Later On

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

Archive for May 24th, 2014

Side-effects of low-carb diet

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I just looked around for a list of side-effects because I’ve gotten a headache the last three days. Onset is in late morning, and normally I don’t get headaches. I found this:

Being in ketosis can cause headaches for some people. You may also feel a little lightheaded, and may experience some flu-like symptoms for a few days. Up your salt and water intake, and power through it, if you can. It will get better after 3-4 days. If it doesn’t, add a little more carb to your daily total. This is one of those low carb diet side effects for which I don’t have a solid explanation, and it seems to vary by person.

More information here, with other side-effects listed. And one important note:

It’s also really important to eat at least 2 cups of raw green leafy vegetables every day. These vegetables provide potassium and vitamin K, and will also help with hunger.

I don’t know how important “raw” is. I would think a mess of cooked kale or collards would work quite well in the potassium and vitamin K departments.

UPDATE: The low-carb diet has more serious side-effects, it turns out. For example:

and see also this video and this page.

I switched to a different diet after a few years on a low-carb diet and the improvement in my overall health is noticeable — for one thing, my doctor has taken me off all the meds I had continued to have to take when I was on the low-carb diet.

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2014 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Fitness, Food, Low carb

Two good movies, oddly similar

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In fact, they both are the same story, and very well done: incredibly gifted, trained, master martial artist assumes a modest, retiring persona and tries to fade into background but is revealed as — to some degree — a superhero when he defends a helpless woman whom he loves as a person: philos, not eros. As a brother. The movie plot is driven by his protecting her. In both movies, the police play a critical but definitely subsidiary role.

The first one I saw is The Man From Nowhere, made in 2010.

The one I saw yesterday is Commitment, made in 2013. The superhero unveiling scene in that one is a well-deserved (and long awaited) wish-fulfillment revenge fantasy by some screenwriter who was bullied in school—as, indeed, at times we all were, I imagine: we were all little kids once, and big kids seem to bully smaller kids, some of whom grow up to bully in turn. Satisfying scene, in other words.

Different directors. Both are Korean movies. Both are movies you’ll like if you like that sort of movie. You know what I mean. Both are available on Netflix Watch Instantly.

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2014 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

User testimony: Citric acid does soften hard water

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Read about it.

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2014 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Shaving

Axwell Matte Red razor: just arrived

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New Razor

My new Axwell razor, which I ordered from TouchOfModern.com, just arrived. (You can’t get into their site unless you yield your email address.)

I was curious whether it was plastic, but it is metal and rather hefty at that. Brass, I would think, in the handle, and perhaps the heads as well. As you see, cap and base are relatively thin, so not Zamak. Stamped steel is another possibility for the head, then coated.

I’ll shave with it on Monday. First impression is that it’s handle heavy, and I am unsure whether the handle shape will work well—it certainly feels odd in the hand. But an actual shave is a better test.

It was very well packed, with the stand and razor in separate black closed-cell foam pockets, those in a sturdy box with cardboard divider for the two items. Stand was also in a plastic bag. First-class treatment bodes well.

I don’t use razor stands—no room—but if I did use one I think I’d like this one.

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2014 at 12:13 pm

Posted in Shaving

The stench of creativity—and a very cool gun

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Very interesting article in the Washington Post by Justin Brady:

The firearm industry has grown significantly in the recent years. As gun sales and carry permits have soared many manufacturers have been scrambling to offer smaller, more compact handguns that can appeal to a thriving market. It may be a political hot button, but there’s no denying firearms manufacturing is big business and ripe for innovation.

To get an edge on the market, manufacturers have offered lighter, smaller guns, laser sights and numerous safety enhancements. Some companies have even been working on smart guns, with a goal of only operating in the hands of the owner. But none of these developments are significant advancements that truly separate any manufacturer as a front-runner.

Enter Arne Boberg, an award-winning engineer and scientist who has worked for companies such as 3M and Imation Corp., winning the CES Engineering Excellence Award for audio/visual accessories in 2009 for his novel flat panel mounting design. With a passion for firearms, creating some of his own at the age of 12, he set a goal for himself to address one of the biggest challenges in the industry. He would do whatever it took to fit a full-size hand gun barrel, into one of the smallest pocket pistols in the world.

Fitting a long barrel in a pocket gun is no small feat because the semi-automatic handgun has remained largely unchanged since Hugo Borchardt and John Browning introduced some of the earliest semi-automatic pistol designs in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Boberg didn’t know it at the time, but many before him had already tried and miserably failed.

It makes sense why someone would want a smaller gun. Smaller guns are easier to carry and easier to conceal. But why care how long the barrel is? With a longer barrel the propellant has more time to burn, pushing the bullet faster and delivering more power, as Iain Harrison, editor of Recoil Magazine explained to me.

Starting in 2003, Boberg’s story isn’t much different from many other innovators, his process was ridden with thousands of failures. Struggling with lift ratios, slide manipulation and a feed mechanism that took three years to perfect, it’s enough to make even the smartest of us dizzy. In 2009 however, after being laid off, he was able to focus and his work paid off when he successfully created one of the smallest guns on the market with a full-size barrel. On the outside, it doesn’t look special to the untrained eye, but inside — with 16 separate internal functions and rounds that load into the magazine backwards — it is an engineering marvel.

In an industry salivating for innovation, Boberg had achieved what gun experts considered to be impossible. Not only did he fit a longer barrel in a smaller gun, but at the same time he reduced felt recoil by adding a rotating barrel, very well changing the way firearm professionals view the standard handgun.

Boberg scored two meetings with American gun manufacturers, Kimber and Magnum Research. As Boberg recounts, Kimber showed initial interest, but with such a new and unfamiliar design, and so many moving parts, they had significant doubts it would actually function. They eventually stopped returning phone calls. A meeting with Magnum Research returned a better reaction, with the head of research even firing the gun and singing its praise, but the company was also concerned with the unfamiliarity of the design. Something just didn’t smell right to the leaders making the decisions. Kimber declined to comment on its decision to pass on Boberg’s creation. Magnum Research did not respond to a request for comment.

With no interest from the industry experts, Boberg started his own company, Boberg Arms. With a growing waiting list, only recently has Boberg Arms caught up with demand and now has distributors and dealers all over the United States, recently expanding into Canada. Boberg Arms shipped 750 guns in 2012, 1,100 in 2013 and this year they are on target to ship 1,430.

For a one-man startup introducing unseen technology, selling each unit for $1,049 a piece with no company history, it’s amazing progress — progress that is getting attention. This year Boberg’s XR45-S was named one of the “Top 10 New Products of 2014” by Blue Book of Gun Values and in 2013 was included in the “Top 10 New Handguns of 2013” by Harris Publications. Boberg’s design has also been featured on the cover of Gun World, Gun Digest and Concealed Carry Magazines.

It’s obvious, the concerns of Magnum Research and Kimber over such an unfamiliar design’s ability to function or be a viable product are unfounded. Why did they doubt this new innovative idea? Why could they not see this for the innovation it truly was? I call it the stench of creativity.

The stench of creativity is . . .

Continue reading.

I’ve fairly often described two common mindsets: the explorer (looks for any excuse to try something new) and the settler (looks for any excuse to stick with the status quo). I would guess, based on personal observations and the article that people in general run about 80% settler, 20% explorer—or even 90/10.

I believe that explorers are disturbed by creativity because it threatens the status quo. If it is indeed true that those of a settler mindset are a very strong majority, it would explain how creativity results in group condemnation.

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2014 at 11:18 am

Posted in Business, Daily life, Guns

More on the low-carb diet

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I guess I should point out that I use “diet” to mean “what you eat,” as in the Mediterranean diet, or the common American diet, or whatever. So my current diet is low in carbs: for a while, less than 20 grams per day of net carbs. (Net carbs = grams of carbs minus grams of fiber.)

I was astonished this morning to weigh and find myself 1.6 lbs lighter than yesterday morning. I get the idea that the body preferentially burns calories from carbs since those are quickly digested and rush into the bloodstream, triggering an insulin release that then stores calories from the less quickly digested fats. Once you restrict carbs to a low level, the body switches to burning fat, and apparently decides, “Well, if we’re going to be burning fat, I have a lot of that on hand, so I’ll start using that…” The reason, Taubes explains, why obese people eat a lot is that they are very hungry: the body’s systems are diverting calories to fat storage and (because of the insulin thing) not willing to burn those calories. So the obese take in more food, triggering insulin, burning some carbs and storing the rest as more fat, leaving the person quickly hungry again. The key to the fat vault is lost. See this recent NY Times op-ed for more info.

Now, of course, I’m reading more about it. I joined a couple of sub-reddits, /r/paleo and /r/whole30. The latter deals with Whole30, a plan described in detail on this page.

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2014 at 11:12 am

Why don’t states execute people in the same way slaughterhouses kill cattle?

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We have seen many problems recently with executing people by using lethal injections—as the botched execution in Oklahoma showed, lethal injections can amount to death by torture. The goal, one assumes, is an efficient execution that causes as little pain as possible in the process. Tennessee is now bringing back the electric chair. I’m curious why, given the problems with lethal injections, states that wish to execute people don’t use a captive-bolt gun, the device used to kill cattle. The bolt gun renders them unconscious, and the penetrating captive-bolt gun destroys the brain. Death is instantaneous, and since it is routinely recognized as a humane way of killing animals, why have states not tried this method? It’s very well tested (it’s been in use for more than a century), the equipment is reliable and readily available on the commercial market, and many people have training and experience in its use. And, we are told, it is a humane weapon because it causes no suffering.

I don’t get it. The states struggle find a humane execution technique, and this is right in front of them.

To be clear: I oppose capital punishment in general because our courts too often convict innocent people, as we have learned through the Innocence Project.

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2014 at 10:10 am

Posted in Daily life

Damned good shave, with Ri Mei head on UFO handle and a new Strop Shoppe soap

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SOTD 24 May 2014

Just got this Strop Shoppe Vivace shaving soap. Quite a nice fragrance, but for some reason the lather was somewhat foamy. Perhaps it’s my technique today. I’ll try again with another brush, and also compare it to another SS soap. I do like the Emperor brush quite a bit. Wonderful handle design.

With the Ri Mei head mounted on a UFO handle, I had a very fine shave indeed. I would say that the Ri Mei performs about as well as the Edwin Jagger head, both being somewhat better than the Merkur Classic head (for me), but the Ri Mei has quite a distinct feel from the EJ, since the Ri Mei is thinner and less bulky. The thinness does convey a better sense of control: think sports car vs. large family sedan.

A good splash of Stetson Classic and the long weekend begins.

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2014 at 10:08 am

Posted in Shaving

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