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Harry Meier
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I've seen this headline far to many times. +usatriathlon should require clear water safety guidelines, not just, "The last cherry picked test we ran looks good." A lake's e coli level does not go from 2400 down to 5 overnight with no release of water.

Every race I've ever done in Tempe Town Lake resulted in myself or other tri training friends getting ill. Intense physical activity puts a strain on your immune system to begin with, and the personal and peer pressure to compete won't allow many athletes to opt out of a race even when they don't feel safe swimming. It's the responsibility of the race organizer and the City of Tempe to ensure that safety, not just to make sure that the race goes on. 

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My view as I left work today. Every once in a while I look up at the palm trees, and I think, "I live somewhere that other people go to vacation and retire." #whyaz

...almost makes up for the late August triple digits WITH humidity.

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Here's a cheesecake recipe I just completed which blew our socks off. The inspiration was +Anaba Wines Viognier Late Harvest dessert wine. We visited the winery on a recent trip to Sonoma, CA, and their dessert white wines always are full of apricot flavors. They say pear on their website, but we thought apricot. What better than an apricot dessert to go with it?

Apricot Sauce filling:
.5lbs dried apricots
1 cup apricot nectar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup white dessert wine (Anaba 2010 Viognier Late Harvest, white port, or any sweet white)

Bring the apricots and nectar to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until soft (5-10min)
Stir in sugar and 1cup wine, increase heat and let it cook down, stirring occasionally until the mixture turns into a thick pulpy sauce. (10-20min)
Add the remaining 1/2c wine and stir it in as you remove from heat. 
Set aside the sauce, letting it come to room temp. It should become like a chunky apricot marmalade. 

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup (1 package) crushed graham crackers
4 tbsp melted butter

Crush the nuts and grahams. I used a blender to get everything consistent. 
Add the melted butter, and mix together everything.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9" springform pan. Trying to get it up the sides at least an inch.

Cheese Cake:
3 x 8oz packages cream cheese
1 1/3 cup sugar
5 eggs
16oz sour cream
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lemon juice
apricot filling prepared earlier

Allow all ingredients to come to room temp for a few hours before prepping. 
Preheat oven to 325.
Beat the cream cheese until smooth
Add sugar while beating
Add eggs one at a time beating them in before adding the next.
Beat in sour cream.
Mix in flour, vanilla, and lemon juice.

Pour half the batter into the springform pan. Drizzle half of the apricot wine sauce. Add the other half of the batter and the last of the apricot sauce. 
Bake at 325 for 1hr 15min. Cake will still be wet in the middle. Turn off oven and allow the cake to cool for 1hr in the oven with the door partially open.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely to room temp.
Move to the refrigerator and chill for 24hrs. (It's worth the wait)

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This is part of the 2012 Neuro Film Festival, a contest by the American Academy of Neurology Foundation to help raise awareness about why more research is needed to cure brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, autism, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. Many courageous people tell their stories. Go to to check it out.
The best quote of this one, "If you ever get the chance to ride a rocket, I highly recommend it."

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What junk are you leaving behind in 2011?

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["we are what we celebrate"]

Tune into ABC on Sunday, August 14, 2011, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET to catch Girl Scouts robotics team “the Space Cookies” appear alongside renowned inventor/FIRST founder Dean Kamen and The Black Eyed Peas front-man on “ Science is Rock and Roll,” a groundbreaking science and technology entertainment celebration that highlights the 20th annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship! The star-studded special features performances by The Black Eyed Peas and Willow Smith, along with Girl Scouts and celebrities including Justin Bieber, Steven Tyler, Bono, Jack Black, Miley Cyrus and Josh Duhamel speaking out in support of Science, Technology, Engineering and education. Student teams are profiled as their robots compete to win coveted FIRST Championship awards
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