Later On

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

Archive for June 5th, 2011

Extremely bad combination: Power and stupidity

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Unfortunately, the halls of Congress are filled with elected officials who possess both in ample quantities. Here is an example—and the cost to the nation is hard to calculate.

Written by LeisureGuy

5 June 2011 at 6:28 pm

My new pocket knife

with 12 comments

I haven’t bought a new pocket knife for a long time, but this one caught my eye and turns out to be very nice in the hand. Action was tight at first, but with a little oil and continued opening and closing, it is  much easier and smoother now.

I’ve over the years noticed the odd phenomenon of other people’s preferences occasionally diverging from mine, so some may not find the knife to their taste. I like it because it’s relatively small and lightweight, has nice lines, and is one-hand open-and-close. And the opening mechanism is new to me. The blade locks open, of course: that’s a requirement. This one uses a liner lock, which is fine. And I find that I like single-bladed knives.

It has a clip, which I don’t like, but that’s easily removed if you have a set of small Torx drivers, which I do. Clip and its two Torx screws are in a small plastic bag with my pocket knives now.

UPDATE: The Wife commented that, for all that I liked the knife, she was struck by the things “wrong” with it that I had to take action on (stiffness and pocket clip). Those, to me, are more or less irrelevant because those are easily fixed—it’s like buying a house: the key thing is location (of course) and overall design and construction. The color of a painted house is irrelevant: it’s easily changed.

So removing the clip is no biggie—nowadays it’s common for some models of pocketknives to have clips, but almost always they readily removed—and the knife’s overall design and its action are unaffected.

And a stiff action in a new folding knife is absolutely normal: that’s the way they come. But the wear-in is not a problem. It just shows that you got a really new knife. 🙂

Written by LeisureGuy

5 June 2011 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Daily life, Techie toys

A Sunday shave to practice Creamy Lather

with 5 comments

I broke with my usual practice and today shaved despite its being a Sunday: I just had to practice making lather again. The Atkinson Mango Oil shaving soap shown has a great fragrance, but I’ve had indifferent success with its lather, so I was eager to give it a go, knowing what I now know.

I in fact did get a fair lather with the Omega Pro 49, but it did not persist—a problem I have with boar brushes, though other shavers are more successful with them. On the second pass, I broke out my Tres Claveles horsehair brush, and lo! once again succeeded in getting Creamy Lather. This is the very brush that marked my first success, so perhaps horsehair has some magic for me. The lather this time I thoroughly enjoyed, and the soap as well: my skin feels very nice.

Three passes with the Joris—a somewhat aggressive razor—holding a Swedish Gillette blade. Then a splash of the TOBS No. 79—a very traditional-smelling fragrance—and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s shave.

With this Creamy Lather technique, I am once again interested in bowl lathering—in particular, using a deep soap bowl that allows easy working of the initial lather back into the developing mix. So I cut a nice chunk off the end of one of my 1.1 lbs (500-kg) bars of Klar Kabinett and jammed that into the bottom of my Edwin Jagger lathering/soap bowl. And tomorrow I’m going to use the Tres Claveles brush again…

In the meantime, a shipment of horsehair brushes is on its way to me from España. Plus the custom horsehair made for members of the Pogonotomy Forum.

Written by LeisureGuy

5 June 2011 at 11:56 am

Posted in Shaving

Finished Moonwalking with Einstein

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A thoroughly enjoyable book, recommended.

In Classical times orators and learned men used “memory palaces”: structures that you know intimately so that in your mind you can walk through them and note as you go the mental images that you have placed along the route to remind you of what is to be remember. Memory palaces were important enough that their deliberate acquisition (in memory) is still a part of what memory experts must do in developing their technique.

I wondered whether a well-to-do Roman in Classical times might design a new home to include “memory palace” features (lots of nooks, shelves, alcoves at various heights, cubbies, etc.), much as a modern house might have optical cable installed from the git-go, knowing that it will come in handy. Such a Roman would certainly know the house well, living in it, and having the memory palace features could be a considerable boon for the techniques described in the book.

I encountered few errors in the book, though “factorized” for “factored” made me wince. And a rather bad mistake, in talking about an experiment William James did. He tried memorizing a passage from Victor Hugo before and after memorizing something else. Foer writes, “When he returned to Hugo, he found that his memorization time had actually declined to fifty-seven seconds a line [from fifty seconds a line].” This is a common solecism. It was his memorization performance that declined—the time actually increased (not decreased).

Written by LeisureGuy

5 June 2011 at 11:07 am

Posted in Books

The incredible human cost of the War on Drugs

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And what have we gained? An extremely wealthy criminal class, destabilization of multiple countries in Central and South America, by far the largest prison population (per capita) in the world, wealthy and powerful prison and prison-guards lobbies to increase the prison population (through things like mandatory sentences, three-strikes laws, and the like), and billions upon billions of dollars wasted.

The video is from a good post by Ed Brayton:

Written by LeisureGuy

5 June 2011 at 8:10 am

Posted in Daily life, Drug laws

A bank, getting a dose of its own medicine

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Although this is enormously gratifying, by far the vast majority of cases do not have such a good outcome. And our Congress stands firm in its resolution to protect the banks and the financial industry from any sort of meaningful accountability. Whether this is connected with the enormous amounts of cash that banks and the financial industry funnel to Representatives and Senators is not proven, and Congress and the financial industry aim to keep it that way.

The video is from this story.

Written by LeisureGuy

5 June 2011 at 8:05 am

Posted in Business, Daily life, Law

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