With potassium alum! And folly, including my own!! Continue reading
(OK, originally posted a year ago. But still.) This came to my attention through a link via another link on a discussion board. It’s nice. No, it’s excellent. Well-written, wise, witty, to the point, and true. I agree with everything here, even though my own buying and deploying decisions have differed.
“Oh no! Who Put ‘Sad’ and ‘Guilt’ In My Lotion?“ Stuff I Put On Myself (2012-10-09)
[...] I get questions about this stuff all the time… variations of which chemicals to avoid, how to avoid animal testing, how to find natural products, blah blah blah. People really want to pick the right thing, so it does what they need AND doesn’t cause them guilt and/or anxiety about poisoning/abusing themselves or animals or the whole planet.
I am going to preface this by saying that my feelings on these topics aren’t going to be popular. That’s fine! We can all think different things and still be pals!
I’ve read a lot about cosmetic industry standards, terminology and what you have to do to be allowed to use certain terminology, and I am married to a chemical engineer who will always spend 45 minutes explaining the minutia of any little question you ask about chemicals, and also will go all Mr. Wizard on you and lay it down if you slip up and say some buzzword that is essentially bullshit marketing. Dude can even tell you what’s in the tanker truck by looking at the little number on the back.
Unfortunately, much like with everything else in the world, it is sobering and depressing to actually know what’s up.
[Read on... ]
Article by Denise Winterman, BBC News (2013-12-03). Excerpts follow below. They may sound familiar. They certainly sounded familiar to me; while we’ve all seen quite enough regular trolling, and trolling of all shapes and sizes and shades—including the good, virtuous, angrily sincere—this is a different, darker side that I’d never thought of. It does make me wonder, though, how far cyber self-harm extends. The BBC item below refers specifically to teenagers and teen issues.
But those of us who spend a lot of time online see these issues frequently and not only in teens. These issues continue into later life: adults, too, may be emotionally damaged, scarred, suffer low self-esteem. Especially, all too often, women. Continue reading
My email inboxes have been full of a different kind of near-spam (as in: unsolicited, not part of a conversation with known individual humans, and to do with money changing hands).
Last week, in real life as well as online including the spamverse, we had the usual build-up to Black Friday. Then the great day itself. Somewhere along the way, Americans had Thanksgiving and, presumably, duly gave thanks and were thankful in the traditional thoughtful, giving, sharing manner.
Then a weekend, in which the traditional sequence of folkloric ritual activities continued. Interrupted intermittently by spam about CyberMonday. Then, yesterday, CyberMonday. All of which is arguable part of the same traditional holiday, its message and traditions, and traditional spirit and values.
And today: Giving Tuesday.
For people who actually give a ****.
Here are my three main repeat ethical-spam offenders:
Tip: not starting one’s day with coffee. Instead, having it when cortisol levels dip. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon. More on this:
- “Wake up and postpone the coffee“: The Australian, 2013-11-07
- “The best time for your coffee“: NeuroscienceDC, 2013-10-23; also at Brainfacts.org
- and here’s a fine coffee blog: CoffeeAmp.com
- see also: “Day 3 at #SfN13: Can Caffeine Prevent Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease? Nanosymposium – Learning and Memory: Physiology“ NeuroscienceDC, 2013-11-11
References (c/o NeuroscienceDC / Brainfacts.org):
- Debono M, Ghobadi C, Rostami-Hodjegan A, Huatan H, Campbell MJ, Newell-Price J, Darzy K, Merke DP, Arlt W, & Ross RJ (2009). “Modified-release hydrocortisone to provide circadian cortisol profiles.” The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 94 (5), 1548-54 PMID: 19223520
- Inouye, S.T., and Kawamura, H. (1979). “Persistence of circadian rhythmicity in a mammalian hypothalamic ‘island’ containing the suprachiasmatic nucleus.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America DOI: 10.1073/pnas.76.11.5962
Ingredients: Distilled water, Hyaluronic Acid (15%), Vitamin C [MAP] 15%, Grape seed Extract, Green Tea Extract, [Bees Wax, HE-Cellulose, Polyglyceryl Oleate], Pure Rice bran Oil, Pure Argan Oil, Vitamin E, Matrixyl 3000, Silk Amino Acids, Honey Extract, EDTA Tetrasodium, Silk Powder, Germall, Potassium, Allantoin, Aloe-vera Leaf Extract
- 15% magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP, stable form of vitamin C):
antioxidant, sun protection booster (plus other more cosmetic attributes)
- green tea extract, grape seed extract, vitamin E:
antioxidants; C serums are supposed to work better when also containing E
- hyaluronic acid, honey:
humectants (the honey extract in a low concentration, though)
- matrixyl 3000:
a.k.a. the peptides Pal-GHK and Pal-GQPR (matrikines)
collagen and elastin production
And useful stuff in the base:
- moisturising components:
rice bran oil, argan oil, and the beeswax-etc. emulsifier mix
- soothing components:
allantoin, aloe vera (YMMV as ever)
Cost: $30.00 / 2 oz = $15.00 / 1 oz
+ shipping to Canada = $9.95
Feel and finish, quick review:
Opaque, white, light lotion in texture. In density, more like a light gel-cream eye-cream. One needs 3 pumps for a light layer all over face, throat, and backs of hands. Applied to damp skin aftre exiting shower, first thing in the morning. Followed by moisturiser and sunscreen. Sinks in fast but leaving skin feeling silk-velvet soft. Not at all drying: indeed, I realised that my previous regular vitamin C serum–the moistest of the Silk Naturals ones (Awesome Sauce) was drying in comparison.
I’ve been using vitamin C serums on my skin for many months now (maybe a year? maybe more?), and it feels and looks pretty decent and smooth and so on. I haven’t done the proper testing that would be required to prove that any decency in skin is attributable to the use of vitamin C serum, or to it alone. I also use sunscreen, and try to use that other great skincare product, sleep, as much as possible (8-10 hours / night).
This serum may well be too moisturising for some people. And might contain clogging ingredients. Depending on you and your skin. On me (drier): great stuff.
If you’ve tried out l-ascorbic acid serums before (they’re probably the commonest kind) and your skin has reacted, suggest trying MAP. In my experience, it’s gentler. See further: vitamin C serums (5) and (6).
- very high percentage MAP serum: most are 3 or 5%. For comparisons, see vitamin C serums (6): MAP
- plus other antioxidants
- plus hyaluronic acid
- plus peptides
- unscented / no fragrance; it does have a little scent to it, from the ingredients
- zero irritation on me
- moist: the moistest vitamin C serum I’ve used
- seems to be working, or at least, not not working
- skin feels lovvvvvely
- feel and finish; the silk powder may be helping out here
- no silicones (especially not the sort that bring my skin out in zits)
- minimal, elegant, functional formula
- does have preservatives (yay!)
- in convenient tinted glass bottle
- price and value for money: one of the cheapest vitamin C serums around, and high percentage of vitamin C providing good bang for your buck
- no animal testing
- not proper INCI ingredient listing; uncertain what the potassium is doing there: maybe a typo for potassium sorbate as a preservative?
- ethical and political discomfort about some of the company’s other products (e.g. skin lightening)
- shipping takes rather a long time to Canada; if you’re in the US, though, also available c/o Amazon
- tetrasodium EDTA, depending, depending on concentration (probably low): as possible environmental pollutant. I consider this as a low risk.
- of more immediate and definite environmental concern: grotesque overpackaging. Grateful though I am for the consideration involved, and that my serum arrived safe and sound, the bottle was wrapped in the following layers: a slightly plasticated cardboard sleeve (see image above; different design on it, though), then several layers of plastic (inc. ziplock bag, bubblewrap, plastic air-pillow bags), then polystyrene chips, all inside a cardboard box which could have held at least 20 bottles of the serum
- label and packaging are not the most aesthetically pleasing ever; luckily, the writing is already starting to come off the bottle
I’m just being even-handed here. I have been using this for long enough to make a judgement, and in my opinion the pros outweigh the cons and I would judge the cons to be very minor. I would rebuy this serum (and indeed have already done so).
on censorship, netiquette, cyberbullying:
Striking Back Against Censorship (WordPress News, 2013-11-21)
The mission of WordPress.com is to democratize publishing. We’re inspired every day by the ways creators use our platform to bring their voices to the world. Unfortunately, we also see many cases of censorship aimed at WordPress.com authors and users.
One area where we’ve seen a number of problems is the censoring of criticism through abuse of copyright law. Two recent cases of abuse really caught our attention and made us think that we needed to take action to fight back on behalf of our users and everyone who believes in the Internet’s promise for free expression.
A common form of censorship by copyright stems from improper use of legal creations called DMCA takedown notices. The DMCA stands for the “Digital Millennium Copyright Act”, which is a US federal law that created a system for protecting copyrights online. The DMCA system works pretty well, but has a few overlooked flaws that have made it too easy to abuse. Under the DMCA, companies, like Automattic, who publish user content cannot be held legally responsible for copyright infringement – so long as we follow a procedure to take down materials when we receive a notice from a copyright holder that something appearing on our platform allegedly infringes their copyrights. Every company that you use to share videos, pictures, and thoughts (from Google search to Facebook to Snapchat to WordPress.com) relies on the DMCA to balance free expression with protection of copyright.
The DMCA system gives copyright holders a powerful and easy to use weapon: the unilateral right to issue a takedown notice that a website operator (like Automattic) must honor or risk legal liability. The system works so long as copyright owners use this power in good faith. But too often they don’t, and there should be clear legal consequences for those who choose to abuse the system.
[read the rest of the piece in full at WordPress News]
And a useful link from there:
- Retraction Watch: Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process
Item the third is an extraordinary story of response to cyber-bullying, with extreme harassment and threats: it shows the other, positive side of the DMCA.
The original version: “I’VE BEEN CALLED THE “ERIN BROCKOVICH” OF REVENGE PORN, AND FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, HERE IS MY ENTIRE UNCENSORED STORY OF DEATH THREATS, ANONYMOUS AND THE FBI”, xojane.com, 2013-11-21.
Also “One woman’s war against the most dangerous man on the internet”, at Jezebel, with many heartwarming offers of help from the community at large.
Happy news. Heartwarming. Makes you glad we’re living in 2013.
Trustafarians selling overpriced beauty products to gullible fools: be ashamed every time you use words like “inspiration” improperly. What follows below, people, is what “inspiring” is.
Bored at work? Looking for something to occupy you? Bored with online discussion forums full of other bored people, engaging in LOLs that are actually destructive lulz like trolling and bullying? Convert that sucky gloomy swampy quicksand of negativity into positive energy. Try something creative, that engages your mind, inspires reflection, raises a smile, and increases your happiness. And then share it with others and spread the joy. The best cure for boredom known to man: a good read.
Here’s a good read.
Enjoy and share. Continue reading