Later On

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

Archive for March 2023

Peanut noodles recipe

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This brief recipe video on Reddit looks good. The Secret Peanut Sauce is, unfortunately, no longer a secret since she posted the recipe on the internet (something that’s not a good idea for secrets). Here are the sauce ingredients so you can copy and paste. The video shows powdered garlic and ginger, but I would recommend (and will use) crushed or minced fresh garlic and freshly grated ginger. For one thing, those taste better. For another, they have more nutritional value.

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tsp sriracha
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp ginger

Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2023 at 5:59 pm

Why Are (White) Men So Unambitious?

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I found Anne Helen Petersen’s essay very interesting. She writes:

When I was in college, every woman I knew studied abroad for at least a semester, if not the full year. I’m not being hyperbolic here: every woman I knew with any level of intimacy studied abroad. They were majoring in everything from Biology to Art History, and they studied in Sri Lanka and Ecuador and Vietnam and New Zealand and, like me, France. Studying abroad was highly encouraged at my college, and facilitated by the fact that your scholarship dollars transferred if you went to one of a half dozen or so affiliated programs; in many cases, studying abroad was significantly cheaper than paying for a full semester on campus.

And yet: I could count the number of men I knew who studied abroad on two hands. Some cited their major, but many of them were majoring in the same subjects as the women I knew who’d made it work. Others hadn’t planned their schedules and credits starting sophomore or even freshman year in a way that would make it happen. But a lot just….didn’t want to. At the time, I chalked it up to norms at the college. But earlier this week, that observation returned to me within a much larger context.

I was listening to Ezra Klein’s interview with Richard Reeves, economist and author of Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male is Struggling, Why it Matters, and What to Do About ItThe title sounds very, like, “why will no one cry tears for all the dudes,” and most of the interview is structured by Klein asking Reeves “women and people of color have been ‘struggling’ for decades and centuries, so why should we be upset the first time they outpace white men?”

I share that perspective, but like Reeves, I also think it’s worth thinking about the ways in which men (of all races, but white men in particular) have “fallen behind” on some of the key indicators of future success. For instance: when Title IX was passed in 1972, there was a thirteen-point gap between the percentage of men with higher ed degrees and the percentage of women. Today, there is a fifteenpoint gap — only now, it’s in women’s favor.

Girls also have higher high school GPAs across the board, even as girls and boys score about the same on standardized testing. Reeves points to research that has shown that boys are more “sensitive” (as in, more profoundly affected) by environment — poverty, family instability, and neighborhood are more likely to have significant negative effects on boys than girls across racial categories. (Reeves uses a concept from psychology to illustrate this: Boys are more like orchids [highly sensitive to environment] and girls are more like dandelions [figure out how to survive anywhere]).

Reeves refers to the college and GPA stats as “big data points” that point to a general decline in men’s achievement. But he also highlights a whole bunch of “small data points.” Including: women are twice as likely to study abroad. (In 2016-2017, two-thirds of American students studying abroad were women) and twice as likely to serve in AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps, while men are more likely than women to live at home. Reeves doesn’t mention this, but women are also more likely to go to grad school: in 2019, there were 695,616 Master’s Degrees conferred in the United States; 63% of those went to women. . .

Continue reading. It gets even more interesting when later in the article, she writes:

So what’s going on here? . . .

and then suggests some plausible answers.

Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2023 at 1:49 pm

Trans people deserve better journalism

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Aja Romano writes in Vox:

It’s true that conversations pertinent to trans people and trans identity are ongoing and evolving, and yes, often confusing. One of the downsides of living in a society that’s built around a pretty rigid gender binary is that it’s often extremely hard for anyone, sometimes even trans people, to push beyond that binary and see the possibilities of a world of many vast and varied expressions of gender. Doing so requires a paradigm shift, a sort of human software upgrade.

Now add to this murky existential territory all of the insidious myths that circulate about the modern trans movement: that trans kids are transitioning at alarming rates, that trans activists are pushier and angrier than ever, and that doctors with a scary agenda are forcing risky, dangerous medical care on unsuspecting children and parents. It might be easy to believe such reports; after all, major, reputable media outlets like the New York Times have been publishing journalism arguing these very concerns.

As far as trans health care is concerned, however, the medical consensus is well-established: Nearly a dozen major medical associations, including the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics support and recommend gender-affirmative care.

Yet the specific arguments about this care that make it into many mainstream media outlets result in stories that undermine the experts, stemming not from legitimate concerns but from a larger orchestrated push by the far right to mainstream transphobia.

Journalists are failing at more than just reporting on the science. Mainstream publications like the Times increasingly follow the lead of anti-trans agitators, treating what should be understood as a fundamental human rights battle more like a semantic “debate,” fixating on terminology and labels and medical minutiae, instead of humanizing trans and nonbinary people and their experiences. In fact, this has become such a contentious pattern at the Times that this February, contributors and members of the Times’s staff posted an open letter protesting the paper’s escalating bias toward anti-trans talking points and pointing out many of these tactics.

When reached for comment, a Times spokesperson told Vox in an email, “As an  . . .

Continue reading. This is a long article about a serious problem in journalism in general and the NY Times in particular.

Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2023 at 1:41 pm

More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows

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Credit: Jen Christiansen; Sources: “Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the October 7, 1993; “Suicide in the Home in Relation to Gun Ownership,” by Arthur L. Kellermann et al., in New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 327, No. 7; August 13, 1992; “Homicide and Suicide Risks Associated with Firearms in the Home: A National Case-Control Study,” by Douglas J. Wiebe, in Annals of Emergency Medicine, Vol 41, No. 6; June 2003

Melinda Wenner Moyer wrote in Scientific American in 2017:

  • The claim that gun ownership stops crime is common in the U.S., and that belief drives laws that make it easy to own and keep firearms.
  • But about 30 careful studies show more guns are linked to more crimes: murders, rapes, and others. Far less research shows that guns help.
  • Interviews with people in heavily gun-owning towns show they are not as wedded to the crime defense idea as the gun lobby claims.

Editor’s Note (6/23/22): The Supreme Court has ruled that a New York State law that restricted individuals from carrying concealed guns in public without “proper cause” is unconstitutional on the grounds of the Second Amendment. The decision comes amid a debate over gun control on the heels of multiple mass shootings in the country.

After I pulled the trigger and recovered from the recoil, I slowly refocused my eyes on the target. There it was—a tiny but distinct circle next to the zombie’s eye, the first bullet hole I’d ever made. I looked down at the shaking Glock 19 in my hands. A swift and strong emotional transformation swept over me. In seconds, I went from feeling nervous, even terrified, to exhilarated and unassailable—and right then I understood why millions of Americans believe guns keep them safe.

I was standing in a shooting range 15 miles south of Kennesaw, Ga., a place known as “America’s Gun City” because of a law requiring residents to own firearms. It was day two of a four-day road trip I’d embarked on to investigate a controversial and popular claim made by the gun lobby: that more guns protect more people from crime.

Guns took more than 36,000 U.S. lives in 2015, and this and other alarming statistics have led many to ask whether our nation would be better off with firearms in fewer hands. Yet gun advocates argue exactly the opposite: that murders, crimes and mass shootings happen because there aren’t enough guns in enough places. Arming more people will make our country safer and more peaceful, they say, because criminals won’t cause trouble if they know they are surrounded by gun-toting good guys.

After all, since 1991 Americans have acquired 170 million new guns while murder rates have plummeted, according to the National Rifle Association of America (NRA). Donald Trump, when running for president, said of the 2015 shooting massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., that “if we had guns in California on the other side, where the bullets went in the different direction, you wouldn’t have 14 or 15 people dead right now.” Mike Watkins, a cop–turned–firearm instructor at the Kennesaw range, put it this way: “If I’m a bad guy, and I know this place has guns, it’s not a place I’m obviously going to want to go and do something bad.”

Is there truth to this claim? An ideal experiment would be an interventional study in which scientists would track what happened for several years after guns were given to gun-free communities and everything else was kept the same. But alas, there are no gun-free U.S. communities, and the ethics of doing such a study are dubious. So instead scientists compare what happens to gun-toting people, in gun-dense regions, with what happens to people and places with few firearms. They also study whether crime victims are more or less likely to own guns than others, and they track what transpires when laws make it easier for people to carry guns or use them for self-defense.

Most of this research—and there have been several dozen peer-reviewed studies—punctures the idea that guns stop violence. In a 2015 study using data from the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University reported that firearm assaults were 6.8 times more common in the states with the most guns versus those with the least. Also in 2015 a combined analysis of 15 different studies found that people who had access to firearms at home were nearly twice as likely to be murdered as people who did not.

This evidence has been slow to accumulate because of restrictions placed by Congress on one of the country’s biggest injury research funders, the CDC. Since the mid-1990s the agency has been effectively blocked from supporting gun violence research. And the NRA and many gun owners have emphasized a small handful of studies that point the other way.

I grew up in Georgia, so I decided to travel around that state and in Alabama, where the belief that guns save good people is sewn into the fabric of everyday life. I wanted to get a read on the science and listen to people with relevant experience: cops, elected officials, gun owners, injury researchers and firearm experts such as Watkins, who stood by my side as I pulled the Glock’s trigger. . .

Continue reading. It’s interesting.

Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2023 at 11:28 am

The Play Gap

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A boy in a yard or vacant lot sitting on a wooden platform playing with drumsticks on upside-down plastic buckets.
With a pittance of funding, the Providence PlayCorps has built summer playgrounds in the inner city of Providence, Rhode Island. A case can be made that playgrounds like these, built mostly of discarded ”loose parts,” are more creative, more fun, and more educational than their fancy counterparts in wealthier neighborhoods.

Todd Oppenheimer reported in 2016 and updated the report in 2019, and it’s still relevant now. Why don’t all cities do this? (It isn’t because of budget restraints.)

Several years ago, Janice O’Donnell, longtime director of the Providence Children’s Museum in Rhode Island, conducted a survey of public school superintendents in her community to see how much recess time was available to students. Virtually everyone who responded said they considered recess important, but only a tiny percentage of the schools actually offered it anymore. When O’Donnell started looking into why this was happening, not only in Rhode Island but elsewhere in the country, she was stunned by what she learned.

Over the last 15 to 20 years, many teachers felt their students no longer had time for recess. With the increased emphasis put on standardized testing, their primary job now was to make sure students got high scores. Playtime could be handled after school. At other schools, especially those in crowded inner-city neighborhoods, there was no longer any space for playgrounds, or even a basketball hoop. Among those schools who could and did offer recess, many teachers used it for leverage with difficult students. If students misbehaved, or didn’t finish their work, they had to stay in class during recess. And the pattern in low-income urban communities was the worst.

In many inner-city neighborhoods, after-school playtime has become a fiction. “Half these kids end up in after-school programs for homework help,” O’Donnell told me. The supervisors assigned to these programs, she added, are typically unskilled; students therefore tend to make little progress with the work, which means they continually get assigned more of it. Those who aren’t in after-school study halls often go to schools with few other after-school programs, such as organized sports. In the most marginalized communities, once these youngsters get home, the options are even bleeker. The adults in the family are either working, or absent entirely. “They can’t roam their neighborhoods,” O’Donnell says, “so they’re on their screens.”

In the meantime, other opportunities for growth in school were shrinking as well. To allow more time for serious study, subjects such as music and art were being dropped. In some cases, even science classes were getting cut, because the new federal education law only monitored math and reading.

Schools with formal Physical Education programs don’t necessarily fill these gaps, either. In 2007, in a survey of 1,005 schools, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that physical activity during PE isn’t a robust as we might think. When opportunities for activity were compared between PE, recess, and after-school programs, recess won. It commanded 42 percent of a youngster’s chances to be active, as compared with PE, which came in at 32 percent. (After-school activities were lower still, at 26 percent.)

As time went on, O’Donnell noticed the growing mound of literature supporting the importance of recess, along with other opportunities for free play. The studies showed that active, open-ended play not only makes for happier, calmer kids, it also is critical to our full development—intellectually, physically, and emotionally.

The irony in that finding was certainly not lost on O’Donnell, or on the large number of experts in child development who study American education. Here we have a system intent on improving student’s abilities in subjects like math and reading by spending more time on those subjects in younger years; in the process, we sideline the very exercises that might build up our capacities to use math and reading in the richest ways.

Adding to that irony is yet another one: As the world’s challenges grow, so must our . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2023 at 11:23 am

Is Apotheosis shaving soap truly the apotheosis of shaving soap?

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Stylized as a painting, a photo of a shaving brush with butterscotch base and white handle and bristles stands next to a tub of shaving soap labeled "Apotheosis" with a painting of a woman in a dance, en pointe with a leg extended, against a multi-colored background. Next is a transparent bottle with a white cap. The upper half of the label is red with white letters. The first line is "Speick", the second (in smaller letters) "Men." The bottom half of the label is blue with small white letters at the bottom that read "After Shave Lotion." In front is chrome adjustable DE razor lying on its side.

Labeling one’s shaving soap Apotheosis takes a certain amount of chutzpah. A more modest approach would be to put the soap out there to allow others to decide. For example, I have acclaimed the RazoRock MJ-90A as the apotheosis of the Edwin Jagger razor, as I noted four years ago, providing my rationale. 

So I was interested to see what this soap had to offer. The packaging certainly is fine, and I like the illustration. And the soap, 345 Soap Company’s Trinity formula, really is excellent:

 Stearic Acid, Beef Tallow, Milks of Donkey, Camel, & Goat, Shea butter, Coconut oil, Palm oil, Potassium hydroxide, Distilled water, Castor oil, Sodium hydroxide, Glycerin, Grapeseed oil, Cocoa butter, Yogurt, Lanolin, Apricot oil, Almond oil, Jojoba oil, Capuaça butter, Murumuru butter, Kokum butter, Hydrolized Silk Protein, Fragrance

The fragrance is described in the catalog entry, which also provides the backstory for the name: “The scent is plum (not sugary, or tart), vanilla, and amber.” It’s doubtless the vanilla that won me over — I’m a sucker for fragrances that include that note.

My Solar Flare brush easily made a very fine lather, slick and skin-nourishing. 345 Soap Company makes first-rate shaving soaps, and I would say that naming one “Apotheosis” reflects exuberance at finding a solid footing among shaving soaps: hyperbole, but understandable. 

The razor today is the Yaqi Final Cut, an inexpensive adjustable that does a fine job. It’s a bargain, but I think in that price category the Baili adjustable provides a better shave at half the price. The Yaqi certainly gets the job done, but the Baili is equally efficient and a bit more comfortable — and a better bargain.

A splash of Speick finished the shave and set me up to end the work week.

The caffeine this morning is my own blend of three Murchie teas: Assam Tippy Golden, Ceylon Kenilworth, and Keemun Extra Superior: “It’s a good cuppa.” – LG

Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2023 at 10:03 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

New post on Michael’s Substack

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The foreground is the sea and on the shore is a range of blue mountains. Behind them, farther away, is an enormous mountain, white with snow.
The enormous mountain in back is Mount Baker, 73 miles away as the crow flies.

Michael’s Substack is starting to take shape. I now see that it will focus on the little pleasures of daily life. No politics (in general, nowadays not a pleasure) and no big events, just the quotidian joys that come my way. The most recent entry is about the pleasant afternoon we (The Wife and I) enjoyed yesterday. 

I’m just getting started. Subscriptions are free and likely to remain that way. I’m aiming for a post a day, and it seems salutary to seek each day some joy of which I can write. 

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2023 at 8:41 pm

Posted in Daily life

As union membership declines….

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Share with one line showing share of income going to top 10% and another line showing union membership. The two lines are almost exact reflections as union membership increases, share of income going to top 10% falls. As union membership declines, share going to top 10% rises. When union membership was highest — 1940-1960 — share of income going to top 10% was lowest, around 35%. Right now, union membership is very low and the share of income to top 10% is very high — around 45%

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2023 at 6:49 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Unions

Judge Luttig Has a Warning for America

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Charlie Sykes writes at Bulwark+:

It was called the “tweet heard round the world.”

On the morning before the January 6th attack on the Capitol, one of the nation’s most prominent conservative jurists, former Federal Appeals Court Judge J. Michael Luttig, posted a message aimed at Vice President Mike Pence.

A close friend of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Luttig had frequently been mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee, and when he spoke, conservatives paid close attention.

That day his message was brief and clear: The vice president had no power to alter the election results.

“The only responsibility and power of the Vice President under the Constitution is to faithfully count the electoral college votes as they have been cast,” Judge Luttig wrote.

“The Constitution does not empower the vice president to alter in any way the votes that have been cast, either by rejecting certain votes or otherwise,” Luttig continued.

If Pence had caved to Donald Trump’s demands and refused to count the electoral votes, Judge Luttig told the House January 6th Committee last summer, the nation “would immediately have been plunged into what would have been tantamount to a revolution within a paralyzing constitutional crisis.”

Now, Judge Luttig is back, with even a starker warning.

The institutions of our democracy and law, he says, “are under vicious, unsustainable, and unendurable attack — from within.” 

Last week, at the University of Georgia School of Law, Luttig said:

With the former president’s and his Republican Party’s determined denial of January 6, their refusal to acknowledge that the former president lost the 2020 presidential election fair and square, and their promise that the 2024 election will not be “stolen” from them again as they maintain it was in 2020, America’s Democracy and the Rule of Law are in constitutional peril — still. And there is no end to the threat in sight….

We are a house divided and our poisonous politics is fast eating away at the fabric of our society….

The Republican Party has made its decision that the war against America’s Democracy and the Rule of Law it instigated on January 6 will go on, prosecuted to its catastrophic end.


On Tuesday’s Bulwark podcast, I sat down with Judge Luttig. He recounts the story behind his decision to speak out; the call he received from Pence the day after the insurrection; and his reaction to Donald Trump’s ongoing efforts to spread lies about the 2020 election. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2023 at 4:09 pm

Disney v. DeSantis, advantage Disney

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Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2023 at 2:20 pm

Republicans seem to *want* school shootings

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That seems harsh, but consider. When questioned after any of the continuing series of school shootings, Republicans say that the issue is not the ready availability of guns in the US. The issue, they say, is actually a mental-health issue, though of course, those suffering from mental illness are no more common in the US than in other countries they do not have school shootings (and also do not have so many guns floating around).

But taking them at their word — that they truly believe the cause of school shootings is that the US does not adequately address mental-health issues — then what conclusions do you draw from this vote:

An image from C-Span showing the vote in the US House of Representatives on School-Based Mental-Health Services, Hr 7780:

Democratic  Yea 219 Nay 0 Pres 0 NV 2
Republican Yea 1 Nay 205 Pres 0 NV 6

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2023 at 2:13 pm

Who hates inclusivity? The question answers itself.

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Dan Froomkin writes in Press Watch:

There is no rational, acceptable reason to run an opinion column, nine days after the  Supreme Court’s devastating repeal of reproductive rights, arguing that the “far left” is denying women their humanity as much as the “far right” – based on the fact that a handful of people are trying to use more inclusive language to acknowledge that trans men can get pregnant, too.

But that, of course, is exactly what the editors of the New York Times opinion section chose to do on Saturday, running a piece headlined “The Far Right and Far Left Agree on One Thing: Women Don’t Count,” by their newly-minted columnist Pamela Paul, the former Book Review editor who apparently was brought over to opinion primarily to troll the libs.

Both-sidesing would have been a step up for this column, which devoted only 52 words out of 1,300 to the right’s decades-long campaign to strip women of their rights. The rest was about how “the fringe left” is “jumping in with its own perhaps unintentionally but effectively misogynist agenda.”

The central thesis of Paul’s argument was an exaggerated summary of a scaremongering news article from last month by Michael Powell, one of the two star reporters the Times has assigned to the woke-panic/cancel-culture beat –the other being Anemona Hartocollis, who just a few days ago gave us this already infamous piece of soft-focus cancel porn.

Powell, Paul wrote, had concluded that “the word ‘women’ has become verboten.”

In reality, some groups, sometimes, use gender-neutral language because, as NARAL explained (in a tweet over a year ago) “it’s not just cis-gender women that can get pregnant and give birth… We’re being inclusive. It’s that simple.”

But nobody is eliminating the word woman. That is incontrovertibly bullshit.

So why write such a thing? Why publish it?

As it happens, I ask myself those questions a lot these days. Our most elite media outlets – the Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, among others – seem to be constantly running articles that cast wokeism and cancel culture as threats to society equal or greater than an extremist political party that is quickly and effectively eroding American human rights, free speech, and democracy.

Well, I’ve seen enough. I have answers.

What all these articles reflect is . . .

Continue reading.

More on Ms. Paul, who allegedly kept a list of authors whose books she would not allowed to be reviewed in the NY Times Book Review because she had caught those writers criticizing Bret Stephens, a person who deserves (and gets) much criticism.

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2023 at 1:35 pm

Conservative Cancel Culture: Conservatives, Not Liberals, Are Banning Books in America

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Luke Savage writes in Jacobin:

n the depths of the McCarthy era, the American Library Association (ALA) released an eloquent statement in defense of intellectual freedom and free expression called “The Freedom to Read.” Subsequently updated and endorsed by a host of other organizations, the current version begins:

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Then and now, the ALA’s statement gets at a deep and important truth. Coordinated efforts to target particular books or limit their reach have long been a canary in the coal mine for creeping censorship and authoritarianism — a reality as concerning in 2023 as it was during the McCarthy era. Amid the torrential discourse of today’s culture war, however, it’s easy to get a mistaken impression about where such efforts are really coming from.

For over two decades, the ALA has been compiling data about attempted bans in public and school libraries. Its newly released findings for 2022 suggest a growing appetite for censorship across the United States. The organization tracked a record 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources last year — an increase of 38 percent from 2021. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2023 at 10:55 am

Agamator deems this the best chess game of 2023 (already)

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Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2023 at 10:22 am

Posted in Chess, Games, Video

John Singer Sargent, who painted outside the lines

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Fascinating video.

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2023 at 10:15 am

Posted in Art, Video

Estes and my Merkur 37G

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A large shaving brush with an amber handle and black bristles with grey tips stands next to a tub of shaving soap whose label has a mountain scene in color: the sun rising behind mountains in the background, a conifer forest in the midground, and two elk outlined in white in the foreground, next to a sign that reads "Estes." Next is a small bottle with a white squirt top and a blue label that reads "Aion Skincare Nourishing balm." In front is a gold-colored slant razor lying on its side.

The Amber Aerolite is a good brush, although somewhat large for my taste. Still, it worked well this morning with Estes, a 365 Soap Company soap presumably (based on the label image) named after the Colorado town Estes Park, where elk roam through in mating season. I like the fragrance : “Orange, anise, peppercorn, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, ylang ylang, musk, patchouli.”

I see that the base is referred to as the Trinity base, presumably because of the trinity of milks used:

Stearic Acid, Beef Tallow, Milks of Donkey, Camel, & Goat, Shea butter, Coconut oil, Palm oil, Potassium hydroxide, Distilled water, Castor oil, Sodium hydroxide, Glycerin, Grapeseed oil, Cocoa butter, Yogurt, Lanolin, Apricot oil, Almond oil, Jojoba oil, Capuaça butter, Murumuru butter, Kokum butter, Hydrolized Silk Protein, Fragrance.

Again I am impressed by the quality of the lather. My post-shave skin feel is excellent, but my skin also felt very good during the shave, with the lather providing excellent cushioning and glide. A 365 shaving soap is definitely worth trying. The Razor Company has a good selection, or you can order direct from the maker. (Those are not, of course, affiliate links. I simply like the soap and recommend it.)

My Merkur 37G had an easy job with the good prep and in three passes left my face BBS (and with no damage). A dab of Aion Nourishing Balm finished the job. This is one of those shaves that compel me to feel my face frequently, just for the pleasure of it.

The caffeine this morning Murchie’s Queen Victoria: “rich Darjeeling and Ceylon, smoky Lapsang Souchong, and sweet Jasmine.” A favorite.

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2023 at 9:51 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

It’s Not the Bike Lane’s Fault You’re a Bad Driver

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Car stuck on yellow concrete barricade in road.
From a tweet by Jill Bennett, who complained that the barriers cause accidents. It apparently didn’t occur to her that drivers should watch where they’re going (instead of, for example, texting as they drive). The barriers are clearly marked, as the photo shows.

Colin Woodard writes in Jalopnik:

Last week, Vancouver-area radio host Jill Bennett went viral after tweeting a photo of a Dodge Durango straddling a bright yellow concrete barrier that the driver had hit [see above – LG]. “Hey @CityofVancouver⁩ this is second incident I’ve seen caused by these useless ‘slow street’ barricades installed last month. They don’t slow down traffic; they cause crashes and traffic chaos,” Bennett wrote.

Understandably, thousands of people proceeded to pile on, pointing out how ridiculous her complaint was. Had the driver simply been paying attention to the road and driving at a reasonable speed, they would have easily noticed the brightly colored traffic calming installation, driven through without a problem and nothing bad would have happened to them. Blaming anyone other than the driver for this crash is absolutely insane.

And this is far from a one-off situation where one idiot had a bad take. This attitude is incredibly common. Just head over to NextDoor or the local subreddit in any small city that has recently added some form of protected bike lanes, and you’ll see the exact same sentiment. When the city closest to where I currently live (spoiler: not every Jalopnik staffer lives in New York) added flexible posts with some reflector tape on them to (sort of) protect a bike lane in its downtown, they were almost immediately hit, and the complaints started to flood in from people who were upset they were ever installed in the first place. . .

Continue reading. There’s more.

Written by Leisureguy

29 March 2023 at 5:23 pm

James Fallows: The AR-15 Is a Weapon of War

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3 men in religious robes, wearing crowns and white gloves, stand solemnly, grasping tightly their AR-15 rifles.
Worshipping the AR-15, at a ceremony in Pennsylvania in 2018. The man who designed the weapon, Eugene Stoner, intended it for maximum killing power in combat but thought it was strictly for military use. (Don Emmert / AFP via Getty Images .)

At Breaking the News, James Fallows has a good article on the AR-15. He writes:

This week the Washington Post has done something exceptional, controversial, and strongly in the public interest.

It showed exactly how human bodies, including the torsos and heads of little children, are blown apart by bullets from AR-15 rifles. That is in the Post’s online graphic feature, here, which went up two days ago. It includes detailed animations of the series of wounds that killed two students, six-year-old Noah Pozner in Newtown CT, and 15-year-old Peter Wang in Parkland FL. These careful recreations, based on autopsy and forensic reports, were shown with the families’ permission.

The print version of this feature occupies most of the newspaper’s front page today, along with several other stories about the AR-15.

There has long been debate about whether to show the results of the gun slaughter that uniquely plagues the United States.

—Is this exploitative, cruel, a form of violence-porn?

—Or is it a necessary reminder of what is happening, the realities of America’s unique tolerance of weapons of war?

The Post decided on the latter. They are right. They, and the families they worked with, have taken an important step.

Soon after the story was published, I got this message from a long-time reader who is a lawyer in a very conservative part of the country:

The horrors of gun violence will not be stopped until the media allows Americans to be horrified….

Children will continue to die by AR-15s in school shootings until Americans are brought to tears and haunted as they try to sleep by bloody images from the slaughters of our society’s most innocent….

Showing the carnage is necessary to stop the carnage….

I hope you will favorably compare the brave families of Noah Pozner and Peter Wang with the courage of Mamie Till.

Mamie Till was of course the grieving mother who decided in 1955 that the world needed to see the mutilated body of her 14-year-old son, Emmett, after he had been captured, tortured, and lynched in Mississippi.

Here is a screen-capture image from . . .

Continue reading.

A gift link to the WaPo article (no paywall).

Written by Leisureguy

29 March 2023 at 11:38 am

Trench Lines and Henson (error corrected)

with 4 comments

A boar shaving brush — cream-colored knot in an aluminum handle — stands next to a tub of shaving soap whose label has center, in large letters, "French Lines," and toward the bottom of the label some soldiers in what appear to be WW I uniforms are shown in a haze of fog or gas. Next is an amber bottle with a black cap and the same label. In front a blue DE razor with a long, tapered handle lies on its side.

Antica Barberia’s boar brush is certainly good, though not so good as the Omega Pro 48, and this morning it worked up a good lather from 345 Soap Comapny’s Trench Lines shaving soap. This is a superb soap, with the lather creamy, thick, slick, and skin-nourishing. This particular fragrance, though, somewhat escapes me. It is neither so present nor so pleasurable as the fragrance of their Aces Over Eights (♠/8) shaving soap, and I don’t quite understand the image on the label. From the name of the soap and what I can make out, the image shows a group of soldiers in the Great War, presumably French, suffering an attack of mustard gas. (FWIW, the soap’s fragrance is pleasant (even though I can’t identify it) and not at all like mustard gas.)

Still, the lather was fine, and provided good support for the Henson AL13M — and for the third day in a row, I’m using a blue razor. The Henson is an excellent razor and this morning it delivered a BBS result in three comfortable passes. This razor’s head is designed not to nick, and the design is successful.

A splash of Trench Lines with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept’s Aion Hydrating Gel and the shave is done in time to greet another sunny day.

The caffeine this morning is Fantstico’s Mexico Malinal Nayarita: “Full-bodied and smooth. Dark chocolate and spicy, with a brown sugar sweetness and a hint of smokiness.”

Update: I misread “Trench” as “French.” Error corrected in above. Thanks to R for pointing it out.

Written by Leisureguy

29 March 2023 at 9:41 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

A collection of podcasts on AI hype

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Per Axbom, whom I follow on Mastodon, has started a collection of podcasts about AI hype. The podcasts are from various sources, and he will add new podcasts to the collection as he discovers them. Right now there are 10 podcasts.

Written by Leisureguy

29 March 2023 at 7:46 am

Posted in Daily life, Media, Software, Technology

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