Later On

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

Archive for July 22nd, 2006

Chatting for the paranoid

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Depending on your level of paranoia—and I’d like to say right now that I love the NSA—this chat program may of interest:

It is a secure instant messaging client (based upon the Gaim software) that provides end-to-end encryption, integrated onion-routing with Tor, secure file transfers, and easy-to-read documentation.

The “onion router” disguises the origin and destination of packets, so no one will know who is chatting with whom, nor (with the encryption) what they’re chatting about.

Written by Leisureguy

22 July 2006 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Techie toys, Technology

Adopted embryos

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As President Bush showed in his photo opp after vetoing the stem-cell research bill, some embryos left over in fertility clinics are adopted. These are called “snowflake babies,” because (one commenter speculated) they’re all white.

In any event, those adopted embryos are not discarded, but the others are—instead of being used for research that might help millions. According to Arlen Specter, 128 embryos have been adopted from the 400,000 available, an adoption rate of more than three-hundredths of 1%.

Thank heavens President Bush was there to make sure that the other 99.96% of the embryos are discarded rather than used for research.

Written by Leisureguy

22 July 2006 at 2:54 pm

New soaps from Mama Bears

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The letter carrier today brought me three fragrant shaving soaps from Mama Bears:

  1. Clove and Tangerine
  2. Eucalyptus
  3. Cedarwood and Lemon

Every single one is a winner, so far as fragrance is concerned. And I know from other shavers that they are great shaving soaps. (She seems to be out of Cedarwood and Lemon for now.)

If you place an order, be aware that Mama Bear herself will be out of town until around 8 August. Her father is ill, and she will spend the next two weeks with him.

Written by Leisureguy

22 July 2006 at 12:05 pm

Posted in Shaving

New chair design

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From the current issue of Business Week:

Women perch and men slouch, according to a study by Canada’s University of Waterloo on how we sit. Kinesiology researchers, commissioned by Toronto chairmaker Keilhauer, studied 16 students as they worked at PCs for 45-minute sessions. Women sat near the front edge, backs arched. Men slumped against the backrests. Keilhauer says its new chair, the Sguig, developed with Vienna design firm EOOS, has a backrest that can accommodate both postures to help prevent problems (upper back pain for women, lower back pain for men). For the restless, the chair also bounces up and down (like an exercise ball) and pivots side to side.

A google search for “sguig” (without the quotation marks) will find more info. The cute spelling leads to instances of “squig” scattered here and there.

Written by Leisureguy

22 July 2006 at 11:40 am

Posted in Health, Techie toys

New NASA mission statement

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NASA’s mission no longer includes “to understand and protect our home planet.” That phrase was excised by the Bush Administration. It was done quietly—secretly, even—in the usual manner of this Administration.

I’m not sure why understanding and protecting our planet had to go, unless it is a comment on the Administration’s attitude toward fighting global warming—that is, don’t fight it, deny it.

Written by Leisureguy

22 July 2006 at 9:30 am

Learning to shave

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I’ve learned so much since I returned to wet shaving that I occasionally think, “Why didn’t my dad teach me this?” But of course, my son could ask the same question. My dad, like me, just didn’t know.

One of the things the Internet and the Web have brought is an easy way to pool the accumulated knowledge that’s spread across many persons and a wide area. Indeed, the pool becomes, for us, the entire English-speaking world, which spans the globe.

So day by day, I learn more—and as I do, I update and revise my shaving guide for the novice. Today I learned about the alum block. As someone said in this thread:

I use an alum block every day regardless of whether I’ve nicked myself. The alum block is an antiseptic, reduces razor burn, stops minor bleeds, and tells you how well you’ve shaved: the more it stings the harsher your shave. My shave isn’t complete without one.

Use: after finishing your shave and rinsing your face—first with warm water, then with cold—wet the alum block and rub it over your face, before applying aftershave.

Written by Leisureguy

22 July 2006 at 9:23 am

Posted in Shaving, Toys

Righteous anger

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C.S. Lewis someplace—perhaps in the Narnia series—observes that truly righteous anger—anger grounded solidly in a strongly moral and ethical position—is a purifying emotion. Go here for a sample. The objects of Billmon’s anger fully deserve it.

Written by Leisureguy

22 July 2006 at 9:05 am

Message to Maureen

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I sent an email to Maureen Dowd this morning, after reading her excellent column condemning Condi Rice. My email:

Your condemnations of Condi’s inability to be Secretary of State and Bush’s inability to be President are right on target.

But I wonder: do you ever think back to the summer and fall of 2000, when you were doing everything in your power to see that Bush got elected president? Column after column, mocking and belittling Al Gore, using made-up quotes and made-up incidents—ANYTHING, it seemed, to keep him out of the White House and make sure Bush got in.

And the work that you and many other scribes did—it worked. We got Bush for President. And now you’re understandably unhappy with him, but I have so far seen no regret for or acknowledgement of your own actions to put him in office.

Do you ever, ever think about that?

Her column that included things like this:

The more W. and his tough, by-any-means-necessary superbabe have tried to tame the Middle East, the more inflamed the Middle East has become. Now the secretary of state is leaving, reluctantly and belatedly, to do some shuttle diplomacy that entails little diplomacy and no shuttling. It’s more like air-guitar diplomacy. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

22 July 2006 at 7:41 am

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