Later On

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

Archive for December 19th, 2022

Dell Concept Luna: This laptop can be dismantled in seconds

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Clive Thompson has a very interesting article on Medium. This video is from the article:

Written by Leisureguy

19 December 2022 at 8:16 pm

Warnings of 1/6 attack were ignored for obvious but still unnamed reasons

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Dan Froomkin writes in Press Watch:

The newest GAO report requested by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection adds to a mountain of evidence that federal law enforcement agencies didn’t miss signs of a violent attack on the Capitol, they ignored them.

Why they ignored them remains one of the biggest unanswered questions related to the day’s events.

Actually, it’s worse than an unanswered question, it’s also a largely unasked question. Media coverage of this particular issue has been shockingly weak, and has produced no credible explanation.

It’s a strange blind spot for the reporters who have so assiduously examined seemingly every other factor in the insurrection. My conclusion, after 16 months of trying to get them to pay attention to it, is that they are too squeamish to confront this issue head-on.

They are much more comfortable attributing law enforcement’s disastrous failure to prepare for an assault on the Capitol to “intelligence failures” and “unique breakdowns” in communication than they are confronting the obvious reality: that racism and Trumpism made key officials shrug off the threat presented by white men, while sympathy to their goals and the fear of incurring Trump’s wrath was a further disincentive to taking action. This was in stunning contrast to their overreaction to peaceful Black Lives Matter protests.

Any other explanation defies the reality that Rep. Cori Bush described that very night on MSNBC: “Had it been people who look like me, had it been the same amount of people, but had they been Black and brown, we wouldn’t have made it up those steps… we would have been shot, we would have been tear gassed.”

The truth is worth exposing, acknowledging, and holding people accountable for.

Obviously, it’s a hard story to get at. The responsible parties have every reason to make other excuses. And so far, investigators have not made public the emails or contemporaneous notes and other accounts that would help the public understand who exactly dismissed the abundance of threat reports about violence that day, and how they explained their inaction. [As one reader points out, we also don’t know if any law enforcement leaders were operating under orders from the White House or elsewhere.]

This is not a trivial matter. The successful storming of the Capitol was not . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 December 2022 at 4:29 pm

Cold-Day Soup

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On a brown wooden cutting board, a blue soup bowl with a thick red soup, with re cabbage, black beans, onions, tomato, and small grains visible. A silver soup spoon in in the bowl, only the handle visible.

It’s snowing and cold up here, and I somehow have two open quarts of vegetable broth, so I thought a soup was in order. I used my 3-qt saucepan, which I Evo-sprayed with extra-virgin olive oil.


• 4 large cloves garlic, chopped small
• 1.5″ ginger root, minced
• 1/4 small head of red cabbage, cut into slabs, then diced (this technique)
• 2 BBQ onions (like spring onions), chopped
* 2 Tbsp dried marjoram (partly for taste, partly for its high antioxidant content)
• 1/2 Tbsp Spanish bittersweet smoked paprika
• 4 dried tomatoes (dry, not in oil)

• most of a quart of low-sodium vegetable broth
• 2 lemons, peeled and blended to make pulp
• 1 can Ro•Tel Original Tomatoes and Green Chiles
• 1 can black beans
• 1/2 cup amaranth
• dash of Red Boat fish sauce

The garlic requires 10 minutes’ rest, the cabbage 45 minutes, so I chopped both and let them rest. Then I resumed prep. I put the first 7 ingredients (through the dried tomato) in the pot and cooked them for a while, stirring often, until they had wilted some. Then I added the rest and simmered, stirring occasionally.

“Bittersweet,” referring to paprika, is (as near as I can determine) a term of art, meaning that it is hotter than sweet paprika but not so hot as hot paprika.

I had intended to include mushrooms, but the pot is pretty full, so I’ll skip those. I also had thoughts of including Shanghai bok choy mue, but the red cabbage takes care of the greens category (and cruciferous vegetable as well), and since I let it rest, I’ll have the benefit of the sulforaphane that formed before heat deactivated the enzyme needed for the reaction.

Another possibility for next time: some diced beets (from beets I didn’t use in the ferment). And I have a good-sized carrot. Also, I have some roasted purple potatoes — I might dice one of those for the soup. Oh! And leftover leek leaves — I’ll rinse those well (dirt), slice them thinly, and use them in the next soup.

Written by Leisureguy

19 December 2022 at 4:01 pm

Posted in Daily life

Cholesterol and Heart Disease: Why Has There Been So Much Controversy?

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The evidence — which is obvious — has been known for a century. But people don’t want to recognize facts that imperil pleasures.

Written by Leisureguy

19 December 2022 at 3:55 pm

For Patrick Leahy, The Vietnam War Is Finally Ending

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George Black writes in the New Republic:

It was a late afternoon in mid-November, with the nip of early winter in the air, when I visited the Russell Senate Office Building to meet with Vermont Senator Pat Leahy in his spacious yet surprisingly intimate office, with a sofa and chairs arranged near the fireplace. An aide squatted down beside us to add another log to the fire. Leahy’s wife of 60 years, Marcelle, joined us, carrying a large bouquet of flowers. The couple still convey a strong sense of the people they were in the early years of their marriage—he a small-town lawyer, she a nurse at a local hospital. Leahy showed off photos of their three children and five grandchildren. “I’m not someone who wants to hang the walls with photos of 50 great and famous people I’ve known,” he said. “I’d much rather be surrounded by pictures of family.”

Leahy, who entered the Senate in 1975 and leaves it after 48 years in January 2023, is the body’s longest-serving sitting member. To most Americans, he is probably best known for his decades on the Senate Judiciary Committee and his opposition to the drive by conservative activists to transform the federal courts into an instrument of their ideological agenda. But I’d come to talk to him about something different, something that rarely if ever makes the cable news circuit: the war in Vietnam, the wounds it had left, and the part he had played in healing them. He’s never seen this as a partisan issue, just a matter of simple human decency, being one of those, like Joe Biden, who mourn a lost era of comity in the Senate, in which political adversaries could still reach with respect across the gulf of their disagreements. His work in Vietnam has always been underpinned by that vision, and I wanted to ask him whether, in our current divided state, he could imagine it continuing after his retirement from the Senate at the age of 82.

Vision alone doesn’t get you far in Washington. It has to be turned into legislation, and legislation into dollars and cents. In addition to his role on the Judiciary Committee, Leahy also chairs the Appropriations Committee, which is where the purse strings are untied, and, as he wrote in his recently published memoir, The Road Taken, “few people really ever sifted through the line items to understand what we were doing was actually making American foreign policy.” It’s also why you can’t talk about his work in Vietnam without also talking about his senior aide, Tim Rieser, who has been with him since 1985, and who will retire from his current role in January. Despite his bland-sounding job title—Democratic clerk for the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations—Rieser has been the master of its arcane mechanics. “A dog with a bone,” Leahy calls him. Given a problem to solve, “He would not stop until every last drop of marrow and morsel of sinew had been licked clean.”

Since 1989, as the United States and Vietnam were taking their first baby steps toward reconciliation, Leahy and Rieser have channeled hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Vietnam, forcing the United States to take responsibility for what former Senate leader Mike Mansfield once called the “great outflow of devastation” from the war: the bodies broken by unexploded bombs; the lives blighted by exposure to Agent Orange; the ongoing threat from “hot spots” contaminated by dioxin, its toxic by-product; and now, at last, some long-overdue aid to help Vietnam recover and identify the remains of its war dead. In the process, they have built the scaffolding of a new relationship, in which bitter enemies, in one of the stranger twists of geopolitics, have been transformed into close working partners and military allies.

Leahy and Rieser have faced no small number of obstacles along the way. For many years, embittered American veterans and recalcitrant anti-Communists in Congress opposed any hint of reconciliation with Vietnam. Progress was often slowed by suspicions on the Vietnamese side and by cumbersome bureaucracies in both governments, and State Department and Pentagon lawyers remain wary to this day of any humanitarian effort that implies an admission of liability. But as Rieser often says, when you run into an obstacle, you redefine it as a problem to be solved, and that process starts with all parties identifying their common interest in finding a solution. There are always common interests; you just have to look for them.

On January 27, Vietnam will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords, which led, two months later, to the withdrawal of the last American combat troops. Yet the fighting was not over. The Saigon army fought on, entirely dependent on new infusions of military aid from the United States, and this in turn depended on the approval of the Senate.

Of all the “Watergate babies” elected in the 1974 midterms, Leahy, a 34-year-old state’s attorney for Chittenden County, Vermont, was one of the unlikeliest. Vermont, odd as it may seem given the state’s leftish politics today, had never elected a Democrat to the Senate, and its political establishment and leading newspapers were unswerving supporters of the war. Yet Leahy eked out an improbable victory. (Trailing in third place was an equally young civil rights activist, Bernie Sanders, running under the banner of the Liberty Union Party.)

Leahy had always opposed the war. In May 1970, he . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 December 2022 at 2:51 pm

Rustler’s Ridge and a remarkable slant

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Shaving setup, with a shaving brush — brown synthetic bristles, handle green at top with a gold-color base, octagonal at the bottom. The tub of shaving soap has a label that shows a stagecoach and the legend "Rustler's Ridge" and next to it a rectangular bottle of aftershave with the same label. In front a double-edge razor lies on its side. The razor has a checkered stainless-steel handle and a black head, with the guard-bar markedly slanted.

Rustler’s Ridge is a fine soap from Phoenix Artisan with a wonderful fragrance:

Top Notes Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Ozone, Prickly Pear
Heart Notes Sage, Animalic Musk
Base Notes Spruce, Cedar

I have the CK-6 formula, and the lather — made with the Green Ray shaving brush — was superb.

iKon’s stainless steel slant is a marvelous slant. It’s extremely efficient and also extremely comfortable if you maintain a good angle, with the handle far from the face. Unlike the RazoRock Superslant, this slant leaves the angle up to you, and though it is easy to maintain a good angle once you learn it, you will probably have to be conscious of angle control at first. The Superslant, in contrast, nudges you sharply toward the best angle, so the Superslant has an advantage there. OTOH, the iKon has much better acoustics, and I enjoy the crisp sound of stubble being cut.

Three passes left my face perfectly smooth, and I finished with first massaging in a drop of Grooming Dept Rejuvenating Serum and than applying a splash of Rustler’s Ridge aftershave/cologne.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s CBC Radio Blend: “A blend of choice Ceylon and China black teas, Jasmine, and other green teas with a touch of citrus.” This morning the citrus comes through plainly. It’s a delightful tea.

Written by Leisureguy

19 December 2022 at 10:26 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

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