Deterioration of Barbershops

I used to maintain that I could not get my hair cut anywhere that didn’t have gun magazines on the rack and taxidermy on the wall. Regrettably, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a place, so I’ve had to relent. But there are degrees of relenting.

James Wigderson talks about a recent experience in a “hair salon”:

Into the chair I went when it was my turn, trying to watch the Louisville-Duke basketball game between the shampooing, the hot towel, and the neck massage. That’s when I noticed on the sign of services offered, “nose waxing, $5.”

I asked my friend as she continued the massage, “Is nose waxing what I think it is?”

“Yes, I take a popsicle stick, put hot wax up your nose and pull the hair out.”

Somewhere in Guantanamo, some prisoner is being told, “It’s time for your nose waxing, Fayeed.” “No, no! I’ll talk! I know where we keep Hillary’s deleted emails!”

It stays good. Read the whole thing.


End of the $100 Bill?

Is it excessively cynical to note the coincidence of talk about abolishing the $100 bill and talk about negative interest rates?

Not having $100 bills would make it much more difficult to take your money out of the bank and hold it in cash. Of course, abandoning banks is not practical for most people. Still negative interest rates will bring out a lot of scam artists offering to “help”and maybe a few interesting alternatives. The price of bitcoins will probably bump a little.

Chris Oldner Endorsed by San Antonio Express-News for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

The San Antonio Express-News has endorsed District Judge Chris Oldner for election to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. I do not know anything about Judge Oldner apart from his ruling in the Collin County Community  College District case. That ruling, however, makes me wonder. Anyone planning on following the Express-News’s recommendation should look further into Chris Oldner’s background.

Update (March 2, 2016):

Judge Oldner did not make it into a runoff for a slot on the Court of Criminal Appeals:

Oldner Election Results

I have to believe that is just as well.

Related Posts:

Express-News Endorsement of Judge Oldner

Dallas Observer Article

Verification of Filing Trial-Court Record with Appellate Clerk

Initial Appellate Court Docket Sheet

Rough Schedule of the Appeal

Appeal Perfected

Management Attitude

Notice of Late Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Filed

Notice of Past-Due Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Delinquent Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Due Date for Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Motion for New Trial

Request for Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Plea to Jurisdiction Granted

Venue Tranferred to Collin County

Plaintiff’s Response to Motion to Transfer Venue

Hearing Date

College District’s Response to Lawsuit

College District President Resigns

Report of Corruption in Collin County Community College District



Eliminating Aedes aegypti

Aedes aegypti is the mosquito that transmits the zika virus. It also transmits yellow fever, chikungunya, and dengue fever. What if we could selectively eradicate just that species of mosquito? It turns out that we can. We can alter the DNA of males of the species to make all their offspring male. We would then release the altered specimens into the wild.

By releasing a small number of gene-drive mosquitoes, the number of wild females could be reduced each generation until they disappear completely. Without any females to produce the next generation of eggs, the surviving males would have a very lonely last few weeks until they died out, too, along with the genetic modification that caused their disappearance.

What adverse effects would this have?

In this case, the ecosystem in question is cans, buckets, pots, water storage jars, trash, tires, and whatever else is lying around collecting rainwater. Aedes aegypti does not breed in ponds, marshes, swamps, or wetlands, and thus there are no frogs and no fish to eat these mosquitoes—one of the reasons they have done so well as a species. Currently, our ability to control dengue transmission (and now Zika) is dependent on our ability to remove the places where Aedes aegypti lives and breeds. If we are already willing to destroy an entire ecosystem (i.e. clean up garbage, screen-over water storage containers), why not eliminate just this mosquito?

Read the whole article. I say let’s do it.