Later On

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

Archive for December 7th, 2008

Blogging with WordPress

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Tom Colvin points out a book on using WordPress for your blog. The book refers to, which provides a free downloadable package that you set up and run on whatever server you choose.

I blog using, which is also free but the software and hosting are taken care of by WordPress itself. This is easier, but has restrictions: no plug-ins, no advertising for third-party services (though advertising my own books is okay), no templates other than what offers, and so on.

Written by Leisureguy

7 December 2008 at 9:35 am

When you really have to get something written

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Written by Leisureguy

7 December 2008 at 9:30 am

Posted in Daily life, Writing

Interesting dialogue on being shot

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Written by Leisureguy

7 December 2008 at 9:15 am

Posted in Daily life

Ezra Klein on national healthcare insurance

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Ezra Klein has a series of good posts on the debate on government-run healthcare insurance. They’re all worth reading. In order:

Response to Andrew Sullivan on UK healthcare

Story from a reader about healthcare in Israel 20 years ago

Notes from a Cato Institute panel discussion (Klein was on the panel)

Written by Leisureguy

7 December 2008 at 9:13 am

Update on gender-discrimination case

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One of the plaintiffs in the case has posted a lengthy and interesting explanatory comment to this post that tells more about the case. Worth reading.

Written by Leisureguy

7 December 2008 at 9:01 am

Posted in Daily life, Government

War and medical research

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Very interesting post at Mind Hacks. It begins:

I’ve just found this fascinating article on how legendary neurologist Gordon Holmes discovered how the visual cortex represents visual space after studying World War One soldiers who had experienced bullet or shrapnel wounds to the brain.

World War One taught us a great deal about neuropsychology largely due to developments in weapons technology. The German Mauser was an accurate rifle that used small bore ammunition where previous conflicts had largely used single shot rifles mostly designed so a group of soldiers could create a ‘wall of lead’, rather than a carefully aimed shot.

Developments in shell technology also meant that high explosives could be launched with reasonable accuracy into groups of soldiers causing significant shrapnel injuries.

However, both the rifles and shells were at a stage where the velocity of either a bullet or a piece of shrapnel was relatively slow by today’s standards, meaning that the brain was not additionally damaged by shock waves, like with modern munitions.

In other words, they could create small discrete areas of brain damage that left the rest of the brain largely unaffected.

The British Brodie helmet, which sat like a tin bowl on the top of the head, left the lower parts of the head, and hence the brain, exposed. This meant a significant number of injuries were to the visual cortex, at the rear of the brain.

Neurologist Gordon Holmes studied the link between small lesions to this area and which areas of vision had been lost in soldiers coming back from the front.

The diagram on the right …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

7 December 2008 at 8:57 am

Posted in Daily life, Medical, Science

Tagged with

Maybe we just got a bad haggis

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We should try it again:

Take a sheep’s heart, its liver, and lungs, mince together with onion, oatmeal, spices, and salt, and boil in the animal’s stomach for three hours. It is, of course, haggis, and now, it seems, the English just can’t get enough of Scotland’s national dish.

UK supermarkets are reporting a surge in the popularity of the dish that poet Robert Burns described as the “Great chieftain o the puddin’-race”.

Marks & Spencer has seen a 35 per cent increase in sales of haggis compared with this time last year, while Asda, Waitrose, and Sainsburys have all seen rises of more than 10 per cent. …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

7 December 2008 at 7:38 am

Posted in Daily life, Food

More good news: “Dollar Bill” Jefferson defeated

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I’m delighted with at least one GOP victory: Anh Cao has defeated William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson, the Democrat caught with packs of cash in his freezer (a bribe from an African country). More here. Jefferson was utterly corrupt, and I hope that eventually he’ll take a trip to the slammer.

Written by Leisureguy

7 December 2008 at 7:34 am

Posted in Democrats, Election

Good news: Shinseki to head Veterans Affairs

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I was very happy this morning to read that Obama has named Gen. Eric Shinseki to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. A very good pick: Shinseki has shown that he’s perceptive, honest, and not afraid to speak up.

James Fallows comments on this as well.

UPDATE: An even better Fallows comment on the appointment.

UPDATE 2: Spencer Ackerman on the appointment.

Written by Leisureguy

7 December 2008 at 7:26 am

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