Old fashioned wet shaving

shaving gearLast months announcement of a five blade razor prompted me to write about a much better alternative. A shave that is cheaper, closer and with less risk for razor burns or ingrown hair: the old fashioned wet shaving.
I used to be the ideal mass consumer. My deodorant, shaving cream and after shave all smelled the same and I was happily buying into the latest razor blade on the market. I could not resist names like ‘Turbo’, ‘Speed’ and ‘Mega’; especially when put together.
This meant that I had to buy a new razor every 6 months. Of course that the cartridges for the old razor were not compatible but I just assumed that this was the price I had to pay to be using the latest and the best.
Boy was I wrong. After reading an article about old fashioned wet shaving and trying it out, I have been converted. The old bi-daily scraping has been replaced with daily wet shaving. If you are suffering from razor burns and/or ingrown hair, you have to give it a try.
There are three main components in a gratifying shave: a badger brush, a double edged safety razor and high quality shaving cream.
The badger brush will bring the most important change. It lifts up your beard and massages the skin to make it softer by using the brush in a circular motion
A natural badger brush traps a large amount of water which is then transferred to your face. Put some shaving cream in your palm and lather it up by making a circular motion with the brush.
Authentic badger brushes are quite costly. Go for the smallest size you can afford. Just make sure it’s badger.
Traditional shaving soap is very rich and enables the blade to slide easily across your skin. It is made from natural ingredients which means you will not get it in ‘Turbo Mint’ but instead in coconut, violet or traditional sandal wood. Expect to pay around £13.50 for a large tub that will last more than 6 months.
The safety razor is a bit tricky to start with. You will not be able to shave with the famous ear-to-ear stroke seen in commercials. Instead you will be using many small and light strokes. Since there is only one blade the shaving angle is important but does not take long to get used to.
Double edged razor blades are very affordable. A pack of 10 best quality blades is £2.50 which means you can change them more often than those more-expensive-than-gold cartridges. Each blade has two edges so it’s almost like a two blade cartridge. By having two edges you don’t have to rinse the razor as often. Purely genious!
Don’t splash any alcohol based products on your newly shaved skin. It has just been exfoliated by the shave and is very sensitive. Instead use a after shave moisturiseror or even better some Skin Food. It moisturizes the skin (non-greasy) and makes it amazingly elastic.
Shopping list:
Shaving brush – badger: £60 ($106)
Shaving cream: £13.50 ($24)
Safety razor: £25 + £2.50 ($48)
Skin food: £10 ($17)
I get my gear from the traditional English Geo. F. Trumper. They even have an online shop.
Hopefully you have a barber shop not too far away from you too.
P.S: Here is The Onion’s comment on a five blade razor.

IMDb ratings and links for MyVue.com

Aren’t these wonderful Internet times that we are living in? Things are moving quickly to the ever so popular Web 2.0 and one can spot changes all around: recent blog oriented purchases, easily mixing together information from various web sites and all things are best in three.
As a frequent visitor of the local cinema (Vue) I always cross check all showing movies at IMDb to see what people say about them. This involves a lot of copying and pasting and switching between browsers (actually tabs).
This is very 1999 and I thought that writing a GM script that pulls information from IMDb and displays it directly at MyVue.com was much more 2005.
ImdbRatings4Vue.user.js was born.
To use this script you should ideally be using Firefox 1.0.x. You will also have to install the GreaseMonkey engine. Once that is done, right click on ImdbRatings4Vue.user.js and choose “Install user script”.
GreaseMonkey scripts are also supported* by other browsers like Opera (which is freeware nowadays by the way) and by the Turnabout plug-in for Internet Explorer 6 for Windows.
*I have only tested the script on GreaseMonkey 0.5.3 running on Firefox 1.0.7.

49th London Film Festival

The booking office has just opened for the 49th London Film Festival (LFF) and as always there are some film gems that you do not want to miss.
Mirrormask is the latest movie from Neil Gaiman, the creator of Sandman. The two showings of Mirrormask at the LFF are possibly the only showings in the UK for a while.
Some of my favourite European cinema movies are from France, Turkey and Czech Republic and I can see from the film listings that these countries are well represented at the LFF.
Demetrios Matheou has written a rough guide to the festival which is an excellent presentation of some of the highlights of the festival.
Here is my festival planer in case you want to join us at the festival..

showModalDialog in Firefox and frames

I use Firefox exclusively and every now and then I come across a site that is crippled. This means that parts of it will not work in Firefox because the site is using some kind of IE only functionality.
One example is the function showModalDialog. This will create a modal pop-up when using IE but because it is not a W3C standard, it is not implemented in Firefox (Mozilla) and will just cause a JavaScript error.
Greasemonkey is a very powerful extension for the Firefox browser that lets you inject your own JavaScript into any web page. This includes overriding any present functionality.
While this can be used to bypass poor security implementations a far better use is to fix usability errors or mash together information from different sites.
I present you my first Greasemonkey script. It is a workaround for showModaldialog by replacing it with a standard confirm dialog: “Are you sure?”.

// Author: David Kaspar
// ==UserScript==
// @name showModaDialogFix
// @description Implement show modal dialog in Firefox
// @include     http://<enter your site(s) here>
// ==/UserScript==
window.showModalDialog = function() {
            return window.confirm("Are you sure?");

Install the script

If the site you are visting is using frames, you may have to use the below version and insert the name of the frame that is calling the showModalDialog function:

if (window.frames.frameNameHere) {
        window.frames.frameNameHere.showModalDialog = function() {
            return window.confirm("Are you sure?");

Update 04/05/2007
No progress with Firefox modal windows so instead a work-around: forced focus on pop-up.
During the latest cross browser compatibility push at our company, a team member devised this work-around and it works sufficiently in all browsers we tested (IE6, IE7, FireFox 2, Safari, Opera).
The idea is to force focus on the pop-up window. This is achieved with the javascript function window.focus().
This method will not work if the user has JS switched off but since JS is a basic requirement for our services, we can expect JS to always be on.