Category: recycling other people’s old pants

some reading

From Colin’s Beauty Pages:

Two amusing ads:

C/o “Dove Soap” (Colin’s Beauty Pages, 2013-12-30):

And then this: a case for ignoring the messenger and their identity, and focussing on the message:

“The Whole Foods Banned Ingredient List is Wholly Flawed”

From Chemists’ Corner (2013-12-04) c/o “Beauty science news of the week,” The Beauty Brains (2013-12-15). Just looking at betaines, but that’s already an impressive start. The rest of the list: Whole Foods Market – Quality Standards: Unacceptable Ingredients to Premium Body Care (2013-09-30).

Your truly indulged herself in some previous griping regarding an earlier list: “Whole Foods and green-washing” (2011-08-23). And then there was “F-” (2013-04-02). She’s had plenty occasion to grumble about the place. But still shops there, as W(t)F sells some useful basics that would cost more and be less eco-friendly to order online from across the border. And they have some nice people working there (also some dangerous nutters, but that’s an anthology’s-worth of Whole other stories), and seem to provide a pleasant safe employment-haven for the hipper end of the social Spectrum Organics™.

Foal Hoods

Foal Hoods


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

blog post of the week

(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.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 11.13.29 AM

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... ]

“Cyber self-harm: why do people troll themselves online?”

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



Tip: not starting one’s day with coffee. Instead, having it when cortisol levels dip. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon. More on this:

References (c/o NeuroscienceDC /

  • 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

three more good reads

on censorship, netiquette, cyberbullying:

Striking Back Against Censorship (WordPress News, 2013-11-21)

The mission of 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 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 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.
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.