Later On

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

Archive for November 30th, 2022

Carbon emissions per capita by country

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From the graph:

Highest carbon emissions per capita

1 Middle East oil producing countries – Bahrain/Oman/Kuwait/Qatar/UAE
2 Canada
3 Saudi Arabia
4 US
5 Australia/NZ
6 Russia
7 South Korea
8 Kazakhstan/Turkmenistan
9 Taiwan
10 Japan

Only 9.5% of France’s electricity production comes from fossil fuels, much lower than many other developed countries like the U.S. at 60% and Japan at 69%.

From Visual Capital:

Written by Leisureguy

30 November 2022 at 11:23 pm

“I Was Wrong About Mastodon”

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Marcus Hutchins has an interesting re-evaluation of his a priori judgments about Mastodon. The entire piece is worth reading. I’ll quote just two paragraphs:

What I missed about Mastodon was its very different culture. Ad-driven social media platforms are willing to tolerate monumental volumes of abusive users. They’ve discovered the same thing the Mainstream Media did: negative emotions grip people’s attention harder than positive ones. Hate and fear drives engagement, and engagement drives ad impressions.

Mastodon is not an ad-driven platform. There is absolutely zero incentives to let awful people run amok in the name of engagement. The goal of Mastodon is to build a friendly collection of communities, not an attention leeching hate mill. As a result, most Mastodon instance operators have come to a consensus that hate speech shouldn’t be allowed. Already, that sets it far apart from twitter, but wait, there’s more. When it comes to other topics, what is and isn’t allowed is on an instance-by-instance basis, so you can choose your own adventure.

Hutchins provides yet another example of how mere logic is not a totally trustworthy guide in life, since experience not infrequently contradicts conclusions reached through logical reasoning. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. pointed this out in the context of law: “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.” But it’s not just law whose life has depended on experience more than logic.

Whenever you have reached a logical conclusion, see if it holds up against experience. The testing of a theory by looking to experience is, in fact, the scientific method. Indeed, it is so common in science that Thomas Huxley’s comment on “the great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact” has been repeated many times in many contexts for many hypotheses.

I first encountered the statement in reading an account of someone being told of the tiny pores on one’s fingers, and the ridges and valleys that form fingerprints, and exclaiming, “Of course! The ridges are there to protect the pores that run along the valleys” — but the pores run along the ridges, not the valleys. Huxley’s statement was then recited to the person as a consolation.

Written by Leisureguy

30 November 2022 at 10:17 pm

Yu Choy Supreme: A exceptional stir-fry

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Blue bowl of cooked greens chopped small with other ingredients visible: shopped sweet red pepper, rolled oats, thinly sliced garlic.

An exceptionally good dish tonight in which several experiments paid off handsomely. I used both ideas from an earlier post: freezing tofu and using old-fashioned (thick) rolled oats for the grain.

Tofu prep

First I prepared a marinade, using ideas from the PDF at the link above.

I cut a block of extra-firm tofu in half lengthwise and froze it in a baggie. The next day I put the frozen block into the refrigerator to thaw, and this early this afternoon I gently squeezed the water from the thawed tofu. After freezing and thawing, the tofu was like a waterlogged sponge, and just squeezing in my hands made the water gush out. I turned it, continuing to squeeze, and once the block seems squeezed dry of water, I cut it into relatively thin slabs, stacked those and cut them into relatively thin strips, and then cut across the strips to produce relatively small dice.

Then I made the marinade, just putting into a bowl things that caught my eye.

• about 1.5 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
• about 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce
• 1 large clove Russian red garlic, sliced thinly (substitute 2 cloves regular garlic)
• about 3/4″ thick fresh ginger root, grated
• splash of rice vinegar
• splash of Red Boat fish sauce
• splash of tamari
• about 1 teaspoon honey balsamic Dijon mustard (substitute Dijon mustard)
• about 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
• about 1 teaspoon Club House Southwest Chipotle (substitute any spicy seasoning mix)

As you can tell, measurements are approximate. The garlic could be crushed rather than sliced. I mixed the marinade well, then added the tofu, mixed it well with the marinade, and let it sit until I was ready to cook, stirring it once or twice when I happened to be in the kitchen. The tofu really sucked up the liquid, very like a sponge.

The veggies

I prepared the first three late in the afternoon and put them into a bowl to rest until time to cook. Then I drizzled some oil into my 12″ nonstick skillet, dumped in the garlic, ginger, and sun-dried tomatoes and added the vegetables as I prepared them, along with the tofu (all the marinade had been absorbed) and oats. Once everything was in the skillet, I turned on the heat and started cooking.

• 2 large cloves Russian red garlic, thinly sliced and allowed to rest (substitute 4 cloves other garlic)
• 1″ thick fresh ginger root, grated
• 4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped small (dry ones, not those packed in oil)
• 1 long onion, chopped (substitute 3 thick scallions)
• 2 large sweet-tooth peppers, 1 orange, 1 red, chopped fairly small (substitute 1 red or yellow bell pepper)
• 1/2 block extra-firm tofu, frozen, thawed, squeezed free of water, diced small, and marinated
• 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (the thick kind, not the instant kind)
• 1 bunch yu choy mue, rinsed well and chopped (substitute 1 bunch kale or 2 bunches spinach)
• about 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
• about 1/3 teaspoon MSG (it’s okay)
• about 1/3 teaspoon Windsor iodized salt substitute
• splash of apple cider vinegar 

I rinsed the yu choy well, and there was a fair amount of dirt left in the rinse water — like rinsing fresh spinach.

I cooked it covered on medium heat, stirring it from time to time. The total cooking time was around 20 minutes. 

I served it in a bowl with a little Lee Kum oyster sauce on top.

Written by Leisureguy

30 November 2022 at 5:36 pm

Suburbia is Subsidized: Here’s the Math

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Written by Leisureguy

30 November 2022 at 2:04 pm

Tallow + Steel Cognac and the Game Changer

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Shaving set up with strong morning light coming from the right, the left side of brush and bottle in shadow. Brush has a long white handle, ridged midway, and a silvertip badger know. Tub has a green label with a colored illustration of a wine barrel and vines, with the word Cognac in yellow. A tall slender cylindrical bottle of aftershave has the same label. In front is a stainless steel double-edge razor with a ribbed handle.

Tallow + Steel’s Cognac has a satisfying fragrance: “Cognac (38%) | Oakwood (21%) | Vanilla (18%) | Orange (8%) | Tobacco (7%) | Cocoa (6%) | Jasmine (2%).” The Rooney Victorian brush made quite a good lather, and I enjoyed the feel of the knot — it’s somewhat firm and has hooked tips, which give it a velvety feel.

Three passes with the RazoRock Game Changer .68-P left my face perfectly smooth, and a splash of Cognac aftershave finished the job.

Since we’ve been discussing the ingredients of aftershave, take a look at this one. It’s pretty far from Fine’s four-ingredient idea. Tallow+Steel says:

Aftershave.Water-based splashes that soothe and invigorate the skin from irritation, dryness and razor burn. They are full of nutrient rich organic ingredients that will leave your skin feeling soft, and can be used as a daily moisturizer. Highly concentrated – apply to a wet face for best results.

Organic Witch Hazel + Organic Aloe Vera + Water + Organic Glycerin + Organic Quillaja Extract + Organic Rose Hydrosol + Organic Calendula Hydrosol + Alcohol + Organic Willow Bark Extract + Organic Cucumber Extract + Organic Licorice Root Extract + Organic Rosemary Extract + Leuconostoc / Radish Root Ferment Filtrate + Lactobacillus + Coconut Fruit Extract + Natural Fragrance (Botanical Extracts)

The tea this morning is my own blend of equal parts of Murchie’s Assam Tippy GoldenCeylon Kenilworth, and Keemun Extra Superior.

Written by Leisureguy

30 November 2022 at 12:02 pm

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Fermented foods and fibre may lower stress levels – new study

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John Cryan, Vice President for Research & Innovation, University College Cork, writes in The Conversation:

When it comes to dealing with stress, we’re often told the best things we can do are exercise, make time for our favourite activities or try meditation or mindfulness.

But the kinds of foods we eat may also be an effective way of dealing with stress, according to research published by me and other members of APC Microbiome Ireland. Our latest study has shown that eating more fermented foods and fibre daily for just four weeks had a significant effect on lowering perceived stress levels.

Over the last decade, a growing body of research has shown that diet can have a huge impact on our mental health. In fact, a healthy diet may even reduce the risk of many common mental illnesses.

The mechanisms underpinning the effect of diet on mental health are still not fully understood. But one explanation for this link could be via the relationship between our brain and our microbiome (the trillions of bacteria that live in our gut). Known as the gut-brain axis, this allows the brain and gut to be in constant communication with each other, allowing essential body functions such as digestion and appetite to happen. It also means that the emotional and cognitive centres in our brain are closely connected to our gut.

While previous research has shown stress and behaviour are also linked to our microbiome, it has been unclear until now whether changing diet (and therefore our microbiome) could have a distinct effect on stress levels.

This is what our study set out to do. To test this, we recruited 45 healthy people with relatively low-fibre diets, aged 18–59 years. More than half were women. The participants were split into two groups and randomly assigned a diet to follow for the four-week duration of the study. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

30 November 2022 at 10:22 am

Highly Processed Foods ‘as Addictive’ as Tobacco

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Highly processed foods are detrimental to health, as has been demonstrated — but they are also highly addictive, which means they are lucrative: repeat customers are guaranteed. So it comes down to whether the economic structure of the society responds to health or to money. In the US, certainly, the driving motive of any company is purely profit, so for a corporation the choice is simple.

Becky McCall writes in Medscape:

Highly processed foods meet the same criteria as tobacco for addiction, and labeling them as such might benefit public health, according to a new US study that proposes a set of criteria to assess the addictive potential of some foods.

The research suggests that healthcare professionals are taking steps towards framing food addiction as a clinical entity in its own right; it currently lacks validated treatment protocols and recognition as a clinical diagnosis.

Meanwhile, other data, reported by researchers last week at the Diabetes Professional Care (DPC) 2022 conference in London, UK, also add support to the clinical recognition of food addiction.

Clinical psychologist Jen Unwin, PhD, from Southport, UK, showed that a 3-month online program of low carbohydrate diet together with psychoeducational support significantly reduced food addiction symptoms among a varied group of individuals, not all of whom were overweight or had obesity.

Unwin said her new data represent the first widescale clinical audit of its kind, other than a prior report of three patients with food addiction who were successfully treated with a ketogenic diet.

“Food addiction explains so much of what we see in clinical practice, where intelligent people understand what we tell them about the physiology associated with a low-carb diet, and they follow it for a while, but then they relapse,” said Unwin, explaining the difficulties faced by around 20% of her patients who are considered to have food addiction.

Meanwhile, the authors of the US study, led by Ashley N. Gearhardt, PhD, a psychologist from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, write that the ability of highly processed foods (HPFs) “to rapidly . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

30 November 2022 at 6:27 am

Thinking about taking your computer to the repair shop? Be very afraid

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Dan Goodin writes in Ars Technica:

If you’ve ever worried about the privacy of your sensitive data when seeking a computer or phone repair, a new study suggests you have good reason. It found that privacy violations occurred at least 50 percent of the time, not surprisingly with female customers bearing the brunt.

Researchers at University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, recovered logs from laptops after receiving overnight repairs from 12 commercial shops. The logs showed that technicians from six of the locations had accessed personal data and that two of those shops also copied data onto a personal device. Devices belonging to females were more likely to be snooped on, and that snooping tended to seek more sensitive data, including both sexually revealing and non-sexual pictures, documents, and financial information.

Blown away

“We were blown away by the results,” Hassan Khan, one of the researchers, said in an interview. Especially concerning, he said, was the copying of data, which happened during repairs for one from a male customer and the other from a female. “We thought they would just look at [the data] at most.”

The amount of snooping may actually have been higher than recorded in the study, which was conducted from October to December 2021. In all, the researchers took the laptops to 16 shops in the greater Ontario region. Logs on devices from two of those visits weren’t recoverable. Two of the repairs were performed on the spot and in the customer’s presence, so the technician had no opportunity to surreptitiously view personal data.

In three cases, Windows Quick Access or Recently Accessed Files had been deleted in what the researchers suspect was an attempt by the snooping technician to cover their tracks. As noted earlier, two of the visits resulted in the logs the researchers relied on being unrecoverable. In one, the researcher explained they had installed antivirus software and performed a disk cleanup to “remove multiple viruses on the device.” The researchers received no explanation in the other case.

Here’s a breakdown of the six visits that resulted in snooping: . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

30 November 2022 at 6:21 am

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