I previously blogged about buying button-down dress shirt that fit me. Now that I've had the shirts for a while, here's what I did to improve them for how I use them.
First, I got rid of all the spare buttons. Yes it's nice that they give you spare buttons for your shirts, but they always sew them on the bottom of the placket. This is fine if you tuck in your shirt, but I generally don't. So those are the first to go. Also, if there's a care label sewn on the placket, that goes too. In the picture on the right, I've done both. Look closely and you'll see the indent where the spare button used to be, and the rectangle at the bottom where the label was.
Next, I take all of the unnecessary buttons off the cuffs. This includes the second button on the cuff that renders it so tight around my wrist that I could use it as a makeshift tourniquet should I ever slice an artery in my hand cutting open a bagel in the kitchenette at work.
I also remove those small buttons that keep the slit of the cuff closed. The only thing those buttons are good for is branding a round imprint into the sleeve when ironing the shirt. I don't notice any drafts, nor do I hear the shocked gasps of co-workers as the catch a glimpse of my naked forearm.
I should note that both Brooks Brothers and Charles Tyrwhitt—two fine shirt makers—do not include any of these extraneous buttons on their shirts.
Finally I took a few of my shirts to a tailor and had them remove the collars. Instant banded collar. It makes for a cleaner, more modern look. And since I'm never going to wear a tie with these shirts. This look won't work for all shirts, but it's a nice way to mix up my wardrobe.
I really don't like button-down collars, but with the collar removal option, I can now shop for these shirts if I think they'd make a good banded-collar shirt.
OK, so Osama Bin Laden is finally dead, after 10 years and who knows how many trillions of dollars. But what is the opportunity cost of all of that time, money, and effort? What could the United States have achieved if we had directed all of those resources to a more positive cause?
I'm reminded once again of the Whos down in Whoville, who when confronted with their own terrorist (the Grinch), get together and sing. I want to emigrate to Whoville.
My wife is passionate about animal causes, and volunteers at several different animal organizations. So I'm exposed to a lot of different stories about animals. One thing that I just realized is that—while each of these stories is interesting in its own right—the trend of all the stories in aggregate is that the more we find out about animals, the more intelligent, capable, and more like us as humans they turn out to be.
Some recent examples:
Crows are the Einsteins of the avian world - In the journal Current Biology, researchers conclude that the birds' tool-use skills rival those seen among great apes, such as chimpanzees and gorillas. Moreover, the birds appeared to solve the problem with reasoning rather than brute force trial and error. This form of problem solving - analogical reasoning - requires the ability to see a novel situation as being essentially the same as a familiar one. "Evidence suggests that, from the earliest human stone tools, analogical reasoning has been at the core of human innovation," said Prof Russell Gray of the University of Auckland
Orangutans Learned to Fish - Over two years, [anthropologist] Russon saw several [orangutans] on these forested islands [of Borneo] learn on their own to jab at catfish with sticks, so that the panicked prey would flop out of ponds and into a red ape’s waiting hands.
Pigs Learn to Game the System to Get More Food - Pigs are equipped with RFID-enabled collars that limit piggy’s food to a certain amount per day... Some of the pigs have figured out the collar is the key to more food. Some pigs remove their collars, and other clever pigs come along, pick up the collar and carry it to the feed gate a second time [to get a second meal].