Later On

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

Archive for August 25th, 2007

Survival tips for college freshmen

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Written by Leisureguy

25 August 2007 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Daily life, Education

Strange things amiss in the Bush Administration

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Via ThinkProgress, this AP story:

One after another, the men and women who have stepped forward to report corruption in the massive effort to rebuild Iraq have been vilified, fired and demoted.

Or worse.

For daring to report illegal arms sales, Navy veteran Donald Vance says he was imprisoned by the American military in a security compound outside Baghdad and subjected to harsh interrogation methods.

There were times, huddled on the floor in solitary confinement with that head-banging music blaring dawn to dusk and interrogators yelling the same questions over and over, that Vance began to wish he had just kept his mouth shut.

He had thought he was doing a good and noble thing when he started telling the FBI about the guns and the land mines and the rocket-launchers — all of them being sold for cash, no receipts necessary, he said. He told a federal agent the buyers were Iraqi insurgents, American soldiers, State Department workers, and Iraqi embassy and ministry employees.

The seller, he claimed, was the Iraqi-owned company he worked for, Shield Group Security Co.

“It was a Wal-Mart for guns,” he says. “It was all illegal and everyone knew it.”

So Vance says he blew the whistle, supplying photos and documents and other intelligence to an FBI agent in his hometown of Chicago because he didn’t know whom to trust in Iraq.

For his trouble, he says, he got 97 days in Camp Cropper, an American military prison outside Baghdad that once held Saddam Hussein, and he was classified a security detainee.

Also held was colleague Nathan Ertel, who helped Vance gather evidence documenting the sales, according to a federal lawsuit both have filed in Chicago, alleging they were illegally imprisoned and subjected to physical and mental interrogation tactics “reserved for terrorists and so-called enemy combatants.”

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Written by Leisureguy

25 August 2007 at 2:57 pm

Razor blade width—the unsuspected variable

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Perhaps the blade width is what’s behind the odd performance of the English President. Here’s a good exploration and explanation of the issue. Next week I’ll try a Feather, based on this analysis, and see how that works.

Written by Leisureguy

25 August 2007 at 11:15 am

Posted in Shaving

The Molly Movie

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For those who want more Molly, you can download and watch a short movie, starring Molly.

Written by Leisureguy

25 August 2007 at 11:07 am

Posted in Cats, Molly

Infectious obesity

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Quite a few diseases thought to be organic or due to stress have been found due to infections: stomach ulcers, arteriolosclerosis, schizophrenia (perhaps), and others. Now, perhaps also obesity:

Twenty-five years ago, researchers discovered that certain viruses can cause obesity in some animals. A decade ago, they extended the finding to people. Now, a team reports that one such virus works by transforming adult stem cells into fat-storing cells. The finding supports the notion that some cases of obesity may be infectious.

Magdalena Pasarica of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, who led the new work, stresses that obesity has many causes, including genetic factors, overeating, and a sedentary lifestyle. In some people, however, adenovirus-36 may be the culprit, she says. Adenoviruses cause colds, but adenovirus-36, apparently, does more.

In a 2005 study of 502 obese and normal-weight people, researchers reported that 30 percent of the obese group showed signs of previous adenovirus-36 infection, while only 11 percent of the lean group did.

In earlier laboratory tests, the virus made chickens, rodents, and monkeys fat, says Richard Atkinson, now president of Obetech in Richmond, Va., who led some of that work.

But how the virus might be raising obesity risk remained a mystery. To solve it, Pasarica and her colleagues collected adult stem cells from fat removed from patients during liposuction. These cells sometimes grow into adipocytes, or fat-storing cells, but can also transform into bone and cartilage.

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Written by Leisureguy

25 August 2007 at 8:54 am

Methodically, he…

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I awoke in the middle of the night with the thought, “Those Astra Superior Platinum blades were extraordinarily cheap—$11/100. Maybe they are seconds, with one side narrower than the other.” Unlikely, but it was the middle of the night.

So today, I loaded the English President open-comb with a Croma blade, a brand I’ve not used but definitely not the same as the Astra Superior. And I took a well-liked and established razor that shaves fine on both sides, my trusty HD, and loaded it with the Astra Superior that I used yesterday in the English President. All this to find out whether it was the blade or the razor that was at fault.

The Simpsons Chubby 2 Best Badger holds a ton of water, so I not only give it a shake but also squeeze it slightly before working it over the soap—in this case, the Art of Shaving Lemon shaving soap. I got a fine, thick lather with no need to add more water. Then to the shave: one side of my face with the HD, the other with the President open-comb.

Alas: the HD shaved fine with the blade, both sides cutting the same, and once again the President cut well on one side while the other side was shy. So it goes. If you ever spot an English President open-comb TTO razor, I want it.

The aftershave helped me feel better: an extraordinarily pleasant fragrance and good feel from Booster June Clover. I received a little sample of it when I ordered some other Booster aftershaves. Let’s ask them to carry it. 🙂

Written by Leisureguy

25 August 2007 at 8:47 am

Posted in Shaving

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