Category: recycling my own old pants

sunscreen: BurnOut reformulations


With thanks to the good “J” for the Public Service Announcement!

My current sunscreen is BurnOut’s Eco-Sensitive. I’ve been using it off an on—usually “on,” straying occasionally to try out other things—since summer 2010:

This sunscreen has been tweaked at least four times in the last four years; I have used three different versions (let’s call them 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2), and the most recent “update” is in the mail (as it’s a full redesign, let’s call it 2.0). Remains to be seen if the “update” is an “upgrade.” It includes an interesting new sunscreen-boosting ingredient, but it also includes stuff that might or might not be a bunch of junk included so as to be fashionable. The Viagra Paradigm strikes again.

The rest of BurnOut’s main sunscreen range has also been reformulated: that is, the Ocean Tested (also in the mail, now on version ≥3 and formulation 2.0 since I first used it; “E” reports that this reformulation dates back to August 2013) and the Kids (tried a previous version, didn’t like, don’t care enough to test it out again too. There are limits to this human guinea-pig. Interested in the stuff? Got kids? Over to you…).

Prices remain the same, $17.99 for a tube; 3 oz for Eco-Sensitive, 3.4 oz for the others.

Quick comment, for the company: it’s definitely time for a change in design on the packaging. I mean, I’ve seen better by small children and other non-professionals. See the image above: naff, naff, naff. The font, the form, the format of that front of the tube. To crown it all, you should be aware, O dear and best-beloved people at Sun Research LLC, of the fact that “BurnOut,” especially in that dread handwriting font, looks really like you’re telling people to “bum out.” Whether it’s an instruction to sally forth and moon people, or to throw away jobs and money and become beach bums, it could lead to embarrassment all round and lawsuits. You’ve used the imperative for eff’s sake. Continue reading

Paula’s Choice

There’s been a spate of PC stuff on MUA of late. There is some suspicion that this is a foray by said company into Social Media for the purposes of drumming up Word On The Street, Buzz, and eventually sales. Whether by company employees, or by loyal fans, or by paid social media professionals, or out of work actors. This is not a new or unusual marketeering tactic.

I’m neutral on much of this. I first bought Paula’s Choice products over a decade ago, at which time they were a godsend because it was hard to find cruelty-free fragrance-free basic bland functional skin stuff in the USA. (Being where I was at the time.) They kept costs down by being online-only, saving on storefront and staffing costs, and indeed loss of profits if selling through distributors in other shops. Their customer service was impeccable. They gave away decent-sized samples with every order, which you could choose; and they also sold sample-to-travel sizes of products; both of which allowed to you try stuff out before committing to full sizes. Otherwise I was stuck with importing stuff whenever back in Europe. And with what little I could find in drugstores, health-food stores, etc. that was appropriate to my skin. Then PC changed and got all fancy.   Continue reading


Re. yesterday’s post, here’s a prime example of misreading… or, as I think may have happened here, not reading at all. Certainly not thinking.

The result is #accidentalinappropriatejuxtapositionoftheweek

Think before you post.

Or am I wrong? Am I the one misreading and not thinking here? Are V******’s comments in fact duly and dutifully considered thoughts in response to the post below them on affluenza? Hmmm. That would be a lot more worrying…

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 2.30.38 PM

(Pseudonym of the other individual disguised, no links back to original source, assuring protection of the innocent / eejits, etc.)

More on “affluenza” doubtless over the next few days, in the news; it’s already being used as a joke (a defence for silly ridiculous things; -fluenza base for constructing other syndromes), and may attain status to other internet-driven memes / human caricatures and new stock comedy figures with social, political, and ethical impact: e. gg. tiger mom, bridezilla. Interesting times.


“enjoy responsibly”

  • New addition to trollwatch: “eleoptene”
  • And something between a playful LULZing troll and a crusading anti-troll: “recurringtrollouter”
  • Images don’t link anywhere: those familiar with the source-site will recognize it; others probably won’t. All pseudonyms have been censored, except my own and those of trolls

Some material of interest for anyone out there being trolled / bullied online: have a look at the bully-trolls’ strategies, especially their perverse use of terms like “bully” against the very people they themselves are attacking. No, that’s not “irony”: it’s malicious, destructive nastiness.

Look also at what trolls accuse others of, and how:

Continue reading

vitamin C serums (6)

Are you being ripped off?

Want to see how your serum measures up against the competition?

Looking for a vitamin C serums with specific actives? This might be the case if, say, you’ve tried an l-ascorbic acid one and your skin has reacted: maybe try out one based on magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. Or if you have a vitamin C serum you like, and you’re wondering if there’s a cheaper dupe. Or one based on the same functional active, but with more of it. Or less of other things like added fragrance. Or that’s cruelty-free. Has a less silly name. Comes with less marketeering, sales pitches, sketchy pseudoscientific pubvertising, and branding foolishness.

Or maybe you want to spend more money, on a smaller bottle, with a prettier label.

Anyway. Whatever the reason, if you’re looking, this post might help.  Continue reading

lady spamalot

Continuing on from the return of the lady of shalott, another example of a common online issue and a suggestion on what to do with it. Public service information service:

1. ANTOINETTE (neither her real name nor an online pseudonym) posts constantly on a certain issue on a certain public discussion board. “Board flooding.” Asks the same questions over and over again. JOCASTA is a regular on that same board. S/he also receives many messages off-board (this website has a “private message / mail” area too), being a knowledgeable and helpful person. She has had much correspondence in the past (usually about that same issue) with ANTOINETTE, as well as interacting with her on that board. ANTOINETTE asks the same question on that same discussion board yet again. JOCASTA calls her out on it that discussion board. ANTOINETTE then sends her many off-board private messages. Each one a paragraph long. For hours and hours and hours. All day. Meanwhile, JOCASTA is at work.


What to do next?

As JOCASTA puts it,

Can a 50 year old woman really be that dumb? I mean REALLY??

Continue reading

the return of the lady of shalott

ginger, shallot, and knife

ginger + shallot + knife (1)
= ???…
(It’s OK: this is only the first of a [ed. METAPHORICAL / FIGURATIVE / ANALOGICAL] sequence, the rest of which offer some solutions. Please note that this parenthetical note does not give away the plot or ruin the dramatic tension. Promise.)

Remember this?

Well, we’re back!

Back with a difference.

No more service.

Tolerance and patience have reached their limits.

[Ed. Now updated with notes indicating which parts of what follows are METAPHORICAL. The reason for this is that there have been misreadings, elsewhere; while bad reading is to blame, I must also blame my own bad writing. Even though it's in the nature of the figurative to be opaque and ambiguous, I must take my share of the fault here, as Chief Fool of my own blog.

Also, as this post is about vice. And an important first step in dealing with one's own sins is to look clearly, and to acknowledge them. I try to remember this:

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
(John 8:7)

The good reader will too.]

As have time and energy: hell, I have other things to do, and other ways to spend leisure time. Like what, say you? (Cheeky monkey.) Like digressing in a leisurely way, says I; which as we’ve seen previously is a crucial leisure activity. Like writing about having other things to do. At great and tedious length. See this here post? That’s over 3,500 words’ worth of digressionary idle chatter: I admit that at least half of that is mine, and I also admit that it’s a far cry from Wordsworth. Now, wouldn’t it be bloody brilliant if we all (myself included, and first and foremost) put that much time and effort and dedication into writing novels and poetry and political rants and generally Using The Pen To Benefit Humankind And For The Greater Good Of The Entire World, Universe, And Anything Else There Might Be And Mayhap Might Come To Be, Potentially, In All Eternity And In Every Dimension / Possible World / Et Caetera Ad Infinitum Et Ultra?

Hence why, if writing anything more than 500 words long, it must include at least a Moral Of The Story (or two, or more; such things usually go in multiples), if not a full-on rant for at least a paragraph. I think I’ve obeyed that rule so far; will try my best to follow it henceforth. That compromise is the best I can do. After all, retrospection is all too easy: it makes one want to punch both one’s own past-self and one’s future-self, simultaneously and at once, and irrespective/disrespectful of not disrupting the time-space continuum. And legislation cannot, in a proper good fair just system, be retroactive. That might also be for good sound space-time-continuum-preserving sci-fi reasons too.

Anyway. That’s at least one digression out the way. Onwards and upwards and back on-track:

Yes, it’s nice to be great and good and know stuff. To be Richesce personnified. And it’s nice to then do something about it and incarnate that greatest of Medieval virtues, Largesce. But remember, remember: Continue reading