Grab Bag Stink About Scent:
This may be the one area where people who are really trying to clean up their cosmetics just turn a blind eye, basically because this topic is challenging to embrace. So I won’t soft-peddle this to you:
THE SCENT IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF OUR CONSUMER PRODUCTS IS ARTIFICIAL, AND USES HARMFUL CHEMICALS TO SMELL PLEASANT AND LAST A LONG TIME.
There…. how’s that? Most products get a lousy safety rating on EWG’s CosmeticsDatabase.com (my bible for all things cosmetic, and now household cleaning and other home products, too) when they include these chemicals, always hidden by the legal term, “Fragrance”. Here is EWG’s quick-pick guide in how to dissect a cosmetic label:
How to read a label
Every personal care product must list its ingredients. Here’s how to navigate the label:
- Start at the end, with preservatives. Avoid:Check the beginning of the ingredients lists, where soaps, surfactants, and lubricants show up. Try to avoid ingredients that start with “PEG” or have an “-eth” in the middle (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
- Words ending in “paraben”
- DMDM hydantoin
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Triethanolamine (or “TEA”)
- Read the ingredients in the middle. Look for these words: “FRAGRANCE,” “FD&C,” or “D&C.”
Grab Bag Mirror Mirror:
A few months ago I needed a different style mirror with an integrated light, so I ordered a new, lighted makeup mirror. I had a “magnifying mirror” before, but it was obviously kids stuff, because when this new one came, I saw a whole lot of stuff I was grateful to catch, and horrified that I may have missed until then. Clogged pores…hairs where they should not be….lost kittens… it’s amazing what you can find.
This baby is a 7x… which doesn’t sound all that powerful but, trust me, you probably don’t want or need more than that…
Do a search for Zadro 7x lighted mirror and you’ll pull up a bunch of styles to choose from and places to buy them.
Grab Bag Java Junkie Redemption:
First it was red wine, then chocolate, now coffee… and it’s good news, my friends!
Here’s what RealAge.com is reporting on the latest research on of the noble bean:
- Endometrial cancer. Research indicates that women who drink lots of coffee are 25% less likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who don’t finish even 1 cup. (Dr. Mike doesn’t know how someone can’t.) Dose: at least 4 cups a day.
- Prostate cancer. There’s increasing evidence that prostate cancer detests coffee. Just weeks ago,new data came in showing that both high test and decaf coffee are particularly effective at shooing off the most dangerous kind of prostate cancer. Dose: 1 to 6 cups a day, with or without caffeine. Skip those caramel coffee drinks with whipped cream. Here’s why.
- The most common skin cancer. If basal cell carcinoma has quietly gotten a toehold, coffee acts to shut it down, researchers say. Dose: more than 3 cups a day.
- Breast cancer. Women who drink lots of coffee also run a lower risk of certain types of breast cancerafter menopause — 20 to 50% lower versus women who have less than 1 cup a day. Dose: at least 5 cups a day of regular. Decaf coffee doesn’t do it.
Grab Bag Let There Be Light:
In helping one of my spawn with a little home improvement, we discovered a pretty nifty way to get switched lighting in about 10 minutes, without calling an electrician.
Keep in mind… with the advent of wireless technology, this is the MOST BASIC wireless offering to control any and everything electrical. There are now loads of possibilities out there to do a million things with existing lighting, all without changing or adding new wiring, or calling an electrician.
This is what we did:
We wanted some ambient light on top of a large, tall bookcase. We purchased some diode light strips ready to be mounted with double-stick tape, and we were able to buy a plug-in adapter so they did not have to be hard-wired.
Next we bought this Leviton Anywhere Switch, which comes with a plug-in RF remote, which we plugged into the wall, and the lights into it. We mounted the wireless (and battery operated) light switch to the wall, in a convenient location.
Do explore the myriad other wireless switch options by a searching [wireless, light, switch], and you’ll find ways to; add a second switch to a light in a different location, add a dimmer switch to any lighting, connect lights together to be controlled remotely, shut off appliances with one switch, etc.
Grab Bag Brighter Day:
April’s issue of Discover magazine posited that there is a viable alternative reality looming that is NOT the doom and gloom we here every day: failing economy, education crisis, natural resource crunch, insurmountable global issues, yadda, yadda, yadda…
A particularly compelling graphic is the one below, which identifies the services that our smart phones now put in our hands, and what those services would have cost in the 1980’s, then adjusted for inflation. Next time we complain about our phones, let’s write a reality check.
Discover’s presentation profiles 9 infographics with explanations of how these trends are positively impacting the planet. One of my favorite’s says this:
But the most significant change of the next decade should be the dramatic increase in worldwide connectivity via the Internet. The online community is projected to grow from 2 billion users in 2010 to 5 billion by 2020. Three billion new minds are about to join the global brain. What will they dream? What will they discover? What will they desire? These are minds that the rest of society has never had access to before. Their collective economic and creative boost should unleash the most powerful abundance force of all.
The worldwide move to the Internet goes hand in hand with a move to cities. By 2050, 70 percent of the world will live in cities. According to calculations by physicist Geoffrey West of the Santa Fe Institute, when a city doubles in size, the rate of innovation (as measured by new patents) increases by 15 percent.
Take the time to read the entire brief-but-heady article here.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
A variation on the classic word game, where you must make as many words as you can out of the given letters while working against the clock. These graphics would be enticing to kids:
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
Not sure this would be enough to make me buy a Renault, but it gets your attention, with a smile: