Later On

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

Archive for February 22nd, 2008

Another reason to celebrate Megs (and Molly)

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Via Kevin Drum:

A study suggests cat owners are less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than people who, well, don’t own cats.

And no, dogs don’t do the same trick.

The study, by researchers at the University of Minnesota, found that feline-less people were 30 to 40 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those with cats.

Yet dog owners had the same rate as non-owners. “No protective effect of dogs as domestic pets was observed,” said the study, presented Thursday at the International Stroke Conference in New Orleans.

Dr. Adnan Qureshi, a stroke expert at the university, said he decided to raise the question because other studies have suggested pets can help reduce stress. He and his team analyzed a group of 4,435 people who had answered questionnaires about pet ownership and other risk factors.

But the cat-dog differential came as a surprise. “We don’t understand this,” he said, but “it’s probably not a coincidence.”

More from WebMD:

 Your cat may bring you a lot more than unconditional love after a tough day.

A new study shows that cat owners are less likely to die of a heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases than people who have never had a pet cat.

The findings emerged from an analysis of data on nearly 4,500 men and women, ages 30 to 75, who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. All were free of cardiovascular disease when they entered the study in the 1970s.

Over half, 55%, reported having a pet cat at some point in their lives.

Compared with cat owners, people who never had a pet cat were 40% more likely to die of a heart attack over the 20-year study period. They were also 30% more likely to die of any cardiovascular disease, including stroke, heart failure, and chronic heart disease.

The results held true even after the researchers took into account other risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including age, gender, race, blood pressure, and smoking.

The researchers found no such link for people who had a pet dog.

The findings were presented here at the American Stroke Association’s (ASA) International Stroke Conference.

Written by Leisureguy

22 February 2008 at 6:18 pm

Posted in Cats, Daily life, Health, Medical

The Church and the pedophile scandal

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Very interesting article by Marci A. Hamilton, a Visiting Professor of Public Affairs and the Kathleen and Martin Crane Senior Research Fellow at the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Professor Hamilton’s most recent work is God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press 2005), now available in paperback. Professor Hamilton’s forthcoming book, which will be published this spring is entitled Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge 2008).

Last week, the Chicago Sun Times published an Op Ed by sociologist, novelist, and Roman Catholic Church priest Andrew Greeley, entitled “Celibacy Isn’t Cause of Sex Abuse.” Greeley is right on that point, but he is also extremely misguided about the scourge of child sex abuse in this country, as I will explain.

Greeley states in his Op Ed, “I contend that the problem will be solved only when priests assume full responsibility for self-policing. The current response of many a priest is to wash their hands of the crimes and blame the bishops….”

These sentences, written by an important public intellectual within the Church who has been critical of the hierarchy’s handling of abuse, deserve very close analysis.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

22 February 2008 at 10:00 am

Posted in Government, Religion

96 Majmua™

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96 Majmua™ is is the fragrance I put in my own shaving oil mix, and I have to say that I like it a lot. It comes from Nemat International, Inc., and I bought it at Whole Foods. The short description:

Majmua is an Arabic word which means gathering. The fragrance of Majmua is an exquisite blend or gathering of woody, floral, and musky fragrances. The deep and soothing fragrance of Majmua has been described by many as having a calming effect. This is one of the most popular fragrance in India.

The longer description:

Attar 96 Majmua took Mr. Ismail M. Attarwala nearly 18 years to perfect. It is one of the most popular fragrances in India today and is enjoyed by people all over the world. Inspirations  for fragrances can come from many experiences. Attar 96 Majmua is an expression of the various fragrant stimuli that Mr. Ismail M. Attarwala experienced during his travels and interactions with people in India. The fragrance of the earth and the floral fields near Udaipur, where attar of rose was made, the fragrant bazaars of India, the distinctive aromas from the food markets helped in creating a fragrant expression that is popularly known as Attar 96 Majmua. When you smell Attar 96 Majmua, it immediately reminds you of the colourful mix that India is. It reminds you of the fresh fragrance of the earth (mitti) after a rainfall, mixed with woody and floral notes.

I really like it. YMMV.

Written by Leisureguy

22 February 2008 at 9:42 am

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

Cute tip: count to ignore pain

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From Healthbolt:

Next time you find yourself with a needle barreling toward any one of your body parts, revert back to your toddler days and begin counting out loud to anyone who will listen. And why is that? Because Japanese researchers were good enough to find that counting may effectively numb you to injection pain. (I know, I know. This is a little after-the-fact, isn’t it Mr. Clemens?)

In fact, patients who counted out loud while receiving a poke reported no discomfort, as opposed to non-counters who experienced both stinging (during) and soreness (after) the pick.

So why such an odd prescription for heading off pain? The theory here is that counting may influence the brain’s ouch-detector, thereby pretty much blocking out the pain.

Think you might still need an extra dose of boo-boo busting? Try counting and closing your eyes at the same time. Studies have shown that your pain receptors kick into high gear when you actually witness yourself getting poked. Look away and distract yourself with a little mental Sudoku and you’re bound to walk away from your visit with nothing other than a band-aid and a lollypop as a reminder.

Written by Leisureguy

22 February 2008 at 9:13 am

Posted in Daily life

The dark side of cap-and-trade

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This is ugly:

Low-income California communities concerned with environmental justice have launched a 21-point “Environmental Justice Movement Declaration.” Their position is a challenge to the policies of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is a “national advocate of a cap-and-trade program that would allow heavy polluters, often located in poor neighborhoods, to partly buy their way out of lowering their emissions.” Eighteen groups signed the Declaration, including San Joaquin Valley Latino Environmental Advance Project, Oakland’s West County Toxics Coalition, the L.A. chapter of the Physicians for Social Responsibility and Delano’s Assn. of Irritated Residents. Absent were the “Big Green” groups like Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club. “‘Under a trading scheme, 11 power plants to be built around Los Angeles could offset emissions by extracting methane from coal seams in Utah or planting trees in Manitoba,’ said Jane Williams of the California Communities Against Toxics, which fights pollution in low-income areas.” “Cap and trade is a charade to continue business as usual,” said Angela Johnson Meszaros, director of the California Environmental Rights Alliance. Cap and trade is an element of the climate bill that has the most support in Congress. It is sponsored by Sens. John Warner of Virginia and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

Written by Leisureguy

22 February 2008 at 9:11 am

Watch out! Deceptive ads for prescription drugs

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Here’s an excellent report on the use of advertising to sell prescription drugs directly to the consumer. The idea is that Madison Avenue can convince a consumer to ask his or her doctor to prescribe a drug because the TV ad was so good…  Watch out.

Written by Leisureguy

22 February 2008 at 9:08 am

Telecoms and network neutrality

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They hate it:

“Telecommunications industry groups have attacked a new bill calling for government regulators to take a closer look at how broadband providers manage their networks,” reports Kenneth Corin. “The Internet Freedom Preservation Act, introduced earlier this week by Rep. Ed Markey, the Democratic chairman of the House subcommittee on telecommunication and the Internet, could make it illegal for service providers to block or degrade traffic on their networks. Its introduction revisits the contentious debate over Net neutrality, which has industry groups championing the free market and warning that government intervention threatens to choke off growth and innovation in the Internet economy.” (As an example of the kind of “innovation” they have in mind, PC World magazine warned recently that consumers should “get ready for a crackdown on broadband use” in which “Internet users may soon be charged extra for using ‘too much’ bandwidth or cut off from using some bandwidth-hungry software applications.”)

Written by Leisureguy

22 February 2008 at 8:53 am

with one comment

Megs on birthday

Ms. Megs was born 2/22/02, so six years ago today she was a little caterpillar kitty with her eyes squinched shut. But how she’s grown!

When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she indicated that she wanted a nap. So here she is with her birthday present!

Written by Leisureguy

22 February 2008 at 8:52 am

Posted in Cats, Megs

Happy birthday, Ms. Megs

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Written by Leisureguy

22 February 2008 at 8:49 am

Posted in Daily life

More fun with molded eggs

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Take a look at these photos and explanations. The bunny is my fave.

Written by Leisureguy

22 February 2008 at 8:42 am

Posted in Daily life, Food

A grand shave to start the day

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Mama Bear’s English Leather shaving soap and a splash of English Leather aftershave—feeling good.

In between: used the G.B. Kent BK4 to create the lather, and again the Edwin Jagger Chatsworth with the Iridium Super blade: third shave on the blade, no diminution of sharpness, ease of shave, comfort of shave, and smoothness of shave.

For the Oil Pass, I tried another commercial product, which I got from Sesto Senso: Gessato Pre-Shave Oil (which I, of course, did not use pre-shave). It “contains essential oils of: 1. Sunflower 2. Avocado 3. Meadowfoam 4. Tangerine 5. Grapefruit + vitamins C & E”.

It’s not bad: completely odorless, clear, and does the job. The lack of fragrance is a little disconcerting, but for the Oil Pass it’s okay. But pricey.

Written by Leisureguy

22 February 2008 at 8:40 am

Posted in Shaving

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