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December 12, 2014

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Page12 POST-GAZETTE, DECEMBER 12, 2014 Barrorl' I This just in/Texas's State Board of Educa- tion has approved new history textbooks that say the U.S. Constitution was based on the Bible. A group of university professors com- plained that the textbooks are filled with "in- ventions and exaggerations" about Christianity's influence on the Founding Fathers, but Board Chairwoman Barbara Cargill said students will now learn about the country's "rich religious heritage." Amen. A Florida man who ran to a nearby firehouse to report that his house was ablaze was told to call 911. Neville Morrison said that after a firefighter told him to call for help, he responded, "You can see the blaze coming out of my roofl" The firefighter shut the door in his face. By the time firefighters did respond, the home was destroyed. The latest poop! A British company un- veiled a bus powered by human poop. The 40-seat Bio Bus runs on gas generated by decomposing garbage and sewerage gener- ated by people in the area, "including, quite possibly, those on the bus itself," said a com- pany spokesman. How touching. A 100-year-old Tennessee woman who spent her life on her farm saw the ocean for the first time. "We don't have nothing like this in Giles County, said Ruby Holt, after dipping her toes into the Gulf of Mexico. The popular televangelist Pat Robertson declared that speeding is not a sin so long as you "don't imperil anyone else," and admitted that he sometimes likes to mash the gas pedal of his 650-horsepower car un- til he reaches speeds of 100 mph. Winnie-the-Pooh, after a town council in Poland nixed a proposal to adopt the charac- ter as a mascot for a playground because he "doesn't wear underwear" and is of "dubious sexuality." The Spirit of Christmas, after Reading, PA., officials decided to replace the city's scrawny Christmas tree because of complaints that it was "ugly" and "pathetic." "I know Read- ing is not doing too great," said resident Martin McNeil, "but this tree is making it even worse." How interesting! Vogue magazine's new of- fices at 1 World Trade Center in New York City are infested with rats -- and steely Edi- tor in Chief Anna Wintour is not amused says The editor and her staff were set to make a permanent move to the building's 25m and 26~ floors in the New Year along with the rest of the Conde Nast pub- lishing group, but Wintour is now consider- ing putting off the rest of her editorial team's transfer indefinitely until the rats can be banished. "A serious concern (laughable, but I guess it makes sense) is all the clothing that could be nibbled through," wrote an anonymous staff. In the meantime, Wintour has ordered an assistant to check her per- sonal office for rodents before she enters it. Shocking newsl A Chinese hospital is giv- ing expectant dads agonizing electrical shocks so they can sympathize with the pain their partners will feel in childbirth. In each simulated childbirth session at Hangzhou Aima Hospital, a nurse sends a current to a pad on the father-to-be's abdomen and gradu- ally increases the voltage until he writhers in agony. One expectant dad said the expe- rience had given him a newfound respect for moms. "I realized it's not easy giving birth," he said. "It's just painful." Carlo Scostumato claims what most chil- dren leam by doing is how to drive their par- ents almost crazy. Giuseppina, cosce storte, says, "Another reason men don't live as long as women is that they suffer so much waiting around in hospitals for their wives to have babies." Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice. Weird! A prospective house buyer touring a Milwaukee fixer-upper opened a closet door and found a dead body inside. Phil Gustaf- son was tour- ing the va- 0 0 0 cant property with a friend, Keith Frank, Jr., and a realtor when he looked in a first-floor cupboard and ran from the room scream- ing. "There's a dude in there!" Police deter- mined the body belonged to a homeless man who had broken into the house. "Needless to say," said Frank, "We're not very inter- ested in that property anymore." Be aware, too much texting may be more than just a compulsive distraction. New re- search suggests that constantly tilting your head to look down at a Smartphone may re- sult in severe neck strain. The human head generally weighs from 10 to 12 pounds, but back surgeon Kenneth Hansraj wanted to measure the variations in the amount of force exerted on the spine as the head bends forward. Using Computer models, he found that a head bowed at a 15-degree angle adds roughly 27 pounds of pressure on the spine. Enough said. Nearly a quarter of American consumers have less than $250 in their bank accounts on any given payday, according to a survey from lender Springleaf Financial. Twenty percent of those who earn $200,000 a year say they save rarely or not at all, and a quar- ter of those with graduate degrees said they couldn't miss a month of paychecks with- out needing to borrow or sell assets. We learned, a number of bank tellers in the U.S. has dropped more than 13 percent since 2007 thanks to the rise of mobile banking and customer's preference for ATMs. The salary of an experienced teller has also fallen nearly 4 percent since 2002 after adjusting for inflation. Italian Americans in Science and Medicine. It would be Gaetano Lanza, born in 1848 to Sicilian immigrants, who founded the en- gineering department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and taught mechanical engineering there for 36 years. An inventor, in 1909 he developed the first wind tunnel, which tested the endurance of different products. He died at age 80 in 1928. And Mariana Bertola, M.D. called "Dr. Crusade," was a teacher, obstetrician, po- litical activist, and social reformer, who founded women's clubs and settlement houses in California during the first de- cades of the 20~ century. Through her work with the California Federation of Women's Clubs, she ensured that every county hos- pital in the state had both children's and maternity wards. And it would be Margaret J. Giannini, M.D. who founded the Mental Retardation Institute in New York City in 1950, which was the first and the largest facility for the handicapped in the world. Show business stuff in collaboration with the great musicologist Albert Natale. John Lennon let loose on Elvis Presley. "He was not a deep thinker. He went by stereotypes. He thought blond hair belonged to girls, and dumb girls at that, so he changed his hair color. Dyed it black, to be somewhat macho and intelligent." Here is Moms Mabley with her opinions about Dinah Shore. "For a long time, there was this erroneous rumor makin' the rounds that Dinah Shore is of "mixed ancestry (part black). I don't know how that particular rumor got started ... The truth is, she's Jewish. But she don't talk about that either, honey." And Veronica Lake, says, "I happen to know that Tallulah Bankhead and Joan Crawford couldn't have babies because of the illegal abortions per- formed on them. This was a major, scan- dalous topic of conversation and gossip in show biz circles in the old days. Those good old days weren'U Veronica Lake passed away in 1973 at age 51 of acute hepatitis in Burlington, Vermont. She was cremated. AMERICA IS A BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME Parla Come Mangi! (Speak as You Eat!) by Atessandra Samb~ BenvenutLr The month of December will be dedicated to tradi- tional Italian Holiday desserts. Struffoli is a Neapolitan Christ- mas staple whose origin dates back to the Greeks. The name struffoli in fact comes .from the Greek word "strongoulos" which means rounded. These fried little pieces of dough are prepared using the basic ingredients of the peasant's cuisine with the addition of aromatic citrus peel, colorful sugar sprinkles for decoration and the staple ingredient: honey that gives the un- mistakable sweetness and aroma to this festive dessert. Many versions of struffoli can be found in central and southern Italy. During the Renaissance, nuns of Neapolitan convents would give struffoli as Christmas present to the wealthy local families to express thankfulness for their generous donation throughout the year. Eating struffoli between rounds of "tombola" or cards games is a cherished and sweet Italian Christmas tradition. Struffoli (serves 6) 2 cups of flour (plus extra for cup sugar dusting) 2 cups honey (16 oz) 3 large eggs Frying oil Peel of 1 mandarin, cut out Sugar sprinkles for decoration in small pieces Preparation: knead flour and eggs together to form a smooth, large ball of dough and let it rest, covered with plas- tic wrap, for 15 minutes at room temperature. Flour a work surface, cut out one small portion of dough at the time (re-wrap the rest of the dough to keep it from drying) and roll it with your hands in the shape of a long skinny breadstick then, with a sharp knife, cut into 1/2 inch seg- ments that will be rolled into a small ball (roughly the size of a hazelnut) to make struffoli. Sprinkle some flour onto the dough balls to prevent them from sticking to each other and, using a sifter, shake the excess of flour and set aside. Continue until all the dough is cut into struffoli. In a large saucepan or deep skillet, pour enough frying oil to fill the pan about 1/3 of the way. Heat over medium heat until the oii is hot but not smoking. Fry the struffoli in batches being careful not to put too many at the same time because they will immediately grow in volume. Using a slotted spoon, turn them often as they cook, cooking process should take about 3 minutes. The struffoli are ready when they are of a light golden color, transfer them onto a paper towel to drain. In a large saucepan, bring the honey, sugar and the man- darin peel to a boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved then add the fried dough balls and gently fold them in the honey to coat completely. Turn the heat off and transfer the struffoli on a platter to cool down for a few minutes. Wet your hands to mold the struffoli in the shape of a wreath (that can be sliced later) or in individual little por- tions. Sprinkle with colorful sugar sprinkles and serve. Buon appetito! Struffoli (serve 6) 300 g di farina (piu' altra farina per la lavorazione) 3 uova La buccia di un mandarino tagliata a piccoli, pezzi 100 g di zucchero (6 cucchiai) 450 g di miele Olio per friggere Codette di zucchero colorate per decorare Preparazione: impasta la farina e le uova fino a formare una palla uniforme. Copri con la pellicola e lascia riposare per 15 minuti a temperature ambiente. Cospargi di farina un piano da lavoro, taglia una piccola porzione di pasta per volta (avendo cura di avvolgere nella pellicola la pasta rimasta per evitare che si asciughi troppo) e filala dandole la forma di un lungo grissino. Taglia la pasta in segmenti lunghi 1 cm e arrotondali fino a formare delle palline della dimensione di una nocciolina. Cospargi di farina le palline preparate per evitare che si attacchino l'una all'altra quindi passale in un crivello per eliminare l'eccesso di farina e tienile da parte. Continua fino ad esaurimento di tutta la pasta rimasta. In un tegame o in una padella grande versa dell'olio per friggere (circa 1/3 dell' altezza totale della padella) e scaldalo a fiamma media l'mo a farlo diventare ben caldo (attenzione a non farlo f~umaret).Friggi gli struffoli un po'alla volta facendo attenzione a non metterne troppi perche'si gonfieranno, aumentando di volume. Girali spesso per permettere una cottura uniforme. L'intero processo di cottura richiedera' circa 3 minuti, saranno pronti quando avranno preso un colorito dorato. Trasferisci gli struffoli su della carta assorbente. In ampio tegame dai bordi alti, porta a bollore il miele con lo zucchero e la buccia sminuzzata del mandarino. Abbassa la fiamma e fai sobollire, mescolando con un cucchiaio di legno fino a complete scloglimento dello zucchero. Aggiungi quindi le palline fritte e amalgamale, ricoprendole tutte con il miele. Spegni il fuoco, trasferisci gli struffoli su un piatto da portata e fai intiepidire. Bagna con dell'acqua il palmo delle mani e dai agli struffoli la forma di una ciambella (che poi taglierai in porzioni) o crea deUe dosi monoporzione. Decora con delle codette di zucchero e servi. Buon appe~l