2012-04-26: NOW WITH SHINY UPDATE AND EVEN MORE LOL!
A MakeupAlley Green Board LOL:
Mkay… Continue reading
[UPDATED: added links and screenshots from company site, and a little comment thereon.]
I’m as keen as the next chap/ess to buy local and support local companies. Unfortunately, “local” here is Vancouver, home of Lululemon, so all too often that means vacuous yogabunny purity-obsessed overpriced rare exclusive stuff and nonsense. Good old-fashioned ripoff quackery for good old-fashioned credulous fools. Or, as a very old proverb puts it: A fool and his money are soon parted. You know, this sort of thing that bugs me mightily and sets me off on particularly lengthy rants.
Éminence being one prime example of which.
And it’s been far too long—goodness gracious me, entire whole days—since I had a decent rant about something.
In the form of a collage copy-pasted from MUA Green Board commentary, here are the reasons for my dislike: 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
- Merriam-Webster: “containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation”
- The (um, authority on the English language) Oxford English Dictionary nails it down more succinctly to “poisonous” (see fuller details here).
- As does that authority on English-as-she-is-spoke, Chambers. That is: as the base root essential meaning. With other applications: ex. toxic assets, toxic brand.
- As ever: think before you speak/write/type. Combine that with that other great maxim for everyday life, Google is your friend: and this just shouldn’t be an issue.
But it is. For example, we get this sort of thing, over on the MakeupAlley Green Board (names have been changed to protect the innocent, especially the simple, naïve, and misfortunately uneducated through no fault of their own):
Julius: Is it safe to say that all ‘non natural’ perfumes are toxic? I still keep a few perfumes cause I like smelling them – I dont even spray them but should I just let them go??
Clement: Natural or not has nothing to do with toxicity.
Linus: I’m pretty sure any perfume you drink is going to make you sick.
Anacletus: Well, “fragrance” is a mystery ingredient and perfume is comprised almost entirely of that, so I guess I behave as if I assume they are toxic. I doubt they all are, but there’s no way to know.
Ginger [I think I'm Gelasius following the current pattern...]: 2nd, or eat: if you eat and drink enough of anything (alcoholic or otherwise), you may die. See also, for a practical demonstration of “toxic = capable of causing death or serious debilitation”—WARNING: NSF those of a sensitive disposition, currently eating or about to, lacking in humanity or a SOH, or who dislike and disdain wait-staff—
- be nice to them: wear good shoes. Not heels. Something that cradles a foot kindly, and supports it.
- and decent socks: this varies from person to person on fabrics. I like wool (ethically produced, non-mulesed, etc.), also as my wool socks last forever and are easy to fix. OK, I’ve not tested out “forever” properly yet, but I do have socks that I’ve had for 15 years+. Other folks like bamboo and bamboo rayon and other rayon from plant cellulose of various sources. Cotton may be frowned upon for being a crop that uses a lot of water, and is not awfully environmentally sound.
- clean the buggers, at least once a day depending on use and climate conditions
- trim toenails regularly, so as not to cut yourself or anyone else nearby
- scrub gently as needed: pumice stone, salt scrub. Gently. Only on tougher horn-like skin. Some folks do some serious filing here, I prefer to keep serious filing action for tax returns and law-suits. Not on my tender tootsies.
- if dry: in the evening, soak them then slather on a thick layer of some sort of balm (this could be a thick wax, or a wax/oil mix, of whatever sort); I like shea butter or my DIY balm for this. Petrolatum or lanolin or products comtaining them are a good option; for a more eco-friendly one, go for plant waxes (but taking into account distance traveled, storage costs, growth and production ethics, etc.) Then pull on a pair of socks, keep them on overnight, and hopefully feet will be less dry in the morning.
- dry and flaky: check for eczema. Oil up overnight as previously.
- foot baths: soak in warm water (not too hot) and oil, and then oil after. Same for hands. Recommend olive oil: the shop-bought extra virgin cooking variety; our current one is from Crete and lives in a large Kermit-green can.
- optional: add smelly stuff. And drink a nice cup of fragrant tea of some sort (black, green, white, herbal) while soaking feet. Maybe reuse teabags as en eye-mask at the same time. That’s what I like to think of as high-level multi-tasking.
- old love, not used for many years, but saved my feet when I was an undergraduate student and worked as a waitress and library assistant and assorted other jobs that meant being on my feet for a long time: The Body Shop peppermint & pumice foot scrub, the peppermint foot and leg lotion, and the peppermint foot spray. Heaven. They were a Christmas gift set one year, and I think this might have been the only such set I ever repurchased.
2. ETC. Continue reading
I’m not going to name names—I’ve done that before, we all know who the usual suspects are, JM and TH and EH and all—but anyone who’s been into health-food stores, has shopped online, reads blogs, and/or hangs out on MakeupAlley’s Green Board will probably have observed a certain phenomenon.
Rich beautiful person starts up company (or a company is started up with a beautiful person as its front-of-house), selling stuff to aspirational people who’d like to be, well, rich and beautiful. There’s a variant featuring a model / celebrity spokesperson. The stuff sells itself like hot cakes to any fool who seriously thinks either or both of the following two things:
- buying stuff from a beautiful rich (successful, etc.) person will somehow make them be like them: beautiful, rich, etc.
That worked in more primitive belief-based societies. See for further details: sympathetic magic, gift-rituals, cults,
and indeed any organized religion.
- the person selling them that stuff, or selling it to them c/o their image, actually uses that stuff themselves.
So there’s your basic model of beauty-associated folly.
Here’s some others in the news recently.
Much of such products’ appeal is to the “my body is a temple” purity-nutcases, the anti-science ill-educated / illiterate, and others of the sort of giddy yoga-bunny brood-mare sillies who clog up the aisles of nice places like Whole Foods, thwarting me in my quest to buy something nice and simple on my shopping list. Yes, I’m one of these old-fashioned freaks who makes shopping-lists and budgets, rather than just going out to play with a credit-card. And that might be part of why I have no debts, have savings, and have surplus income to donate to charity; being lucky in having a job helps too, and guys, in this day and age, only a real fool would argue that luck has nothing to do with that. With apologies to I’m-sure-otherwise-super-nice southern neighbour Republitards. I’ve been lucky, and am grateful for it.
But back to the point. The crème de la crème of Vancouver: rich and thick. And spoiled. Seeming to think that producing offsring proves to the world that they’re grown-ups. When they’ve been able to play and do what they want their whole lives, including saying at school: “no, I don’t want to study that (= math, sciences, history, anything involving analytical reasoning, etc.), it’s hard and makes my brain hurt. So it’s bad. Because I am a special precious brilliant snowflake, everyone always tells me that, and it can’t be my problem, it’s its fault and it’s wrong.” And the school system (and all too many parents) lets people do that. So we end up with well-off people with rights to vote who are vacuous and vain, socially and morally irresponsable, functionally innumerate and, for most purposes beyond really basic ones the length of a text-message, illiterate.
There’s a fabulous ad been running recently in the Georgia Straight for a cosmetic-surgery company that sums up the whole Van-bunny thing beautifully. This is a very poor photo of it; I can’t find it online anywhere:
Individual moral responsibility and proving one’s a socially well-adjusted person come, of course, through buying The Right (and Right-On) Stuff. Which may be, and often totally is, ripping people off. Low-paid sales assistants. Lower-order people working for a company. Farmers and other producers of (organic, sustainably-produced) raw materials, in their idyllic exotic locations (makes for good publicity-shots). And yes, even if it is fair-trade, or equal-trade, or cooperative, or UNESCO all-women peace-building co-ops in post-conflict zones: there’s still one issue remaining.
Intellectual property vs. consumerist late-capitalist cultural imperialism.
Is your product giving due credit for how it works? Especially if using traditional remedies, including those from non-Western medicine? This is often a way to appeal to the anti-scientific (or, illiterate ignorant but moneyed). “No, it’s not science: it’s a parallel thing.” Add in a peculiar anti-reasoning anti-science branch of feminism—weird as it often combines with strongly anti-feminist and patronising / pro-patriarchy pseudo-thought—and mix in some good old-fashioned cynical desire to make money, and you end up with:
- it’s traditional (whatever the tradition) so anyone can use it; no intellectual property rights, as no individual invented and patented it. Huh? So that’s applying the modern Western standards of creativity and what counts as a scientific invention, whilst being all non-Western and anti-science. Nice one.
- or claiming an ingredient, extracted part thereof, or formula as being your invention, when you used an ingredient long-used in a traditional practice; then claiming the intellectual property, or in extreme cases proprietary rights, on “your” thing.
All too common, here in Vancouver, with all things labelled “Ayurvedic” and “yoga.” Classic cases: hoodia, kava, neem, turmeric (see more on this c/o the link further down to the TKDL). Plus application to food (see also GM, Monsanto, etc.): for quinoa and rice. For more on that and where it might lead, see the futurist fictions of Paolo Bacigalupi.
That’s not only theft, it’s cultural pillaging. It’s grand theft on a social, national, and regional scale. Against whole peoples and their entire accumulated past histories.
And that, my friends, is bad.
Are you old enough to reproduce, vote, have a bank account, have a credit card? Did you graduate high school and can you read, at least at a basic level?
Right. You’re responsible for your purchases, and for checking them out. Ingredient-lists on the back, to minimise your risks of irritation, breakouts, etc. Ingredient sourcing, being cruelty-free and otherwise ethical. The small print. And checking against bullshit and cultural theft. OK, let’s be fair: we’re all human and make mistakes, and compromise is part of normal life in the real world. If you’ve got a product that’s guilty of cultural theft and you love it dearly, it is possible to stay with it and also to balance things out: why not donate some money to an appropriate charity? or substitute another product that doesn’t matter so much to you with an ethically “better” one when it runs out and you’re next out shopping for a replacement? And meanwhile, put that mind and your writing-skills to good use. Whatever level they’re at, they always improve with practice, so this is a splendid excuse for practice. Write to the makers of your fave product you can’t live without, admonish them, ask them to consider change, threaten them with public embarrassment. Great way to get into blogging too: with its twin pros of being free and being public.
The final item on this post is what got me all riled up about this other global perspective on green-washing. I admit, it probably caught my eye because I’d been so grouchy about beauty-bullshit. My own “routine” is basic and minimal, but works for me and my skin, and I’d like to think that I have no delusions of grandeur or illusions about what your looks (and what you spend on them) and the looks of your bathroom / vanity say about you. Well, your vanity does say something about you. What it says is exactly the same in every case, every time, for everyone. And it says the same thing to everyone:
It’s OK, though. There’s more to life than that sort of stuff. That does mean, though, that Gingerrama / Praise of Folly may be spending increasing amounts of time on folly, and less on beauty. And, as in the last few weeks, a slower rate of posting. As on MakeupAlley too: I just can’t be bothered with most of what I read there. It’s old and stale, or repeated and we’ve been there twenty times already (see: at least 75% of MUA posts on the green and skincare boards). Most could be answered by:
- DO A FUCKING BOARD-SEARCH YA EEJIT
- YOU HAVE AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE? YOU’VE ABLE TO POST A QUESTION ON MUA? WELL, WHY AREN’T YOU CAPABLE OF GOOGLING?
- THIS WAS NEWS LAST YEAR / 5 YEARS AGO / MY MOTHER, GRANDMOTHER, ETC. KNEW THIS. OLD HAT. IN OTHER NEWS, QUEEN VICTORIA IS DEAD.
- OOH, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TEACHING ME HOW TO SUCK EGGS! —with much love from Granny xxx
Aside from the posts from unfortunate teenagers with unhappy skin (and hormones, and more on both of them on the ever-delicious Cafe board), for whom advice isn’t going to change much, and the main thing is to dole out supportive (((hugs))) and hope they understand that things will get better and that you ARE more than outside appearances. Anyone should have time for them; even if you can’t give an answer, or if there are no answers (apart from time: on which, see image above). And for every single unhappy person who’s put up a photo there, they’ve always got at least one attractive feature—by any standards, restrictive Western or otherwise—and you can see something friendly and human in their face. They all seem like lovely people. Yeah, OK, I may be compensating for being bitter and twisted and cynical by being resolute in my optimism about human nature. That everyone’s either basically nice, or has the potential for it. And hence the (((hugs))). Surely, the best policy anyway: if you don’t know, assume niceness. It’s human, and that approach is quintessentially civilised-human.
So: sorry… especially for fewer posts… but that’s life with an amateur leisure-time hobby “bit on the side” blog. And with old age and grumpiness about the world. Let’s not forget that it’s a free world (more or less, in places) and a free internet (free-ish), and that you, dear reader, are free to read or not as you wish. As free as I am to write and click “publish.”
Traditional knowledge has always been an easily accessible treasure and thus has been susceptible to misappropriation. The traditional knowledge, particularly, related to the treatment of various diseases has provided leads for development of biologically active molecules by the technology rich countries. In other words, traditional knowledge is being exploited for bio-prospecting.Also Traditional knowledge is often misappropriated, because it is conveniently assumed that since it is in public domain, communities have given up all claims over it. Traditional Knowledge includes both the codified (documented) as well as non-codified information (not documented but may be orally transmitted).
Bio-piracy of codified Indian traditional knowledge continues, since, this information exists in regional languages, and there exists a language barrier due to which the patent offices are unable to search this information as prior art, before granting patents. Formulations used for the treatment of human ailments from traditional knowledge are time-tested since they have been in practice for centuries. The reliability of the traditional medicine systems coupled with the absence of such information with patent offices, provides an easy opportunity for interlopers for getting patents on these therapeutic formulations derived from traditional medicine systems.
[...] The grant of patents on non-patentable knowledge (related to traditional medicines), which is either based on the existing traditional knowledge of the developing world, or a minor variation thereof, has been causing a great concern to the developing world.
[...] a need was felt to create more easily accessible non-patent literature databases on traditional knowledge of India.
TKDL targets Indian Systems of Medicine, viz., Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Yoga available in public domain. This is being documented by sifting and collating the information on traditional knowledge from the existing literature existing in local languages such as Sanskrit, Urdu, Arabic, Persian and Tamil in digitized format, which will be available in five international languages which are English, German, Spanish, French and Japanese. Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification (TKRC), an innovative structured classification system for the purpose of systematic arrangement, dissemination and retrieval was evolved for about 5,000 subgroups against few subgroups available in International Patent Classification (IPC), related to medicinal plants. The information is being structured under section, class, subclass, group and subgroup as per the International Patent Classification (IPC) for the convenience of its use by the international patent examiners. Information comprising about 2 lakh formulations has been transcribed for realizing the objective of TKDL Project.
Each Sloka is read and converted into a structured language using Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification by subject (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha or Yoga) experts. The codes are then filled into the data entry screen. The Slokas are also saved in the database. The translated version of all the TKRC codes is ported in the database. The abstraction is done by the subject experts. The codes once saved in meta data directory are converted in different languages based on Unicode technology. The formulations are presently being converted into English, German, French Japanese and Spanish languages. The converted format of the formulation is readable and can be understood by a layman though it is targeted towards a patent examiner.
TKDL software with its associated classification system i.e., TKRC converts text in local languages into multiple languages as mentioned above. It may be noted that the software does not transliterate, rather it does a knowledge-based conversion, where data abstracted once is converted into several languages by using Unicode, Metadata methodology. Software also converts traditional terminology into modern terminology, for example, Jwar to fever, Turmeric to Curcuma longa, Mussorika to small pox etc.
TKDL includes a search interface providing full text search and retrieval of traditional knowledge information on IPC and keywords in multiple languages. The search features include single or multiple word searches, complex Boolean expression search, Proximity search, Field search, Phrase search, etc in the form of simple and advance search options. Simple search lets the user search a combination of keywords. Advance search lets the user search using Boolean expressions, using the expressions like “near”, “and”, “and not”. Searches are also available on IPC and TKRC codes.
TKDL acts as a bridge between formulations existing in local languages and a Patent Examiner at a global level, since the database will provide information on modern as well as local names in a language and format understandable to Patent Examiners. It is expected that the issue of the gap on lack of access to prior art traditional knowledge shall get addressed.
when the EWG come out with their sunscreen recomendations. Never shy to take advantage of any circumstances to their, well, advantage, they’ve made a neat clever move to one-up the FDA (who’ve given companies several months’ extension on implementing new guidelines that were supposed to come into force this June). Result: ladies and gentlemen, the EWG is officially and formally The Sunscreen Authority. Continue reading
Or: LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP—AN EASTER
And a sort of an Easter duckling, of the “awww cute” variety. She’s been featured on here before: welcome back to the girl with the boho goin’ on, blessed with perpetual youth: Continue reading