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January 15, 2010     Post-Gazette
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January 15, 2010

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@ Page12 POST'GAZETTE, JANUARY 15, 2010 Ray Barron's 11 O'CLOCK NEW5 ii iii i i Nosey situation! Italian Minister Silvio Berlusconi was assaulted after a political rally, suffering a broken nose and losing two teeth. Berlusconi had just delivered a speech and was signing autographs when he was allegedly attacked by 42-year-old Massimo Tartaglia, who smashed him across the face with a statuette of the city's famous Gothic cathedral, the Duomo. Tartaglia was taken into custody by police, who said he had a his- tory of mental-health problems. Most Italian politicians denounced the attack, though Antonio DePierro, the leader of the center- left Italy of Values Party said that "it is Berlusconi himself who instigated this." Hold that tiger! A well-known German ani- mal trainer is in critical condition in Ham- burg, after being mauled by three Bengal ti- gers during a celebrity circus event. Chris- tian Walliser, 28, had just begun his act when he stumbled and fell. Three tigers im- mediately pounced on him and ferociously bit into his head and body. A doctor in the audience managed to stop the bleeding as Walliser's colleagues drove off the tigers with water cannons and fire extinguishers. Walliser was rushed to a hospital, where surgeons were forced to amputate his left hand. The conservative Tom Analetto of Medford, says, "It is good to have an open mind, but be sure it is not open at both ends." The noted "Mona" Lisa Cappuccio of East Boston, claims, an open mind helps a man understand a woman; an open wallet helps a woman understand a man. Only in Vegas! The Deja Vu Showgirls Club has been shocking traffic with what's been dubbed the Stripper-Mobile. The truck bed has high plexiglass walls and a gleaming stripper-pole plunked in the middle. Three barely clad cuties take turns on the pole performing erotic gymnastic feats for ogling drivers and walkers as the Stripper-Mobile makes it way through downtown Las Vegas. Club owners claim the sexy ride has doubled their business at their regular establish- ments. A Metro Police Spokesman, Officer Jacino Rivera, advises: "Nothing about the women or the truck is illegal. As long as it's not impeding traffic, it's fine. Behind the scenes! As his crew were on the verge of mutiny, Columbus heard the words he had been praying for -- land had been sighted. On October 12, 1492, a lookout named Rodrigo de Trana aboard the "Pinta" saw moonlight reflecting off a distant shore. The lookout was extremely excited, not just for his discovery, but also because he knew Columbus had promised a substantial reward to the first person who sighted land. But Co- lumbus claimed he had seen the reflection the night before and didn't want to excite the crew. So he kept the reward for himself. Juice-up your brains! A new report says purple grape juice can reduce or even reverse memory loss. Scientists at the University of Cincinnati carried out tests on people between 75 and 80 years old and found folks who drank pure Concord grape juice every day for 12 weeks saw their per- formance improve in a series of mental tests. Experts believe antioxidants in the skin and juice of the fruit help preserve brain function. Where was Jesus born? For the faithful, the focal point of Bethlehem is one of Christianity's oldest surviving churches, the Church of the Nativity, built over an ancient cave is said to be the place where Mary gave birth to Jesus. Within the grotto, the exact spot is marked with a 14-point silver star set into the marble floor. But no one knows for sure if the legend is true. Neither of the Gospels that recount Jesus' birth -- Luke and Matthew -- mentions his being born in a cave; not until about the year 160 did Saint Justin Martyr write of a cave in Bethlehem being revered as Christ's birthplace. Later, in the third century, the earl Christians Origen and Eusebius attested to the tradi- tion. As with many aspects of the historic Jesus, the location of his birthplace is to some extent a matter of faith. As English historian Robin Lane Fox says, "Early Chris- tian tradition did not remember, or per- haps ever know, ex- actly where and when O O O Jesus had been born." How do tourists affect Bethlehem? Come December, it's controlled chaos. Up to 30,000 pilgrims pour into Bethlehem on Christmas Eve alone, f'flling its 30 or so hotels to capac- ity. About 1,500 policemen are deployed to keep order. Glittering stars hang from tele- phone wires, and a huge Christmas tree dominates Manger Square. Merchants sell all manner of souvenirs, from carved olive wood Nativity scenes to mother-of-pearl statu- ettes of the Virgin Mary. To attract custom- ers they set up inflatable Santas and snowmen outside their stores, and the streets are decorated with fake pine trees and synthetic snow. Beneath the bustle, how- ever, Bethlehem is literally a town divided. What divides it? A 26-foot-high barrier of cement slabs, fences, sand bags, barbed wire, and watchtowers that seal off the town from three sides. For the record, for most of history, the Su- preme Court was a solidly Protestant redoubt, said Dahlia Lihwick. Today, six of nine jus- tices are Catholic, and the sole Protestant, John Paul Stevens, 89, is likely to retire soon. Discussing the justices' religious back- grounds is generally considered distasteful, and Justice Antonin Scalia hotly insists that his Catholicism doesn't affect his rulings one bit. During recent oral arguments in a case about a cross on public land, Scalia contended with evident irritation -- that a cross could honor all fallen soldiers, whether they are Christian, Jewish, or Muslim. Amen. Wow! U.S. life expectancy in 2050 will exceed government estimates by as much as eight years, according to a new study funded by the MacArthur Foundation. The study projects women's life expectancy to reach 89.2 to 93.3 years and men's to reach 83.2 to 85.9 years. Longer lives will have potentially huge implications for government spending on retirement and health care. Time for some show business reminisc- ing with the maestro and musicologist Albert Natale. After pouring out several top hits in the early 1960s, Trino Lopez also appeared in the 1967 movie "The Dirty Dozen." Her biggest hit: "If I Had a Hammer" in 1962. Singer/actor Art Lund taught high school in Kentucky and sang in local bands during his spare time. Biggest hits: "Blue Skies," "Mamselle," "Peg 'O My Heart" and "Mimi." On Broadway he appeared in "The Most Happy Fella" and "Donnybrook." Actor Alan Ladd, only 5' 4" tall, stood on a box in many love scenes in order to be taller than his lead- ing lady. During World War Two, singer Vera Lynn toured war zones singing hits like "White Cliffs of Dover" and "We'll Meet Again." She became known as "The Forces Sweet- heart." Loretta Lynn has been one of the most successful female singers in modern country music. She had 22 top-ten-country hits on Decca Records. The 1976 film "Coal Miner's Daughter," starring Sissy Spacek, was about Loretta's life. Singer Peggy Lee composed the theme music for the movies "Johnny Guitar" and "The Time Machine." Prior to becoming an actor, Burt Reynolds played football at Florida State University and was drafted by the Baltimore Colts. And NBC received more letters protesting the cancel- lation of "The Monkees" than for any series, including "Star Trek." Mondays at 6 am and 5:30 pm and Satur- days at 11 am tune in to WBIX AM 1060 and listen to the noted Boston Public Relations Guru, George Regan. In brief, Regan is well versed on the world of politicsl Regan was a leading figure in the administration of Boston Mayor Kevin White, serving for over a decade as the mayor's Press Secretary and as Director of Communications for the City of Boston. He also served as media consult- ant in the national political campaigns of President Jimmy Carter, Senator Maurice Udall, Senator Henry Jackson and Michael Dukakis. AMERICA IS A BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BAKED MANICOTTI in Tomato Sauce with Meat 4 eggs 2 cups flour 2 cups milk Pinch of salt 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil 1 small six-inch cast iron or a non-stick skillet Practice is needed to be sure the same amount of mixture is poured into skillet for the same size manicotti. Break eggs into a bowl and beat eggs. Slowly add remain- ing ingredients one at a time to the bowl. Use an electric mixer on slow speed until it resembles a prepared pancake mix. Rub inside of cast iron or non-stick skillet with some oil. Heat skillet over burner until it is hot. Remove from heat and with a small ladle, drop about two tablespoons of mix- ture at one end of skillet. Quickly tip skillet to allow batter to spread over the entire bottom. When firm but not browned (about five seconds) remove by lifting round edge with a fork or small spatula. Place in a dish to cool. There should be no need to turn the round over for further cooking. If you do, be sure not to brown the round crepe. Layer eight or ten prepared rounds one on top of the other. Continue making these until all mixture is used. Stir mixture occasionally. FILLING: 2 pounds ricotta cheese 2 beaten eggs Pinch of salt Pinch of black ground pepper (optional) 3 tablespoons grated cheese of choice (optional) In a strainer, remove any excess water from ricotta cheese. Then place in a bowl. Add beaten eggs, salt, pepper and grated cheese of choice if desired. Blend but do not whip with electric mixer. Taking one Manicotti round at a time, place one to two tablespoons of filling in center. Then fold one end of round over the filling. Take opposite end of round and fold over to seal the filling in the stuffed Manicotti. Using prepared tomato sauce, cover bottom of a Mani- cotti baking tray with the sauce. Line bottom of baking tray with rows of stuffed Manicotti (seal side down). Spread tomato sauce over them and then sprinkle grated cheese of choice over sauce. A second layer of Manicotti can be placed over the first layer or if preferred you can continue the process by using another baking tray. Bake in preheated 400F degree oven for twenty minutes. Check to see if ricotta mixture needs to bake longer before removing from oven. Ricotta is cooked when you pierce the Manicotti with a toothpick and it comes out clean. Serves six. Manicotti rounds can be frozen. Wrap cooled Manicotti in wax paper in groups of eight or ten. Place in seal-locked plastic bags. Wrap each bag in aluminum foil before freezing. To defrost, remove from freezer and then from wrappings. Prepare a large serving tray with a clean towel. Cover with wax paper and allow defrosting on the towel before stuffing. 0000YBakery Perch :ITA ORLANDO S1NOPOLI 1st Generation Italian-American Vita Orlando Sinopoli Shares with us a delightful recollection of her memories as a child growing up in Boston's "Little Italy" and a collection of Italian family recipes from the homeland. Great as Gifts FROM MY BAKERY PERCH available on AMAZON.COM and in local bookstores -- ask for Hard cover #1-4010-9805-3 ISBN Soft Cover #1-4010-9804-5 ISBN