Later On

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

Archive for July 17th, 2006

Global warming to kill California wine industry

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Global warming: it does so much in so many ways. From New Scientist:

Global warming could scorch up to 80 per cent of the US’s grape-growing areas, making them too hot to produce wine by the end of the century, according to a study by Noah Diffenbaugh and colleagues at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. California would be especially hard hit, with Napa Valley – home to around 200 wineries – eliminated from wine production altogether.

Grapevines wither when temperatures rise above 35 °C, and while previous models predicted average temperature increases of up to 6 °C, Diffenbaugh’s model also factors in the effects of isolated hot days. This showed that prospects for the survival of grapevines are far dimmer than had been previously thought (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0603230103).

While climate change might open up some new areas for grape cultivation, particularly in the Pacific north-west and the north-eastern states, rainfall, which can damage the grapes, is higher in these areas and is unlikely to decrease with climate change.

The Right notoriously fights any discussion of reversing global warming through finding alternatives to burning fossil fuels. “We’ll just adapt,” they say. They have no idea what they’re talking about. George Bush, meanwhile, has said that he will not view An Inconvenient Truth. I suppose he doesn’t want to take the chance of getting new information and undermining the ideas he’s managed to absorb.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2006 at 6:40 pm

Tax-funded lies for pregnant teens

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Via ThinkProgress, this report has revealed that pregnant teens visiting Federally funded pregnancy resource centers were provided false information 87% of the time. The GOP puts your tax dollars to work, supporting their ideology even when that requires lying.

Under the Bush Administration, pregnancy resource centers, which are also called “crisis pregnancy centers,” have received over $30 million in federal funding. The new report assesses the scientific accuracy of the information they provide. Female investigators, who posed as pregnant 17-year-olds seeking advice about an unintended pregnancy, telephoned the 25 pregnancy resource centers that have received capacity-building funds from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Twenty of the 23 centers reached by the investigators (87%) provided false or misleading information about the health effects of abortion.

More at the link, including the specific lies that were told.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2006 at 12:46 pm

Another Skype tool

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Skype connector
A surprising amount of Skype-oriented hardware continues to come onto the market. Clearly, people see a bright future for this service. Alert Reader sent in a link to this product: a device to connect Skype and your regular phone:

This neat little box of tricks takes the signal from your traditional home phone – be it analogue, DECT or even cordless – and converts it into digital data for transmission over the Internet. Clever, eh? Simply attach your uConnect to your regular phone line and your computer’s USB port, load up the included Skype software and Bob’s your uncle! It’s completely idiot-proof and easier than, er, picking up the phone.

Once hooked up, your phone will work just like it always did, but pressing the * key twice will immediately activate Skype, allowing you to natter away for nothing for hours on end. (You’ll need Broadband to get the best from uConnect and it goes without saying that your computer has to be switched on to take advantage of the VoIP function.)

Regular phone companies must hate Skype… And, as noted previously, the Windows version of Skype offers video calls if you have a Webcam.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2006 at 7:51 am

G. Krug & Son Artist Wrought Iron Work

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In the spirit of recognizing the persisting value of some old technologies (e.g., shaving tools), take a look at this Web site: a company, 170 years old, still creating beautifully crafted wrought iron. Some great stuff pictured on the site. Disclosure: the guy who’s operations manager now is my son-in-law’s brother. Nevertheless, the craftsmen there produce beautiful pieces. Check out those displayed in the “History” section.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2006 at 7:35 am

Posted in Technology

The Daily Adventure, Monday edition

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The 1940s Gillette Super Speed is a very nice razor, and the Swedish Gillette blades work like a charm—just in case you were wondering. I got a perfect lather—like whipped cream—with the Taylor Sandalwood using the Vulfix 2235 in the lathering cup—when is the Moss Scuttle going to arrive?—and did what is becoming my usual pattern: two passes downward, the second with a certain amount of shaving on the diagonal, and one pass upward, rinsing and lathering between passes. Fine shave, and the Taylor’s No. 74 was the perfect finish.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2006 at 7:29 am

Posted in Shaving, Toys

Monday cat-blogging: Sophie, bandaged

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Sophie, bandaged

Here you see a very unhappy Sophie. Somehow she tore the nail on the little toe of her left back foot, and The Wife had to take her to the ER late Saturday night. (The vet ER, of course. What did you think?)

They daubed it with antibiotic cream and bandaged it and gave an antibiotic to squirt down Sophie’s throat twice a day. Sophie squirted it back up within an hour or so, and when the wife talked to the vet, he said just to skip giving her the antibiotic.

Sophie kept shaking her foot, trying to gete the bandage off. Sunday, after much effort (and a certain amount of lost fur) she did get it pulled off. The Wife managed to get her rebandaged, with a smaller bandage, and currently all is more or less well. Sophie will go see her regular vet today…

UPDATE: Toe is fine, redness gone, no need now for bandage. Sophie will be happy once she’s safe again back home…

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2006 at 7:24 am

Posted in Cats, Sophie

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