Later On

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

Archive for June 22nd, 2008

Architectural adaptive re-use

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Some very interesting ideas brought to fruition.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 5:51 pm

Posted in Daily life

Art from trash

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Some very interesting stuff:

Here, and here.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 5:50 pm

Posted in Art

Warming in the afternoon sunshine

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With the apartment at a comfortable 69º F (20.6º C), the afternoon sunshine is once again attractive to a kitty. And my brief foray into short sleeves is over again for now. Click photo for close-up.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Cats, Daily life, Megs

Good point re: habeus corpus for detainees

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Excellent point that has escaped many on the right.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 5:12 pm

Good lunch/dinner and the effects of practice

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Using the Veggichopper, I made an excellent dish, enough for both lunch and dinner:

Patagonian toothfish, 7 oz
Chopped onions, 6.9 oz
Chopped sweet red pepper, 10 oz
Chopped yellow zucchini, 10 oz
Chopped celery, 4 oz (used because celery enhances flavor)
Chopped garlic, 1.1 oz

All of the above were chopped with the Vegichopper, which is extremely efficient (3-4 pulls generally enough) and easy to clean.

Chopped snow peas, 5.1 oz (chopped these with a knife)
Cooked black beans, 1/2 cup
Lemon juice, 1/4 cup
Soy Sauce, 1 Tbsp
Mirin, 1 Tbsp
Penzey’s Chicken Soup base, 1/2 Tbsp
Water, 1/2 cup
Crushed red pepper, 1/2 Tbsp
Turmeric, 1/2 Tbsp
Salt, 2 tsp
Freshly ground pepper

I covered the pan and simmered the above for 15 minutes. Then I added the Patagonian toothfish, covered the pan again, and simmered it for 9 minutes more. Just delicious: good taste, satisfying, healthful, and 863 calories total (290 cal fat, 375 cal carbs, 190 cal protein) with 28 g fiber.

As you can guess from the measurements I’m using Fitday, and it’s amazingly easy to get back into it. I’ve read that people who fail at quitting smoking should instead view the attempt as practice: they didn’t fail, they were practicing quitting. And if they continue to practice, they will eventually succeed (especially, it is now known, if they are part of a group that’s trying to quite). It just requires practice.

The same thing a commenter observed in shaving: although he had no big breakthroughs or insights, his shaves improved imperceptibly from day to day until, after a month, he was getting extremely good shaves, without quite knowing what had changed. The unconscious mind is always paying attention, and with daily (or frequent) practice, it masters skills—even a complex skill like using Fitday. Getting back to it feels quite comfortable and even enjoyable.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 3:44 pm

Why gay marriage is good for America

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A good defense of gay marriage in the Wall Street Journal, of all places, written by Jonathan Rauch. It begins:

By order of its state Supreme Court, California began legally marrying same-sex couples this week. The first to be wed in San Francisco were Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, pioneering gay-rights activists who have been a couple for more than 50 years.

More ceremonies will follow, at least until November, when gay marriage will go before California’s voters. They should choose to keep it. To understand why, imagine your life without marriage. Meaning, not merely your life if you didn’t happen to get married. What I am asking you to imagine is life without even the possibility of marriage.

Re-enter your childhood, but imagine your first crush, first kiss, first date and first sexual encounter, all bereft of any hope of marriage as a destination for your feelings. Re-enter your first serious relationship, but think about it knowing that marrying the person is out of the question.

Imagine that in the law’s eyes you and your soul mate will never be more than acquaintances. And now add even more strangeness. Imagine coming of age into a whole community, a whole culture, without marriage and the bonds of mutuality and kinship that go with it.

What is this weird world like? It has more sex and less commitment than a world with marriage. It is a world of fragile families living on the shadowy outskirts of the law; a world marked by heightened fear of loneliness or abandonment in crisis or old age; a world in some respects not even civilized, because marriage is the foundation of civilization.

This was the world I grew up in. The AIDS quilt is its monument.

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Daily life

Cool site: Zoomii

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When you go to to Zoomii (at least in Firefox 3), you think it is endlessly refreshing the screen. (See update below.)

UPDATE: Zoomii works fine now, and I suspect the problem was in my own computer. After I ran Dial-A-Fix, a Windows repair program, the problem vanished.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Books, Business, Daily life


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Yesterday I bought (at Sur La Table) the Chef’N Veggichop (video here). It’s a manual food processor, which I’ll use for the first time when I make make my lunch today (Patagonian toothfish poached with vegetables). Extremely well designed. Now to see how it works.

UPDATE: Works like charm. Excellent device. Fast, easy, effective, and clean-up and put-away is a snap.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 12:05 pm

Have you reserved your Aptera?

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Better get with it.

A Quick Product Recap

The Aptera has a 2 plus 1 seating configuration. The two front seats are arranged as standard side-by-side seating. There is also a center infant seat behind the driver and passenger. The side doors open to the front and upward completely inside the front wheel track so you never have to worry about hitting the vehicle parked next to you or damaging your door while exiting your Aptera in a tight garage. There is enough storage in the rear for 15 bags of groceries, or 2 full size golf club bags. And the Aptera is even big enough for a couple of seven foot surf boards and any associated beach accessories.

Key Features

  • Driver and passenger side Airbags
  • Energy absorbing and impact deflecting passenger Safety Cell
  • GPS navigation, CD/MP3/DVD player, Large View Rear Camera, and complete vehicle diagnostic system
  • “Eyes Forward” vision system with 180 degree rear sight picture displayed in the driver’s field of view to enhance situational awareness
  • LED interior and exterior lighting for maximum energy efficiency
  • Solar assisted Climate Control System so you always enter a comfortable Aptera that is never too hot or cold
  • And an RFID (Radio Frequency ID) key fob so you never have to pull out your keys to enter or start your Aptera. The key fob simply remains in your pocket or purse.

How it works

1 Select the Aptera model (All Electric or Plug-In Electric Hybrid):

All Electric [aka the Kent Bouchert Special – LG]
This drive option will be the first Aptera to go into production late in 2008. It is powered by an electric drive train and will get you around town to the tune of up to 120 miles depending on your driving conditions. At night you simply plug the Aptera into any standard 110 volt outlet and in just a few hours you will have a fully charged vehicle and the best part of all? You’ll never have to stop at another gas station! The approximate cost of this option will be $27,000.

Plug-In Electric Hybrid
This option will not be available until early in 2010. It is powered by an electric drive train as well, but is assisted by a fuel efficient gasoline powered generator which continually recharges your batteries stretching your range significantly. In typical driving you may achieve the equivalent of 300 miles per gallon and you will have range far beyond any passenger vehicle available today. The approximate cost of this option will be $30,000.

2 A fully refundable $500 deposit that is held in an escrow account reserves your reservation, and will be applied towards the final purchase price of your new Aptera. You can ask for a full refund of your deposit at anytime, no questions asked.

3 With your reservation, we’ll keep you updated through email in a number of important areas: manufacturing progress; design refinements; safety and performance enhancements; news stories and events.

4 Then, early in 2009, the first owners will be invited to the factory to see how their Aptera came to life and be taken through a short driver training class to help them learn about the unique features of their Aptera.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 11:19 am

Myth: 3000-mile oil change

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I always thought it was a myth. I change at 7500 miles, as the owner’s manual recommends. The story by Bill Siriu of (and that site has much useful information):

According to a recent study by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, 73 percent of California drivers change their oil more frequently than required. This same scenario no doubt repeats itself across the country. Besides wasting money, this translates into unnecessary consumption of $100-a-barrel oil, much of it imported.

Using 2005 data, the Board estimates that Californians alone generate about 153.5 million gallons of waste oil annually, of which only about 60 percent is recycled. Used motor oil poses the greatest environmental risk of all automotive fluids because it is insoluble, persistent, and contains heavy metal and toxic chemicals. One gallon of used oil can foul the taste of one million gallons of water.

It’s been a misconception for years that engine oil should be changed every 3000 miles, even though most auto manufacturers now recommend oil changes at 5,000, 7,000, or even 10,000 mile intervals under normal driving conditions.

Greatly improved oils, including synthetic oils, coupled with better engines mean longer spans between oil changes without harming an engine. The 3000 mile interval is a carryover from days when engines used single-grade, non-detergent oils.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 11:13 am

Posted in Daily life

Careful analysis of a propaganda piece in TIME

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Glenn Greenwald carefully dissects a piece of propaganda in TIME magazine, a piece masquerading as news. Filled with misleading statements, omissions, and outright lies, the piece is attempting to justify the “compromise.” Well worth reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 10:36 am

One beautiful galaxy

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Check it out. And now we know that our galaxy has roughly this shape.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 10:34 am

Posted in Science

Back to normal temperatures

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And what a relief. Temperatures started to drop in the evening, and this morning the living room is 71.5º F (21.9º C), which is much more like it. Still: iced coffee, iced tea, and the like are beverages of choice.

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 10:24 am

Posted in Daily life

Monsanto: a close look at an evil company

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This is a remarkable documentary, and I hope you will view it all. It directly affects your life every time you go grocery shopping, and in larger ways as well. Here’s the first (of 10) parts:

The rest:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

22 June 2008 at 9:36 am

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