Later On

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

Archive for November 10th, 2015

Mexico’s Supreme Court Declares Individuals Have the Right to Consume and Cultivate Marijuana

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How long will the US hold out? I think it will be like gay marriage: gradually, and then suddenly.

Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2015 at 5:40 pm

Posted in Drug laws

It sounds like Big Brother’s wet dream

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Vizio Smart TVs spy on their owners and sell what they learned. How far away is blackmail?

Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2015 at 12:09 pm

Marco Polo, meet Jocelyn Reckford

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Very interesting. And learning in this way would include all the “deep learning” of cultural norms and signals on an experiential level.

Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2015 at 11:13 am

Posted in Education, Memes

PPP Uses the Power of Pyramids to Figure Out Which Republican Candidate Has the Weirdest Supporters

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Worth reading: short post plus a chart.

Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2015 at 11:07 am

Man, today is nothing but sf novels come to life: DARPA Is About to Start Testing an Autonomous, Submarine-Hunting Ocean Drone

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In fact, I think I’ve read this one. Doesn’t it sound familiar?

And this is a vignette from a Philip K. Dick novel, a chapter called “Deputy Florida Man.”

And if you give the religions exotic names, this clear conflict is seen in many a novel placed in other worlds.

Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2015 at 10:58 am

When reality fails to respect ideology: Sex-ed division

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Jen Hayden has an excellent post at Daily Kos. From it:

Who could’ve seen this coming? When you don’t teach kids about safe sex, they tend to have sex anyway, minus the safe part: . . .

And later she quotes:

Abstinence-only programs have been an enormous failure, despite heavy funding from the George W. Bush administration and conservative legislatures:

Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs don’t work.

To date, 11 states have evaluated the impact of their abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. None has been shown to reduce teen sexual activity.

Virginity pledgers have found “loopholes” to keep their pledges intact—engaging in risky oral or anal sex—and neglecting to use condoms when they do begin to have vaginal intercourse, according to research from Peter Bearman at Columbia University.

2007 federally-funded evaluation of these programs found that youth in the control group were no more likely to have abstained from sex and, among those who reported having sex, had a similar number of partners and had initiated sex at the same age.

Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2015 at 10:50 am

Very cool: Glitch art. (Obligatory: But is it in fact art?)

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Take a look. Interesting. But art? But what about a photograph of a barn, tractor, and person: can that photograph ever be art?

Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2015 at 10:26 am

Posted in Art, Technology

Cyberwars of the future, described in science-fiction, are here today

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Unfortunately, the science-fiction novel in question would be a dystopia, in which the government is so at war with its own citizens that it wants to have access to whatever they are doing in cyberspace: all emails, all phone calls, encryption discouraged and strong encryption targeted for destruction/undermining. That sort of dystopia.

This is the one where a secure private messaging service with good encryption is crippled by a DDoS attack of government-sized power.

UPDATE: Admit it: Doesn’t this incident read exactly as if it came from one of many sf dystopias (a strangely popular theme)? In fact, isn’t this quite reminiscent of scenes in the movie Brazil?

UPDATE again: US Supreme Court provides additional immunity to police who shoot people.

Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2015 at 10:19 am

Mining the fossil water beneath the Sahara: Sort of the opposite of sustainability.

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In fact, if I read this in a science fiction novel, it would evoke the desperation of a dying civilization on a planet whose natural resources were heading for depletion. I’m just sayin’.

Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2015 at 10:13 am

Posted in Environment, Science

Decades After Disappearing From Australia, a CIA-Linked Fugitive is Found in Idaho

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Raymond Bonner reports in ProPublica:

It was one of the greatest disappearing acts of modern times. Amidst a swirl of allegations and rumors that the Nugan Hand bank was involved in arms smuggling, drug-running, and covert operations for the CIA, the institution’s American founder vanished from Australia. Thirty-five years later, that man, Michael Jon Hand, was tracked to a small town in Idaho where he has been living under the name of Michael Jon Fuller.

Hand was found by an Australian writer, Peter Butt, whose just-released book, “Merchants of Menace,” discloses Hand’s whereabouts after decades of mystery.

If finding Hand, now 73, solves one mystery, it raises another. How could he have lived in the United States so long without being detected? He changed his name only slightly, from Hand to Fuller, and did not get a new social security number, according to Butt.

Hand’s company, G.M.I. Manufacturing, is registered with the Idaho Secretary of State. The company “now manufactures tactical weapons for US Special Forces, special operations groups and hunters,’’ Butt wrote. Has Hand/Fuller been brazen, foolish, or, as Butt asks, does he belong “to a protected species, most likely of the intelligence kind?”

Two years after fleeing Australia, in 1982, when the CIA was involved in a covert operation to overthrow the left-wing Sandinista Government in Nicaragua, Hand was working as a military adviser in the region where the anti-Sandinista “contras” were based, according to an Australian intelligence document, which was declassified earlier this year.

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The CIA has previously denied that it had any links to Hand.

Hand had been a Green Beret in Vietnam and a CIA operative in Laos, before moving to Australia, where he and Frank Nugan, a wealthy playboy, established the Nugan Hand Bank in 1973, with $80. . .

Continue reading.

The old “who will guard the guardians then?” The CIA operates above (i.e., against) the law routinely, and feels absolutely no hesitation in breaking whatever laws they want—cf. the kidnapping in Italy (which means that if certain CIA employees are in Italy, they are subject to arrest). Since the CIA is not bound by “law” or “rules” and the like, it’s no great surprise that some will use those special powers to enrich themselves, secure in knowing that the law does not apply to them and they are thus enjoy full immunity: a heady power. “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power.”

Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2015 at 9:30 am

Posted in Daily life

Great shave with the Black Mamba

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SOTD 10 Nov 2015

A very fine shave today. I used the Semogue Owners Club brush again with a different soap, and this time the brush had no problem holding enough lather for three (very nice) passes. So yesterday’s problem may have been due to the soap, perhaps in connection with this brush. I’ll use yesterday’s soap with a different brush tomorrow and see what obtains.

The RazoRock Black Mamba (in this case with a Gillette Silver Blue blade) did a wonderful job. It is an extremely comfortable razor, but I had no problems in getting a BBS result. Nice heft, cool looks.

A small splash of Ginger’s Garden Suede, and I’m good to go. I do like that aftershave.

Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2015 at 6:42 am

Posted in Shaving

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