Later On

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

Archive for July 10th, 2008

Human mirror

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Interesting improv idea in video over at the Dynasty of Dr. Lao. Check it out.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2008 at 10:27 am

Posted in Art, Daily life, Video

Protecting your computer

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MakeUseOf has a writeup on an interesting program to add additional protection to your computer. I don’t use it—my level of paranoia is somewhat less—but it may be just the ticket for you.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2008 at 9:55 am

Posted in Software

Interesting post on Obama

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Nathan Newman has some thoughtful words and a benign view of Obama’s positions. Well worth reading. A snippet:

… As for FISA, while in principle I think legally restricting government spying is a good thing, in practice I’m skeptical it makes much difference.  As someone who has had a foot in the harder “left”, the one that gets spied on, the old FISA rules didn’t stop government infiltrators or all sorts of violations of privacy.   When I was at the National Lawyers Guild, a computer with the whole membership database mysteriously “was stolen” with no locks broken and nothing else of value taken– something most in the organization shrugged as par for the course of likely government infiltration from people with decades of experience.  So I see FISA as a nice issue to huff and puff about, but it’s a pretty minor issue compared to just ending the war, shutting down torture, and stopping the destruction of charity organizations in the name of the war on terror (the latter getting little attention on the left).

I’m actually under no illusion that Obama is some kind of savior and his overall economic tendencies won’t steer that far left of DLCish moderation, but I am sure going to applaud him for his demands for labor and environmental standards in trade and his really serious tax equity proposals.  Along with his promises of health care, family leave, clean energy jobs and a host of his other proposals, he is painting a commitment to pretty radical changes from current policy. …

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2008 at 9:45 am

Posted in Democrats, Election

Atheist soldier requires bodyguards

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To protect him from the other solders, presumably “Christian.” (In quotation marks because I don’t think an atheist would be in danger from a true Christian—but maybe I’m reading the New Testament wrong.) Randi Kaye reports for CNN:

Army Spc. Jeremy Hall was raised Baptist. Like many Christians, he said grace before dinner and read the Bible before bed. Four years ago when he was deployed to Iraq, he packed his Bible so he would feel closer to God.

He served two tours of duty in Iraq and has a near perfect record. But somewhere between the tours, something changed. Hall, now 23, said he no longer believes in God, fate, luck or anything supernatural.

Hall said he met some atheists who suggested he read the Bible again. After doing so, he said he had so many unanswered questions that he decided to become an atheist.

His sudden lack of faith, he said, cost him his military career and put his life at risk. Hall said his life was threatened by other troops and the military assigned a full-time bodyguard to protect him out of fear for his safety. Video Watch why Hall says his lack of faith almost got him killed »

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Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2008 at 9:32 am

Room-temperature superconductivity advances

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Room-temperature (today, in Monterey, that’s pretty warm) superconductivity is a holy grail for physicists and electrical engineers. And progress is being made:

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have for the first time identified a key component to unravelling the mystery of room temperature superconductivity, according to a paper published in the journal Nature.

The quest for room temperature superconductivity has gripped physics researchers since they saw the possibility more than two decades ago. Materials that could potentially transport electricity with zero loss (resistance) at room temperature hold vast potential; some of the possible applications include a magnetically levitated superfast train, efficient magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), lossless power generators, transformers, and transmission lines, powerful supercomputers, etc.

Unfortunately, scientists have been unable to decipher how copper oxide materials superconduct at extremely cold temperatures (such as that of liquid nitrogen), much less design materials that can superconduct at higher temperatures.

Materials that are known to superconduct at the highest temperatures are, unexpectedly, ceramic insulators that behave as magnets before ‘doping’ (the method of introducing impurities to a semiconductor to modify its electrical properties). Upon doping charge carriers (holes or electrons) into these parent magnetic insulators, they mysteriously begin to superconduct, i.e. the doped carriers form pairs that carry electricity without loss.

The essential conundrum facing researchers in this area has been: how does a magnet that cannot transport electricity transform into a superconductor that is a perfect conductor of electricity? The Cambridge team have made a significant advance in answering this question.

The researchers have discovered where the charge ‘hole’ carriers that play a significant role in the superconductivity originate within the electronic structure of copper-oxide superconductors. These findings are particularly important for the next step of deciphering the glue that binds the holes together and determining what enables them to superconduct.

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Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2008 at 9:26 am

Posted in Science

Bacon report

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Peter Meehan has a good report in Salon.com on the current state of affairs in the ever-expanding world of bacon.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2008 at 9:22 am

Posted in Daily life, Food

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Amazon display of book spruced up

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The Amazon page for Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving – Second Edition has been considerably spruced up and expanded. Take a look. And I have a new reader review. 🙂

I was surprised to learn recently that the book ad at right was thought to be perhaps a spoof. No, I’m perfectly serious: you can actually enjoy shaving and look forward to the daily shave eagerly. And the additional benefits—closer shave, better for your skin, cheaper blades (as low as 9¢ if you buy in bulk), nicer fragrances—are not insignificant either. Give it a go—or perhaps consider the book as a gift for a guy who shaves and doesn’t yet enjoy it.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2008 at 9:19 am

Posted in Books, Daily life, Shaving

Good movie pairing

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Last night I watched a double feature that turned out quite well: Paprika (2006) and The Gang’s All Here (1943).

Paprika is an intriguing science-fiction anime with a good plot and good characters. Really quite remarkable and well worth seeing.

The Gang’s All Here is the quintessential Busby Berkeley musical: he directed, it’s in Technicolor, and he seemed to have an unlimited budget. It is, of course, surreal in the extreme, from the very beginning (a disembodied man’s head floating in darkness, lit only from one side, singing “Brazil” in Portugese, panning to a docked ocean liner disembarking passengers and unloading cargo at the same time, with one cargo net of fruit leading to Carmen Miranda’s hat and then to her routine, interrupted by a welcome car from the City of New York, presenting her a key to the city and getting a pound of coffee in return—and with wartime scarcities, the recipient hosts the bag of coffee beans and says, “Now I can retire.”) The cast is good: Alice Faye (with her wonderful contralto voice), Carmen Miranda, Benny Goodman, Eugene Pallette, Charlotte Greenwood, and Edward Everett Horton. Well worth renting. Some other wartime touches: a big party to sell war bonds, the actual war footage a 30-second montage of the hero walking through the jungle, with newspapers headllines superimposed, all proclaiming significant victories for the Allies—nothing to unsettle morale in wartime.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2008 at 8:44 am

Posted in Movies & TV

Birthdays

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I started my blog 3 years ago today, on Blogger, now owned by Google. (The first post is at the bottom of that page—and I note that projects that I talked about then are still incomplete today.) Today is also the birthday of John Calvin, but that is a mere coincidence.

I moved from Blogger to WordPress a couple of years ago, and I find WordPress much nicer to use, at least for me. It was after moving to WordPress that readership started to pick up, as well.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2008 at 8:34 am

Posted in Daily life

Sea buckthorn redux

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I so much enjoyed yesterday’s shave with the Edwin Jagger Sea Buckthorn shaving soap that I decided to do a whole series using sea buckthorn soaps. Today is the second (and final) installment in the series, using Durance L’òme’s sea buckthorn soap, which comes in a nice porcelain bowl. (You can also buy just the refill for $10.) I used the Edwin Jagger brush again, and once more had a fine lather. The Gillette President with an Astra Superior Platinum blade whisked away the whiskers so well that I skipped the oil pass and went directly to Floïd Suave aftershave. A very pleasant start to the day.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2008 at 8:28 am

Posted in Shaving

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