Quelle barbe

In which a skeptical modernist learns to appreciate 19th Century technology.

Shaving has always been an unpleasant experience for me. My skin is sensitive, dries out easily, and I get allergic reactions to a lot of chemicals. At the same time, the bristle of my ever-nascent beard is incredibly rough and wirey. I tried electric razors, I tried disposables, I tried twin blades. I even considered giving up entirely and growing a beard, but that just itched even worse.

The least-bad option had turned out to be the Gillette Mach 2, and later the Mach 3. The M3Power helped a little, but not much—the vibro action helped get through the bristles without tugging on them, but that was all. The main plus of the Mach 2/3 was that at least it didn’t immediately clog up the way a Schick (Wilkinson-Sword) twin blade did; there was a good clean gap between the blades, without too much plastic in the way.

Then one day I found myself reading an article about old-style shaving. And by “old style”, I mean over a century old.

Hail our glorious new democracy!

The US military is drawing up plans to keep insurgents from regaining control of this battle-scarred city, but returning residents may find that the measures make Fallujah look more like a police state than the democracy they have been promised. Under the plans, troops would funnel Fallujans to so-called citizen processing centers on the outskirts of the city to compile a database of their identities through DNA testing and retina scans.

In Case You Missed It

Time for another boring little news summary, culled from diverse mainstream media outlets, with links to sources… Dick Cheney is being sued for possible involvement in accounting fraud while running Halliburton. The company is also being investigated by the SEC. Meanwhile, Halliburton has just won the contract to provide the support services for the US military in Afghanistan. Halliburton took part in Energy Task Force discussions about building an oil pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to Dabhol in India, to allow the tapping of the Central Asian oil reserves.