Razors, Shaving, and Pollution

History of shaving in America

People have shaved for thousands of years, initially using items such as rock, shell and other similar sharpened crude devices. These were eventually replaced by upgraded versions until eventually the straight razor, the electric razor and the disposable safety razor were invented. The current iteration of disposable safety razors with replaceable blades began with Gillette in 1901 when they created the idea was that a smaller more compact blade was cheaper to produce and thus it could then be disposable. There were likely safety and economic benefits from this change. At some point the head was made to easily detach form the handle allowing for cheaper disposal. In addition during the World War there was fear that soldiers needed to be prepared to wear gas masks. This resulted in disposable razors being issued to service men who were ordered to shave daily. This resulted in a steep rise in the popularity of shaving and ingrained the practice into a whole generation of people. Some data on statistics can be found at:http://www.statisticbrain.com/shaving-statistics/.

In order to remain on task I will not be talking about the monetary cost of shaving in much detail but if you shave you know that it costs money…sometimes quite a bit of money. Shaving cream for instance can cost $5 – $70 per bottle and blades (especially disposable blades) can be quite expensive. Electric razors are expensive and a good old straight razor can cost more than a high end electric razor and requires a lot of maintenance and it can cut you.

The current information on shaving

Based on the data linked above I calculated that women on average waste 2 hours and 10 minutes a month shaving and 1,402 hours of their lives shaving. At a $10 per hour (a dismal salary to live on in the United States) a woman could spend this time to earn an extra $14,000 and they pay $10,000 for this lost salary, this is a total economic impact of $24,000 in the red to the household budget (assuming only one woman in the house) over the life of the woman. Regarding men I couldn’t find cost or time information but 1.3 billion men using a razor to shave and 75% of men shaving daily is a lot of time and money that could be better used.

Environmental Concerns

So I guess I’m a little less concerned about how other people spend their money and their time…If the time and monetary costs of shaving provide you with a benefit as an individual then I won’t begrudge you on those aspects. I am a firm believer that individuals should be allowed to do what they wish and spend their money how they wish provided it doesn’t harm other people. Unfortunately, I think shaving falls into this category of harming other people from an environmental perspective especially when looking at the electric and disposable razor markets. These two kinds of razors are manufactured from metal and plastic both of these processes require energy input and likely this energy input comes from some form of fossil fuel burning. This produces carbon dioxide emissions which may in the near future be detrimental to our health as a species and the health of other species on the planet.

An additional concern is that at the end of the life of these products is likely the landfill and if we are lucky recycling centers. In the landfill these plastics might remain for very long periods of time and while a disposable razor may not be that large the cumulative effect of 1.3 billion men shaving daily creates a fairly sizable impact on the waste system. If we are lucky and the plastics and metals from these products makes it to a recycle center or other proper disposal facility then at least the biohazard (blood that may remain on the blade) is removed and the plastic and sharp metals are removed from the waste stream. This is the preferable end for these devices but even recycling of the plastics and metals is energy intensive (frequently this energy creates carbon emissions) and is still not great for the environment.

Proposal

I would like to propose that all men and women cease the practice of shaving (except with straight razors). The preferred option would actually be for men to wear beards and for women to have hairy legs and armpits. We are designed to have hair it provides many functions and to create a false image of beauty by encouraging as a society the unnatural practice of shaving as the societal norm is not only unnatural and a skewed reality but it is also harming the environment for generations to come (and the present generations), and financially costing households money which could be spent on other things (such as improving clean water and safe food access to others). Finally it wastes time that could be spent enjoying life, enjoying time with your family, earning more money or making a difference in society and the world. The act of shaving is robbing us dry and we continue to promote it to the extent that even today many businesses has policies which deter unshaven looks.

The Universe is a Black Hole Theory

ESMBH theory of the Universe

This is my weak attempt at theoretical astrophysics (it is a work in progress, and will be periodically modified as I learn more and as new information comes to light). The ideas come from creative thought, discussion with others and limited undergraduate knowledge of the underlying physics parameters. A brief history on where the inspiration for this model began:

Recently my grandmother turned 90 and the whole family gathered in the mountains at a cabin to celebrate her wonderful life. My family is an eccentric intellectual bunch and any family event that you attend you might expect multiple fiercely defended opinions on any given topic. This particular trip my uncle (a senior employee at Intel) and I began an interesting conversation about black holes. Initially we began talking about how the Milky Way galaxy is flat and through further conversation a question was asked: “What happens if you begin with a black hole and apply rotational momentum?” This lead to further questions like: “What would the shape of the black hole be?” and “What happens when the centrifugal force becomes greater than the gravitational pull?”

My answer is that as you increase rotational speed then the shape of the black hole slowly begins to modify first becoming egg shaped and continuing to skew along the rotational equator (keep in mind this would all be occurring within the event horizon of the black hole). As more rotational force is added then the shape would approach a disc-like planar shape.

An interesting question at this point is “If enough rotational motion is added will a spiral or other similar galaxy pop out?” The idea here is that as the magnitude of centrifugal force approaches the magnitude gravitational force (how it would do this is still a question) then “What happens at the moment that the rotational force becomes greater than the force of gravity?” My current thought on this is that at the moment where centrifugal force overcomes gravitational force then a very rapid expansion occurs. As the object expands into a disc the central gravitational pull is reduced in the object (this occurs because the mass is now spread out into a 2-dimensional disc shape) which allows a positive feedback loop in the expansion mechanism.

A concern was expressed at this point about the maximum rotational speed attainable being limited to the speed of light. As speed approaches the speed of light it requires more and more energy. At this point I would like to introduce a fly wheel into the conversation. Suppose we have a very large and very fast flywheel that is spinning and the outer edge of that fly wheel hits the speed of light. At this time the interior of the flywheel is still rotating slower than the speed of light. If additional momentum were applied to the rotational center until it approached the speed of light then the exterior of the flywheel must exceed the speed of light, unless something profound happens when the flywheel attains the speed of light.

If nothing profound occurs then it is easy to see how the perimeter of the fly wheel can be accelerated until it moves beyond that limit thus allowing speeds greater than light (compared to a non-moving observer). Assuming that all the nearby matter to any other matter is travelling similar to the other particles near it (including the background radiation, think of it like a giant whirlpool with sand particles suspended in the mixture…the sand (matter) is moving with similar motion compared to the water (cosmic background radiation)) this uniform motion (insert really long time scale here) causes everything to eventually enter a sort of almost regularity in it’s movement.

As time passes what happens to this spiraling galaxy? Well in a non vacuum the energy of motion will slowly dissipate to the surroundings and the spiral motion will slowdown until eventually gravity is once again the strong force (unless an outside force is applied) and the system collapses. However in the vacuum of space and galaxies the outside places to collect energy are very limited. As such the stability of the spinning galaxies can persist for lengthy time periods.

 

Suppose a spiral galaxy is a flywheel with a composition of a gaseous material. As the rotational speed increases the outer edge of the flywheel would expand in a disc shape. As rotation speeds decreased it would condense on the center (gravitational pull) with no movement (and no outside force) the gas would be spherical in shape. Rotation speed in between would naturally modify the shape to be consistent with the forces (gravity, centrifugal force) applied.

The preceding comprises an abbreviated description of the galactic portion of the Jorgensen theory of the Universe and influenced the ideas that play into the Universal model.

In science it has been demonstrated that light is affected by gravity and further more current research shows how light can be ‘masked’ to permanently alter its maximum travel speed. Travelling through materials and passing by objects with immense gravity can also change the behavior of light.

The observable universe is approximately 93 billion light years in diameter in every direction from earth. It is widely theorized that Hubble’s red shift indicates that the universe is expanding. The ESMBH theory of the Universe model maintains that this observed expansion is actually part of an extremely super massive black hole (ESMBH, we call it “The Universe”) being stretched by centrifugal expansion. The rotational speed of the ESMBH is increasing by an unknown mechanism originating from an extra universal force. If one were to examine a group of matter in the expanding disc then they would observe that as the disc expands then local particles (galaxies?) move away from each other fairly uniformly in all directions. The speed of expansion between two points would become greater the further apart those two points were from each other until at a great enough distance (93 billion light years) the expansion was greater than the speed of light. One concern is that as the disc shape expands then it should get thinner, this should produce slightly different expansion (horizontal expansion occurs from the center of the universe towards the exterior of the disc, but vertical contraction would be occurring simultaneously though to a lesser extent and hidden by the horizontal expansion). It may be possible to examine objects near the extreme edges of our observable universe and detect slight differences in expansion rates (differences caused by vertical compression and horizontal expansion relative to our position). With this information it could be possible to verify this theory and if the data supported this model then by measuring the expansion rate differences the thickness of the disc and total diameter and our relative position within the disc might be mathematically discernable and possibly even a mass of the universe and expansion rate. The expansion rate could then be used to determine the acceleration rate in rotational speed and thus be used to determine an approximation of the extra universal force necessary to create the observed effects. It might also be capable to determine if we are inside or outside of the event horizon and other important information about us, our universe, and the space we cannot see (possibly even extra universal forces).