Later On

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

Archive for June 5th, 2022

Soybean and rye tempeh done

leave a comment »

I let it continue for 72 hours. The mycelium coating is wonderful: like soft, fine velvet. The cross-section looks good, and when I cooked up a little it tasted very nice indeed. With 50% (soy)beans and 50% (rye) grain, it will take care of the bean and grain components of a meal quite handily. 

There might be a little sporing at one extreme corner, but it’s barely noticeable. (It’s the upper left corner.)

I’m happy with this batch, and the 3-cup size seems good. I think I’ve got tempeh-making (on this small scale) licked.

Written by Leisureguy

5 June 2022 at 5:02 pm

Two Professors Found What Creates a Mass Shooter. Will Politicians Pay Attention?

leave a comment »

I think we can safely assume that Republican politicians will not pay attention. Melanie Warner interviews two research scholars in Politico Magazine:

Each time a high-profile mass shooting happens in America, a grieving and incredulous nation scrambles for answers. Who was this criminal and how could he (usually) have committed such a horrendous and inhumane act? A few details emerge about the individual’s troubled life and then everyone moves on.

Three years ago, Jillian Peterson, an associate professor of criminology at Hamline University, and James Densley, a professor of criminal justice at Metro State University, decided to take a different approach. In their view, the failure to gain a more meaningful and evidence-based understanding of why mass shooters do what they do seemed a lost opportunity to stop the next one from happening. Funded by the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the Department of Justice, their research constructed a database of every mass shooter since 1966 who shot and killed four or more people in a public place, and every shooting incident at schools, workplaces and places of worship since 1999.

Peterson and Densley also compiled detailed life histories on 180 shooters, speaking to their spouses, parents, siblings, childhood friends, work colleagues and teachers. As for the gunmen themselves, most don’t survive their carnage, but five who did talked to Peterson and Densely from prison, where they were serving life sentences. The researchers also found several people who planned a mass shooting but changed their mind.

Their findings, also published in the 2021 book, The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic, reveal striking commonalities among the perpetrators of mass shootings and suggest a data-backed, mental health-based approach could identify and address the next mass shooter before he pulls the trigger — if only politicians are willing to actually engage in finding and funding targeted solutions. POLITICO talked to Peterson and Densely from their offices in St. Paul, Minn., about how our national understanding about mass shooters has to evolve, why using terms like “monster” is counterproductive, and why political talking points about mental health need to be followed up with concrete action.

POLITICO: Since you both spend much of your time studying mass shootings, I wonder if you had the same stunned and horrified reaction as the rest of us to the Uvalde elementary school shooting. Or were you somehow expecting this?

Jillian Peterson: On some level, we were waiting because mass shootings are socially contagious and when one really big one happens and gets a lot of media attention, we tend to see others follow. But this one was particularly gutting. I have three elementary school kids, one of which is in 4th grade.

James Densley: I’m also a parent of two boys, a 5-year-old and a 12-year-old. My 12-year-old knows what I do for a living and he’s looking to me for reassurance and I didn’t have the words for him. How do I say, “This happened at a school, but now it’s OK for you to go to your school and live your life.” It’s heartbreaking.

POLITICO: Are you saying there’s a link between the Buffalo and Uvalde shootings?

Peterson: We don’t know for sure at this point, but our research would say that it’s likely. You had an 18-year-old commit a horrific mass shooting. His name is everywhere and we all spend days talking about “replacement theory.” That shooter was able to get our attention. So, if you have another 18-year-old who is on the edge and watching everything, that could be enough to embolden him to follow. We have seen this happen before.

Densley: Mass shooters study other mass shooters. They often find a way of relating to them, like, “There are other people out there who feel like me.”

POLITICO: Can you take us through the profile of mass shooters that emerged from your research?

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

5 June 2022 at 1:03 pm

Should you brush your teeth as soon as you get up? or wait till after breakfast?

leave a comment »

One assumes that both is best, but what if you do only one? The answer is in an article that also has advice on timing.

Update: Just applied this new knowledge for the first time, initiating a new habit. As soon as I rolled out of bed, I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth, using a Bass toothbrush (scroll down at link for video) and OraWellness’s HealThy Mouth Blend (again, scroll down at link for video).

Written by Leisureguy

5 June 2022 at 9:29 am

The origin story of “Hello, darkness, my old friend.”

with one comment

From a Facebook post:

“Hello darkness, my old friend…” Everybody knows the iconic Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel song, but do you know the amazing story behind the first line of “The Sounds of Silence”?

It began when Arthur “Art” Garfunkel, a Jewish kid from Queens, enrolled in Columbia University. During freshman orientation, Art met a student from Buffalo named Sandy Greenberg, and they immediately bonded over their shared passion for literature and music. Art and Sandy became roommates and best friends. With the idealism of youth, they promised to be there for each other no matter what.

Soon after starting college, Sandy was struck by tragedy. His vision became blurry and although doctors diagnosed it as temporary conjunctivitis, the problem grew worse. Finally after seeing a specialist, Sandy received the devastating news that severe glaucoma was destroying his optic nerves. The young man with such a bright future would soon be completely blind.

Sandy was devastated and fell into a deep depression. He gave up his dream of becoming a lawyer and moved back to Buffalo, where he worried about being a burden to his financially-struggling family. Consumed with shame and fear, Sandy cut off contact with his old friends, refusing to answer letters or return phone calls.

Then suddenly, to Sandy’s shock, his buddy Art showed up at the front door. He was not going to allow his best friend to give up on life, so he bought a ticket and flew up to Buffalo unannounced. Art convinced Sandy to give college another go, and promised that he would be right by his side to make sure he didn’t fall – literally or figuratively.

Art kept his promise, faithfully escorting Sandy around campus and effectively serving as his eyes. It was important to Art that even though Sandy had been plunged into a world of darkness, he should never feel alone. Art actually started calling himself “Darkness” to demonstrate his empathy with his friend. He’d say things like, “Darkness is going to read to you now.” Art organized his life around helping Sandy.

One day, Art was guiding Sandy through crowded Grand Central Station when he suddenly said he had to go and left his friend alone and petrified. Sandy stumbled, bumped into people, and fell, cutting a gash in his shin. After a couple of hellish hours, Sandy finally got on the right subway train. After exiting the station at 116th street, Sandy bumped into someone who quickly apologized – and Sandy immediately recognized Art’s voice! Turned out his trusty friend had followed him the whole way home, making sure he was safe and giving him the priceless gift of independence. Sandy later said, “That moment was the spark that caused me to live a completely different life, without fear, without doubt. For that I am tremendously grateful to my friend.”

Sandy graduated from Columbia and then earned graduate degrees at Harvard and Oxford. He married his high school sweetheart and became an extremely successful entrepreneur and philanthropist.

While at Oxford, Sandy got a call from Art. This time Art was the one who needed help. He’d formed a folk rock duo with his high school pal Paul Simon, and they desperately needed $400 to record their first album. Sandy and his wife Sue had literally $404 in their bank account, but without hesitation Sandy gave his old friend what he needed.

Art and Paul’s first album was not a success, but one of the songs, The Sounds of Silence, became a #1 hit a year later. The opening line echoed the way Sandy always greeted Art. Simon & Garfunkel went on to become one of the most beloved musical acts in history.

The two Columbia graduates, each of whom has added so much to the world in his own way, are still best friends. Art Garfunkel said that when he became friends with Sandy, “my real life emerged. I became a better guy in my own eyes, and began to see who I was – somebody who gives to a friend.” Sandy describes himself as “the luckiest man in the world.”

Adapted from Sandy Greenberg’s memoir: Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: How Daring Dreams and Unyielding Friendship Turned One Man’s Blindness into an Extraordinary Vision for Life.

Written by Leisureguy

5 June 2022 at 8:57 am

Posted in Books, Daily life, Medical, Music

BTS in dominoes

leave a comment »

Occasionally, a person will stumble into a cultural niche — sometimes so large it’s not really a “niche” — of which they knew nothing, and discover that there is a great world of detail in ideas and efforts and accomplishments of which they were ignorant. This happens at all ages: young people discover writers or directors or artists or philosophers or bands or genres or foods or writers or actors or movements that were completely unknown to them — and so do older people. In fact, it happens repeatedly to those who are curious and given to exploration because reality is incredibly rich.

I enjoyed this video because it shows two such niches.

Written by Leisureguy

5 June 2022 at 8:07 am

How can those who oppose abortion also oppose strict gun laws? Are they pro-life? or just pro-forced birth?

leave a comment »

In Caroline Kitchener’s Washington Post report on the fallout from the state’s abortion ban (gift link, no paywall), she writes about state Rep. Todd Russ (R), one of the leading antiabortion members in the legislature.

Russ and his colleagues will often say, “If this saves one life, why would you not do it?”

Unless Russ and his colleagues are hypocritical posturers, they will for the same reason strongly support the five gun laws that research has shown to be effective at saving multiple lives (emphasis added in this quotation):

five baseline policies that every state should have.

Those are basically the three that we’ve talked about: a permitting mechanism, universal background check, and a limit on the magazine capacity. Number four is a law that basically says that anyone who has committed a violent crime — we don’t care what level it is — cannot access a gun. Not just a felony crime, but also a misdemeanor crime because federal law already prohibits people who committed a felony from possessing a gun. The problem is that there are a lot of violent crimes that just don’t rise to the felony level. For example, a lot of domestic violence crimes are just prosecuted as misdemeanors. A lot of crimes — somebody threatened to kill someone, or cyber harassment or stalking — are misdemeanors.

Then the fifth law that every state should have is a red flag law, or an extreme risk protection order law. That is so important because in most mass shootings, there is some warning sign that the perpetrator has given. It’s almost always the case that there was some history of threatened violence or planned violence. The red flag law allows law enforcement to take action when there is credible evidence that somebody does pose risk, and that may or may not be taking their gun away, but at the very least there’s an investigation and a court hearing that bring this to the attention of the authority so that it doesn’t sneak under the radar.

Are politicians who oppose abortion actually pro-life? If so, they will support those 5 laws. But I think most of them are not so much “pro-life” as “pro-forced birth.”

Written by Leisureguy

5 June 2022 at 3:24 am

%d bloggers like this: