Later On

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

Archive for January 22nd, 2012

Ad hoc homemade hot pads

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Very good idea—and you can use it instead of a hot-water bottle to warm your feet when you get into a chilly bed on a winter night: warm feet = easy to fall asleep. 🙂

Written by LeisureGuy

22 January 2012 at 8:17 pm

Posted in Daily life

Thoughtful column on Constitutional dangers of drones

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Peter Singer writes in the NY Times:

IN democracies like ours, there have always been deep bonds between the public and its wars. Citizens have historically participated in decisions to take military action, through their elected representatives, helping to ensure broad support for wars and a willingness to share the costs, both human and economic, of enduring them.

In America, our Constitution explicitly divided the president’s role as commander in chief in war from Congress’s role in declaring war. Yet these links and this division of labor are now under siege as a result of a technology that our founding fathers never could have imagined.

Just 10 years ago, the idea of using armed robots in war was the stuff of Hollywood fantasy. Today, the United States military has more than 7,000 unmanned aerial systems, popularly called drones. There are 12,000 more on the ground. Last year, they carried out hundreds of strikes — both covert and overt — in six countries, transforming the way our democracy deliberates and engages in what we used to think of as war.

We don’t have a draft anymore; less than 0.5 percent of Americans over 18 serve in the active-duty military. We do not declare war anymore; the last time Congress actually did so was in 1942 — against Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. We don’t buy war bonds or pay war taxes anymore. During World War II, 85 million Americans purchased war bonds that brought the government $185 billion; in the last decade, we bought none and instead gave the richest 5 percent of Americans a tax break.

And now we possess a technology that removes the last political barriers to war. The strongest appeal of unmanned systems is that we don’t have to send someone’s son or daughter into harm’s way. But when politicians can avoid the political consequences of the condolence letter — and the impact that military casualties have on voters and on the news media — they no longer treat the previously weighty matters of war and peace the same way.

For the first 200 years of American democracy, engaging in combat and bearing risk — both personal and political — went hand in hand. In the age of drones, that is no longer the case.

Today’s unmanned systems are only the beginning. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 January 2012 at 6:38 pm

Guys who tried a multiblade cartridge shave after learning DE shaving

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This is quite a fascinating thread on Wicked_Edge, I think. I encourage you to read the whole thing. Let me quote just one excerpt from Tokimobile, who started the thread. I encouraged him to experiment, and he did forthwith. He shaves his head as well as his beard, and his report on that includes this poignant note:

My head isn’t BBS, neither is my beard (decided to do it with the Mach 3 just because I had some extra lather and for science) and it was painful to shave my beard even though I did two passes (WTG/ATG), which I never did in the past (I always did ATG only. I guess I didn’t mind all the pulling, I was used to it).

That last sentence hit home. Over and over I read of guys with bad skin conditions—acne, for example, but other blemishes—that clear up shortly after they begin shaving with a DE cartridge. It’s so noticeable a trend that I’m starting to wonder whether the interior crevices, nooks, and crannies in the multiblade cartridge—particularly those with 4 or 5 blades—doesn’t capture enough gunk (shaving foam, stubble, skin flakes, whatever) and then provide a moist, dark environment containing that gunk, becoming a microbe incubator. I don’t know, but several cartridge shavers have described their problems in such a way that it suggests that possibility.

So: an experiment is called for. If you’re a cartridge shaver, and you’re have skin problems, particularly skin problems that look to be microbe-related, try switching to traditional wetshaving with a DE razor and see whether the problem clears. The cost is not high: the low-cost, high-luxury shave kit described by Bruce Everiss you can put together for around $45—10 Gillette Fusion cartridges, plus the brush is permanent and the soap will last a long time. If that’s too much money, check out the Omega 11047 boar/badger brush ($16 and a terrific little brush).

Written by LeisureGuy

22 January 2012 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Shaving

A Sunday post on Atheism 2.0

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Interesting talk, I think, aiming at not throwing the baby out with the bath water:

Written by LeisureGuy

22 January 2012 at 9:25 am

Posted in Religion, Science, Video

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