Later On

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

Archive for August 31st, 2022

Chia-seed pudding recipe

leave a comment »

A view from directly above of a bowl of chia pudding, chocolate brown, with a silver spoon stuck into the pudding at the edge of the bowl. The pudding looks somewhat like a cake.
Chia pudding with Meridian cocoa powder.

This recipe evolves over time. This most recent update is 5/5/2023, and I’ve added ginger powder and cut back on quantity (but make two breakfasts at a time).

I’ve recently added chia-seed pudding to my breakfast, so now my morning food line-up is pretty strong wrt the Daily Dozen:

• 1 brazil nut (for selenium)
• chia-seed pudding (recipe below)
Fruit: 3 pieces of fruit (today: peach, tangerine, and apple)
• 1 pint of hot tea (I substitute coffee on Wednesday and the weekend)
• 2 sheets of nori (for the iodine)

Also, I take one B12 tablet (cyanocobalamin). Anyone who’s over, say, 50 should do this, regardless of their diet, because one’s ability to absorb B12 declines with age.

The fruit I use varies and recently has included plums of various varieties and nectarines. Fuyu persimmons are a favorite in the fall, and I often have Bosc pears.

Until I added the pudding, I also ate 1 square of 100% cacao chocolate (usually Baker’s unsweetened). ] Now I get the chocolate in the pudding, and now I use natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process cocoa, not so rich in nutrients). You can chop up a square of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate and use it in the pudding instead of the cocoa powder.

There was a chocolate scare about the risk of lead and cadmium contamination, which seems not uncommon — and unfortunately, manufacturers are not required to include in the label information the amount of lead and cadmium in their chocolate. While an occasional cup of hot chocolate or piece of dark chocolate would do no harm, eating it daily for a long period of time seems risky.

But then published a rebuttal to the report from Consumer Reports, and NPR also had a report that rebuts Consumer Reports. Based on these two reports, and also information from, I resumed using natural-process cocoa in the pudding.

However, I now order my cocoa from Meridian Cocoa Co. in Portland, Oregon, one of the companies recommended by DessertGeek. When I emailed an inquiry to them, they replied promptly with a PDF of the analysis of their cocoa for lead and cadmium. So I ordered this cocoa powder. It is noticeably better than what I had been using: richer and more complex taste. It is also darker in color. I got a 5-lb bag (and it is one bag, not five 1-lb bags). Highly recommended.

Someone commented that the recipe seems laborious, but labor is minimized because I have organized making it. I keep all the needed measuring spoons on the countertop in a small jar, and lined up next to that are the jars that contain each ingredient, with my spice-and-nut grinder nearby. The only thing not ready to hand is the oat milk in the refrigerator. Preparing the pudding in the evening takes only 6 minutes. And after it has rested overnight in the refrigerator, the pudding is absolutely delicious and totally satisfying as a breakfast. I look forward to it every day.

So now my breakfast also includes the following, with Daily Dozen components listed in boldface.

Chia-Seed Pudding

I now use a large bowl to mix the ingredients. Once they are mixed, I use a ladle to transfer the pudding to two glass storage containers, about 1.5 cups each, thus making breakfast for 2 days. In boldface before each ingredient, I identify which of Greger’s Daily Dozen the ingredient falls into.

I use my Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder for a variety of things, including coffee beans when I have coffee. Here I use it for the seeds and to mix some ingredients.

In a large bowl, put:

Grain – 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Berries – 1/4 cup dried barberries (available online or at Middle Eastern delis/stores)
Nuts/Seeds – 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Put into the spice grinder’s cup:

Flaxseed – 2 rounded tablespoons flaxseed

Grind that briefly and dump it into the mixing bowl. The put into the spice grinder cup:

Nuts/Seeds – 3 rounded tablespoons chia seed

Grind that briefly and dump it into the mixing bowl, then add:

Berries – 2 rounded teaspoons amla (powdered Indian gooseberries)
Herbs & Spices – 2 rounded teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon (taste + antioxidants) [not Cassia cinnamon]
Herbs & Spices – 2 rounded teaspoons ground ginger (for these reasons)
Herbs & Spices1 teaspoon dried spearmint leaves (had to drop — made me cough)
Herbs & Spices – 1 rounded teaspoon ground cloves (very high in antioxidants)
Herbs & Spices – 2 teaspoons dried marjoram (also very high in antioxidants)
• 1 rounded tablespoon natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process) — I use this one 

Add all that to the bowl with the oats, barberries, and walnuts and mix well. (I use a silicone spatula.) Then add to the bowl:

Berries – 1 cup frozen mixed berries
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup (see note below)
• 1-2 teaspoons vanilla (I use McCormack Vanilla Flavoring — see note below)
• 1 1/2 cups “milk” (oat milk or hazelnut milk or walnut milk — I mostly use vanilla oat milk)

After adding the milk, use a spatula to mix all ingredients well. Then ladle the ingredients into two storage containers, cover the containers, and put them into the refrigerator overnight. You now have two breakfasts.

Note on Maple syrup: I first used 2 tablespoons, then I tried using none. When I used none, the milk was not fully absorbed, leaving some small amount of free liquid. Apparently, the syrup helps in absorption. So I tried using just 1 tablespoon (rather than 2) and that worked: all milk was then absorbed.

Note on vanilla flavoring: In 2019 Cook’s Illustrated tested “10 of the top-selling products in the country—seven pure extracts and three imitation extracts. The price range was dramatic. We paid $0.12 an ounce for the least expensive imitation extract and $6.19 an ounce for one of the pure extracts. .. We tallied the results of our first two tastings, frosting and pudding, and found that an imitation extract won, followed closely by a pure extract. The rest of the rankings were a jumble. We were surprised. We knew from past tastings that imitation vanilla extracts could be good in baked goods, but we were shocked that Baker’s (a budget imitation extract made by McCormick) won tastings in which the vanilla was stirred in at the end, uncooked. We scrutinized ingredient lists and called in experts to help us understand why.

“For the most part, our tasters could not tell the difference between real and fake vanilla flavor. Bill Carroll, adjunct professor of chemistry at Indiana University, said he’s not surprised. Vanillin that is synthesized in a lab is identical at the molecular level to vanillin derived from an orchid and thus will taste the same.

“We had vanillin levels tested at an independent lab and found that the imitation vanilla extracts ranged from 0.32 to 0.64 grams per 100 milliliters; the pure extracts had just 0.03 to 0.10 grams per 100 milliliters—so the product with the most vanillin had 21 times as much as the product with the least. In general, we liked stronger vanilla flavor, and the product with the second-highest vanillin level at 0.58 grams per 100 milliliters, Baker’s Imitation Vanilla Flavor, was our overall winner.”

Baker’s Imitation Vanilla Flavor has been discontinued, and Cook’s Illustrated recommends McCormack Imitation Vanilla Flavor in its place because it has more vanilla flavor than the best vanilla extract (by Simply Organic). It is also substantially cheaper.  

The nut milk I originally used has just two ingredients: finely ground nuts and water. Some milk analogs contain quite a few ingredients and seem to be more highly processed — manufactured, as it were. I like to keep it simple (and I also like to avoid dairy). I also use Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Oat Milk, which has only 3 ingredients (water, oats, and salt).

Nowadays I mostly use Earth’s Own Oat Milk because it is so much cheaper (roughly 1/4 the price per ounce), though it does contain sunflower oil (not a good oil). However, it not only costs less, it is also enriched with various vitamins and minerals, something the Elmhurst Oat Milk lacks. I’ve recently been using Earth’s Own Vanilla Oat Milk, which helps the flavor of the pudding. It does have added sugar, but only 6g a serving. However, Earth’s Own Unsweetened Original has zero sugar, so I use that when it’s available. (It seems to be often sold out.)

I earlier blogged about a chocolate chia pudding, and also a guacamole chia pudding.


Written by Leisureguy

31 August 2022 at 10:34 pm

Universe Price Tiers

leave a comment »

In Universe Pro®™ the laws of physics remain unchanged under time reversal, to maintain backward compatibility.


Written by Leisureguy

31 August 2022 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Humor, Software, Technology

Locus of Control: How It Affects Your Life and How To Manage It

leave a comment »

Locus of control is a primary focus in Martin Seligman’s book Learned Optimism, in which he discusses how loss of an internal locus of control leads to depression. That is, once a person feels that they have no control over their life because outside forces (others and social circumstances, for example) have control, then they tend to give up and becomes depressed. Of course, in some situations one really does have little control over what happens, and Covey discusses how one should focus their attention and efforts on their Circle of Influence (where one does have an internal locus of control) and not tie one’s attention and sense of well-being to their Circle of Concern (where the locus of control is external). The idea is that it is frustrating, exhausting, and depressing to give all your attention to those things over which you have no control.

Locus of control is also central to Stephen Covey’s Habit 1. That habit is specifically about recognizing when you have abandoned your locus of control (living in what Covey calls the Reactive Model) and reclaiming it (the Proactive Model). For more information, download the synopsis in my Covey post.

A post in Nir and Far has a good discussion of locus of control:

My daughter had just pulled the caramel corn out of the oven, and the sticky-sweet smell was almost irresistible. Despite knowing it wasn’t going to help my diet, I was gnawing for a taste. But instead of kindly asking for a small bite, as I should have, I barked, “Damn this caramel corn!”

Cursing my daughter’s hard work earned me a scowl and, if I’m honest with myself, didn’t set a good example for how a grown-up should handle himself. It wasn’t my daughter’s responsibility to manage what I put in my mouth, and it certainly wasn’t the caramel corn’s. Still, I blamed the caramel corn for tempting me, instead of taking responsibility for my urges.

Your reaction to life events—specifically how you explain them—significantly affects your life outcomes.

Of course, there’s a continuum—nobody thinks their life is 100% in their control. But our orientation toward what we believe influences our life has a profound impact on us.

Psychologists refer to this concept as a “locus of control,” a term psychologist Julian Rotter coined in the 1960s.

People with an external locus of control believe that forces outside them—fate, luck, circumstances, caramel corn—are responsible for the events of their lives.

In contrast, those who perceive an internal locus of control believe that their personal decisions and efforts guide much of their lives.

Interestingly, you could have an external locus of control about one area of your life but an internal locus of control about another: You may believe your health is completely genetic, uninfluenced by your choices, but think the success of your career is a direct result of your hard work.

How does your locus of control affect your behavior?

If you think finding a partner is up to fate, you may not feel the need to actively seek, meet, and get to know new people. But if you think you have control over it, you may try harder to put yourself out there. In professional contexts, if you think a promotion is largely outside of your control, you won’t be driven to pursue it. If you see it as a result of your efforts, you’re more likely to endeavor to deliver good work.

Countless studies have demonstrated the importance of locus of control in determining numerous life outcomes.

For example, the perception that 10-year-olds have of their own agency has been shown to significantly predict their health outcomes in their thirties, including obesity, overall health, and psychological distress; those with a more internal locus of control in childhood have a reduced risk of poor health later on. Internal locus of control is also associated with psychological well-being, and academic and professional success.

However, there is no “correct” locus of control, even though studies generally suggest that having an internal locus of control is advantageous. Both extremes can present disadvantages.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, you may benefit from understanding your own orientation and how it may shape your behavior.

Discover your locus of control

Rotter’s full Locus of Control Scale is a 29-item questionnaire (PDF). But to get a quick sense of where you fall on the spectrum, consider which group of statements below resonates more with you.

Internal locus of control:

  • In my case, getting what I want has little or nothing to do with luck.
  • It is impossible for me to believe that chance or luck plays an important role in my life.
  • People are lonely because they don’t try to be friendly.
  • In the long run, people get the respect they deserve in this world.
  • There is a direct connection between how hard I study/ied and the grades I get/got.

External locus of control:

  • Many times we . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

31 August 2022 at 10:31 am

Being virtuous benefits health

leave a comment »

Nice that there’s a payoff to being virtuous beyond merely the satisfaction of doing the right thing(s). In the Harvard Gazette Clea Simon interviews Dorota Weziak-Bialowolska:

Being good is good for you, say the authors of research that explored the role of character in physical and mental health. In a study of more than 1,200 U.S. adults, a team of researchers from Harvard’s Human Flourishing Program and the SHINE program at Harvard Chan School found that acting with high moral character is associated with a lower risk of depression — and may have cardiovascular benefits as well. We spoke with Dorota Weziak-Bialowolska, a co-author of the findings, about the results. The interview was edited for clarity and length.


GAZETTE: What is moral character?

WEZIAK-BIALOWOLSKA: We define it as adherence to high standards of moral behaviors and acting in a way which contributes to the good of oneself and others. So it’s reflected in excellent character, but also in an orientation to promote good and engaging in good deeds, even in difficult or challenging situations.

GAZETTE: How did you measure character?

WEZIAK-BIALOWOLSKA: We asked people to assess themselves in five dimensions: “I always act to promote good in all circumstances, even in difficult and challenging situations”; “I always know what is the right thing to do”; “I always treat everyone with kindness”; “I am always able to give up some happiness now for greater happiness later”; and “I use my strength to help others.”

GAZETTE: Wouldn’t everyone answer these questions to make themselves look good?

WEZIAK-BIALOWOLSKA: You’ll notice we didn’t ask directly: “Are you a good person?” The overall well-being assessment consists of 40 items, and we collected this data in two waves, so we were able to account for reporting bias. Especially when you do a longitudinal study, you account for this bias because it’s present always.

GAZETTE: What are the main takeaways from the paper?

WEZIAK-BIALOWOLSKA: For us, the aim was to look for unconventional health resources — positive factors that may be influential for health and well-being — and character strength is one example. What was quite interesting was the association between delayed gratification and health outcomes. We found an association with depression, but also with anxiety and cardiovascular disease. In health studies we know that delayed gratification is good. When you think about health behaviors like smoking or drinking, if you can refrain from them, you can expect that it will be good for you. But we asked about the statement: “I am always able to give up some happiness now for greater happiness later.” There was no direct indication to health. It was about happiness, something abstract, but we found an association with health outcomes.

We were looking for a recommendation for public health policies. The takeaway is that character-related policies or interventions may be relevant for population health. It’s also very likely that they would be received well by the population because they are aligned with what most of us want: to become a better person. It was very reassuring for us that we found these associations, and for me, personally. I thought it’s wonderful that when I am a better human being I can contribute to the better well-being of others, but also, maybe, for myself.

GAZETTE: What’s next?

WEZIAK-BIALOWOLSKA: Both the Human Flourishing Program and SHINE have plans to . . ..

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

31 August 2022 at 9:47 am

A stout-fragranced shave

leave a comment »

Mystic Water Oatmeal Stout has a fine fragrance, and the lather this morning was excellent. I continue to be pleased by loading the brush — this morning, my RazoRock Key Hole brush, a very nice 22mm synthetic at a good price — for a few seconds more after I feel that it has been fully loaded. I think my sense of “sufficiently loaded” was set a couple of notches low, and by loading a bit longer (LABL), the lather is noticeably improved. 

My stainless-steel RazoRock Mamba is a very nice razor — very comfortable, quite efficient — and in three easy and enjoyable passes I achieve a perfect outcome.

A splash of Mickey Lee Soapworks The Drunken Goat — another hit stout fragrance — mixed with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel completed the shave.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Vanilla Jasmine: “A balanced blend of black, green, and oolong teas, with an enticing aroma of vanilla, jasmine, and magnolia.”

Written by Leisureguy

31 August 2022 at 8:40 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Democratic administrations historically are better for business than Republican ones. It looks as though Biden will continue the trend.

leave a comment »

Heather Cox Richardson:

The big news until shortly before midnight tonight was that businesses do indeed seem to be coming home after the pandemic illustrated the dangers of stretched supply lines, the global minimum tax reduced the incentives to flee to other countries with lower taxes, and the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act spurred investment in technology.

Yesterday, Honda and LG Energy Solution announced they would spend $4.4 billion to construct a new battery plant in the U.S. to join the plants General Motors is building in Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee; the ones Ford is building in Kentucky and Tennessee; the one Toyota is building in North Carolina; and the one Stellantis is building in Indiana. The plants are part of the switch to electric vehicles.  According to auto industry reporter Neal E. Boudette of the New York Times, they represent “one of the most profound shifts the auto industry has experienced in its century-long history.”

Today, Kentucky governor Andy Beshear (D) announced that Kentucky has secured more than $8.5 billion for investment in the production of electric vehicle batteries, which should produce more than 8,000 jobs in the EV sector. “Kentuckians will literally be powering the future,” he said.

Also today, First Solar, the largest solar panel maker in the U.S., announced that it would construct a new solar panel plant in the Southeast, investing up to $1 billion. It credited the Inflation Reduction Act with making solar construction attractive enough in the U.S. to build here rather than elsewhere. First Solar has also said it will upgrade and expand an existing plant in Ohio, spending $185 million.

Corning has announced a new manufacturing plant outside Phoenix, Arizona, to build fiber-optic cable to help supply the $42.5 billion high-speed internet infrastructure investment made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. AT&T will also build a new fiber internet network in Arizona.

The CHIPS and Science Act is spurring investment in the manufacturing of chips in the U.S. Earlier this month, Micron announced a $40 billion investment in the next eight years, producing up to 40,000 new jobs. Qualcomm has also committed to investing $4.2 billion in chips from the New York facility of GlobalFoundries. Qualcomm says it intends to increase chip production in the U.S. by 50% over the next five years. In January, Intel announced it would invest $20 billion, and possibly as much as $100 billion, in a chip plant in Ohio.

This investment is part of a larger trend in which U.S. companies are bringing their operations back to the U.S. Last week, a report by the Reshoring Initiative noted that nearly 350,000 U.S. jobs have come home this year. The coronavirus pandemic, Russia’s war on Ukraine, and China’s instability were the push to bring jobs home, while the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act were the pull. Dion Rabouin notes in the Wall Street Journal that this reshoring will not necessarily translate to blue-collar jobs, as companies will likely increase automation to avoid higher labor costs.

President Joe Biden’s record is unexpectedly strong going into the midterms, and he is directly challenging Republicans on the issues they formerly considered their own. Today, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, he challenged the Republicans on their claim to be the party of law and order, calling out their recent demands to “defund” the FBI and saying he wants to increase funding for law enforcement to enable it to have more social workers, mental health care specialists, and so on.

He noted that law enforcement officers want a ban on assault weapons and that he would work to pass one like that of 1994. When that law expired in 2004, mass shootings in the U.S. tripled.

Then the president took on MAGA Republicans: “A . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

31 August 2022 at 4:34 am

%d bloggers like this: