Later On

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

Archive for March 13th, 2022

Uh-oh. Is another Covid wave building?

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Read this thread.

It sounds serious. Fortunately, we have practice in battening down the hatches. But the impact on children and students and their education is a serious problem that we have not solved.


Written by Leisureguy

13 March 2022 at 9:38 pm

Why the decline in church attendance won’t end here

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Brian Broome has a column (gift link) in the Washington Post that seems spot-on. It begins:

I remember sitting in the lunchroom back in high school when two girls began to argue and fight. It started with a sucker punch and then quickly escalated to hair pulling, kicking and body slams. The girls were fighting over a boy named Tony. But Tony was nowhere to be found. He didn’t show up to break them apart or ease the situation.

He was just absent. Meanwhile, the two brawlers tried everything they could to hurt each other.

I didn’t know Tony, but I do remember sitting there wondering where he was, if he cared or if he even knew the girls were drawing blood in his name. I remember thinking that someone should go and get him and tell him what was happening. But I also know that, wherever he was, this fight likely wasn’t his fault, and that these two young women were responsible for their own behavior.

This is how I feel about the idea of God.

I was raised in a Christian household, and my family is still religious. But, at a certain point in my childhood, the whole thing stopped making sense to me. I couldn’t work out why a loving God would let so many children suffer. The idea of eternal life seemed to be a way for people to skirt their fear of death or assuage the pain of grief. I noticed that the things people told me God wanted were, more often than not, things that they wanted as well.

I didn’t give it up all at once. Like many people, I went on a spiritual quest. But, like some of those, I quit the hunt after a while.

I stopped looking for the meaning of life and instead decided to just live it.

I stopped looking for an afterlife and now just try to be a better person in this one.

Of course, I know many kind people who practice their religion in ways that make us hopeful — in ways that are open and loving. People who aim not to convert, but to comfort. Not to shame, but to lift up. Not to demonize, but to include. I find this a testament to who they are as people.

But I often think that faith in God can be just as self-serving as staring at yourself in a mirror. The way a religion is practiced too commonly reflects the person who is practicing it.

If you want to be rich, you can find a religion that tells you that’s what God wants you to be. If you’re a misogynist, you find a church that will reaffirm your misogyny. If you don’t like our politics, or some of our political leaders, there’s a pew with your name on it somewhere, maybe closer than you think. If you are a hateful person, there are preachers for that, too. I watch people cherry-pick their religious texts to find what they want and ignore the rest. It was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who said that the most segregated hour in Christian America is 11 o’clock on Sunday morning.

We are not the only country where  . . .

Continue reading. (gift link)

Update: Somewhat related, this video by Johnny Harris on why he left the Mormon church.

Written by Leisureguy

13 March 2022 at 6:01 pm

I’d walk 3.28 miles for a Salted Chocolate Porter

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And in fact I’m enjoying such a porter right now, one made by Steamworks Brewing. A review commented adversely on the salt taste, but (perhaps because I just finished a vigorous walk) I don’t find the slight salty taste objectionable at all. Pretty tasty stuff, in fact, though I think I prefer Longboat Chocolate Porter by Phillips Beer Company.

I’m currently looking to try a number of chocolate ales, porters, and stouts that are made around here. My reference list:

Cake Chocolate Raspberry Stout — Longwood Brewery
✓ Longboat Chocolate Porter — Phillips Brewing
Dark Malt Porter — Wolf Brewing
Black Raspberry and Chocolate Dark Ale — Wolf Brewing
Depravity — Container Brewing
Black Mammoth Winter Ale — Fernie Brewing
✓ Salted Chocolate Porter — Steamworks Brewery
Cookie Jar Oatmeal Fudge Stout w/ Sea Salt — Twin Sails Brewing

I’ve been able so far to find only two, but I’m still looking for the others.

The day was wonderful: sunny and mild so that I could walk in my shirtsleeves, and there are more signs of spring.

Signs of spring on today’s walk

The walk was good. It was the same distance as the last walk, but today was 17 seconds less time, average heart rate 136bpm instead of 137bpm — but PAI last time for this walk was 49 and today it was 36. PAI is a tough taskmaster. That sudden drop in heart rate looks odd. I suspect it’s an artefact of the fitness tracker not reading correctly.

Written by Leisureguy

13 March 2022 at 5:23 pm

Judd Trump’s 6th career maximum break in a 4-minute video

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Written by Leisureguy

13 March 2022 at 1:25 pm

Posted in Games, Snooker, Video

Totally silent small drone

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Written by Leisureguy

13 March 2022 at 1:10 pm

Posted in Business, Technology

Does President Zelenskyy refusing evacuation actually accomplish anything concrete?

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On Quora Alex Mann, Historian (2017-present), provides a good answer:

Ever heard of the Battle of Cannae? Well allow me to tangent real quick- it has a purpose I promise.

The Battle of Cannae was fought between the Carthaginian General Hannibal and the Roman Republic way back in 216 BC.

Now in war at this time there were 2 strategies- go deep or go long. You could either stretch your army as long as possible to envelop the enemy or stack your army deep and break your enemy’s lines.

Now Hannibal was outnumbered and the Romans had the best heavy infantry around so he knew the Romans would “go deep” and attempt to drive their infantry through his army and break his lines.

So Hannibal did something crazy. He intentionally made the center of his army weak and the flanks strong. That way when the Romans pressed forward the middle of Hannibal’s army would get pushed back. This meant the Romans were soon trapped in a “U” shaped formation and thus flanked.

The Roman Army was slaughtered and it goes down as one of the greatest military victories ever.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, Hannibal was taking a risk you see. His advisors all feared that his center would actually break under the weight of the Roman advance, thus shattering Hannibal’s army.

So what did Hannibal do? He put himself right behind the center- right with the men. Signaling that whatever happens to them, happens to him. As a result, his center did not fold and in fact, fought very well. They knew they were not being abandoned because there was Hannibal, right there with them. They knew they were not losing because their General was still fighting, right by their side.

See my point?

Zelenskyy has certainly earned my respect. When the US offered him a route out of Kyiv for him and his inner circle he said“I don’t need a ride, I need ammunition”.

That is a top 10 badass quote of the decade

Ukraine is fighting tooth and nail. Males over the age of 18 aren’t leaving the country and instead are forming militias to fight Russian tanks.

If Zelenskyy left Kyiv or Ukraine it would send a clear message that he thinks the war is hopeless and that Kyivs fall is imminent. If he stays he can help urge his people along to fight.

This also puts Russia in a pickle. As long as Zelenskyy lives he will be considered the leader of Ukraine by Ukrainians and the international community. If Zelenskyy dies he becomes a national hero- a martyr to Ukrainian freedom.

So far it appears Russia has chosen to kill Zelenskyy though their 1 attempt failed in a miserable fashion.

Zelenskyy is choosing to guide his nation through its darkest hour and he is putting his life on the line to do it. He isn’t hiding out or cowering from safety in Poland. He is there with his people fighting.

I wish him the best.

Written by Leisureguy

13 March 2022 at 12:19 pm

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