Later On

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

Archive for July 18th, 2022

People in Republican Counties Have Higher Death Rates Than Those in Democratic Counties

leave a comment »

Lydia Denworth reports in the Scientific American:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the link between politics and health became glaringly obvious. Democrat-leaning “blue” states were more likely to enact mask requirements and vaccine and social distancing mandates. Republican-leaning “red” states were much more resistant to health measures. The consequences of those differences emerged by the end of 2020, when rates of hospitalization and death from COVID rose in conservative counties and dropped in liberal ones. That divergence continued through 2021, when vaccines became widely available. And although the highly transmissible Omicron variant narrowed the gap in infection rates, hospitalization and death rates, which are dramatically reduced by vaccines, remain higher in Republican-leaning parts of the country.

But COVID is only the latest chapter in the story of politics and health. “COVID has really magnified what had already been brewing in American society, which was that, based on where you lived, your risk of death was much different,” says Haider J. Warraich, a physician and researcher at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

In a study published in June in The BMJ, Warraich and his colleagues showed that over the two decades prior to the pandemic, there was a growing gap in mortality rates for residents of Republican and Democratic counties across the U.S. In 2001, the study’s starting point, the risk of death among red and blue counties (as defined by the results of presidential elections) was similar. Overall, the U.S. mortality rate has decreased in the nearly two decades since then (albeit not as much as in most other high-income countries). But the improvement for those living in Republican counties by 2019 was half that of those in Democratic counties—11 percent lower versus 22 percent lower. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

18 July 2022 at 2:59 pm

How Big Meat Manipulated the Science

leave a comment »

Written by Leisureguy

18 July 2022 at 9:15 am

With soaring gas prices, some EVs now pay for themselves in a year

leave a comment »

James Pothen reports in Fast Company:

Pavel Molchanov did the math so you don’t have to. He’s been analyzing numbers at Raymond James, the financial services firm, for nearly 20 years. As SVP and an analyst on the energy research team, he gives clear-eyed advice to investors, free of politics and marketing. His advice? Buy an electric car.

“What I wanted to do is provide a comparison of the economics of electric vehicle ownership based on today’s fuel prices versus what they were a year ago,” Molchanov told Inside Climate News. “Because with hundred dollar oil, as a result of the war, we understand intuitively that an [electric vehicle] makes more sense the higher oil prices get.”

Most of us think of gasoline prices in terms of dollars per gallon, not dollars per barrel. Luckily, when Molchanov did his analysis, he used numbers even English majors could understand. A gallon of gas cost $3.10 in 2021, according to the Energy Information Administration. That same gallon costs a lot more this year, and Molchanov doesn’t expect things to get better. He expects the average cost for 2022 to be about $4.50 per gallon. But while gas prices have jumped about 45%, Molchanov expects electricity costs to increase in 2022 by just 6%, from 13.7 to 14.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). It suddenly got a lot cheaper to charge a battery than fill up a gas tank.

Here’s why those energy prices matter: If you buy a new car today, you are going to pay more for an electric vehicle than for a comparable gas-powered car. But as you drive that electric car, you will end up paying much less money to keep it running.

There are two reasons why EVs are cheaper to operate. The first is that they have fewer moving parts and don’t require oil changes, making them less expensive to maintain. The second has to do with fuel: the cost of fully recharging the EV with electricity is less than filling up a car with gas. Those combined savings add up to eventually cover the difference in sticker price between an EV and a gasoline-powered vehicle.

“The economics of an EV for an average driver have become two times better,” said Molchanov. “So the payback period a year ago [was] between 10 and 12 years. And today it’s between five and six years.”

He’s basing this on estimates of the costs in 2021 and 2022 for a new Nissan Sentra that runs on gasoline, and a Nissan Leaf, which is all electric. This includes  . . .

Continue reading.

Obviously, the payback would be even faster for the $25,900 Aptera.

Written by Leisureguy

18 July 2022 at 9:03 am

A “Jenny kiss’d me” shave

with 4 comments

Today’s shave began extremely well, with a fine lather from Grooming Dept Vertu, raised by my Copper Hat silvertip brush with its Delrin® handle. Vertu uses his Nai formula, and the fragrance is very much my line of country: “Scent Notes: – Chocolate, Osmanthus, Cognac, Castoreum, Patchouli, Tonka, and Vanilla.” Like many soaps with vanilla, the puck is brown and the brush looks a creamy beige when it’s loaded. Once I worked up the lather, though, it was creamy white, and with such a good fragrance and feel. I’m sure the double-vanilla hit (Tonka and Vanilla) helped — I’m a sucker for vanilla.

Then I set to work with my Fine Accoutrements aluminum slant. I was enjoying it so much, now that I have learned its best angle, and a poem by Leigh Hunt, “Jenny Kiss’d Me,” popped into my mind:

Jenny kiss’d me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss’d me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss’d me.

Not only did Jenny kiss me, but I also had the great fortune of buying one of these razors during the short time they were available. I don’t know that Fine will again offer this model — I gather that its creation involved a lot of work and not a little luck — but I have one. Say I’m weary, say I’m sad, say that health and wealth have miss’ed me, saying I’m growing old, but add, Jenny kissed me and I have a Fine aluminum slant.

The poem came to mind because for a year or two I made it a point to memorize a new poem every week, and this was one of them. (It just struck me: I could have used Anki to help with my memorizing — spaced repetition would have helped a lot. Maybe I’ll resume the practice.) It turns out that knowing some poetry by heart is satisfying and can brighten a day, just as the memory of this poem brightened this day.

Three passes provided perfect smoothness — helped, I’m sure, by the application of Grooming Dept Moisturizing Pre-Shave. Then a small splash of Saint Charles Shave Bulgarian Rose aftershave, with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel, and I’m ready for the (bright, sunny) day. This aftershave uses true Bulgarian rose oil, an expensive ingredient because of the great number of roses required for a tiny amount of oil.

Bulgarian roses

The Bulgarian Rose has a deep and strong aroma and from its flower we produce the finest rose oil.  The gathering of the rose petals is a very delicate and labor-intensive process as it is done by hand while exercising great care.  This occurs in the early hours of the morning, just as the flowers are blossoming and the essential oil they contain is as its highest concentration. Over 3000 kilograms of hand-picked rose petals are needed to produce just 1 kilogram of rose oil. [3 tons petals = 2 pounds rose oil! – LG]

Referred to as “liquid gold”, for its unique properties and high price, the rose oil is a natural elixir with uncountable list of benefits.  It contains minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, which have calming, anti-inflammatory and nourishing effects.  Maintains high levels of hydration of the skin, while making it soft and tender to the touch.  Aromatherapy with rose oil reduces the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and has a positive effect on depressive states.  

Another source lists some perfumes that use Bulgarian rose oil:

Bulgarian rose essential oil is the indispensable ingredient in many world-famous perfumes. CHANEL COCO, DIOR Addict, LANCOME Magie Noire, ESTEE LAUDER White Linen Breeze, ELIZABETH ARDEN Brilliant White Diamonds, Flower by KENZO, Classique by JEAN PAUL GAULTIER, Y by YVES SAINT LAURENT, Faberge by FABERGE, Lauren by RALPH LAUREN, Vera Wang Perfume by VERA WANG, Green Tea by BVLGARI, Ultraviolet by PACO RABANNE are just a few examples.

No tea till later. Getting a fasting blood draw today.

Update: I’m back, and this morning’s tea is Murchie’s Keemun Extra Superior: “The Anhui province of China is home of the original tea gardens. The soil and climate conditions create teas that are naturally lower in caffeine than other fully fermented teas. Keemun teas are known for their complex characters and are often referred to as the “Burgundy of Teas”.”

Extremely good phlebotomist — I literally (i.e., not figuratively) did not feel a thing, either when needle went in, samples taken, or needle removed. Amazing.

Written by Leisureguy

18 July 2022 at 8:51 am

Posted in Shaving

%d bloggers like this: