Later On

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

Archive for August 24th, 2020

Voter concerns by party

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That’s from an interesting post by Kevin Drum. The post itself has more charts and more discussion.

Written by Leisureguy

24 August 2020 at 5:29 pm

Posted in Democrats, Election, GOP

Tempeh, Indonesia’s wonder food

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I’m looking forward to making this recipe again — only this time I’ll know to save the marinade to baste the tempeh.

Really, more people should be making tempeh. It’s very easy, and you can use any type of bean, or even intact whole grain (even rice, though I’ll stick with wheat, rye, and barley). Marianna Cerinna wrote a good description in the Economist 1843 back in January:

I first tried tempeh four years ago, at a tiny stall in the main market in Yogyakarta, a city on the Indonesian island of Java. I barged through the busy street, bustling past souvenir kiosks and colourful piles of vegetables, up to an unremarkable booth, where a man was flipping a hefty wok over a high flame. A cloud of fragrant aromas hovered above him. “Tempeh goreng,” the hawker told me as he handed me a newspaper scrap filled with golden brown, perfectly crispy slices of deep-fried tempeh. Tossed in soy sauce, grated ginger, tamarind and sambal, a chilli paste, it tasted savoury, nutty, almost meaty – and was surprisingly addictive. When I learned that the thick, firm patty was made from fermented soybeans, I couldn’t believe it. I had eaten tofu many times, but always found it plain, bland even. Tempeh was entirely different.

For the rest of the trip, I ate my way through its variations across Indonesia: from tempeh bacem, braised in spices, tamarind and palm sugar, to kripik tempeh (crisp crackers made of the stuff). It seemed to be people’s favourite snack and it became mine too.

My partner’s hankering for tempeh runs deeper. He’s Filipino but grew up in Jakarta. During his childhood he ate tempeh every other day. He would munch on crisp tempeh while watching movies with friends, as if it were popcorn. He’d buy it at school, when street vendors would park their carts outside the gates and lure flocks of hungry children between classes. His mother made it regularly for dinner. After he left Jakarta, he sought it in Indiana, where he studied, and later in Hong Kong, where we met and still live. He’d always try to find an Indonesian restaurant or a speciality store that would stock it.

On one of our first dates he took me to a shop in Hong Kong to buy tempeh. The store caters to the city’s Indonesian domestic workers (there are some 150,000 of them), and sells tempeh fresh, piled in plastic baskets, for less than £1 ($1.31) for a 250g pack. It runs out fast – people, mostly women, queue up early in the morning to buy it. These days my partner and I still manage to get our fix at least twice a week.

Tempeh probably originated in Java several centuries ago (the earliest known written reference to “têmpê” dates back to 1815, but many historians believe it originated long before then). Tempeh was likely first made by accident in an attempt to preserve soybeans – a staple of the Indonesian diet – from heat. Soybeans were wrapped in hibiscus leaves and left out in the tropical climate overnight, causing a fungus to grow on the leaves. The humid weather helped trigger a fermentation process, which formed a white, fibrous mould around each soybean, creating the tempeh cake. For locals, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

24 August 2020 at 4:11 pm

Flying insects in slo-mo

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Written by Leisureguy

24 August 2020 at 2:50 pm

Posted in Science, Video

Current tempeh after 42 hours

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This is at 8:00am today, so 42 hours into it. I’m going to give it one more day. The foil does seem to be keeping in more moisture but the outer beans are fairly dry, so this will probably be sautéed. The next batch will use a slashed foil cover at the outset and I’ll switch to a tea towel cover if there seems to be too much moisture.

Written by Leisureguy

24 August 2020 at 11:31 am

Posted in Food, Non-animal diet

Nontransitive dice

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A relationship § is said to be transitive if A § B and B § C implies A § C.

Some common transitive relationships are greater than, less than, and equal:

A > B and B > C implies A > C
A < B and B < C implies A < C
A = B and B = C implies A = C

Euclid’s first axiom: “Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.”

Some common nontransitive relationships are relatively prime, feeds on, and loves.

4 is relatively prime to 9 and 9 is relatively prime to 16, but 4 is NOT relatively prime to 16. (A is relatively prime to B means that the greatest integer that divides both A and B is 1.)

Wolves feed on sheep and sheep feed on grass, but wolves do NOT feed on grass.

A loves B and B loves C does not, you will have often observed, mean that A loves C.

So, what are nontransitive dice? If you have 3 dice such that A usually shows a higher number than B, and B usually shows a higher number than C, and C usually shows a higher number than A, then the dice are not transitive: over the long term, A beats B, B beats C, but A loses to C.

You can easily make such dice by choosing some particular numbering of the faces. For example:

A has five faces with 4 dots and one face with 1 dot.
B has five faces with 3 dots and one face with 6 dots.
C has three faces with 5 dots and three faces with 2 dots.

More information in Wikipedia.

Written by Leisureguy

24 August 2020 at 11:11 am

Posted in Daily life, Math

CREW wins major victory over dark money

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Maybe the US can claw its way back to some semblance of its ideals. CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) notes:

Following a decision today by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold CREW’s victory in CREW v. FEC and Crossroads GPS, the organization released the following statement:

“This is yet another major win in the fight against dark money in politics. Now groups that make a key type of political ad known as independent expenditures must report every contributor who gave at least $200 in the past year, as well as those who give to finance independent expenditures generally. It will be much harder for donors to anonymously contribute to groups that advertise in elections. This is a great day for transparency and democracy.”

Read the decision here.


Written by Leisureguy

24 August 2020 at 10:21 am

La Toja has the mojo — and I love my iKon DLC slant

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La Toja, as I’ve blogged previously, pretends to a host of benefits from the springs. Note: “To pretend” has a common meaning (“to make believe”), but I’m using its other meaning (“to lay claim to, to claim” — as in “pretender to the throne”).

That came to mind because I recently learned the Esperanto verb “pretendi,” which has only the meaning “to claim, lay claim to.” Interestingly (at least to me), the Esperanto verb “rimarki” means “to notice,” a less common meaning of “to remark.” I suspect that when Esperanto was developed (in the 1880s) those meanings of the English verb were more commonly used. In British fiction of the early 20th century sentences such as “Did you remark the hat she wore?” were not all that uncommon, nor were statements such has “He pretends to a host of virtues” (meaning he claims them).

The shaving soap really is superb, and I recommend it highly. And when combined with the iKon slant — the stainless slant, now sold with a B6 coating — the result is astonishingly good.

I did have some problems for a while with this slant. When I first got it, I loved it and it performed flawlessly, but then I started getting nicks and began to avoid it. In my current razor regimen I go through my entire collection and repeat the sequence thereafter — and that meant I resumed using the razor fairly often. I soon realized that my nicks were not the razor’s fault but my own: I was holding the handle too close to my face, producing a bad blade angle, which inevitably will cause nicks.

I moved the handle farther from my face — or, equivalently, focused on keeping the cap in contact with my skin (ignoring the guard) — and the problem vanished. Today’s shave was extremely comfortable — not even the threat of a nick — and the shave resulted in skin that’s totally smooth and (probably thanks to the La Toja soap) very soft. If you get nicks with a razor, experiment with the blade angle by keeping more of the cap touching your skin as you shave — that will require moving the handle farther from your face.

A good splash of La Toja aftershave, and the week begins.

The brush today is the RazoRock Keyhole. Note the knot — a 22mm Plissoft knot. Every brush this week will have that same knot, though the handles will vary.

Written by Leisureguy

24 August 2020 at 10:10 am

Posted in Shaving

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