Later On

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

Archive for December 26th, 2015

On-going environmental disaster in LA

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Melissa Cronin reports in Motherboard:

One of the biggest environmental disasters in US history is happening right now, and you’ve probably never heard of it.

An enormous amount of harmful methane gas is currently erupting from an energy facility in Aliso County, California, at a startling rate of 110,000 pounds per hour. The gas, which carries with it the stench of rotting eggs, has led to the evacuation 1,700 homes so far. Many residents have already filed lawsuits against the company that owns the facility, the Southern California Gas Company.

Footage taken on December 17 shows a geyser of methane gas spewing from the Earth, visible by a specialized infrared camera operated by an Earthworks ITC-certified thermographer. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) released the footage last week, calling it “one of the biggest leaks we’ve ever seen reported” and “absolutely uncontained”

Continue reading.

Methane has 25 times the greenhouse effect as CO2.

Written by Leisureguy

26 December 2015 at 2:55 pm

Some amazing giant-squid videos

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Check ’em out.

Written by Leisureguy

26 December 2015 at 2:47 pm

Posted in Science, Video

Fewer than 40 percent of high-school graduates are ready for college level work

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That’s a minority. From this NY Times article by Motoko Rich:

. . . “Does that diploma guarantee them a hope for a life where they can support a family?” asked Melanie D. Barton, the executive director of the Education Oversight Committee in South Carolina, a legislative agency. Particularly in districts where student achievement is very low, she said, “I really don’t see it.”

Few question that in today’s economy, finishing high school is vital, given that the availability of jobs for those without a diploma has dwindled. The Obama administration has hailed the rising graduation rate, saying schools are expanding opportunities for students to succeed. Earlier this month, the Department of Education announced that the national graduation rate hit 82 percent in 2013-14, the highest on record.

But “the goal is not just high school graduation,” Arne Duncan, the departing secretary of education, said in a telephone interview. “The goal is being truly college and career ready.”

The most recent evaluation of 12th graders on a national test of reading and math found that fewer than 40 percent were ready for college level work. College remediation and dropout rates remain stubbornly high, particularly at two-year institutions, where fewer than a third who enroll complete a degree even within three years.

In South Carolina, even with a statewide high school graduation rate of 80.3 percent, some business leaders worry that not enough students have the abilities they need for higher-skilled jobs at Boeing, Volvo and BMW, which have built plants here in recent years. What is more, they say, students need to be able to collaborate and communicate effectively, skills they say high schools do not always teach. . .

Written by Leisureguy

26 December 2015 at 2:38 pm

El Capitan (OS X) kills a capability: Easy volume control bites the dust

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I could not adjust my computer speakers’ volume after installing El Capitan, and the hard-wired keys did not work. Also, the mute button is no longer a toggle—???—and you have to use a separate key: the form toggle is not simply “Mute” and no matter how much you press it, “mute” is what you get. To get sound, you press the volume key (either) and that turns mute off, if it’s on, and otherwise has no effect: an “on” button.

Change this big is deliberate, and the only reason I can think of is that Apple plans to sell a little app through the App Store that will restore the previous functionality: a forced add-on.

We’ll see.

In the meantime, if you want to send feedback, be my guest. Apple set up that feedback form so that it could know how customers respond to their products. Let them know, if you’re inclined. It would be interesting to see a major corporation have to back down due to customer protest.

Written by Leisureguy

26 December 2015 at 1:12 pm

The internet and politics make strange bedfellows

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Amazing but inevitable: meme evolution is fast (meme as defined in Chapter 11 of The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins).

Written by Leisureguy

26 December 2015 at 1:01 pm

Boxing Day Shave Excellence with Dr. Jon’s and the Above the Tie S1

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SOTD 26 Dec 2015

A very fine and pleasant shave. I love the summer fragrance of Dr. Jon’s Savannah Sunrise, and the Copper Hat shaving brush produced today an excellent lather.

This morning I used my Above the Tie S1, which I think is just as good as the iKon #102. I have the S1 head riding on a UFO handle that I like a lot. (BTW, if you’ve not read Todd Oppenheimer’s article on Above the Tie in Craftsmanship magazine, I highly recommend it.)

A good splash of Floïd aftershave finishes the shave in fine style.

Written by Leisureguy

26 December 2015 at 9:24 am

Posted in Shaving

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