As ever, some miscommunications and misunderstandings on both sides (this is something I find professionally fascinating. But I digress in geeky glee.). And, as ever, right and wrong on both sides. Let the good reader see and judge for herself: without further comment, or indeed further ado: Continue reading
Or, bringing the phrase “it gets better” into disrepute.
See, the real root problem in what follows is one of individual limits, a lack of contact with reality, and their combination with historical ignorance.
The first of those is a big problem: an individual who is not of the most blessèd in the brain department, who makes do the best they can with what they’ve got, but who is a fundamentally simple creature (like all trolls) with simple appetites, comprehension of their surroundings, and capacity for meaningful interaction and activity. I was always taught that one should pity the afflicted, and help them as best one can, as much as they can take too (because these are still sentient beings with feelings and will, albeit of limited judgement). Now, a simple creature thinks in terms of survival and territory. At least defending what territory one has (vs. diminution and extinction), at best expanding territory. The latter counts as “success.” One all-too-prevalent version of which is the Viagra Paradigm. Also, all Ayn Rand idiocies.
We’ve seen—heck, even Darwin saw this, and certainly Malthus before him—that how evolution and The World work is a bit more complicated. But here’s where the unhappy, nay verily tragic, conjunction of individual limits and interaction with reality intersect. For the simple creature does two things: Continue reading
or, a continuation of our adventures in the Mysterious and Marvellous Land of Feck… Continue reading
by which, I do not mean f***
but the reduced form of the chemical element with atomic number 9.
Consider this one of my many gripes about Whole Foods (and indeed other local granolemporia). To start with a positive, the Vancouver branches of WF have excellent cheese. And chocolate. And many other fine things. They have a shite selection of cosmetic, skincare, and haircare products: for those whose skins are of a more sensitive disposition. OK, there are a few Good Things: Curelle, and several appropriate things from Earth Science, Jason, Desert Essence. For example. So there are some positives to report.
But not enough, and too much crap, and too much overpriced crapola. Continue reading
2.i) “Best all-natural skincare?“
→ I can’t and wouldn’t recommend a single line for everything, same as for “unnatural” stuff++
SERIOUS DIRE WARNINGS Continue reading
as a Public Service Announcement of sorts. There is a lot of this sort of thing (which has been anonymised):
Hi Everyone, I am new to this board.
I need recommendations on “going green” with my skincare routine and makeup.
Right now my skin is super sensitive and irritated, and I have red bums which may have been cause by allergies to something unknown.
I have been looking for skin care products that don’t have harsh, dangerous chemicals in them , but have found nothing! Continue reading
from online reading of the last while…
- Logical Harmony: “cruelty-free vegan brand list”
featuring clear and nice process/procedure, and comments, and other posts on issues about animal testing and the production and sale of cosmetic products (inc. skincare) in China. A different (and stricter) approach than my own, but that aside, this is a fine and valuable resource
- Skin Inc: “The Truth About Parabens”
re. parabens Chinese whispers… ah, the joys of urban mythbusting
- Realize Beauty: “The Trouble With Making Your Own Sunscreen“
or, why you can’t just mix some zinc oxide powder in with whatever and expect SPF 30 and PPD 10 …
- and a last, incendiary, item: Mark Lynas: lectue to the Oxford Farming Conference, 3 January 2013.
Here’s the start, I hope it incites you to continue reading…
I want to start with some apologies. For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.
As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely.
So I guess you’ll be wondering – what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it? Well, the answer is fairly simple: I discovered science, and in the process I hope I became a better environmentalist.
When I first heard about Monsanto’s GM soya I knew exactly what I thought. Here was a big American corporation with a nasty track record, putting something new and experimental into our food without telling us. Mixing genes between species seemed to be about as unnatural as you can get – here was humankind acquiring too much technological power; something was bound to go horribly wrong. These genes would spread like some kind of living pollution. It was the stuff of nightmares.
These fears spread like wildfire, and within a few years GM was essentially banned in Europe, and our worries were exported by NGOs like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth to Africa, India and the rest of Asia, where GM is still banned today. This was the most successful campaign I have ever been involved with.
This was also explicitly an anti-science movement. We employed a lot of imagery about scientists in their labs cackling demonically as they tinkered with the very building blocks of life. Hence the Frankenstein food tag – this absolutely was about deep-seated fears of scientific powers being used secretly for unnatural ends. What we didn’t realise at the time was that the real Frankenstein’s monster was not GM technology, but our reaction against it.
For me this anti-science environmentalism became increasingly inconsistent with my pro-science environmentalism with regard to climate change. I published my first book on global warming in 2004, and I was determined to make it scientifically credible rather than just a collection of anecdotes.
So I had to back up the story of my trip to Alaska with satellite data on sea ice, and I had to justify my pictures of disappearing glaciers in the Andes with long-term records of mass balance of mountain glaciers. That meant I had to learn how to read scientific papers, understand basic statistics and become literate in very different fields from oceanography to paleoclimate, none of which my degree in politics and modern history helped me with a great deal.
I found myself arguing constantly with people who I considered to be incorrigibly anti-science, because they wouldn’t listen to the climatologists and denied the scientific reality of climate change. So I lectured them about the value of peer-review, about the importance of scientific consensus and how the only facts that mattered were the ones published in the most distinguished scholarly journals.
My second climate book, Six Degrees, was so sciency that it even won the Royal Society science books prize, and climate scientists I had become friendly with would joke that I knew more about the subject than them. And yet, incredibly, at this time in 2008 I was still penning screeds in the Guardian attacking the science of GM – even though I had done no academic research on the topic, and had a pretty limited personal understanding. I don’t think I’d ever read a peer-reviewed paper on biotechnology or plant science even at this late stage.
Obviously this contradiction was untenable. What really threw me were some of the comments underneath my final anti-GM Guardian article. In particular one critic said to me: so you’re opposed to GM on the basis that it is marketed by big corporations. Are you also opposed to the wheel because because it is marketed by the big auto companies?
So I did some reading. And I discovered that one by one my cherished beliefs about GM turned out to be little more than green urban myths.
If, say, you’ve already broken our resolutions, or forgot to make any?
My thanks to icaria for her response to this question:
What are some skincare affirmations that I can tape in my bathroom to help me improve myself?
(((hugs))) to the original poster, by the way.
Copy-pasted from old MakeupAlley skin-care board discussion thread of way back when. Even now, mixed reaction of LOL + WTF, do you live under a rock + OK, fair enough, innocence is always a defence. But I had to bite down hard on any risk of sarcasm, and some might have slipped out. For which I still feel guilt and of course continue to flagellate myself on a regular basis.
Such acts of morally necessary flagellation aside, I don’t really approve of exfoliation. And certainly not the kind that thinks of itself as the removal of old skin to reveal new fresh skin, but is in actual fact the stripping-off of a protective layer so as to damage shiny, red, rawness that wasn’t ready for exposure. Chemical peels: NO. Clarisonic and other demonic devices of its ilk: NO.
This seems to be the start of the exfoliatory season. In that there’s a certain rise in incidence of discussion thereof. Partly folks preparing for office Christmas parties and wanting to Look Their Best. To pull someone more drunk than you? how appealing and appetizing; hey, no accounting for tastes and twists. The next phase will be after the merry festive Saturnalian season: self-punishment to restore balance after excess, combined with turning over a new leaf as part of New Year resolutions. New body + renewed innards + new face (+ new clothes thanks to presents) = New You.
Do yourself a favour: Don’t do it. Instead, here is a tried and tested ancient method, that produces the desired result every time, a secret passed down Continue reading