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Friday, May 8, 2020

Shaving in the Time of Covid-19

Recovery from Covid

In the last half of March, I had flu-like symptoms for two weeks: a body temperature fluctuating between about 98 F and 100.5 F, body aches, a slight tightness when breathing deeply - which triggered a slight cough.

I suspected that I had Covid, and would have liked to have been tested. After all, Trump was on TV at that time repeatedly saying anyone who needed to be tested could get tested. But despite my wife being an emergency physician, I couldn't get a test. Trump was lying as usual, but if you get your news from Fox News, you probably don't know that.

I finally had my exposure to Covid confirmed, when in the first week in May, went to a local physician who was making his office available to draw blood and submit for antibody testing. I was positive, meaning my body had been exposed and developed antibodies to the virus.

I am 66 years old. Why did I not get sicker needing hospitalization and flirting with death? The following are all potential reasons:

  • I am generally healthy with no chronic illnesses, and taking no prescription medicaitons.
  • I am of a healthy body weight, with a body-mass index of around 21.
  • I eat a whole-food, plant-based, low-fat/oil diet, which discourages internal inflammation.
  • I daily consume spices such as turmeric, which also contribute to low internal inflammation.
  • I do not eat any animal foods: no meat, poultry, fish, dairy or eggs. All these foods increase risk for 14 of the 15 leading causes of death. (I am a registered dietitian-nutritionist, so I know such things.)
  • I get sufficient sleep.
  • I get regular, vigorous exercise.
  • While I was sick, it was more comfortable to breathe shallowly so as not to trigger a cough. But instead I did the opposite: breathed deeply, held my breath both with lungs full and with lungs empty. 

Why Do So Many People Not Recognize Propaganda News Networks?

Fox News cable network, like Russia Today cable network or Al Jazeera network, is a propaganda station. It is so obvious when one both watches the messages from the White House and takes in news from other outlets.

If you doubt this, if you trust Fox and think all the others have a "liberal agenda," I have a question for you: Is it more likely that Fox News is the only major American news outlet telling the whole truth while ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many others are all conspiring to make the Trump administration look incompetent, corrupt, serving the needs of wealthiest Americans at the expense of the majority, sucking up to authoritarian world leaders, and generally sowing chaos everywhere; or, perhaps, is Fox News alone spreading propaganda trying to put a positive spin on all things from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and serve an agenda created by and for the super wealthy? The second option is the only logical, reasonable answer. If you believe in a vast liberal news conspiracy, you're not getting all the facts or you're not objective (or both).

DE Shaving is Environmentally Friendly, but it's Not Enough

I respect and admire the work of Greta Thunberg, the Scandanavian teenager who is campaigning against climate change. She is right... to a point.

However, to understand my hesitation to fully endorse her message, it would be helpful to watch a free movie, Planet of the Humans, which is available in its entirety for free on YouTube.

We aren't going to escape climate change through technology, or electric cars, or even going to a completely plant-based diet (because 51% of world-wide contribution toward global warming comes from the raising of animals for human food). Nope, not even if we fully exploit all those options together.

No. It's a question of human population. There are too many mouths to feed, generating too much waste, using too many resources. There is little room for nature outside of the activities of humans. 

The Covid-19 virus isn't the biggest threat to the planet. It is us, humans. We are like the yeast in a bottle of wine: we are consuming all available resources and will eventually perish in our own waste.

We are a virus infecting and severely sickening planet Earth.

So I have some suggestions -- consider them food for thought:
  • Use a DE or straight razor, and don't throw away used blades. Instead, recycle them.
  • And use your blades fully. Enough with the one and done. Fully use all resources; don't waste.
  • Be more conscious of your use of the car. Minimize your driving.
  • When you next acquire a replacement vehicle, consider carefully getting the most fuel efficient version. And be thoughtful: most people don't need a freaking SUV, which gets half the fuel economy of a sensible sedan or hatchback.
  • Use less water.
  • As much as you can, stop eating animals and animal products.
  • Stop having children. Adopt if you can, but don't make more -- or, at least, make fewer.
  • In everything you do, consider the long-term consequences if everyone makes poor choices. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Annoyed? Are my suggestions too  radical for you? Don't believe that following generations will have to deal with existential challenges like none ever before seen?

I have some suggestions on that topic too:
  • Stop watching Fox News; it is poison for clear-headed, responsible decision making. (Garbage in, garbage out.)
  • Watch Planet of the Humans
  • Watch Cowspiracy
  • Watch What the Health
  • Watch Forks Over Knives
  • Watch The Game Changers
That's it for now. Be well. Be responsible. Be smart. Be informed.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Love or Hate Your Shave Soap Fragrance?

I don't like most shave soap fragrances: too flowery, too girly, too strong, too much like Grandma's potpourri.

What to do? Discard? Suffer the olfactory insult?

No! There is a better solution, and it lies in the fact that most fragrances are volatile. They won't explode, but they will dissipate over time if left in the open air.

A great example of a good and inexpensive shave soap is Arko, which is often disliked because of its overpowering fragrance.

The solution is simple. Unwrap it, and leave it exposed to circulating air. Over days the fragrance will start to diminish. Over weeks it becomes mild and pleasant.

I am doing this with a large tub of shave soap that I won as a door prize in a shaving meet up. I hated the fragrance, but the lather was good. So this morning I opened the container and left it to air on my bathroom counter.

Not surprisingly, my bathroom soon acquired the subtle scent of this shave soap. That's an indication that the fragrance is leaving the soap and going into the air. Over time, the soap will have a weak enough fragrance that it's unlikely to bother me.

The reverse is true of a soap with a smell that you like. My sad story is that I ordered a menthol soap that I like a lot, but which is no longer available. I put the puck of soap in an open yogurt container, where it has been for many months. I went to use it the other day, and there was little menthol to be felt or smelled.

Oops, I should have put that puck in a sealed container to preserve the fragrance and feeling. But I didn't think about it at the time.

Don't make my mistakes. Air out the soaps with strong or offensive fragrance. Seal the soaps you like to preserve the fragrance.

Happy shaving!