Friday, December 18, 2015

FIghting Fire with Fire

Radical intolerant Islam is not the same thing as Islam, in just the same way as radical intolerant Christianity is not Christianity.

The battle is between terrorism and tolerance, between violence and peace, within each culture. It's amazingly symmetrical between Christians and Muslims, where the most dangerous people pick a few passages out of an ancient book and represent them as key to their holy war.

As someone without roots in either Christianity or Islam living in Texas, guess which bunch of extremists I find myself more afraid of on a day to day basis?

Angry people who take ancient books too seriously are dangerous. That's surely true. But it really doesn't matter much which book they are worked up about.

The way to fight them is not by mistreating all their distant relatives just because of their culture and background.

My grandfather ended up in Hitler's gas chambers because of thinking like this. When you think of "Muslims" as the enemy you are no better than someone who thinks of "Jews'" or "Christians" as the enemy. All of us have good sensible people and terrible, evil people among us. The question is which tendency we want to celebrate.

When you buy into an enemy extremist's view of what their culture is about, you are doing them a huge favor. Is that really what you want?

The way to fight extreme intolerance is with extreme tolerance. "Fighting fire with fire" actually is not the strategy of most fire departments.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

mt's vegan wheat-free low fat cornbread recipe

mt's vegan wheat-free low fat cornbread recipe
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I'm very pleased with this recipe and now make it regularly.
0) prepare flax
grind golden flax seeds in coffee grinder to a fine powder

1) liquid ingredients
  • bring 6 Tbsp water to a boil & reduce heat
  • add 2 Tbsp ground flax, whisk for 2 or 3 minutes until a paste forms
  • add 2 Cups unsweetened soy milk 
  • add 2 tsp maple syrup
  • whisk until roughly mixed (won't blend perfectly)

2) prep
  • spray or lightly grease a 9" square glass casserole with oil 
  • preheat oven to 450 F

3) dry ingredients
in mixing bowl combine thoroughly
  • 1 1/3 Cups cornmeal
  • 2/3 Cup oat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
try to avoid lumps in oat flour
4) bake
  • add liquids to dry
  • pour into casserole
  • bake for 23 minutes

NOTE: after 12 minutes baking, it's nice to spray oil over top surface - this prevents grittiness

5) don't eat yet
  • let cool 5 minutes
  • run a knife around edge of bread to separate from dish

6) eat warm
(or next day split horizontally & toasted in toaster-oven)
  • adding Nature's Balance avocado butter is nice nut not so low fat
  • or regular butter is not so bad but not so vegan
  • if you're feeling indulgent, a little extra maple syrup or honey

7) don't keep more than a day or so without freezing

South Carolina Flood vs the Amazon River

I calculated the water falling on South Carolina, ballparking it as an average depth of 0.25 meters falling over 2 days. 

It works out to 0.11 Sverdrups, which is a bit over half the discharge of the Amazon, but greater than any other river, about seven times the discharge of the Mississippi or St. Lawrence.

The atmospheric flux must have been much higher.

SC area 83e3 km2 = 83 e9 m^2
depth of flood = 0.25 m  
total water = 20e9 m3 
time = 2 days 
10e9 m3 /day
= 115740 m3 / s