Later On

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

Archive for November 28th, 2013

Football Losses Tied to Junk Food

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Written by Leisureguy

28 November 2013 at 1:32 pm

Why One Cream Cake Leads to Another

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Ruth Williams explains the trap in The Scientist.

Written by Leisureguy

28 November 2013 at 11:36 am

Posted in Food, Health, Science

“Revenge porn” personal attacks

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Apparently so-called “revenge porn” often uses images obtained by hacking a stranger’s computer. Read this amazing account by Charlotte Laws at xojane.com of how one woman took effective action by changing her life to focus on the slimy attacks on her daughter:

I felt like Will Smith in “Enemy of the State.”

I was being hunted, harassed and stalked by criminals with technological expertise. I had been thrust into an unexpected war. I felt exposed, vulnerable and alone on the front line. I had awoken a hideous network of villains and saboteurs, who were in pursuit of me, hoping to ruin my life. I had received creepy emails, backlash on Twitter and three death threats. My computer had been bombarded with viruses, and a technician had advised me to buy all new equipment because the malware was tough to remove.

“Also, be leery of unusual cars or vans in the neighborhood,” the tech added.

“Why?” I asked.

“If someone wants to break into your computer network, he will need to be close to your house. That is, unless he has advanced skills. Then, he could gain access from anywhere.”

I hurried home from the hardware store with my all-important purchase: heavy-duty padlocks. I knew I had to secure the gates at my residence, so that an intruder or a team of intruders could not access my backyard and possibly my home.

I pulled into my driveway and scanned the street, glad that the suspicious white car with the young, male driver was no longer present. It had been there on the previous evening, according to my daughter, Kayla. She’d seen it when she returned from work, and she had monitored it for several hours until it disappeared. She did not report the incident to me until the next day.

“Mom, why was there a guy in a white car, watching our house last night?”

Because she had no knowledge of the “be leery of unusual cars or vans” warning by the computer technician, I could not accuse her of paranoia.

I affixed padlocks to the gates, and the phone rang. It was like a gun. It had become a powerful way to threaten and to terrorize me. It was one of my enemy’s weapons. I reluctantly picked up the receiver.

“We know where you live,” a muffled male voice spoke. “Your life will be ruined.” He hung up.

A caller that morning had told me I would be raped, tortured and killed. I glanced out the front window. The night had once looked innocent and peaceful, but suddenly it seemed ominous and dangerous. Then I logged onto my computer to see whether the Twitter backlash against me had ceased. It had not. But there was an odd message on my feed, which read, “Please follow me. I need to direct message you.”

I did as I was instructed, and the interaction resulted in a bizarre phone call. Just as “Enemy of the State” protagonist Will Smith got aid from Gene Hackman — an off-the-grid, former government agent — I was being offered assistance.

“Don’t worry. We’re going to protect you. We’re computer experts,” were the first words uttered by a man nicknamed “Jack,” who claimed to be an operative with the underground group, Anonymous.

I knew little about the famous, decentralized network of activists and hacktivists, who are sometimes called “freedom fighters” or digital Robin Hoods, so I conducted Google searches during our half-hour phone conversation.

“Jack” instructed me on how to protect my computer network and explained in detail how he and a buddy planned to electronically go after the man who had been threatening me and who had been urging his devotees to follow suit. He then uttered the name of the person who has become the most well-known online face of revenge porn: a man named Hunter Moore. . .

Read the whole thing. It’s fascinating and she does indeed make progress.

And here’s another woman’s story, including her campaign to stop the harassment and change the laws.

Written by Leisureguy

28 November 2013 at 11:01 am

Posted in Daily life, Law, Technology

8 factoids, mostly grim

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I’m not sure why ThinkProgress compiled this list, which seems a bit of a buzzkill (though some good ones). Still, I was surprised by some of the findings. Read link for charts and more information in general:

1. One in three U.S. women will have an abortion in her lifetime.

2. More than 11,000 children have died in the Syrian civil war.

3.Workers can be fired because they are victims of domestic violence in 43 states.

4. Income inequality in the U.S. is worse than it is in Ethiopia.

5. Even red state voters believe climate change is real.

6. You can still be fired for being LGBT in 29 states.

7. Medical marijuana helped cure a 6-year-old’s seizures.

8.There are more prisoners in the U.S. than construction workers, engineers, and high school teachers.

Written by Leisureguy

28 November 2013 at 10:41 am

Posted in Daily life

23 charts illustrating things for which to be thankful

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A very interesting column by Dylan Matthews in the Washington Post showing many good long-term trends. Here’s one chart:

Teen pregnancies

And another:

Smoking

Click the link above to see the other 21.

Written by Leisureguy

28 November 2013 at 10:30 am

Posted in Daily life, Health, Science

How a behavioral economist eats Thanksgiving dinner

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Ezra Klein has a nice piece in the Washington Post:

It happens every year. It’s not that you resolve to be virtuous on Thanksgiving, just reasonable. Two plates of food, and no more. One piece of pie, and that’s enough. But when you’re sitting at that table, staring at that food, there is no more self-control. No more reasonable. You stop when you can hardly breathe.

Or maybe I’m projecting. This column, however, will not be about exercising self-control at the table. It’s Thanksgiving! Rather, this column will be about something far more powerful: exercising some economic principles.

For a long time, economists operated under the “rational actor model.” Human beings were thought to be rational creatures who correctly weighed costs and benefits and calculated the best choices for themselves. Then some economists met some human beings and realized we don’t really work like that. The result has been the rise of “behavioral economics,” which attempts to build the responses of actual human beings into its models.MIT economist Dan Ariely is a pioneer in the field. His bestselling book “Predictably Irrational” is as good an introduction to the discipline as you’ll find. Human beings, he argues, aren’t just irrational: They are irrational in predictable ways and in predictable circumstances. That means we can plan for that irrationality beforehand, when we’re still feeling rational.

I asked Ariely how he would set up his Thanksgiving feast to limit overeating without having to exercise self-control. His answer was . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

28 November 2013 at 10:25 am

Posted in Books, Daily life, Food

William Shatner warns about fire danger of frying turkey

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Worth viewing, though too late for this year I imagine:

.

Written by Leisureguy

28 November 2013 at 10:15 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Video

Thanksgiving shave

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SOTD 28 Nov 2013

I broke with the Scent-Off today to celebrate Thanksgiving, and HTGAM’s Pumpkin Pi seemed like the idea shaving soap. I used one of the big, fluffy Omega Silvertips—truly wonderful brushes—and was struck by the wonderfully present and distinctive fragrance of pumpkin pie as I loaded the brush. And the lather this soap is exceptional: it felt as though I were brushing whipped cream from out of the surface of a small pumpkin pie (certainly the 5″-diameter puck made it seem as though I were holding a small pie).

Today I loaded a Schick Krona—relatively mild—with a new Feather blade: very easy shave, very smooth, no nicks or irritation. A good splash of Speick and the festive day commences.

Written by Leisureguy

28 November 2013 at 10:13 am

Posted in Shaving

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