Later On

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

Archive for the ‘Daily life’ Category

In France, modest beachwear is against the law (just for women)

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France has gone insane.

Around where I live, on Monterey Bay, a lot of surfers wear wetsuits, which apparently are illegal in France, at least for women.

UPDATE: No, The Wife tells me, wetsuits are okay.

I think I can’t make sense of the law because the law doesn’t make sense. It’s an example of laws passed to show social disapproval of a group, not for any other reason. (One reason, I’ve read, that (alcohol) Prohibition did not work in the US is that the law was passed by Protestant rural majorities, who tended to drink little, to show their disapproval of urban Catholics, who did imbibe. Once the law was passed and the disapproval was shown, the public really didn’t care whether the law was enforced or not.

Anyway, I think one can reeasonably condemn the French law and whatever passed for the “thinking” behind it.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 August 2016 at 5:48 pm

Was Paul Weiss an Appropriate Law Firm to Investigate Sex Charges Against Roger Ailes?

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Pam Martens and Russ Martens report in Wall Street on Parade:

On Monday, Andrea Tantaros, a Fox News host, became the latest in a growing drumbeat of voices charging Fox News with tolerating and condoning a hostile work environment for women that “operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny,” according to the lawsuit Tantaros filed in New York State Supreme Court.

Tantaros charges in the lawsuit that she was sexually harassed by Roger Ailes, who recently stepped down as Fox News CEO, while he ran an intimidation campaign against her through his public relations department. This is the second lawsuit to be filed against Ailes by Fox News women in as many months. In July, Gretchen Carlson went public with similar charges against Ailes in a high-profile lawsuit. According to the Washington Post, Carlson’s lawyers have received reports from more than 20 women that “they were harassed by Ailes during his long career in television, dating as far back as the mid-1960s.”

One of those women, Laurie Luhn, went on the record with Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine. Luhn told Sherman that “she had been harassed by Ailes for more than 20 years, that executives at Fox News had known about it and helped cover it up, and that it had ruined her life.” Sherman reported that he was able to independently corroborate key details in Luhn’s account as well as viewing a $3.15 million severance agreement that was paid to Luhn in exchange for “iron-clad nondisclosure provisions.”

“Iron-clad nondisclosure provisions” is the stock and trade of Wall Street powerhouse law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, which has been handling fraud charges against the serially charged Wall Street bank, Citigroup, for decades. (See our previous report on Paul Weiss here.) Paul Weiss was brought into the Ailes matter to conduct an internal investigation by Fox News parent, 21st Century Fox.

Paul Weiss also has a history of being charged with corporate bias in the way it conducts those internal investigations of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment claims. Two such charges have already emerged against Paul Weiss in the Ailes/Fox News matter. On August 2, Lloyd Grove of The Daily Beast reported that an attorney for former Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue had released a statement criticizing Paul Weiss over its internal investigation. The attorney, Bruce Schaeffer, stated the following: . . .

Continue reading. There’s more that’s worth knowing, and there’s this concluding editor’s note:

Pam Martens, the co-author of the above article and Editor of Wall Street On Parade, worked for two major Wall Street firms for 21 years. During that time, from 1996 through 2001, Martens challenged Wall Street’s mandatory arbitration system and the sexual assaults and sexual harassment of women facilitated under that system in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in a case titled Martens v Smith Barney in which she originally served as lead plaintiff. The settlement fashioned by plaintiffs’ attorneys and Paul Weiss was deemed so conflicted by Martens that she withdrew from the settlement and never profited, by even a dollar, from the settlement or any subsequent payment from the parties.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 August 2016 at 12:27 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Law

Glycemic effects of various foods on a teaspoons-of-sugar scale

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Sugar equivalents

The interesting graph above is from this post at The post begins:

For people with diabetes, it’s not the carb count of a food that matters most, but how much it affects blood sugar levels. So how bad are different foods compared to, say, spoonfuls of sugar?

That’s something that Dr. David Unwin has focused on teaching his patients, with great results, according to this new paper.

Take a look at the picture above. A serving of potatoes has a similar effect as 8 teaspoons of sugar, and rice is even worse. Meanwhile eggs (a low-carb staple) was like 0 tea spoons.

So what happens to Dr. Unwin’s patients on a low-carb diet? . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 August 2016 at 11:30 am

Guglielmo Marconi, the man behind radio communication

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Marc Raboy writes in the Oxford University Press blog:

Guglielmo Marconi is popularly known as “the inventor of radio,” a mischaracterization that critics and supporters of his many rivals are quick to seize upon. Marconi was actually the first person to use radio waves to communicate. His first patent was for “Improvements in Transmitting Electrical Impulses and Signals and in Apparatus Therefor,” and he considered what he was doing to be a form of wireless telegraphy.

But Marconi was indeed the first truly global figure in modern, mass communication. What came to be known as radio would have been impossible without the groundwork laid by Marconi. As soon as he discovered how to send signals across a room in his parents’ attic in 1895, Marconi was convinced that he would eventually be able to connect any two points on earth by wireless. Conventional physics scoffed at the idea but Marconi was right.

Marconi was also a global media celebrity, followed everywhere by paparazzi who recorded his every move. However, much about him that made him who he was has either never before been known or has been forgotten. Here are some little-known facts about Marconi:

1. Marconi was half-Italian and half-Irish. His father was a landed gentleman from Bologna, where Marconi was born and grew up, but his mother was a member of the Jameson Whiskey family. Annie Jameson’s family business connections in London were crucial to the launch of Marconi’s global company in 1897, when he was 23.

2. Marconi had no formal higher education. He did poorly in school as a child and his parents hired private teachers to tutor him in chemistry, math, and physics. His most important mentor was a high school physics teacher in Livorno by the name of Vincenzo Rosa. He was an avid, self-guided reader of popular scientific journals, where he learned of the discovery of radio waves by the German physicist Heinrich Hertz.

3. Marconi was twice engaged to American feminists: Josephine B. Holman, a graduate of the Indianapolis Classical School for Girls as well as Bryn Mawr, and Inez Milholland, a Greenwich Village social activist who famously led a 1913 suffragist parade riding a white horse. Marconi’s two wives were more conventional women but Marconi was forever becoming romantically involved with artists, film stars, opera singers, and journalists.

4. Marconi was the first inventor-entrepreneur to win a Nobel Prize, for Physics, in 1909 (he shared the prize with German physicist Ferdinand Braun). The Nobel Committee had never before awarded the prize for a practical application rather than theoretical accomplishments. In 1909, it considered giving the prize to the Wright brothers, but decided on Marconi because of public concern about the safety of airplanes.

5. No one would have survived the Titanic disaster had it not been equipped with a Marconi transmitter. Thanks to wireless, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 August 2016 at 10:03 am

US is No. 1! — in calories/day. Ties for No. 2 in obesity.

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This chart shows the macronutrient consumption, and the table that accompanies the chart can be sorted on any column. US average per capita calorie consumption per day is 3770; number 2 is Austria (3760) and then Greece at 3700. Egypt is relatively low (3160 calories/person/day), but Egypt has a higher obesity rate than the U.S.: 33.1% for Egypt, 33% for the US.

One explanation might be that Egyptians get 73% of their calories from carbohydrates, the US gets 49% from carbs. (These figures are from the first chart.) Of course, Ethiopia has a 1.1% obesity rate while getting 79% of calories from carbs, but Ethiopians on average consume only 1950 calories per person per day: not enough spare calories to contribute to obesity.

Saudi Arabia also presents a puzzle: 3130 calories/person/day, 64% of calories from carbs, obesity rate 33%. That’s the same obesity rate as the US (and Egypt, the US, and Saudi Arabia have the highest obesity rates in the world), but the US calorie consumption is higher (3770 calories/person/day, 49% of calories from carbs.

But take a look at the chart show prevalence of diabetes: Saudi Arabia is No. 1 here with 23.4%, Egypt has 16.6%, and the US is 9.4%.

Mexico has a diabetes rate of 15.6%, with calories consumption at 3250/person/day, 62% from carbs. Mexico’s obesity rate is 32.1%, which is close to the US.

You can spend a fair amount of time looking at the differences among nations. The first chart, which allows sorting, is quite useful.

Carb consumption as a percentage of daily calories tends to be high in nations where daily calorie consumption is low because carbohydrates are a relatively inexpensive source of calories.

Thanks to Quebec Steve for pointing out the charts.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 August 2016 at 9:49 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Health, Science

Another step down the path to a police state: Continuous surveillance of civilian population—with face recognition

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Just read it. This is beyond what Soviet Russia did (because they didn’t have the technology—naturally they would have done it if they had the technology. And we do have the technology. So that means we do it? Just like the Soviet Union except different national languages?

Isn’t there something wrong with that picture?

Update: See this brief video of the system in action.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 August 2016 at 5:06 pm

Twitter Makes Total Sense If You Understand It Properly

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When Kevin Drum is good, he’s really very good. Read this one.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 August 2016 at 4:10 pm


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