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Thursday, January 31, 2008

How To Shave Like Your Grandpa

January 4, 2008

shaving1.pngProper shaving has become a lost art. Today’s average male has no clue about the fine art of the traditional wet shave that their grandfathers and some of their fathers used to take part in. Instead, they’re only accustomed to the cheap and disposable shaving products that companies market. I’m not sure when or why it happened, but the tradition of passing down the secrets of a clean shave abruptly stopped. Thankfully, this glorious male ritual is making a comeback.

Benefits of The Classic Wet Shave

Reduce costs. An 8 pack of your typical four blade cartridge razors can set you back over $20. $20! That’s $2.50 per cartridge. The cost of a double edged safety razor is no more than $.25. You can save some serious money switching over to a safety razor. Additionally, you can save money by using traditional shaving creams and soaps. A can of the chemically packed gel goop that most drug stores sell can cost you up to $5 a can and it doesn’t even last that long and they don’t give you a quality shave. On the other hand, traditional shave creams and soaps are made out of natural materials. While their up front cost may be a bit more than shaving gels, you require less product to get a proper lather. Thus, you end up saving more in the long run.

Reduce environmental impact. Traditional wet shaving with a double edged safety razor uses less waste than shaving with cartridge razors. The only waste is a single metal razor blade and lather down the sink. Unlike today’s razor cartridges, a double edged blade can easily be recycled. The tubes and bowls that most traditional shave creams and soaps are sold in produce less waste than those clunky non-biodegradable aerosol canisters that gels come in.

Better, more consistent shaves. Most men today walk around not knowing they have horrible shaves. Electric razors and the latest 5 blade contraptions irritate the skin more than needed, leaving razor burn, ingrown hairs, and redness. Shaving with a safety razor will eliminate the skin irritation and give your face a clean healthy look because you’re just using one blade instead of several that chew up your face in order to cut your whiskers.

You’ll feel like a bad ass. It’s nice taking part in a ritual that great men like your grandfather, John F. Kennedy, and Teddy Roosevelt took part in.

The Tools

Safety Razor

gilletesafetyrazorvig.jpgSwitching from a cheap disposable razor to double edged safety razor is like upgrading from a Pinto to a Mercedes. A safety razor is a machine. It’s nice holding a piece of heavy, sturdy metal in your hand while you’re shaving as opposed to a piece of cheap-o plastic.

You can find safety razors in a variety of places. First, ask your grandpa if he still has his. Chances are he does. If gramps doesn’t have one, try checking antique stores. I found my 1966 Gillette Superspeed Safety Razor in an antique store in Vermont. I only paid $10 for it. If you don’t have any luck there, stop by eBay and do a search for safety razors. You’re bound to find a few there. Finally, if buying a used safety razor doesn’t fancy you, you can always buy a new one from the several companies that still make them. A highly recommended safety razor is from Merkur. They have several types to choose from at varying prices. Look to spend about $40 for a new safety razor.

Suggested Razors
Merkur Classic Safety Razor, Straight-#178- Made in Germany
Merkur Futur Adjustable Double Edge Safety Razor with Satin Finish- #700- Made in Germany
Merkur Classic Long Handled Safety Razor, Straight


You can choose from a variety of different blades. Each blade has a unique sharpness and cutting ability. Experiment with different kinds until you find the ones you like.

Suggested Razors
American Personna. You can find these in most drugstores. They’re usually marketed as generic brand blades. They’re pretty forgiving for the first time user.
Merkur Double Edge Razor Blades- Pack of 10 Blades- Made in Germany

Shaving Brush.

shave2.jpgIf you’ve never used a brush during shaving, you’re in for a treat. A brush helps hydrate the shaving cream in order to form a thick rich shaving lather. Using a brush to lather up helps get the shaving cream up under each whisker which results in better, smoother shaves. Plus, it just feels nice on your face to lather up with a brush.

Brushes are made out of two types of animal hair: boar and badger. Boar bristles are stiffer than badger bristles and hold less water. Boar hair brushes are also cheaper. You can find a boar hair brush at Wal-Mart for about $4. If you really want to have a nice shaving experience, splurge and buy a badger hair brush. Badger brushes create more lather and it feels a lot nicer on your face. You can pick up a nice badger brush at any Crabtree and Evelyn. If you don’t have a Crabtree in your area, try Amazon.

Suggested Brushes
Omega Creamy Curved Handle Pure Badger Shaving Brush - #13109
Porter’s Badger Shaving Brush
Omega Brownie Junior Badger Shaving Brush with Stand - #63184

Soaps and Creams

If you’re like the average guy, you’ve probably been getting your shaving cream from a can. This blue/green, chemically laced goop does nothing for your face and smells like a hospital. Traditional shave creams and soaps on the other hand are full of natural ingredients that nourish your face and leave you smelling absolutely manly. While these high quality creams and soaps may cost more than the can stuff, just a dab will create enough lather for you to lather up twice.

Suggested Creams and Soaps

Proraso Eucalyptus & Menthol Shaving Cream 150 ml.
Kiss My Face Fragrance Free Moisture Shave, 11-Ounce Pumps (Pack of 4)
Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream Jar
Proraso Shave Cream Tube
Body Shop For Men Shave Cream

The Technique

Prep your beard. If you want a clean shave, you need to prep your beard adequately. The goal during beard prep is to soften your whiskers so shaving is easier and causes less irritation. The best way to soften your beard is to to shave right when you get out of the shower. The hot water from your shower should hydrate and soften your beard enough for shaving. If you haven’t showered, at least wet your beard with some hot water. A hot towel is a great way to soften your beard.

Lather up. Take a small dollop (about the size of nickel) of your shave cream and place it in a mug. Take your brush that you’ve pre-soaked with water and swirl the cream around until you get a nice thick lather. Apply the lather with your brush in swirling motions. When your face is nice and covered, take a few strokes to smooth everything out.

The shave. Unlike shaving with cartridge razors, shaving with a safety razor actually requires some skill and technique. Once mastered, though, you should be shaving effectively in no time. The four keys to a successful shave with a safety razor are 1) use as little pressure as possible; 2) angle the blade as far away from your face as possible; 3) shave with the grain; and 4) go for beard reduction, not beard removal. This will take some getting used to if you have used cartridges your entire life.

You don’t need to use pressure because the weight of the safety razor is sufficient to cut your beard. If you press down, you’ll end up hacking up your face. To help counter the tendency to apply pressure, try holding the razor by the tip of the handle.

Angling your razor is probably the trickiest part. The proper angle is somewhere around 30 and 45 degrees. To get the proper razor angle, put the top of the razor head directly on your cheek, with the handle parallel with the floor. Now slowly lower the handle until the blade can cut your whisker. Practice on your arm if you’re not comfortable practicing on your face.

While shaving against the grain can get you that smooth feel, you risk slicing up your face and causing ingrown hairs. When you’re first starting out, shave with the grain of your beard. If you lather up and pass the razor more than once over your face, you’re guaranteed to get a smooth finish.

The goal with shaving should be gradual beard reduction, not beard removal in one deft swoop. Most men try to get rid of their beard in once pass of the razor. This hack-and-go technique is what causes the majority of skin irritations. If you want to avoid skin irritation, lather up and pass your razor over your face several times. Your face will thank you.

Post-shave. Rinse your face off with some cold water to close your pores. Treat your face to a nice aftershave. There are several to choose from, so pick the one you like best. Aftershave helps reduce any irritation that may have occurred and will leave your skin looking healthy.

Additional resources

Several resources exist on the internet on traditional wet shaving. Check these sites out for more information.

Badger and Blade (This is an excellent resource. I learned most of what I know about the traditional wet shave from this forum.)
A Guide to the Gourmet Shaving Experiene

Are u ready for Super Sunday

The Tube Does Thriller

Wow how things have changed

Huge police operation takes Spears from home to hospital

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A police motorcade the length of a football field escorted troubled pop star Britney Spears to a Los Angeles hospital early Thursday to get her some help, a law-enforcement official told CNN.


Police motorcycles join a motorcade leaving singer Britney Spears' Los Angeles home Thursday.

This is the second hospital visit for Spears this month, coming after her psychologist called the police, according to the Los Angeles Times.

She was removed from her home for a "mental evaluation hold," according to the L.A. Times.

Outside UCLA Medical Center's psychiatric hospital, reporters and paparazzi crowded around the singer's mother Lynne Spears and asked if her 26-year-old daughter was doing all right, reported The Associated Press.

"Yeah," she replied, before departing in a Range Rover, AP reported. Video Watch scene at Spears' home »

The North Hollywood Police Department sent about eight officers to Spears' hilltop house in Studio City, California, about 12:55 a.m. Thursday, according to the law enforcement official, who asked not to be identified because he's not authorized to comment publicly. See Spears timeline »

The group at Spears' house included plainclothes officers, motorcycle police, ambulance crews and some police "brass," the official said.

It took the better part of the day to arrange the transport plan, the officer said.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the pop star was taken to UCLA Medical Center. On January 3, Spears was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she reportedly underwent a psychological evaluation. Video Watch how mental evaluations work »

Andrew Blankstein, a Los Angeles Times reporter who was at the scene of Thursday's incident, told CNN that a police convoy, stretching the length of a football field, accompanied the ambulance as it drove down Coldwater Canyon Boulevard -- in part to keep the paparazzi from getting too close. Video Watch police motorcade at Spears' home »

Spears was whisked out a side entrance to her house.

"You couldn't really see what was going on [when officers first swept into the residence] but on the police radio, there was some reference to 'The package is on the way out,' 'We're leaving now. Go, go, go,'" Blankstein said.

A few hours earlier, two officers were sent to investigate a report of a large group gathered outside the singer's home, said David Grimes, watch commander for the west division of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The two officers found 20 to 25 people near the house around 11 p.m. Wednesday and they asked them to leave, he said.

ABC-TV host Barbara Walters reported on Monday's "The View" that she had been contacted by Spears' manager and "good friend," Sam Lutfi, who told her the pop star has seen a psychiatrist and "is suffering from what he describes as mental issues which are treatable," according to The Associated Press. Video Watch experts discuss Spears' behavioral issues »

During Spears' earlier hospitalization, in addition to the psychological evaluation, she was examined for possible influence of alcohol or drugs. Police had been called to her home that night to mediate a custody dispute. Photo See dramatic photos of the January 3 incident »

A day later, a California court refused to grant Spears visitation rights with her two children -- Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1 -- at least until mid-February.

Spears has been in a heated dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline over custody of their sons. Federline, Spears' former backup dancer, holds primary custody of the children.


Spears has been in trouble with the court earlier concerning her compliance with court orders in the custody case.

After filing for divorce in November 2006, Spears was frequently seen enjoying Hollywood nightlife. Her behavior became increasingly erratic; in February 2007, she shaved her head as paparazzi looked on, then spent a month in rehab.

Top 4 Tips for Driving like a Pro

1. Be smooth. Your car's transmission, its tires, its chassis -- they don't like abrupt inputs. Slamming on the gas throws the car's weight to the rear, unsettling the front tires (hey, you need those to steer). Diving on the brakes hurls the car's weight forward (now your poor front tires are overloaded trying to brake hard and steer, and the suddenly light rear tires just might decide to swing the tail around on you). Driving well is all about weight management, controlling the ever-shifting mass of the car so the tires are never overloaded. That means rolling the steering wheel gracefully into turns, squeezing on the gas and brakes, moving the transmission lever (if you have a manual) as if the shift knob were an egg. I was lucky enough to ride once with three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart in an original Ford GT40. The guy made that clattering old race car move as if it were swimming in Wesson Oil. Even though we were blazing around Laguna Seca, I wasn't being tossed around inside the cockpit. Instead, I was gently pushed from side to side, eased forward and back, as the Maestro conducted a ballet at the wheel. The sensation had much more in common with riding in an expertly driven limousine -- don't spill our champagne, Jeeves -- than with the typical Hollywood portrayal of "expert" driving. Trust me on this: Smoothness at the wheel is the single biggest indicator of driving skill. (Conversely, driving like Rambo is a dead giveaway that you're a wanker.)

2. Turn later. "All God's children turn in early," a racing instructor once told me. And he was right. Watch the car ahead of you on a twisty road sometime. See how he crosses the yellow line when turning left? That's turning too soon. Even when driving briskly, you should always be able to corner within your own lane. Same thing happens when racing students first hit a track. "Why, that turn is coming up so fast and the road is running out so I'd better steer now!" And what happens? They clip the inside of the corner too soon and the resulting arc carries them right off the outside of the turn. Turning later takes practice, but it's key to balancing your car on the road and maximizing speed on a track. In effect, you're slowing down a little earlier, letting the car roll a little father into the turn, smoothly arcing the wheel so the tires can bite and provide you with maximum grip. Most important: Turning later means you can get on the gas earlier. If you turn early, you'll have to back off the throttle to keep the car from arcing off the road. Turn later, and your balanced machine will be ready to glide through the apex and charge toward the exit under power. Given that accelerating is the hardest thing for a car to do, the more time your right foot can be on the gas, the quicker you'll be around the track.

3. Look ahead. Nope, not at the car in front of you. No, not at the car in front of him, either. I want you looking as far down the road as you can. On a mountain road, you're not looking at the corner you're in, you're looking for the next one. On the highway, your eyes are scanning the horizon, often a half-mile or more down the road. On the track, you're always looking where you want to go. Each of us is equipped with an Early Warning System, but too often we don't use it. Get your eyes up, and suddenly you've got advance info. You know what the next corner looks like before you fly into it. You can see that crash ahead before the driver in front of you pounces on his brakes. On the track, your hands and feet will instinctively follow your eyes; look where you want to go, and your car will go there. (Why do so many drivers crash into the only tree around for miles? Because they're looking right at the thing they don't want to hit.) Looking ahead takes practice, but you'll be amazed at how well it works –- and at how much close-up information you're still picking up simply from peripheral vision. Suddenly, you're not playing connect the dots with individual lane stripes; you're flowing past them, aiming at that spot way in the distance. You have more time to react; you can plan your next move, keeping your car in that critical balance. You're smoother, in better control, a vastly improved driver. Try it.

4. Brake like you're taking a crap. Apologies if I offend, but this lesson from another racing instructor (yes, he was French) explains proper braking more effectively than any other. Remember Tip #1, Be smooth? In braking it's especially critical. Brakes are very powerful and can easily upset a car's balance -- even if you have ABS. So, in the words of my teacher: "Braking well is like taking a big poop. First you squeeze, then you push very very hard, and then you gently taaaaper off at the end." There. Now you know everything there is to know about how Lewis Hamilton dives so deep into corners. The best part: You can even practice while reading the new Motor Trend.

Ford to offer V6 turbo in Mustang??

Future Shock: 2010 Ford Mustang

Are you ready for a twin-turbo V-6?

By Matt Stone, Mike Connor
Art By Damon Moran

Although Ford's being doing it tough over the past few years, the current-generation S197-platformed Mustang has been a runaway sales hit since its launch in 2005. Now Ford is giving its reborn ponycar its first serious freshening. The basics will remain the same, but the workover will be thorough. Coupe and convertible bodystyles will still be offered, with V-6 and a variety of V-8 powertrains.

But here's the shock news: We hear there is a faction at Ford seriously contemplating fitting the new twin turbo EcoBoost V-6 to the 2010 Mustang. As they try to figure out how to meet 35mpg CAFE by 2020, Ford engineers are wondering whether the V-8 has a long term future. The EcoBoost engine, which is currently scheduled to debut in a performance version of the Fusion, could be the more fuel efficient alternative for Mustang in the long term. Depending on spec, the EcoBoost is capable of up to at least 415hp, and has the torque to match a regular V-8.

Traditionalists need not worry, though - V-8s will still be very much part of the Mustang program for 2010. If the EcoBoost version does make production, Ford would probably offer it alongside the V-8, and let buyers decide which they prefer. There won't be much of a price difference, if any - although the base V-6 is a cheaper engine, by the time things like turbochargers are added it's basically V-8 money, say our sources.

These two spy photos hint at revised front/rear fascia and lighting treatments.

Don't expect any changes in today's, base 4.0-liter V-6 offering, as its prime purpose is motivating low-end and rental-fleet Mustangs. But the Mustang GT model's V-8-currently a 4.6 liter, SOHC, three-valver-will be replaced by a new 5.0-liter engine that's essentially an evolution of the old architecture. In fact, the new 5.0 may even appear in a limited edition run-out series of current model Mustang GTs - is it finally time for the reborn Boss 302?

One Ford engineer confirmed that the work done to create the Bullitt-edition Mustang's uprated 4.6 "has a future." That engine, described in our first test story (January 2008) remains internally stock, but breathes better due to a Ford Racing open element, cold air intake system, revised mufflers, a new crank damper (which ups the redline by 250 revs), and revised fuel mapping. This engine management programming allows the use of regular fuel, but switches to a more aggressive timing curve when it detects premium in the tank. The result is 315 horsepower, up from the current GT's 300. The Bullitt's V-8 is freer and quicker revving than before, and sounds great due to the new intake. There's no reason to think the next gen GT's powerplant won't take its cue from this technology, and thus get the same tricks. Something like 325 to 350 horses out of the new 5.0-liter V-8 sounds feasible.

Single exhaust indicates it's likely a V-6-powered mule.

That takes care of standard Mustang models. What about the Shelby versions?

Our intel had the 500-horsepower, supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 in the Ford Shelby GT500 pegged for a two-year or so life-that being 2007 and 2008, perhaps rolling into '09 depending on how well it sold, and what Shelby's own product plans were. Demand has proven strong, and we can confirm there'll be a Ford built, developed, and produced Shelby GT500 version of the 2010 Mustang.

Fastest sedans between 30 and 40 thousand

The Quickest Sedans of 2008: $30,000 to $40,000 - Features

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Bandits for family folks who never outgrew their heavy right feet.

Tenth Place: 2008 Volkswagen Passat 3.6
Ninth Place: 2008 Cadillac CTS V-6 DI
Eighth Place: 2008 Buick LaCrosse Super
Seventh Place: 2008 Acura TL Type-S
Sixth Place: 2008 Chrysler 300C
Fifth Place: 2008 Infiniti G35
Fourth Place: 2008 Lexus IS350
Third Place: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
Second Place: 2008 BMW 335i
First Place: 2008 Dodge Charger SRT8

What does this Mean for Us!! Four indicted in Pirate Bay case

Four indicted in Pirate Bay case

Published: 31 Jan 08 10:36 CET

Four people involved in the running of file-sharing site The Pirate Bay were indicted in Sweden on Thursday on charges of being accessories to breaking copyright law.

Hans Fredrik Neij, Per Svartholm Warg, Peter Kolmisoppi and Carl Lundström, are suspected of organising and running The Pirate Bay, and thus "promoting other people's infringements of copyright laws," according to charges filed by senior public prosecutor Håkan Roswall.

According to the prosecutor, their work with the site has meant that they "promoted other people's copyright breaches."

The charge sheet includes 33 cases of alleged copyright infringement, of which twenty involve music, nine are movie-related and four refer to computer games.

The prosecutor has called for the accused to pay damages of 1.2 million kronor ($185,000) to the Swedish state. He has also asked for the suspects' computers to be confiscated.

Evidence gathered by the prosecutor includes information provided by the suspects as well as interviews with staff at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and Sweden's Anti-Piracy Agency (APB), a non-governmental organization representing the entertainment industry.

The prosecutor has also pointed to documents detailing data traffic and a series of e-mail messages.

Roswall further noted that The Pirate Bay had sold advertising on its site.

While Håkan Roswall did not wish to comment on the charges, IFPI's managing director Ludvig Werner said he was pleased with the way the case was progressing.

"It is very satisfying that the prosecutor shares our view that the The Pirate Bay's activities are illegal and has brought charges accordingly.

"Sweden has developed an unflattering reputation as a sanctuary for internet pirates. The trial is going to generate a lot of interest worldwide," said Werner in a statement.

Magnus Eriksson, a spokesman for pro-file sharing lobby group Piratbyrån, predicts that The Pirate Bay will survive the trial even in the event of a guilty verdict.

"The Pirate Bay is not going to be down for a single minute. The Pirate Bay is now established in a number of countries, so there's no one place in which to push the off button," he said.

Eriksson added that he would be surprised if the suspects were convicted of the alleged offences.

"It's not very likely. In the course of the investigation there have been attempts to bring up various things that The Pirte Bay has supposedly been guilty of. Before it was financial crime, and now this accessory thing seems to be the last straw for the prosecutor," he said.

Asked whether musicians and film-makers did not have a right to be paid for their work, Eriksson replied that file-sharing contributed to a greater general interest in music and film.

"Artists have a lot of ways to earn money, and in that respect they are actually helped by file-sharing.

"These charges will not help artists. Instead they are part of a wider campign from the anti-piracy side to stop people downloading," said Eriksson.

TT/The Local ( 656 6518)

COED Presents: Cheerleaders of the 2008 NFL Playoffs

NFL Cheerleaders

The 2007-2008 NFL season will conclude this Sunday with Super Bowl XLII between the New York Giants and New England Patriots. To commemorate the event in style COED Presents: The Cheerleaders of the 2008 NFL Playoffs.

Cheerleaders of the 2008 NFL Playoffs galleries after the jump!

- AFC -

New England Patriots

New England Patriots cheerleader

[click photos to view galleries]

Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders

San Diego Chargers

San Diego Chargers cheerleaders

[click photos to view galleries]

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders

Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans cheerleader

[click photos to view galleries]

- NFC -

Dallas Cowboys

Seattle Seahawks


[click photos to view galleries]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders

Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins cheerleader

[click photos to view galleries]

Teams Without Cheerleaders… LAME!
New York Giants
Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Steelers

What Team Has The Sexiest Cheerleaders?

View Results