Later On

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

Archive for November 25th, 2022

The Most Commonly Spoken Language in Every U.S. State (Besides English and Spanish)

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Again via Conrad Hackett, from Visual Capitalist:

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2022 at 7:49 pm

Posted in Daily life

From lab to jab: Development time for vaccines

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Another chart from Conrad Hackett. (I’m following him on Mastodon:

Article and source of chart

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2022 at 6:20 pm

Posted in Daily life, Medical, Science

Per country: Health spending vs. longevity

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Conrad Hackett posts on Mastodon:

Here’s a scatterplot of health spending per capita (x axis) and life expectancy (y axis) in OECD countries. The lines represent averages.

One country sits alone in the bottom right quadrant due to its much higher health spending and below-average life expectancy.


Scatterplot showing averages by country of health spending vs. longevity. The trend is strongly that greater spending means greater longevity, with the US as outlier: great spending, low longevity.

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2022 at 5:06 pm


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From a Mastodon post:

Aired only once in 1998 on the live SNL show for which it was written and effectively banned and never aired again.

I wonder why.

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2022 at 3:11 pm

In the US, violent crime is down, not up

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Check it out. (Trigger warning: Charts and graphs at link.)

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2022 at 2:38 pm

How not to say the wrong thing

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Susan Silk and Barry Goldman write in the LA Times (no paywall):

When Susan had breast cancer, we heard a lot of lame remarks, but our favorite came from one of Susan’s colleagues. She wanted, she needed, to visit Susan after the surgery, but Susan didn’t feel like having visitors, and she said so. Her colleague’s response? “This isn’t just about you.”

“It’s not?” Susan wondered. “My breast cancer is not about me? It’s about you?”

The same theme came up again when our friend Katie had a brain aneurysm. She was in intensive care for a long time and finally got out and into a step-down unit. She was no longer covered with tubes and lines and monitors, but she was still in rough shape. A friend came and saw her and then stepped into the hall with Katie’s husband, Pat. “I wasn’t prepared for this,” she told him. “I don’t know if I can handle it.”

This woman loves Katie, and she said what she did because the sight of Katie in this condition moved her so deeply. But it was the wrong thing to say. And it was wrong in the same way Susan’s colleague’s remark was wrong.

Susan has since developed a simple technique to help people avoid this mistake. It works for all kinds of crises: medical, legal, financial, romantic, even existential. She calls it the Ring Theory.
Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. For Katie’s aneurysm, that’s Katie. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma. In the case of Katie’s aneurysm, that was Katie’s husband, Pat. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order. One of Susan’s patients found it useful to tape it to her refrigerator.

Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can . . .

Continue reading. (no paywall)

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2022 at 2:34 pm

Posted in Daily life, Medical

A Parasite Massively Improves A Wolf’s Chances Of Leading The Pack

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Rachell Funnel writes in IFLScience:

There’s a parasite at work among packs of grey wolves in America’s Yellowstone National Park, and bizarrely, the animals it infects have a far greater chance of leading their pack compared to wolves who have swerved infection. The culprit? Toxoplasma gondii – the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis, a disease we can pick up from infected feces and undercooked meat.

T. gondii is a strange parasite, having been associated with risk-taking behaviors in human hosts as well as animals. Research has linked infection with the parasite to certain political views, and even suggested it can make you more attractive to others. Now, a study has found it could have unexpected benefits for wolves with big ambition, too.

The research looked at grey wolves (Canis lupus) living in Yellowstone, Wyoming, to see if or how infection with T. gondii influences wolf behavior. Armed with 26-years-worth of data and blood samples from 229 wolves, they were able to look for correlations between geography, behavior, and infection status.

Yellowstone is also home to cougars (Puma concolor) who are known to carry the parasite, and sure enough, wolves living in close proximity to pumas were more likely to be infected. Curiously, the analyses also showed that infection with the T. gondii parasite made the wolves much bolder. . .

Continue reading.

T. gondii also commonly infects housecats, and mice can get the parasite, which changes their behavior to be more foolhardy, thus making them easier prey for the cats.  More info here.

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2022 at 11:53 am

The Spoon Theory to explain the experience of illness

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Christine Miserandino has a good analogy and explanation of what it’s like to suffer a chronic illness:

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.

As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have Lupus and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about Lupus. She came to doctors with me, she saw me walk with a cane, and throw up in the bathroom. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know?

I started to ramble on about pills, and aches and pains, but she kept pursuing, and didn’t seem satisfied with my answers. I was a little surprised as being my roommate in college and friend for years; I thought she already knew the medical definition of Lupus. Then she looked at me with a face every sick person knows well, the face of pure curiosity about something no one healthy can truly understand. She asked what it felt like, not physically, but what it felt like to be me, to be sick.

As I tried to gain my composure, I glanced around the table for help or guidance, or at least stall for time to think. I was trying to find the right words. How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try.

At that moment, the spoon theory was born. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2022 at 9:56 am

Rustler’s Ridge and the RazoRock Game Changer

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Shaving setup with long-handled silvertip badger shaving brush, a tub of shaving soap and aftershave, and in front a double-edged razor with a barberpole-design handle.

I do like Phoenix Artisan’s Rustler’s Ridge:

Top Notes MadagascarVanilla Bean, Ozone, Prickly Pear, 
Heart Notes Sage, Animalic Musk, 
Base Notes Spruce, Cedar.

That it’s the CK-6 formula is the icing on the cake. Also nice: it’s a 5-oz tub instead of the usual 4-oz — 20% more.

My Copper Hat silvertip made a luscious lather, and RazoRock’s Game Changer .84-P, here with the barberpole handle, is a superb razor. Today’s shave produced a perfectly smooth result.

A splash of Rustler’s Ridge cologne/aftershave, and the day is underway.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Storm Watcher

Contains: Yunnan and Ceylon
Tasting Notes: Full-bodied with low astringency, a selection of tea terroirs blended for a brisk, satisfying mug. Slightly smoky with toasted malty notes.


Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2022 at 9:16 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

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