Later On

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

Archive for October 19th, 2019

Aligot

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Watch the video (1 min 42 sec), then make the recipe.

Then watch this one… (5 minutes, and here you need sound)

Scroll down on each for printed recipe.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 October 2019 at 5:10 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes, Video

What a difference a day makes—24 little hours (Tempeh division)

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The start:

After 24 little hours:

And here it is after 48 hours:

I will let it go another 3 hours, and then I need the oven, so I’m calling it done. The Eldest suggested an idea for part of this batch: chili. 🙂

Written by LeisureGuy

19 October 2019 at 2:33 pm

What does it mean for chicken meat to be “white” or “dark”?

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Ada McVean has an interesting note at the McGill Office for Science and Society a couple of years back:

Why is chicken breast white and dark meat dark?  It all has to do with different kinds of muscle.  Dark meat is a result of the predominant presence of slow oxidative muscle fibres used for sustained activity by active muscles such as found in the legs and thighs.  These fibres have a continuous rich supply of oxygen and generate low levels of force over long periods of time.  They contain high levels of a protein called myoglobin that helps facilitate oxygen transport from the blood.  This iron-rich, red-pigmented protein, when cooked, turns into metmyoglobin and is what gives dark meat its colour.  By contrast, fast glycolytic muscle fibres are mainly found in chicken breast and other muscle regions that are not used actively.  These muscle fibres lack myoglobin but are capable of generating a large force over a short time span.

This explains why duck, goose, and squab have dark meat for the breast: those birds fly, so they use their breast muscles much more than do chickens (and domestic turkeys), which just flap their wings from time to time.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 October 2019 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Science

Atatiana Jefferson was a victim of law-and-order rhetoric

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Radley Balko writes in the Washington Post:

Last Saturday, a neighbor in Fort Worth called the city’s non-emergency line because he was concerned about his neighbors, 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson and her 8-year-old nephew. It was the middle of the night, but her front door was open. The dispatcher sent police officers, who appear to have treated the call as a reported burglary. While searching the perimeter of the house, Officer Aaron Dean saw a figure in the window. Without announcing himself, he yelled “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” Two seconds later, he fired his gun, killing Jefferson in her own home.

The Fort Worth Police Department released a photo of a gun they claimed to have found in Jefferson’s house, a clear attempt to head off criticism. As of yet, there’s no indication that Jefferson was holding the gun when she was shot. And, of course, even if she had been, there’s nothing illegal about having a gun in your home in Texas. If Jefferson had been holding it, it was likely because she saw men with flashlights prowling around outside her home.

In June, just a few months before Jefferson’s death, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit refused to dismiss a lawsuit against another Fort Worth police officer. In that case, the police were responding to a burglary call, but went to the wrong house. When homeowner Jerry Waller saw activity outside his house, he grabbed a gun and went out to see what was going on — and then ran into a Fort Worth police officer. According to police, the officer ordered Waller to drop his gun. He put it down on a car, but then reached for it again, at which time the officer fatally shot him. The police narrative makes little sense. Waller was on his own property, and did nothing wrong. It’s hard to fathom why he would knowingly try to kill a police officer. The police narrative also doesn’t quite fit the wound patterns on Waller’s hands, which appear to be inconsistent with someone holding a gun.

No reasonable person would suggest that either of these officers started their shifts intending to kill someone. Nor would any reasonable person suggest that then-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger went home from work intending to kill Botham Jean. You can say the same for the Southaven, Miss., police who responded to the wrong house, then shot and killed Ismael Lopez in his own home. Or for the Florida officers who shot and killed Andrew Scott, also after responding to the wrong house. Same for the officers who killed David HooksJason Wescott and Andrew Finch. And those who killed Terence CrutcherPhilando Castille and Stephon Clark.

In fact, if we could somehow read the minds of all the officers involved in these cases, I wouldn’t be surprised if we learned that all of them sincerely feared for their safety. The problem is that not one of them was actually in any danger. Nor were the countless officers who shot someone (usually a black male) after claiming to have seen a suspect reaching for his waistband — only to discover the suspect was unarmed. There have even been cases in which a police officer shot a fellow undercover officer, then claimed to have sincerely feared for his safety.

The law permits the police officers to use lethal force if they have a reasonable fear for their safety or for the safety of others. Courts have consistently held that, when considering the potential liability of a police shooting, we should consider only the facts known to the officer at the time. That’s understandable. We can’t hold police officers accountable for information they didn’t have.

But reasonable isn’t the same thing as legitimate or accurate. And if police officers are seeing threats where there clearly are none, it makes sense to start asking why.

This is where the rhetoric of police groups and their supporters comes in. Law enforcement advocates such as the National Rifle Association, police unions, conservative politicians and, of course, President Trump regularly tell us there’s a “war on cops.” They describe police work with words usually reserved for the battlefield. They fuel the mistaken belief that relatively rare incidents such as roadside ambushes are common. They equate criticism and oversight of police with violence. And they cite small increases in the number of police fatalities year to year with percentages without providing the proper context — that violence against law enforcement has dropped to the point where even small increases look large when expressed as percentages.

One could argue that some of this would be harmless if its only effect was an excess of caution — if it made police officers more careful, led to more spending on gear like bulletproof vests, or caused more cooperation with police to solve violent crimes. But deaths such as Atatiana Jefferson’s show that the effects of such demagoguery are far more pernicious. We tell officers they can use lethal force when their fear is reasonable, but we then define “reasonable” down by falsely telling them that present-day America is a war zone, that protest and criticism is violence, that danger lurks around every corner. It creates a false reality where almost any use of force seems reasonable. This is a problem for everyone, but it’s compounded for black people, given the ample evidence that people of all races tend to disproportionately fear and see criminality in blacks — especially black men.

The NRA, in particular, has amplified the “war on cops” rhetoric, likely because it counts a lot of law enforcement officers among its members. But, as the cases above illustrate, legal gun owners should be more worried about this than anyone. An armed populace patrolled by hair-trigger police officers is a recipe for tragedy — and it’s all the worse if those officers have been conditioned to see threats where none exist. We’re all human. We will all make mistakes. Police officers will be sent to the wrong house. Some people will have mental-health crises. Someone will mistake the police officers outside his home for criminal intruders. Such incidents shouldn’t end in death. They too often do.

The “war on cops” rhetoric perverts the mental calculations officers make in these volatile moments by weighting them toward violence. When you’re inundated with messages that you’re perpetually under attack, every gesture starts to look furtive, every twitch looks like a killer reaching for his waistband. And when officers make these sorts of mistakes, we tend to reward them for their courage, which only reinforces the “shoot first” state of mind.

But often, courage is holding your fire. Courage is absorbing the risk of waiting an extra moment or two to gather more information before making a decision that may well save yourself but could also do irreparable harm to an innocent person. Courage is taking the extra seconds to learn that the “gun” you feared is actually a toy, or a cellphone, or a video-game controller. Or that . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 October 2019 at 11:49 am

Democrats still cannot level with voters about the American empire

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Jon Schwartz writes at the Intercept:

IN THE PAST few years, the Democratic Party has started dealing with reality on domestic policy. Largely thanks to leadership from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, actual solutions to actual problems are now on the agenda: Medicare for All, a big minimum wage hike, a Green New Deal, and the most radical, important idea — changes in who runs corporations.

Unfortunately, the presidential debate in Ohio on Tuesday night showed that Democrats are still a million miles away from reality on foreign policy.

Thanks to President Donald Trump’s recent green light to Turkey to invade northern Syria and assault the Kurds there, the debate contained an unusual amount of discussion about foreign policy.

That was the upside. The downside was that almost all of the discussion was totally specious, because no one on stage wanted to tell Americans the awful truth. That truth is, first, that the grim reality in Syria available for viewing via Twitter videos is the climax of decades of bipartisan foreign policy. And second, by this point the only choices available are either wretched or horrible or both.

The worst offenders were South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and former Vice President Joe Biden. But even Sanders and Warren came nowhere near the honesty of their domestic policies.

Buttigieg delivered an ode to an imaginary America, proclaiming that “when I was deployed, I knew one of the things keeping me safe was the fact that the flag on my shoulder represented a country known to keep its word. And our allies knew it and our enemies knew it.” In reality, of course, the U.S. has — like all powerful countries throughout history — continually betrayed allies whenever necessary. We’ve previously betrayed the Kurds alone seven times. This particular betrayal was inevitable, although a more competent president could have kept it smaller and quieter.

Meanwhile, Booker declared that Trump is “turning the moral leadership of this country into a dumpster fire.” As the Kurds or the Cherokee, Filipinos, Vietnamese, or many others would be happy to tell you, this glorious moral leadership is something that exists mostly on the op-ed pages of the New York Times and Washington Post.

For his part, Biden said that Trump throwing the Kurds to the wolves is “the most shameful thing any president has done in modern history.” Of course, as bad as it is, it’s far less shameful than many other U.S. actions — including the Iraq War, for which Biden voted. In terms of the Kurds specifically, it is at least to date less shameful than the Clinton administration’s fervent support in the 1990s for Turkey’s slaughter of tens of thousands of Kurds. One of the key defenders of that policy was then-State Department spokesperson Nicholas Burns, who is now a top adviser to Biden’s campaign.

Sanders said little about Syria, mostly just echoing Buttigieg’s concern about the rest of the world losing trust in America. By contrast, Warren and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard dipped their toes into the complicated truth before scurrying away.

Warren said, “I don’t think we should have troops in the Middle East. But we have to do it the right way, the smart way.” This sounds great, but what is this right, smart way? When even Noam Chomsky wants U.S. troops to stay in Syria, it’s a little tricky.

Gabbard did aggressively challenge standard U.S. foreign policy blather. She decried “this regime change war” in Syria and mentioned the unfortunate facts about “the U.S. actually providing arms in support to terrorist groups in Syria, like Al Qaida, HTS, al-Nusra and others.”

What Gabbard didn’t say is that, by this point, any plausible exit by the U.S. will be extraordinarily ugly, with the Assad regime brutally reestablishing control over Syria. The U.S. certainly bears some of the blame for that, as Gabbard said. But she did not mention that Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are also responsible for the past, present, and future carnage. Most importantly, she did not mention the much larger context for what’s happening.

And it’s that context that Democrats must get comfortable talking about, if they ever want to deal with the reality of U.S. foreign policy. Any politician brave enough to do that Tuesday night would have had to say something like this:

Look, the U.S. is the center of the most powerful empire that’s ever existed. We’re not . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 October 2019 at 11:12 am

How beards put a brave face on threatened masculinity

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Interesting idea that being clean-shaven shows a man doesn’t feel his masculinity is threatened—with the corresponding idea that growing a great bushy beard is protesting too much. Christopher R Oldstone-Moore, a senior lecturer at Wright State University, where he focuses on gender and masculinity and author of Of Beards and Men: The Revealing History of Facial Hair (2015), writes in Aeon:

In the West, for many centuries, shaving has identified a good man properly oriented to a higher order, whether divine or political. Defying this regulation meant being ostracised. But on occasion, a general reorganisation of masculine norms has interrupted the shaving-respectability regime.

Alexander the Great established shaving as the ideal in Greco-Roman civilisation when he imitated classical depictions of eternally youthful gods. Though there was a brief resurgence of beards inspired by Roman emperors, the Alexandrian style held well beyond the Empire’s fall. In medieval centuries, men of the Church made the tonsured head and shaved face marks of holiness and goodness, going so far as to inscribe these practices into canon law. Laymen followed suit, cutting back their beards to be worthy in the sight of God and man. After Renaissance men embraced hairy nature over holy shaving, beards were again curtailed by new codes of gentility enforced by royal courts, which had effectively replaced the Church as guardians of the moral order.

The breakdown of the clean-shaven order in the middle of the 19th century offers a valuable comparison with our own day. At that time, men on both sides of the Atlantic had new reasons to boast, but to also feel uneasy, about their status as men. Revolutions in Europe and the United States declared the rights of man, investing power in a sex, rather than a class. This gave men reason to assert their manhood with pride and, as one might expect, the most radical republicans and socialists were also the most enthusiastically bearded. By the middle of the century, the decline of radicalism uncoupled the link between radicalism and facial hair, allowing men of all classes and persuasions to assert their manly pride. No one expressed this new spirit more vibrantly than Walt Whitman, whose 1855 hymn to physical vitality, ‘Song of Myself’, declared ‘Washes and razors for foofoos … for me freckles and a bristling beard.’ Copies of the poem were sold with a full-length drawing of the poet, to show him true to his word.

As Whitman suggested, beards were liberating and empowering, and were accordingly embraced by men of every rank, from patricians to day labourers. Behind this pride, however, there was an undercurrent of worry. Even as the male sex was granted higher political status, masculine dominance was challenged by nascent feminism in both the private and public spheres. This challenge reinforced men’s determination to abandon razors. Those who championed beards praised them for establishing an unimpeachable physical contrast between men and women that demonstrates male superiority. The authors of a manifesto for facial hair, written in 1853, argued that nature assigned to women ‘attributes of grace heightened by physical weakness’, and to man ‘attributes of dignity and strength’. Men’s work, they insisted, is outdoors in wind and weather, and nature provides them suitable protection. Women’s work is of a different order.

The problem with this line of argument was that, even in the 1850s, the London journalists who penned these words were hardly outdoorsmen in need of beards to guard them from the tempests of Fleet Street. Yet this was precisely the appeal of the beard to urban men both then and now. Disconnection from nature and the increasing irrelevance of physical strength, along with the gradual rise of women in public life, threatened to destabilise common understandings of manliness at the very moment when manhood had achieved new political status. Facial hair served as a tangible symbol of gender difference that was in danger of becoming intangible. It is fair to say that a beard made the man.

Like the 1850s, today there is a renewed gender uncertainty that erupts in peaceful times when older constructions of manliness lose relevance. Then as now, war was limited and distant, and not available as a universal definition of masculine purpose. In the 1850s, the athletic ideal was in its infancy. In our time, sports have become so pervasive that they have begun to lose their specific association with masculinity. Even more than in the 1850s, it has proven difficult to police the boundary between the masculine and the feminine. Politics, business, sports, war, even masculinity itself, are no longer unchallenged male preserves. People born female are asserting their claim to be men, whether altered by surgery or not. Still others are declaring they have no sex or gender at all. Some men have navigated this fluid environment with remarkable aplomb. David Beckham openly embraces his ‘feminine’, fashion-conscious side, while at the same time always sporting a masculinising beard. With facial hair, he can have an effective physical presentation of contemporary manliness.

As they did in the 1850s, men of every region, race, class and political persuasion are again growing beards to declare the reality of masculinity, as well as their own masculine identity. While there is diminished confidence . . .

Continue reading.

From the very beginning of his book:

One thing is certain: changes in facial hair are never simply a matter of fashion. The power of beards and mustaches to make personal and political statements is such that, even in the “land of the free,” they are subject to administrative and corporate control. That Americans do not have a legal right to grow beards or mustaches as they choose was confirmed by the Supreme Court’s 1976 ruling in Kelley v. Johnson, which upheld employers’ authority to dictate grooming standards to their employees. Such infringements of freedom are a strong hint that something more than style is at stake. In fact, beard history fails to reveal fashion cycles at all, presenting instead slower, seismic shifts dictated by deeper social forces that shape and reshape ideals of manliness. Whenever masculinity is redefined, facial hairstyles change to suit. The history of men is literally written on their faces.

Judith Butler, one of the luminaries of gender studies, has argued that our words, actions, and bodies are not simply expressions of ourselves; they are the way we form ourselves as men and women. Our identities, in other words, are made and remade by what we do and say.2 [In other words, our identities are constructed from a selection of memes. – LG] In this sense, cutting or shaping facial hair has always been an important means not just to express manliness but to be men. Society enforces approved forms of masculine personality by regulating facial hair. We arrive, then, at the first principle of beard history: the face is an index of variations in manliness. As religions, nations, and movements formulate specific values and norms, they deploy hair, as well as other symbols, to proclaim these ideals to the world. When disputes arise about contrasting models of masculinity, different treatments of facial hair may indicate where one’s loyalties lie.

The idea that facial hair is a matter of personal choice remains popular despite abundant evidence to the contrary. Choosing to wear a beard in modern America, for example, can still get you drummed out of the military, fired from a job, disqualified in a boxing match, eliminated from political contention, or even labeled a terrorist. This reality relates to the second principle of beard history: facial hair is political. Because ideas of proper manliness are bound up with social and political authority, any symbol of masculinity carries political and moral significance. This explains why facial hair has the power to outrage and why it is subject to social controls.

Another misconception holds that shaving or not shaving is a matter of convenience, and that developments in razor technology explain the prevalence of smooth chins over the past century. The truth is quite different. Shaving is as old as civilization itself, and the absence of modern conveniences has never prevented societies from taking advantage of the symbolic power of removing hair. We arrive, then, at the third principle of beard history: the language of facial hair is built on the contrast of shaved and unshaved. Using this basic distinction, and its many variations, Western societies have constructed a visual vocabulary of personality and social allegiance.

I’m going to find this book very interesting. I had a beard for three decades, and the Aeon article has caused me to consider why: was I defending my beleaguered masculinity?

I don’t think so. I really did hate to shave, so as soon as I got away from small-town Oklahoma to college in the East, I grew a beard. In those days having a beard was uncommon, so that when I went home I had to endure comments about my having joined the House of David basketball team. (And those rather modest beards shown in the photo were shocking to small-town Oklahoma at the time.)

Reading the essay made me delve for other reasons for my not shaving other than hating it, and I do recognize that my (somewhat domineering) mother hated my having a beard, so there’s that. But I truly did hate shaving, and only when I started shaving again for my new job responsibilities did I consider figuring out how to make it something I enjoy. And even now, when I am retired with no need to shave, I still begin each morning with that pleasurable ritual which, in my experience, has a very positive cumulative effect.

So for me, I believe it’s more that I’m drawn to the pleasures of shaving than I’m focused on issues regarding masculinity. And, as I note in the book, the pleasures go beyond the simple sensual pleasures of the shave: there’s the appeal of the gadgetry, for example.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 October 2019 at 9:49 am

Posted in Books, Daily life, Shaving

The excellent Parker slant and Bathhouse aftershave with lather by D.R. Harris

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D.R. Harris always makes a great lather, and this morning was no exception, thanks in part to the Maggard Razors 22mm synthetic shown. And I have to say I love the Parker slant (which they call a “semi-slant,” presumably to make it less frightening to the inexperienced shaver—but it is a slant, and quite a good one), though on the whole I think I would like the plain handle’s appearance better than the graphite handle shown.

Three passes and a BBS result, and then a good splash of Bathhouse witch-hazel-based aftershave, which has the very interesting ingredients shown. Unfortunately, they no longer make it, but then they never did: they sourced it from a supply company, from which you can buy a gallon for $34.30—either a lifetime supply or the first step in an excellent DIY collection of Christmas presents. They even have a suggestion on how to proceed:

Private Label Tip

To enhance with essential or fragrance oils, combine preferred oils with a 1:1 ratio of Polysorbate 20 at 0.25%-0.75% of your final product’s weight. Start small and build from there, as you cannot remove fragrance if you add too much.

Formula: Product Weight x Percent you are scenting at = Amount of essential oil to add to your formulation.

Example: 104 oz. x .25% = 0.26 oz.

Package true to your brand’s aesthetic in a cosmo or boston round bottle with a narrow mouth for ease of use.

You can print your own labels and Bob’s your uncle: nifty Xmas gifts.

The ingredients are shown on the label, but from the link, two versions:

Common Names:
Organic Aloe Leaf Juice, Phenoxyethanol, Witch Hazel Water, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, DMAE Bitartrate, Glycerin, Organic Alcohol, Organic Sugar Cane Extract, Organic Bilberry Fruit Extract, Organic Sugar Maple Extract, Organic Orange Peel Extract, Organic Lemon Peel Extract, Organic Cranberry Fruit Extract, Organic White Willow Bark Extract, Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Bergamot Peel Oil, Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Roman Chamomile Flower Oil, German Chamomile Flower Oil, Geranium Oil, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 80, Organic Alcohol, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate
 
International Nomenclature:
Organic Aloe Leaf Juice (Aloe Barbadensis), Phenoxyethanol, Witch Hazel Water (Hamamelis Virginiana), Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, DMAE Bitartrate (Dimethylaminoethanol Bitartrate), Glycerin, Organic Alcohol, Organic Sugar Cane Extract (Saccharum Officinarum), Organic Bilberry Fruit Extract (Vaccinium Myrtillus), Organic Sugar Maple Extract (Acer Saccharinum), Organic Orange Peel Extract (Citrus Sinensis), Organic Lemon Peel Extract (Citrus Limon), Organic Cranberry Fruit Extract (Vaccinium Macrocarpon), Organic White Willow Bark Extract (Salix Alba), Tea Tree Leaf Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia), Bergamot Peel Oil (Citrus Bergamia), Tea Tree Leaf Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia), Roman Chamomile Flower Oil (Anthemis Nobilis), German Chamomile Flower Oil (Chamomilla Recutita), Geranium Oil (Pelargonium Graveolens), Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 80, Organic Alcohol, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate
It’s quite a nice aftershave. Bathhouse doesn’t seem to have added any fragrance, but I think I would go with lavender.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 October 2019 at 9:36 am

Posted in Shaving

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