Later On

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

Archive for November 15th, 2020

Crisp roasted carrot slices with bacon-like seasoning

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This article at SkinnyMs has an intriguing recipe. Extracting the details:

Cut a carrot lengthwise into thin strips, and marinate them in a mix of:

• 1 tablespoon tahini
• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon honey [I’ll use maple syrup. – LG]
• 2 teaspoons soy sauce, optional Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
• 2 large carrots, sliced into thin strips

I personally use Wright’s Liquid Smoke; she recommends Cedar House Liquid Smoke and its ingredients seem good (unlike Colgin Liquid Smoke)

For more details, see at the link — scroll way down to get to recipe.

UPDATE: I made it. Quite tasty. Will repeat.

Why not just eat pork bacon? Why bother with roasting marinated carrots?

I know that some people wonder why a person on a whole-food plant-based diet — or even merely a vegan diet — would want to make imitation bacon.

It’s pretty simple. I like eating bacon because of its taste and mouthfeel, but I don’t like other parts of bacon — nitrites, antibiotics and hormones in the meat, saturated fat (which really hits blood glucose hard), IGF-1, and the way animals are treated in industrial meat production (so bad that the meat industries — producers of beef, pork, chicken, eggs — work to keep the public from knowing what they do, to the extent that meat producers write Ag-gag laws and lobby hard (and often successfully) to get state legislatures to pass the laws).

It’s actually easy to understand. If you like the taste and mouthfeel of bacon and don’t like the unhealthy/distasteful aspects (including smoke and grease) then try the recipe. You then can get the good without the bad, which sounds like a win to me.

Update: Convergent evolution

It struck me that that this food (roasted marinated long carrot strips) evolved to fill the same ecological niche as thin crisp bacon, much marsupial evolution resulted in an apex predator (the Tasmanian tiger) that filled the same ecological niche as placental equivalents.

People like crunchy savory chewy things in long shapes suitable for handheld eating, either by themselves or in handheld foods (sandwiches, wraps). That selection pressure drives the evolution.

Written by Leisureguy

15 November 2020 at 5:41 pm

How to get good at chess

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Stephen Moss, author of The Rookie: An Odyssey through Chess (and Life), writes in the Guardian:

The first thing to say about chess is that we are not all natural geniuses like Beth Harmon, the star of The Queen’s Gambit, who is taught the game by grumpy but lovable janitor Mr Shaibel at the age of nine and is very soon beating him.

The daughter of a maths PhD, she sees the patterns and movement in chess immediately, can visualise effortlessly – being able to memorise moves and play without a board is the sign of chess mastery – and sees whole games on the ceiling of her orphanage dormitory. She is a prodigy, just like world champion Bobby Fischer, on whom Walter Tevis based the novel from which the TV series is drawn. We are mere mortals. So how do we get good?

  • First, by loving chess. “You can only get good at chess if you love the game,” Fischer said. You need to be endlessly fascinated by it and see its infinite potential. Be willing to embrace the complexity; enjoy the adventure. Every game should be an education and teach us something. Losing doesn’t matter. Garry Kasparov, another former world champion, likes to say you learn far more from your defeats than your victories. Eventually you will start winning, but there will be a lot of losses on the way. Play people who are better than you, and be prepared to lose. Then you will learn.
  • If you are a beginner, don’t feel the need to set out all the pieces at once. Start with the pawns, and then add the pieces. Understand the potential of each piece – the way a pair of bishops can dominate the board, how the rooks can sweep up pawns in an endgame, why the queen and a knight can work together so harmoniously. Find a good teacher – your own Mr Shaibel, but without the communication issues.
  • Once you have established the basics, start using computers and online resources to play and to help you analyse games. lichess.orgchess.com and chess24.com are great sites for playing and learning. chessbomb.com is a brilliant resource for watching top tournaments. chessgames.com is a wonderful database of games. chesspuzzle.net is a great practice program. decodechess.com attempts to explain chess moves in layperson’s language. There are also plenty of sophisticated, all-purpose programs, usually called chess engines, such as Fritz and HIARCs that, for around £50, help you deconstruct your games and take you deeply into positions. But don’t let the computer do all the work. You need to engage your own brain on the analysis. And don’t endlessly play against the computer. Find human opponents, either online or, when the pandemic is over, in person.
  • Study the games of great masters of the past. Find a player you like and follow their careers. Fischer is a great starting point – his play is clear and comprehensible, and beautifully described in his famous book My 60 Memorable Games. Morphy (Harmon’s favourite), Alekhine, Capablanca, Tal, Korchnoi and Shirov are other legendary figures with whom the aspiring player might identify. They also have fascinating life stories, and chess is about hot human emotions as well as cold calculation. Modern grandmaster chess, which is based heavily on a deep knowledge of opening theory, is more abstruse and may be best avoided until you have acquired deep expertise. The current crop of leading grandmasters are also, if we are brutally honest, a bit lacking in personality compared with the giants of the past.
  • Children will often find . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

15 November 2020 at 11:39 am

Posted in Chess, Games

The Nicholas Brothers were polished performers from a young age

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This clip of the Nicholas Brothers is from 1936, but YouTube has one from four years earlier and even in that they are totally professional. They were born in 1914 and 1921, so they are not so young as they appear — but still.

Written by Leisureguy

15 November 2020 at 9:01 am

Posted in Jazz, Movies & TV, Video

Prince Rupert’s drops — two videos

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I read about Prince Rupert’s drops back in high school and had the general idea: an elongated teardrop of glass, with the bulbous end virtually indestructible but flick the tail and the whole thing shatters. That description, however, pales when compared to high-speed motion pictures of the drop in action.

The first video gives the basics, including showing how Prince Rupert’s drops are made and how they resist destruction (and are easily destroyed by breaking the tail.

The second video shows a bullet shattered by hitting a Prince Rupert’s drop.

 

Update: One more.

Written by Leisureguy

15 November 2020 at 8:04 am

Posted in Science, Video

Here’s the COVID-19 Bad News In Four Easy Charts

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Kevin Drum has a sobering post with four charts. Take a look. Here’s one of the charts.

Written by Leisureguy

15 November 2020 at 7:31 am

There Are No Black People in Africa

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Shourya Agarwal writes in Medium:

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

15 November 2020 at 7:15 am

Posted in Daily life, Memes

I updated my salad checklist

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Here’s the updated checklist. The fact that I had to update it shows why I needed the checklist in the first place. It’s now accurate in terms of that particular salad, which is the one I now commonly make.

Written by Leisureguy

15 November 2020 at 6:11 am

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