Later On

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

Archive for October 26th, 2022

‘Island Syndrome’ – how species change when they move to isolated islands

leave a comment »

McKinley Valentine’s The Whippet often has good articles, and The Whippet #158 has several, including this one on island syndrome:

The Cabot’s Tragopan colours [the subject of the preceding article – LG] reminded me of this – on remote islands, male birds lose their fancy colours and plumage, because it’s a small dating pool and the female birds don’t have any better options. Since there are fewer different species overall, birds also don’t have to bother distinguishing themselves from other species.

Isolated ecosystems – which includes not just islands, but caves, valleys, desert oases and ‘sky islands‘ (isolated mountain-tops) – have fewer predators, less biodiversity and less interspecies competition, so they tend to change in predictable ways:

  • Big animals get smaller (“insular dwarfism”) and small animals get bigger (“insular gigantism”). See: pygmy elephants and coconut crabs.
    With a smaller variety of species, there’s less need for animals to occupy a specific niche, so they all shift towards the middle.
  • Birds and insects lose their wings (see: the kiwi and kakapo) because they don’t need them to escape predators
  • Colours get duller; the male and female of a given species look more alike.
  • Mothers have smaller litters of fitter animals – it’s more about getting one awesome kid to adulthood than having thousands and playing the numbers game.
  • Their brains shrink.
  • They get docile and less territorial (see: the dodo)

Fancy colours, clever brains, big pectoral muscles for flapping wings, hypervigilance – they all take a lot of energy, and animals that waste energy on unnecessary things get out-evolved.

Plants do the same thing – the big ones . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

26 October 2022 at 11:12 am

Rustler’s Ridge and a handle observation

leave a comment »

I just received my order of Rustler’s Ridge from Phoenix Artisan. I bought the CK-6 formula, so the soap is familiar (and top-notch). It was the fragrance that caught my attention:

Top Notes Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Ozone, Prickly Pear
Heart Notes Sage, Animalic Musk
Base Notes Spruce, Cedar

And indeed I like the fragrance a lot — and of course CK-6 lather is superb. 

One thing I don’t like: the tub’s side label does not identify the soap (beyond that it is a CK-6 soap). If you have several CK-6 soaps, as I do, and you stack the tubs, you cannot see which soap is which (except the topmost soap) unless you unstack them — frustrating if you are looking for a particular soap. Other makers (Grooming Dept, Declaration Grooming, Ariana & Evans, and others) identify on the side label the particular soap in the tub. With Phoenix Artisan soaps, I have to make my own labels. — Update: Phoenix Artisan Accoutrement responded to my comment — see this post.

Three passes with an Edwin Jagger head mounted on a stainless steel bulldog handle. During the shave, the handle for some reason seemed exceptionally pleasing. Bullpup handles look much alike — the bulldog design is fairly well standardized, but they do vary. The Fendrihan Mk II’s bulldog handle, for example, feels different from the handle on today’s razor (and also quite good, but definitely different). Luckily, this handle (unlike many) was branded on the base, so I could tell it is the iKon stainless steel bulldog handle. And today I liked it a lot.

The shave went well throughout — the EJ head is wonderful — and a good splash of Rustler’s Ridge aftershave/cologne finished the job.

No tea today — off to get a blood draw. — Back, and I made a pot of Murchie’s Royal Grey: “Currants and cream with a twist of bergamot, a modern take on the timeless Earl Grey.”

Written by Leisureguy

26 October 2022 at 8:58 am

Posted in Shaving

%d bloggers like this: