Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for June 7th, 2007

Planning your Bento Box lunch

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I didn’t know about the five-color thing:

Based on traditional Japanese cuisine, the concept of goshiki (five colors) calls for the cook to include at least one dish from each color group, thereby creating a meal that meets various nutritional needs and is pleasing to behold.

Red or orange

Carrots, kabocha squash, red bell peppers, umeboshi (pickled apricots), kidney beans, dried cranberries, akajiso (also known as red shiso), kidney beans, adzuki beans, tomatoes, salmon, pork, beef, oranges, tangerines, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, apples, salsa

White

Rice, enoki mushrooms, daikon, tofu and soy products, caulifl ower, feta cheese, white beans, potatoes, bamboo shoots, turnips, renkon lotus root, white fish, chicken, onions, white sesame seeds, bean sprouts, pears, leeks, garbanzo beans, hummus, jicama

Black (also purple or brown)

Black olives, mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, portabello), sea vegetables of kombu, hijiki, wakame or nori, black sesame seeds, eggplant, gobo (burdock root), red cabbage, grapes, prunes, raisins, black cherries, grape leaves, figs, plums, blackberries, blueberries, purple cabbage, tapenade

Yellow

Pineapple, yellow beans, eggs, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, grapefruit, nectarines, peaches, lemons, yuba, squash, plantains, banana

Green

Broccoli, spinach, green beans, green bell pepper, cucumbers, asparagus, aojiso (also known as green shiso), fava beans, cabbage, sprouts, broccoli rabe, edamame, scallions, nira (chives), kiwi, celery, kale, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, pesto

The Second Rule
Try to employ goho, or five cooking methods. Choose from grilling, frying, simmering, steaming, pickling and boiling.

Good article (with recipes) in the Washington Post. They also say where you can buy the boxes:

For bento boxes sold online, check
Korin Japanese Trading Corp. ( http://www.korin.com),
Buy4AsianLife.com ( http://www.buy4asianlife.com),
Cherry Blossom Gardens (http://www.cherryblossomgardens.com),
Ekitron ( http://www.ekitron.com), and
Laptop Lunches ( http://www.laptoplunches.com).

Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes & Cooking

Remember physics? It’s gone from UK schools.

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Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 4:42 pm

Posted in Education, Science

Shaving with the Rolls Razor

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The Rolls Razor looks exactly like a small section of straight razor, and you do indeed strop it to sharpen it—the blade is permanent. After you sharpen the blade, you take it off the stropping device, attach the handle, and use it like a safety razor. It even has a sort of blade guard. Here’s a video of a guy using one, thanks to TG, a fellow shaver.

Think of it: no blade expense at all, ever. Take that, Gillette disposable blade/cartridge.

Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 4:35 pm

Posted in Shaving, Video

Joe Klein hits the nail on the head

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A recent post in response to Dick Armey:

Dick: Seems to me, reading you this week, that although you’ve left public office, you’re still infected with political blather, Frank Luntz-style. For example, the word “Ownership.” That tested really well in focus groups, but what does it mean? The 47 million people who don’t have health insurance–the vast majority of them hardworking folks who could use some help–don’t “own” an insurance policy. But you’re even opposed to plans like Romney’s (which came out of the Heritage Foundation) which give the working poor the means to choose among private health plans and “own” one. It’s socialism, you say.

But your definition of socialism…

Socialized medicine can take the form of government taking your money and then spending it on insurance. Socialized medicine can take the form of a requirement from government for you to spend money on health insurance. Either way, it is the government making the decision about your money, no matter whether you call it Medicare, Medicaid, or an individual mandate.

…is a smear, the sort of language used in 20-second attack ads, not a definition. I seem to remember socialism defined as state ownership of the means of production. What you’re all het-up about is state regulation–not ownership–of an untrammeled, semi-monopolistic free market. How far do you go, Dick? I mean, paying taxes is a state intervention, too. A military draft is a state intervention–would you rule that out, too, if we faced another existential threat like World War II?And then there’s social security…that poor, little, teeny-tiny, no-risk safety net we have for those who didn’t do so well in life.

I ask, if Social Security is such a great deal, then why is it mandatory?

Since you asked: Because, in a democracy, we have this weird concept: the consent of the governed. Social security ain’t the third rail of American politics for nothing. The people really like it, and have for 70 years now. The fact is, the federal government isn’t some alien import from France, it is the common expression of our desires and purposes as a society. Now I know, Margaret Thatcher said “There’s no such thing as society, only individuals and families.” But I don’t agree with that for one minute. True freedom can only exist within the context of a working society; without it, we have a state of nature–like, say, New Orleans in the days after Katrina.This is not to say that the federal government isn’t barnacled with stupidities after 200+ years of existence. The hardest thing to do in a mature democracy is to scrape the barnacles off the hull. But it seems to me that most of the barnacles in the current system benefit–how to be delicate here?–rich people, not the poor. The $70 billion in corporate welfare, for example. The fact that Republicans keep increasing the tax on work–payroll taxes–and keep reducing the taxes on wealth. No, the barnacles that Republicans complain endlessly about are a rudimentary system of regulations to protect food, drugs, the environment and the safety of the workplace, and a rudimentary system to protect the elderly from sickness and starvation. And when reasonable politicians, Democrats and moderate Republicans, propose even the slightest alteration toward equity, it’s “class warfare.” (Yes, another great focus group term.)

Tell me how treating capital gains the same as other income is “class warfare” while eliminating OSHA inspections isn’t?

And, maybe I missed it, but what was your answer on abandoning pay-go in 2001?

Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 3:54 pm

Posted in GOP

Doctor verdict

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Saw my doctor as part of follow-up to check-up. My iron is up, probably (I assume) from the 1 Tbsp of blackstrap molasses on my oat groats every morning. Plus I have beef from time to time.

BP was 112/72, which is good. Drinking more fluids has done some good work on some measure. Cholesterol is very good.

He gave me a prescription for Singulair, an allergy medicine that works a treat. I take it as needed—not terribly often.

He’s reading the Guide to Gourmet Shaving and working up nerve to try it.

Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 3:50 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health

Maybe we can restore habeus corpus

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Today the Senate Judiciary Committee passed an important bill to restore habeas corpus, the sacrosanct Constitutional right to challenge government detention in court, by a vote of eleven to eight.

Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 10:15 am

Good buy on wild-salmon oil capsules

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48% off, and reasonable shipping costs. I take four 1000-mg capsules daily: two with breakfast, two with dinner. For the omega-3, of course. (Do a search of the blog on “omega” and you can find various articles on its efficacy.)

Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 8:52 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Health

The corruption of Congress continued

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It seems to get more and more blatant and more and more extensive. Kevin Drum today:

Don Young is a congressman from Alaska, not Lee County, Florida. So why was he so intent on approving a $10 million earmark to extend Coconut Road in Bonita Springs eastward several miles so it could join up to I75? An extension that neither the local congressman nor Lee County officials had any interest in? Funny you should ask:

The Coconut Road money is a boon, however, to Daniel J. Aronoff, a real estate developer who helped raise $40,000 for Mr. Young at the nearby Hyatt Coconut Point hotel days before he introduced the measure.

….A consultant who helped push for the project spelled out why its supporters held the fund-raiser. “We were looking for a lot of money,” said the consultant, Joe Mazurkiewicz. “We evidently made a very good impression on Congressman Young, and thanks to a lot of great work from Congressman Young, we got $81 million to expand Interstate 75 and $10 million for the Coconut Road interchange.”

….When he was approached near the House floor by a reporter, Mr. Young responded with an obscene gesture.

Yes, $40,000 probably counts as a “very good impression.” On the bright side, at least they didn’t deliver it in bricks of hundred dollar bills wrapped in aluminum foil.

The corruption is even worse than the extract above reveals. Read the whole sordid story.

Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 8:20 am

Libby’s pardon campaign

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Sidney Blumenthal has some interesting observations about the orchestrated campaign to build a foundation for a pardon for Libby. From his column:

One after another, the letter writers declare that Libby’s “character” is “inconsistent” with the jury’s verdict. These same words — “character” and “inconsistent” — appear dozens of times.

“The Scooter Libby I have known for a number of years now is someone about whom such crimes as perjury and obstruction of justice seem as improbable to me as life on Mars,” wrote Midge Decter, the neoconservative writer. Her husband, Norman Podhoretz, the neoconservative editor emeritus of Commentary magazine, wrote: “Like everyone else who knows him, I find it inconceivable that a man of his sterling character, who is also famous for his lawyerly scrupulousness, could deliberately have told lies to a grand jury, or for that matter to anyone else.” (Decter and Podhoretz’s son-in-law, Elliott Abrams, convicted of lying to Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal and subsequently pardoned, is a deputy national security advisor.)

Unmoved by these letters, Judge Reggie Walton imposed a sentence of two and a half years and a $250,000 fine, and told Libby, “Your lies blocked an extremely serious investigation, and as a result you will indeed go to prison.” Almost immediately, Cheney praised Libby’s “personal integrity,” and added his wish that the sentence will be overturned on appeal: “Speaking as friends, we hope that our system will return a final result consistent with what we know of this fine man.” Thus, Cheney encouraged his former chief of staff to maintain his steadfast refusal to implicate his former boss in the crimes Libby felt compelled to cover up with his lies to the grand jury.

To be sure, others convicted of crimes often submit similar testimonials before sentencing. But most of those who throw themselves on the mercy of the court express sorrow at what they have done. Libby, however, refused to show remorse. He offered no contrition, only an exercise in victimhood. Like the child who has killed his parents and demands mercy for being an orphan, Libby tried to murder the truth and then got dozens of people to plead for leniency based on his good character.

The act of procuring these letters is further evidence of Libby’s stove-piping of disinformation. Libby could not reasonably have expected to sway the judge, but there is a higher authority to which he is appealing. These letters constitute the beginnings of the Libby Lobby’s pardon campaign.

Ironically, the longest, most detailed and among the most personal letters supporting Libby is also the most damaging. In “Re: Character Reference for I. Lewis Libby,” Paul Wolfowitz writes, “I am currently serving, until June 30 of this year, as President of the World Bank.” Either obtusely or obliquely, Wolfowitz’s opening line emphasizes the symbiotic nature of their careers, both men having fallen from grace within weeks of each other after years of collaboration. “It is painful for me to reflect on the fact that his life would have been very different if we had never met. He would almost certainly now be a successful attorney in Philadelphia.” Wolfowitz describes their 35-year association, going back to when he was an assistant professor at Yale and Libby was his assistant, and how he recruited Libby to serve as his assistant in the State Department and then in the Defense Department. According to Wolfowitz’s account, Libby was an indispensable man in ending the Cold War, winning the Gulf War and waging the “global war on terror.” But he was also, Wolfowitz writes, of “service to individuals.”

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Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 8:16 am

The CIA’s favorite torture

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From Salon:

According to news reports, the White House is preparing to issue an executive order that will set new ground rules for the CIA’s secret program for interrogating captured al-Qaida types. Constrained by the 2006 Military Commissions Act, which contains a strict ban on abuse, it is anticipated that the order will jettison waterboarding and other brutal interrogation techniques.

But President Bush has insisted publicly that “tough” techniques work, and has signaled that the CIA’s secret program can somehow continue under the rubric of the Military Commissions Act. The executive order will reportedly hand the CIA greater latitude than the military to conduct coercive interrogations. If waterboarding goes the way of the Iron Maiden, what “tough” techniques will the CIA use on its high-value detainees?

The answer is most likely a measure long favored by the CIA — sensory deprivation. The benign-sounding form of psychological coercion has been considered effective for most of the life of the agency, and its slippery definition might allow it to squeeze through loopholes in a law that seeks to ban prisoner abuse. Interviews with former CIA officials and experts on interrogation suggest that it is an obvious choice for interrogators newly constrained by law. The technique has already been employed during the “war on terror,” and, Salon has learned, was apparently used on 14 high-value detainees now held at Guantánamo Bay.

A former top CIA official predicted to Salon that sensory deprivation would remain available to the agency as an interrogation tool in the future. “I’d be surprised if [sensory deprivation] came out of the toolbox,” said A.B. Krongard, who was the No. 3 official at the CIA until late 2004. Alfred McCoy, a history professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has written extensively about the history of CIA interrogation, agrees with Krongard that the CIA will continue to employ sensory deprivation. “Of course they will,” predicted McCoy. “It is embedded in the doctrine.” For the CIA to stop using sensory deprivation, McCoy says, “The leopard would have to change his spots.” And he warned that a practice that may sound innocuous to some was sharpened by the agency over the years into a horrifying torture technique.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 8:07 am

Life on Earth

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Beautiful slide show representing the development of life on earth. Click “Start the Journey” and then, after a pause, click “Skip”. The slide show will then start—no further clicking required.

Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 7:22 am

Posted in Books, Science

Ultrasmooth today!

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Sabini silvertip ebony handle

Thanks to the combined magic of:

  • Ebony-handled Sabini silvertip shaving brush (pictured)
  • Acqua di Parma shaving cream — a generous sample jar, which produced gorgeous lather: “A rich, refreshing cream with Water Mint Extract, Acqua Di Parma Collezione Barbiere Shaving Cream softens the toughest hairs and soothes away irritation. Contains hydrolised Wheat Protein, Almond Oil and extracts of Mallow and Lemon Balm with skin revitalising and protection properties.”
  • Merkur Slant Bar razor
  • Wilkinson Sword blade
  • The skillful, practiced hand of Leisureguy

In homage to the shaving brush, which I think looks spectacular, I used Draggon Noir aftershave.

Written by Leisureguy

7 June 2007 at 6:49 am

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

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