Later On

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

Archive for July 30th, 2022

“Hard Boiled” now on Prime video

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I haven’t seen Hard Boiled (1992), a John Woo film that stars Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung, for years, but it is vivid in my memory (though I had forgotten the very nice jazz intro scene). It’s the sort of film you’ll like if you like this sort of film. — update: Hey! Anthony Wong’s in it, too.

Written by Leisureguy

30 July 2022 at 10:31 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

Some additions to your budget plan

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Cynthis Measom has a useful article in GO Banking rates on some expense items (and their estimate cost) that should be included among the expense categories for which you put money aside. Some items may not apply — for example, home repair expenses are not part of a renter’s budget. However, a renter might well want to have in savings an amount equal to the cost of a move and renting a new place (which might require an amount equal to three month’s of your target monthly rental: first and last month and security deposit.

At any rate, the article has some useful thoughts that you might want to incorporate in a budget plan like the one I describe in a separate post.

Written by Leisureguy

30 July 2022 at 10:27 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life

36 Questions for Increasing Closeness

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From The Greater Good in Action (Science-Based Practices for a Meaningful Life), a set of questions:

Time Required

45 minutes each time you do this practice.

How to Do It

  1. Identify someone with whom you’d like to become closer. It could be someone you know well or someone you’re just getting to know. Although this exercise has a reputation for making people fall in love, it is actually useful for anyone you want to feel close to, including family members, friends, and acquaintances. Before trying it, make sure both you and your partner are comfortable with sharing personal thoughts and feelings with each other.
  2. Find a time when you and your partner have at least 45 minutes free and are able to meet in person.
  3. For 15 minutes, take turns asking one another the questions in Set I below. Each person should answer each question, but in an alternating order, so that a different person goes first each time.
  4. After 15 minutes, move on to Set II, even if you haven’t yet finished the Set I questions. Then spend 15 minutes on Set II, following the same system.
  5. After 15 minutes on Set II, spend 15 minutes on Set III. (Note: Each set of questions is designed to be more probing than the previous one. The 15-minute periods ensure that you spend an equivalent amount of time at each level of self-disclosure).

Set I 

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a telephone call, do . . .

Continue reading.

Also see the tab “Why to Try It” on that page. Click the tab for more information, such as:

Why You Should Try It

Building close relationships in adulthood can be challenging. Many social situations call for polite small talk, not heart-to-heart conversations, making it difficult to really connect deeply with people.

One way to overcome these barriers to closeness is by engaging in “reciprocal self-disclosure”—that is, to reveal increasingly personal information about yourself to another person, as they do the same to you. Research suggests that spending just 45 minutes engaging in self-disclosure with a stranger can dramatically increase feelings of closeness between you. In some cases, these feelings of closeness persist over time and form the basis of a new relationship.

Why It Works

To develop closeness, we need to be willing to open up. But opening up isn’t always easy—we might fear coming on too strong or embarrassing ourselves. The 36 Questions encourage us to open up at the same time and at a similar pace as our partner, reducing the likelihood that the sharing will feel one-sided. It offers space for our partner to respond positively to our self-disclosure—with understanding, validation, and care—in a way that can also enhance closeness. This mirrors the gradual getting-to-know-you process that relationships typically undergo, only at a more accelerated pace. The feelings of closeness generated can, in turn, help us build lasting relationships that increase our overall happiness.

Evidence That It Works

Aron, A., Melinat, E., Aron, E. N., Vallone, R. D., & Bator, R. J. (1997). The experimental generation of interpersonal closeness: A procedure and some preliminary findingsPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23(4), 363-377.

Unacquainted pairs of participants instructed to ask one another the 36 Questions for Increasing Closeness reported a greater increase in feelings of closeness than pairs instructed to ask one another 36 superficial questions instead. Pairs who completed the closeness exercise felt closer regardless of whether they shared certain core beliefs and attitudes, or whether they expected the exercise to work in the first place. Remarkably, their feelings of closeness following the conversation matched the average level of closeness that other participants reported feeling in their closest relationships.

Who Has Tried the Practice? . . .

Written by Leisureguy

30 July 2022 at 7:43 pm

Inside an international network of teenage neo-Nazi extremists

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Nick Robins Early, Alexander Nabert, and Christina Brause report in Insider:

Last year, a 20-year-old named Christian Michael Mackey arrived at the Phillips 66 gas station in Grand Prairie, Texas, hoping to sell his AM-15 rifle to make some quick cash. He’d said he wanted to buy a more powerful gun, something that could stop what he called a “hoard of you know what.”

Mackey told an online group chat he’d started looking at Nazi websites at around 15-years-old, when he began spending hours on white nationalist message boards and talking to other extremists on Instagram and encrypted messaging apps like Telegram. Five years later, he was active in a network of violent neo-Nazi groups that organized and communicated through online group chats. He described himself as a “radical Jew slayer.”

When Mackey met his buyer in the gas-station parking lot in January 2021, he didn’t know he had walked into a sting. The woman purchasing his rifle was a paid FBI source with numerous felonies, and Mackey was arrested as soon as the gun changed hands. At his detention hearing a month later, an FBI agent said authorities had found a pipe bomb in Mackey’s parents’ house, where he lived.

Mackey’s stepfather told local news soon after the arrest that his stepson had been radicalized online, and footage showed him ripping up a copy of “Mein Kampf” in Mackey’s bedroom. FBI records and court documents indicated that Mackey had posted more than 2,400 messages in one neo-Nazi Instagram group chat alone, and had told another user “I’m just trying to live long enough to die attacking.”

Stories like this have increasingly played out across the US and around the world in recent years — young people, overwhelmingly white and male, who have become involved in a global network of neo-Nazi extremist groups that plot mass violence online.

Canadian authorities earlier this year arrested a 19-year-old on terrorism charges after they say he tried to join a neo-Nazi group similar to the ones Mackey was involved in. In April, a 15-year-old in Denmark was charged with recruiting for a neo-Nazi organization banned in the country. A 16-year-old became the UK’s youngest terrorism offender after joining that same group, where he researched terror manuals and discussed how to make explosives. Others made it further along in their plots, like a 21-year-old who planted a bomb outside the Western Union office in Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius.

As far-right extremism has grown over the past decade, so too has the notoriety of various groups and their leaders. Far-right gangs such as the Proud Boys as well as suit-and-tie-wearing white nationalists like Richard Spencer regularly make headlines. But there are also lesser-known groups with more directly violent aims that follow an ideology called accelerationism — the belief that carrying out bombings, mass shootings, and other attacks is necessary to hasten the collapse of society and allow a white ethnostate to rise in its place.

Countries including the United Kingdom and Canada have designated accelerationist groups such as Atomwaffen Division, Feuerkrieg Division and The Base as terrorist organizations. Atomwaffen, which is now largely defunct, was linked to at least five murders in the US alone. The Base’s leader was sentenced in May to four years in prison after plotting to kill minorities and instigate a race war.

Experts trace the origins of groups like these to a neo-Nazi website called Iron March that went offline in 2017, and which notoriously helped extremists from many countries forge international connections and spread accelerationist propaganda.

The ideology has been linked to the 2019 Christchurch massacre in New Zealand, where a white nationalist killed 51 people at two mosques while livestreaming the attack online, and a shooting earlier this year at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY where 10 people were killed.

As part of a joint investigation that Insider undertook with Welt Am Sonntag and Politico, reporters gained access to two dozen internal chat groups linked to a broader network of neo-Nazi accelerationists. Comprising 98,000 messages from about 900 users, the data includes photos, videos, text, and voice messages.

Various participants in the groups have been charged with a range of crimes related to plots to bomb or burn down synagogues and gay bars, attack anti-fascist activists, and illegally traffic firearms. In chat logs that reporters reviewed, members showed off homemade explosives, encouraged one another to kill minorities, and discussed how to get access to weapons.

The scores of messages and propaganda in these chats provide a glimpse into one of the most dangerous corners of modern far-right extremism. It is increasingly international, intent on radicalizing young people, and committed to using violence to further its fascist ideology.

Rather than a centralized group, it is a loosely connected network that rises and falls as its members are killed or arrested — but never seems to entirely go away. And unlike extremist groups that want to integrate their beliefs into political parties or run for local office, the aim of accelerationist groups like these is primarily to create violent chaos. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

30 July 2022 at 4:57 pm

The weekend, a great slant, a fine soap, a superb aftershave — what’s not to like?

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The iKon stainless slant, now sold with a B1 coating, is certainly a classic among slants, and once I learned its preferred angle (handle well away from face, razor riding on the cap’s edge), it became totally gentle on my face, milld and comfortable in feel while being breathtakingly efficient at removing stubble. 

This morning it was gliding on a luxury lather from Grooming Dept Luxury shaving soap, which uses the Kairos (tallow-based) formula. Three enjoyable passes and my face was left smooth and soft (the latter thanks not only to the soap but also to Grooming Dept Moisturizing Pre-Shave).

A splash of Chatillon Lux’s aftershave toner — a wonderful formula, but he seems to have discontinued his aftershave line — finished the job. I really like the fragrance and feel of this toner, which I chose this morning because it so often accompanies luxury. (“Vide poche” means “empty pocket.”) 

In that connection — luxury = empty pocket — I happened across an article on how 40% of Americans cannot handle an unexpected $400 expense. I totally understand, because it took me literally decades to figure out how to handle money to the extent that I am prepared both for expected expenses and an occasional unexpected expense. (See this post.)

It helps, of course, that, unlike those living in the US, unexpected medical expenses are not in the picture. My recent acquisition of a pacemaker via an unanticipated surgery, with brief hospital stay, did not impact my budget at all. I noticed that when I went in for my 6-week clinic visit and they checked out the pacemaker and gave me a monitor so they could remotely track my pacemaker’s daily activity, the total cost of the visit was $3.50 (parking). 

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Lavender Cream: “the robust black tea base is rounded out with calming flavours and aromas of lavender and vanilla.”


Written by Leisureguy

30 July 2022 at 9:43 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

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