Later On

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

Blog post directory

How Killer Rice Crippled Tokyo and the Japanese Navy

Problems due to nutrition (whether from a deficit or an excess of some micronutrient) are sneaky: even when the health impact is evident, the cause may remain obscure. Anne Ewbank writes in Gastro Obscura: IN 1877, JAPAN’S MEIJI EMPEROR watched his aunt, the princess Kazu, die of a common malady: kakke. If her condition was typical, her […]

Goat & Horsehair with Pink Grapefruit & Eucalyptus

My Baili goat- and horse-hair brush did a fine job with Meißner Tremonia’s Pink Grapefruit shaving paste, though the third-pass lather from this brush is still a little sparse. It may need a bit more use to be fully broken in.  The inimitable iKon #102 did a totally wonderful job, as it always does, and […]

Interesting pair of action thrillers

There’s a thematic and plot similarity to The Man from Nowhere (Prime Video) and Nobody (on Crave in Canada). However, the former (a Korean movie) is not so over-the-top as the latter. I enjoyed both, but the Korean movie is not so given to excess.

The Billionaires Funding the Coup’s Brain Trust

Andy Kroll reports in Rolling Stone: The Claremont Institute, once a little-known think tank often confused with the liberal-arts college of the same name, has emerged as a driving force in the conservative movement’s crusade to use bogus fraud claims about the 2020 election to rewrite voting laws and remake the election system in time for […]

Hope on the Horizon

Matt Stoller writes in BIG: “Despotism, be it financial or political, is vulnerable, unless it is believed to rest upon a moral sanction. The longing for freedom is ineradicable. It will express itself in protest against servitude and inaction unless the striving for freedom be made to seem immoral.” – Louis Brandeis, 1914 Today I’m writing […]

Which countries produce which foods

A very interesting chart at Visual Capitalist lets you select a food and then see which countries produce most of that food — for example, leeks are big in France, Turkey, and Southeast Asia. Hazelnuts? Italy and Turkey. And so on. Of course, this will change a lot as climate change progresses.

A Tribute to Terry Teachout (1956-2022)

Terry Teachout, whose writing I admire a lot, was a student at St. John’s College (Annapolis MD) for just one semester. He was a musician at the time, and he said that the curriculum just did not allow him enough time to practice. I was director of admissions there, and I recall that he wrote […]

Fox News makes money from poisoning society

Is it a good thing that Fox News profits from creating a toxic political environment? Not for the public, nor for the functioning of our society and government, but quite good for Rupert Murdoch and his family and shareholders.  Read this post by Kevin Drum. A hospital might profit from contaminating a town’s water supply. […]

Russia’s Mystic Destiny

David Troy’s current situation report in Medium: The Hunt for Casus Belli This week Russia and NATO held talks ostensibly aimed at finding compromises that might avert an invasion of Ukraine. Unsurprisingly, these talks failed to produce any real outcome, as Russia’s demands are unreasonable and revanchist. Ukraine experienced a major cyberattack which some analysts believe would be […]

Fine start to a weekend: foggy day, great shave, comforting tea

I noticed that today’s brush — another Phoenix Artisan synthetic, the knot the same size as yesterday’s (24mm x 55mm) — did require some additional water to load well, and then it occurred to me that of course the soap today is not the same soap as yesterday: Eufros yesterday, Dr. Selby 3X Concentrated Shaving […]

Useful free file-transfer sites

Occasionally I’ll see an article I want to send someone, and after I print it as a PDF, I see that it’s large — say, 18MB. That’s too large to email, so today I looked for a file-transfer site, where I could upload the file and email the link to the file to the person […]

Misinformation is mostly spread by chaotic evil conservatives

Kevin Drum points out a new study: Who spreads misinformation? A pair of researchers says it’s not liberals in general and it’s not conservatives in general. It’s a very specific subset of conservatives: Using statistical analysis, we found that the only reliable explanation was a general desire for chaos — that is, a motivation to disregard, disrupt, and […]

Violet morning

It’s pleasant to experience a floral fragrance in the dead of winter, and this morning I went with violet. Again, I shook the brush quite well but still was able to load it a lot with the water that remained — it’s a synthetic, and the knot is large: 24mm by 55mm loft. I would […]

The Psychedelic Jelly

This is quite cool. When I lived in Monterey, the Monterey Bay Aquarium was a great local institution, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) was very active. After I moved to Pacific Grove (adjacent to Monterey, a move of about 6 blocks), I was just a block from MBARI offices.

The Riemann Hypothesis, Explained

This is quite a good video. It appeaars in an article in Quanta, “Mathematicians Clear Hurdle in Quest to Decode Primes,” by Kevin Hartnett, interesting in its own right, but the video also works as a standalone.

Black-eyed peas and bok choy

Not black-eyed peas and baby bok choy in the same dish, though that does sound good, but two different dishes. The first one is just something I made up, but I like it. Black-eyed peas Mexicanish • 1/2 avocado diced• 1/2 – 1 jalapeño, chopped fine• about 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped small• juice of 1/2 […]

Could Small Still Be Beautiful?

Bryce T. Bauer writes in Craftsmanship: 1. “Economics as a Form of Brain Damage” 2. The Schumacher Center for a New Economics 3. The New Economics of Land Ownership 4. The New Economics of Business Financing 5. The New Economics of Currency 6. The New Economics of Entrepreneurship 7. Challenges to the New Economy Four decades […]

The superb iKon slant with one of the Doppelgänger CK-6 soaps

I gave up trying to keep track of the Phoenix Artisan’s Doppelgänger family of soaps. The idea is that the fragrance is a knock-off of a famous fragrance, but it’s impossible for me to remember which colors go with which fragrances. They do smell good, and they also produce that great CK-6 lather, this morning […]

To Hell and Back: Allison Cornish on the Divine Comedy

I believe that anyone who has reached (say) middle age — and many at other junctures in their lives — will feel a thrill of recognition on reading the opening lines of Dante’s Divine Comedy: In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself again in a dark forest, for I had lost […]

Paraconsistent Logics Find Structure in Our Inconsistent World

Zach Weber, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Otago in New Zealand and author of Paradoxes and Inconsistent Mathematics (2021), has in Aeon what I suspect is an extract from that book. He writes: Here is a dilemma you may find familiar. On the one hand, a life well lived requires security, safety and […]

A century of quantum mechanics questions the fundamental nature of reality

Which is the “true” view of reality: the underlying structure of quantum mechanics, with strange (but observable) phenomena, such as the double-slit experiment? or the emergent reality we experience in our daily life? I thought of Neo’s situation in the Matrix: the underlying structure of bodies embedded in machines that feed and control them vs. […]

Color in movies and TV: Where did it go? An investigation.

Emily VanDerWerff reports in Vox: If you watch a lot of movies and TV shows, you might have noticed that over the last few decades everything has gotten a lot more … gray. No matter the kind of story being told, a sheen of cool blue or gray would wash over everything, muting the colors and […]

A Q&A With the Scientist Who Discovered Cannabis Can Prevent COVID-19

Science has its gatekeepers — those who control funding and thus can refuse funding to projects they dislike (because, for example, the project goes against current trends or is contrary to received scientific wisdom). Audrey Cafleton in Vice interviews a scientist whose project was rejected by the gatekeepers and was thus not funded, but who did […]

Police power and its misuse to incarcerate the innocent

Lara Bazelon reports in New York: At 7:45 p.m. on December 27, 1986, Faheem Ali was shot dead in the streets of Baltimore. No physical evidence tied anyone to the killing, and no eyewitnesses immediately came forward. But Baltimore homicide detectives Thomas Pellegrini, Richard Fahlteich, and Oscar “The Bunk” Requer were not going to give up […]

Toni Morrison’s Ten Steps Towards Fascism

Jason Kottke notes: In a convocation address delivered at Howard University in March 1995, Toni Morrison noted that before fascist movements arrive at a “final solution” (the euphemism used by Nazi leaders to refer to the mass murder of Jews), there are preceding steps that they use to advance their agenda. From an excerpt of that speech published in The […]

Why more stringent regulation is needed for ‘forever chemicals’

The Harvard Gazette has a three-question interview:  The Biden administration recently announced a plan to set enforceable drinking water limits on certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—long-lasting, man-made chemicals that are used in a wide range of consumer products and that are known to pose health risks to millions of Americans. Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at […]

Interesting letter about Boris Johnson:

Boris sometimes seems affronted when criticised for what amounts to a gross failure of responsibility (and surprised at the same time that he was not appointed Captain of the School for the next half). I think he honestly believes that it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should […]

An old-fashioned shave

The brush is modern (it’s the Phoenix Artisan Amber Aerolite), though based on a old design. But the razor is a blast from the past and George F. Trumper shaving soap and Taylor of Old Bond Street No. 74 aftershave have been around for ages (though the Trumper shaving soap in the photo is no […]

A determined effort to destroy the United States

If this isn’t domestic terrorism and sedition, I don’t know what is. Heather Cox Richardson: January 11, 2022 (Tuesday) The United States came perilously close to losing its democracy in 2020, when an incumbent president refused to accept the results of an election he lost and worked with supporters to declare himself the winner and […]

The Police Will Never Change In America. My experience in police academy.

Using a temporary username, a person posted the following on Reddit: Throwaway for obvious reasons. If you feel If i’m just bitter due to my dismissal please call me out on it as I need a wake up call. Over the fall semester I was a police recruit at a Community Colleges Police Academy in […]

Apple Peels Put to the Test for Chronic Joint Pain

Michael Greger has an interesting blog post, which begins: Are the health benefits associated with apple consumption simply due to other healthy behaviors among apple-eaters? Regular apple intake is associated with all sorts of benefits, such as living longer and, more specifically, a lower risk of dying from cancer. At 0:17 in my video Apple Peels Put to […]

Butler Soy Curls roasted with homemade BBQ sauce

I mentioned some ideas about this in an earlier post, but as always, some changes occur in production. I realize now that Butler Soy Curls are as close to a whole food as a prepared food gets: soybeans  Our soybeans are grown in the USA on a family farm, certified Non-GMO and grown without chemical […]

Why does experiencing ‘flow’ feel so good? A communication scientist explains

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, who originated the idea of “flow,” is a favorite author (whose books appear in my list of repeatedly recommended books). In The Conversation, Richard Huskey, Assistant Professor of Communication and Cognitive Science, University of California, Davism, discusses the mental state of flow: New years often come with new resolutions. Get back in shape. Read […]

Average citizens have no measurable impact on public policy

Here’s an article by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, who also wrote the book Democracy in America?: What Has Gone Wrong and What We Can Do About It. An abstract of the article (which itself is worth reading — and see also the previous post): Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics […]

To wake from a dream and embrace reality — if only

In Jacobin magazine: In an essay penned shortly before his death, David Graeber argued that post-pandemic, we can’t slip back into a reality where the way our society is organized — to serve every whim of a small handful of rich people while debasing and degrading the vast majority of us — is seen as […]

The Dead Sea and a good slant: Great start to the day

The Dead Sea is a soap that truly enjoys a brush that’s almost dry, so I shook this RazoRock Italian-flag synthetic extremely well. As I loaded, I did once add a small driblet of water, and once my face was covered with lather, I worked in a little more water, but this soap — which […]

Can a President do nothing illegal while in office?

Trump and his loyalists/minions certainly seem to think that Trump cannot be held legally accountable for anything he did while in office. Heather Cox Richardson writes: Today, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta held a hearing in Washington, D.C., to determine whether three lawsuits against former president Trump and a number of his loyalists should be […]

How our ancestors used to sleep can help the sleep-deprived today

Full disclosure: In retirement, I have found my sleeping pattern to often be biphasic a first sleep,. a period of being awake (like now, at 2:45am), generally lasting 60-90 minutes, and then a second sleep, with both the first and second sleep being quite sound. That is, I don’t get up because I am sleeping […]

Ivy League Cartel Sued for Price-Fixing

Matt Stiller writes in Big: Last April, Sam Haselby and I wrote a piece titled “Break up the Ivy League Cartel,’ offering a history of the elitism of top universities in America. For hundreds of years, these top schools have policed the moral, cultural, and economic boundaries of what forms the American elite, and in the […]

The Jan. 6 Insurrectionists Begging for Pardons Sound an Awful Lot Like Confederate Soldiers

In Mother Jones Anthony Conwright points out an interesting similarity: Receiving a presidential pardon for subverting the government is not a novelty in the United States, though the Trump era made it almost a stamp of approval for criminal behavior. In an interview with Rolling Stone, an organizer of the “Stop the Steal” movement claimed that, before the Capitol breach, Rep. […]

BBQ Butler Soy Curls

I normally don’t eat highly processed foods — and Butler Soy Curls are definitely processed to the point that they no longer resemble soybeans, though that is what they are — nothing else. I was intrigued after watching Derek Simnett’s lunch burrito in the video below (previously blogged). His BBQ soy curls, cooked in his […]

Organism 46-B to start the week

Fragrances are very much YMMV. For example, I love the coffee+honey fragrance of Planet Java Hive, but I know that some don’t like it at all. And the fragrance of Organism 46-B appeals strongly to me. (Link is to CK-6 formula, but it’s also available in the regular formula for about $10 less.)  Scent Notes: burnt […]

Absolutely terrific browser extension: OneTab

I frequently resolve to have fewer tabs open in my browser — “frequently” because I can never keep the resolution even for a week. Today, for example, I had 48 tabs open — “had,” because I installed OneTab. OneTab, a Chrome extension (which may also be available for other browsers as well). Here’s what it […]

Former gun industry insider explains why he left to fight for the other side

Back in November NPR had an interesting interview in which Dave Davies interviews Ryan Busse. You can listen to the interview at the link; the text report begins: Author Ryan Busse jokes that he was born with “a shotgun in one hand and a rifle in the other.” It’s a shorthand he uses to explain the […]

New year, plan adjusted

Iterative refinement is the way I naturally work, and that’s perhaps why I found the programming language Forth such a comfortable fit. Those who look back at previous posts may find that the posts have been updated with new information or revised thoughts (update: or, to be frank, corrections of typos, misspellings, and wrong word […]

What lies behind the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the murderers’ conviction

Heather Cox Richardson wrote last night: oday, Judge Timothy Walmsley sentenced the three men convicted of murdering 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020, as he jogged through a primarily white neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia. Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan chased Arbery in their trucks, cornering him on […]

The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Abstract Knowledge

The original title touted this technique as the best way to learn “anything,” but it obviously does not apply to skills (woodworking, cooking, fluency in a foreign language, dance, and so on). It applies to abstract knowledge: mathematics, physics, perceived flow of history, how biological systems work, programming, and such like. Still, we deal a […]

Tobacco day

My only use of tobacco anymore is as a fragrance, though I suppose if I had a garden it would find a use i solution as an insecticide. Back in the day I did smoke — cigarettes, pipe, and cigars — and it’s odd how alien that seems to me now. What was I thinking?  […]

Study holds warning on pandemic drinking

Tracy Hampton writes in the Harvard Gazette: Scientists estimate that a one-year increase in alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic will result in 8,000 additional deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure, and 1,000 cases of liver cancer by 2040. In the short term, alcohol consumption changes due to COVID-19 are expected to […]

Habits vs. Goals: A Look at the Benefits of a Systematic Approach to Life

fs blog has an interesting entry, highly relevant to an earlier post on implementing Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The blog post begins: Nothing will change your future trajectory like your habits. We all have goals, big or small, things we want to achieve within a certain time frame. Maybe you want to […]

The Unreality of Money

David Troy writes in Medium: The Tenuous Relationship Between Money and Reality We’re back after a short holiday break with a special edition that will likely define the tone of this next year—all about money, and how for the last year there has been a concerted effort to break popular conceptions about what money is, how […]

New cooking tools/toys

I recently have purchased some new kitchen tools, and they are terrific, so I thought I’d mention them. Cosori Air “Fryer” I’ll never be comfortable with calling a convection oven a “fryer.” So it goes. I’ve mentioned before the Cosori I got after watching Michael Greenfield on Pro Home Cooks put one through its paces. […]

Americans are almost universally satisfied with their jobs

A very interesting post by Kevin Drum. The gloomsayers find no support in data: Over at New York, Kevin Dugan tells us not to be fooled by a low unemployment rate. In reality, the job market sucks: It used to be that when the economy was humming and jobs were plentiful, it was a pretty reliable indicator […]

Everlasting Freefall

As a coda to my earlier post today, take a look at this video by Andrew B. Myers, narrated by Vanessa Kirby.

Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist

At this point, I know the Daily Dozen like a language, and I can easily throw together different meals during the day, easily checking all 12 boxes — well, not always the 12th: (90 minutes moderate exercise or 40 minutes vigorous exercise). But the food checklist I know readily, and I now can readily improvise […]

Near-Earth space is starting to have a lot of litter;.

The above is just a screen grab of a data visualization in motion. Click the link to see the real thing. We have degraded the oceans with our litter, to the point where seafood carries microplastics (which are endocrine disrupters) and now we are working to degrade space. Humans seem to be spoilers.

Shaving cream — and a correction regarding Viking Blades Chieftain

This morning I decided to use a shaving cream, Wholly Kaw’s La Supérieure Dulci Tobacco. When I first resumed traditional shaving, I struggled to get a good lather from a shaving soap, but shaving creams were easy, and I had several favorites, among them Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado.  But because of the problems […]

A string of unfortunate events

Shaun Usher, in Letters of Note, recalls a locally famous event of just a few years back (and by “locally famous,” I mean here in Victoria, where the events transpired): 28 March 2018 Dear Empress Hotel: This may seem like and unusual request, but I write to you today, seeking a “pardon”. 18 years ago a […]

Readwise free trial

I mentioned yesterday, in a post on learning something as a language (that is, learning something so that you can use that something just as you use a language, to express your own ideas without (in the case of language) worrying about things like vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and all the other basics. Your adaptive unconscious […]

Refind, an interesting and useful newsletter

I subscribe to a variety of newsletters — Big, by Matt Stoller; Popular Information, by Judd Legum; Letters from an American, by Heather Cox Richardson; The Honest Broker, by Ted Gioia; et al. — and I often find information worth sharing, which I blog (with acknowledgements and links). Recently, I subscribed to a newsletter called “Refind,” which consists of […]

The failure to protect

Heather Cox Richardson writes about January 6: Just before sunrise on a November day in 1861, Massachusetts abolitionist Julia Ward Howe woke up in the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. She got out of bed, found a pen, and began to write about the struggle in which the country was engaged: could any nation “conceived […]

‘Feeling & Knowing’ explores the origin and evolution of consciousness

In Science News J.P. O’Malley interviews Antonio Damasio about his lates book: Feeling & Knowing Antonio Damasio Pantheon, $26 Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio believes that the link between brain and body is the key to understanding consciousness. In his latest book, Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious, he explains why. Consciousness is what gives an individual a […]

Learning something as a language

I have long found that the metaphor of “learning x as a language” to be useful. To me it means that you have learned so well all the essential rudiments of x and how those are used and combined, and what they mean alone and in combination, that you no longer think of them but […]

New evidence strongly suggests COVID is natural, not from a lab leak

Ethan Siegel writes at Big Think: KEY TAKEAWAYS Although most scientists have compelling reasons to favor a natural origin for SARS-CoV-2, a few prominent biologists have suggested a lab-leak origin for the pandemic. No definitive origin has yet been found, but the discovery of three new strains of coronavirus in bats in Laos strongly suggest a […]

52 Things Jason Kottke Learned in 2021

Jason Kottke posts some things he learned ln 2021: For the last few years, I’ve been a fan of Tom Whitwell’s annual list of 52 things he learned during the past year — here’s his list for 2021. This year, I kept track of my own list, presented here in no particular order: “In Fargo, Carl […]

Good idea: Abolish the USDA, a business lobby that’s a department of the Exective Branch

Gabriel N. Rosenberg and Jan Dutkiewicz write in the New Republic: In late April of 2020, many Americans were shocked by the Trump administration’s executive order to keep the nation’s meatpacking plants humming: Covid-19 was tearing through the plants where workers labored, crammed shoulder to shoulder, sickening them and helping to spread the virus in their […]

Three kinetic sculptures by David Roy

These three sculptures by David C. Roy will be coming to auction soon, but I imagine bidding will be dominated by the ultra-wealthy. Here they are.

Cultural Relativism: Do Cultural Norms Make Actions Right and Wrong?

Cross-cultural moral judgments are always tricky, and certainly Kant labored to produce some axioms of culture-free morality, the main fruit of which was his Categorical Imperative: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” When I searched 1000-Word Philosophy on “categorical imperative,” I found […]

January 6th was part of something larger — that we must confront now

David Troy writes in Medium: In 2009, Peter Thiel said, “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” There exists today a coordinated effort to eliminate democracy, driven by libertarian billionaires like Thiel, a global network of anti-tax advocates, white supremacists, oil interests, and organized crime, all aligned in common purpose. This is incompatible with […]

Late start, good shave, blade observations

The brush today has a very pleasant loft. This is my $35 silvertip from Whipped Dog, and I purchased it at a time when the prevailing idea was to seat the knot at a greater depth than standard (thus making the knot less soft by reducing volume, tilting it toward the scrubby). I went with […]

The war on library books

Judd Legum in Popular Information points out another sign of America’s downfall. From the post at the link: . . . In Oklahoma, State Senator Rob Standridge (R) recently introduced legislation that would prohibit public school libraries from carrying “books that address the study of sex, sexual preferences, sexual activity, sexual perversion, sex-based classifications, sexual identity, gender […]

Agnoticism about God’s existence

When I was active on Quora I repeatedly encountered people who did not understand the difference between “atheism,” the position that God does not exist — the word is from the Greek “a-” (alpha privative negating the following word — cf. “amoral”) and “theos” (“god”) and “agnosticism,” the position that it is not known whether […]

Flying Fish and Aquarium Pets Yield Secrets of Evolution

Viviane Callier writes in Quanta: o escape predators beneath the waves, a flying fish can shoot out of the water and glide long distances because its paired pectoral and pelvic fins, longer and more rigid than those of other fish, act as airfoils. In a quirky triumph of evolution, creatures that were once strictly aquatic transformed […]

Prince in rehearsal

Open Culture has a very good post on Prince. The video above comes from the post, but read the whole othing.

The weakness of secrecy for lock security

I found this talk equal parts fascinating and infuriating, the latter because of the sloth of lock manufacturers, who seem not to care about security in the slightest. In this connection, this lock shows how a good lock can be built.

One Single Day. That’s All It Took for the World to Look Away From Us.

Again, a gift link that bypasses the paywall. Francis Fukuyama writes in the NY Times: The Jan. 6 attack on Congress by a mob inspired by former President Donald Trump marked an ominous precedent for U.S. politics. Not since the Civil War had the country failed to effect a peaceful transfer of power, and no previous […]

Milk May Play a Role in Triggering Parkinson’s Disease

I found the research quoted in this video quite interesting. Sometime in my 30’s, as I recall, I realized I had totally discontinued drinking milk. I wasn’t eating boxed cereal, the typical trigger for milk consumption, and it never came up in any other way. I would occasionally use cream in (say) making a soup, […]

JPMorgan Chase Has Unleashed a Lawsuit Blitz on Credit Card Customers

In the US, those in the lower deciles of income struggle under the iron heel of corporate greed and power. Patrick Rucker, The Capitol Forum, has a report in ProPublica that gives an example. He writes: Early in 2020, as the pandemic gripped the nation, JPMorgan Chase offered to help customers weather the crisis by taking a temporary […]


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Written by Leisureguy

25 May 2021 at 9:09 am