Later On

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

Archive for November 4th, 2009

Merkel pleads to Congress to wake up to global warming

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Interesting story by William Douglas at McClatchy:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made an impassioned plea Tuesday to a joint session of Congress to work together on efforts to curb global warming and to help forge a binding climate-change deal at an international meeting next month.

"We need an agreement on one objective: Global warming must not exceed 2 degrees Celsius," Merkel said, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. "To achieve this, we need the readiness of all countries to accept internationally binding obligations. We cannot afford missing the objectives in climate protection that science tells us have to be met."

Merkel said that people must tear down mental walls that blocked them from seeing the plight of future generations if warming continued unchecked. The world’s nations will meet next month in Copenhagen, Denmark, for climate talks. She said they’d need to find the same resolve that Germans had when they brought down the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989.

"And then, in Copenhagen, we shall be able to overcome this wall separating the present from the future, in the interest of our children and grandchildren, and in the interest of sustainable development all over the world," Merkel said.

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Written by LeisureGuy

4 November 2009 at 9:53 am

Good idea: Pay-by-the-mile auto insurance

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Interesting approach described by Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee:

California moved a step closer last month to pay-as-you-drive policies that could allow motorists to buy insurance like they do gasoline – a little at a time.

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner released regulations permitting and authorizing mileage verification for pay-as-you-drive, without dictating what form such plans must take.

The goal is to use per-mile pricing to entice Californians not to drive so much, thus easing air pollution, relieving traffic congestion and lowering the number of traffic collisions.

A first-of-its-kind plan is MileMeter, available only in Texas, which last year began offering six-month policies with chunks of insured miles ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 miles. When the "tank" runs dry, motorists buy more.

"We absolutely anticipate coming to California," said Chris Gay, MileMeter founder and chief executive officer.

"Our take is that half the market out there is being overcharged and underserved – and that’s who we aim to address."

A more conventional pay-as-you-drive plan might offer a yearlong policy based on projected mileage, then upon expiration, provide a refund or rebill the driver based on actual mileage as verified by odometer readings or an electronic device.

Spokesmen for State Farm, Allstate and Progressive insurance companies said they are considering the issue but have not decided whether to offer pay-as-you-drive in California. Such policies routinely use various other factors, such as age or type of vehicle, in creating a per-mile price…

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 November 2009 at 9:48 am

New book from The Simple Dollar

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Interesting post describing the genesis and themes of Trent Hamm’s new book (to be published next spring). It’s been astonishing to watch his progress since he started his blog and—more significantly—began to address the financial and other issues in his life. The post begins:

As I announced on Twitter a few days ago, I recently turned in the manuscript for my upcoming second book.

I’m extremely proud of this book, as I conceived of the entire idea myself, spent literally hundreds of hours researching materials and interviewing dozens of people, and spent the last three months tying together the manuscript.

Since I’m so excited to talk about it (and I know a lot of you are interested in what’s coming based on the emails and Twitter comments and instant messages I’ve received), I thought I’d offer up a little “question and answer” session about the book to whet your appetites…

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 November 2009 at 9:26 am

Posted in Books, Daily life

Tea break

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I’m drinking a very nice tea this morning. I tend to drink mainly white tea, since it is most effective from a health standpoint. (Green tea is second, then oolong and black teas). The tea this morning is Coconut Pouchong: a green tea with coconut. It’s very nice indeed—I’m on my second cup.

One minor complaint: the label instructions are “Infuse 2-4 minutes in freshly boiled water, cooled slightly.” I would prefer “Infuse 1-3 minutes in water heated to 160º F”. Here are general guidelines:


Getting water to the correct temperature is much easier if you have an electric kettle that allows you to set the temperature—like this one, for example.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 November 2009 at 9:01 am

Posted in Caffeine, Daily life

Basic badger brush

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The brush shown is the Omega 652, a low-end pure badger brush that I wanted to compare with the Boreal boar—I wanted to replicate the experience of a newbie who’s beginning to learn traditional shaving with one of these brushes. As noted, the Boreal boar brush, not broken in (as the newbie would find it), was not terribly satisfactory—and in fact, though the newbie wouldn’t know it, that particular brush is extremely difficult to break in: too dense, too short a loft. Most shavers won’t have the patience.

OTOH, the basic badger brush—obviously not a silvertip—produced a fine lather right off the bat. I did help it along, using D.R. Harris shaving soap, a remarkably good shaving soap. Still, at $32, this brush is a bargain and would not disappoint a newbie. It’s pricklier than a silvertip (or a broken-in boar brush, like my Omega 48), but it’s not uncomfortable.

The lined Chatsworth gave a marvelous shave—I have to use this guy more often. The previously used Swedish Gillette that it carried did the actual cutting, of course, but the heft and mass of the Chatsworth certainly helped—and felt good in the hand.

With the Arlington soap, I like to use the Arlington aftershave, which is quite good.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 November 2009 at 8:39 am

Posted in Shaving

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