A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Category: Reference


Articles about leather:

  1. Types of leather: All qualities, grades, finishes, & cuts” (Liberty Leather Goods).
  2. Saffiano leather — yay or nay?” by Minku (2015-03-24).

Wood: Staining and finishing

Articles about staining and finishing wood:

  1. How to stain pain” by American Woodworker Editors (Popular Woodworking, 2019-01-22).
  2. Preparation & sanding” (General Finishes).
  3. Complete wood finishing guide” (Rustoleum).

They expire?! Lotion and shampoo.

How to tell when lotions and shampoos have expired:

  1. Can I use lotion past its expiration date?” by Kristeen Cherney (Healthline, 2018-11-19).
  2. When do lotions expire?” by Frieda Wiley (WebMD, 2019-07-18).
  3. Does shampoo expire and how to tell if it has?” by Sara Lindberg (Healthline, 2020-20-11).

Encrypted e-mail services

Information on ProtonMail and Tutanota. As of 2020-11-24, ProtonMail offers Thunderbird compatibility only to users of paid accounts; Tutanota does not offer Thunderbird compatibility to any users.

  1. Tutanota vs. ProtonMail: Which is the better secure email service?” by Paul Greenamyer (Cybernews, 2021-01-18).
  2. ProtonMail review: Have we found the most secure email provider in 2020?” by Mindaugas Jancis (CyberNews, 2020-11-20).
  3. Tutanota review: When privacy is a must” by Justinas Mazura (CyberNews, 2020-11-20).
  4. ProtonMail vs Tutanota: Comparison of email services” (Tutanota).

Color bleeding, or, how to treat clothes that bleed dye


  • To properly set dye in fabric, chemical treatment must be matched to the type of dye [1].
  • Treating with salt or vinegar is generally not useful [1,2], contrary to a common belief [6].
    • More precisely, vinegar will help set some acid dyes, if (1) applied with heat and salt, and (2) the fabric missed this step of acid dyeing [1].
    • Salt alone neither helps nor hurts the garment [1].
  • If fabric was dyed correctly but contains excess dye, repeated washing may be enough [1].
    • Wash once in cold water without detergent, then multiple washings in hot water with detergent [1].
    • There are special detergents for washing out excess unattached dye [1].
  • Alternatively, dye fixative may help [1].


  1. FAQ: Is there any way to ‘set’ dye in purchased clothing or fabric?” by Paula Burch (All About Hand Dyeing).
  2. How to set color and stop dye bleeding in clothes” by Mary Marlowe Leverette (The Spruce, 2020-01-18).
  3. How to prevent fabric color transfer, bleeding, and fading” by CL Mitchell (Den Garden, 2019-04-22).
  4. How to remove bleeding dyes from clothing” (How To Clean Stuff).
  5. How to remove dye stains from clothes” by Mary Marlowe Leverette (The Spruce, 2020-02-09).
  6. Your colorful clothes won’t fade if you use this DIY trick” by Sarah Lipoff (Popsugar, 2020-02-16).


Have a blister? Annoying. Treat it wisely!

A friction blister is “a soft pocket of raised skin filled with clear fluid caused by irritation from continuous rubbing or pressure” [1]. The most pressing concern (no pun intended) is infection. “[T]he skin provides a natural protection against infection” and thus “a blister should be left intact if possible” [1]. In particular, “[d]o not drain the blister”! If the blister breaks naturally, do not remove the skin [2,3]; simply wash with soap and water, pat dry, apply antibacterial ointment, and cover with a bandage [1].

“[M]edical care is needed only if an infection develops. This is more likely to occur if the skin over the blister has been pierced, broken or popped” [1]. If you observe signs of possible infection (intense tenderness, significant redness, warm skin, non-clear (e.g., white or yellow [2]) drainage, fever), then consult a doctor.

  1. Friction blisters” (Harvard Health Publishing, 2019-03).
  2. Understanding blisters — treatment” (Web MD, 2019).
  3. Blisters: First aid” (Mayo Clinic, 2018-02-13).

Adobe Flash Player


Adobe is discontinuing distribution and update of Adobe Flash Player after 2020-12-31 [1]. New web standards make Flash Player largely unnecessary [2,6]. Security flaws (and the end of security updates after 2020) make Flash Player dangerous. Uninstall Adobe Flash Player [3mac,3windows].

Update Adobe Flash Player pop-up window


A pop-up window titled “Update Adobe Flash Player” (from an application named “Adobe Flash Player Install Manager”) appeared on my computer screen several times a day. (Note : These pop-up windows seem to appear as stand-alone windows in my computer, NOT in a web browser.) I found no evidence that this is malware. It seems to be related to settings in “System Preferences > Flash Player > Updates”, which were set to “Notify me to install updates” [4,5]. The preceding references state that updating these settings to either of the alternatives (“Allow Adobe to install updates (recommended)” or “Never check for updates (not recommended)”) would make the pop-up windows go away. Selecting the radio button for either of these options opened another pop-up window (the same window for both options, with the text “legacyLoader is trying to install a new helper tool.”). I could find no evidence of malware, but I had been sufficiently spooked by reports of malware that I preferred not to enter my admin password to install the helper tool.

Adobe’s website states that “Adobe will stop distributing and updating Flash Player after December 31, 2020” [1].

UPDATE (2020-05-26). I uninstalled Flash Player from my laptop one week ago. The “Update Adobe Flash Player” pop-up prompts stopped immediately, and I have not experienced any content issues (web browsing, etc.).

  1. [1] “Adobe Flash Player EOL general information page” (Adobe).
  2. [2] “You really shouldn’t be running Adobe Flash Player any more” by Brendan Hesse (Life Hacker, 2018-12-10).
  3. [3mac] “Uninstall Flash Player | Mac OS” (Adobe).
  4. [3windows] “Uninstall Flash Player | Windows” (Adobe).
  5. [4] “How to disable update Adobe Flash Player notifications” by Serhat Kurt (macReports, 2019-10-17).
  6. [5] “Remove fake Adobe Flash Player update virus popup from Safari, Chrome, Firefox on Mac” by John Dee (Mac Security, 2020-05-17).
  7. [6] “Comparison of HTML5 and Flash” (Wikipedia).
  8. How to uninstall Flash Player on a Mac” by Serhat Kurt (macReports, 2019-10-17).
  9. Adobe Flash Installer wanted to install helper apps” (Adobe, 2019-02).
  10. How to remove ‘Fake Flash Player Update’ from Mac?” by Tomas Meskauskas (PC Risk, 2019-11-26).
  11. Beware of fake Flash Player update on OSX” (Adobe, 2018-04).
  12. This pop-up keeps popping up: ‘Adobe Reader is not optimized for your Mac and needs to be updated’” (Adobe, 2019-04).
  13. HTML5” (Wikipedia).
  14. Thoughts on Flash” (Wikipedia).

Battery disposal

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. FYI : It’s totally fine to throw away most batteries” by Mike Murphy (Quartz, 2015-01-23). Cites battery manufacturers (Duracell, Energizer) who claim “[a]lkaline batteries can be safely disposed of with normal household waste”.
  2. Yes you need to recycle your old batteries” by Thomas Germain (Consumer Reports, 2019-04-20). This article agrees that “[t]oday, primary batteries are rather benign chemically” but argues you still shouldn’t throw them away.
  3. Duracell care, use, and disposal” (Duracell).

Read : 2020-04-11

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. St John Passion to be live-streamed from Bach’s Leipzig church on Good Friday” (Gramophone, 2020-04-07). The article contains a link to the Bach Archive’s Facebook channel, where you can find a recording of the performance (prefaced by a couple others) in a posts dated 2020-04-10.
  2. How to edit your own writing” by Harry Guinness (NY Times, 2020-04-07). The first step is recognizing that editing is (always) needed.
  3. In cyberwar, there are no rules” by Tarah Wheeler (Foreign Policy, 2018-09-12).
  4. Will we forgive Amazon when this is over?” by Christopher Mims (Wall Street Journal, 2020-04-11).
  5. How to prevent pinholes in T-shirts near your belly button” by Alison Gary (Wardrobe Oxygen, 2018-04-05). So that’s where those holes come from: bottom hardware. Some YouTube videos [1,2] on how to fix them.

And why not? Some classic Federer [1,2], hors contexte, compliments of YouTube.

Reference : OS backup : Windows 10 64-bit

Articles on creating a backup of Windows 10 64-bit operating system:

  1. Backup Windows 10 to USB drive: Two simple ways are here!” by Vera (MiniTool, 2020-01-17). The first way uses MiniTool’s freeware (I have never used this). The second way uses Windows’s built-in Backup and Restore utility.
  2. How to take a full backup of Windows 10 on an external hard drive” (FAQForge).
  3. Create a Windows 10 system image backup” by Aseem Kishore (Help Desk Gee, 2018-01-30).
  4. How to backup Windows 10 64-bit easily and quickly?” by Ivy (Aomei, 2020-02-26).
  5. What is the actual size of Windows 10, 64-bit?” (Quora, 2018-05-03). Best answer: ISO size is approximately 4.5 GB. (To install, at least 20 GB free space required on installation drive.)
  6. How big of a USB do I need for Windows 10?” (Quora, 2019). Best answer (with screenshot of USB partition): 3.99 GB. 120 GB USB, formatted as 32 GB FAT32, remainder “unallocated”. USB 3.0 is recommended, because it is faster than previous USB versions (2.0, 1.1) for data transfer. USB 3.0 devices will work in earlier-version USB ports (see below).
  7. Does USB 3.0 work with USB 2.0? A guide to USB versions and compatibility” (cmd-ltd). “The short answer is yes — USB 3.0 does work with USB 2.0 [and USB 1.1], but you won’t get the speeds of USB 3.0 technology.”