“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”

- Alice in Wonderland.

We don't need to create a world of our own to find nonsense in our daily lives. It keeps you on your toes and keeps life interesting.

So are you paying attention it? Cause I am.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

You can't make this up...

Way back in 1880's Dr MacKenzie's Complexion Wafers was actually the cause of death for a poor young girl just looking to clear up her skin. (The photo to the right was the advertisement for a product that poisoned the blood so that transported fewer red blood cells and provided less oxygen for vital organs). And this wouldn't be the first time in history where a cosmetic product has done more harm then good.

Like I said before, now we have the FDA to approve or deny anything that could potentially cause that much harm to anyone, but how good of a job have they been doing?
Americans spend more than $5 billion a year on cosmetics, toiletries, beauty parlors and barber shops. That's a lot, but in some cases it is understandable, i mean let's face it everything we read and see in magazines, commercials, and on tv only prove that american's have an obsession with how we look more so than most countries BUT with the FDA now there are product regulations now that never existed way back when make up seemed like a miracle cure and sometimes you had no idea what you were wasting your money on.

Samuel S. Epstein's Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Endanger Your Health . . . And What You Can Do about It, brought to the table common products that we use today that are more hazardous then what you'd think. His intro states that: 

"In reader-friendly language and with meticulous scientific documentation, Dr. Epstein details the wide range of toxic ingredients in currently marketed cosmetics and personal-care products along with those ingredients effects. The ingredients fall into five categories: frank carcinogens, hidden carcinogens (carcinogens that contaminate other ingredients, or ingredients that are the precursors for carcinogens), endocrine disruptors (ingredients that are hormonally toxic, particularly harmful to women and their fetuses), penetrating agents (ingredients that pass through the skin), and allergens."

Although most of medical conspiracies are rare instances gone wrong or over-reactive people that have no idea about medical research, however there are still products of concern that are not worth their claims. 
Epstein has been mostly concerned with products that have created more cancer concerns. In a press release he targeted Avon, a very popular cosmetic company pointing out major ingredients in their products that have a high cancer and hormonal damage risk:
"A class of ingredients in Avon products, parabens, has been shown to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells in laboratory tests and parabens have been identified as possible causes of breast cancer"
There are many organizations that have stepped up to ad awareness to this issue such as The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics which have worked with companies such as L'Oreal and Revlon in removing harmful ingredients. 

Here are some products to look out for and the chemicals they contain the next time you go shopping:
- Salon Selectives, Neutrogena Clean Shampoo and Clairol Herbal Essences contain SLS.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) is found in 90% of all shampoo...it penetrate the skin very easily and once inside the body, it collects in the heart, live, lungs, and brain. If SLS mixes with other chemicals, it becomes a carcinogenic.
- Vaseline, Baby Shampoo, Baby Lotions, and Baby Liquid Soap contains Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is the main ingredient in baby cosmetic products and is alien to the human body that has numerous detrimental effects, in particular for babies, because it clogs the pores, hindering the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting skin disorders and decelerates skin function and cell development—resulting in the premature aging of your skin.
- Colgate Total Advanced Clean Toothpaste contains Trisoclan.
Colgate toothpaste has admitted to using Trisoclan saying that it is an "effective antibacterial ingredient that controls a wide range of bacteria. The copolymer is used in the formulation to prolong retention of triclosan on oral hard and soft tissues and in plaque. Without the copolymer, triclosan would be rapidly lost from the mouth, reducing its clinical effect" and further and that it's safe. However... The EPA registers it as a pesticide that scores high as a risk to both human health and the environment research has revealed that triclosan reacts with the chlorine in your tap water, chloroform is produced. What happens is that it is stored in the body tissue and can accumulate to toxic levels, damaging the liver, kidneys and lungs.
Scary isn't it? And that's only three products that have proven to be potentially extremely harmful to the human body and the environment. Although there are the organizations that are there to help out, it seems that going all natural is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Give it to me, Baby...?

I know there is a strange fascination in our culture around sex and sex appeal. Everything comes down to sex these days, as we've probably heard a million times "sex sells". I know that from when I was growing up to what kids are growing up with now it becoming quite disturbing. At least when I was younger, it was more subtle. But I feel like there is a more extremism in the way we advertise even to children nowadays...

For example, let's look at a diaper ad from 1985.

Subtle, humorous and we get the point.
Adults are essentially the consumers of this product and I would find this very funny in it's own way, but still tasteful. It's not pushing limits or in any way inappropriate, except that it is putting an adult persona on a toddler.

We can let it slide.

Now let's look a more  recent advertisement that came out Feb. 1, 2010...
I'm not even sure where to begin with this scandal, but it seemed to so familiar that I realized that well hey, I know what this reminds me of and I find this extremely disturbing...David Beckham's sexy Armani Underwear Ad. (Whom by the way looks stunningly sexy covered in baby oil holding a rope). But I don't want to necessarily see a baby covered in baby oil holding a rope..half naked. Um this is like porn for pedophiles! WTF?!
Sex does sell but this need not apply to company's like South Korea's trusted Huggies for their brand Goodnights pull-ups to prevent bed wetting. Inappropriate! I mean I understand that there is a different culture thing going on, but when will the line be drawn? Luckily, they stopped using this advertising technique do to outraged mothers.

I'll take the 1985 ad thanks. Is this what our generations to come will think is humorous, and what effect will this have on my children or my children's children. 

And it's not like this isn't being addressed, it's just ignored. I remember watching a South Park episode called "The Ring" was the premiere episode of it's 13th season which exploits how Disney tells sex to children. This was a very light-hearted and humorous way of pointing this out.
I'm sure most of the kids like me that grew up in the 90's have googled all the fun sexual bloopers and things in Disney movies that went over our heads. I was able to find on youtube a video that shows how sexual subliminal messages were used in Disney (and potentially other movies/cartoons/etc.). Although this is an ongoing debate and nothing can be proven, this is something to consider.
I'll admit he video is very extreme, but it's messages serves a point. Although it's only a children's movie and it's made for adult humor, we forget that children pick up on every little thing. It may not seem like a big deal, but when your kids start asking questions or being to mimmic swears and the behaviors that they see get a reaction.. it sticks, trust me.

And it starts extremely early, and we provoke it apparently, because sex does sell.
You'd think people would know where to morally draw the line, but I guess not considering the first example of the Huggies' Ad came out only 4 days ago. 

If that's not bad enough I went ahead and did some research on toys for infants to really young kids and this is what I found...

Come on boys and girls, you can shave the baby....everywhere. Um last time I checked, BABIES DON'T HAVE PUBIC HAIR!! Way to go Japan...
(Click here to see other strange Japanese children toys too...you'll be shocked. It's mildly amusing for us, because we're adults but keep in mind please these are kids toys!!) 

Or check out this neat one from Spain...Bebe Gloton, which when translated means "Baby Glutton" (that's just awesome, one of the seven deadly sins and the reason for the obesity problems that we have in the world) that doesn't even require a bottle! Sweet, except for the fact that it's a breast feeding doll. Yup, breast feeding. Children breastfeeding. Like we don't have enough issues with younger kids keeping there legs closed, let's teach a 5 year old what breast feeding is. I'm sorry but if I was a parent up until about my kid turns like 15 am I ready for them to know how the body works and that babies don't come from a stork.

Or an even better one from Spain...check out the new Baby Wee Wee's commercial and you tell me if you want your 3 year old whippin' this out at playgroup:

Like really, wtf is that?!

And last but not least, it scares me to think that parent's let their teenagers dress in tiny abercrombie short skirts and tank tops that is a pedophile's wet dream, but their friggen children. Although the issue is addressed in various ways, for example, New York has decided to ban provocative children's clothing, there is very little actually done about it. I'm sorry but high heels are meant for young ladies, yet
heelarious is a new designer line of high heels for babies! Their tagline, "her first high heels". Um hello she can't even walk, what the hell is the point of that except to continue to exploit women and sell sex to kids, because believe it or not heels are sexy. It may look cute on your kid, but you're only making her look like a slutty baby. I prefer baby converse if I really feel the need to make a statement through my innocent child.

It just amazes me that people don't really think about this kind of stuff. It's just morally wrong to sexualize children for the purpose of marketing and advertising. And people wonder why there is kiddy porn and sex offenders, if we stopped using kids to sell sex maybe wierdos wouldn't get the wrong idea.
So I'm sure a lot of people don't feel like this is relevant to their life, but someday (hopefully, maybe...when your ready and want to) will have baby and you'll actually care about how it grows up.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

iAm Lazy.

Technological advancements are awesome. I love the laptop and the digital camera, and I will admit i favor Macs over PC's. Apple is overly expensive, but I get no viruses and it works for me. But sometimes the company really shocks me on their pointless newer technologies.
Case in the point...the iPad.
Or as I like to call it the iAm Lazy or iHave Money to Blow For No Reason.

Below is a video of the first official opinion on the iPad...

"It's not a piece of hardware...the hardware brings us a whole new thing in life".
Wise from Apple's Co-Founder Steve Wozniak on the iPad/iTablet...whatever you want to call it. I'd really like to know what the new thing in life is, cause as far as I can tell it's giant iTouch or a really flat laptop that I can't really do very much with.

Apparently, according to the above video, the iPad will be "revolutionary to the media". Well that's great, I mean we all love technological advances right?

Like the fact that it could be better than laptop, because you can carry it around. Um...last time I checked I'm perfectly capable of carrying around my laptop (which is a Mac btw).
 But he says basically, it could be used as a giant ipod, but he doubts it'll be used like that. It could be used for directors of movies, but he doesn't see it "having any role in video editing or music production".

Oh, and as revolutionary to the media as it can be, he talks about Ebooks and how it could even be used to upload magazines. Won't that like put a lot of companies that sell magazines, like ya know the old fashioned kind with pages and stuff,  out of like business. I mean yeah great everything I need is in front me of for double the price and if it breaks...well I guess I'm screwed.

And as for the whole Ebook thing, I'm sorry but I like books. They smell like books and I can write on them if it's for school or keep them on my bookcase. No wonder Borders is at the verge of filing for bankruptcy. Maybe I'm just a stickler for not letting technology take over certain aspects of life that make me feel like I'm really lazy.

I'm sure this is something that is talked about on the daily among bloggers and critics, but seriously the point is has our society gotten THAT lazy. I mean we think about the future and the possibility of flying cars and living on the moon, that's all fine and dandy, but does it come at a higher cost in which we lose motivation that comes from studying from an old textbook and buying a CD, not just downloading music, because it's easier. Will we all just give up the stuff that we grew up with, and not realize that future generations will have no idea where all of that techonology started from, because at least the generations that are living now still can appreciate the advances.

What happens when we lose that appreciation?
I'll tell you what, useless technology. Shame on us.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Count me in.

Eating is quiet obviously  a necessity, being human and all food is what use for energy. But with food comes the temptation to eat more of it then we may need sometimes and while some people (like me) could care less how much of something I'm eating and when it can actually make me gain weight, there are the calorie counters out there and this one is for you.

My friend is an avid calorie counter and she telling me about some little tricks she's picked up over the years about losing calories without working out or excersizing everyday (let's face it between low motivation and how time consuming it can be, we all can't catch a break to drop and do 50 or run a mile on the treadmill).
So here are three tips she had mentioned to me, which I proceeded to write down and google later on.

Do you smell that?... Lets get pumped up!

 You can loose wait simply by using your senses, and in this case sense of smell.
According to fitflex.com,
 "Researchers found that inhaling certain pleasant scents such as strawberry or popcorn drenched in butter can actually help aerobic exercisers bum more calories than either bad odors or the absence of any scents".
 Scents have the power to influence our moods. Think about it...when was the last time you smelled chocolate chip cookies in the oven and wanted to punch someone in the face? (Unless your like a psychopath that shouldn't happen). 
The website also said that...
"Researchers theorize that pleasant smells may put people in a more alert, positive mood for exercise,  or they may work directly on the brain to increase workout efficiency. 'We're not suggesting that you  set a bucket of buttered popcorn beside the StairMaster "but slathering some strawberry lip balm before exercising can't hurt".
Not a bad idea.

 LMAO...what a workout.

Loosen up and laugh a little it's very good for you. In fact, you can burn calories from laughing your ass off (in the non literal sense of course). Laughing is an excellent source of excersize.

Think about how after you hear or see something and it's followed by your hysterical laughter to the point that it hurts...it hurts because there are certain muscles in your body that are being used.

Fun Fact: 15 minutes of laughter a day will burn 10 to 40 calories!

Stay cool...literally.

There is a certain type of fat that is found in babies and other mammals that burns calories while keeping your body temperature up. 

It's called "brown fat" and it's a type of strange tissue that through research has proven that adults also have and it works to help you burn calories when you're cold so that you can stay warm. I wouldn't recommend staying out in the cold for hours on end, but keeping your thermostat down (which can also save on the heating bill) will actually help you out in the long run as well. 

Not everyone has brown fat, and those that are older and use heart medications probably are less likely to have much of it, but those who DO have it are younger and leaner than those who don't. 

Take it even further and while you are working out, keep the air around you a bit cooler than normal so that your body can work harder to keep you warm and in shape. The extra energy that people with relatively large brown fat deposits can burn is about 500 calories, and although if you don't have a lot of brown fat... a little bit can go a long way.

Happy calorie counting! 

Magic Ducks?

Whenever I get really bored and theres nothing to do, a fun little website to try is stumbleupon.com.
While stumbling around on sites from the internet I found a website about ducks, and figured it would be the basic facts about our fine feathered friends....I was mistaken.

Get this...duck's quacks don't  echo. WTF?!

The myth was first mentioned on BBC radio in the spring of 2003 and it has been confirmed.
I came across a full experiment that was intent on proving whether or not this myth is true.

Here is they recorded an "anechoic" duck's normal quack (click the link!)
Then they recorded the duck in an echo chamber. (click it again!)
Then they recorded the duck flying past a cliff. (one last time!)

The second recording obviously had an echo...hello this isn't science fiction here, one animal in the world can't possibly not have an echo. But the last one is i'll admit harder to hear, but that's only because nature doesn't provide the right acoustics (...fail on mother nature). Ducks are small creatures therefore because their sound is small, the echo is even smaller which is why we don't normally hear it.

So myth is officially busted, ducks DO echo and they are not magic.

But I can guarantee the next time you see a duck, you're gonna listen a little more closely to the quack.
Oh the simple things in life

Coconuts That Save Lives.

Yesterday I had been talking to one of my friends about a local blood drive and I mentioned that I couldn't participate because I pass out whenever they take my blood. We ended up somewhere off on a tangent as most people do in deep conversations and were talking about how awesome it would be if there was anything, with all of our medical and technological advances, that could naturally replace human blood without humans actually giving blood. It went from robots to plants and out of sheer boredum the art of googling then commenced.

And then I found this fun fact....
Coconuts water (that liquid inside a fresh coconut) can save lives!

It's apparently good for the body in three essential ways.

1. You can drink it!
 And it's a naturally healthy and diet friendly drink. So when summer time comes along and you really want to pick up that diet coke, just remember coconut water is 10x better for you.

2. It'll flush out those damn kidney stones!
Medical researchers in the Philipines have found that coconut water is a natural kidney stone cleanser and when it's fresh and young it can even help dissolve them.

3. Last but not least, coconut water can be used in blood transfusions!
And so it seems my friend and I were able to find proof that there is a natural substitute. It was used way back when in WWII, but then again the world made many mistakes in that era, but that's besides the point. Basically, the glucose in the coconut water is similar to that of human blood. In emergency situations it can be used as intravenous hydration fluid instead of regular IV fluid.

Then I got even more curious and wanted to see what else can be replaced with blood in emergency situations and got all these "artificial blood" articles and proceeded to get creeped out by the fact that scientists can actually make fake blood...lovely. I'd rather stick to the natural stuff, thanks though.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


There is something to be said about the world, and looking at the most abstract picture, life as we know it. Everyday I find that I am constantly amazed at how much we know and how much we only think we know. There are the more complex ideas that can confuse even a rocket scientist and the more simple ones that seem to boggle our mind.

I knowone thing we've all learned through experience as kids are simple ideas...take ice for example.
Ice is frozen water. A very cold solid. When its heated up, it melts and becomes a liquid.
Simple. Or is it...?

Apparently scientists have been able to freeze water with heat

Yes. At a certain level between hot and cold, water can be "supercool" which is where its basically freezing but still a liquid and as it heats up it solidifies. 

Well I know one thing for sure if it is anything like dry ice I would not want to confuse supercool water with regular cool water, because that would probably suck.

What does this all mean?
Well we're closer to being cryogenically frozen and control the weather.

Cool. Supercool. Get it? ... Anyways, the point is...don't think be fooled by thinking you really know what you think you know.