Later On

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

Archive for June 17th, 2008

Leeks and salmon

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So I cut the lengthy white part off the 3 leeks, then cut it lengthwise into quarters. Very clean, no need to wash out any grit. I cut those into 1″ cross sections, and let sit a bit. Melted 1 1/2 Tbs butter in a large sauté pan, sautéed the leeks until they wilted. Salted them lightly, added a good splash of dry vermouth, put the salmon fillet on top of the leeks, salted that, and covered the pan over moderate heat for 12 minutes. Checked the salmon, still not quite done, so covered for two minutes more. Plated half the leeks, half the salmon, and poured some pistachio oil over the salmon, which idea I got here (and a very good idea it is, too). Luscious. Looking for more leeks tomorrow.

UPDATE: Additional salmon and leek recipes received from The Eldest:

1. Salmon with lentils: Chop the leeks and sauté with minced celery leaves and diced carrot, then mix with seasoned cooked lentils. Sauté salmon in the same pan the leeks were in, then serve over the leek/lentil mixture.

2. Spinach salad with salmon: Cook chopped bacon, then remove and drain most of the fat from the pan. Sauté leeks and sliced mushrooms in remaining fat with a little salt and cook until the water from the mushrooms evaporates and leeks are tender. Remove to the same dish as the bacon. Cook salmon in the same pan, adding a little olive oil. Remove to bacon/leek/mushroom plate. Add baby spinach to the pan and cook in remaining olive oil until it just wilts. Move to serving plate, top with the leeks, mushrooms, bacon, salmon (broken up a little into chunks), squeeze of lemon, sprinkle of salt, freshly ground pepper, and toss (if desired) with a lightly poached egg.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Absolutely read this post

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This one by Glenn Greenwald. And donate! Here’s the donation link:

Right now, they [the Democratic leadership – LG] perceive that the only political cost comes from opposing the Far Right on matters of constitutional protections and civil liberties. Thus, they’re willing — eager — to trample on those protections and liberties in order to protect their own power. That dynamic needs to be reversed. They need to know that there is a bigger price to pay when they betray the promises they repeatedly make, the principles they continuously espouse, and the duties that they have to preserve basic precepts of equality under the law and core constitutional protections. I expect to post a lot more details about this campaign throughout the rest of the day and tomorrow. For now, contributions can be made here.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 2:26 pm

Firefox 3 download: success!

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Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 12:10 pm

Posted in Daily life, Firefox

Campaign ads

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Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Daily life, Election

Hyperactivity and food additives

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From the Lancet:

Summary

Background: We undertook a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial to test whether intake of artificial food colour and additives (AFCA) affected childhood behaviour.

Method: 153 3-year-old and 144 8/9-year-old children were included in the study. The challenge drink contained sodium benzoate and one of two AFCA mixes (A or B) or a placebo mix. The main outcome measure was a global hyperactivity aggregate (GHA), based on aggregated z-scores of observed behaviours and ratings by teachers and parents, plus, for 8/9-year-old children, a computerised test of attention. This clinical trial is registered with Current Controlled Trials (registration number ISRCTN74481308). Analysis was per protocol.

Findings: 16 3-year-old children and 14 8/9-year-old children did not complete the study, for reasons unrelated to childhood behaviour. Mix A had a significantly adverse effect compared with placebo in GHA for all 3-year-old children (effect size 0·20 [95% CI 0·01–0·39], p=0·044) but not mix B versus placebo. This result persisted when analysis was restricted to 3-year-old children who consumed more than 85% of juice and had no missing data (0·32 [0·05–0·60], p=0·02). 8/9-year-old children showed a significantly adverse effect when given mix A (0·12 [0·02–0·23], p=0·023) or mix B (0·17 [0·07–0·28], p=0·001) when analysis was restricted to those children consuming at least 85% of drinks with no missing data.

Interpretation: Artificial colours or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population.

Researchers were from:

School of Psychology, Department of Child Health, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
School of Medicine, Department of Child Health, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
Department of Paediatrics, Imperial College, London, UK

UPDATE: The above research, showing that food additives can trigger hyperactivity, is consistent with the medical position in the UK in general, which does not recognize ADHD as a disorder. Note that hyperactivity is not the same thing as ADHD—many things can given symptoms that overlap with ADHD, including basic things like dehydration. But if someone truly has ADHD, then eliminating all food additives from the diet will have no effect on the ADHD. If eliminating food additives does make the “ADHD” go away, then the problem wasn’t ADHD in the first place—the person simply had a sensitivity to food additives that caused hyperactive behavior.

From a reader, a quotation from ADDitude magazine:

“Ask the Experts” column:

Q: “I recently moved to England, and I’m having trouble finding a doctor who’s knowledgeable about ADHD. How can I get appropriate care?”

A: Unfortunately, few clinicians in the United Kingdom consider ADHD a treatable neurological disorder. They view symptoms like inattentiveness and hyperactivity as evidence of a behavioral problem.  – Larry Silver, M.D.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 12:00 pm

Beware false claims of cannabis dangers

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From e! Science News:

Claims that a large increase in the strength of cannabis over the last decade is driving the occurrence of mental health and other problems for users are not borne out by a study of the worldwide literature, say researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) and the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), both from Australia. Their conclusions, published in this month’s issue of ADDICTION, are that increased potency has been observed in some countries, but there is enormous variation between samples, meaning that cannabis users may be exposed to greater variation in the strength of the cannabis they use in a single year than over years or decades.

Cannabis samples tested in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Italy have shown increases in potency over the last decade, but no significant growth in other European countries or in New Zealand has been found during the same period.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 11:50 am

White supremacy groups

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Fascinating video well worth watching. Thanks, Bob.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 11:39 am

Posted in Daily life

Tagged with

John Yoo, contemptible liar

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Read the column.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 11:25 am

The company we keep

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From another excellent column by Glenn Greenwald (and do read the whole thing), this bitter irony:

Speaking of which, as Steny Hoyer and Congressional Democrats attempt this week to legalize George Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping powers and immunize lawbreaking telecoms, it’s worth noting the company we keep in that realm, too. In 2001, the U.S. State Department issued a truly amazing report on Russian human rights abusees, complaining that Russian “authorities continued to infringe on citizens’ privacy rights.” What was the basis of that complaint? The State Department said that Russian regulations that:

require Internet service providers and telecommunications companies to invest in equipment that enables the [Foreign Security Service] to monitor Internet traffic, telephone calls, and pagers without judicial approval caused serious concern.

“Serious concern.” Worse, said our Report, in Russia “there appears to be no mechanism to prevent unauthorized [Government] access to Internet traffic without a warrant”!In 2006, the State Department’s report on Russia contained one of the most amazing passages I’ve read in all the time I’ve been writing about political issues. This is really — honestly — what the State Department said in condemning Russia. I highly recommend reading this a few times, especially in light of what the Congress is preparing to do this week:

The law states that officials may enter a private residence only in cases prescribed by federal law or on the basis of a judicial decision; however, authorities did not always observe these provisions.The law permits the government to monitor correspondence, telephone conversations, and other means of communication only with judicial permission and prohibits the collection, storage, utilization, and dissemination of information about a person’s private life without his consent. While these provisions were generally followed, problems remained. There were accounts of electronic surveillance by government officials and others without judicial permission, and of entry into residences and other premises by Moscow law enforcement without warrants. There were no reports of government action against officials who violated these safeguards.

What kind of monsters would spy on their own citizens without warrants even when the law requires warrants, and then not even punish those who broke the law? Russian Communist KGB thugs — that’s who would do such a horrible thing, our State Department complained in 2006. Note, too — as our Congress attempts to legalize warrantless eavesdropping here — that our State Department complained about Russia’s surveillance abuses even though the law there permits such spying “only with judicial permission.”Finally, in August of 2007, Zimbabwe passed a law allowing its President to eavesdrop on telephone conversations with no warrants — exactly what our Congress is about to do — and this is what opposition leaders in that country said about that new law:

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday signed into law the controversial Interception of Communications Bill, which gives his government the authority to eavesdrop on phone and Internet communications and read physical mail.The legislation has drawn outspoken opposition from the political opposition and civil society organizations as trampling on the civil rights of Zimbabweans.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change faction of Morgan Tsvangirai called it an addition to “the dictator’s tool kit” . . .

Secretary General Welshman Ncube of the MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara called it a “final straw to the curtailment to the liberties of Zimbabweans.”

Human rights lawyer Otto Saki told VOA that the law interferes and undermines the enjoyment of rights enshrined in the constitution and is a sign Mr. Mugabe wants to consolidate his power by “any means necessary or unnecessary.”

But in reply to that uproar, the Mugabe government had what one must admit was a good response:

But Communications Minister Christopher Mushowe said Zimbabwe is not unique in the world in passing such legislation, citing electronic eavesdropping programs in the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa, among other countries.

That’s the company Steny Hoyer and the Blue Dogs in Congress are working hard this week to ensure we continue to keep, as they devote themselves to legalizing warrantless eavesdropping and immunizing corporations that broke the law. The details of the campaign to stop that will be posted here shortly.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 11:24 am

Retiree’s special: How to nap

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Via Lifehacker, this excellent guide on how to nap. My own secrets:

  • Tempur-Pedic™ eye mask (the best I’ve found)
  • Reclining reading chair
  • British shorthair cat in lap
  • A clear conscience

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 11:14 am

Posted in Daily life

Once you do get Firefox 3 downloaded

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—and I have to admit that I’ve given up for today—here’s a good user’s guide for tweaking it, written by the redoubtable Gina Trapani.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 11:04 am

Posted in Daily life, Firefox

Read the entire series

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Tom Lasseter of McClatchy newspapers has done a great job in investigating how the U.S. is treating its prisoners in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantánamo, including exactly who those prisoners are and the effects of the treatment the U.S. meted out. Read the entire series:

An eight-month McClatchy investigation of the detention system created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has found that the U.S. imprisoned innocent men, subjected them to abuse, stripped them of their legal rights and allowed Islamic militants to turn the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a school for jihad.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 10:51 am

DropMyRights

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DropMyRights is a free program for Win XP users that allows dangerous programs (vulnerable to invasion) to be run with restricted rights. A full explanation by Bill Horowitz explains the program and why you should use it and has instructions for installing and configuring it.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 10:46 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

Torture research at top levels began early

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This story by Joby Warrick in the Washington Post shows how the decision to torture, including the techniques to be used, was made at the top levels:

A Senate investigation has concluded that top Pentagon officials began assembling lists of harsh interrogation techniques in the summer of 2002 for use on detainees at Guantánamo Bay and that those officials later cited memos from field commanders to suggest that the proposals originated far down the chain of command, according to congressional sources briefed on the findings.

The sources said that memos and other evidence obtained during the inquiry show that officials in the office of then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld started to research the use of waterboarding, stress positions, sensory deprivation and other practices in July 2002, months before memos from commanders at the detention facility in Cuba requested permission to use those measures on suspected terrorists.

The reported evidence — some of which is expected to be made public at a Senate hearing today — also shows that military lawyers raised strong concerns about the legality of the practices as early as November 2002, a month before Rumsfeld approved them. The findings contradict previous accounts by top Bush administration appointees, setting the stage for new clashes between the White House and Congress over the origins of interrogation methods that many lawmakers regard as torture and possibly illegal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 10:04 am

Posted in Bush Administration, GOP, Government

Tagged with

How the Bush Administration supports the troops

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From ThinkProgress:

In the past two fiscal years, nearly 20,000 soldiers have been discharged. Many of them run the risk of “financial ruin” while they wait for their “claims to be processed and their benefits to come through.” Injured soldiers are usually “discharged on just a fraction of their salary and then forced to wait six to nine months, and sometimes even more than a year, before their full disability payments begin to flow.”

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 9:57 am

Don’t forget to download Firefox 3 today!

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The downloads will start at 12 noon Central time today. Let’s set a record!

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 9:56 am

Posted in Daily life, Firefox

Privatization works extremely well—for the contractors

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This is no surprise, but shows how far the GOP has opened the spout of taxpayer money into the troughs and treasuries of private companies. James Risen writes in the Washington Post:

The Army official who managed the Pentagon’s largest contract in Iraq says he was ousted from his job when he refused to approve paying more than $1 billion in questionable charges to KBR, the Houston-based company that has provided food, housing and other services to American troops.

The official, Charles M. Smith, was the senior civilian overseeing the multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war. Speaking out for the first time, Mr. Smith said that he was forced from his job in 2004 after informing KBR officials that the Army would impose escalating financial penalties if they failed to improve their chaotic Iraqi operations.

Army auditors had determined that KBR lacked credible data or records for more than $1 billion in spending, so Mr. Smith refused to sign off on the payments to the company. “They had a gigantic amount of costs they couldn’t justify,” he said in an interview. “Ultimately, the money that was going to KBR was money being taken away from the troops, and I wasn’t going to do that.”

But he was suddenly replaced, he said, and his successors — after taking the unusual step of hiring an outside contractor to consider KBR’s claims — approved most of the payments he had tried to block.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 9:48 am

Floris London

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This morning I visited London in the use of Floris JF as the shaving soap (excellent) and aftershave (very fine). The Simpsons Persian Jar 2 Super made a fine lather, and I used the Gillette English open-comb Aristocrat again because I wanted to see if the second use of the Treet Dura Sharp stainless blade was smoother. It was, a bit. I’ll use it again tomorrow and see how it does then.

The oil pass was done with Gentlemens Refinery shave oil, and the final result was superb.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 June 2008 at 9:42 am

Posted in Shaving

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