Later On

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

Archive for March 20th, 2008

University rankings for technology OpenCourseware

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Free technology courses by university ranking:

#1 MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers hundreds of free technology courses that cover a wide range of topics. Courses are a combination of audio, video and text and include materials like lectures, labs, assignments and exams.

#2 Delft University of Technology

The free technology courses offered though the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands are fantastic for advanced technology students. Courses are mainly text-based, but do include videos and other multi-media elements. Each course also includes links to additional technology education resources.

#3 UC Berkeley

The University of California–Berkeley provides access to dozens of webcasts that focus on technology. Archived lectures can be viewed with a free version of RealPlayer or downloaded as an mp3 file.

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Written by Leisureguy

20 March 2008 at 11:57 am

Posted in Education, Technology

Kitty break

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Written by Leisureguy

20 March 2008 at 11:47 am

Posted in Cats

Drum break

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Written by Leisureguy

20 March 2008 at 11:43 am

Posted in Music

Huckabee and Jeremiah Wright

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Very interesting, from James Fallows:

Two people have now elevated themselves thanks to Rev. Wright and his tirades.

One, of course, is Barack Obama.

The other is Mike Huckabee, who (as I see via Andrew Sullivan and others) dared speak as a human being rather than as an on-message apparatchik in his comments about Obama and Wright. More specifically, he spoke as a “hate the sin, love the sinner” Christian, as a preacher who has delivered extemporized sermons of his own, and as a white product of the segregated South who did not blind himself to how that world would look if he were black. Consider and be in awe of this:

And one other thing I think we’ve gotta remember. As easy as it is for those of us who are white, to look back and say “That’s a terrible statement!”…I grew up in a very segregated south. And I think that you have to cut some slack — and I’m gonna be probably the only Conservative in America who’s gonna say something like this, but I’m just tellin’ you — we’ve gotta cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told “you have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you can’t sit out there with everyone else. There’s a separate waiting room in the doctor’s office. Here’s where you sit on the bus…”

And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.

Actual honest and empathetic discussion about race…! We’ve come to expect that presidential campaigns will be the equivalent of World War I trench slaughter, in which there is a “winner” at the Somme but really everyone loses and it’s a matter of who is farthest from being bled dry at the end. But the idea of actual discourse about real issues — it would be nice to think that it could happen.

It was a moment like this that first drew John McCain to my attention as a politician, nearly 30 years ago.

In the bleak years just after the Vietnam war, when the tensions that would later resurface in bitter fights about John Kerry’s wartime record — and Bill Clinton’s, George W. Bush’s, Dick Cheney’s, Dan Quayle’s — were at their rawest and most visceral, McCain played a surprising political role. He was the most inclusive and least embittered of hawks, when dealing with doves who had opposed the war in which he had paid such a price. Later he led efforts toward reconciliation between Vietnam and the United States. And when the Swiftboaters of 2004 began running their slimy ads against John Kerry, McCain was there to “deplore” the “dishonest and dishonorable” attacks, something roughly equivalent to what Mike Huckabee has just done.

John McCain probably didn’t vote for John Kerry that year; Mike Huckabee is probably not going to vote for Obama this year; I am probably not going to vote for McCain. But stands like theirs, and Obama’s, are glimmers of hope.

Written by Leisureguy

20 March 2008 at 9:14 am

Posted in Democrats, Election

For impatient readers: a highlighted Web page

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From time to time, you may want to bring a Web page to someone’s attention, and that particular someone is an impatient reader with a short attention span (a boss, for example). So take a look at the Awesome Highlighter, which allows you to highlight the points of interest on a Web page and gives you the URL of the highlighted page to pass along. This is invaluable in text-heavy pages.

Written by Leisureguy

20 March 2008 at 9:11 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

Teeny turner

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Cute:

 Teeny turner

The small size and stubby shape of this cheap driver allows me to reach tight spaces and still apply considerable torque. I’ve used it to adjust tension on folding knives and my SOG PowerLock multi-tool, and to open cases on remote controls, my PDA and cell phones. I have a set of jeweler’s screwdrivers, Wiha Precision Tech screwdrivers and a Craftsman All-in-One screwdriver (overall length: 8.75 inches) with captive bits that store in the handle. The 2.5-inch Teeny Turner fits easily in a pocket; it’s made of aircraft alloy shank, has a magnetic bit holder and the included bits (Phillips 00, Phillips 0, Torx 5,6 & 8, Flat 2mm and 3mm) are generally smaller and much easier to change out than my Craftsman. One small negative is the Teeny Turner has one more bit than storage positions, so you have to choose the least pointy bit to keep in the drive shaft if you carry it in your pocket. That said, the portability really is key. Plus, I do like the name.   — Chris Jacobs

$6; Available from FireHawk Technology
Manufactured by Picquic

Written by Leisureguy

20 March 2008 at 9:08 am

Posted in Daily life

For the bento box lovers

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I Love Bento is now open for business.

Our store is sure to have something for the beginner as well as the advanced bento enthusiast. Keep checking back, we’ll soon be adding free coloring pages to the Fun section. Check out the Gallery where you’ll see bento art from around the world. We’ll be updating our gallery every week. If you’d like to submit a bento for the gallery please see the directions at the bottom of each Gallery entry.

Written by Leisureguy

20 March 2008 at 9:04 am

Posted in Daily life

Shaving journalism

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Last night I had a phone message from a newspaper reporter in North Carolina. He was writing an article on shaving—highlighting the Gillette/Schick competition—and had stumbled into the world of traditional wetshaving and wanted to know more about that. I enjoyed the interview. One question he asked was about using an electric razor (Braun, Norelco, et al.), and I told him that my impression was that guys who use an electric razor really have no interest in shaving or in getting a particularly good shave. Their main criterion is that they want to be able to be doing something else while they shave: driving, reading the newspaper, whatever.

I told him the story about reading (while I was in high school) a novel in which the protagonist shaved, and the description was that he lathered his beard, shaved with the grain, and then lathered his beard again and shave against the grain. I was astonished: he lathered twice?! Only when I really started to learn to shave did I learn that one lathers before each pass. The reporter was also surprised: he didn’t know that you lathered more than once.

At any rate, it will be interesting to see whether the interview results in an article and any increased interest. Certainly it does seem as if more and more guys are finding out about traditional wetshaving and liking it. Two factoids I learned from the article:

1. He had talked to a dermatologist who said that cartridge razors were very hard on the skin—the tug-and-cut action is not good.

2. John F. Kennedy shaved with a straight razor, as mentioned in Teddy White’s first Making of the President book.

Written by Leisureguy

20 March 2008 at 9:00 am

Posted in Shaving

US Intelligence

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The book I’m reading now is Still Broken: A Recruit’s Inside Acccount of Intelligence Failures, from Baghdad to the Pentagon, by A. J. Rossmiller. Should be interesting. It starts with him joining the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Written by Leisureguy

20 March 2008 at 6:00 am

Posted in Books

Alastair Reynolds update

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On this trip I have finished Century Rain and Pushing Ice, and both were good. So my Reynolds reading is complete, except for The Prefect, which I’ve ordered from the UK and will arrive in April. Good space opera.

Written by Leisureguy

20 March 2008 at 5:52 am

Posted in Books, Science fiction

1805 once more

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At least this morning: I poached a brushload of Truefitt & Hill 1805 shaving cream from The Son-In-Law. Very good lather—plentiful and rich. And with the HD and that selfsame Gillette blade, another smooth and easy shave. Royal Copenhagen again as aftershave. And now my cup of coffee…

Written by Leisureguy

20 March 2008 at 5:50 am

Posted in Shaving

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