Later On

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

Archive for December 8th, 2022

Spicy Tofu and Greens Mue — tonight’s recipe

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A stir-fry in a skillet, with tofu cubes visible along with greens and flakes of rolled oats, all with an reddish-orange color from Spanish smoked paprika.

Experiments have shown that giving dishes attractive names — “Spicy Cajun Red Beans and Rice” instead of “Red Beans and Rice” — results in people liking the dish more.  Tonight I was just not inspired so I just named the dish after a couple of things in it. Below is what I did, and it’s a “recipe” only in the sense that it describes how I cooked this particular meal, which was improvised and might have gone in various ways. (In fact, as I write this, I think pumpkin seed at the end would have been a good addition, so I think I’ll add a tablespoon to the bowl I’m eating now.)

Vegetables around a quart-cup orange prep bowl: a sectin of Taiiwan cauliflower, looser and more branchy than regular cauliflower, and two heads of Shanghai bok choy mue, which (except for the leaves) would fit easily into the small bowl. At upper left is a partial view of the prep taxi used to transport prepped vegetables from chopping block to skillet.

I’ve mentioned the “mue” name before, and said that it indicates something smaller than “baby.” At right you see two heads of Shanghai bok choy mue. Shanghai bok choy differs from regular bok choy by having green stalks (instead of white) and light-green leaves instead of regular bok choy’s dark green leaves. I think Shanghai bok choy tastes better. The orange prep bowl holds 1/4 cup, and I included it for scale.

Also in the photo is a piece of Taiwan (or Taishan) cauliflower, whose head is looser and more stalky than regular cauliflower and whose florets show more clearly their floral nature. In the upper left of the photo is a glimpse of the prep taxi I use to transport chopped vegetables from the prep station to the pan.

In preparing my meals, I keep Greger’s Daily Dozen in mind. I planned to use tofu, which takes care of the beans, and for the grain, I used old-fashioned rolled oats. Bok choy is cruciferous and also satisfies the greens requirement, and the cauliflower, also cruciferous, works as Other Vegetable, along with scallions and red Fresno peppers. I don’t know that I would count the mushrooms as “Other Vegetables” because they are not in fact vegetables, but they are nutritious, also tasty.

Dried marjoram and Spanish smoked paprika take care of herbs and spices, and pumpkin seeds fill in for nuts & seeds. (I also had walnuts for breakfast in my chia pudding.)

I used my 12″ MSMK nonstick skillet, which comes with a lid. I first drizzled the skillet with 

• about 1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Then I prepped the veggies and transferred them to the skillet as I went, though I sliced the garlic first and let it rest 15 minutes before transferring it and doing the rest.

* 1 head of Russian red garlic, cloves peeled, sliced thin, & allowed to rest
• 1″ thick ginger, minced (I don’t bother peeling it)
• 1 bunch of thick scallions, chopped including leaves
• 5 Shanghai bok choy mue, chopped
• about 1 cup chopped Taiwan cauliflower
• 6 large domestic white mushrooms, halved and then sliced
• 2 red Fresno hot peppers, chopped
• 5 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced small (dry sun-dried tomatoes, not in oil)
• 1/2 block extra-firm tofu that had been frozen, thawed, and squeezed to remove water, diced
• 2 tablespoons dried marjoram
• 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked hot paprika
• about 1/2 teaspoon Windsor iodized salt substitute
• splash of Red Boat fish sauce
• splash of Bragg’s apple-cider vinegar
• about 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce
• 1/2 cup water

I turned the induction burner to 4, covered the skillet, and cooked the dish, stirring with a silicone spatula from time to time. At first, I had to stir carefully since the skillet was quite full, but soon the veggies cooked down. 

Once the skillet had warmed up and was simmering well, I turned the burner to 225ºF for 20 minutes and left it covered and cooking, coming in a couple of times to stir and mix.

When the timer went off, I added:

• rounded 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats

I stirred to mix in the oats, covered the skillet, and cooked at 225ºF for 6 minutes.

It’s very tasty and checks quite a few Daily Dozen boxes. And there are a couple of meals of it remaining.

Written by Leisureguy

8 December 2022 at 6:06 pm

Hunter Biden’s laptop

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Mike Masnick has an interesting and detailed post on Techdirt that begins:

Hello! Someone has referred you to this post because you’ve said something quite wrong about Twitter and how it handled something to do with Hunter Biden’s laptop. If you’re new here, you may not know that I’ve written a similar post for people who are wrong about Section 230. If you’re being wrong about Twitter and the Hunter Biden laptop, there’s a decent chance that you’re also wrong about Section 230, so you might want to read that too! Also, these posts are using a format blatantly swiped from lawyer Ken “Popehat” White, who wrote one about the 1st Amendment. Honestly, you should probably read that one too, because there’s some overlap.

Now, to be clear, I’ve explained many times before, in other posts, why people who freaked out about how Twitter handled the Hunter Biden laptop story are getting confused, but it’s usually been a bit buried. I had already started a version of this post last week, since people keep bringing up Twitter and the laptop, but then on Friday, Elon (sorta) helped me out by giving a bunch of documents to reporter Matt Taibbi.

So, let’s review some basics before we respond to the various wrong statements people have been making. Since 2016, there have been concerns raised about how foreign nation states might seek to interfere with elections, often via the release of hacked or faked materials. It’s no secret that websites have been warned to be on the lookout for such content in the leadup to the election — not with demands to suppress it, but just to consider how to handle it.

Partly in response to that, social media companies put in place various policies on how they were going to handle such material. Facebook set up a policy to limit certain content from trending in its algorithm until it had been reviewed by fact-checkers. Twitter put in place a “hacked materials” policy, which forbade the sharing of leaked or hacked materials. There were — clearly! — some potential issues with that policy. In fact, in September of 2020 (a month before the NY Post story) we highlighted the problems of this very policy, including somewhat presciently noting the fear that it would be used to block the sharing of content in the public interest and could be used against journalistic organizations (indeed, that case study highlights how the policy was enforced to ban DDOSecrets for leaking police chat logs).

The morning the NY Post story came out there was a lot of concern about the validity of the story. Other news organizations, including Fox News, had refused to touch it. NY Post reporters refused to put their name on it. There were other oddities, including the provenance of the hard drive data, which apparently had been in Rudy Giuliani’s hands for months. There were concerns about how the data was presented (specifically how the emails were converted into images and PDFs, losing their header info and metadata).

The fact that, much later on, many elements of the laptops history and provenance were confirmed as legitimate (with some open questions) is important, but does not change the simple fact that the morning the NY Post story came out, it was extremely unclear (in either direction) except to extreme partisans in both camps.

Based on that, both Twitter and Facebook reacted somewhat quickly. Twitter implemented its hacked materials policy in exactly the manner that we had warned might happen a month earlier: blocking the sharing of the NY Post link. Facebook implemented other protocols, “reducing its distribution” until it had gone through a fact check. Facebook didn’t ban the sharing of the link (as Twitter did), but rather limited the ability for it to “trend” and get recommended by the algorithm until fact checkers had reviewed it.

To be clear, the decision by Twitter to do this was, in our estimation, pretty stupid. It was exactly what we had warned about just a month earlier regarding this exact policy. But this is the nature of trust & safety. People need to make very rapid decisions with very incomplete information. That’s why I’ve argued ever since then that while the policy was stupid, it was no giant scandal that it happened, and given everything, it was not a stretch to understand how it played out.

Also, importantly, the very next day Twitter . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

8 December 2022 at 12:45 pm

A great all-RazoRock shave with the amazing new Superslant

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Shaving setup with white-handled shaving brush whose profile is the shape of a keyhole: round top with conical base, cream-colored synthetic bristles with grey tips; tub os shaving soap with art-deco label of searchlights in the sky over the corner of a large structure labeled (in several lines of diminishing size) "Zi' Peppino — Italian Shaving Soap Green Tobacco Vegan Formula" on on side and "Dedicated to All the Beauties" on the other. Next to that is a bottle of aftershave wit the same label. In front is a slant razor, machined stainless steel, with the handle having three chequered sections separated by bands of smoothness.

Italian Barber (aka RazoRock) has quite a bit of experience in making slant razors. It began with his discovering a large stash of vintage white Bakelite Merkur slants, probably made in the 1930s, still intact in original packaging. I have one of these, and it is a remarkably good slant.

That was a one-time deal, and when they were gone, they were gone. But the Italian Barber now had a bee in his bonnet, and he soon offered the Stealth slant, machined in aluminum. I have one, and it’s a wonderful slant, designed so that the handle is held fairly close to the face for the best angle (in contrast to, say, Fine’s aluminum slant or iKon’s stainless slant, both of which require the handle to be held well away from the face for a good glide with no nicks). 

The Stealth went through a few iterations as he tinkered with little adjustments to its design, and then it was dropped in favor of the stainless Wunderbar slant. This is a highly efficient slant that I found to be extremely uncomfortable, including quite prone to nick. Any deviation from perfect technique was quickly punished. Some men — the sort who enjoy a morning challenge (120 pushups, 80 crunches, 1-mile sprint, cold shower) — liked the razor a lot because it was a great razor if your technique was perfect, and you got immediate feedback when your technique faltered. But it was not a good razor for me, and I no longer have it. (I do still have my Stealth.)

Italian Barber has now released the third generation RazoRock slant (in general — I think the Stealth preceded the RazoRock brand name): the Superslant. The Superslant is machined stainless-steel and will eventually be available in 9 levels of efficiency: L1, L1+, L1++, L2, L2+, L2++, L3, L3+, and L3++. The initial release offers only the L1, L1++, L2, L2++, and L3. 

I bought L1++, and I used it this morning. I think he has another winner. It feels more like a regular razor than does the Stealth, and it has all the efficiency of the Wunderbar. I would rate the Superslant as extremely efficient, even among slants (which tend to be more efficient than conventional, “chop-action” razors because of the slant’s sliciing action.

AND the Superslant is extremely comfortable. It feels good on my face (and also in my hand: I like this handle a lot — It has crisp chequering, gives a good grip and excellent control). 

The shave was, in a word, superb. I may buy other baseplates at some point, but the L1++ felt good and did a good job, so I don’t have to rush.

The curve of the baseplate verges on the extreme (think of the RazoRock BBS or Baby Smooth), and that doubtless contributes to the comfort (and perhaps efficiency as well, by ensuring a good angle of attack and making the razor ride on the cap, not the guard).

The razor is currently sold out, but this is early in the product life-cycle, and that first batch was small. The razor soon will arrive in ample quantities, and my recommendation is that you get one.

My RazoRock Keyhole brush is a wonderful little brush and it easily made a fine lather from Zi’ Peppino, a shaving soap I like a lot for both performance and fragrance. That green-tobacco aroma is wonderful.

Three passes produced perfect smoothness, with nary a nick. With a splash of Zi’ Peppino, the ritual was complete.

The tea today is Murchie’s Ceylon Kenilworth: “Ceylon Kenilworth Tea is a bright and oaky Orange Pekoe, with body and strength. The Kenilworth Estate is known for producing creamy teas with rich, full body. A true ‘Orange Pekoe’ size leaf, producing a bright, oaky taste with body and strength. If you were to view Sri Lankan tea growing districts from above, you would see a lush green landscape of close rows of small bushes dotted with occasional prominent buildings of a tea-estate factory.”

Written by Leisureguy

8 December 2022 at 10:16 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

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