Later On

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

Archive for August 23rd, 2021

Other Vegetables, Summer Edition

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I need some Other Vegetables, so I thought I’d cook these: clockwise from upper left: the herbs (Mexican oregano, thyme, herbes de Provence, basil), three jalapeños that I have on hand, an orange bell pepper just above a turmeric root and a head of garlic, green and yellow zucchini, three San Marzano tomatoes, yellow and red onions, two bunches Italian parsley, and a Japanese eggplant. Not shown — no room — four or five medium-large domestic white mushrooms and 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives. 

I’ll also include salt, a lot of ground pepper (for the turmeric), and some umami boost — fish sauce, or tamari, or soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce — along with an acid boost — a quarter-cup of some sort of vinegar (Bragg’s apple cider, or red wine, or white wine).

In the past I’ve roasted the vegetables, but this time I think I’ll just dice them and see how much liquid ensues. If it’s enough, I’ll add a small can of no-salt-added tomato paste.

This will make enough for several meals, and it should be tasty. I think I’ll use the 6-qt wide-diameter pot. That will be roomy and after it’s cooked it goes into glass storage containers in the fridge.

I’ll start, of course, by chopping the garlic and letting it rest. The chopped onions I’ll sweat in 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, then add garlic and minced turmeric root to cook a briefly, then add the rest, chopped and diced. After it has simmered a while, I’ll know if the tomato paste will work. (I want to include that because it’s a good source of potassium as well as lycopene.)

Notes in progress: The long vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes) I quarter lengthwise then cut across in chunks — fairly good-sized chunks for the zucchini and eggplant so they will maintain structure. Right now I have three bowls:

  1. Large bowl: zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, mushrooms, and the herbs
  2. Smaller bowl: parsley, tomatoes, a good amount of ground pepper (probably 2 tablespoons at least)
  3. Smaller bowl yet: garlic and turmeric

The two onions and three jalapeños are chopped and in the pot with the olive oil and a good big pinch of salt. 

Everything is prepped, and the jar of pitted Kalamata olives is standing by. (I get very large jars of these at Costco.) I will bring out vinegar and fish sauce (I’m going with Red Boat fish sauce for the umami boost) and have those in sight so I don’t forget them.

So: cook onions; add garlic and turmeric and cook; then add the large bowl and cook for until those cook down, then the smaller bowl of parsley, tomatoes, and pepper, along with olives, vinegar, and fish sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.

Then check liquid level to decide about the tomato paste.


Turned out that I used red-wine vinegar mostly — I had a bottle to use up. That was 1/4 cup, and I added probably another tablespoon of Bragg’s apple-cider vinegar. And when I measured out the amount of Kalamata olives, it turned out that 3/4 cup seemed right, not 1/2 cup. And I went with six mushrooms rather than five.

The onions and jalapeños cooked very nicely, with frequent stirring and the induction burner on 4. It was good that I used the 6-qt pot — this is much more than would have fit in the 4-qt sauté pan, my other choice. After a good while — the onions were just starting to brown — I added the garlic and turmeric and cooked it for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.

The large bowl went in next, and the pot was about 3/4 full. I cooked that, still on 4, for a good while, using the spatula to lift up the bottom vegetables and turn over the mass. After about 8 or 10 minutes, I added the rest of the ingredients: tomatoes, parsley, pepper, olives, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of Red Boat fish sauce.

I covered the pot, turned the burner to 225ºF, and set the burner timer for 25 minutes. I’ll go check on it from time to time and decide about the tomato paste. The photo above on the right is what it looks like after about 15 minutes. I’ll just continue simmering until it seems done. Not a lot of liquid yet.


And here it is in the last minutes of cooking. As I’ve pointed out before, cooking plant-based is pretty flexible. You want the food tender, and cooked enough for nutritional purposes (the beta carotene in carrots is more available when carrots are cooked*; the lycopene in tomatoes is not available until the tomatoes are cooked), but you don’t have to worry about parasites and the like (cf. pork). 

I did decide that there was plenty of liquid to accommodate the tomato paste, so I did add that. Ideally, the tomato paste is added right as the onions are done and cooked until the paste darkens, but so it goes. 

I have some now, and it turned out very well. Despite the jalapeños, it’s not all that spicy. I imagine they were overwhelmed by the other vegetables. Still, they do add presence.

Click photos to enlarge. Click again to super-enlarge.

* From kinetic data, it was estimated that the bioavailability of carrot-derived β-carotene compared with pure β-carotene was about 11 % for raw carrots, but 75 % when the carrots were stir-fried.

From this study.

Written by Leisureguy

23 August 2021 at 2:21 pm

A Famous Honesty Researcher Is Retracting A Study Over Fake Data

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Stephanie M. Lee reports in Buzzfeed News:

A landmark study that endorsed a simple way to curb cheating is going to be retracted nearly a decade later after a group of scientists found that it relied on faked data.

According to the 2012 paper, when people signed an honesty declaration at the beginning of a form, rather than the end, they were less likely to lie. A seemingly cheap and effective method to fight fraud, it was adopted by at least one insurance company, tested by government agencies around the world, and taught to corporate executives. It made a splash among academics, who cited it in their own research more than 400 times.

The paper also bolstered the reputations of two of its authors — Max Bazerman, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, and Dan Ariely, a psychologist and behavioral economist at Duke University — as leaders in the study of decision-making, irrationality, and unethical behavior. Ariely, a frequent TED Talk speaker and a Wall Street Journal advice columnist, cited the study in lectures and in his New York Times bestseller The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone — Especially Ourselves.

Years later, he and his coauthors found that follow-up experiments did not show the same reduction in dishonest behavior. But more recently, a group of outside sleuths scrutinized the original paper’s underlying data and stumbled upon a bigger problem: One of its main experiments was faked “beyond any shadow of a doubt,” three academics wrote in a post on their blog, Data Colada, on Tuesday.

The researchers who published the study all agree that its data appear to be fraudulent and have requested that the journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, retract it. But it’s still unclear who made up the data or why — and four of the five authors said they played no part in collecting the data for the test in question.

That leaves Ariely, who confirmed that he alone was in touch with the insurance company that ran the test with its customers and provided him with the data. But he insisted that he was innocent, implying it was the company that was responsible. “I can see why it is tempting to think that I had something to do with creating the data in a fraudulent way,” he told BuzzFeed News. “I can see why it would be tempting to jump to that conclusion, but I didn’t.”

He added, “If I knew that the data was fraudulent, I would have never posted it.”

But Ariely gave conflicting answers about the origins of the data file that was the basis for the analysis. Citing confidentiality agreements, he also declined to name the insurer that he partnered with. And he said that all his contacts at the insurer had left and that none of them remembered what happened, either.

According to correspondence reviewed by BuzzFeed News, Ariely has said . . .

Continue reading. There’s quite a bit more, including a detailed description of the reasons it is clear that the data were fabricated. That’s worth reading.

I speculate that his research into honest/dishonest behavior perhaps was stimulated, consciously or not, by a problem he struggles with himself. From what was mentioned in the article, he seems particularly focused on how to move people from dishonest behavior toward honest behavior, as though that issue had some personal importance to him.

Written by Leisureguy

23 August 2021 at 11:42 am

Posted in Daily life, Science

Toddlers who want to help

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I’m listening to Hunt, Gather, Parent on my walks, and the author just raised an interesting point — or rather, the Mayan parent she was learning from did. A child learning to help is like a child learning to talk: at first it babbles, then it forms words and near-words, then makes attempts at sentences. Learning the language takes years.

And the same with is true with learning to help. The help a 1-year-old can offer is akin to babbling: it’s not really help (just as babbling’s not really language) but it’s an essential step and one to be encouraged. It’s important to let the toddler “help” even if the parent must later clean up a mess, because becoming fluent in help will take years of practice.

Many modern parents, in effect, teach their children NOT to help, by repeatedly rebuffing those early attempts to help. After a while the child learns the lesson: Don’t help.

One interesting comment she made on the helping: don’t praise the help, just accept it and continue the pattern — just first words and sentences are not praised but simply accepted and used. Praise turns out to have negative consequences (such as creating praise addiction). The idea of praise is to encourage self-esteem, but that comes from accomplishment, not from the words of others. She observed that Mayan parents very rarely praise their children.

Moreover, when a child does a task, that effort is with their locus of control: they don’t depend on others, but control the outcome themselves. Praise, in contrast, is not under the child’s control — it comes (or fails to come) from an external source, and a child conditioned to need praise has a source of anxiety: whether the praise will be forthcoming or not. The locus of control has moved outside the child, and that fosters insecurity.

It’s a very interesting book.

Written by Leisureguy

23 August 2021 at 9:32 am

Cavendish CK-6 and the iKon X3

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The monday shave is always a pleasure and this mornings is hard to beat. I realized that the Rooney Style 3 Size 1 I used has a longer loft than many of my brushes, which contributes to its fine feel on thee face. Loaded with Phoenix Artisan’s Cavendish in their CK-6 formula, the lather was thick and gratifying and the fragrance of a fine pipe tobacco was distinct.

The ikon X3 is an excellent slant, and here it’s mounted on a RazoRock Barber Pole handle from Italian Barber — an excellent handle, IMO. Three passes removed every trace of stubble, and a good splash of Cavendish aftershave fortified with a squirt of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel finished the shave and started the week on a very nice note indeed.

Written by Leisureguy

23 August 2021 at 8:57 am

Posted in Shaving

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