Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How To Go Green Without Really Trying

There's a lot of talk going around lately about the best ways to be green, cut carbon, blah, blah blah. But I've got my own ideas about that and I'd like to present you with what I believe to be the absolute number one best & simplest way to reduce your average daily energy consumption: PEE IN THE SHOWER.

That's right, by simply peeing in the shower, you can reduce your water consumption by saving that extra flush... BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!

No, sirree, by peeing in the shower, you'll also be saving energy, since you won't have the light on those few extra minutes it would take you to tinkle. And, of course, since all the electricity we use in Missouri and Kansas is from coal, using less energy means less mercury floating in the air and less evil emissions.

So don't forget to start your day like a good conservationist and pee in the shower.... do it for the children! The children are our future!

Related posts:
A Tasty Vegetarian "Burger & Fries"
Carbon's Gonna Kill Us
Nudity for a Good Cause
Fucking Recycle
How To Live Car-Free in the Midwest

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Mr. History (Show Review)

My sexy, adorable friend Matt E. (the blurry looking one above) has been trying to get me to go see his band Mr. History since last summer. And being the fabulous friend I am, I finally went and heard 'em at a house party last night. It was weirdly like the only ever time I saw Matt playing in a (different) band, 6 years ago now: the house it was held in was oddly empty of everything except the band and its audience, with the music loud enough to be heard at least a block away.

It was an incredible experience and Mr. History is definitely something you should check out. They reminded me of Pink Floyd or The Mars Volta or Battles or Foreign Born or Tool or any of those groups whose music is so overpowering and all-consuming that you feel like you could crawl inside of it and live.

I was even more impressed when they took a break and Matt told me that they could not hear themselves at all. I know how much that can throw bands off, but they were freaking perfect - or else their music is so crazy sounding that I couldn't tell the difference.

Check them out on MySpace and hear some tunes (they only have 3 posted) or else go and see them play at the Record Bar, May 22nd. I know I wish I hadn't waited so long to give 'em a listen.

Related posts:
EarthFest Music
Australian Pink Floyd at the Uptown (Review)
Voxtrot (Music Review)
Foreign Born: Dark Horse Rising
Review: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Missouri Music: A Video Primer

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Kids In the Hall at the Uptown (Review)

I shimmied down the block in my little black dress to the Uptown Theater last night to see Kids In the Hall and, holy crap, was I excited! My fabulous Brazilian co-worker had casually handed me two tickets earlier that day, and I'd been looking forward to it ever since. But my enthusiasm kind of wore off after the first 20 minutes.

Sure, it was awesome seeing all the guys right in front of us, but they kept going on about religion and fat people and fat religous people and religion some more... and it just got kind of monotonous. I thought maybe they had written this crap specifically because they thought stuff like that (oh, yeah, and abortions!) would have major shock value in the Midwest? But it went on so long that I couldn't believe they'd learn all that new material just for a show here... or even a few shows around here. But then I remembered that KItH skits were often hit or miss, and hoped that the miss section would end soon.

It did! Right around this sketch, things started picking up:
All-new Kids in the Hall sketch

The next sketch was Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald fighting over Dave's imaginary girlfriend who'd been cheating on Dave with Kevin. Kevin also performed a song that was only 3/4 written, leaving out the guitar solo, for instance and most of the 2nd verse, which -now that I'm reading it over- comes off way better in practice than in report.

The whole thing ended, of course, with multiple heads being crushed and every body went home happy. If you're kicking yourself about missing it, they'll be in the St. Louis way come May 20th, according to their MySpace.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How Do You Like My Sidebar? (Poll)

I don't normally get all meta on here, talking about blogging itself, but I've been fiddling with my sidebar ever since I started this blog and I think I finally got to where I'm happy with it.

So now I'd like your 2 cents to let me know if I'm full of shit or not. Sounds fun, right?

About Me
I finally decided to post my entire profile up there since that's where I describe what the title means to me. Subscription and contact links are pretty standard, and then I have my Twitter feed up. So, no matter what, I'm definitely keeping the other aspects, but what do you think about the tweets? Should I keep 'em or bag 'em?

Recent Comments
I added this widget so everyone can see what everyone else is talking about on here. You like?

Popular Posts
Do you find this helpful? These are the posts that are consistently receiving my top hits.

Archive, Recommended Reading & Blogroll
The archive and blogroll are standard, so they are staying. But what do you think about the recommended reading section? It imports my shared items from Google Reader, so you can see what I'm reading and liking on any given day.

Thanks for voting and thanks for reading, commenting, and generally making this bloggy thing more interesting ^__^

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

EarthFest Part 2: Health & Wellness

The coolest part of EarthFest for me wasn't anything flashy, but it is going to change my life.

David Beisiegel, D.C.
As I was wandering around the booths, we came across a chiropractor and a massues who were giving a choice of a 15 minute massage or a free consultation. My friend took the massage, while I took Dr. David Beisiegel's consultation (he owns[?] Indian Creek Natural Medicine with his wife). My right leg is about 1/2 an inch shorter than my left, which caused me a lot of problems with headaches when I was growing up. From the time I was 10 through 18 or so, I went regularly to a chiropractor who helped realign my hips and spine every 2 weeks or so. So, of any kind of doctor, I get along with chiropractors best and I wanted to get an update on my alignment.

But, he turned out to do something even better than that. He told me that he was going to find my problem areas, the weakest muscles in my body, because those are the root problems of most physical pain I experience on a daily basis. I was totally jazzed to hear that, because it meant that I would finally figure out what causes the hellish back pain I get all the time.

With a series of very simple movements (I hold my arms & legs out one at a time and try to resist his pushing it gently down), he was able to show me my weakest muscles, based on how I could or couldn't support myself when he was pushing. I found out that the areas below are my weak spots:

The weak back muscle is what puts so much stress on the left side of my neck (which I am continually popping back into place) and the weak hip muscle is what puts so much stress on my right knee & causes my right foot to list off to the right instead of pointing straight ahead like lefty does. He also gave me a quick pressure point massage to work out my most stressed areas. So now, I've got to find some more exercises to work those spots and I'll be all set. ^__^

Worker Bee Gardener's Lotion
The second fabulous thing I have to mention was Good Natured Family Farms' Worker Been Gardener's Lotion. It's made at Anthony's Beehive in Lawrence, Kansas and it is the most miraculous lotion I have ever used. I've got dry hands from working with so much paper all the time and hand-washing dishes and pretty much whatever lotion I use only does a half-assed job at smoothing and mousterizing my skin. This stuff, though, is just perfect! It's not greasy or gross but it covers perfectly and heals my skin. My hands never stay this nice normally. You so have to get some (they're also available at local Hen Houses participating in Buy Fresh, Buy Local).

Oh, yeah, and I like their chapstick too.

And that concludes my coverage of EarthFest. I know there was a lot more going on and all, but some of us had been up half the night and weren't all there, if you know what I mean. I hope you all plan to come out next year!

Related posts:
EarthFest Part 1: Music

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

The weather's lovely, so be sure to enjoy your own patch of earth today.

Monday, April 21, 2008

EarthFest Part 1: Music

EarthFest this weekend went off without a hitch (except that it didn't warm up really until an hour before it was over) and I was exposed to some neat stuff there that I'd like to share with y'all. I'm going to take at least two posts to tell you about it, and today, I want to let you know about some of the music I heard there.

Eco Elvis
Matt Riggs, who created and plays as Eco Elvis, is someone I met through work and his ponytail & laid-back demeanor always made me wrinkle my brow whenever someone talked about how great his act was. He just didn't seem flamboyant enough... turns out that was just because I hadn't seen him in costume.

In a pompadour wig and a shiny green jumpsuit, Matt can jive. He totally blew me away and cracked me up with how he adapted the King's songs to have eco-friendly lyrics. See if you can match his titles to the original song (some are more obvious than others):

  • Earth Day Rock
  • Fix The System
  • Compost Hotel
  • Burnin' Globe
  • Can't Help Recycling It All
  • Let's Go Organic
  • Viva Las Vegans
I liked it so much, I bought a CD, but it still does not compare to watching him swoon and croon on stage. Here's a video I found that he made with a group to promote recycling (warning! this footage contains a garbage monster that may be too frightening for some viewers):

Five Defy
Five Defy had the latest slot on stage, which sucked because they were totally the best act all day and most people had left by then. They had incredible energy and a beautiful sound, partially because of Aniko's keyboard/viola playing and partially because of the layers of harmonies they used.

They are one of those bands that I don't mind not being able to understand any of the lyrics, because whatever they're saying just sound gorgeous on top of their music and that's enough for me. Supposedly, their songs are about spirituality, the environment and the like.

Listen to what I'm talking about on their MySpace and find out when they're playing next.

Related posts:
Review: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Concert Review: Australian Pink Floyd at the Uptown
Missouri Music: A Video Primer
We Are Scientists Create Delicious Videos
Voxtrot: Music Review
Henri Fabergé and the Adorables
Music I Can't Stop Listening To
Album Review: Ms. Led, Shake Yourself Awake

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Blue Kio V. Po's Dumpling Bar (or, Asian not Wasian)

Within the past two weeks I've frequented two different Asian restaurants down on 39th Street: Blue Koi and Po's Dumpling Bar. It cracks me up that they're so close to each other and yet so ridicuously different. Lemme tell you a little about it.

Blue Koi
We went here last week, partially because Chinese sounded good and partially because I liked the sound of the name. We walked in to a decor that couldn't decide if it was hipster or Asian and were horrified to see that all the staff were white.

The menu was pretty good from the vegetarian standpoint, but they don't let you split dumpling orders! That pissed me off because I didn't want 8 damn dumplings and my boyfriend isn't vegetarian so we weren't planning on sharing. BUT, their food was good. We had dumplings, home made noodles and fried tofu with awesome sauce. The awesome sauce wasn't as impressive as we'd hoped, but apparently Matt and I just like spice too much, as our visit to Po's Dumpling Bar possibly confirmed.

Score (1 is worst, 5 is best)
Ambiance: 1
Service: 3
Cost: 2
Taste: 3
TOTAL SCORE: 9 (out of a possible 20)

Po's Dumpling Bar
My boyfriend wanted to go to Pangea, but once we got there I didn't see a damn thing I wanted, so we left and went to Po's Dumpling Bar instead. The restaurant is beautifully laid out (it reminded me a little of Sung Son) and it's quite possible that we were served by one of the owners, who we were happy to see was Asian (Cantonese, we later found).

The menu at Po's was more veggie friendly than a lot of Midwest restaurants. The prices were so low that we ordered several dishes thinking they'd be small like at Blue Koi, but we were so wrong. I had veggie tofu soup, sesame balls (which ended up being a bad idea since they're sweet and I don't like the Asian version of sweets), and some emperor dumplings, veggie of course. Matt had the pork emperor dumplings and some chicken curry noodle dish. Not only were the dumplings 2-3 times larger than any other dumpling I've ever had, but all of the other dishes were enormous as well. We could have easily split nothing more than a $10 dinner and have walked away content. It was fabulously impressive.

Once again, the dishes were less spicy than we expected, but our server explained (after we asked for chili sauce to add to our dipping sauce) that their cuisine is Cantonese which is less spicy than the central China cuisine. And while I'm talking about our server again, I just have to say that he is the best server I've had in forever. He was just sweet, adorable and completely eager for us to have an amazing meal, which we totally did.

Score (1 is worst, 5 is best)
Ambiance: 4
Service: 5
Cost: 5
Taste: 3 (had to score it down for the sesame balls, even though it's my fault I ordered them)
TOTAL SCORE: 17 (out of a possible 20)

So by my random scale of deliciousness, Po's Dumpling Bar wins by a landslide. But SRSLY I'm salivating now just thinking about their delicious dumplings. I may have formed a new addiction.

Related posts:
A Tasty Vegetarian 'Burger & Fries'
Ted's Montana Grill: Vegetarians Vaguely Welcome
Restaurant Review: Cancun Fiesta Fresh
Free Rice: Play to End World Hunger
Restaurant Review: The Mixx

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bad Book, Good Book (Review)

You remember when I said my complaints about Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife were a whole different rant? Well, this is that rant. I tried and tried to like that book, but I just couldn't. First strike against it was the first chapter, where Elizabeth is written like a complete psycho. What woman doesn't like her husband to take care of her when she's uncomfortable? It's this whole moronic scene in a carriage where Darcy offers her a pillow because apparently she's that sore from being boned, but she's offended that he offers it to her and so she sits and sulks. WTF? That's no Elizabeth Bennet I ever knew.

Then, the next worse thing (which got increasingly more annoying) was the author's decision to include totally random characters in the novel. Some person in FRANCE got an entire two chapters at the beginning of the book, but never showed up again! Then, all these random people that Darcy bumped into in the town got their own chapters and it was just so horribly boring that even the silly sexual metaphors couldn't keep me reading. What a piece of crap. I can't believe so many Austen fans like the horrid book. Ew.

But, to make up for it, the Universe sent me a damn fine book to read last week, An Ocean in Iowa. It's by the author of What's Eating Gilbert Grape which made quite an impression on me when I read it as a teenager. One reason was that I wasn't really exposed to "risque" stuff like that up to that point and it blew my mind, and the other reason was this scene where Gilbert uses the bathroom after the girl he likes did, just so he can sit on the same pot as her. I remember being suspicious for a long while afterwards that all boys were that disgusting. But I digress.

An Ocean in Iowa is about Danny Ocean's year as a seven y/o in 1969. He starts off with high expectations, telling his mom that it will be his best year ever. And while it doesn't necessarily meet those expectations, it is a crazy-ass year: his artist mom gets committed, then moves away while his dad, the Judge, tries to step up to the plate. His two sisters are exploring sexuality while he's trying to just grasp the concept that girls have holes between their legs. Danny develops crushes on his friends' mothers (to the extent of climbing into bed with one), finds a temporary role model and wisdom-sharer in his junior high neighbor, and learns how to tell time. Told with a simple elegance that lets you enjoy the foibles of childhood without any sense of nostalgia, I just freaking loved falling into this kid's world for a week.

What have you been reading lately?

Related posts:
Babes in History and Fiction, Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
Hagakure on Homosexuality
Harry Potter is Changing the World
The Woman Warrior
My Top Ten Authors
Gunning for the Buddha

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Multi-Talented Friend and Her Automatic Drawings

When I was living in Seattle, I met some amazing women who were so mind-bogglingly multi-talented that it was a challenge to me to be more than I'd let myself think I could be. One of those ladies was Gena Schwam. We met because she was in the year ahead of be in grad school, and we got close after she hooked me up with an internship at the Bellevue Arts Museum, where she was working as registrar at the time.

But besides being an A-grade student, working professionally at a museum, running in marathons, writing poetry and being a generally cool lady, Gena also is an artist. She recently had her first show at The Barge in New York state, where Radio Free Hamilton was on hand to capture her artist's statement:

Here's a glimpse at some of the art she's shared on her MySpace:

I love how these have a Native Pacific Northwest Coast art feel to them. It reminds me of what contemporary Native artists are doing with formline design:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Best & Worst Stretch in the World

I mentioned that I've been doing yoga in the mornings. Overall it's been a pleasant experience, but, being the inflexible gal I was, it's been challenging to even get into the right position for some moves. I've had to work my way up to some of them, including the demon of all stretches: the plow posture.

I mean, ow, right? This shit hurts. It took me at least two weeks to get this pose down and I still have problems shifting into it sometimes, BUT now that I have more-or-less made friends with this stretch, it is my absolute favorite.

I'll tell you why: when you do the plow pose, you are stretching everything from your head to your heels. And that stretch is much deeper than any other back or leg stretch I've ever done. It hurts so good now and when I sit up afterwards, there is a freeing sensation in my neck, back and thighs that nothing has ever compared to.

If you're interested in trying it out yourself, here's step-by-step instructions from

  1. Lie flat on the back in the shava-asana (the corpse pose).

  2. Inhale through the nostrils. Place the palms face-down on the floor. Keeping the hips on the floor, bend the knees and bring them up toward the stomach while exhaling.

  3. Inhale, then while exhaling, raise the legs straight up perpendicular to the floor. You may support your hips with your hands or leave the arms flat on the floor, whichever is most comfortable.

  4. Exhale and continue to raise the legs over the head, bending at the waist, lifting the back and buttocks until the toes touch the floor directly in back of the head. Keep the feet together. If the lower back is supported by the hands try returning the arms flat to the floor with the palms facing down. If you are unable to comfortably place the arms on the floor continue to support the lower back with the hands.

  5. Keep the knees straight. Breath slowly through the nostrils and hold the posture for several minutes. If you cannot touch the floor with your toes hold them as close to the floor as possible and continue to exert effort to lower them.

  6. Reverse the steps to return to the shava-asana.
Related posts:
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Proper Posture: How To Get It
How To Get a Sexy Back
How To Poo

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Monday, April 14, 2008

On the Death of Polaroids (and my Love Life)

"Alignment" ©2008 wesley furgiuele/via FILE magazine

I know that the harsh chemicals involved in photography is bad for the environment, but I'm totally bummed out that Polaroids are going the way of the dodo. And since it's a cute story why I like them so much, I'm going to tell it to you:

may & matt: a love story with photographic evidence
I met my current boyfriend when I was 19 and we were both attending Maple Woods. I had an instant physical attraction & mental curiosity towards him that's never been matched by another guy. We became friends, hanging out in the same group of people at school and whatnot, and eventually it became obvious that we liked each other more than we liked most other people. So we started hanging out off campus. Here's a picture from the first time I went over to his house:

Adorable, right? I'm hiding because he handcuffed me to the bed ...

..and then I had a panic attack about it,
but I liked it anyway
(this was when my 'issues' first started
coming out as random panic attacks & it was fairly embarrassing
b/c I couldn't control it and didn't always understand what triggered it).

Long story short, we both had significant others at the time so we resisted temptation as long as possible... but then one night at a party we ended up making out upstairs on the couch and all hell broke loose. You just can't contain that kind of sexual energy, peeps. Anyway, we started having an 'affair' which was weird, but we both wanted to be together while thinking the other person just wanted us for sex so neither of us ever brought up the 'C' word (commitment!) or told the other person we wanted to be with them.

I felt bad being a cheater, but only when I wasn't with Matt. When I was with him, he made everything else in the world seem less real (still does) and it was impossible to take my boyfriend & our relationship seriously compared to the earth-shattering affects Matt had on my brain and body.

But, anyway, here's where my Polaroid love really comes in. Matt spent I have no idea how many packets of film photographing me in various phases of undress in those days. It was awesome because I'd never done that with anyone before and because it was so natural with him instead of being awkward like it's been a few times since. Here is a couple of risque pictures from them days:
God, I loved that skirt...

Not that I'm not proud of my parts,
but this isn't that kind of blog...
plus, some of my coworkers read this
and I already feel I'm toeing the line

Eventually Matt got tired of my not putting out and broke off our 'affair.' After that our friendship also started to get shaky and then eventually I moved to Pennsylvania to finish college. While there, I got all fat, married some guy and ended up really depressed (partially because I was secretly pining for him all those years and barely realized it). But in the back of my head, I always was happy to know that Matt still had the best part of me with him through those Polaroids.

Long story short, I finally had the balls to tell Matt how I felt shortly after moving back to KC last year and now we're living happily ever after. AND I have to say I was looking forward to reviving the whole Polaroid-taking part of our relationship when this whole horrible thing broke. I'm so disappointed.

Related posts:
Add Some MMmm! to your Morning
Nudity for a Good Cause
Wink: Your Friendly Neighborhood Sex Shop
How To Seduce a Trekkie

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Friday, April 11, 2008

My Vision of the Future

I'm such a sci-fi geek that you had to guess I have my own special vision of the future. I do. And it's totally awesome.

Here's what I think is going to happen (assuming some sort of apocalypse doesn't occur): I think nanotechnology, brain-machine interface, biomimicry and solar power technology are going to conjoin further and further until humans will be totally surrounded by nanobots like some kind of crazy mechanical aura. We'll use these to wear suits of fake leaves to capture solar power for the nanobots, which we can use to perform all matter of tasks almost like magic, because they'll be controlled directly by our brains.

Which, now that I'm writing all down, sounds kind of like a souped-up version of the Garden of Eden. But, hey, I'm okay with that.

So that's my vision of the future. What's yours?

Related posts:
Red Dwarf: Camp in Space
Amnesia Moon Rising
Narcissism in Space!
Cloverfield: Movie Review
Biomimicry for Greener Buildings
Space Debris: The Sky is Falling!

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thoughts On Learning By Experience

When I was younger, I used to wonder how ancient people knew which plants were poisonous and all the other amazing communal knowledge they had. But now I'm past my mid 20s and my brain has finally matured completely and I feel I've got quite a new look on that.

The reason I'm thinking of this crap to begin with is that I've learned a lot of pleasant and unpleasant things about myself and the world in the past few years that didn't really hit my brain until recently. Now I look at some of the stupid-ass decisions I made and think:

  • I wish I had had parents I could ask counsel from
  • I did a lot of stupid shit because I didn't know better
  • I was way to optimistic about people
...but mostly I think about learning from experience, and how much that just sucks most of the time. I know a lot more than I did before, but I'm not always convinced that the cost was worth the knowledge.

And then I think about those ancestors of ours and wonder how many of them died gaining knowledge for the tribe... because the only way they could have learned about not eating poisonous food or anything else is trial and error. Trial and error is still the only way we "know" anything as a society, we just call it the scientific method. But life sure is a lot messier than a laboratory.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Dear Old Crazies, Please Die Off

Anyone else besides me happy that the old crazies are finally starting to kick it? Last year several crazy christians , including Jerry Falwell, finally passed on to their eternal reward and now the biggest KKK, I mean, NRA supporter has dropped off the face of the earth. Okay, I guess he's really being dropped below the face of the earth, but these are all details.

My point is, the more crazy old men (& women) who die, the better place our nation and world will be.

RIP, Chuck. We'll always have Soylent Green.

Related posts:
Insanity of Christianity: The Eagle Heights Example
Generation Me
And "Good Christian People" Vote for this Guy?
Sam Harris Responds to the Phelps Family

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Detox Your Life (How To)

You guys, this year has been full of some fairly radical changes for me. I gave up meat and cigarettes, started exercising just about daily, and have eaten more different types of food in the last 3 months than I did in the past 3 years. It's been an adventure.

All these changes have made me realize just how toxic and messed up the "normal" lifestyle is these days. My senses have never been more keen and all of a sudden my body is reacting to things I never even noticed before - like the smoke creeping in to my apartment from the neighbor's or just how many products people have to use to cover up their personal smell that is all wonky from the total crap they eat. I think it's high time we all clean up our acts a bit. Here's what I'm doing about it:

1) Limit the use of harsh chemicals
Whether you realize it or not, harsh chemicals are in just about everything manufactured these days, from the products used to clean your house, to the products used to clean your face or fix your hair.

Let's take an everyday example from makeup. Most adult women in this country wear makeup on a daily basis. The cosmetics are a $30 billion industry with a 20 percent growth rate. Obviously that's some high market penetration and here are just some of the chemicals most makeup products include:

  • MERCURY compounds are permitted by the FDA for use in eye makeup at concentrations up to 65 parts per million (p/p/m). Mercury is both a deadly poison and a heavy metal. The skin easily absorbs mercury, and it accumulates in the body. Mercury exposure also may cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or neurotoxicity problems.

  • BRONOPOL is used in mascara and other cosmetics. A skin irritant, bronopol has caused blindness and death in laboratory animals at concentrations much higher than used in cosmetic products.
  • FORMALDEHYDE-releasing ingredients are found in nearly all brands of skin, body, and hair care products, antiperspirants, and nail polishes. Formaldehyde exposure can cause joint or chest pain, depression, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, immune dysfunction, and cancer.
  • P-HYDROXYBENZOIC ACID Benzyl Ester (PHB Esters), are widely used preservatives more commonly known as methyl paraben, propyl paraben, ethyl paraben, and butyl paraben. They are highly toxic, causing skin rashes and can behave as xenoestrogens, raising the risk of breast cancer in women and low sperm count in men.

  • PROPYLENE GLYCOL is a petroleum derivative found in most forms of makeup and other cosmetics as a humectant (moisture retainer), surfactant (oil emulsifier), and solvent. Its industrial uses include hydraulic brake fluid and antifreeze. This additive causes allergic and toxic reactions in some individuals. The Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) warn against skin contact because of possible brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities.

  • SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE is a surfactant, detergent, and emulsifier used in thousands of cosmetic products and industrial chemicals as a cleansing agent. It has a degenerative action on cell membranes and is damaging to hair and skin. High levels of skin penetration may occur at even low-use concentrations. Permanent eye damage has been observed, as well as residual levels of SLS in the heart, liver, lungs, and brain from skin contact. It may be damaging to the immune system. SLS's protein-denaturing properties can inflame and separate skin layers. (Excerpted from Townsend Letter: The Examiner of Alternative Medicine)
Pretty messed up, right? The problem is there's all this crap in just about everything, so it is important to become aware of these poisons and to start replacing the products you use with ones that are organic and natural, because that's what your body wants anyway. Also, like everything else you put in your body, your food should also be as chemical-free as possible.

2) Exercise
Sweating is the body's natural method of releasing toxins, so the more you exercise, the more your body can clean itself. Herbs Hands Ltd, offer this advice:
To release the toxins the circulatory system must be invigorated. Just 20 minutes a day of heart pounding exercise is all that is needed. If this is not possible then try brisk (power) walking for ¼ hour to ¾ hour. Swimming, dancing, Yoga, pilates; anything will help according to your abilities. Any movement massages your organs and moves your internal systems to help eliminate and neutralise toxins quicker, and with less dis-ease to yourself.
Until I started incorporating exercise and even just simple stretches to my daily routine, I didn't realize just how completely immobile I am in my daily life... and I walk to work every day! I kept finding ways to excuse movement, so I made a concentrated effort to do something -even if it was just bending down to touch my toes- and now I'm doing yoga every morning 6 days a week. That change only took me about a month, so take heart!

3) Clean up/Air Out
Keeping your home clean can do incredible things for your life detox. Vacuuming is especially important for those with carpets to remove allergens, bacteria and other gunk. Dusting is also important for the same reason. MedicineNet has some great tips compiled originally for allergy sufferers. It has good information about thorough cleansing without using harsh chemicals, so definitely check it out.

The air quality in your home will improve upon cleaning, but for most of us, it's still a serious problem. Here's what the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services had to say:
Healthy indoor environments have become a critical part of overall health in today's society. Missourians on average spend 90% of their time indoors, at home, at work, and at play. While being inside has traditionally been thought of as a safe haven, recent studies have shown, unfortunately, that pollutant levels indoors are often much higher than those outside. Recent technology has created more energy efficient buildings, which while good, has also served to trap a wide variety of pollutants in homes, schools, and office spaces with too little fresh air. A heavy reliance on strong chemical cleaners, solvents, and pesticides has increased possible pollutant exposure levels, while improper construction can trap moisture leading to a build-up of biological pollutants such as dust mites, bacteria, or mold. Health effects from these indoor pollutants, ranging from asthma to headaches, to increased cancer risks to death from chemical poisoning, can result. Increasing the risk is the fact that our most vulnerable citizens to disease, children and the elderly, often spend the most time indoors.
So what should you do? As often as possible air out your house by opening the windows. That is the first and best thing you can do to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and a host of other air quality problems. The second best step you can take is to keep houseplants. reports that NASA found houseplants removed up to 87% of toxins after just 24 hours! That is some major benefit for a little bit of work. Suite101 offers a list of 10 starter house plants that are easy to care for. My healthiest plant is a rubber plant, which isn't on the list. But it likes warm weather and is just growing like crazy so it's also an easy option.

Of course, there are tons more ways to clean up your life, but these three are the biggest hitters in my opinion. Watch what you're putting in yourself, work out, and keep your air healthy. Making a few lifestyle changes is way better than undergoing massive chemotherapy, which is just another way of saying that prevention is worth and ounce of cure.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

We Are Scientists Create Delicious Videos

My boys We Are Scientists got a nod from Spin for the above video, "After Hours" from their album by the same name.

Aren't they adorable? And they're even cuter in person. If you can see these guys live, you totally should. They're just pure, unadulterated fun.

Here are some more of their fabulous videos:

This one's my favorite.

This one was made before their 1st album came out and they later remade the video.

I hope you enjoyed this We Are Scientists video showcase! Come back soon.

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Big Bad Blog Blues

I've been reading blogs for a while now, but I haven't been finding many that I enjoy reading over a long period of time. I keep finding new blogs that look interesting, but after a few months I end up unsubscribing -- usually because I don't find the author's voice engaging enough.

Yesterday I just went through another great purge in my Google Reader and it's feeling kind of lonely. So would you all be kind enough to recommend some blogs you think I'd enjoy? I am all sorts of ready to hear what you have to say.

Plus, your niftiest suggestions will get some feature time.. So, you know, all 20 of you who read this can get excited about that now.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lene Alexandre Has Okay Boobs

Okay, so I found another girl singer to add to my list of girly music that is so silly I can't help but love it - a list that includes such notables as Peaches and Aqua and is also usually music my boyfriend (no matter who it's been) never wants to hear. I guess it's a girl/gay man thing, nay?

Her name is Lene Alexandra and she's a Norwegian singer. She was on their version of the "Idol" show, but didn't win. After that she worked as a model for a while until she got a job with a record company working promo and finagled her own album. So good for her!

Her music is simple, straight-forward and full of sex - just like all electronic songs should be. See & hear for yourself:

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Red Dwarf: Camp In Space

So it finally occurred to me last night (when I was plowing through series 6 of the show) that you Midwest people prolly haven't heard about Red Dwarf yet. I got into it when I was living in Seattle, which is, according to that-one-guy-I-dated-there, home to the largest population of Red Dwarf fans this side of the Atlantic.

But what's Red Dwarf, you ask? It's a super campy British science fiction show from late 80s/early 90s, and it's smeggin' brilliant!

Red Dwarf is a mining ship where David Lister (left) is a technician servicing food dispensers who gets in trouble for smuggling a pet cat on board. As punishment, he is put into stasis and deprived of several years wages. When he wakes up, he finds that "Everybody's dead, Dave." A radiation leak killed the crew members, but Lister's cat lived on and had her kittens who grew up and had kittens who eventually all mutated and turned into a humanoid lifeform. And, to top it all off, Lister's smeghead boss was chosen by the ship's computer as Lister's lifelong partner in the vast void of space.

There's hijinks aplenty and alternate realities afoot - somebody might even meet a real live girl!... Instead of a mutated sucker beast. But prolly not.

So yeah, you should Netflix it, because I doubt you'll find it around here.

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