Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tagine Kefta 'Mchermel


1) Place 1/2 Brown Onion roughly chopped and 2 Tbsp of fresh Italian Parsley leaves in food processor and blend until finely chopped. 2) Remove the crusts from 2 slices of high quality white bread. Tear the centers into small pieces and add to FP with 1 egg. Blend briefly to distribute the egg. 3) Add just over a pound of ground lamb or beef (I used veal) to the FP along with the following spices: 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp kosher or sea salt. Process all of the contents until thoroughly mixed--scrape down the sides of the process if necessary to mix all the ingredients. 4) form the meatballs into walnut sized orbs on a tray. Cover and place in the refrigeration while making the sauce.


1) Melt 1 Tbsp butter in generous cooking pan and add 1/2 Brown Onion finely chopped. Simmer onion until soft (8 min). 2) Add the spices: 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper and mix while cooking for another minute. 3) pour in 1 & 1/2 cups of chicken stock and 2 Tbsp of chopped coriander leaves and bring mixture to a boil.


Add meatballs to boiling sauce and jiggle to coat meatballs with sauce. Cook on a low heat covers for 45-50 minutes. Add the 2 Tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice and 2 Tbsp freshly chopped Italian Parsley and cook for another minute. Serve with cous cous or bread.

Library Rage!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Moroccan Cuisine--Me Cooking!

The only thing more exciting to me than Legos is cooking. Ergo "World Kitchen: Morocco" is like an ambrosia Birthday present! I've been perusing it all afternoon and have already selected my first dish to attempt: "Tagine Kefta 'Mchermel". Thank you again, C & D!


My Latest Attempt

4 Views from Running Errands in Winter

1) There was the indifferent, comely cashier at Giant who smiled after I first smiled at her. When taking my groceries, I glanced down and saw the shiny copper glint of a penny on the dingy floor of the express aisle.

2) There were the two very unlucky red delicious apples resting amid the squalid slush of the parking lot as I exited the store. One was already smashed, the other waiting for the inevitable.

3) There was the abandoned late model sedan blocking traffic in the middle lane after the New Hampshire Avenue exit inside the Beltway with its driver’s side door wide open. As I passed by, I could only see a winter coat left sprawled like a dead body across the front seat.

4) There was the driver of a grey SUV who pulled out in front of me from Quebec Street to go south on New Hampshire Avenue never even looking in my direction as I continued to travel north in the far left lane. I watched with disbelief and thought how hitting it would probably kill the woman behind the steering wheel; a fact that never caused me for a moment to slow down—luck alone saved us from what seemed inevitable.

~ RWA, 1961 -

Half A Century!

And what did you do on your 50th birthday? I got my driver's license renewed. Happy Birthday to me!

What I'm Watching #265

Soundless Wind Chime is a mesmerizing film about the love affair between a Swiss vagabond who is living on the streets of Hong Kong and a Chinese transplant from the countryside who's working as a delivery boy for a restaurant and living with his prostitute auntie. As the story progresses it also regresses and soon you're not completely certain which parts are real and which parts are dreams. Well acted, well filmed, well paced. I enjoyed it, but is did not satisfy me. I feel that I ought to watch it again, knowing what I know of it in order to discover more of what remains a mystery.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Life in 1937

A sampling of the covers from the first full year of publication of Life magazine.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today's Sermon #52


One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

~ Wallace Stevens, 1879 - 1955

You = Me

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Holy Maple Leaf!--Batman...

My friend Dean who is an artist and aspiring cartoonist in Chicago sent me this beautiful work of art. It's a painted maple leaf. He is so talented. I am so blessed to know him and call him my friend.

Lego Heirloom People!

At some point in the past year, the marketing guru's at Lego came up with yet another way to hypnotize those of us who are affectionately referred to as Lego Maniacs by them. I believe that the American Psychological Association has a category for us somewhere beneath the pathological heading "Obsessive/Compulsive."

But be that as it may, Lego launched this new initiative under the radar and only through their online marketing. I likely would have never heard of it, had it not been for my fifth grade informant, a young man of exceptional intellectual curiosity and creative ingenuity that I will refer to as "Tobias".

When Tobias first breached to the topic with me, I think I fell several pegs in his esteem by virtue of my utterly incredulous reaction to such a thing. But he assured me that it was so and by the time I investigated it, I had completely missed the first series of 16. A complete set of which originally retailed for $47.84, and can now be had at the best price I found for $79.99!--the stock market should be so lucrative.

I did manage to purchase 5 people from the second series. This Lego "mime" was one of them--he came with 3 heads which each express a different emotion.

I was testing the waters. One of the things about buying these models, you can't choose which one's you want. It's the old "sports card with bubble gum" thing (without the bubble gum)--You pays your dime and gets whatever your get. The fact that I got five unique people encouraged me to try again, but the second series had been discontinued in the interim. Scarcity breeds demand, creates desire, incentives value--like stamp collecting, but on a smaller scale.

For a company that was only recently tottering on the brink of bankruptcy, it's fortunes have completely reversed and this in a time of economic mayhem. Lehman Brothers nearly takes down the largest economy on the planet, and a relatively little Danish toy maker flourishes. New York Times, looking for an interesting business model story? But I digress.

Now I am obsessed with obtaining the entire third series.

So what makes these relatively simple models so compelling? Like all things lego that is not an easy question to answer. As I've contemplated it, I almost imagine that these are just a bunch of little yellow people who are attending a costume party together, right? And no single example supports this more than this guy in a gorilla costume! He is sweating, and there is even a zipper that runs down the back of the torso piece. The gorilla head fits neatly over his yellow one.

Here we have a hula dancer complete with a fabric grass skirt and hair piece that includes a pink flower like the ones on her lei. In her hands she holds a pair of maracas.

Like the previous series, you cannot choose your people. Fresh from my unique first purchase I bought 16 of them. Most were unique, but not all. Out of 16, I received 9 unduplicated people.

Here is the winter sports snow boarder. She is a she, which is a little atypical in the all of the series as most of the characters are male. Her snowboard is decorated with snowflakes.

What makes these or any Lego product so seductive to us Maniacs? The answer is the novelty brick. All of the pieces can bereferred to as "bricks." And these little people are rife with novelty bricks!

Check out this "rapper" for example. He holds a uniquely designed microphone in one hand and a uniquely designed boom box in the other. Even his hat is a more detailed version of the ubiquitous Lego baseball cap. Oh sure, he's a stereotype, but don't get PC on my ass, these little people are all YELLOW!

And the use of color is also covetous. For ever the Lego came in White, Red, Blue, Yellow and Black. Then there was Gray. Then there was Green and Brown, and then Dark Gray, Orange, Tan, Pink, Magenta, Slate Green, Teal, Light Blue, Midnight Blue, Kelly Green, Yellow-Green, Dark Green, Khaki, Cream, Caramel, Slate Blue, (a whole rainbow of transparent colors--some even neonish), and the shade of this fisherman's pants that I call Marigold! Marigold pants are a hot commodity!

To summarize this, it's a Grand Slam for Lego!

War On Terrorism 2011.01

I spent some time this afternoon remember the men and women who have died from the military during our "War On Terrorism" since September 11, 2001 to today in DC, Maryland, and Delaware. There have been 132 in total: 8 from DC, 108 from Maryland, and 16 from Delaware. And then I made this little sculpture representing in layers the home counties of each. It was my devotional act as I sent thoughts of mercy and healing to those who grieve for their loss. I grieve for their loss...

What I'm Watching #264

"The Stranger In Us" is an independent film about Anthony who up and leaves his grandmother's home in Virginia to be with a man he only recently met, Stephen, and move in with him in San Francisco. In no time, it is apparent that Anthony is as naive about the ways of the world as they come and Stephen has "issues"--lots of issues!

The film jumps from then and now with little warning but an annoying overlay of dates as the new time continuum begins. Had I been more focused on the movie, I might have appreciated that little special effect, but as it was the dates made no sense to me. The tension between the now and the then is the state of Anthony and Stephen's relationship and in the off again moments Anthony meets a street kid from Chico names Gavin. Don't let Gavin's lack of "age of majority" or means of gainful employment fool you, he's often the only adult on the screen.

There are moments where the film really shines, but most of it would have benefitted from some extra polish.

What I'm Listening to #99

One of the truly greatest living vocalists on the planet today. This CD recorded in 1996 & 1997 and released in 1998 was made when Andy Bey was in his late 50's and he sings with just the most perfect restrained passion with a voice that is rich and clear. Exquisite.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marcos Is A Firefighter From Marathon

Marcos watches over the goings on in my kitchen for the month of January. He's January's firefighter on my South Florida Firefighter 2011 calendar. It's a great charity to support. One that has raised over a quarter of million dollars to support "Here's Help" a rehabilitation program for young men who have been caught up in the criminal justice system, and "A Safe Haven" a program that provides a no questions asked drop off for unwanted new borns. Both wonderful programs that literally save lives.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ice Is Nice

Martin Luther King, ,Jr. Day extended by Mother Nature. Sometimes Ice can be Nice~

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Today's Sermon #51

Just by being,
I'm here -
in the snow-fall.

~ Issa, 1763-1828

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Day In The Life Of New Zealand

Captured on this fanciful sheet of commemorative stamps from the country of New Zealand.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy New Year!

a Year of Rabbits! Procreate, people, procreate!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Obama Report Card 01

A new series of evaluations of Obama's presidency. The first mark: Auto Bailout.
#1 and these will come in no particular order but they need to be recorded and lauded. As the first Black American to be president of the United States, Barack Obama has faced more, nay, MUCH MORE, that his fair share of criticism. And ironically it has been shielded from much critical review under the guise of "fairness". It's time to put some of the major accomplishments on the table, and the current Detroit Auto Show is the perfect opportunity to start.

Without the interest and intervention of the Federal Government there would doubtless never again be a Detroit Auto Show. The buzz around this year is all USA. Ford, General Motors, and even Chrysler can thank their lucky stars that Obama is president and issues larger than profit/loss like national security matter. The Republicans argued for letting the market bury American auto manufacturing. Most vociferous were Republican Senators from places like Alabama that have a huge stake in foreign auto plants and the sales of their products.

Yet, in this climate of anti-American manufacturing, Obama prevailed. General Motors Co.'s early payback of $6.7 billion in government loans0--five years ahead of schedule--and Chrysler Group's operating profit for the first quarter of 2010, all coupled with the auto industry's strongest employment growth in a decade, contribute to this first report card mark.

Grade on this one? A

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Today's Sermon #50


Walking to your place for a love fest
I saw at a street corner
an old beggar woman.

I took her hand,
kissed her delicate cheek,
we talked, she was
the same inside as I am,
from the same kind.
I sensed this instantly
as a dog knows by scent
another dog.

I gave her money,
I could not part from her.
After all, one needs
someone who is close.

And then I no longer knew
why I was walking to your place.

~ Anna Swirszczynska, 1909-1984
translated from Polish by Czeslaw Milosz & Leonard Nathan

Saturday, January 08, 2011

South Pacific!

Here's something wonderfully coincidental: The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and ME are celebrating our 50th anniversary of existence in 2011. And I'd have to say that after half a century we've both seen our nicks and scrapes and neither one worse for the wear! Ergo, every month's playbill in 2011 will feature this image of JFK's inauguration. Cool, eh?

Just a little preamble to the fact that I attended the Broadway touring company production of "South Pacific" this afternoon as the guest of my dear friend PMS. (PMS are her initials not
her state of mind!)

It was a delightful production of a play that really hinges on one performance: Ensign Nellie Forbush. And I am happy to report that it succeeded grandly thanks to Actor Carmen Cusack. To the performance's credit the work of David Pittsinger as French plantation owner Emile de Becque was very up to par. His rendition of "This Nearly Was Mine" was the show stopper of the afternoon. Both male and female choruses were also grand. And the eye-candy of male nudity in the set up to "Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair" was also well appreciated--but I've always been a fan of fresh loaves of bread!

For anyone who has never been to the Kennedy Center, it is a wonderful complex of performing arts theaters for which the Opera House is the most resplendent. I have seen productions in all of the theaters and stages there. Each has it's own charm. As a place of community, it is rivaled by none in Washington, D.C.--though challenged by many.

The grand lobby of the main theatre (the opera house) is watched over by this huge and amazing sculpture of John F. Kennedy.

While I doubt most visitors to Washington include a visit or attendance at a performance, that really is a deficit that can easily be rectified.

Rhetoric Kills

I was horrified today when I heard the news of the attempted assassination of Democrat Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. The thing that I was not; however, was surprised.

I never would have predicted that Representative Giffords would be the one, but after years and years of unbridled conservative violence laden rhetoric against all things liberal, progressive, and Democrat, the likelihood of an act of violence against an individual of the stature of a Federal Congressperson seems almost inevitable.

Identified as her shooter, 20 year-old, Jared Lee Loughner is now in custody. Little comfort that is to the victims of this heinous act of domestic terrorism. My heart goes out to the families of the dead. To the family of Chief Justice John M. Roll of the Arizona District Court. To the family of the 9-year-old child who was among the 5 citizens gunned down by Mr. Loughner.

In my feelings I join with other Americans who have expressed their outrage. Chief among them Senator John McCain of Arizona who wrote in a statement: “I am horrified by the violent attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords and many other innocent people by a wicked person who has no sense of justice or compassion. I pray for Gabby and the other victims, and for the repose of the souls of the dead and comfort for their families.”

The most compelling statement I've read thus far comes from our Secretary of Defense, Mr. Robert Gates. “I am saddened to hear of the attack on Congresswoman Giffords and members of her staff earlier today in Tucson, Arizona. I have had an opportunity to interact with Congresswoman Giffords in her capacity as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, where she served on the Readiness and Air and Land Forces subcommittees. She is a strong supporter of America’s national defense, cares deeply about our men and women in uniform, and has pursued her oversight responsibilities with dedication. Our thoughts are also with her husband, Navy Captain Mark Kelly, an aviator and astronaut of great distinction, as well as the families of the other victims of this attack. Ms. Giffords represents a new generation of principled and thoughtful political leaders that have come to Washington in recent years. We will miss her strong character and good judgment in the Congress during these important days ahead, and we are praying for her full recovery.”

Whenever something like this happens, it's only human nature to ask why? Here is a poster created by SarahPac and containing Sarah Palin's authorized signature. You will notice how the states have gun cross-hairs on them representing the members of the United States House of Representatives that need to be taken "back". The imagery implies taken "out". Let's call this "Exhibit A" in this search for antecedents.

These ego-maniacal, sort-of-white-supremecist, pseudo-Constitutionalists that populate the radio-airwaves, Television stations, and imaginations of an ill-educated and dwindling rural plurality of Americans cannot escape the scrutiny of this act. They are responsible in the same way that the one who shouted "FIRE" in the crowded theater without a conflagration is held to account for the usher who is trampled in the ensuing melee.

As ghastly as today's events are, and as painful as their consequences will be for the individuals and families of those killed and wounded in this event; the more profound victim is the United States--We The People, if you will. For our future is what's been threatened here. The very hope that our union will be more perfect tomorrow than it was today. Something "Sarah's Pac" doesn't get in the slightest.

What I'm Watching #263

The string is about a young man who is called back to home in Tunisia upon the death of his father, a member of the Arab bourgeoisie. His mother, a French born Catholic whack-job proceeds to make his life a hellish affair as he is betrothed to marry the recently widowed slut daughter of close family friends while taking up a torrid love affair with the gardener (him not her). We've seen this plot a thousand times!--well, okay, not this exact plot. But as a whole the movie breaks no new ground, and in spite of the occasional eye candy, remained either too emotionally unstable for me to form a bond to. In the end, was glad to cut "the string" on this one.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Our Latest American Hero #154

Marine Lance Cpl. Maung P. Htaik, 20, of Hagerstown, Md.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 1 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Lance Cpl. Htaik is the first casualty in the U.S. Military in 2011. And so this intractable war continues into yet another year. There are promises and timetables for ending our presence; 2011 for Iraq, 2014 for Afghanistan, but what does any of that mean to the dead? We avoid the truly difficult things, negligent of the price, for the easy ones. It is not difficult to isolate a nation or region compared to occupying one. The real problem is neither Afghanistan nor Iraq, BUT Pakistan. And until we neutralize their nuclear arsenal, all of this "War on Terrorism" theatre is about what the hell to do with them? They are our Frankenstein in so many ways, and every day that they do not go off the reservation is a gift to the entire world.

But I digress. Let us remember the first soldier to die in each of the years of our War on Terrorism.


Air Force Master Sgt. Evander E. Andrews, 36, of Solon, Maine; assigned to the 366th Civil Engineering Squad, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; killed Oct. 10, 2001, in a heavy equipment accident in Qatar.


Army Sgt. 1st Class Nathan R. Chapman, 31, of San Antonio, Texas; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, Fort Lewis, Wash.; killed in action while fighting against Taliban and al Qaida forces, on Jan. 4, 2002 in Khost, Afghanistan.


Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thomas J. Gibbons, 31, of Prince Frederick, Md.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed in a MH-60 Black Hawk crash during training on Jan. 30, 2003, in Afghanistan.


Army Sgt. Dennis A. Corral, 33, of Kearney, Neb.; assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; killed while riding in a convoy going to Baghdad International Airport Jan. 1, when his vehicle went out of control and rolled over in Baghdad.


Marine Lance Cpl. Brian P. Parrello, 19, of West Milford, N.J.; assigned to Small Craft Company, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed Jan. 1 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.


Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason L. Bishop, 31, of Williamstown, Ky.; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed Jan. 1 when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during patrol operations in As Siniyah, Iraq.


Army Sgt. Thomas E. Vandling Jr., 26, of Pittsburgh; assigned to the 303rd Psychological Operations Company, Oakdale, Pa., a subordinate unit of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Jan. 1 of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle while on combat patrol in Baghdad.


Army Sgt. Shawn F. Hill, 37, of Wellford, S.C.; assigned to the 178th Engineer Battalion, 218th Infantry Brigade, South Carolina Army National Guard, Rock Hill, S.C.; died Jan. 2 in Khowst province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device.


Marine Lance Cpl. Alberto Francesconi, 21, of Bronx, N.Y.; was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 1 while supporting combat operations in Now Zad, Afghanistan.


Army Spc. Brushaun X. Anderson, 20, of Columbus, Ga.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; died Jan. 1 in Baghdad of wounds sustained from a non-combat-related incident.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The War On Terrorism 2010 Redux

The map depicts the number of soldiers who died by state in the past year while serving in efforts tied to the War On Terrorism. They are Black when the number matches or passes the number of deaths in that state in the previous year. Of the 50 states, 33 are black in 2011.

The death toll of 559 surpassed last year by 79 deaths from 2009, and 70 from 2008. June, July, and August were the 3 deadliest months of 2011. The total death toll since September 11, 2001 is 5,841.

Looking at death by states illustrates the energy around the media reporting of deaths. In 2011, the top 10 states were from highest down:

1. Texas - 46
2. California - 45
3. Florida - 33
4. Illinois - 25
5. Ohio - 23
6. Pennsylvania - 23
7. Tennessee - 21
8. Georgia - 21
9. New York - 20
10. Michigan - 18

What I'm Listening to #98

The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier came to my attention via a holiday gift from my friend, DGLS. He included the cut "Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be?" on a mixed tape. As I suspected, it is the best track on the CD, but by no means the only gem. Terry is a jazz singer and he pulls these traditional pieces into that genre with the help of an acoustic guitar. The CD was originally recorded in 1964, and was remastered and reissued in 2003. When you hear the intuitive genius he has for interpreting a song, you have to first marvel at the fact that he was only 23 at the time, and that he didn't find a more renowned career. in the 46 years since. This one's a real keeper.

What I'm Watching #264

"Son Of Rambow" is about the power of friendship to transform lives. It's funny. It's sincere. It vaguely reminds one of "Stand By Me," but is a little less polished and for that a little more endearing. A brilliant little film and recommended to all.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

What I'm Watching #263

Just watched Eyes Wide Open, an Israeli film by director Haim Tabakman that has completely cleared out my sinuses and cost me the better half of a box of kleenex. The short of it is: it's devastatingly beautiful and profoundly heart-breaking. It flows to a climax like Barber's Adagio for Strings, opus 11. The story is simple, the acting poinant, the characters become part of you as they become parts one to another.

The cinematography allows you to see the characters; but more importantly, it lets you see what the characters see. This dual perspective is missing in most films, because the technical participants in the process are ignorant of it's power, or the demands and limits of the process find it too difficult or pointless to incorporate. Yet, I say this, it is the heart and soul of every great expression of story-telling. Be it Tolstoy's Anna Karinina or Salles' Central Station. As Tabakman clearly "gets" this, I look forward to seeing his vision in more films.

There is a scene where the two principle characters Aaron and Ezri take a bath in a remote spring that forced me to stop the CD while I brushed away the tears caused by the profound sense of humanity it engendered in me. In another, an older rabbi and friend of Aaron's tries to warn him about the young man as they drive together to a charitable obligation. One thing to know first, the film began at the death of Aaron's father, and the dialogue as they drive through the narrow streets of Jerusalem goes like this:

RABBI: He's from Sefad.


RABBI: Your apprentice.

AARON: I know, he studied at "Or Vachesed".

RABBI: I know. He was thrown out.


RABBI: He did too many mitsvas (good deeds).... Nothing good can come out of this. Send him away.


AARON: And what about the community's duty of charity? My father would have hired him. It is his shop. I help him to get closer to God.

RABBI: Your father would have hired him? Are you sure?


AARON: He helps me get closer to God.

Among it's many virtues is the film's intimate exposure of the world of Orthodox Judaism. It is in Hebrew with sub-title, but don't let inhibit you. This one is moving into my top track like a rocket.

Meet The Senatorial Freshmen of 2011

Tomorrow morning a ceremony will occur in the Capitol Senatorial chamber that will swear in the Senators who have just been elected this past November. It is the first term of the 112th congress for both Houses of the Federal Legislature. The Senate is elected in thirds which are called classes (class I, class II and class III), the Senators who are about to begin their six year term are members of Class III.

Usually Class III elections involved 34 seats, but due to special elections to fill the remainder of empty seats, this year 37 seats were contested. Of the 37 seats, 21 were won by incumbents, Most notably Daniel Inouye of Hawaii who is the longest serving living member of the Senate, and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, who becomes the longest serving female member in the history of the Senate with her re-election. 16 of the members are new to the Senate in that they did not serve in the previous Congress, 15 of which are brand new to the Senate. Dan Coats of Indiana being the exception having previously served in the Senate from 1989 to 1999.

What are some of the things that the new faces bring to the next Senate? The percentage of women remains unchanged (17%), the percentage of African Americans drops to zero, the percentage of Asians remains unchanged (2%), and the percentage of Hispanic Americans rises from 1% to 2%. New Hampshire joins Maine, California and Washington as the 4th state to be represented by 2 women, and the first to have a woman from each of the major parties serving at the same time. The mean age of the Senators that are being replaced is 64.5 while the 16 freshmen's mean age of 52.9 drops the average life experience by about 11.5 years.

So lets meet the Freshmen:

Three seats changed faces but remained in Democrat control: West Virginia, Delaware, and Connecticut. In all states the incumbent Democrat opted not to run: Carte and Kaufman were appointed as placeholders to fill vacant seats, and Dodd chose to retire.

Joe Manchin, 63, defeated Republican challenger John Raese 54% to 43% for the open seat once held by Bob Byrd until his death in June of 2010.

Chris Coons, 47, defeated Republican challenger Christine O'Donnell 57% to 40% for the open seat once held by vice-President Joseph Biden.

Richard Blumenthal, 64, defeated Republican challenger Linda McMahon 55% to 43% for the open seat made vacant by Chris Dodd's retirement.

In a sign of the swinging pendulum that favored Republicans during this midterm election, six seats formerly held by Democrats were won by Republicans: North Dakota, Indiana, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Of these three were open due to retirements, one was open due to the primary loss of the incumbent, and two were lost by incumbents.

John Hoeven, 53, defeated Democrat challenger Tracy Potter 76% to 22% for the open seat made vacant by the retirement of Byron Dorgan.

Dan Coats, 67, defeated Democrat challenger Brad Ellsworth 55% to 40% for the open seat made vacant by the retirement of Evan Bayh. Dan Coats previously join the senate in a special election to replace Dan Quayle when he became George H. W. Bush's Vice-President, followed by a term of his own before loosing in the previous election cycle to Evan Bayh.

John Boozman, 60, defeated Democrat incumbent Blanche Lincoln 58% to 37%. Lincoln was only 1 of two incumbents to loose their seat in the general election, the other was Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.

Ron Johnson, 55, defeated Democrat incumbent Russ Feingold 52% to 47%.

Pat Toomey, 49, defeated Democrat challenger Joe Sestak 51% to 49% for the open seat made vacant by Joe Sestak's defeat of Arlen Spector in the Pennsylvania Democrat primary. Arlen Spector was one of two incumbent senators to be defeated in their primary races. The other was Bob Bennett of Utah.

Mark Kirk, 51, defeated Democrat challenger Alexi Giannoulias 48% to 46% for the open seat made vacant by the retirement of Roland Burris. The seat formerly held by President Barack Obama, was both a powerfully symbolic win for the Republicans.

The remaining seven Republican freshmen won seats formerly held by Republicans, six of which were vacated by retirements and one by a primary election defeat.

Jerry Moran, 56, defeated Democrat challenger Lisa Johnston 70% to 26% for the open seat made vacant by the retirement of Sam Brownback. Same Brownback was subsequently elected the new governor of Kansas.

Mike Lee, 39, defeated Democrat challenger Sam Granato 62% to 33% for the open seat made vacant by Lee's defeat of incumbent Republican Bob Bennett during the primary election.

Marco Rubio, 39, defeated Independent challenger Charlie Crist and Democrat challenger Kendrick Meek 49% to 30% and 20% respectively for the open seat made vacant by the retirement of George LeMieux.

Kelly Ayotte, 42, defeated Democrat challenger Paul Hodes 60% to 37% for the open seat made vacant by the retirement of Judd Gregg.

Rob Portman, 55, defeated Democrat challenger Lee Fisher 57% to 39% for the open seat made vacant by the retirement of George Voinovich.

Rand Paul, 47, defeated Democrat challenger Jack Conway 56% to 44% for the open seat made vacant by the retirement of Jim Bunning.

Roy Blunt, 60, defeated Democrat challenger Robin Carnahan 54% to 41% for the open seat made vacant by the retirement of Kit Bond.