Later On

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

Archive for July 20th, 2013

How a secretive panel uses data that distorts doctors’ pay

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We simply must start putting dishonest professionals into prison. That is the only thing that seems to get their attention—and word gets around. Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating write for the Washington Post:

When Harinath Sheela was busiest at his gastroenterology clinic, it seemed he could bend the limits of time.

Twelve colonoscopies and four other procedures was a typical day for him, according to Florida records for 2012. If the American Medical Association’s assumptions about procedure times are correct, that much work would take about 26 hours. Sheela’s typical day was nine or 10.

“I have experience,” the Yale-trained, Orlando-based doctor said. “I’m not that slow; I’m not fast. I’m thorough.”

This seemingly miraculous proficiency, which yields good pay for doctors who perform colonoscopies, reveals one of the fundamental flaws in the pricing of U.S. health care, a Washington Post investigation has found.

Unknown to most, a single committee of the AMA, the chief lobbying group for physicians, meets confidentially every year to come up with values for most of the services a doctor performs.

Those values are required under federal law to be based on the time and intensity of the procedures. The values, in turn, determine what Medicare and most private insurers pay doctors.

But the AMA’s estimates of the time involved in many procedures are exaggerated, sometimes by as much as 100 percent, according to an analysis of doctors’ time, as well as interviews and reviews of medical journals.

If the time estimates are to be believed, some doctors would have to be averaging more than 24 hours a day to perform all of the procedures that they are reporting. This volume of work does not mean these doctors are doing anything wrong. They are just getting paid at the rates set by the government, under the guidance of the AMA.

In fact, in comparison with some doctors, Sheela’s pace is moderate.

Take, for example, those colonoscopies.

In justifying the value it assigns to a colonoscopy, the AMA estimates that the basic procedure takes 75 minutes of a physician’s time, including work performed before, during and after the scoping.

But in reality, the total time the physician spends with each patient is about half the AMA’s estimate — roughly 30 minutes, according to medical journals, interviews and doctors’ records.

Indeed, the standard appointment slot is half an hour.

To more broadly examine the validity of the AMA valuations, The Post conducted interviews, reviewed academic research and conducted two numerical analyses: one that tracked how the AMA valuations changed over 10 years and another that counted how many procedures physicians were conducting on a typical day.

It turns out that the nation’s system for estimating the value of a doctor’s services, a critical piece of U.S. health-care economics, is fraught with inaccuracies that appear to be inflating the value of many procedures: . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 7:07 pm

Loads of Esperanto books for Kindle

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And most are free—some are 99¢ and a few are a little more.

Time to learn Esperanto!

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 6:54 pm

Posted in Books, Esperanto

Goldman Sachs in action—and this sort of thing must really be stopped

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David Kocieniewski has a very interesting article in the NY Times. If this is legal, it’s a bug in the legal system and should fixed forthwith:

Hundreds of millions of times a day, thirsty Americans open a can of soda, beer or juice. And every time they do it, they pay a fraction of a penny more because of a shrewd maneuver by Goldman Sachs and other financial players that ultimately costs consumers billions of dollars.

The story of how this works begins in 27 industrial warehouses in the Detroit area where a Goldman subsidiary stores customers’ aluminum. Each day, a fleet of trucks shuffles 1,500-pound bars of the metal among the warehouses. Two or three times a day, sometimes more, the drivers make the same circuits. They load in one warehouse. They unload in another. And then they do it again.

This industrial dance has been choreographed by Goldman to exploit pricing regulations set up by an overseas commodities exchange, an investigation by The New York Times has found. The back–and-forth lengthens the storage time. And that adds many millions a year to the coffers of Goldman, which owns the warehouses and charges rent to store the metal. It also increases prices paid by manufacturers and consumers across the country.

Tyler Clay, a forklift driver who worked at the Goldman warehouses until early this year, called the process “a merry-go-round of metal.”

Only a tenth of a cent or so of an aluminum can’s purchase price can be traced back to the strategy. But multiply that amount by the 90 billion aluminum cans consumed in the United States each year — and add the tons of aluminum used in things like cars, electronics and house siding — and the efforts by Goldman and other financial players has cost American consumers more than $5 billion over the last three years, say former industry executives, analysts and consultants.

The inflated aluminum pricing is just one way that Wall Street is flexing its financial muscle and capitalizing on loosened federal regulations to sway a variety of commodities markets, according to financial records, regulatory documents and interviews with people involved in the activities.

The maneuvering in markets for oil, wheat, cotton, coffee and more have brought billions in profits to investment banks like Goldman, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, while forcing consumers to pay more every time they fill up a gas tank, flick on a light switch, open a beer or buy a cellphone. In the last year, federal authorities have accused three banks, including JPMorgan, of rigging electricity prices, and last week JPMorgan was trying to reach a settlement that could cost it $500 million.

Using special exemptions granted by the Federal Reserve Bank and relaxed regulations approved by Congress, the banks have bought huge swaths of infrastructure used to store commodities and deliver them to consumers — from pipelines and refineries in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas; to fleets of more than 100 double-hulled oil tankers at sea around the globe; to companies that control operations at major ports like Oakland, Calif., and Seattle.

In the case of aluminum, Goldman bought Metro International Trade Services, one of the country’s biggest storers of the metal. More than a quarter of the supply of aluminum available on the market is kept in the company’s Detroit-area warehouses.

Before Goldman bought Metro International three years ago, warehouse customers used to wait an average of six weeks for their purchases to be located, retrieved by forklift and delivered to factories. But now that Goldman owns the company, the wait has grown more than 20-fold — to more than 16 months, according to industry records.

Longer waits might be written off as an aggravation, but they also make aluminum more expensive nearly everywhere in the country because of the arcane formula used to determine the cost of the metal on the spot market. The delays are so acute that Coca-Cola and many other manufacturers avoid buying aluminum stored here. Nonetheless, they still pay the higher price. . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 4:57 pm

Posted in Business

Terrific backstage a capella musical

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I just watched Pitch Perfect, and what a wonderful movie it is. Highly recommended.

It did make me reflect on how fleeting life is—not lifespan, but the various periods in life. Parents know that childhood progresses quickly—and non-stop. It’s as though experience is one of those rounded mirrors, but with the legend, “Things are moving faster than you think.” As in an airplane trip: as you watch out the window, things on the ground seem to move so slowly by, but then you read an article, look out the window, and the view is completely changed.

Since the movie is set in college, it got me to reflecting on what being in college was like—and the movie touched on some things: a few very strange people, stories of exceptionally weird roommates, the fast changing memes and the importance of keeping up.

I enjoyed the songs a lot, but for me they had no associations at all: simply a bunch of music I’d never heard before, well executed. And that in part is what got me to thinking how fleeting life is as it moves by. College was great, but a few months was a big chunk with lots of things happening, but still: just six months. A year is not very long and is an enormous chunk of a period that will not return.

And all the periods in life seem much the same: slow-moving while you watch, but then you take another look and realize more time has passed that you realize, and now things are very different: different music, for one hting.

Anyway, definitely a movie to see.

UPDATE: In thinking about it, I realized that, exactly as Fred Astaire movies make you want to dance, so this movie makes you want to sing—or, in my case, to be able to sing. Singing is a great thing, but though most have it, some don’t.

I also wondered about that audio editor: the wave forms are shown as symmetrical about a horizontal axis, but that’s redudant information. Why don’t they show simply the top half? (or bottom half).

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

The common-belief fallacy

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Very interesting post by David McCraney:

Back when Shakespeare said you were the paragon of animals, both noble in reason and infinite in faculties, he did so during a time when physicians believed the body was filled with black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood, and all sickness and health depended on the interaction of those fluids. Lethargic and lazy? Well, that’s because you are full of phlegm. Feeling sick? Maybe you’ve got too much blood and should go see a barber to get drained. Yes, the creator of some of the greatest works of the English language believed you could cure a fever with a knife.

It’s easy to laugh at the very wrong things that people once believed, but try not to feel too superior. My friend Susannah Gregg was living in South Korea and working there as an English teacher when she first learned about fan death, a common belief among people in that country that oscillating desk fans are among the most deadly inventions known to man. She was stepping out for a beer with a friend when he noticed, to his horror, she had left her fan running with her pet rabbit still inside her house. Her friend, a twenty-eight-year-old college graduate, refused to leave until she turned off the fan. He explained to her that everyone knows you can’t leave a fan running inside a room with the windows shut. That would mean certain death. It was shocking to him that she was unaware of something so simple and potentially life-threatening. Susannah thought he was kidding. It took several conversations to convince him it wasn’t true and that in her country, in most countries, no one believed such a thing. She successfully avoided absorbing the common belief not because she was smarter than her friend but because she had already done the experiments necessary to disprove the myth. She had slept in a house with a fan running many times and lived to tell about it. Since then, she has asked many friends and coworkers there about fans, and the response has been mixed. Some people think it is silly, and some think fan death is real. In 2013, despite the debunking power of a few Google searches, the belief that you shouldn’t fall asleep or spend too much time in a room with a running electric fan is so pervasive in South Korea that Susannah told me you can’t buy one within their borders without a safety device that turns it off after a set amount of time. The common belief is so deep and strong that fan manufacturers must include a safety switch to soothe the irrational fears of most consumers.

Your ancestors may not have had the toolset you do when it came to avoiding mental stumbling blocks or your immense cultural inheritance, but their minds worked in much the same way. The people who thought the world rested on the back of a great tortoise or who thought dancing would make it rain – they had the same brain as you; that is to say, they had the same blueprint in their DNA for making brains. So a baby born into their world was about the same as one born into yours. Evolution is so slow that not enough has changed in the way brains are made to tell much of a difference between you and a person from ten thousand years ago. That means that from gods in burning chariots to elves making cookies in trees, people long ago believed in all sorts of silly things thanks to the same faulty reasoning you deal with today. They, too, were fueled by a desire to make sense of reality and to answer the age-old question: “What, exactly, is happening here?” Instead of letting that question hang in the air, your distant relatives tended to go ahead and answer it, and they kept answering it over and over again, with newer yet equally dumb ideas because of one of the most profoundly difficult obstacles humans have faced since we started chipping away at flint to make heads for spears. This malfunction of the mind is called the common belief fallacy.

In Latin, it is argumentum ad populum, or “appeal to the people,” which should clue you in that this is something your species has worried about for a long time. The fallacy works like this: If most people believe something is true, you are more likely to believe it is true the first time you hear about it. You then pass along that mistaken belief, and on and on it goes.

Being a social creature, the first thing you do in a new job, new school, new country, or any other novel situation is ask people who are familiar with the environment to help you get acquainted with the best way to do things, the best places to eat, the hand gestures that might get you beheaded, etc. The problem, of course, is . . .

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Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Daily life

It’s not just Obama: his whole administration lies

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I’m getting sick of being lied to by my government. I don’t expect them to always take actions that I approve, but is it too much to ask that they stop the goddam lying? And brazen lies, to boot. Like this one reported in New York by Adam Martin:

This is awkward: One week after the Justice Department announced it was narrowing its targeting of reporters as it investigates leaks, one such reporter now faces prison after a court decided he should get no protection for using information the government says was leaked. James Risen, a New York Timesreporter whose book State of War used information the DOJ thinks he got from former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, must testify in Sterling’s criminal trial, a three-judge panel decided on Friday. If he refuses, as he’s said he will, he faces prison. Risen will probably appeal the decision, experts told the Times, so he won’t be heading off to the clink just yet. But as the DOJ continues to prosecute the case, the whole scenario makes you wonder how serious it is about protecting journalists from itself.

It doesn’t make me wonder: they have no intention of protecting journalists and will start to treat dissenting journalists just as they treat whistleblowers. As you can see from the Greenwald post earlier today, they don’t even believe that citizens should be allowed to speak when the government does not like what is being said.

Will the White House Press Corps bore in on this? No, Helen Thomas has died.

I do think Risen has been targeted as a person because he broke the first story about the vast illegal domestic surveillance under Bush. Bush is gone, but all those functionaries in the secret government (NSA, FBI, DOJ, et al.) are still there, and they obviously have a grudge, still angry that their illegal actions were brought to light (though of course no one suffered any penalties at all—not like Snowden, certainly, or even Thomas Drake—like the CIA torture squad: break the law and go free as a bird).

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 11:12 am

In praise of Helen Thomas

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She asked George W. Bush some hard questions—the right questions—and Bush did not have answers. This Politicial Animal post by Samuel Knight includes a series of brief video clips of Helen Thomas in action. Worth viewing. The first, introduced by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!:

 

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 10:35 am

Chickens coming home to roost at the Vatican

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You protect pedophiles and cover up their crimes and, eventually, things get bad. Bob Slaughter, a reader of the blog, points out this item from Catholic News Service:

A United Nations’ committee concerned with children’s rights is requesting that the Vatican provide complete details about every accusation it has ever received of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child, which monitors implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, published July 1 “a list of issues” it found lacking in the Vatican’s latest report on its compliance with the international obligations it accepted when it ratified the convention.

The Vatican is being asked to provide: “detailed information on all cases of child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy, brothers and nuns”; how it has responded to victims and perpetrators of abuse; whether it ever investigated “complaints of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” of girls in the Magdalene laundries in Ireland; and how it dealt with allegations that young boys, who were part of the Legion of Christ, were being separated from their families.

The committee is also requesting information on: what the Vatican has done to address discrimination between boys and girls in Catholic schools, including removing sexual stereotypes in school textbooks; whether it has “clearly condemned” corporal punishment of children; if it still labels children born out of wedlock as “illegitimate”; and how it is working to prevent child abandonment and trace infants’ identities when church-run facilities receive unwanted children, including through so-called “baby boxes.”

Concerning the convention’s optional protocol on “the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography,” the committee wants the Vatican to  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 10:27 am

Posted in Law, Religion

European Union Boycotts Israeli Colonies on the Palestinian West Bank

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Juan Cole writes at Informed Comment:

The Israeli government’s de facto annexation and colonization of the Palestinian West Bank is illegal in international law. United Nations members cannot acquire territory by warfare according to the UN Charter (it doesn’t matter from whom they acquire the territory). The UN Charter was written by people who disapproved of the behavior of the aggressors in World War II, which often involved acquiring territory of unrelated people by falling on them militarily, as Israel did on Gaza and the West Bank in 1967. Israel’s creeping annexation of the West Bank has never been formally recognized by any country in the world and has been repeatedly condemned by the world’s major states and by the United Nations Security Council. Israel has managed to thumb its nose at the world community and to go on stealing Palestinian land, water and other resources on a vast scale just because none of its critics was willing to do anything practical to stand in the way of this colonial annexation and erection of an Apartheid state. The United States routinely vetoes UNSC resolutions condemning Israeli theft of Palestinian land and erection of Israeli colonies on it, as well as the latticework of checkpoints and Israeli-only highways that have carved up the West Bank and made Palestinians’ lives miserable. The Israelis are perfectly nice people, but all Occupation regimes distort and degrade the character of the Occupiers.

At long last, however, the European Union is putting its collective foot down. It is insisting that Israeli institutions and companies based in the Palestinian West Bank be excluded from any Israeli participation in a program of the European Union. The Europeans admit Israeli scientists to EU scientific partnerships, e.g., as though Israel were a member of the EU. Such scientific and technological exchanges have been important in keeping Israel more advanced than its Arab neighbors and able to dominate them militarily. But they have also aided in Israel’s creepy project of making the Palestinians homeless and poverty-stricken. The [pdf] EU guidelines are here.

The EU move is not anti-Israel. In fact, Israel is being given all sorts of benefits by the EU. It is simply an acknowledgment that the Israelis are contravening the Hague Convention of 1907 and the Geneva Convention of 1949 on the treatment of populations in militarily Occupied territories. And it is an announcement that the EU is not going to do anything to aid and abet the Israeli government’s illegal actions. . .

Continue reading. More at the link, including a video report from Reuters.

 

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 10:18 am

Press freedoms and privacy rights

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Glenn Greenwald has a particular telling column today in the Guardian:

I’m on a (much-needed) quick vacation until Sunday, so I’ll just post a few brief items from what has been a busy and important week of events, particularly when it comes to press freedom and privacy:

(1) In the utter travesty known as “the Bradley Manning court-martial proceeding”, the military judge presiding over the proceeding yet again showed her virtually unbreakable loyalty to the US government’s case by refusing to dismiss the most serious charge against the 25-year-old Army Private, one that carries a term of life in prison: “aiding and abetting the enemy”. The government’s theory is that because the documents Manning leaked were interesting to Osama bin Laden, he aided the enemy by disclosing them. Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler explained in the New Republic in March why this theory poses such a profound threat to basic press freedoms as it essentially converts all leaks, no matter the intent, into a form of treason.

At this point, that seems to be the feature, not a bug. Anyone looking for much more serious leaks than the one that Manning produced which ended up attracting the interest of bin Laden should be looking here. The Obama White House yesterday told Russia that it must not persecute “individuals and groups seeking to expose corruption” – as Bradley Manning faces life in prison for alerting the world to the war abuses and other profound acts of wrongdoing he discovered and as the unprecedented Obama war on whistleblowers rolls on. That lecture to Russia came in the context of White House threats to cancel a long-planned meeting over the Russian government’s refusal to hand over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to the US to face espionage charges.

(2) The kangaroo tribunal calling itself “the FISA court” yesterday approved another government request (please excuse the redundancy of that phrase: “the FISA court approved the government’s request”). Specifically, the “court” approved the Obama administration’s request for renewal of the order compelling Verizon to turn over to the NSA all phone records of all Americans, the disclosure of which on June 6 in this space began the series of NSA revelations. This ruling was proudly announced by the office of the Director of National Intelligence, which declassified parts of that program only after we published the court ruling. In response, the ACLU’s privacy expert Chris Soghoian sarcastically observed: “good thing the totally not a rubberstamp FISA court is on the job, or we might turn into a surveillance state”; the Wall Street Journal’s Tom Gara noted: “Reminder: The style guide for mentioning the FISA court is that it’s written ‘court’ with scare quotes.”

(3) In response to our NSA reporting, several groups, including the ACLU and EFF, filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the US government’s spying programs. A federal court yesterday heard arguments in the suit brought by the ACLU, and the Obama DOJ asked the court to dismiss it on several grounds, including that it “cannot be challenged in a court of law”.

(4) Speaking of the Obama DOJ attempting to block judicial adjudication of the legality of its actions: a different federal judge heard a lawsuit yesterdaychallenging the constitutionality of Obama’s extra-judicial killings by drones of three American citizens, including the 16-year-old American-born Abdulrahaman Awlaki, whose grandfather wrote this powerful Op-Ed in the New York Times this week under the headline “The Drone That Killed My Grandson”. The judge repeatedly expressed incredulity at the DOJ’s argument that courts had no role to play in reviewing the legality of these killings, which then led to this exchange:

“‘Are you saying that a US citizen targeted by the United States in a foreign country has no constitutional rights?’ she asked Brian Hauck, a deputy assistant attorney general. ‘How broadly are you asserting the right of the United States to target an American citizen? Where is the limit to this?’

“She provided her own answer: ‘The limit is the courthouse door’ . . . .

“‘Mr. Hauck acknowledged that Americans targeted overseas do have rights, but he said they could not be enforced in court either before or after the Americans were killed.'”

Re-read that last line, as it’s the Obama administration in a nutshell: of course you have those pretty rights, dear citizens. It’s just that nobody can enforce them or do anything to us when we violate them. But you do have them, and they’re really, really important, and we do value them so very highly, and President Obama will deliver another really majestic speech soon in front of the Constitution about how cherished and valued they are.

(5) The Obama DOJ obtained what it considers an important victory: an appellate court in Virginia rejected the argument from New York Times reporter Jim Risen that, as a journalist, he cannot be compelled to testify about the identity of his sources. I wrote last year about the reasons the Obama DOJ’s pursuit of Risen is so pernicious and threatening to press freedom and gave the background to the case: here. As he set forth in his affidavit, Risen believes, with good reason, that the DOJ’s pursuit of him is in retaliation for his prior reporting, including his having exposed the NSA’s warrantless eavesdropping program in 2005.

(6) In 2003, two dozen or so CIA agents kidnapped an Egyptian citizen from a street in Milan where he was living after Italy granted him asylum from persecution by the US-allied Mubarak regime. The CIA then rendered their kidnapped victim back to Egypt where he was interrogated and tortured. Italian authorities criminally charged the CIA agents with kidnapping, and after the US refused to turn them over for trial, they were convicted in abstentia. One of them, Milan CIA station chief Robert Lady, was sentenced to several years in prison. I wrote about that case, and US behavior in it, several months ago: here.

Lady ended up in Panama, and when the Italians learned of this, they requested his extradition to Italy. The US government intervened and applied significant pressure to Panamanian officials, who, yesterday, predictably released Lady and put him on a plane back to the US. The next time the US lectures the world about the rule of law and need for accountability, I’m sure this incident will be on many people’s minds. It should be.

Also: for those in official Washington – including its press corps – who have been demanding that Edward Snowden come and “face the music” of the charges against him, will you be demanding the same of CIA official Robert Lady, who – unlike Snowden – has committed serious crimes (kidnapping) and has been convicted of those crimes?

(7) For a glimpse into the mind of the National Security State when it comes to transparency and press freedoms, do read this unhinged screed published by CNN from Bush-era CIA and NSA chief Gen. Michael Hayden about the NSA stories in which, among other things, he says that I am “far more deserving of the Justice Department’s characterization of a co-conspirator than Fox’s James Rosen ever was”. What makes that so ironic is that I’ve been arguing for many years now that Hayden and the other Bush officials who implemented the illegal warrantless eavesdropping program aimed at American citizens should be criminally prosecuted. Speaking of glimpses into the minds of the US National Security State, do read this remarkable exchange between AP’s excellent reporter Matt Lee and a State Department spokesman over Russia and Snowden. . .

Continue reading.

Truly, I don’t think the Obama Administration gives two hoots about the law. Enforcement is highly selective, it seems to me. Luis Carriles Posada is an obvious example.

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 9:55 am

More information—interesting information—on Asiana 214

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The above video is included in James Fallows’s post. As a pilot comments in the post, the ideal approach (the blue plane) is not only higher than the actual path but also faster: it would have pulled ahead out of frame in a completely accurate illustration. The speed was kept close to the (too slow) speed of the actual approach to make it easier to discern the difference in altitude.

The entire post is worth reading, but in particular I draw your attention to some links in his post:

What’s wrong with “Confucius in the cockpit” / “this is how Asians fly” hypotheses. If you’ve been following this topic, you’ve seen countless circulated emails from Western pilots alarmed at what they have seen at Asian, and especially Korean and Chinese, flight schools and airlines. I don’t have time to fish these all out at the moment. I will say that if you’d like a bracing retort, the place to start is with the “Ask a Korean” site, notably this post (which goes right at Malcolm Gladwell-ism) and then this omnibus followup, including a reply from Gladwell.

The material at those links is extremely interesting and informative and opens one’s eyes.

Also, the link in this note (from the Fallows post) is well worth reading and quite interesting:

The NASA view of culture in the cockpit. One of the seminal papers in this discipline, by a NASA official back in 2000, is available in a grainy but legible scanned version of the original printed pages, here. Worth reading in light of the Asiana discussions.

The whole post (including material at the links) is simply fascinating. And I did enjoy the jargon in the “Children of Magenta” presentation.

 

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 9:50 am

Posted in Daily life, Science

A premium shave today

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SOTD 20 July 2013

Today I went top-drawer, stimulated by a comment thread to my previous shaving using (on the whole) very economical tools: the Sodial razor (head: the action part) and the Ecotools Finishing Kabuki brush. So today I picked my top-of-the line products: my Rooney “Finest” (no longer available and it cost a pretty) Style 2, Creed’s Green Irish Tweed shaving soap and EDT (used as an aftershave), and my Feather AS-D1 (I’ve not tried the D2) with a Feather blade.

I have to say that this was an exceptionally enjoyable shave. I used Jlocke98’s combination of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (lavender, in this case) along with some oil (and I used emu oil) for my pre-shave beard wash.

The lather that Creed produces (at least in my tub—companies will change without notice their soap formulation, and sometimes (Floris, Penhaligon, Trumper, and probably others) the result is a worse (but more profitable) soap. Creed, so far as I know, has made no changes, and I hope they don’t: the lather is wonderful—in consistency, efficacy, and fragrance.

And I must praise the brush as well: it holds a load of lather in a firm yet soft knot: it puffs up a fair amount with the load of lather and feels great against the skin, with just the right resilience.

Three extremely comfortable passes—the Feather is a terrific razor, especially with a Feather blade—and my face is totally smooth. Faceturbation will ensue.

I sprayed a good amount of the Green Irish Tweed EDT into my palm, then applied it as an aftershave.

As noted: this was an exceptionally good shave. Whether I appreciate it more for having shaved with lesser products yesterday, I don’t know. But it’s good to treat oneself well. Life is short.

Written by Leisureguy

20 July 2013 at 9:35 am

Posted in Shaving

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