Later On

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

Archive for December 1st, 2022

Good(bye) Design

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Video by Miki Nemcek, who writes:

Goodbye Design was a passion project of summer 2018. The idea was born when I walked out of a museum a few months ago amazed by a product design exhibition from around ’50s. The geniality of minimal design mixed with used retro flavor and playful accent colors of everyday objects (mainly Braun) were the essentials for the concept of this short movie. Everything is driven by an excellent track from Dirty Art Club which was a perfect match with the rhythmical side of the concept. “Good(bye) Design ” is a reminder of how people slowly lose a relationship with true Good Design. Let’s look back at immortal design icons in this audiovisual experience! Enjoy 😉

Music: Dirty Art Club – Sincerely Yours, the D.A.C.


Written by Leisureguy

1 December 2022 at 8:48 pm

Posted in Art, Video

Letter from a lawyer to Musk (who seems to have bitten off more than he can chew)

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Letter from lawyer to Musk, threatening legal action if Musk does not honor commitments regarding severance.

Written by Leisureguy

1 December 2022 at 8:02 pm

RIP Molly, 4/17/2007-12/1/2022

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A beautiful orange Maine Coon cat, 8 years old, 7 years ago.
Molly, around her 8th birthday, April 2015

Today we said goodbye to Molly, who has been with us since August 2007. She was always a good kitty, very kind and gentle, with a sweet disposition. She was a Maine Coon cat. She suffered some illness in her later years but endured the discomfort with grace. 

Written by Leisureguy

1 December 2022 at 4:21 pm

Posted in Cats, Daily life, Molly

Bipedalism and Tales of Other Evolutionary Oddities

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Six stages of evolution of humans, each stage represented by a figure, showing the increasingly upright posture, with each figure a skeleton.

Telmo Piavani writes the The MIT Press Reader:

You will be hard-pressed to find an animal that has no rudimentary or useless traits: Atrophied eyes, discarded wings, or male breasts, to name just a few of many.

These are all signs of history, legacies of distant relatives, disused structures that evolution will tolerate for a while or will reuse at a later date should they be needed, as in the case of the eyes that can be found below the skin of some moles, or penguin wings used as fins, or insect wings that are repurposed as halteres. From the nucleus of each cell to the architecture of our organs, the human body, too, bears the traces and wounds of a long and contrasting evolutionary history. Naturally, not everything in our bodies serves a purpose, otherwise we would have to ask ourselves why we (and not the Neanderthals) have chins. To look for a function at all costs would be ridiculous. Indeed, despite the beautiful proportions of da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man inscribed within a circle and square, our physique is mainly a compendium of mismatches worthy of Homer Simpson.

In males, for example, what is the point of the urethra passing right through the center of the prostate, whose function is in no way linked to urination? The result is that, when the latter becomes inflamed and enlarged over the years, there is a lot of unnecessary pain. This makes absolutely no sense other than the fact that until recently people did not grow old enough to suffer from such an ailment. It makes no sense, but this is evolution. Imperfection in nature arises from the need to find compromises between different needs and antagonistic selective drives. This means that an advantageous trait can evolve and succeed despite the fact that its owners pay the price in the form of annoying side effects.

The appendix is another good case in point. While recent studies suggest it may have some secondary advantages related to the immune system or could act as a reservoir of good bacteria in case of infections, there were numerous potential anatomical solutions that would have been more efficient and less painful than this one. Today, when needed, we can get by through an emergency operation, but to have a wormlike appendix in our bellies is decidedly a bad idea.

Another such example is the external scrotum. Many mammals have one, including us, and we know that it plays an important role in cooling the testicles for the production of spermatozoa. Nonetheless, many mammals — including elephants, hyraxes, anteaters, dugongs, elephant shrews, and golden moles — have testicles inside their bodies, where they’re far less vulnerable. Thus the external scrotum is useful but not essential.

Concealed ovulation is yet another oddity that we have almost uniquely. Human males do not perceive the moment when females are ready to conceive. In the more reasonable baboons, mandrills, chimpanzees, and bonobos, the female in estrus is recognizable due to the appearance, turgidity, and coloration of her genitals and the emanation of specific odors. This means that even the most obtuse male will sooner or later understand when it is time to do his duty, while in the human species, this does not happen. For us, and a few other species such as the gray langur of Southeast Asia, ovulation is concealed. This all goes to produce a great sense of insecurity in the males, who do not know if their copulation, which is often obtained at a high price, has been successful or not.

The list of evolutionary oddities goes on and on. If you can move your auricula like elephants, it means you have useless but still-functioning muscles in your ears. The caudal vertebrae that are fused together under the pelvis are in fact the remnants of your tail, and the coccyx still serves as a point of attachment for some muscles. Just ask the opinion of anyone who has fallen down the stairs and violently hit the edge of a step. Those who suffer from debilitating back pain well understand the imperfections of human bipedalism, a compendium of locomotor inefficiency that made us human. For a moment, let us consider our strange posture, perhaps the most imperfect of our adaptations.

The Most Imperfect of Revolutions: Walking

The human spine did not evolve out of thin air. The supple spine of a quadruped or brachiator (the preexisting constraint and evolutionary inertia) was straightened out, meaning that the weight of the whole body now rests on a single axis and off-loads on the two legs. As a result, the spine is curved and the vertebrae are subjected to undue pressure. Nerves and muscles have readjusted themselves as far as possible, but not enough to prevent sciatica, hernias, and flat feet. If, after all that effort made to stand upright on its lower limbs, that biped spends all of its days sitting at a desk or in a car, however, we are actively in search of the pain of imperfection.

So why become bipedal? This question is actually  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

1 December 2022 at 11:49 am

Posted in Evolution, Science

Adding Salt to Food Linked to Higher CVD Risk

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This seems like a dead simple idea: don’t add salt to your food and don’t eat salty food (highly processed food, cheese, bread, chips, restaurant food, fast food, pizzas, and so on). The first week, food will taste a little flat, but that can be overcome with (for example) squeezing a lemon over the food, Greek style, or using one of the salt-free herb-and-spice blends sold in the spice section of the supermarket. After a week, the food’s taste will bounce back as your taste buds become acclimated.

Still, what would cardiologists do if people simply followed good practices in diet and exercise? So to benefit the profession, most continue with the Standard American Diet (that’s what they call it “standard”) and avoid effort in all areas.

Sue Hughes writes in Medscape:

A lower frequency of adding salt to food is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly heart failure and ischemic heart disease, a new study has found.

The study analyzed the association of adding salt to food and incident cardiovascular disease risk in 176,570 adults participating in the UK Biobank database.

Results showed that a lower frequency of adding salt to foods was significantly associated with lower risk of total cardiovascular events after adjustment for covariates and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. 

Compared with the group who always added salt to food, those who usually added salt had a 19% reduction in risk of cardiovascular events; those who sometimes added salt had a 21% reduction; and those who rarely or never added salt had a 23% reduction.  


Participants who combined a DASH-style diet with the lowest frequency of adding salt had the lowest cardiovascular risk.


“Our results indicate an additive role of lower salt preference and a healthier diet in cardiovascular disease prevention,” the researchers, led by Hao Ma, MD, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, conclude.

“Adding salt to foods (usually at the table) is a common behavior in the diet of some Western countries and is modifiable through health education,” they note. “Our findings also indicate that behavioral interventions to reduce adding salt to foods may improve cardiovascular health, even in those with a DASH-style diet.”

The study is published in the December 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, available online on November 28.

The authors explain that . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

1 December 2022 at 10:22 am

Cedarwood and the Chieftain

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Shave setup: Plisson High Mountain White silvertip badger brush with horn handle, tub of Cedarwood shaving soap with a brown, wood-grain label, botlle of golden Red Cedar aftershave lotion, and in front the Vikings Blade Chieftain double-edge turn-to-open razor

The pleasure of my morning shave has not paled, and today’s shave — excellent and enjoyable — was an example of how every day begins with a pleasurable ritual. That Plisson HMW 12 brush with the horn handle seems to have improved over the years, the knot a lush pillow on my face, and this morning filled with the fragrance of Grooming Dept Cedarwood shaving soap, whose fragrance is indeed very fine. 

Scent Ingredients: Orange EO, Grapefruit EO, Ginger Lily EO, Ginger EO, Pink Pepper EO, Geranium Absolute, Rose Absolute, Howood EO, Siam Wood EO, Benzoin Resin, Carrot Seed EO, Alaska Cedarwood EO, Hiba (Japanese Cedarwood) EO, Port Orford Cedarwood EO, Styrax, Muhuhu EO, Himalayan Cedarwood EO, Virginia Cedarwood EO. Texas Hill Country Cedarwood EO, Atlas Cedarwood Absolute. Vetiver Absolute, Patchouli EO, Vanilla Co2 extract, Tonka Bean Absolute.

The soap is in his Nai (vegan) formula, whose ingredients can be seen on the soap’s page. Grooming Dept soaps, once available, sell out quickly. If I get any advance notice of the next release, I’ll let you know.

Three passes with my Vikings Blade Chieftain — a really excellent razor, and now on sale for $19 (not an affiliate link, just pointing to a bargain price on a fine razor) — left my face as smooth as one could desire, and a splash of the wonderful Anthony Gold Red Cedar Aftershave Lotion finished the job. 

The tea this morning is Murchie’s No. 10 Blend: “a mild, sweet combination of Gunpowder and Jasmine greens and Keemun and Ceylon black teas.”

Written by Leisureguy

1 December 2022 at 10:08 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

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