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Q Page 12 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 3, 2012 Ray 15arron's 11 O'CLOCK NEW5 And so we begin another new monthI Ah, February! It was on February 11, my mother's birthday; we left home to serve in the U.S. Army, during World War II. How well we re- call that morning! My mother was weeping and saying, "What a birthday gift." Yes, my dear readers, we are that oldl Veterans staged an "eat-in" at an Iraqi res- taurant in Lowell, to show support for its im- migrant owners after their place was van- dalized. Around 50 veterans of World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq ate at the restaurant one evening in solidarity with the Al-Zubaydi family, who immigrated to the U.S. in 2010. Vietnam veteran Patrick Scanlon coordinated the response to let the family know they were welcome in the com- munity. "There is no more fear in my heart because there are such nice people behind us," said owner Leyla Al-Zubaydi. Big news! A New York school district is com- bating obesity by making overweight stu- dents wear electronic activity monitors. The devices measure heart rate, physical move- ment and sleeping patterns, so Bay Shore School officials can track whether fat stu- dents are physically active. "A program like this should only be voluntary," said Jay Stanley of the American Civil Liberties Union. "There are key privacy interests at play." Overweight people usually watch what they eat very closely -- all the way from plate to mouth. Carlo Scostumato, claims, the reason some husbands are overweight is that the only time they get to open their mouths is when they're eating. Bella Culo of Chestnut Hill, says, "A woman is never overweight until she has run out of places to hide it." The compassionate Barbra D'Amico of Nahant, says everybody loves a fat man, but not when he has the other half of the seat on the bus. A Shreveport, LA., official has introduced a bill to ban the wearing of pajamas in public. Parish Commissioner Michael Williams says he recently saw youths wearing pajama bot- toms at a local Wal-Mart, and that a line must be drawn." Today its pajamas, tomorrow its underwear," said Williams. "Where does it stop?" Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney handed about $50 in cash to Ruth Williams, a South Carolina woman who told him she was struggling financially. "God told me to pray for Romney," she said afterward. The astute Tom Analetto, the "mayor" of Medford, says, "Running for president is like asking a girl to marry you -- you may say a lot of things you later wish you hadn't." Mother Superior Frances Fitzgerald, says, 'I'he chaplains who pray for the United States Senate and House of Representatives might speak a word now and then on behalf of the taxpayers." Moron! A conductor stopped a performance by the New York Philharmonic because an audience member's cell phone kept ringing. "Are you finished?" conductor Alan Gilbert asked the phone's owner, who was heckled. A British Airways flight midway across the Atlantic mistakenly played a recording tell- ing passengers that the plane would "shortly be making an emergency landing on water." Panicked passengers spent 30 agonized sec- onds thinking they were "plunging toward a cold, watery grave," one passenger said. Britain erupted in outrage over a govern- ment minister's suggestion that the govern- ment give Queen Elizabeth a new, $90 mil- lion yacht next month to celebrate her Dia- mond Jubilee, the 60 th anniversary of her rule. Prime Minister David Cameron said no public money would go toward a new yacht, but two Canadians pledged 812 million in private contributions. Elton John and husband David Furnish are no fans of Madonna, said the New York Daily News. Both John, 64, and Furnish, 49, ripped into the Material Girl after her song "Mas- terpiece" beat out John's song "Hello, Hello" at the Golden Globe Awards. Yes, Elton and David are "husband and wife." Consumption of meat in the U.S. dropped 12.2 percent over the past five years, according to the Federal Departmen.t I 0 0 0 of Agricultu:re. Rising costs are one reason, but consumers are also eating more meat- free meals fr health and environmental rea- sons. Good news! For the first time since 1965, homicide is no longer one of the top causes of death in the U.S. The murder rate dropped enough in 2010 that it was overtaken at No. 15 by pneumonitis, a respiratory illness mainly seen in people age 75 and older. Big change! Passengers left behind a total of 8409,085.56 in change when they passed through U.S. airport security checks last year. The reclaimed money goes into the coffers of the Transportation Security Admin- istration. Thanks to the lovely, brilliant Lisa Cappuccio of East Boston we learned how many saints the Catholic Church recog- nizes. In brief, there are about 2,500 saints with feast days, 200 fewer than in the ear- lier years of the twentieth century. In 1969, the Vatican removed the feast days of over 200 saints from the liturgical calendar be- cause they were of only regional interest or because they were no records of whether the saints had lived. Among the saints affected were Saint Valentine, patrons of lovers, and Saint Christopher, patron of travelers. Reminder! This year Valentine's Day, Feb- ruary 14 falls on a Tuesday. So remember, to send me a Valentine. Millions of Americans may have an alco- hol problem without realizing it. A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Pre- ventioliShows that one in six people binge drimk about once a week. For women, binging is downing at least four drinks in a sitting, and for met, at least five. But the survey of 458,000 people found that bingers actually consume much more -- an average of nine drinks in one night for men and six drinks for women. The results are "alarming," the CDC's Robert Brewer tells WebMD.com. Excessive drinking causes roughly 80,000 deaths per year -- often through car wrecks, violence and suicides. Young people between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most likely to binge drink, but people 65 and older who over- indulge do so more frequently -- as often as six times a month. And most binge drinkers don't consider themselves alcoholics, since they get fall-down drunk "only" once or twice a week, instead of every day. "If it is accept- able that this many adults are binge drink- ing," says study co-author Dafna Kanny, "we have a problem in this society." Heavy drinkers have what is known as saloon arthritis -- every night they get stiff In a different joint. Our distinguished and stately musicologist Albert Natale reports violins crafted by the Italian masters Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri some 300 years ago are legendary for their exquisite sound, but they may not be worth their high price tags. When researchers brought two Stradivariuses, a Guarneri and three new instruments to an international violin competition and asked blindfolded violinists to play them and rate their quality, one of the new models emerged as the cleal favorite. The oldest Strad con- sistently ranked worse than the others in terms of tone, projection, and general play- ability. "There was no evidence that people had any idea what they were playing," Michi- gan violin-maker Joseph Curtinb tells NPR.org. And yet the combined value of the old violins was roughly 810 million; the new ones together were worth about S100,000. Like wine-which people often think tastes better if they know it's expensive or from a vaunted vineyard-we may perceive added beauty in music that comes from a presti- gious violin. "I don't think there are any se- cret" to the sound of a Strad or a Guarneri, says acoustic physicist Claudia Fritz, "except in people's minds." Recipes from the Homeland by Vita Orlando Sinopoli COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED MOLIGNANA PIENA Baked/Stuffed Eggplant in Tomato Sauce 6 small eggplants 1 cup unflavored bread crumbs 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese 6 minced Sicilian green olives 1 can anchovies chopped *TOMATO SAUCE 1 28 oz crushed tomatoes 1 onion chopped 1 stalk celery chopped 1small onion chopped I large garlic clove chopped or minced 2 tablespoons capers 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 baking dish 1 garlic clove shopped (oltional) 3 tablespoons olive oil In a sauce pan, heat olive oil and add onion to simmer. Stir in garlic (optional) and stir to keep from burning Add crushed tomatoes stir and bring to a slow boil. Add some water and stir. Cover and simmer at least thirty minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent from sticking. EGGPLANT Remove stems from top. Wash outer skin of eggplants. Cut each in half. With a sharp paring knife, in a circular motion cut out part of the center portion of eggplant. Cut up each removed portion into small pieces and place in a bowl with the bread crumbs. To bowl add cheese, capers chopped garlic, celery, onion, green olives and anchovies. Sprinkle a little olive oil over contents in bowl and mix thoroughly. (Keep in mind that Capers and anchovies are salted.) In a skillet, heat olive oil. Place breadcrumb mixture into skillet and stir for a minute or two as it blends and softens. Remove skillet from heat. Cool. Using all' the mixture, with a tablespoon fill each eggplant cavity. Heat olive oil in skillet and place the six eggplant halves skin down in skillet. Simmer skin portions of eggplant for a few minutes, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat and cool. BAKING Spoon some tomato sauce into bottom of baking dish. Place stuffed eggplant portions in baking dish over sauce. Sprinkle grated cheese over each eggplant half, Add more tomato sauce over Stuffing. Cover and bake in a preheated 275F oven for about thirty minutes. If drying too much, add addi- tional sauce or a little water to baking dish. Uncover and return to oven for about two or three minutes to brown on top. *Remaining sauce can be served with pasta of choice or save in a container in your refrigerator or freezer. NOTE In 1947, Papa's niece Marianna (Amico) Giacalone arrived from Salemi with her two daughters, Frances and Paula. They lived in our home until after the husband Giuseppe Giacalone arrived with their young son, Paul. Eventually they moved into an apartment of their own in the North End and the family increased to have one more boy named Anthony. We spent many great times together as my children grew close in age to these cousins. A special treat for me was when Frances prepared her mother's recipe of stuffed eggplant for us in her home. She had married. Frances had become an excellent cook like her mother. Recently I asked if she would share the above recipe with my readers and me. Though a little time consuming in preparation, I find it worth- while because of the scrumptious taste. Try it. Vita can be reached at voswriting@comcast.net. AMERICA IS A BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME M From YBakery Perch \\;T, ().Lxim S1ovol. 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