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The Best of The Week

The term barber refers explicitly to someone who is capable and licensed to shave someone with, and/or operate a straight razor. As part of any barbering exam - as well as a theoretical and written exam there is a practical. Part of it is executing a tapered haircut, and the other part involves shaving someone with a razor. That's actually the definition of a barber. If a hairstylist or cosmetologist ever cuts your hair with a razor, or attempts to shave you, he or she is in violation of the law in most places.

One very, VERY fast way to fail this exam is to do ANYTHING that could potentially expose a client to medical hazards. If you drop a comb and retrieve it from the floor, you will be penalized. Use something unsterilized and/or do something unsanitary, and you might as well just go home.

Some antique textbooks I own actually talk more about the sharpening and use of straight razors than they do haircuts. Before the advent of safety razors and disposable razor blades, most men did…

I am dealing with what I have come to realize is a bit of an epiphany.

So I’ve been going out to bars/restaurants with people and having water while they eat/drink. I’ve been sitting with people at office having lunch. Half-facetiously, I’ve been asking to borrow their food and booze to take a deep sniff of it to ‘practice’, to steel myself for doing this.

I’ve realized something fucking mindboggling.

In the entirety of my memory, maybe my entire life, I have never,…

The Martian
By Andy Weir
Broadway books, 2011

The Martian is an excellent work of near-future hard science fiction. It is set in our own world, but advanced by a few years, to the point that manned flight to Mars has been underway for some years. The story starts mid-way through the USA's third trip to the red planet, and nothing too very exciting is expected. Unfortunately, only six days into the mission a massive sand storm…