Later On

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

Archive for December 7th, 2019

The No-Meat Athlete

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Interesting site with lots of material. From the site:

For your health, for the environment, or for the animals, there are plenty of good reasons to start eating a plant-based diet.

The question, of course, is how to get there… and how to make it last.

Some can make the transition “cold turkey,” so to speak. But in my experience and what I’ve seen with others, that’s not the best way to make a lasting change.

Instead, take small steps. For me, that meant eliminating four-legged animals from my diet for several months, then two-legged animals, and finally fish, before transitioning to vegan over the next two years.

The small steps help prevent overwhelm and getting in over your head. Plus it allows you time to find the answers to the countless questions you likely have about going vegan.

But still, there should be a method to your small steps. One that has a clear path for progress so you never get stuck, confused, or unmotivated.

That’s why we created 80/20 Plants, our smart approach to going plant-based and losing weight in a way that works for your specific lifestyle.

But if you’re not there yet, the links below represent several of our most popular articles on how to go vegan. Below that, you’ll find an entire “How to Go Plant-Based” course, including videos, FAQs, a sample meal plan, and more.

Getting Started with a Plant-Based Diet

The Most Laid-Back Guide to Going Vegetarian You’ll Ever Read

7 Steps to Eating Less Meat Now

50 Fantastic Resources for New Vegetarians

Veg-Curious? Don’t Be Fooled by These 7 Myths About a Vegetarian Diet

9 Essential Cookbooks for the Plant-Based Athlete

How to Go Plant Based (When Your Partner Won’t)

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went Vegan

Meeting Your Nutritional Needs

Vegan Meal Plan

Vitamin B12 and the Case For (and Against) A Plant-Based Diet

Protein: A Primer for Vegetarians

The Vegetarian Athlete Diet

What Every Vegetarian Needs to Know About Iron

Protein for Vegetarians — A Simple Guide to Getting What You Need

The Vegetarian Athlete Diet

The Only Healthy Eating Guide You’ll Ever Need

Are You Getting the Nutrients You Need from Your Plant-Based Diet?

Making It Work in the Real World

How to Eat Healthy When You Just Can’t Find the Time

Warning: 8 Common Foods You Thought Were Vegetarian

25+ Tips for Eating Vegetarian While Traveling (from the People Who Know Best)

Grocery Hacks — 6 Money-Saving Tips for the Vegetarian Athlete on a Budget

7 Ways to Simplify Your Meal Planning

The Healthy (But Practical) Plant-Based Diet: A Typical Day

10 Vegetarian Lunches You Can Make at Work

24 Tasty, Healthy Vegetarian Snacks

A One-Month Plan to Go Vegan (and Make It Last)

In this course, we’re focusing on a topic that a surprising number of our community members identified as important: transitioning to a completely vegetarian or vegan diet (or removing the remaining processed foods from your diet).

To accomplish this, first select which of these three tracks best applies to your situation:

Track 1: Omnivore to Vegan

Track 2: Vegetarian to Vegan

Track 3: Vegetarian/Vegan to Whole-Food, Plant-Based

The video and article content below will integrate these and apply to all of the tracks, but of course your weekly actions will differ. . .

Continue reading.

I would strongly recommend skipping the Vegan step and going directly to Whole-Food Plant-Based. Both the Vegan diet and the Whole-Food Plant-Based diet are plant-based, which excludes meat, dairy, and eggs, but unlike the Began diet, the WFPB diet is restricted to whole foods and thus specifically excludes refined foods such as refined sugar and foods that contain it, foods made from flour, and fruit juice (though whole fruit is fine). Moreover, the WFPB diet excludes product foods manufactured using industrial processes from refined ingredients with a variety of additives and sold packaged under a brand name: imitation “bacon,” imitation “sausage,” imitation “burger,” imitation “cheese,” bottled salad dressings, and so on. Refined/processed product foods are particularly to be avoided if you’re trying to lose weight.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 December 2019 at 1:34 pm

A Top Cop Accused of Racism Forces Austin to Confront Bias in Law Enforcement

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Michael Barajas writes in Texas Observer:

In late October, Assistant Chief Justin Newsom abruptly resigned from the Austin Police Department after 23 years on the force. Newsom, who oversaw the department’s downtown operations, quit the same day someone filed an anonymous complaint accusing him of using racial slurs: to refer to black officers, a fellow assistant chief who was black, a black city council member, and even Barack Obama when the president landed in Austin. According to the complaint—filed with the city’s Office of Police Monitor—the department’s leaders, including Police Chief Brian Manley, “were made aware of AC Newsom using the extremely derogatory term ‘nigger’ and failed to report it for investigation or review.”

The notion that an openly racist cop could rise to the top of the department has led to soul searching in Austin, a city with outwardly progressive politics but a history of racist policing. After Newsom’s departure, other complaints within the Austin Police Department started to surface. African American officers decried the lack of diversity within APD leadership; one complaint claims Manley approved of APD’s chief of staff forcing a family member into “conversion therapy” (the abusive and pseudoscientific practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation); another assistant chief stands accused of disparaging Latinx officers.

At a meeting Thursday night, Austin city council members said the fallout from Newsom’s resignation had shaken their faith in the department. With a unanimous vote, they ordered an audit of the department’s cadet training materials and an outside investigation to root out “racism and other discriminatory attitudes, training, protocols, or procedures” at APD.

Austin isn’t the only Texas city where trust between police and communities of color has frayed over the past year. In October, African American community leaders in Fort Worth called for a federal investigation into the police killings of black citizens after a white cop shot Atatiana Jefferson, a black woman, killing her in her home. “This is historic and it’s systemic and we understand that racism is at the heart of this,” Kyev Tatum, a Fort Worth pastor, said at a news conference after Jefferson’s death. “We have lost trust in our police department.”

Jefferson’s death occurred just weeks after former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who’s white, was tried and convicted of murdering Botham Jean, an unarmed black man she gunned down in his own apartment after mistaking it for her own. While the shooting reignited calls for greater police oversight, the trial this fall underscored Dallas’ trust issues with law enforcement; among other things, prosecutors pointed to racist texts and Pinterest posts in which Guyger joked about killing people.

The revelations in Guyger’s trial followed other evidence of bias among cops in North Texas. This summer, the Plainview Project published a database of social media posts by police officers in Dallas, Denison, and other cities, which included Islamophobic comments, racist stereotypes, and jokes about police violence. At the time, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall announced an investigation into more than two dozen police officers, but her office couldn’t provide an update on those cases when asked this week. Denison officials said one officer was issued a written reprimand while others were “appropriately counseled.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 December 2019 at 8:36 am

Fresh (winter) bamboo shoot

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I’m cooking a melange today, and this bamboo shoot (and some of its leaves) are going to be in the mix. Fresh bamboo shoots are new to me, but very nice. The interior is green rather than the pale yellow of canned bamboo shoots, though that might be because those are spring bamboo shoots rather than a winter bamboo shoot like this. I suspect, however, that the color is a by-product of the processing. I did find this recipe, which sounds easy and intriguing, and perhaps I’ll make it soon, but today the peeled and chopped shoot will just be included in the melange.

Another ingredient in the melange this time: (snow) pea tips.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 December 2019 at 8:23 am

More on the Hennessy & Hinchcliffe low-flush toilet: A plumber’s review

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Simon Blake writes in Plumbing + HVAC:

Few plumbers who were in the business 15 years ago will forget the problems when low flush (six-litre) toilets were introduced in this country. The problems got so bad that people were going out of their way to buy the older 13-litre models. New designs and test procedures have largely put an end to those issues.

“Since the early 2000s, the industry figured it out. They figured out how to design the shape of the bowl, the trapway, the tank and how the water moved through the system in order to remove the waste and get it transported down the drain line much more efficiently,” remarked Robert Zimmerman, director, engineering, sustainability at Kohler Co., Kohler, Wisconsin.

In fact they figured it out so well that it was a relatively small step to go from six litres to 4.8 litres per flush, which makes up most of the market today.

A new test method provided a big push. Introduced in 2002, the Maximum Performance (MaP) Test used simulated human waste made from a soybean mixture that duplicated real world conditions, unlike previous tests.

“Instead of being a pass/fail, it was an actual rating,” reported engineer Bill Gauley, who along with John Koeller created the MaP Test. Consumers could go on the MaP website and check the flush performance of the toilet they were considering. Manufacturers wanted to score high. “Because the scores were published, manufacturers started really trying to improve,” added Gauley (Bill Gauley Associates Ltd., Acton, Ont., formerly with Veritec Consulting, Mississauga, Ont.).

The other key was that Gauley and Koeller capped the performance requirement at 1,000 grams so that manufacturers didn’t have to chase a constantly moving bar, as HVAC manufacturers have to do with efficiency requirements.

“It became an unofficial standard for water closets,” added Frank Leone, regional manager wholesale, Ontario and Atlantic, for American Standard Brands, Mississauga, Ont. It was so successful that lower volumes were tried. “We started, in the lab, reducing flush volumes by 20 percent to 4.8 litres (1.28 gallons) per flush to see how that would work. We found the new (lower flush volume) designs still worked fine.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used the results to establish its WaterSense standard that requires toilets to flush 350 grams of waste at no more than 4.8 litres.

“But the products just kept getting better and better, so now we have 4.8 litre toilets that will flush 1,000 grams,” noted Gauley.

“We use that test internally for quality control as well as product development. It really has become an important part of how performance is measured,” said Zimmerman.

How low can it go?

Originally, low flush meant six litres or 1.6 gpm per flush. Today there are toilets on the market that flush with half that amount, which begs the question: just how low can it go?

“The industry isn’t uniform on this, but it’s my opinion that four litres is about as low as you are going to want to go for toilet flush,” said Zimmerman. “The plumbing is a system – it’s not just the toilet and waste – it’s all the other inputs of clear water that are coming into your drain that have also been reduced. There is a minimum flow rate that makes the system work, but there’s no absolute number that you can say ‘this is it.’”

Gauley expects the next big push will be to go from 4.8 litres flush to 4.0 litres/1.1 gallons. There is already a new MaP category – MaP Premium – for toilets that flush 600 grams with four litres or less. “We know it’s difficult to get down to three litres, but four is not a problem. And we knew that people wouldn’t sacrifice performance to get more efficiency.”

“That’s where people that are trying to conserve are going to,” noted Leone. “(The MaP Premium) is more important than even the WaterSense certification,” he added. Some municipalities, concerned about exceeding their water treatment infrastructure capacity, are already mandating MaP Premium toilets in new construction. “That’s what drives conservation in countries like Canada where there is an abundance of water.”

Gauley expects that with virtually all toilets meeting the WaterSense standard, it is likely that the EPA will reduce flush volumes to four-litres/1.1 gallon, while maintaining a 350-gram volume.

Leone believes the WaterSense standard is too low because the average man can excrete 250 grams and then, when one adds paper, the total waste volume can exceed 350 grams. “Today, with anything under 500, people don’t consider it a good performing toilet.”

Different approaches

The only widely available three-litre toilets on the market are the Proficiency line from Hennessey & Hinchcliffe in Mississauga, Ont. Launched in 2009, all models flush 800 grams in MaP testing.

“It was a pretty big leap,” remarked Hinchcliffe & Hennessy general manager Jerrad Hennessy. It uses a unique passive air pressurized trap-way that starts an immediate siphon without depending on water entering the bowl. As the toilet tank refills, it pushes the air out of an airtight capsule that is connected directly to the trapway, where it creates pressure – less than a few psi. When the user flushes, the air is sucked back into the capsule, creating a vacuum in the trapway and an immediate siphon.

“Three litres of water are effectively used to clean and scour the bowl since our tests have shown that the vacuum created by our BSB flush system alone will flush the toilet contents without any additional water,” said Hennessy.

Also on the leading edge of water conservation, American Standard Vormax technology uses twin flappers. Typically, a toilet uses about 70 percent of the water to start the siphon, with the remaining 30 percent to clean the bowl. Vormax technology reverses that, producing a strong siphon with 30 percent while keeping the bowl spotless with 70 percent of the water flowing from a single jet, sending the water around the bowl in a cyclone effect.

Kohler has gone away from flappers altogether, using a canister type “flushing engine”. A cylinder lifts straight up so that the water comes in from 360 degrees, allowing a quicker transfer of water from the tank while straightening the flow and reducing turbulence.

Drain line carry performance

As toilets flush with lower volumes and low-flow faucets and showerheads are installed, there has been concern that slopes and diameters of existing drains, which were designed for larger volumes of water, might not adequately carry the waste to the sewer main.

“The codes often don’t reflect that the water volume going down the drain may be half what it was years ago,” noted Zimmerman.

In new construction, engineers can design for lower flow, but not so in retrofit. However, he noted that when toilets went from six litres to 4.8 there were very few reports of problems.

Increasing the drain slope doesn’t necessarily help – tests have shown an increase from one percent to two percent grade makes the water flow past the waste rather than pushing it. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 December 2019 at 7:02 am

If You Can’t Have Wealth Taxes, You Don’t Have a Country

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Eric Levitz writes in New York:

A cosmopolitan elite is eroding the integrity of America’s borders and the sovereignty of its citizens. This numerically small but economically powerful band of globe-trotters use their outsize political influence to preempt popular policies that they don’t like — or else, sabotage the enforcement of those they can’t block. The resulting lawlessness and illicit cross-border flows beggar middle-class taxpayers and strain the finances of our welfare state. And everyone who dares to object to this state of affairs — or to demand a crackdown on those who flout our nation’s laws and make a mockery of its claims to self-governance — are derided as naïve, know-nothing demagogues or worse.

You’ve heard this story before. Donald Trump and his allies have deployed variations on it to demonize undocumented immigrants, and cast their xenophobic movement as a populist, majoritarian cause whose only real opposition is a cabal of unpatriotic elites. And yet, virtually all of the right’s (non-explicitly white nationalist) complaints about our government’s failure to enact and enforce restrictions on internationally mobile labor ring far truer when applied to internationally mobile capital.

This reality is reflected in the current debate over wealth taxes. Critics of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders’s schemes for soaking the superrich have martialed a variety of arguments against them. But the most prominent is an appeal to fatalism: Even if annual levies on great fortunes or confiscatory top income-tax rates were desirable, the U.S. government would remain incapable of effectively enforcing them. A wide variety of economists and billionaires have offered versions of this warning. “You finally have some politicians who are so extreme that I’d say, ‘No, that’s even beyond,’” Bill Gates recently said, qualifying his support for stiffer taxes on his class. “You do start to create tax-dodging and disincentives, and an incentive to have the income show up in other countries and things.”

This argument asks Americans to accept a stark limitation on their nation’s sovereignty. It stipulates that in a world of globally mobile capital, the effective limit on top tax rates is set by our superrich, not our democratic polity. Why this diminution of the nation-state’s authority should be acceptable — even as a minuscule amount of undocumented immigration is regarded as a crisis of the rule of law — is difficult to explain.

There have been times in American history when immigration restriction was a popular cause. But we’re not living in one. According to Gallup’s most recent polling, only 27 percent of Americans believe that immigration levels should be reduced. By contrast, Elizabeth Warren’s plan to levy a 2 percent wealth tax on households worth over $50 million commands 61 percent approval in Politico-Morning Consult’s polling, with a large plurality of Republicans endorsing the idea. Public support for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 70-percent top marginal tax rate is similarly robust. And yet, such steeply progressive tax policies are widely considered politically untenable and logistically unenforceable — largely because of the outsize political influence (and innovative unlawfulness) of the cosmopolitan elites who bankroll the Republican Party. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 December 2019 at 6:47 am

11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting

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Stephanie A. Sarkis writes in Psychology Today to list some red-flag warning signs. Do these remind you of anyone? Say, someone in public life? A famous person?

Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.

In my book Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People – and Break Free  I detail how gaslighters typically use the following techniques:

1. They tell blatant lies.

You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.

2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof. 

You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.

3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition. 

They know how important your kids are to you, and they know how important your identity is to you. So those may be one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you should not have had those children. They will tell you’d be a worthy person if only you didn’t have a long list of negative traits. They attack the foundation of your being.

4. They wear you down over time.

This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often…and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what’s happening to it.

5. Their actions do not match their words.

When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are sayingWhat they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.

6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you. 

This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighter.

7. They know confusion weakens people. 

Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter.

8. They project.

They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.

9. They try to align people against you.

Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, “This person knows that you’re not right,” or “This person knows you’re useless too.” Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control.

10. They tell you or others that you are crazy. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 December 2019 at 6:43 am

Doppelgänger Black Label (CK-6 formula) with Rooney Finest Style 2 and the Ascension

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This Rooney Finest is a very nice brush indeed, and though it’s not a natural brush (except for the knot), I like the veining in the (resin) handle. It made a fine lather from Phoenix Artisan’s Doppelgänger Black Label shaving soap (samples available for those curious about the CK-6 soap). The Ascension really is a fine little razor: very smooth very comfortable. The aluminum version shown is currently sold out, and there’s also a stainless version (which I’ve not tried — and also sold out). This is another extremely comfortable and extremely efficient razor, and the handle design is quite nice for the ATG pass.

Three passes to a perfectly smooth result, and then a splash of the aftershave: the weekend begins, and Christmas starts to press upon us with its many plans and activities.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 December 2019 at 6:36 am

Posted in Shaving

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