two years before his death.

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His studio, The Factory, was a famous gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.

Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the widely used expression “15 minutes of fame“. Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is US$105 million for a 1963 canvas titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) A 2009 article in The Economist described Warhol as the “bellwether of the art market”. Warhol’s works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold.

Credit: wikipedia.org

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Who will win Best Original Song at the Oscars for 2015 – Here are the artists tell us your prediction?

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Best Original Song 

“Glory” from Selma, (Common and John Legend)

“Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie, (Shawn Patterson; performed by Tegan and Sara with the Lonely Island and Joshua Bartholomew and Lisa Harriton under the name Jo Li)

“Lost Stars” from Begin Again. (Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois; performed by Adam Levine and Keira Knightley)

“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me, (Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond; performed by Campbell)

“Grateful” from Beyond the Lights, (Diane Warren; performed by Rita Ora)