Later On

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

Archive for July 11th, 2006

Free business cards

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Via Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools, here’s a place that will print free business cards.

Written by Leisureguy

11 July 2006 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Daily life, Techie toys


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After reading quite a few references to this site, I went and took a look. Lots of blanks for do-it-yourselfers, including badger-hair shaving brush plugs (you turn the handle yourself, mount the plug, and you have your own custom shaving brush). Lots of exotic woods.

Written by Leisureguy

11 July 2006 at 12:12 pm

Posted in Daily life, Shaving, Toys

Lavender & tea-tree oils unsafe for boys

with 18 comments

UPDATE: From emails and discussions, I realize that the following story is easily misread. The problem exists only for young boys, not adults. Puberty unleashes a tsunami of hormones that makes the tiny contributions from lavender oil and tea tree oil in cosmetic products negligible. And, indeed, I would guess that the vagaries of individual differences would produce different effects in different young boys. But certainly there’s nothing in the following to suggest that adolescents or adults are at any risk whatsoever from these cosmetic products.

UPDATE 2: See comment below by Jennifer, which references some criticisms of this study. Link to come.

From Science News, issue of 1 July 2006 (behind subscription wall):

Two ingredients common in many hair- and skin-care products have been linked to abnormal development of breasts in boys. Lavender oil and tea tree oil contain compounds that act like female sex hormones and interfere with male hormones, researchers have determined.

Enlarged male breasts, or gynecomastia, result from an imbalance between the activity of estrogens, which stimulate breast growth, and estrogen-inhibiting androgens. The condition is extremely rare before puberty, says Denver-area pediatric endocrinologist Clifford Bloch.

Nevertheless, since the mid-1990s, Bloch has treated gynecomastia in a series of boys age 10 or younger. Most had normal ratios of sex hormones in their blood, indicating that theirs wasn’t a problem of hormone production.

From the youngsters and their parents, Bloch learned that at least five boys had been using a shampoo, hair gel, soap, or another topical product that listed lavender oil among its ingredients. One of the products also contained tea tree oil. “A couple of patients were putting pure lavender oil on their skin,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

11 July 2006 at 11:38 am

Posted in Health, Science

Few can spin as fast as Bush

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It must be all that bike riding. From today’s column by Dan Froomkin:

Former assistant secretary of defense Philip E. Coyle, writing on, traces Bush’s recent and inconsistent answers about missile defense in the wake of North Korea’s rocket launches.

Which is true?

A) Here’s Bush with CNN’s Larry King on Thursday: “If it headed to the United States, we’ve got a missile defense system that will defend our country.”

B) Here’s Bush at his Chicago press conference on Thursday: “Our missile systems are modest, our anti-ballistic missile systems are modest. They’re new. It’s new research. We’ve gotten — testing them. And so I can’t — it’s hard for me to give you a probability of success.”

C) And here he is a few moments later at the same press conference: “Yes, I think we had a reasonable chance of shooting it down. At least that’s what the military commanders told me.”

The answer, Coyle writes, is of course D) “The ground-based system hasn’t had a successful flight intercept test in four years. In the two most recent attempts, the interceptor never got off the ground and failed to leave its silo. And in the only other recent attempt, the kill vehicle – the pointy-end of the interceptor – failed to separate from its booster and missed its target.

Written by Leisureguy

11 July 2006 at 11:04 am

The GOP loves those deficits

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The don’t-tax-but-still-spend party is currently celebrating the success of its economic policies, which is on track to produce the 4th largest deficit in US history:

1. 2004 (George W. Bush) $413 billion
2. 2003 (George W. Bush) $378 billion
3. 2005 (George W. Bush) $318 billion
4. 2006 (George W. Bush) $296 billion (projected)
5. 1992 (George H. W. Bush) $290 billion

As pointed out by ThinkProgress, Bush came into office facing a $284 billion surplus, but he soon took care of that. (Although at the time, he predicted that in 2006 he would produce a $516 billion surplus. For that to come through, he’s going to have to find $812 billion within the next few months.)

Written by Leisureguy

11 July 2006 at 10:35 am

Spike Milligan, comic genius

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Since I’ve had a comment on Spike Milligan, I thought I should explain a bit about my affection for him. The Wikipedia article contains much useful info, including the famous line from a Goon Show, “Spike Milligna, the well-known typing error.”

Googling around will reveal much information about Milligan and the Goon Show, including the shows available in their entirety on CDs from the BBC. But, this being a personal blog, I’ll tell of my personal acquaintance with Mr. Milligan and the Goon Show. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

11 July 2006 at 8:47 am

Posted in Humor, Jazz

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