Later On

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

Archive for July 8th, 2012

Two-greens two-fish grub

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Pretty good grub. I’ll skip the detailed steps:

2 Tbsp EVOO
1 leek sliced thinly
2 bunches scallions sliced, including all the green
2 tsp salt
3 Serrano peppers, sliced thinly (including seeds)
freshly ground black pepper

I let that cook, stirring often, until leek and onion well wilted

1/4 c minced garlic
1 diced yellow crookneck squash
3/4 c chopped celery
1 orange bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 Japanese eggplant (the small slender variety), cut in half lengthwise then sliced thickly
1 diced “yam” (sweet potato), 21 oz, as it turned out, including peel
1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10 oz package yellow corn kernels (frozen)
1 wad slivered dried tomatoes
4 organic Roma tomatoes, diced
2 organic lemons, diced (peel, seeds, and all, but I did cut off & discard either end)

Let that cook, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes.

1 large bunch red dandelion greens, rinsed, stems minced, leaves chopped
1 bunch red chard, rinsed, stems chopped, leaves cut lengthwise in strips, then cut across to chop
2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1/2 c red zinfandel
2 Tbsp Taste #5 umami paste
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Cooked that for 30 minutes, then added:

1 lb Pacific swordfish, cut into chunks (including what skin there was)
3/4 lb sockeye salmon, cut into chunks (including what skin there was)

Cooked six minutes more, then just let sit on the heat with burner turned off.

It filled the 6-qt pot and will probably make 7 meals: 4 oz fish per meal, plus some protein from the beans/corn combination. 3 oz starch (from yam) per meal, plus some from corn.

The sweet potato was paler than I wanted, so I did some checking. I had gotten a Garnet “yam,” and better (oranger) would have been a Jewel “yam.” They’re both actually sweet potatoes, and thus not really potatoes: they’re roots, and potatoes are tubers. I will get a Jewel next time. The ones the store labels “sweet potatoes” (rather than “yams”) are dryer and paler when cooked. Take a look:

Photo is from this post by Zoë François. More on nutritional value of Jewel yams.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2012 at 7:40 pm

Posted in Food, Grub, Recipes

Where supersizing came from—and its effects

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The effects are pretty simple: people will eat more (in terms of absolute quantity) with a supersized portion than with a normal portion—as tests using stale popcorn have shown. And the guy who invented it is known. It’s important to note that businesses care not a whit about the health effects: their only goal is to grow profits. No matter what.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2012 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Food

More intriguing software

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Note especially how several Mac programs can be made to work together in this post by James Fallows. (Full disclosure: I am mentioned with a link to this blog.)

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2012 at 11:17 am

Posted in Software

For when we have a Scientologist presidential candidate

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Since religious issues have arisen, I thought this profile of a Scientologist candidate would be of interest. Lawrence Wright’s profile of Paul Haggis appeared in the New Yorker on Valentine’s Day 2011:

On August 19, 2009, Tommy Davis, the chief spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International, received a letter from the film director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. “For ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego,” Haggis wrote. Before the 2008 elections, a staff member at Scientology’s San Diego church had signed its name to an online petition supporting Proposition 8, which asserted that the State of California should sanction marriage only “between a man and a woman.” The proposition passed. As Haggis saw it, the San Diego church’s “public sponsorship of Proposition 8, which succeeded in taking away the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens of California—rights that were granted them by the Supreme Court of our state—is a stain on the integrity of our organization and a stain on us personally. Our public association with that hate-filled legislation shames us.” Haggis wrote, “Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.” He concluded, “I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology.”

Haggis was prominent in both Scientology and Hollywood, two communities that often converge. Although he is less famous than certain other Scientologists, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, he had been in the organization for nearly thirty-five years. Haggis wrote the screenplay for “Million Dollar Baby,” which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2004, and he wrote and directed “Crash,” which won Best Picture the next year—the only time in Academy history that that has happened.

Davis, too, is part of Hollywood society; his mother is Anne Archer, who starred in “Fatal Attraction” and “Patriot Games,” among other films. Before becoming Scientology’s spokesperson, Davis was a senior vice-president of the church’s Celebrity Centre International network.

In previous correspondence with Davis, Haggis had demanded that the church publicly renounce Proposition 8. “I feel strongly about this for a number of reasons,” he wrote. “You and I both know there has been a hidden anti-gay sentiment in the church for a long time. I have been shocked on too many occasions to hear Scientologists make derogatory remarks about gay people, and then quote L.R.H. in their defense.” The initials stand for L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, whose extensive writings and lectures form the church’s scripture. Haggis related a story about Katy, the youngest of three daughters from his first marriage, who lost the friendship of a fellow-Scientologist after revealing that she was gay. The friend began warning others, “Katy is ‘1.1.’ ” The number refers to a sliding Tone Scale of emotional states that Hubbard published in a 1951 book, “The Science of Survival.” A person classified “1.1” was, Hubbard said, “Covertly Hostile”—“the most dangerous and wicked level”—and he noted that people in this state engaged in such things as casual sex, sadism, and homosexual activity. Hubbard’s Tone Scale, Haggis wrote, equated “homosexuality with being a pervert.” (Such remarks don’t appear in recent editions of the book.)

In his resignation letter, Haggis explained to Davis that, for the first time, he had explored outside perspectives on Scientology. He had read a recent exposé in a Florida newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, which reported, among other things, that senior executives in the church had been subjecting other Scientologists to physical violence. Haggis said that he felt “dumbstruck and horrified,” adding, “Tommy, if only a fraction of these accusations are true, we are talking about serious, indefensible human and civil-rights violations.”

Online, Haggis came across an appearance that Davis had made on CNN, in May, 2008. The anchor John Roberts asked Davis about the church’s policy of “disconnection,” in which members are encouraged to separate themselves from friends or family members who criticize Scientology. Davis responded, “There’s no such thing as disconnection as you’re characterizing it. And certainly we have to understand—”

“Well, what is disconnection?” Roberts interjected.

“Scientology is a new religion,” Davis continued. “The majority of Scientologists in the world, they’re first generation. So their family members aren’t going to be Scientologists. . . . So, certainly, someone who is a Scientologist is going to respect their family members’ beliefs—”

“Well, what is disconnection?” Roberts said again.

“—and we consider family to be a building block of any society, so anything that’s characterized as disconnection or this kind of thing, it’s just not true. There isn’t any such policy.”

In his resignation letter, Haggis said, “We all know this policy exists. I didn’t have to search for verification—I didn’t have to look any further than my own home.” Haggis reminded Davis that, a few years earlier, his wife had been ordered to disconnect from her parents “because of something absolutely trivial they supposedly did twenty-five years ago when they resigned from the church. . . . Although it caused her terrible personal pain, my wife broke off all contact with them.” Haggis continued, “To see you lie so easily, I am afraid I had to ask myself: what else are you lying about?”

Haggis forwarded his resignation to more than twenty Scientologist friends, including Anne Archer, John Travolta, and Sky Dayton, the founder of EarthLink. “I felt if I sent it to my friends they’d be as horrified as I was, and they’d ask questions as well,” he says. “That turned out to be largely not the case. They were horrified that I’d send a letter like that.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2012 at 11:10 am

Posted in Religion

Google Nexus 7

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Daring Fireball is a wonderful site. I found David Pogue’s interesting review in the NY Times of Google’s Nexus 7 tablet device through it:

You can love Apple or you can hate Apple, but one thing’s for sure: its favorite game is Lead the Industry. And the industry’s favorite game is Follow the Leader.

Steve Jobs hated the mimicry. Google’s Android software “ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off,” he told his biographer, Walter Isaacson. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product.”

But there’s a positive aspect to the imitation, too. You could argue that Apple’s copycats fill in markets where Apple dares not tread, or offer an alternative to Apple’s very pure, controlled, choice-constrained world.

In that worldview, Google’s 2012 new-product announcements must seem like a cornucopia of good news. First, Google opened a unified online store with separate tabs for apps, e-books, TV shows, movies and music, modeled on the iTunes store.

Last week, it introduced the Nexus Q, a black sphere that connects to your TV and plays those songs and videos, pretty much the way the black square Apple TV does. (You can read my review of the Q online at nytimes.com/personaltech.)

Above all, Google has just introduced the Nexus 7, a shiny black tablet that aims to challenge both the iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. (Nexus phone, Nexus tablet, Nexus sphere thing; what is Google thinking, anyway? If it truly wants to emulate Apple, it should minimize confusion, not foster it.)

The Kindle Fire’s most important feature is its price: $200. That’s an eye-popper in a world where the dominant tablet, the iPad, costs $500 and up. Of course, the Fire isn’t the same thing as the iPad. Its seven-inch screen is much smaller. It’s thicker and blockier. It doesn’t have a camera, microphone, GPS function, Bluetooth or memory-card slot. Its primary function is playing material you buy from Amazon, like books and video.

But that’s why Google’s tablet, manufactured by Asus, is a ground-shaking arrival. It, too, has a seven-inch screen and costs only $200, but this time, you don’t get any sense that its creators skimped to keep the price down. It’s sleek and beautiful, with rounded edges, unlike the sawed-off rectangular back of the Fire, and a “pleather” back panel that feels great. And it weighs 2.6 ounces less than the Fire, which makes a world of difference. It’s slightly thinner, too, although thicker than the iPad.

More important, the Nexus is a full-blown tablet. It’s almost as capable of letting you create stuff as consuming it. It’s fast, smooth and capable of running any Android tablet app. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2012 at 9:55 am

Posted in Techie toys, Technology

Portable scanner with optional WiFi capability

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The Doxie Go looks extremely cool. I was checking out John Gruber’s Daring Fireball blog as recommended by the commenter on the Readability post, and found this post:

. . . Doxie Go is an award-winning scanner that works anywhere — no computer required — and then syncs to your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and the cloud. Doxie comes with terrific Mac software that makes it easy to go paperless, create searchable PDFs, and send scans to other Mac apps like Dropbox, Evernote, Yojimbo, and more. And the hardware is great: small, simple, and unobtrusive. I have one and adore it.

This week only, use coupon code “FIREBALL” and save $40. Buy yours here.

This could be enormously useful for many. “This week only” apparently starts with the date of the post: Friday, 6 July. So I assume the discount code is good until 13 July. But check.

Note that the regular Doxie requires USB power. It’s only the Doxie Go that’s powered by a (rechargeable) battery.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2012 at 9:28 am

Posted in Technology

Louis Jordan sings Caldonia

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.

Louis Jordan had any number of hits. Another from WWII: GI Jive.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2012 at 9:19 am

Posted in Jazz, Video

More about the Mormon sacred undergarmets

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Interesting article about the sacred undergarments Mitt Romney presumably wears; the article illuminates a fascinating byway of religious belief and a likely reason for its origin. Joseph Smith was a strange man. His translation of Egyptian hieroglyphics is well documented: In 1835, when hieroglyphics were still unreadable, he used the “Urim and Thummim” seer stones he earlier used to translate the Book of Mormon (though perhaps he used a single chocolate-colored stone he found in 1822 and used for treasure-hunting) to translate a papyrus scroll. He found it to be written by Abraham. He provided his translation to one Chandler, who owned the scrolls. The scrolls were thought to have been lost in the great Chicago fire of 1871.

But in 1966 the scrolls were found in the vaults of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and since hieroglyphics can now be read, another translation was done. Quelle surprise! The “translation” done by Smith was so far off the mark it was as if he had just made it up. Apparently the stone(s) were quite unreliable.

To my mind, this calls into question the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. To Mormons, it does not. More details can be found here.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2012 at 8:02 am

Posted in Religion

Extreme weather events

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The NY Times ran an article by John Eligon and Marc Santora yesterday about the record-setting heatwave across the US, which has buckled train tracks due to rail expansion. From the article:

. . . Around the region, corn and soybean crops shriveled from the heat and the lack of rain. In the hardest hit and hottest areas, some farmers said they had already given up on their cornfields for the season. Others say much is riding on whether the heat subsides and rain arrives in the next few days, a crucial period for corn pollination.

“There’s vast uncertainty,” said Bob Nielsen, a professor of agronomy at Purdue. “There aren’t many years, though, when I get this pessimistic.” [Food crops are starting to go – LG]

Meteorologists said the recent hot streak, though not unprecedented, was unusual because of how early in the summer it struck and its duration.

The prolonged heat has been the result of a high pressure system that has set up over the central and Eastern parts of the country, said Katie Garrett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The system has been so strong that it has kept storm systems from moving in and has prevented cold fronts that usually provide relief from sweeping through. At the same time, moisture and heat from the Gulf of Mexico have been blowing into the Upper Midwest, Ms. Garrett said. . .

What’s strange is that global warming is not even mentioned. I do not believe that denial is a constructive approach to the problem. I would like to see something like this paragraph from an Amy Goodman article:

Add drought to fire and violent thunderstorms. According to Dr. Jeff Masters, one of the few meteorologists who frequently makes the connection between extreme weather and climate change, “across the entire Continental U.S., 72 percent of the land area was classified as being in dry or drought conditions” last week. “We’re going to be seeing a lot more weather like this, a lot more impacts like we’re seeing from this series of heat waves, fires and storms. … This is just the beginning.”

In other words, we’re now seeing the best of what is to come: overall, it will never be better than it is now, though of course there will be ups and downs—and winter still will be cold. But our media simply will not make the connection—the better, I suppose, to continue the course we’re going. You can see why I despair. Once our food is gone, we’re not far behind.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2012 at 7:23 am

Auto-reformat Web articles for easier reading: Readability (free)

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Very cool.

Get it here. It’s free.

UPDATE: Some serious issues with Readability: rip-off artists, I see. I have been using Instapaper.com, which puts a button in my browser “Send to Kindle” and will also save articles (i.e., titles and links) on my page at Instapaper.com, so I can easily return to the article. I found Readability only this morning, and based on the information at the link, I’ll return to Instapaper for when I want the article, and use Readability only for on-screen formatting.

Thanks to John Anthony Grigutis for pointing this out. (See comment.)

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2012 at 7:11 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

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