Thursday, February 29, 2024

from around the globe (Michael Heaver)

Euroskepticism on the rise:

The Dutch verdict:

Antimigrationism in Switzerland (but what else is new there?):

Maybe the Swiss were right all along.

about that HS women's-basketball incident

Last week, there was news about two high-school women's basketball teams meeting for a game. One team had a trans team member who ended up injuring three female members of the opposing team, causing the opposing team to forfeit rather than face more injuries. Still think having trans women in women's sports is a good idea? 

For God's sakes, just start up a trans league!

a bad day in more ways than one

I got up early this morning and didn't feel at all like doing the stairs. My heart was murmuring and beating irrhythmically, and my motivation had bottomed out. No idea why that's the case, and no idea why my heart might be all jittery: I hadn't had any caffeine the previous day; all I'd had were "zero" drinks (0 calories, 0 grams of carbs), so what the hell was going on? This problem started yesterday for no reason I can fathom. This morning was the continuation. In fact, I'd barely slept all night, so everything felt out of whack.

As I put on my clothes in reluctant preparation for my workout, I decided to flip a coin to see whether I should do the stairs or not. Heads: exercise; tails: just crawl back into bed. Two out of three tosses. The gods spoke clearly: go do the workout (the results were heads, tails, heads). Grimacing, I headed out to the freight elevator, went down to B1, stretched my calves 30 seconds per leg (if I don't do this, I cramp up), took two deep breaths, and started up. I had barely gotten through the four flights from B1 to 1 before I was out of breath, and by the time I had gotten to the third floor, I was utterly winded, as if I hadn't been doing the stairs almost daily for the past two months. It was weird and embarrassing, even with no one around to see my failure. But despite my bruised ego, I swallowed my pride and decided it would be better just to stop there and then. So, having done only three floors' worth of stairs, I summoned the elevator and went back up to 14. And that was the first reason for my bad day.

The American cheese I had ordered via Coupang had supposedly arrived yesterday. Coupang deliveries, per my instructions, are normally supposed to be dropped off right at my door, but... nothin'. I wrote Coupang a memo; the reply that came back was utterly detached from reality: it said that they were having trouble reaching me by phone, and that all I needed to do was put out my Coke Zero by the door. I emailed back that the problem wasn't Coke Zero—it was the American cheese I had ordered, and there was no need for a driver to pick anything up: I wanted my product delivered. I never heard back from Coupang after that, but on an intuition, I went down to my building's lobby and asked the guard whether a package had come for me. It had. I took the box to my office, and voilà: it was the missing cheese. The delivery driver had ignored the instructions to deliver to my door and had instead lazily dropped the package off at the lobby's concierge desk. I contacted Coupang to say that all was well, and please don't send a driver for any reason.

My third problem wasn't really a problem, per se, just a weird drop in site-visit stats after a glorious month of thousands-per-day visits. This past week, my blog's daily unique-visits counts were: 10878, 11186, 10648, 12152, 14632, 12110... and today, so far, I have only 193 visits.* My total for February reminds me of December: this month, I'm over 146,000 visits, which may be a new record. (January, you'll recall, was rather anemic, and in December, I had 121,900 visits, which was a record at the time.)

So those were my three big problems for the day. Happily, tomorrow is March 1, a national holiday, so I have a three-day weekend. My boss has been gone all week to Jeju on a rare vacation, kickin' it with his family. He called me at the office yesterday, though, sounding stressed out despite the "fun" activities he'd lined up for his fraternal-twin sons, which included go carts, laser tag, and, I think, shooting at a gun range. I could tell he wanted to be back at the office and away from the noise and chaos of a wife and two tween boys.

So despite the suck-ass day, I'm not feeling too horrible. The long walk I failed to do this morning will be done tonight, then tomorrow, I'll do a full set up the staircase (1.25 staircases). This morning was supposed to be only half a staircase (up to 14), and I couldn't even make that. But maybe, if I get to sleep early enough tonight and avoid stressors like watching people argue politics on YouTube, I might wake up feeling more balanced and ready for staircase work. I really do need to work on my sleep schedule.


*The sudden disappearance, today, of that many visitors feels like swarming behavior, so this could be the coordinated action of bots, in which case the number of bots visiting my blog must be way, way more than 50% of my site traffic. Maybe I've been stuck at 600-ish unique visits per day this entire time.

Tucker Carlson: not as rosy as he might seem

Interesting critique of Tucker Carlson by Konstantin Kisin:

The notion of a "woke right" is a painful one to confront, but we should confront it.

Trump was being spied on

Vindicated, but it's too late, and the liars pay no price for their lies:

2 from Dave Cullen on AI and creativity

Everyone's worried about how fast AI is maturing, and what it means for people's jobs, in the creative fields and beyond. I'm not worried... yet.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024


A loud fight was happening in the apartment next door about a half hour ago. The loudest part, which involved actual female screams, lasted about thirty seconds. It's been quiet since, but the neighbor's door has been opening and closing (I keep hearing the beep of his lock), so who knows? Maybe there'll be a Round 2.  Or maybe my next-door neighbor killed his lady, and now he's cleaning up. Just my luck to have this sort of neighbor. He moved in last year, and I don't think I've seen hide nor hair of his screechy female companion. They better not still be going at it when I do my stair work in the early morning. If she's alive, I mean.

trucker boycott already having effects

From just the first couple of days of the trucker boycott: a 30% increase in delivery costs for trucks that do deliver to New York City. Action, consequences. FAFO.

More here—the boycott is expanding:

Biden and the fried chicken

A few days back, this didn't go over so well with elements of the black community:

New York as a "loser state" + why Kevin O'Leary is clueless

This news is a week old, but in case you missed it:

BREAKING: Trump wins Michigan primary (double yawn)


Trump Scores 7th Straight Primary Win With Triumph in Michigan

Fresh off his win in South Carolina, Trump has again defeated Haley as he marches towards the GOP nomination.

LANSING, Mich.—Former President Donald J. Trump has soundly defeated former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in Michigan’s Feb. 27 Republican presidential primary, notching his seventh-straight primary victory as he marches towards the GOP nomination.

The Associated Press called the race for Trump right after the last polls closed at 9 p.m. ET.

The result is another blow to Ms. Haley, coming days after a double-digit defeat in her home state of South Carolina. Despite this, she has vowed to stay on through Super Tuesday on March 5, when numerous delegate-heavy states will hold their primaries.

Currently, this looks to be a 67-29 victory for Trump. Haley couldn't even scrape 40%, and Trump crushed her by 38 percentage points. But like a dog that simply won't let go, Haley will continue despite having lost major funding sources (e.g., the Koch brothers). Meanwhile Styx called it a day or so ago when he said, "She'll be lucky to clinch 30." She was/is a single percentage point short. Styx also contends that Haley is now draining funds from Joe Biden, not Trump, because her major supporters, now, are Democrats and TDS sufferers.

Meanwhile, the juggernaut soldiers on.

Tim Pool, meanwhile, contends that Haley is still running because the game is rigged:

Tim Pool on Cali secessionism


I hadn't done apple pies in a while. This one got suntanned. I ate the darkest part of the crust myself to spare my boss and coworker any misery. It tasted fine, especially with ice cream.

I had enough filling and crust dough left over to make a mini-pie, which turned out better than the larger pie. Here it is before it got devoured:

I didn't use the broiler as long this time, switching it off after only ten minutes.

That's Korean turbinado sugar on top, held in place by egg wash.

À la mode.

Oh, yeah: I added pineapple. Delicious.

My boss and coworker ate heartily and complimented the pie, so there's that.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

"President Roomba"

If this guy pretending to be president is really the result of legitimate votes, then 81 million voters are utter idiots.

combative corpulence

When fit guys underestimate fat guys:

save your kids

Get 'em out of school now. Then homeschool them.

civil unrest in China (here we go again)

China is actually full of demonstrations that the government can't quell, but the government does seem to stop these disturbances before they become unmanageable. When will we finally see a full-fledged revolution, a complete overthrow of the CCP? Probably about the same time we see a full-fledged overthrow of the Kim regime in North Korea.

None of this means anything if it's not a tipping point.

Musk vs. Trudeau

Remember that Elon Musk is a triple citizen of Canada, South Africa, and the USA. In the video below, the host notes that Musk "drops a bombshell" on Trudeau:

Not much of a bombshell, if you ask me, but the video is good all the same.

food from the ago times

My apple fritters might have been a disaster, but my chimichangas were a lot better. I did a chimichanga post on February 8; below are photos from after that meal (February 11). I practiced rolling my chimis more aggressively, and the result was more properly cylindrical.

It's a big'un. Top view.

Food-porn angle.

(far to near) Homemade salsa, jalapeños, crema.

Sauced up.

Top view of another one.

And the food-porn angle.

I also made a batch of Toll House cookies. The following pic is from Valentine's Day:

Two cookies out of a batch of 35.

All of this was enjoyable. It felt like redemption.

"The Iron Claw": review

L to R: David Von Erich (Harris Dickinson), Kevin (Zac Efron), and Kerry (Jeremy Allen White)

[WARNING: spoilers.]

"Inspired by a true story," writer-director Sean Durkin's 2023 sports drama "The Iron Claw" stars Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, Stanley Simons, Holt McCallany, and Lily James. It is the story of the famous-but-ill-fated Von Erich family, considered royalty in the theatrical world of professional wrestling. The story more or less centers on Kevin Von Erich (Efron, looking beefy), the now-eldest son after the long-ago death Jack Junior, who died as a little kid. It's the 1970s, and Fritz Von Erich, who used to be Fritz Adkisson before changing his surname, owns and runs the WCCW, or World Class Championship Wrestling. The surname change is important: Von Erich is Fritz's mother's surname, and her family suffered a series of tragedies, leading to a spooky belief in "the Von Erich curse," i.e., tragedy will follow the family wherever it goes thanks to that surname.

Fritz (McCallany) started out as a pro wrestler himself, but the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship belt (sic, that's "Worlds" without an apostrophe) has always eluded him. Eldest son Kevin and second son David (Dickinson) are themselves wrestlers; third son Kerry (White) is on the path to be an Olympian, and youngest son Mike (Simons) prefers to play in a band. The brothers love and support each other, and while patriarch Fritz can sound harsh and driven, the story is at pains to show he's not insane; he merely wants one or more of his sons to nab that championship belt. When President Jimmy Carter boycotts the 1980 Summer Olympics, Kerry's dreams of competing are shattered, and he joins the wrestling stable. Later on, Mike, too, is persuaded to wrestle, which he does reluctantly. Family matriarch Doris (Tierney, looking old) is tough, and she tells her boys not to look to her if they have problems: they should settle things among themselves.

But then the tragedies come, one on top of the other, with Kevin essentially a helpless witness as fate or destiny picks his family apart. Brother David develops a stomachache, and during a trip to Japan, he dies of gastroenteritis. Kerry, no longer an Olympic hopeful, steps up and turns out to be popular because he's great at trash talking as well as a competent wrestler. Kerry eventually wins that long-coveted championship belt, but when he goes out for a drunken, nighttime motorcycle ride immediately after, he crashes and loses a foot, putting him in constant pain, which leads to a drug addiction. Kerry eventually gets a top-of-the-line foot prosthesis and is able to wrestle again, but the pain never leaves him, and even after switching from the WCCW to the up-and-coming WWF (World Wrestling Federation, much later known as the WWE—World Wrestling Entertainment—after embracing its theatricality), his popularity wanes. Little brother Mike severely injures his shoulder during a match, and when he goes into surgery, he suffers from toxic-shock syndrome, which leaves him brain-damaged. Kevin, seeing all this happening, has in the meantime married his sweetheart Pam (James), and when he has his first son, he registers the boy's surname as Adkisson, not Von Erich, in a superstitious effort to avoid the Von Erich curse.

As if all of this weren't bad enough, Kerry confesses to Kevin that he's still in pain, and his waning celebrity in the WWF means he's in bad financial straits. Mike, meanwhile, is coherent enough to know there's no recovering from his brain damage, and he kills himself by swallowing pills. Kerry, after confessing his problems to Kevin, drives himself to his father's ranch and shoots himself. Kevin is now an only child; he has no more brothers. By this point, he has a second son, and both of his sons see him crying while sitting on the front lawn one day. Kevin explains he's sad because he has no more brothers; in his imagination, he sees his brothers in the afterlife meeting up together, even with Jack Junior, who died as a little boy. Kevin's sons say they can be Kevin's brothers, and the story ends with the family, including Kevin's wife Pam, playing catch.

While the movie didn't have me blubbering like a baby, it caused a deep sadness within me. Part of the reason may have been the coincidence that two of the Von Erich brothers were named Kevin and David (in my family, we three boys are Kevin, David, and Sean). Seeing Kevin lose his little brothers one by one was depressing and felt personal. I know I'd be destroyed if I ever lost either or both of my little brothers. In the film, the Von Erich brothers could be competitive, and they were always keen to please their ambitious father, but it was obvious they loved each other and enjoyed hanging with each other. Pam is utterly charmed by this loving family dynamic. It was also obvious that the father, though driven, wasn't a monster. The movie could have taken the easy route of blaming everything on the dad, but while Fritz has major flaws and a narrow vision of the family's future, it's also clear that he loves his boys, even if he does do stupid things like "rank" them in order of preference, with a dinner-table warning that the rankings could always change.

I imagine the thing most people will be curious about is whether Zac Efron, known for cheery musicals and raunchy comedies and what is usually a much smaller, thinner frame, holds up his end of the story, dramatically speaking, and the good news is that he obviously worked his ass off to look the part of a huge Von Erich boy, and he ably conveys the searing feelings of loss and sadness as, one by one, his brothers disappear. All the other cast members also do excellent work in their roles; Holt McCallany as Fritz deserves special mention as the dad who never lets up. Maura Tierney, on whom I had a crush during her time on "ER," has aged a lot and looks almost unrecognizable, but she does fine work as the lone island of estrogen surrounded by a raging sea of testosterone. (The Texas twang she adopts for the film also helps to hide her identity.) A bit like my #3 Ajumma after she lost her husband, Tierney's Doris starts painting again after losing most of her sons—maybe it's her way of trying to keep them close to her. Lily James is also fine as Pam; an English actress, James often seems to land parts requiring an American accent (cf. "Baby Driver").

For me, "The Iron Claw" hits home on several levels. It's excellently acted, unapologetically tragic, and just a plain-old good story that runs from the 70s through the 80s, with all of the bad hairdos and awkward short-shorts. The Von Erichs did eventually get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009 (as we learn during the ending title cards), and Kevin fulfilled his dream, mentioned when he first met Pam, of owning a ranch on whose property his entire family is able to live—four children and thirteen grandchildren. That's as close as we get to a happy ending: the family flourishes, and the tragedies seem to have stopped.

Oh, yes: the title "The Iron Claw" refers to what was originally Fritz's wrestling move: gripping the opponent's cranium in one hand and squeezing, seemingly causing pain via pressure points on the skull—a move that all of the sons also learned. As with other wrestling movies, "The Iron Claw" makes it somewhat ambiguous as to how much of what we're seeing is real versus theater. I have more respect for wrestlers after having watched the MTV reality-TV series "Tough Enough" years ago, a series that shows the hellish training that young, aspiring pro wrestlers have to go through to become ring-worthy. Pro wrestling is "real" insofar as the choreography amounts to relentless stunt work, and wrestlers are routinely injured as they provide the audience with a show. The Von Erichs were acknowledged masters of entertainment, but it was their bad luck to suffer more than average from the cold touch of the Grim Reaper. In fact, the movie leaves out one more son: Chris Von Erich, the actual youngest son after Mike, who also died by suicide. The director contended that, even for a movie so marinated in tragedy, this would have been one tragedy too many.


ADDENDUM: a brief list of wrestling movies I've seen (all of them good):

• "The Wrestler" (Mickey Rourke)

"Fighting with My Family" (Florence Pugh)

• "Foxcatcher" (Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum)

"The Peanut Butter Falcon" (Shia LaBoeuf)

I have zero interest in professional wrestling, so it's fascinating to me to see so many good movies come out of that sport. (And there are dozens more wrestling movies.) As you see, two of the above movies remain unreviewed; I guess I'd better get a move on and review them. ("Foxcatcher" got a mini-review, but I regret that. It deserves a fuller consideration.)

Monday, February 26, 2024

Vice is dead

PJW on Vice's demise:

Styx with his take:

The collapse of mainstream and mainstream-affiliated media, long predicted, seems finally to be happening, at least at the margins and working its way inward toward the rotten, cancerous center. But from where I sit, it can't happen fast enough. The entire news-media structure needs to burn to the ground and be replaced by something fairer and more objective, but what would that thing be? With AI already being programmed to gaslight you, mental manipulation seems now to be woven into the fabric of the culture. Keep the sheep docile and hypnotized.

USAF soldier self-immolates in front of the Israeli Embassy

Hey, if he wanted to barbecue himself for Hamas, let him. One less idiot in the world.

Go, Air Force or something...

UPDATE: the guy is currently alive and in critical condition. But he'll never be in a condition to reproduce, so thank God for that.

UPDATE 2: Tim Pool says the man is dead.

Google Gemini, pedophilia, and the nonexistence of white people

The AI has no moral compass because its programmers have no moral compass:

And from Gemini's perspective, white people don't exist:

Matt Walsh piles on, noting Gemini's creepy Koreanness in wanting to do your thinking for you as discovered via "injection attacks":

So the AI is already being programmed not to do what you ask it to do, but instead to do what its programmers think you ought to ask it to do. This is frightening stuff, and we now see that a powerful sector of the population—programmers—is actively malicious in its programming. It may really come down to a need to unplug completely from all of this. If digital can't be trusted, go back to analog and bye-bye, blogging.

At the end of "Dream Scenario," we find out that the corporate world has, inadvertently thanks to Professor Paul Matthews, figured out a way to hack into people's dreams via special devices, thus opening up huge, new vistas in marketing products and services. Of special note is how the youthful team of dream characters invading your thoughts are all "diverse" twentysomethings—barely a white person among them. I wonder how many critics noted this subtle dig at woke culture as they were writing their droolingly sycophantic reviews of the movie. Had the critics noticed, they'd have been far less sycophantic.

Trump and the swing states

Then again, we're now hearing news that the Dems might pull another fast one this November: House Democrats May Not Certify Election If Trump Wins. It's okay to deny elections if you're a Democrat, you see.

Sunday's walk

yesterday: resting under the Jamshil Bridge

Saturday betrayed me: on Friday, while at work, I checked the weather, and despite all the nasty precipitation, the forecast was all clear—Saturday would be cloudy, with no rain or snow. As it turned out, however, Saturday ended up bringing both rain and snow, with the rain keeping the snow from accumulating. The forecast for Sunday was all clear after the morning hours, so I chose to go for a walk around 3:45 p.m. out to the Jamshil Bridge and back—about 14 km, or close to 8.7 miles.

It had been a while since I'd done any real distance (except for a 10K walk done a couple weeks ago), and I was out of shape. Despite all the staircase work I'd been doing, the benefits of such work didn't port over to walking. Distance walking is its own thing, and walking isn't biking just as biking isn't swimming, etc. Different skills, different muscle groups, different everything. Suffice it to say that I was tired by the time I reached the Jamshil Bridge. I sat under the bridge for about 15 minutes, just drinking in the cathedral-like geometry of the structure, silently marveling at the effort and engineering that went into making it. (Korea went through a crisis period in the 90s, what with the collapses of the Seongsu Bridge and the Sampoong Department Store, not to mention the Daegu gas explosion and other examples of shoddy, corner-cutting construction. But the Jamshil Bridge seems to be one of the better bridges, having stoically withstood the test of time.) I farted around on my phone, allowing my body aches to fade a bit before I levered my big self up and headed back to my place.

The trip to the bridge was marked by an annoyance: an old man behind me who walked closely enough for me to hear his tread but at such a speed that he never passed me. I'm not a fan of being followed, even if the following is unintentional, as I'm sure this gentleman's action was. I shook him off eventually: he walked steadily, but he wasn't going the full 14K with me. He appeared behind me when I had barely exited my neighborhood, and he had disappeared before I'd even reached the Han River. The trip back to my place was marked by a different annoyance: a pain in my left hip joint, at the inner-thigh portion of the ball and socket. It wasn't crippling or anything, and as I usually do when pains arise, I simply soldiered on. It's remarkable how many pains disappear if you merely walk them off.

When I was approaching the Jamshil Bridge while walking along the Han, I briefly thought about stopping at a convenience store for snacks and refueling. I ultimately decided against it because (1) I knew that, if I ate or drank anything, I'd undoubtedly develop the urge to piss or take a dump while still en route; (2) the carbs would not be good for the stairs work I would be doing Monday morning (1.25 staircases); and (3) as I discovered, half the GS25 convenience stores along that segment of the Han had disappeared. That was startling: I'd come to think of those facilities as fixtures. I'd almost never visited them, but it was somehow comforting to know that I could stop at any time to refresh myself. Now, though, I saw that two of the four convenience stores were gone, and a humble fried-chicken joint (the bizarrely named BHC Chicken, which has always sounded like a chemical to me) had also bitten the dust. God only knows what will arise from the ashes of these now-defunct eateries and emporia. 

Oh, and I almost forgot: the huge, on-the-water Chinese restaurant, Dong Bang Myeong Ju, no longer had its Chinese sign up top. It looked to have finally gone under, as my buddy JW had predicted. To be clear, JW had made his prediction several years ago, and he thought the place would go under within a year, but his prediction came true about 3-4 years too late. According to him, the place was also known as one of those Chinese police stations, which may explain why the food there tasted... different. I didn't think the food was bad, but JW hated it the one time we ate there. I guess he was right about everything: the place's focus probably wasn't on the food. And he and I probably ended up as part of an underhanded Chinese data-gathering effort. I'm on file somewhere in Beijing.

A large LED sign along the Han said the temperature was around 6ºC—that awkward temp when you're not sure whether to wear a jacket or a coat. When I walked in such temperatures during my long walk last year, I also had my poncho with me, and my windbreaker plus the poncho worked as well as a coat to keep me fairly warm. I hadn't brought any gloves with me during this walk, so there were a few moments when I needed to shove my hands into my coat pockets (yes, I wore my coat) to keep my fingers warm, but all in all, the temperature was bearable. I had a hat with me, but I never used it.

By the time I got back to my place, I saw my time had been slow. Subtracting the 15 minutes of rest, I had taken 3 hours and 15 minutes to walk 14K. That's about 4.3 kph, slower than the human average of 5 to 5.5 kph. When I first timed this route, I had taken 3 hours exactly, so something must be going on. I'll see whether I can get my time back down to three hours as we head into spring. There will be many Jamshil Bridge walks in the near future.

This morning, I heaved my way up the apartment staircase 1.25 times, and I'm still contemplating which new exercise modality to add when March arrives. I don't think I'm ready for heavy clubs quite yet, so my choices are animal flow, dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, and bodyweight calisthenics. A lot of what I want to focus on are core exercises to help my aching back; many backaches come from a weak core: every time the spine is startled into effortful movement, it spasms and overstrains. Core strengthening would help a lot with that, and all of the exercise modalities listed above can be used to help strengthen one's core.

As the weather warms up, the staircase work will become more difficult, which is why I need to do it in the early morning before the sun has a chance to create a greenhouse effect in the stairwell. But for a while at least, the distance walking will get easier as I shed my jacket and coat. Here's hoping that 2024 turns out to be an athletic year.

my greatest culinary failure

On February 8 this year, in an effort to use up the apples and pears gifted to me by my company, I chopped a bunch of fruit up to make apple fritters. And it all went to hell. What's funny is that everything was crunchy and good the moment I took the fritters out of the oil... but when they all cooled down, the fritters proved to be soggy, greasy, and disgusting. I wondered how I'd rescue or reconstitute them at the office, or whether I should bring them to the office at all. I decided to let them sit in the open overnight, hoping against hope that they might dry up and get less soggy, but oil doesn't evaporate, and the fritters were even nastier to the touch in the morning.

I took the fritters to the office and decided to pan-fry them with just a tiny bit of oil. Because the fritters were so large, such a fry didn't really heat up their insides. Result: the outsides blackened a bit on the pan, and the insides were greasy and cold. I had handed one "refried" fritter each to my boss and to my Korean coworker. When I tasted the fritter I'd prepped for myself, I immediately went to my boss and asked for his fritter back. I also asked my Korean coworker to give his fritter back, but he insisted that he wanted to taste it anyway. I said it would be nasty and greasy, and that the pan-frying had burned the fritter, but he was an annoyingly stubborn bastard and kept his dish. Later on, he remarked that the fritter was too greasy and had burned bits—exactly the things I'd warned him about, the fucking idiot. Some people just gotta learn the hard way.

They don't look too awful coming out of the oil.

Still sizzling.

So, what did I learn from this experience? A few things.

Mistake 1. Using Asian pears alongside apples meant that the fritters would render out way more water than if I had just used apples: Asian pears are naturally watery. Next time, I'll cube the pears up and bake them low and slow for a few hours to dehydrate them somewhat. Or I'll fry them in my bokkeum-pan to coax the water out quickly.

Mistake 2. When deep-fried things become greasy, it's usually because the oil's temperature isn't high enough for the fry. Now, I did check my oil's temp: ideally, it should've been around 375ºF, but my oil was actually higher: 390ºF when I started ladling the fritter batter into it. Good, I thought. I assume what happened next was that the batter cooled the oil way, way down; I should probably have let the fritters fry a minute or so longer.

Mistake 3. I made the batter from a trusted source's recipe, but with one major change: I used chickpea flour instead of eggs (1 egg = 1/4 cup chickpea flour + 1/4 cup water). I could have gone to my building's grocery and gotten myself some real eggs, and that might have made a huge difference, but it was nighttime, and I was lazy. (In my defense: the website that suggested the egg replacement did claim that chickpea flour was fine for fritters.)

Mistake 4. Related to mistakes 1 and 2: I had cut the apples and pears into large, bite-sized cubes (see above), which doubtless created a surface-area-to-volume problem, with the water inside the Asian pears being unable to escape fast enough while the fritters were frying. Next time, I'll cube everything smaller, and as I said above, I'll dehydrate the pears before adding them to the batter.

There were probably other mistakes as well, but the above mistakes were the most memorable. I can comfort myself by noting that a lot of Koreans, when they make those twisty ggwabaegi doughnuts, end up with a greasy mess that they then toss in coarse sugar and sell to the public with no shame, no sense of pride. In my experience, most ggwabaegi are pretty shitty; it's a red-letter day when I find a place that makes them right. (Your own mileage may vary.)

Another thing is to get the right confectioner's sugar. All I had on hand, to make a glaze, was confectioner's erythritol, which turned out to be horrible thanks to that weird "cooling" effect. By the time I wanted to toss my fritters in a sugar-cinnamon mix, though, I could already tell they were hellaciously greasy. Next time, I'll get real confectioner's sugar and do it right. My boss apparently grew up with apple fritters, so he's impatient to try some. I wish the local doughnut places made them, but I don't think Krispy Creme and Dunkin Donuts do so, except perhaps occasionally/seasonally.

So that's the story of my culinary disaster—easily the biggest fail ever. I was so ashamed of the results that I yanked my fritter back from my boss once I realized the pan-frying hadn't worked; I wish I could have spared my coworker the misery of eating his fritter, but he was a stubborn asshole, so he got his instant karma.

I might try fritters again later to use up the last of my fruit (I have one apple and one pear left) and apply the lessons I've learned. We'll see.

the genie

Beware. It may be a good idea to unplug. That, or get swamped by the coming wave.

Clickbait-thumbnail alert: no ass appears in the video.

And if the above doesn't freak you out:

Sunday, February 25, 2024

truckers bypassing NYC: some details

This video ties together the swirl of issues involved in (1) the Engoron decision against Trump and (2) the angry truckers:

it is to laugh

How can you not laugh at this unflattering photo of Trump victorious, orange mop aglow in garish light as he adopts his usual smugly twerpy pose?

I wish he learned how to keep his head vertical instead of always flopping to the diagonal.

And who is that horrifically corpulent creature, second from the right? They say Washington is Hollywood for ugly people, and this Jabba wannabe proves it.

Well, mini-Jabbas or not, Trump gets another victory, and it's all downhill from here for Nikki Haley. South Carolina, her home state, is where she ought to have performed the strongest, but as we all knew even months ago, it was not to be. She should run much later when Trump is dead, and she is older and perhaps wiser.

Congrats to The Donald. Unsavory as a person, but like it or not, he's the one with the saner policies, the correct priorities, and the mental marbles to run a country.

"woke kindergarten"

Where does this shit end?

the cow-methane problem is BS

Pretty sure this guy's Irish, but his YouTube "About" page says he's in the United Kingdom, so maybe he's Northern Irish since the Republic of Ireland is no longer part of the UK.

BREAKING: as predicted, Trump wins the South Carolina primary

By almost exactly 60-40, Donald Trump easily wins the South Carolina primary against Nikki Haley, former governor of that state. This would be an embarrassing loss for Haley were she sane, but she is certifiably not sane, and she has vowed to plow on until Super Tuesday. The level of hubris is astounding and unfathomable, but we're stuck with this barnacle for at least another week and a half (until March 5). Why Haley thinks 90s-era neoconservatism makes for a winning message is beyond my comprehension. But she's flush with cash from Democrat coffers, so she'll muck on. What a stupid waste.

the false narrative about racism in police shootings

Remember Professor Roland Fryer? Claudine Gay did her best to ruin him. He's the economics guy behind the question of racial bias in police shootings: after two surveys—the second was done with a different team to confirm the results of the first—Fryer concluded there was no racial bias in police shootings, a conclusion that sent lefties inside and outside of academia through the roof. Here's more on how all of that is panning out:

To think used used to respect Harvard. It's a trash heap now.

fashioning Death

I'm reminded of the hugely hunched Death from the seventh Harry Potter film.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Christopher Hitchens: a warning from beyond the grave

Hitchens on Islam:

And since Hitchens's death, have we listened?

a twist on an awesome recipe

The recipe for "peanut-butter noodles" isn't supposed to be anything authentic, and there are versions of this concept all over YouTube. Some involve ramen; others use udon or other pasta, even Western pasta. The recipe I (mostly) followed comes from Andy of Andy Cooks, a popular YouTube channel whose host is well known for trying to respect every culture's cooking instead of "putting his own twist" on the food (the thing that Uncle Roger is constantly blaming Jamie Oliver for). That said, I put my own twist on Andy's peanut-butter noodles recipe, adding proteins in the form of shrimp and chicken, plus a sprig of cilantro purchased from my building's B1-level grocery. And it was great! Andy had been aiming to make a snack; I decided to make a full meal, with the cilantro pulling the meal more explicitly in a SE Asian direction. I used chunky peanut butter, too.

The peanut sauce was a little bit thick and salty; next time, I'll add some milk to smooth and thin it out a bit. Maybe some lime juice as well. Otherwise, it had great depth of flavor, and everything else was spot-on. This kind of recipe is easy enough to make on your own. In fact, since I've made my own peanut sauce before, I might try this again sometime, but without a recipe. The nice thing about the frozen udong (udon) I'd used is that, once you get the water boiling, it cooks up in 2-3 minutes. So even with the added proteins (which are easy enough to prep), the whole thing doesn't take too long to come together.

ADDENDUM: I did have to prep by buying some esoteric ingredients, though: so-called "chili crisp" and something called "black vinegar." Both were available as next-day deliveries via Coupang, so I didn't have to resort to weird substitutes.

in case you missed it

President Brandon's recent visit to East Palestine, Ohio, did not go well:

What kind of idiot waits over a year to visit a disaster-ravaged American town? The kind who prefers to gallivant, half-consciously, to other countries as part of his America-last agenda. How's that working out for everyone?

Tucker, Putin, and China

I knew Chris Chappell was going to harp on the Tucker-Putin interview for what Putin said about China—including things that upset China:

South Cackalacky

The South Carolina GOP primary is happening today, and we're about to see how badly Nikki Haley loses in her home state. While Haley, in some polls, seems to be performing well against Joe Biden, she has to get past Trump first to become the GOP nominee for president, and thus far, she has lost in every primary/caucus. "But this time, she'll make it" is the battle cry of the doomed and the detached-from-reality, but I guess hope springs eternal for the irrational. Haley wouldn't be my choice: she's in China's pocket, has flip-flopped on a large number of issues, and is practically a Democrat when it comes to hot-button topics like abortion. Her hawkish neocon stance makes her a good foreign-policy candidate for two decades ago before Trump rolled in with his MAGA agenda, which harks back to an early-90s Democrat policy (Clintonian) agenda: pro-worker, America first, pro-security, anti-war. I don't know what the margin will be, but I'm pretty confident Nikki Haley will lose. And given what we know about her irrationality, she will fight on despite the nose-bloodying she's about to get.

not black first

Not a popular message these days, but it should be heard. Again and again.

1/2 a staircase today, but a 10K-stat day

I'll be doing a long walk later today (most convenient and shortest route = to Jamshil Bridge and back), but I noticed my site counter was almost at the 10K-visits mark. February's been as good a month as January was a bad month. I have over 80K visits for the month, with the past couple of weeks being over-4K days. I suspect the visits will build to a crescendo, then March will start off with barely anything before building up again. This change from my usual 600-plus/day average is going to leave me pampered. I doubt there was a sudden shift in blogging quality; maybe I simply got noticed, a bit, such that I'm no longer laboring in obscurity.

Or maybe it's all bots.

Tim Pool jeers as Bud Light goes insane

No mercy.

Friday, February 23, 2024

falsely accused and fighting back

Forgive the AI voice. It seems to be the new normal.

the very, very silly idea

At some point, I'm going to migrate from this old Blogger/Blogspot platform to Squarespace, which has all sorts of tools for subscriptions, product-hawking (books, mugs, tee shirts, etc.), and other forms of monetization. Maybe I could make myself, at least in a low-grade manner, into a business, right?

Anyway, I was thinking along those lines when a really awful marketing idea hit me this morning—an idea so awful that I thought I'd share it with you. It has to do with blog (or website-section) titles.

Kevin's Walk = a blog about my distance walking

Kevin's Work = a blog about my current fitness endeavors

Kevin's Wok = a blog about cooking: successes, failures, recipes

And while we're at it, what about Kevin's Hawk as the place where I hawk my wares? Hawk sort of rhymes with Walk, but it violates the implicit "W—k" rule that the other words follow. Or maybe it's all just too terrible to contemplate. Your thoughts?

le mystère de la cuvette sale

I went into the men's room yesterday to sit upon the porcelain throne and think great thoughts, but as occasionally happens, I was faced with the sight of a crime: a big turd splatter sat inside the toilet bowl, looking for all the world like the aftermath of a grenade explosion, and the water level was negligible. This could only mean one thing: the turd had originally been big enough to clog the toilet when it was time to flush. Someone had flushed; the turd had blocked the drainage; the person had freaked as the water level rose; after the person skedaddled, the water had slowly drained down, but because of the blockage, the bowl hadn't been able to fill back up. So: just an exploded turd and a dry toilet bowl.

Admittedly, I've been the cause of this sort of turd-blockage moment myself. Toilets clog all the time in Seoul. And if there's no plunger in the cubicle, there's nothing to do but leave the cubicle and pray that (1) no one sees you leave that cubicle and (2) the next person to enter the stall has the common sense to look down at the toilet before settling his ass cheeks into a startlingly high pool of shitty water. But in yesterday's case, there was a plunger, and this thought sparked the question, Why didn't the person before me use it?

Several theories immediately came to mind. First, if the previous person were an adult, he may simply have freaked and left right away to preserve his dignity. Koreans find all sorts of ways to escape responsibility, which I suppose only makes them human. (But in this culture, it really kills a person to have to accept blame for something, even a little thing, so avoiding blame while saving face has become an art form.) Second, if the previous person were a student (and we have a cram school on our floor, so plenty of kids use the restroom), the kid almost definitely freaked and, not knowing how to use a plunger, simply ran away.

The whole question of being unable to use a plunger (which could be an adult-male problem as well) takes us even deeper down the cultural rabbit hole. Korean sons are, stereotypically, pampered like royalty (lots of "Don't worry, Mom'll do it for you/걱정마, 엄마 해 줄게" during childhood), so it's not until they go through their required military service that they actually start to learn how to do basic things for themselves.* When you think about it, it's quite likely that any Korean guy, student or adult, would have no clue how to use a plunger. Another reason just to leave the scene of the crime.

So since there was a plunger in my stall, I hit the flush lever to refill the bowl with water (it didn't overflow, thank Satan), then proceeded to pump away with the plunger. Ten reps, and I'd done a set of plunger pushes. The water level sank steadily, indicating that I'd broken through the blockage at least partially if not completely. A second flush to confirm victory, and I was finally able to sit down and think my great thoughts.

The more I reflect on it, the more I believe the culprit was a kid. In cases where you work in a building that also has a math or language academy in it, it's almost always the kids who bring these sorts of disasters.


*To be fair, I recall being a college freshman and discovering that a lot of my dorm's fellow occupants—especially the guys—had no common sense about anything, e.g., how to cook, how to iron clothes, how to clean up puke. Many American guys, or so it seemed to me, were also pretty lost without their mothers there to help them. Independence takes work.

focus on Letitia James

Attorney General Letitia James is yet another corrupt individual leading a crusade against Donald Trump. She just won a temporary victory with Judge Engoron's $355 million ruling against Trump in a civil-fraud trial. Doug has more:

Alas, the "beatdown" in question didn't happen in time to save Trump from this nonsense ruling. But he's a billionaire, so he'll live to fight another day.

Portuguese ructions

Portugal is in the news after a corruption probe unearthed dirt, and several members of the Portuguese Cabinet were arrested, leading to a snap election this coming March to replace them. Michael Heaver has more on this and the rise of the anti-EU Chega Party:

1.25 staircases

I finally broke the 1-staircase barrier today and did 1.25 staircases, i.e., I did an entire staircase from B1 to 26, then went back to B1 and did the stairs up to the 6th floor. This particular run is the hardest because the distance between floors isn't uniform.

B1 to 1 = 4 flights, 9 steps each = 36 steps (shops/restaurants; lobby)
1 to 2 = 3 flights, 9 steps each = 27 steps (lobby; more shops + salons; admin offices)
2 to 3 = 3 flights, 9 steps each = 27 steps (admin; gym space)
3 to 4 = 4 flights, 8 steps each = 32 steps (gym space)
4 to 5 = 4 flights, 10 steps each = 40 steps (gym; 5th = residential)
5 to 6 = 2 flights, 9 steps each = 18 steps (residential the rest of the way)

From 5 to 26, the residential floors are all the same height and stair length: 18 steps between floors. It's like that the rest of the way up. Going from B1 to 6 is as much a psychological hurdle as it is a physical one: there's more distance between floors.

So when calculating where I am during any staircase-training session, there are two ways to do it: (1) raw number of steps or (2) by floor number. As you see, though, when I say B1 to 6 constitutes a "quarter staircase," it's technically more than a quarter because many of the floors are 1.5 or 2 times the height of "normal" floors (from 5 to 26). But it's hard to mentally calculate the raw number of steps while I'm huffing and puffing, so I've arbitrarily reckoned my progress this way:

B1 to 6 = 0.25 staircase
B1 to 14 = 0.5 staircase
B1 to 22 = 0.75 staircase
B1 to 26 = 1.0 staircase

In terms of raw steps, the total is 558 from B1 to 26. Divide that by 2, and technically, the halfway point is at Step 279, which is the landing between the 10th and 11th floors. Halfway to that is the technical 0.25-staircase mark.

You might ask yourself: why did you set the 14th floor as the "0.5" mark and not the 13th? Easy. That's because I live on the 14th floor, so if I'm doing 0.5 staircase (or 1.5, or 2.5 staircases), I can end there and just go back to my apartment without using the elevator.

While it was a small victory to reach 1.25 staircases today, I now know that that's my new minimum. So next week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I'll have to do at least 1.25 staircases. Sometime in March, I'll bump it up to 1.5 staircases (1 full staircase + B1 to 14), then maybe in April, I'll be doing 2 full staircases. The weather will be substantially warmer by then, so doing this exercise before the sun comes out is paramount. Heat is going to kill me otherwise. I'm going to be a sopping, sweaty mess. And if heat becomes a big issue, I might have to scale my progress back, reaching 3 staircases only in the fall once summer is done.

Normally, when I reach a new milestone, there's this feeling of grim victory, but today, I was just ready to get in the elevator and go to the 14th floor when I finished. I was tired, hanging my head, and everything felt dim and hollow. We'll see how all of this goes next week. Tomorrow and Sunday, it'll just be half-staircases as I rest. MWF are my "on" days. This Saturday, I hope to do a longish walk.

NB: for comparison, the staircase walk up the flank of Namsan is about 1100 steps. So two apartment staircases is about the same as (or maybe a little more than) one trip up Namsan. Of course, Namsan is relentless; there's only one flat stretch where a person can pause to catch his breath, and that's fairly close to the top. My secret to conquering my building's staircase is to pause for an extra breath or two at every flight. For my money, the stairs are the hardest way up Namsan; I prefer the bus roads, which are easier: the bus-road slopes are longer, but not as steep and twisty as the stairs. There are other trail-like paths up the mountain; I know only a couple of them, but John McCrarey used to explore many of those trails when he lived close to the mountain. He could take you on a hike that'd get you breathing. He likes to slap up a photo of a hike he and I did some years back. I had backslid and was out of shape when we did the hike, and he took a pic of me winded and bent nearly double with fatigue. Despite being small for a mountain, Namsan gets you in good cardiovascular shape for sure. Back when nearby Yongsan Garrison was still a thing, there used to be US Army guys who'd run up the steps several times to stay in shape. Running up Namsan is unimaginable to me.

NB2: another benefit of increasing my staircase load is the greater amount of time it takes. Up to now, a single staircase has taken me, at most, about 15 minutes to do. Now, at 1.25 staircases, my heart is beating and my lungs are working for closer to 20 minutes—more like a real, legitimate workout. And all of this strengthens my heart, which is something the docs at the hospital told me I had to worry about three years ago when I had my stroke.

Styx on the Five Eyes scandal

Countries are looking for better ways to be able to spy on their own citizens:

the death of the mainstream media

You did it to yourselves, guys. You lost the pubic trust with all of your lying.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

dafuq?? the govt might outlaw church security

What the hell is this nonsense? And in the wake of a church shooting! The government might outlaw church-security teams? What are these morons smoking?

spying on Trump = "conspiracy theory"—really?

the Drinker's thoughts on "Deadpool 3"

Personally, I don't mind the idea that Hollywood/Marvel might finally be dying as entertainment becomes more individualized. People want brain-numbing entertainment because they can't stand the hollow echo inside their own heads; it makes them anxious. If you have the ability to entertain yourself, though, then you won't miss Hollywood at all—and I say that as someone who generally loves movies. The Drinker asks, in the video below, whether "Deadpool 3" can save Hollywood, and my answer is that I don't care. Let it rot.

Dave Cullen also has thoughts:

Nikki is insane

A long litany of why Nikki Haley is toxic:

"sanctuary cities" mishandle self-made crisis

winter wonderland

Just February reminding us that it's still February:

shot from the 14th floor

When I do the stairs in the early morning, I no longer bother to put on my contact lenses because, on days like today, I'm more likely to just crawl back into bed after exercising. This return-to-the-bed is a habit I'm trying to break, though, but it involves getting to sleep early enough. My goal time is 10:30 p.m. so I can arise refreshed at 5:30 a.m., with seven hours' sleep under my belt, but I usually get to bed a bit after midnight, get up a bit after 6, do my staircase, then go back to bed to make up for lost sleep. Not good. My exercise (and other activities) schedule will eventually expand, over the coming months, to include the rest of my chosen syllabus—heavy clubs, dumbbells, kettlebells, elastic bands, calisthenics, and animal/primal flow.* But all of that is contingent on my getting to bed on time at night.

Today should have been a walking day, but you see how it is outside. This afternoon, we'll be up to 5ºC, so I hope a lot of the accumulation will melt, and it'll be a clear weekend. I want to walk either to the Jamshil Bridge and back (14K) or down to Bundang (18K). We'll see what Mother Nature has in store for us, Precious.


*I'll be adding other activities to the schedule as well, like working on my book project and learning Spanish for my trip to Spain to do the Camino de Santiago in about five years.

two from Corridor Crew

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

a dose of Chappell

Here're some Chris Chappell vids for your delectation:

Tulsi and Vivek make Trump's short list

This article has an embedded tweet announcing at least part of Donald Trump's short list for vice president. On that list: Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy, Byron Donalds, Kristi Noem, and Tulsi Gabbard. So: the raging Indians are on board (Tulsi and Vivek). Awesome. And I'm fine with DeSantis, Donalds, Noem, and Scott. I don't think this is the complete list, but if I were to rank them my own way, from my top choice to my bottom choice, I'd order them this way:

1. Vivek Ramaswamy (intellect, agenda, articulateness, energy)
2. Ron DeSantis (agenda, experience, articulateness)
3. Tulsi Gabbard (rightward-evolving agenda, experience, articulateness)
4. Byron Donalds (raw aggression, experience, priorities, articulateness, energy)
5. Kristi Noem (extreme loyalty, priorities, articulateness)
6. Tim Scott (extreme loyalty, priorities)

Tim Scott is a good man who deserves better than last place in this ranking. It's just that I like the people above Scott a lot more. Vivek would be the most vociferous, articulate defender of Trump; DeSantis has governing experience and a track record of mostly the same priorities as Trump; Tulsi isn't a Republican, but she'd be an awesome left-field pick who is also smart and articulate, as well as an attractor of the female vote (I'd also love to see a veep rematch between her and Kamala Harris for a second thrashing); Byron Donalds has been a forceful congressman, and watching him grill Democrats during hearings has been an evil pleasure; Kristi Noem doesn't register at the national level as much as #1-#4 do, but she's been a consistent pit bull for Trump almost on the order of Kari Lake; Tim Scott got compliments from Trump for being such a staunch defender, but he's a bit low-key otherwise.

These are all good choices. I'd be happy with any of them, especially #1 to #4.

Now, I'm morbidly curious to see whether Biden still plans to run with Kamala, or if he's got a Newsom up his sleeve. No one on the left strikes me as an intellectual powerhouse. Biden seems ready to run like a coward from any debate; he'll stick to scripts. So it'll be up to the VP candidates to bring the interest and the fireworks while the old lions prowl about.

upside down energy policy

Stupid is as stupid does.

desperate to shut you up

You will be hungry and like it. Great opportunity to lose weight, fellow fatties!

dark implications for ethical vegetarians

Vegetal intelligence/sentience. I keep saying it's happening, that scientists will eventually confirm plant consciousness, and the confirmation seems, slowly, to be happening.

ADDENDUM: terms like intelligence, sentience, and consciousness have a lot of overlap, but they are not necessarily the same thing. A very (overly?) simple, pragmatic definition of intelligence might be problem-solving ability.* This is a definition that I can imagine a lot of engineers, themselves hardcore pragmatists, might like. (There will be persnickety exceptions, of course.) By this reckoning, something like a 1980s-era Texas Instruments calculator could be said to possess a limited amount of intelligence. The same could be said of the chess app on your phone. The larger implication of this admittedly simplistic definition is that intelligence might not imply consciousness. It could, in fact, be a faculty divorced from consciousness. So if we do end up developing true AI that possesses something like the human g (general intelligence), there's no "zombie problem": we know the AI won't be conscious. 

And since I've mentioned the words conscious and consciousness several times, let's deal with that term next. First, we note that there's no universally agreed-upon definition of consciousness (as is true with intelligence). Most people, however, will likely agree that the terms consciousness and mind overlap almost entirely. Whether consciousness/mind appears epiphenomenally from matter or is its own special substance is a centuries-long debate with no resolution currently in sight, but this is the issue that separates the materialists from the substance dualists (or just dualists). Consciousness is multidimensional in that it includes both logical faculties like deduction, reasoned anticipation and emotive faculties like fear, happiness, and anger. Consciousness is polymorphic and multilayered—a sophisticated phenomenon poetically encapsulated in old ideas like a divine spark or, for the dualists, a "ghost in the machine." What is consciousness? It's the whole field of emotion plus cognition: it's reasoning, understanding, learning, anticipating, remembering, deducing, associating, analyzing, synthesizing, applying, awareness, and all the rest, including feelings like anger, sadness, joy, happiness, boredom, etc. Bernard Lonergan is a good source for people wanting a more philosophical and non-scientific look at consciousness.

Lastly, there's sentience. I see at least three ways to look at sentience; there are undoubtedly more. (1) Going back to the word's Latin roots sensus/sentire, we can say that sentience has to do with feeling. A being that can feel or emote is sentient. (2) But others will say that sentience is more than emotion: it's a kind of intelligent awareness of one's surroundings, as well as the ability to do conscious things like reason, etc. We can thus see how this second definition of sentience is related to consciousness. (3) A third way of looking at sentience is as self-awareness (that implies consciousness): the feeling of "I" or ego. When a person is injured, there's an immediate, instinctual feeling of "I am in pain." And while we can't confirm this, the ego-feeling might also obtain for cats, dogs, and other members of the animal kingdom. For centuries, Buddhists have certainly been willing to ascribe sentience to living creatures, using the collective label sentient beings (중생/joongsaeng in Korean).

For this reason, ethical vegetarians eat plants because, up to now, they've reasoned that plants aren't conscious, aren't sentient, or aren't intelligent. But more and more, scientists are building a case for plant consciousness or sentience. And what will vegetarians and vegans do then? When I first posted about this subject on the blog, I did it in a whimsical, joking way, but these days, the question has taken on greater seriousness, and I genuinely wonder what sort of pretzel-logic ethical vegetarians will have to use to justify their diet.


*See a broader definition of intelligence here.