Later On

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

Archive for December 21st, 2020

Donald Trump’s desperate fight for psychic survival

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David Pell wrote las month:

How, after four years of this, can many Americans keep finding themselves shocked by Donald Trump’s behavior. As my psychoanalyist friend Dr. Michael Levin explains: “This disconnect exists because we’re living in a world that is grounded and checked by reason. His is grounded only in his emotional needs and fantasies. I think this is a useful framework to understand why we all have repeatedly been shocked by his behavior for years. It’s just a bridge too far for most of our psychological imaginations … Most of the commentary I’m seeing in the press about his narcissism seems not to get that, deep down, it’s not about feeling good. It’s about psychic survival. I think this is the case with most of his base too. It’s not the garden variety narcissism of someone like Elon Musk or Bill Clinton. It’s much more desperate and psychotic.” Indeed, we keep applying strategic goals to what is a narcissistic sociopath’s emotionally disturbed reaction to a fear of shame and humiliation. Trump truly believes he’s being cheated because the alternative is too brutal and painful to accept; even if democracy has to be destroyed so his fantasy, and thus his psychic existence, can survive. When we see mental illness play out in public or celebrity spheres, we often view it as a sideshow. When we encounter it in real life, we know it’s the whole show. Those politicians who cynically use Trump as a battering ram for their own ends will be able to let go of him when his usefulness declines. For his true believers, the relationship is less transactional and operates more like a religion. And that’s a lot to ask someone to give up because of the small reality of a few million votes. Will the unnerving and democracy-smashing coup-like attempt continue? How far will the GOP enablers take this? I don’t know. But I do know that the psychic frenzy it’s stirred up among millions of Americans cannot be turned off with a switch. An addiction to falsehoods is not easy to relinquish. And no one wants to go cold turkey for Thanksgiving.

Written by Leisureguy

21 December 2020 at 9:20 pm

Moroccan Carrot Red Lentil Soup

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The Younger Daughter recommended this recipe, which is simmering now. It’s dark and a wet snow is falling, so it’s a good night for a hearty soup.

I have three little jars of ground cardamon because I constantly misremember “coriander” as “cardamon.” I had to trudge through the rain/snow combo to the store to buy ground coriander. I thought I had bought it, but apparently I again bought ground cardamon. :sigh:

I’ll probably serve it over some kamut.

Update: Tasty. And quite a thick soup. I didn’t blend. I cooked the crushed red pepper in the soup, but did add cilantro and lemon juice to it in the bowl.

Written by Leisureguy

21 December 2020 at 4:37 pm

The Effects of Obesity on Back Pain, Blood Pressure, Cancer, and Diabetes

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Obesity is sufficiently dangerous enough to justify a serious and in-depth reconstruction of one’s diet — that is, not just “cutting back,” but basic changes in food choices. And food is the major driver, not exercise. Exercise is good — being fit is more healthful (and more pleasant) than being unfit, but in terms of weight loss, the focus should be on food choices (which foods and how much of them).  I had my best success with this diet.

This video takes a look at just some of the costs of obesity that research has found.

Written by Leisureguy

21 December 2020 at 1:07 pm

Cruel Bombs — Nuclear bombs from various vantages

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Nuclear and thermonuclear bombs are bad to have around. One interesting part of this video are the shots showing the instant of detonation.

Written by Leisureguy

21 December 2020 at 1:00 pm

The high-walled lane of ordinary life

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The tragedy in the lives of most of us is that we go through life walking down a high-walled lane with people of our own kind, the same economic situation, the same national background and education and religious outlook. And beyond those walls, all humanity lies, unknown and unseen, and untouched by our restricted and impoverished lives.

—  Florence Luscomb, architect and suffragist (1887-1985)

Written by Leisureguy

21 December 2020 at 10:56 am

Posted in Daily life

Blob Opera: Watch, Listen, and Experiment

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Google engineers having fun. Go to this page, then click on everything to see what happens and click-and-drag the blobs. More entertaining than you might expect.

More experiments here.

Written by Leisureguy

21 December 2020 at 10:32 am

Solstice (of course) and Merkur’s white bakelite slant

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Some readers try to guess what I’ll use for the shave of the day, and today should be for them a slam dunk. Solstice is in fact one of my favorite fragrances (and is used in a raft of products), and I think from time to time about getting the shaving soap in the CK-6 formulation, but the regular kokum better soap is already quite good.

Given the solar focus, I thought the Solar Flare brush would be appropriate, and the resulting color palette (including the slant) works quite well, as did the brush: a wonderful lather this morning. I am bemused by how my lathers improved after my brief foray into bowl lathering. Worth trying, I think.

Merkur’s vintage slant is a marvel — why they don’t reissue it is beyond me — and the result was perfection: totally smooth (and probably the two-day stubble was a help) and totally comfortable. A good splash of Solstice aftershave launched the shortest day of the year, marking the turning point toward brighter days ahead.

Written by Leisureguy

21 December 2020 at 10:01 am

Posted in Shaving

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