Later On

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

Archive for November 3rd, 2007

Dianne Feinstein: shameless

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Dianne Feinstein says that she considers waterboarding to be torture. She also will vote to confirm Judge Mukasey, who somehow cannot yet decide, until he gets his marching orders from Bush, whether waterboarding is torture or not (although people have been convicted and sent to prison for torturing prisoners by waterboarding).

So, it follows that Dianne Feinstein approves of the US engaging in torture, and will take steps to ensure that the US gets an Attorney General who will allow the torture to continue.

Written by Leisureguy

3 November 2007 at 1:55 pm

Posted in Congress, Democrats

Tagged with , ,

Molly’s baby picture

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Molly and siblings

This photo shows Molly with her siblings. Cute, aren’t they? Molly’s the redhead.

Written by Leisureguy

3 November 2007 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Cats, Molly

Solitude

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The Wife and I both enjoy solitude and find it an essential component of life. Others, perhaps less so. But I thought this post from the Ririan Project brought out some of the benefits of solitude:

“I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” – Henry David Thoreau

Chances are that the busier and more frantic your life gets, the more people seem to surround you.

Sure, you enjoy being social, being productive at work, spending time with your spouse, and all that. But meanwhile, your personality might be sliding out from under you. Without a little time to re-read an old comic book, admire yourself in front of the mirror, and, most importantly, reflect on your experiences, you will end up leading a life with no “you” in it.

Meaningful alone time is a powerful need and a necessary tonic in today’s rapid-fire world. So, set aside your busy schedule and get re-acquainted with yourself. Looking at solitude from a fresh angle, you will easily recognize its many benefits:

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Written by Leisureguy

3 November 2007 at 1:28 pm

Posted in Daily life

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The Wikibooks Cookbook

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The Wikibooks project looks interesting, and the Cookbook in particular looks worth exploring.

Written by Leisureguy

3 November 2007 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Books, Daily life, Recipes & Cooking

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Dave McKenna, great pianist

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Dave McKenna is, I think, not so well known as he should be. I have a large handful of his CDs, and the Ogg-Vorbis files ripped from those were the first things I put on my new Cowon D2. His style, like (say) that of Art Tatum or Fats Waller or Teddy Wilson, is instantly recognizable. The Wikipedia article at the link identifies the sources of his sound:

From the link above:

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Written by Leisureguy

3 November 2007 at 10:03 am

Posted in Jazz, Music

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French green clay effective antibacterial agent

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From Science News:

A fistful of slimy green clay may be just what the doctor ordered. Researchers studying a special type of French clay found that it smothers a diverse array of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains and a particularly nasty pathogen that causes skin ulcers in some parts of the world.

Anecdotal accounts of clay’s medicinal value, particularly in cleansing and protecting the skin, date back millennia, says geochemist Lynda Williams of Arizona State University in Tempe. In 2002, Williams was approached by a French humanitarian who had been using the special clay to treat Buruli ulcer, a disfiguring illness caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. This ailment leads to many amputations in Central and Western Africa.

After seeing the clinical data on the clay’s effectiveness against Buruli ulcer, Williams established a multicenter, interdisciplinary team of researchers to study the clay.

The researchers found that the clay, which they refer to as CsAg02, is strongly alkaline, with pH ranging from 9.4 to 10. It’s also rich in a chemical form of iron that gives it a characteristic green color. But many other clays have similar properties, says Williams.

To assess the effects of the clay on different microbes, the scientists incubated a variety of bacterial cultures with either CsAg02 or a similar clay. CsAg02 completely stopped the growth of Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium, common causes of food poisoning, and of various strains of mycobacterium that lead to skin infections and ulcers.

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Written by Leisureguy

3 November 2007 at 9:31 am

Posted in Daily life, Medical, Science

Cooking thoughts

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I’ve mentioned the idea of writing a cookbook, but after starting it, I realized what I really want to write is a compendium of sorts: ideas, hints, advice, lists, and the like. So I’ve started that, with the inspiring and catchy title Thinking Cooking. When I finish, which shouldn’t be too long now that I’ve picked the right approach, I’ll publish it as a free downloadable Lulu.com book. That is, it will be a PDF, and since people will doubtless print it, an 8.5 x 11 format suitable for two-sided or single-sided printing.

Today, for example, I am writing the section on Measurement, in which I mainly discuss the measuring implements I believe a kitchen should have, but with a short section on stepping back a bit. Remember when you used to do math problems or physics problems and your teacher repeatedly told you that, once you had worked out the answer, to step back and consider whether it was reasonable? Whether it made any sense?

So also in cooking. When you see a recipe for a large stew—say, about 2-3 quarts—and it calls for 1/4 tsp of Tabasco, that fails the test of reasonableness. It’s not enough to make a difference. Similarly, when that stew calls for 1 tsp of dried thyme, you can just pour some thyme in your cupped palm and estimate. Getting exactly one teaspoon is not that critical.

OTOH, if you’re making a batch of scones and it calls for 1 tsp of baking powder, that I would measure.

So first is the question of whether the measurement makes sense, and whether an estimate is accurate enough. (BTW, it’s good to measure out in your cupped palm a teaspoon of salt and see how much that is, and a tablespoon of salt and see how much that is: train your eye.)

And then I will list the essential measuring implements and which I’ve found best, in the categories of time, temperature, length, weight, and volume, all of which must be measured in cooking.

UPDATE: I’ve been working using the Outline view in Word. So far, the outline is 8 pages long. This may take a little longer than I thought.

Written by Leisureguy

3 November 2007 at 9:14 am

25 photos taken at the exact right instant

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Take a look.

Written by Leisureguy

3 November 2007 at 9:02 am

Posted in Daily life

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Coffee-mocha—oh, my

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Honeybee Spa has some great fragrances, and one of my favorites is the Coffee-Mocha: wonderfully strong, but lasting only for the shave, with no after-fragrance. (The after-fragrance today is only from the wonderful New York aftershave by Parfums de Nicolaï.)

So today,  laying the groundwork for an experiment, I used the Simpsons Emperor 2 Super to work up the lather from HS Coffee-Mocha, put a new Wilkinson blade in the Gillette NEW, and delivered myself a superb shave, finishing with the aforementioned New York.

Tomorrow, all will be the same, except I will start with Crema 3P and see what happens. Today’s shave is 9.5, so it’s a true challenge.

Written by Leisureguy

3 November 2007 at 9:01 am

Posted in Shaving

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