Later On

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

Archive for January 15th, 2013

Chinese-themed GOPM

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It’s easier to make a GOPM with a theme in mind. Here’s tonights:

Wipe out 2-qt Staub round cocotte with olive oil. Add in layers, bottom up:

1/2 c converted rice
2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
3 lage shallots, chopped (had planned on leek, but leeks awful)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken legs, cut into chunks (3/4 lb)
probably 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce, spread over the chicken
1/3 c roasted unsalted peanuts
fill pot with broccoli florets
1 Meyer lemon, sliced thinly and not peeled

The pour-over:

1.5 Tbsp sesame oil
1.5 Tbsp rice vinegar
1.5 Tbsp ponzu sauce
1.5 Tbsp sherry
2 tsp gochujang sauce or 2 tsp Dijon mustard, your choice.

Shake vigorously in a little jar and pour over. Cover pot.

It will cook 45 minutes in 450ºF oven.

I’ll update with The Wife’s verdict.

UPDATE: The Wife and I agree: very good indeed. The lemon came out terrific, as did broccoli, chicken, etc. I’ll be making it a second time tomorrow or the day after.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 January 2013 at 5:57 pm

Posted in Food, GOPM, Recipes

Prize-winning scotch whisky from… Waco, TX??

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Written by LeisureGuy

15 January 2013 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Drinks

The aggressive promotion of ignorance

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I’m constantly amazed at how many people oppose knowledge that might undermine their (incorrect) opinions. Aristotle was wrong in thinking “All men by nature desire to know,” for a good number desire not only to remain ignorant but to make sure no one else gains knowledge. I refer, of course, to the bastion of ignorance, the Right. Take a look at this article by Elspeth Reeve in The Atlantic Wire:

President Obama is looking at issuing 19 executive actions on gun control, and while gun enthusiasts fear a gun ban that can’t happen by executive order, there is one proposal that should make the gun lobby plenty nervous: allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research gun violence. The possibilities to emerge from Vice President Joe Biden’s gun commission, as The New York Times catalogs them, appear to mostly involve steps like more background checks on gun buyers or making it easier for federal agencies to share mental health and gun records. They are mostly small ways that Obama can, without needing Congressional approval, keep bad guys from getting guns. But there’s one very big, and potentially momentous measure that Obama can achieve with an executive order: by allowing the CDC to conduct research on guns, we’d know more about what happens when good guys have guns.

Despite the fears of some genuine gun nuts threatening civil war, Obama can’t issue a gun-grabbing executive order. An assault weapons ban would have to go through Congress. Biden’s proposals will mostly involve better enforcement of existing laws, which are supposed to keep legal guns out of the hands of criminals. Which is popular! No one wants bad guys to have guns. Bad guys do bad things with guns.

But what the gun lobby wants is more good guys — normal average citizens like teachers and movie theater patrons — to have more guns. That is why it has been fighting since the mid-1990s to block any science that might show the costs of lots of good guys having lots of guns might outweigh the benefits.

In 1996, some members of Congress tried to completely defund the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, which was doing gun research, Live Science explains. Instead, lawmakers stripped $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget — the exact amount it had spent on gun injury research the year before. Congress forbade research that might “advocate or promote gun control.” In 2003, Kansas Rep. Todd Tiahrt forbid the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from giving researchers data about guns used in crime. Last year, the National Institutes of Health was blocked from funding gun research. The efforts have had impressive results. According to a letter to Biden signed by 100 researchers, the NIH has funded just three studies on gun injuries in the last 40 years. Hey, that’s three whole studies, right? Hardly censorship! Well, the researchers point out that guns have killed 4 million people since 1973, while four infectious diseases have killed just 2,000 — and the NIH has funded almost 500 studies on them. The letter protests that “legislative language has the effect of discouraging the funding of well-crafted scientific studies.”

This was a direct result of National Rifle Association lobbying, NPR’s Carrie Johnson explains. Former Emory University researcher Art Kellermann told NPR that while at Emory, he found that a gun kept at home was 43 times more likely to be used in the death of a member of the household than it was to be used to defend the household from a bad guy. The National Rifle Association pressured Emory to stop Kellermann’s research, but it didn’t. Kellermann told NPR, . . .

Continue reading.

The eagerness with which these Congressmen thrust their own heads into the sand while simultaneously trying to ensure that others cannot see is hard to reconcile with any desire whatsoever to know anything. (Of course, some are already claiming that the Newton massacre is a hoax and a conspiracy—ignorance is popular nowadays.)

Written by LeisureGuy

15 January 2013 at 1:59 pm

Posted in Congress, GOP, Government, Guns

Rapes in India: The cost of social change?

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I find it hard to stomach, that change in a social system must trigger violence, but that’s the thesis of this interesting article in Alternet by Lynn Stuart Parramore:

A cow, the symbol of all living things in India, may wander the streets unmolested. A woman, on the other hand, may not. Just weeks after the horrific gang rape in New Delhi that left a student dead and a nation protesting widespread violence against women, we learn of two more brutal attacks against women who were doing nothing more than traveling from one place to another.

Over the weekend, a village woman was gang-raped by seven men [3] after boarding a bus in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab state. A second woman who got off a Delhi-bound train in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar state (one of India’s most backward), was gang-raped, murdered and her body strung from a tree in a mango orchard [4].

Women in the U.S. are certainly no strangers to violence, but most of us walk out the door with reasonable assurance that we will reach our destination. The ferocity of the attacks in India, combined with the indifferent responses of public officials, makes the heart lurch and the mind reel. It is not enough for the women to be raped. They must be tortured; their bodies dumped like trash or displayed as macabre trophies — and then perhaps blamed for the violence. Hatred so fierce seems irrational and inscrutable. Women have always been the targets of male attacks, but in India today, what could be causing it to boil over into mayhem?

Looking back a few hundred years in Western history may offer us some clues to the riddle of what’s wrong in India. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 January 2013 at 12:12 pm

Posted in Daily life, Government

Group loyalty

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I’ve been uneasy at this column by Stephen Asma in the NY Times ever since I read it. The passage that disturbed me is a portion of the column where he discusses the futility of trying to extend a feeling of care beyond a relatively small circle (friends, family, and groups with which one identifies). The crucial passage is about the virtues of loyalty:

Cultivating loyalty is no small thing. George Orwell, for example, considered preferential loyalty to be the “essence of being human.” Critiquing Gandhi’s recommendation — that we must have no close friendships or exclusive loves because these will introduce loyalty and favoritism, preventing us from loving everyone equally — Orwell retorted that “the essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty … and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one’s love upon other human individuals.”

In general we have circles of favorites (family, friends, allies) and we mutually protect one another, even when such devotion disadvantages us personally. But the interesting thing about loyalty is that it ignores both merit-based fairness and equality-based fairness. It’s not premised on optimal conditions. You need to have my back, even when I’m sometimes wrong. You need to have my back, even when I sometimes screw up the job. And I have to extend the same loyalty to you. That kind of pro-social risky virtue happens more among favorites.

This seems to argue that the actions of covering up for the “wrong” behavior of Jerry Sandusky out of loyalty to Penn State and/or its football program is virtuous, or the Catholic hierarchy is protecting the pedophile priests because of their loyalty to the Church. It excuses the “blue wall of silence” that protects misbehavior—even criminal behavior—by fellow police officers (and the vicious persecution of those in the force who expose such behavior). On a larger scal, it makes racism a virtue, and nationalism as well.

I somehow don’t believe that he’s thought this through very well.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 January 2013 at 11:40 am

Posted in Daily life

Extremely fine shave with Groom Room soap and the Super

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SOTD 15 Jan 2013

I received a complimentary tub of the soap from Razor Emporium. I have been fond of two other soaps made by, Sweet Gale (“Enriched and fragranced with Bog Myrtle, Natural honey, Mixed spices, Cedarwood, Beeswax and Aberfeldy Single Malt Scotch Whisky”) and Scottish Heather. The Mountain Yew soap has a similarly entrancing fragrance, in this case “Juniper, Cajeput, Mixed Spices, Natural Honey, Cypress and Fir”, and the evergreen and honey odors blend very nicely (to my nose, at any rate).

The lather was generous, thanks in part to the wonderful G.B. Kent BK4: a lovely soft brush that makes a great lather and feel like a warm cloud on the face. This is day 2 of the week trial of “with” The Shave Den’s Pre-Shave Balm, and the shave went well. I’m settling into it now, and I’m getting accustomed. The test will be when I switch to “without.”

My short-handled Gillette Super Adjustable with a Swedish Gillette blade did a fine job, but I’m sort of thinking that I like the longer handle—somehow this one seemed a little head-heavy today. I’ll have to try the other tomorrow.

A fine splash of Aquarius aftershave in honor of the sign we’re in, and I’m fit for the day.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 January 2013 at 11:01 am

Posted in Shaving

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