Later On

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

Archive for July 17th, 2022

Avocado-chile-garlic-scape sauce

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I just made this sauce, using my immersion blender. I put the following into the beaker that came with the blender:

• 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
• 1 1/2 limes, peeled
• 6-8 garlic scapes, cut into segments
• 3 cayenne peppers, coarsely chopped
• pinch of MSG
• about 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• 1/2 cup water

I blended until it was smooth. It seemed too thick, so I added more water and blended that, then decanted it into a jar (see photo). It’s still pretty thick, which is what I want.

It tastes good, and I think after it sits a while the flavors will develop more. 

Thoughts for the future:

• include 1 chopped scallion (I meant to do this, but forgot)
• try a Meyer lemon instead of the lime
• add some chopped cilantro before blending
• maybe a little fresh rosemary? dried thyme? not sure
• this morning I thought: what about a few walnuts?

I’ll use this as a sauce for my stir fries. 

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2022 at 6:09 pm

The Uvalde shooting video: A 30-year law enforcement officer provides a minute-by-minute breakdown of what happened

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In The Grid, Maggie Severna interviews Frank G. Straub, director of the Center for Targeted Violence Prevention at the National Policing Institute, a nonpartisan research nonprofit, about the video of the Uvalde shooting. The article begins:

A video released this week by the Austin American-Statesman gives an unsettling look into the police response to the May mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The footage — from security cameras inside the school — shows an apparently disorganized group of police idling down the hall from the part of the building the shooter was in for nearly an hour after he opened fire inside the school, while children and teachers were dying in nearby classrooms without medical care. Some of the officers appear to be holding ballistic shields capable of blocking the shooter’s gunfire.

The police actions in the video run counter to standard active shooter training that officers across the country — including the Uvalde police force — receive today, said Frank G. Straub, director of the Center for Targeted Violence Prevention at the National Policing Institute, a nonpartisan research nonprofit. And it was a departure from law enforcement response to other recent mass shootings.

“The sad reality that we have learned over the years since Columbine is that we can’t wait,” said Straub, who has reviewed many videos of mass shootings as part of his work. “The first officers on scene have to go in, have to respond to hearing gun shots, and they have to neutralize the shooter or shooters as quickly as possible. And they do that recognizing that there is great risk to themselves of serious injury or death.”

Several mass shootings in recent years, including those at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and in San Bernardino, California, saw rapid police intervention, Straub said, and the carnage in those cases could have been significantly worse if police didn’t work to quickly stop the shooting and get medical care to victims, he said.

Straub agreed to watch the new footage from inside Robb Elementary School and share his minute-by-minute analysis with Grid. Prior to becoming a researcher, Straub spent three decades in law enforcement in roles that included police chief in Spokane, Washington, and public safety commissioner in White Plains, New York. He holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice and has led studies of several mass shootings.

“It almost had the feel to me, looking at the video, that people didn’t understand that this was real,” Straub told Grid. “It was almost like something you would see during an active shooter drill or a training exercise, more than what you would see when you knew that active shots had been fired and there were people in those classrooms.”

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Grid: The first part of the video shows the gunman crashing his car outside the school and firing a gun at two men who approach the crash. We hear a teacher call 911, and we see the gunman enter the school and go to a classroom. He fires an AR-15 in two classrooms for two-and-a-half minutes. Three minutes after the gunman walked in, police officers enter the school. From a police officer’s perspective, what is going on and what needs to be done at this point?

Frank G. Staub: The officers theoretically know that they got a 911 call from a teacher saying there’s been shots fired and kids are running. I believe 911 calls went out after he crashed the car, so the police are going into this situation knowing there have been shots fired inside and outside of this school when they’re arriving. That’s an important piece of context to this. They probably have no idea how many shots have been fired in the school, but clearly you can see the arriving officers know there’s shooting going on.

I think they do the right thing: The first group of officers who get there immediately advance down the hallway. From what I can see, one of them had a rifle, the other three look like they had handguns. Nobody has vests other than their duty vests, and duty vests typically don’t stop rifle rounds.

Then we see, at four minutes [after the shooter entered the school], there’s gunfire directed at the officers in the hallway. What I don’t know is, what provoked that? Did the shooter hear noises in the hallway and fire out the door? It looks like one of the officers took some type of shrapnel in the face, and they retreat.

What I don’t know is, when they first went down there, did they just stand outside the classroom, or did they try to enter the classroom? We can’t tell. They should’ve made an effort to enter the classroom where they heard gunfire. Why they didn’t, I don’t know. But in theory, they should’ve tried to enter the room. They know the person is in there, they know he’s shooting, so their job is to stop that individual from firing additional shots.

G: How might this situation have looked to those officers? . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2022 at 11:27 am

Comments on trying out (or moving toward) a whole-food plant-based diet

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I got an interesting question in a comment to this post this morning, and I thought it worthwhile to point it out, along with my somewhat extended answer.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2022 at 10:53 am

Let’s Give Duke Ellington the Pulitzer Prize He Was Denied in 1965

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I am totally on board with Ted Gioia’s proposal:

Last week the International Olympic Committee reinstated Jim Thorpe’s gold medals, taken from him in 1912. Emboldened by this rectification of a longstanding wrong after more than a century, I am launching an online petition for Duke Ellington to be granted the Pulitzer Prize he was denied in 1965—despite the recommendation of the music jury.

Here’s the link to the petition. The back story is below.

Let’s Give Duke Ellington the Pulitzer Prize He Was Denied in 1965

Something amazing happened in sports last week. And it didn’t take place in a competition or on an athletic field.

Jim Thorpe, a legendary athlete in almost every sport he played, was retroactively awarded sole possession of the Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon.

It had taken 110 years to redress a wrong.

Thorpe destroyed the competition at the 1912 Olympics and set records that lasted for decades. At the medal ceremony King Gustav V of Sweden declared that he was “the greatest athlete in the world”—and nobody disagreed. But a few months later, Jim Thorpe was stripped of the awards because he had played a few games of semi-pro baseball, and thus violated the Olympic rule that only amateurs could compete in events.

In my childhood, my parents and others of their generation still complained bitterly of this. Thorpe had lived for a time in my home town of Hawthorne, California, and though he died four years before I was born, many still remembered him, and his name was always spoken with awe and reverence.

But the lost medals were especially lamented by the Native American community—Thorpe was a member of the Sac and Fox nation, and he was not only a great athlete, but at the very highest rung. When the Associated Press conducted a survey in 1950 to pick the best athlete of the first half of the 20th century, Thorpe took the top spot. When they did another vote decades later to cover the entire century, Thorpe placed third, behind only Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan—an extraordinary achievement, especially given the fact that Thorpe’s glory days were only a dim memory by that time.

I never expected Thorpe to regain sole possession of those 1912 gold medals. But it happened. And it was the right thing.

And that leads me to the subject of Duke Ellington and the Pulitzer Prize he never got in 1965.

If you look at the list of winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Music from the 1960s, you see a strange gap. Here’s what it looks like on Wikipedia. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2022 at 10:40 am

Window swap

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Note that the location is specified at the top right and that you can turn sound on or off (bottom right). Check it out.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2022 at 9:29 am

Posted in Daily life

“My Abortion Journey: Becoming a Pro-Choice Christian”

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Nick Coccoma has a thoughtful and interesting post at The Similitude. It begins:

As a Christian who cherishes human life, I understand those who think abolishing legal abortion is good. I’m a former Catholic who thought seriously about becoming a priest. I hold a Master of Divinity degree from a Catholic institution, where I studied moral theology. I know the mindset of its milieu from the inside. Many anti-abortion activists have convinced themselves they are saving lives. And who doesn’t want to do that? If you think you could be on the side of good—and God—by saving lives, who wouldn’t feel attracted (or pressured) to embrace that cause?

Those who want legal abortion access also think we’re saving peoples lives. But our side, I’m afraid, has done a poor job of marketing by framing abortion as about choice. While correct on principle, “choice” is a word associated in daily life with consumer habits and careless, half-baked, impulsive acts. Coke or Pepsi for lunch? Hmm, Coke! Have a baby or abort? Hmm, abort!

This is the troubling image conjured by the word “choice” in the minds of anti-abortion people. It sounds like you’re degrading human life into a commodity. It raises fears of a slippery slope to eugenics, a throwaway culture where the elderly, people with mental disabilities, and other vulnerable members are stripped of their dignity. Some, if not many, anti-abortion activists want to protect those people, made in the divine image.

But so do people who favor legal abortion access—perhaps more, actually, than many anti-abortion advocates, especially evangelicals. The states that allow legal abortion have the broadest social supports for the poor in the nation—those now banning it, the weakest. Most states outlawing abortion also execute prisoners with ruthless abandon. Those with abortion do not. Where is the epicenter of the new abortion regime? The Deep South—the historic site of slavery, Jim Crow, and sodomy laws. This belies the truth of their actions: that it’s about power, punishment, and control—not life.

“Choice” also paints women as careless and indifferent to the moral stakes of sexual intimacy, pregnancy, and termination. But that is untrue. Women do not approach abortion like a consumer choice at all. For them, it is a fraught, profound decision. It is about care for their bodies and their lives. It is not a thoughtless disposal of human beings.

The anti-abortion movement has been very psychologically powerful in this regard. I myself wrestled over abortion for years. Like many Catholics, I grew up in an ecclesial culture steeped in traditionalism. In this nostalgic vision, abortions never used to happen. Women led wholesome lives in idyllic families, raising children and mothering them with affection while husbands labored at the office. This fantasy was, of course, totally at odds with my home. My parents led modern lives, a marriage of equals with both spouses working.

But in the imagination of the Catholic hierarchy, abortion—like feminism itself—is a dangerous invention of modernity, akin to pollution. This road to perdition burst on the scene—along with contraception, gays, and sex itself—in the 1960s, that era of decadence. Philip Larkin parodies this mental construct in his poem “Annus Mirabilis”:

Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(Which was rather late for me) – 
Between the end of the “Chatterley” ban
And the Beatles’ first LP.

It’s all a myth. Women have sought to terminate pregnancies since the dawn of time. And when it comes to “tradition,” human beings lived for hundreds of thousands of years in hunter-gatherer bands, egalitarian societies without fixed gender roles. Women harvested food and men hunted, but all were involved in providing for the community’s sustenance. Childrearing was done communally, allowing kids to play freely and benefit from alloparenting.” The idea that it was solely women’s work was absurd. In indigenous American cultures, like the Iroquois, women held political power—the men could initiate war only at their behest. What’s more traditional? Their way of life? Or 1950s suburbia? Measured against the long arc of human history, the nuclear family, with a sole male breadwinner, is the novelty—not the norm.

Even in the Anglo-American world, pregnancy termination before “quickening” (the time when the mother felt the fetus moving in the womb) was legal under common law from 1607 until 1828. According to the American Historical Association, abortion laws emerged slowly starting in the early 1830s, mostly to protect women from dangerous procedures—not the fetus. In the 1850s, a mysogynistic physician named Horatio Storer spearheaded a campaign to ban abortion as a means to put women back in the home.

This was a response to . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2022 at 9:18 am

How Much Does It Really Cost to Charge That Electric Vehicle?

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Evan Williams has an informative post at, and though his focus is Canada, I believe his figures would generally apply in the US as well. One acronym that was new to me: PHEV = Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (as distinct from plain old Hybrid, I presume). The article begins:

Update (February 28, 2022): With more EVs on the road in 2022 than in 2017, along with big changes in the cost of energy, we’ve updated this guide for 2022 with new vehicles and updated power and fuel rates.

Just about every article or news piece about an electric car that we do – and there is a lot of EV news lately – gets a comment thread filled with people debating the price of charging an EV. “Hydro rates are so high,” “maybe when electricity is cheaper,” “who can afford to drive one when I can use cheaper gas,” and best of all “filling a tank with fuel is half the price of plugging in a car.”

What we realized is buyers don’t seem to know just how much it costs to charge an EV. I realized I didn’t know how much it would cost to charge an EV either. But I wanted to find out. We all know exactly how much it costs to put gas in the tank – look at the lines if there is a one-cent price jump expected overnight – but electricity is more stable and more predictable. So how much does it cost to “fill up” an electric car?

The Price of Power

The first step is finding the cost of electricity. In most provinces, it’s easy. Most provinces have a set rate and tax. In New Brunswick, for example, power costs $0.1076/kWh and then gets a 15 percent tax. In provinces with a flat service fee, we have ignored that cost. Since you have to pay that anyway, EV or not, we didn’t count it. One province, however, is a little more tricky.

Ontario has not just three time-of-day rates (and a new but little-used tiered system), but a patchwork of electric providers. Each has a different fee to get the power to your door, with some having multiple rates depending on where you live. That makes it difficult to calculate for every person in the province, but we can get an idea of the range for the province using a best case and a worst case. For the worst case, we used rural delivery fees and peak time rates. For the best case, we used nighttime rates with an urban delivery fee rate.

In provinces that use a different rate for your first bundle of kWh, we’ve used that lower rate. Our reasoning is that it’s impossible to say which kilowatts went where and that the differences aren’t significant to our calculations.

EV Charge Cost

The next step is finding out how much electricity a car takes to charge up. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the same agency that handles fuel economy ratings, does consumption ratings for electric cars. Part of their estimates is a kWh/100 km rating for all electric cars. We’ll use their city/highway combined rating as the amount of electricity used to drive 100 km.

For our calculations, we’re using two electric vehicles. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2022 at 9:05 am

Archivve: Images reflecting ideas

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Take a look. Here are two examples:

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2022 at 7:37 am

Posted in Daily life, Memes

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