Later On

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

Archive for February 7th, 2018

Trump does not wear a wig: it’s a complex comb-over, revealed by the wind

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Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2018 at 2:04 pm

The U.S. county that buys the least healthful groceries

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Caitlin Dewey reports in the Washington Post:

The 4,500 people of Musselshell County, Mont., collectively buy the least healthful groceries of any county in the United States. Their baskets are loaded with fat and sugar, Nielsen data show. They aren’t big on fiber or protein.

There’s a debate among economists and public health advocates over why communities like Musselshell tend to eat so poorly. For years, advocates have argued that it’s largely a problem of access: Consumers eat junk because they can’t afford healthful foods or find them in their communities. Now, an emerging body of research suggests that some groups of consumers may simply be less interested than others in buying healthful groceries.

According to a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, those groups include consumers who make less money, have less education, possess lower levels of nutrition knowledge and live in certain geographic areas — such as south central Montana.

“Economists have a problem with the word ‘culture,’ ” said Hunt Allcott, an economist at New York University and the paper’s lead author. But an area’s food culture, he acknowledged, “could make a big difference in the formation of food preferences.”

Allcott and his colleagues didn’t necessarily set out to study food culture. (Or to call out Musselshell, which their data indicates is the country’s least healthy county, according to grocery purchases.)

Their paper, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, analyzed 12 years of Nielsen grocery purchase data from 100,000 households across the United States, looking for patterns that explain why low-income and high-income families buy such different foods.

Economists and public health advocates have long known that high-income households tend to buy more fruits, vegetables and proteins, and that a large dietary discrepancy exists between the rich and poor. The exact mechanisms of this gap are less clear, however. They can’t be entirely explained by the cost or availability of food.

For this paper, Allcott and his colleagues analyzed what happened to a household’s food purchases when a new, full-service grocery store opened in the neighborhood, or when the household moved from “food deserts” to areas with more abundant grocery options. But even major changes in a household’s immediate food environment, the paper found, had a limited impact on the foods that people purchased.

Instead, the economists write, there appears to be a great deal of variation in demand for healthful foods. And those big demand gaps tend to correlate with other, fairly predictable characteristics, such as income, education, nutrition knowledge — and geographic region.

The map below shows how unhealthy counties tend to cluster in the south central states. Each county is colored according to its “average health index,” a standardized measure of grocery nutrition based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, with darker shades representing the least healthful food purchases.

Among the healthiest counties: New York County, N.Y.; Pitkin County, Colo.; and Iroquois County, Ill. Among the least healthy: Menominee County, Wis.; Turner County, Ga.; McNairy County, Tenn.; and, of course, Musselshell. . .

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Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2018 at 2:03 pm

Kevin Drum suggests that reporters and columnists stop lying about money

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But they won’t, I believe. Drum writes:

Why do I drone on and on about reporters who don’t adjust for inflation when they show dollar figures over time? Well, consider the following sentence from the first op-ed that hack economist Stephen Moore wrote as a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board:

In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan chopped the highest personal income tax rate from the confiscatory 70% rate that he inherited when he entered office to 28% when he left office and the resulting economic burst caused federal tax receipts to almost precisely double: from $517 billion to $1,032 billion.

This is wrong. Partly that’s because Moore didn’t even use figures from Reagan’s first and last years in office. But mainly it’s because he didn’t account for inflation or population growth. Once you do that, it turns out that federal tax receipts actually went up 14 percent on Reagan’s watch, or 1.7 percent per year:

Moore’s statement isn’t  just wrong. It’s a lie because he knew perfectly well it was wrong and said it anyway—and I savaged him for it at the time. But if it’s wrong for Stephen Moore, it’s wrong for everyone else too. And just like Moore, if you know better, it’s a lie. My goal is to make sure that everyone knows better so that we’ll all stop lying, either deliberately or otherwise.

Unless you have a very specific, technical reason for using nominal dollars—and they exist!—always adjust for inflation. Generally speaking, you should usually adjust for population growth too. Stop lying!

Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2018 at 12:43 pm

Posted in Business, Government, Math, Media

Simpson Chubby 1 Best, La Toja, and the iKon DLC-coated slant

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I tried the Chubby in Super, but it was too stiff for me, though some like that sort of brush. This morning it worked up a very nice lather from the La Toja shave stick.

iKon switched from the DLC coating to their B1 coating shortly after I bought this brush, the B1 coating being much tougher. However, I’ve had no problems with my DLC coating. The handle you see is the Above the Tie Kronos.

I loaded the razor with a Derby Extra blade. I shaved lightly but still got a couple of nicks. This razor is not so comfortable for me as the other iKons (X3 and 102), but it’s still pretty good. I would rate the Fine aluminum slant as more comfortable (for me) and not so prone to nick.

Still, a good shave and I do have My Nik Is Sealed. A splash of La Toja aftershave then finished the job.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2018 at 11:02 am

Posted in Shaving

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