(non) vegan ingredients

Jul. 22nd, 2017 02:23 am
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[personal profile] darkoshi
Every once in a while I come across an article like Hidden Animal Fats which indicates that ingredients like glycerin or stearic acid are typically non-vegan. Those 2 ingredients and their derivatives are quite common, and I've been of the belief that they were "probably vegan/ok". So reading an article like that, and thinking that I've been buying and ingesting non-vegan things, is surprising and disappointing.

Then I find a page like Vegetarian Journal's Guide To Food Ingredients which indicates that both of those are typically vegan. I tend to trust that organization's information. For the purposes of their article, they contacted several of the large companies which produce the ingredients for commercial use, which gives it more credence. So then I breathe a sigh of relief.

But there are some items the VRG lists as "typically non-vegetarian", which I didn't expect. Palmitic, Oleic, and Myristic acids. Even modified food starch may be non-vegetarian, due to oleic acid being used in the processing.

That bone char is often used in the production of white sugar, I was aware. (I buy unbleached organic sugar rather than white sugar, but I don't avoid items which have sugar as an ingredient, as that would be too limiting.) But it never occurred to me that activated carbon/charcoal might also come from bone. That may be in my water filters. I'll have to find out.

Wait. The VRG page says that activated charcoal is vegan... oh, I guess that only refers to the kind which is intended for ingestion. The VRG page says that the activated carbon which is used in filters may be non-vegetarian, from bones.

flight skills

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:39 pm
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[personal profile] darkoshi
Walking back from my lunch break, I passed a group of 7 crows cawing and flitting between trees.

Next, I came across a group of vultures standing together in a group on the grass. At first glance, they looked like black crows too. I tried not to look at them very directly, as doing so generally scares them away. But I got out my cell phone and took a furtive photo.



A few of the vultures flew upwards and bumped into the side of the building behind them before landing back on the ground. Huh? A couple more did the same thing, and I wondered what were they doing. Then I realized... they were all younglings, and were frightened of me and trying to fly up onto the top of the building. But their flying skills aren't good enough yet to fly straight up 20 feet like that. I walked away, not to scare them further, poor things.

It reminded me of a day last week when I walked right past a single young vulture that was sitting on a railing, not even noticing it until the last moment, as I had just walked out of the building into the sunshine.


A few days ago I was reading about vines... ah yes, to see if my mom was correct that letting them grow up the pine tree trunks can hurt the trees. While doing that, I found out the name of one of the vines that grows in my yard: Virginia Creeper. It has little suckers on its tendrils that helps it climb, and 5 leaflets in each compound leaf.

Earlier today while walking, I saw a similar looking plant with leaflets of 3... and remembered that rhyme, "leaves of three, let them be". I wondered if it was poison ivy. It looks so innocuous; I walk by it nearly every day. In lieu of touching the leaves to find out, I did a web search on my cell phone to find some images of poison ivy, and sure enough, that is what it was. Now I know what it looks like. For the moment, anyway.


jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

Kinfolk still offers a one-size-fits-all-who-seek-it lifestyle solution with little tolerance for mess. The increasingly rarified image of luxurious simplicity that it projects is far from possible, desirable, or even recognizable for everyone.

-- Kyle Chayka, "The Last Lifestyle Magazine"

It’s hard to identify with something so empty at its core.

-- Also Kyle Chayka, "Welcome to Airspace"

Thoughts on voluntary versus involuntary simplicity, with a side of socioeconomic privilege )

Simplicity, for me, is less of a goal to aspire to, and more like the Tao Te Ching's uncarved block. It's the most useful thing in the world, because you can make anything out of it. And like the air in a tire, or the space in between the spokes of a wooden wheel, sometimes you need it in order to function.

Today

Jul. 18th, 2017 01:04 am
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[personal profile] jewelfox

I waited awhile for the internet person, who still didn't show up.

I felt sick from eating unfamiliar food, and from forgetting to take my medicine for almost eight hours.

I discovered an old and unusual game that was still kind of interesting.

I made soup.

Also

Jul. 15th, 2017 06:09 pm
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

We've been borrowing the neighbours' wi-fi for the past week. >_>; Supposedly we're going to have our own internets on Monday, so please look forward to streams ...

... in between getting a shared bank account with [tumblr.com profile] alias-pseudonym, getting shoes purchased / repaired, and meeting up with an old friend.

Dungeons and Dragons in a nutshell

Jul. 15th, 2017 05:53 pm
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

Hyperallergic's Michael Press is Dispelling the Myths Around the Hobby Lobby Antiquities Case:

Looting involves destruction and loss of information on a truly massive scale: not only do the objects themselves lose all contextual information, but after being looted, any object deemed valueless on the antiquities market will be discarded or destroyed. Looting pits may be quite deep, and all material located above the looted artifacts is destroyed or lost. This is one of many serious problems with collectors’ buying, and scholars relying on, unprovenanced artifacts – artifacts without a clear, traceable chain of custody back to an archaeological excavation.

But we must also remember that this is a case of theft. In such cases, the real loss is not “ours” as Westerners or as scholars. It is above all a loss for those from whom the artifacts were stolen — the Iraqi people.

How many games have I "innocently" played, where the point is to loot ancient and priceless artifacts and sell them? I don't think I can look at those the same way anymore. Sort of like how Nekopara goes from "creepy" to "terrifying" after reading Ewen Cluney's Nekomimi Land. This is outright cultural theft.

Family and religious stuff, plus innuendo )

darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
Note to self: If you want to put pasta into that soup or stew that you're cooking, first pre-boil the pasta. Don't put dry pasta into the soup. Even if it may have worked well in the past, now you'll likely end up with it stuck and burnt to the bottom of the pot.

Remember the orzo incident? It's not only orzo. It's the macaroni too. (But what about noodly noodles? Surely they wouldn't sink and stick?)

solar power

Jul. 12th, 2017 11:05 pm
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[personal profile] darkoshi
Our electric company has a program where you can either buy or rent solar panels which are set up out in the countryside (rather than on your roof). They take care of all the setup and maintenance. As I want to support clean renewable energy, it sounds like a great thing for me to do. But after reading the details about the program, I have a nagging feeling that it sounds too good to be true.

Especially the part in the FAQ about renting panels, which says "Monthly credits are expected to be greater than monthly fees providing for instant saving."
I wonder if the panels provide more power when they are new, so that to begin with, the credits might exceed the fees, but in later years the reverse would be true?

Do any of you have experience, or know someone with experience, in these type of programs?

The electric company also has a rooftop solar program. Each customer can only participate in one of the programs, not both. I've seen several houses with solar panels on their roofs. My house would likely be a good candidate for that too, as it gets a good amount of sunshine. But the idea of putting solar panels on my roof worries me in that
- the panels would interfere with getting the shingles replaced, whenever the shingles eventually need to be replaced (although maybe they lengthen the life of the shingles underneath them, as the shingles would be less exposed?)
- if someone needs to walk on my roof for something (cleaning gutters, fixing leaks, trimming tree branches), the panels would be in the way
- if not installed well, they might cause roof leaks?

cashews and olives

Jul. 12th, 2017 10:46 pm
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[personal profile] darkoshi
I've discovered something that's even better than the dried olives I mentioned here: those same dried olives eaten together with salted cashews! Who would have thought that eating something oily and salty together with something else oily and salty would be a thing? Maybe that's the appeal of cheese and olive appetizer plates.

On a side-note, I had tried some unsalted dried olives, and they were one of the most unpalatable things ever. What a difference some salt can make.

howdy

Jul. 11th, 2017 10:51 pm
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[personal profile] darkoshi
amusing realization: I don't know them well enough for it to be appropriate to say "Hi there, stranger!" to them.

80s

Jul. 9th, 2017 01:58 am
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[personal profile] darkoshi
Am just now watching a CNN series on the 1980s.

The first part they showed was about MTV. I didn't know that MTV refused to play black artists in the beginning. Back then we were living in Germany, and the only American channel we got to watch was AFN, the Armed Forces Network. I didn't get to watch MTV until 1985 or later, when we were back in the U.S. But nonetheless, it seems like nearly all the music that was popular in the 80s is among my favorite music, even without me having seen the videos for those first years.

There was a segment about the space shuttles and the Challenger disaster on Jan 28, 1986.

I had a memory of being at home, listening to my radio in my bedroom, and hearing about the Challenger accident on the radio... as if I was hearing it live*, or right after it had happened. The apartment/bedroom of my memory matches the year, 1986. Both the year before and the year after, I lived in other places. So the memory must be at least partially true.

But I just looked it up, and the accident was on a Tuesday, at 11:39am in the same time zone as I was. So surely I would have been at school when it happened. I don't remember hearing about it at school though. If I was home that day, what could the reason have been? Even if the school day ended fairly early, it wouldn't have been that early. So surely I must have been at school, gotten home at the normal time, and then heard about it on the radio after the fact. Unless we had a half-day for some reason...

Surely if I had been home at the time of the launch, I would have been watching it on TV, not listening on the radio? Or were space shuttle launches not televised live back then? ...

When a national disaster unfolded live in 1986
If you were an American kid in 1986, you probably remember exactly where you were: That's because so many classrooms were watching the shuttle launch live via a special NASA satellite feed to showcase what would have been the first American teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe.


No, I don't remember watching it live in school. Gah, no way to verify my patchy memories.

*I do think it likely that I listened to the launch live, probably on PBS, because I was into astronomy and NASA and things like that. Maybe we didn't get CNN at the time, or maybe I didn't know it was being televised too. I remember listening to other launch attempts on the radio, including aborted ones. (But as this post shows, I no longer trust such old memories. Maybe I only heard replays, not live broadasts?)

This morning I was lying in bed trying to figure out how long ago Qiao bought his house - was it 2 or 3 years ago? And how long ago was his accident? 2011 or 2012? And when was my brother living in my house? etc., etc. All that only within the last 7 years or so, and I'm already getting it all mixed up in my mind. At least now I have ways of looking up what happened when in my life. But not for 1986. I did occasionally write in a diary back then, but not about the space shuttle.

Update (7/10): I think I figured out why I was not at school that day. According to historical weather sources, it was a very cold day. In my area, it was under 20 degrees until 9am, and didn't go above freezing until the afternoon. Such weather is not usual in the South, and school was probably cancelled to keep kids from having to walk to school or wait for the school buses in such cold.

My dearest internets

Jul. 8th, 2017 11:44 am
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

We miss you so much. It's been a week now, and you haven't visited our little apartment. We waited all day yesterday for you to come by, and we got stood up.

Now you say we won't see you until next Friday. Why? Are we just not good enough for you? Do you not like the friends we've been seeing? Is it something we said?

Please come back, internet access. We miss you. ; ;

Signed,

A foxgem who brought her laptop to [tumblr.com profile] alias-pseudonym's parents' house, which has wi-fi

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