Deano’s answer to: “How many shaves should I expect from a Gillette Mach 5 blade?”

I would tend to measure in terms of "shave weeks/blade". The main variables are the thickness/amount of hair to be cut, and the regrowth rate.

Personally, Mach 3 gives me 1 shave week/blade… Whether I shave daily, twice a week, or even just once, the amount and thickness of hair compensate to basically make any additional attempted use of the same cartridge a game of "how much would you like to bleed?"

Just to give you some baseline info, I usually feel a little hair coming back 8-10 hours after a shave, and downright fuzzy the next day. I usually go 2-3 days between, though, otherwise I have a hard time getting a GOOD shave that can grab/pull the hair the right way as it slices.

How many shaves should I expect from a Gillette Mach 5 blade?

Deano’s answer to: “Is there any real advantage to using a razor with more blades, or is it just marketing mumbo-jumbo?”

In my own experience, transitioning from "old school" dual blade razors and/or electrics, using the Gillette Mach 3 was a revelation in how much closer and smoother a shave I could get with little effort, and how fewer times I would tend to cut myself when shaving in a hurry.

I also had great luck using these same blades to shave my head bald.

Which is where things start to diverge a bit…

In more recent years, I've received test samples of the Quattro and whatever the 5-bladed monstrosity is called. For facial shave, the smoothness/ease of use did seem to increase incrementally by number of blades.

The cutting effectiveness, however, was reduced by one simple fact – the blade heads are only slightly bigger than their 3-bladed counterparts, which means thinner and/or more angled blades in each cartridge. For me, this meant the blades would dull much faster than with the Mach-3. Just to give you an idea, I usually pull about 1 week out of a blade (pretty coarse hair) doing just my face, or a single use between scalp and face (then it gets dull/nicked enough that subsequent uses turn me into a bloody mess).

Because of the sheer number of blades, the newer units also seem somewhat less "flexible", which also made using them to shave the top of my head basically impossible.

Overall, I find the 3-blade units are the best overall price-performance value for any type of shaving. If I was going to keep a separate set of blades for my scalp, I'd probably scale back to the "Sensor Excel", a dual blade unit, but use the "HeadBlade" to hold the cartridge (versus the standard "stick" style razor handle). 

And if I had a lot of money kicking around, I'd probably then 'upgrade' my face razor to the Quattro or above (but at that stage, it might make more sense to just get a pro barber shave given the huge cost per cartridge).

To sum up: 2-3 blades allows you to cut more effectively without pressure/angling of the blades that may otherwise cause cuts… And 4-5 blades will certainly increase the feeling of "closeness", at least right after the shave.

Is there any real advantage to using a razor with more blades, or is it just marketing mumbo-jumbo?

Deano’s answer to: “What’s the cheapest place to buy Gillette Fusion and Gillette Mach 3 Turbo blades: Safeway, Walgreens/Long’s, Costco, or elsewhere?”

I would expand on Dylan's answer, and suggest that buying such blades online will, in most cases, prove as cheap or cheaper than a similar purchase at the retailers/wholesalers mentioned.

That said, there are several "Costco multipliers" that people forget about:

  • The cash back credit that accompanies the Executive level membership. If you buy enough high ticket items (razor blades definitely qualifying there), you can make back the membership price easily and get a nice check back at the end of the year.
  • Usage of a Costco American Express, which increases the potential cash back amount over the course of a year.
  • Time and resources (especially gas, these days) saved by buying in bulk, and reducing the total number of trips – Costco is the only one of the stores mentioned by the querent that I've never seen run out of Mach 3 blades, ever. I've yet to see blades rust or degrade prior to use, so it may be wise not to eliminate Costco as an option if nearby/you make regular trips.

Long story short, if you're a Costco executive member and/or Amex holder, it's probably a better deal to buy locally. If you are not, or do not have a convenient Costco, then purchasing from a tax-free source online is likely to yield a more consistently lower price.

As for an ordered list, the last time (~6 months ago) I checked, the pricing per blade was actually nearly identical across Safeway/Lucky/Walgreens/Costco.

As I said, Costco won out for me personally on different criteria (cash back), and sometimes the prices fluctuated up or down at the others (I've definitely seen the blades go on sale at Safeway, yielding a cheaper price by $1-2, but it's rare).

What's the cheapest place to buy Gillette Fusion and Gillette Mach 3 Turbo blades: Safeway, Walgreens/Long's, Costco, or elsewhere?

Deano’s answer to: “Why does the Doctor seem to regenerate younger each time?”

It's arguable that, since the Time War eliminated all other Time Lords, and conferred unlimited regenerations upon The Doctor, that the regeneration process itself varies in relationship to the number of total Time Lords in existence.

If that's the case, then effectively what we see as regeneration is really "taking another dip in the Time Lord Life Pool" shared amongst them. In a universe with many Time Lords, it would make sense that one would regenerate "older", taking a smaller sip from the fountain of youth… With fewer (or no other) Time Lords, The Doctor's regenerations have a more powerful effect, granting him a more youthful appearance.

Aspects of this possible answer appear in the episode "The Christmas Invasion", in which the newly-regenerated 10th Doctor (played by David Tennant) loses his hand in a sword fight, only to have it grow back in moments later!

Outside the Whoniverse, of course, the answer matches much more closely to the variance in age and appearance of James Bond – that which will appease the perceived market/viewership the most. In the case of David Tennant, at least, they were exactly right.

Why does the Doctor seem to regenerate younger each time?

Deano’s answer to: “Do people reject Facebook apps?”

I have an iPhone app (EventLoud) that taps into users Facebook social graph to pull social suggestions as well as login via Facebook connect. Today for the first time, I heard from a potential user who refused to “allow” the Facebook connection. I’m wondering if this is a common case?

All the time!

If it isn’t blindingly clear that your app, service, or site is dependent on accessing/downloading data from/uploading data to Facebook, then many people (especially older, wiser people) are going to take issue with a blanket approval.

It’s still a pretty small minority of savvy users in most cases, but they do exist, and if there’s a workaround that can accommodate them, they can turn out to be highly effective evangelists, especially in a crowded market with many alternatives.

In many cases, the solution is as simple as clarifying exactly how you intend to use the data on the user’s behalf. While this explanation can also potentially cause other distinct groups of users to “think twice” and ultimately refuse to sign up, it’s still a good practice to have, at least, a “learn more…” link on the home page that goes into greater detail.

Also, consider the minimum vs. desired amount of data you’d like to link via Facebook – is there a way you can get users to “sign up” while sharing only their FB auth key, and then expand the data shared at a later date (limited vs. full feature set). Of course, getting this complicated may be a comparative waste of engineering hours while you’re building traction – you may simply need to decide that users who care deeply about their privacy and sharing habits are not your target market, and commit to pursuing them at a later date, when you have more resources to tackle the challenge.

Do people reject Facebook apps?