Monday, February 14, 2011

The Dirty Dozen

Well, I am getting really annoyed with science and the scientific community who keep researching stuff and finding out that almost EVERYTHING WE USE is carcinogenic or otherwise going to kill you.
TALCUM powder. That white, nice smelling stuff we've been putting on baby bums for the longest time... yeah, that stuff is made predominately of Talc, which is, carcinogenic. Damnit.

I dare you to see what else they've ruined for you: The Dirty Dozen

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stuff you should read - Comics

I`m not a reading junky - I just don`t have the time, and I`m easily distracted these days. But when I first started dating James, he introduced me to the World of Comic Books.

One of the first series I started reading was Transmetropolitan. It was written by Warren Ellis, and drawn by Darick Robertson, and is worth trying, even if you`re not really excited about being seen holding a comic book.


I really enjoyed it. It`s basically about a journalist in the future and the hate-on he has for just about everything. It`s well written, discusses some important, timeless issues and has a lot of swearing.

If you want something that`s a little lighter and hip with the kids (because it was just made into a movie with Michael Cera), you might want to try Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. It`s about a kid in Toronto who meets a girl, falls in love with the girl and finds out that if he wants to date her, he has to defeat her 7 evil ex`s. There are other complications but I won`t ruin it for you.

I also really liked Chew. It`s actually written by a friend of James`, John Layman and drawn by Rob Guillory. The premise is a little odd, but it works - the series follows Tony Chu, an FDA agent on his adventures in a reality where eating chicken is illegal. Tony receives psychic impressions from anything he eats, which makes for some interesting plot lines.

Of course, there are a ton more, which I will dazzle you with, one post at a time. Whether or not you read my suggestions, I recommend looking into the world of comic books. I had the impression that they were all about superheroes and the X-Men; all aimed at 13 year-old boys, but the variety is pretty impressive... at the end of the day, a lot of the comic books I`ve read are just as content-heavy and mature as a book.

Chocolate Peanut butter cups

For those of us who melt a little at the thought of spooning nutella and peanut butter into our mouths, this recipe is worth trying. Takes no time, doesn`t require much in the way of ingredients or equipment...

 Just a note: the recipe calls to use a double boiler for this, but if you`re not equipped, you can just take a metal or glass bowl and place it over a small pot of water. When the water boils, the steam will heat the bowl and slowly melt the chocolate. You don`t want to use a microwave if you can avoid it, because the chocolate will not melt properly... sometimes, if you heat something improperly, you mess with it`s molecular structure and it won`t set properly.

And so, without further ado - Small Measure`s Peanut butter cups

Bacon Links

Thought I would separate these as they`re more specific...

Found a couple of good bacon sites, and NotMartha's Bacon Cups get first mention as they are the coolest thing since sliced... bacon.

And here's something awesome: Canned Bacon. Oh yes, it might kill you, but damnit, so can crossing the street.

I have found a mecca for bacon lovers: Iheartbacon is all about the stuff you love.

And last, but not least,  Baconarian has some interesting and questionable ideas, but still gets thumbs up for effort - alot of recipes and links.

This week in links

The Story of Stuff. Breaks down the consumption and production chain so you can really see what the production process is. What does that iPod go through to get from nothing to the something in your hand. I liked it because it explains things in basic English and goes at a fairly brisk pace.

YES! spotlights the visionary ideas and practical actions for building a just, sustainable, and compassionate world.

The Monthly UnEconomist by Jeffrey Morris contains information and analyses of market and non-market economic and environmental impacts. Unfortunately, a lot of these sites are US-centric. I could use any suggestions to Canada-centric ones or ones that focus on the world in general.

This is a cool little blog about Baking Soda. Ah yes, the many uses of baking soda are interesting and sometimes obvious but if you want to start minimising your impact on the environment, here's a good start. The site also contains lots of other interesting tips as well as how to make your home a little healthier. Especially after all that bacon, I figure I can do with a little more healthy.

List of Common Misconceptions is pretty interesting.  Is you read this, you can be that person at the party that says "Um, actually..." a lot.

Hangover cure? You tell me.


I don’t want to be a blog ranter, but I also feel like, this being MY blog, I can sorta do what I like. Therefore I’ve allowed myself 1 rant a week. It sounds silly but once you open those flood-gates, it's hard to close them again.
So here it is. I’m in a busy, bustly area (like the Subway). It’s morning rush-hour and people are speeding around all over the place. There’s a sense of urgency and purpose… except for Wanda the Wanderer. You’ve got streaming foot traffic on either side of you, there’s nowhere to go but straight ahead. There isn’t enough room to walk abreast so you’re trapped, and Wanda just ambles along in front of you, like she doesn’t have a care in the world. When you finally get to the train, you realize that there are many Wanda’s spread all over the place. A smattering of Wandas blocking the exits, or slowly meandering along the platform, walking too close to the edge for you to pass on that side and somehow too close to the people waiting along the other side for you to pass her there… and NO! you’ve missed your train because Wanda was texting on the escalator and couldn’t hear you trying to get her to move because she was listing to Justin Bieber on her headphones. UGH! Now, I too have been a Wanda, we all have, however the difference between me and the Wanda's I'm bitching about, is that THESE Wanda's don't seem to understand language appear mute. So you can look at one, dead in the eyes and ask them to move down to the back of the car, and all they do is look at you blankly. It's infuriating. I'd also like to think that I have the presence of mind to know that during rush hour (pre-coffee), pay attention, move out of the way and if you're going to text, take a step to the side.
I have actually shoved my way past a Wanda before. I know, it’s rude. But sometimes you're not given much choice.
I feel that there should be (posted) rules of conduct that everyone follows when it’s obvious that many of the people they’re surrounded by may not have had any caffeine yet:

1.       If you somehow forgot to preform the necessary hygienic morning necessities, keep your arms down and stop being a mouth-breather.
2.   There is no need to get shitty. You live in a country without war, with clean running water and a public transit system that functions fairly well. Yes, that man is leaning on you. Live with it.
3.       Get out of the way. How hard is that? It’s not your stop? Well, great. Good for you, MOVE so that I can get off. Got a text? Lovely. You're welcome to reply in that corner over there. Don’t just stand in the middle of the way and hope you become transparent.

Aaaand scene.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Health and clean underwear

Over the last couple of years, with all the talk about most of the things we ingest or lather ourselves with being full of crap, I’ve been intermittently trying to improve various aspects of my general health. I have to do it in stages because we’re not loaded and health food and healthier skincare/haircare products are not cheap.
I have however found two things that are inexpensive and take a huge step in the right direction:
1. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps: you can get them in a range of sizes. They’re great as shampoo and shower gel. They come in a liquid form which is better for your skin (the ingredient in bars that makes a bar a bar is what clogs pores). They’re so gentle you can use them on babies (but don’t get that stuff in their eyes – there are no numbing agents so your kid’ll feel it) and on your best undies.
Best of all: no preservatives, no parabens or yucky carcinogens or no weird things you can't pronounce and no fake perfumes so they don’t agitate skin conditions. Love this stuff. I save a fortune because I only need this and some conditioner rather than the 50 bottles of stuff I had before... so less plastic in my bathroom = less clutter = fewer bottles for the landfill.

2. Quinoa. Awesome stuff. Has so much goodness in one little grain you wouldn't believe me if I told you. It's also packed with protein, so if you’re not feelin’ meat, or you’re broke, this stuff is cheap and one cup is enough for 2 people. Plus, you can do literally ANYTHING to it. Add it to a fruit salad to get your protein or throw in some steamed veggies, some lemon and herbs and bob’s your uncle.

Eventually, I'd like to replace all my cosmetics and toiletries with the all or mostly natural products and most of our food products with the organic or less processed versions.

Here are a couple of articles I've picked up that you might find interesting:

Super Foods Explained
10 Simple Skincare Rules
Sugar's effect on your health