Later On

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

Archive for December 27th, 2012

Relying on one’s own faculties

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Interesting post at Lifehacker about abandoning the “Get It Done” life.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 December 2012 at 3:55 pm

Posted in Daily life

We mourn the deaths of 20 US schoolchildren, but ignore our killing of 178 children with our drones

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Take a look. The US feels free to kill children in other countries, presumably because we think that “those people” don’t really care.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 December 2012 at 12:27 pm

Extremely cool house, highly energy efficient

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Jared Green reports in Grist:

Lakiya Culley, an administrative assistant at the U.S. State Department and mother of three, just moved into one of the most innovative, energy-efficient houses in the U.S. – in a rather unlikely location.

Culley lives in Deanwood, a working class, primarily African American neighborhood of Washington, D.C., that has recently struggled with foreclosures. She is now the proud owner of an Empowerhouse, a home that produces all of its own energy, a feat made simpler by the fact that it consumes 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling than a conventional home.

Empowerhouse, which uses “passive house” technologies, was designed by students at the New School and Stevens Institute of Technology as part of the Solar Decathlon design competition, which was held on the National Mall in 2011. Developed in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, the house marks the first time in the Solar Decathlon’s history that a team partnered with civic and government organizations to make a house a reality in the District.

Solar Decathlon organizers added a new category so that teams could earn points for affordability after some criticism that homes were getting out-of-control-pricey and therefore weren’t realistic real-world models. A home from Germany, for example, cost upwards of $2 million. Each unit of the actual Empowerhouse in Deanwood (there are two apartments in the mini-complex), cost just $250,000, making it affordable in that neighborhood, according to a spokesperson at New School. The model, which was built by Habitat for Humanity volunteers, has been such a hit that six more are being planned for Ivy City, another inner-city neighborhood in the District.

The “net-zero” home is a marvel. The bright, bold exterior lights up the whole block. The healthy, light-filled interior is built out of sustainable, recycled materials. And the landscape architecture was integrated into the project from the beginning, said Professor Laura Briggs, faculty lead of the project at the New School. The result is stormwater management solutions that address the truly local environmental problems: the heavy runoff that impacts the already polluted rivers.

Each unit has terraces with green roofs and small plots for urban agriculture that are designed to capture some water. In the rear of each building is a rain garden that captures any rainwater that escapes from the roof gardens. Each unit also has its own underground cistern, where rainwater is collected and then used to water the property.

At the sides of the house, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 December 2012 at 12:11 pm

Mühle silverfiber and Fat Boy

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SOTD 27 Dec 2012

I had planned on a horsehair brush today, but got to commenting with a guy on Wicked Edge about the new synthetic bristles for shaving brushes. My speculation is that research in that area has been stimulated by a fear that the EU will ban the import of badger bristles. Mühle is at any rate in the forefront of this development and the latest synthetic brushes compare quite favorably with badger brushes. The Mühle silverfiber brush in the photo is the first generation of silverfiber brushes, and I find it excellent, but I understand that second-generation silverfiber is even better.

The brush worked up a thick and luxuriant lather from my Ogallala shave stick—again the shave stick proves its medal, and I recommend you try one of them. (I note that Amazon sells a complete set.)

The Fat Boy holds a brand new Astra Superior Platinum blade, and it did a really fine job: BBS in three passes, no nicks, no irritation. If the razor looks extra spiffy to you, the reason is that’s been rhodium plated.

A good splash of Dominica Bay rum, and I’m watching the countdown to the GOP bringing down the US economy and the US credit rating by refusing to lift the debt ceiling (which is done simply to borrow the money to fund expenses Congress itself has already authorized—but hey! why make sense if you’re in the GOP?).

Written by LeisureGuy

27 December 2012 at 9:12 am

Posted in Shaving

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