Later On

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

Archive for August 31st, 2022

Chia-seed pudding recipe

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I’ve recently added chia-seed pudding to my morning food line-up:

• 1 brazil nut
• chia-seed pudding
• 3 pieces of fruit (today, peach, tangerine, and apple)
• 1 pint of hot tea
• 2 sheets of nori (for the iodine)

Also, I eat 1 B12 tablet (cyanocobalamin) — that is, I chew it up.

The fruit I use varies, and recently has included plums of various varieties and nectarines. Soon Fuyu persimmons will be available, and I like those. I often have Bosc pears as well.

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

Someone commented that the recipe seems laborious, but the labor is minimized because I have organized a set-up to make it. I keep all the needed measuring spoons on the countertop in a small jar, and lined up next to that are jars that contain each ingredient, with my spice-and-nut grinder nearby. The only things not ready to hand are the wheat germ and the oat milk in the refrigerator. Preparing the pudding in the evening takes only 7 minutes. And after it’s rested overnight in the refrigerator, the pudding is absolutely delicious and totally satisfying as a breakfast. I look forward to it every day.

My breakfast now also includes this:

Chia-Seed Pudding

Step 1

I use a Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder for a variety of things, including this pudding. Put into the grinder’s cup:

• 1 tablespoon flaxseed, ground (see note below)
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chia seed, ground (see note below)
• 1 teaspoon amla (powdered Indian gooseberries)
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon (taste plus antioxidants)
• 1 teaspoon dried spearmint leaves (antioxidants and plavor)
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (very high in antioxidants)
• 1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)

Grind the flaxseed, then add the chia seed and grind again, then add the remaining ingredients and grind briefly just  to mix.

Step 2

Now assemble in a 2-cup storage container the following layers:

• 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) chopped walnuts or peanuts, or pumpkin seeds
• 1/4 cup rolled oats
• 2 tablespoons dried barberries (available online or at Middle Eastern delis/stores)
• The ground mixture from Step 1, spread out and leveled
• 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries 
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup*
• 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• enough “milk” (oat milk or hazelnut milk or walnut milk) to fill the container

*Maple syrup: I first used 2 tablespoons, then I tried using none. When I did that, the milk was not fully absorbed so there was 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.

After adding the milk, use a spoon to mix the ingredients to ensure the milk is mixed with everything. After I stir the ingredients a little, I generally have to add a bit more milk.

I first used whole chia seeds, assuming that overnight soaking would make them digestible, but now that I’ve tried grinding the seeds in my Cuisinart Spice & Nut Grinder, I find that works really well. So I then decided to include flaxseed. I first grind the flaxseed and then add chia seed and grind the combination. (I eat a tablespoon of ground flaxseed each day, and including it in my breakfast pudding is a good way to have it.) And then I thought of adding the two powders (amla and cinnamon) to mix those in as well. — I added cloves specifically for their extremely high antioxidant content. That addition might not be to everyone’s taste. I add these plus a tablespoon of natural cocoa powder and a teaspoon of dried speamint to the ground flaxseed and chia seed, and then I “grind” briefly to mix them.

The nut milk I use 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, salt).

Update: Nowadays I mostly use Earth’s Own Oat Milk: cheaper, though it does contain sunflower oil (not a good oil). However, it is substantially less costly (like 1/4 the price per oz) and is enriched with various vitamins and minerals, something the Elmhurst Oat Milk lacks. Lately, I’ve 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.

Barberries and alma are extremely high in antioxidants and other valuable flavonoids as discussed at the links above. And 100% cacao chocolate is also highly beneficial, butI now generally use natural (not Dutch-process) unsweetened cocoa powder rather than Baker’s unsweetened chocolate.

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

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

From xkcd.com

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

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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

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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.

Q&A

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

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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.

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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

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