Wednesday, July 29, 2009

ToneMatrix - A Delightful Peaceful Find

It's a grid. You click on a point in the grid and it causes a sound that slowly repeats. Click on a second point and you have begun a sequence. Keep clicking, keep choosing random points on the grid, and the sequence becomes more beautiful.

Sounds a bit dull?? Well, give it a whirl, for it is beautiful!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why I Like The Mentalist 

Well, there are many reasons, but here's one. Most cop shows give us the professional cop, and their life off-work - that way we can have some ongoing family and relationship dramatic threads, rather than just standalone episodes. And what see of the cop's non-work personality is purely to serve the dramas.

The Mentalist is different. We don't see their lives outside of work. But we do see a big difference in their personalities, between when they are interacting with the public, and when they are just amongst themselves. The relationship sub-plots are extremely shallow, almost there for comic relief. Seeing the lighter side of them is as much for keeping the show light-hearted as it is purely a reflection of the writing talents.

Reminds me a bit of Magnum PI, and detective shows from the 80s/90s, before everything got so heavy-handed.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Skin Care and Chemicals 

I'm realising that most skincare and haircare products contain chemicals that are actually bad for your skin! They are there the make the product nicer in terms of look and feel and foam... and I guess if it makes your skin worse, you'll just by more product.

From looking at the labels of the more organic products I became aware that Sodium Laureth Sulfate (a foaming agent) should be avoided. Read here to find out why. That leaves about 10% of the products on the market.

Then I read this post which says we should also avoid these:

1. “Fragrance” can be one or more of 200 chemicals. Companies don't have to disclose the actual components of each fragrance, under the guise that their fragrances are trade secrets. Fragrance has been known to cause many side effects, including headaches and allergic reactions. Why put an unknown synthetic chemical on your skin when you don’t have to? The Environmental Working Group has an extensive database of cosmetic chemicals and their corresponding danger rankings. "Fragrance" recieves one of the highest rankings possible in their score system. For more on fragrance, read my article.

2. Methylparaben, or anything ending in “paraben.” These preservatives act like estrogen in the body, throwing off hormonal balance. Parabens have been shown to accumulate in cancerous breast tumors. For more, read this article.

3. Tetrasodium EDTA is a preservative that’s made from the known carcinogen, formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. (see how) It is also a penetration enhancer, meaning it breaks down the skin's protective barrier, going right into your bloodstream. Many companies trying to be "natural" will use Tetrasodium EDTA instead of parabens to preserve their products. In my opinion, Tetrasodium EDTA is just as bad.

4. Diazolidinyl Urea readily breaks down in the product or on the skin and releases formaldehyde. It's an endocrine disruptor, a possible neurotoxin, a known immune system toxicant, and has a possible link to cancer. Even supposedly natural companies such as Shikai and Blue Lizard use the ingredient.

5. Propelyne Glycol, among other things, is a penetration enhancer, meaning it’s a carrier for other chemicals, bringing them into your skin and your bloodstream. It's a known skin irritant, it has been shown to cause cancer in lab tests, a possible endocrine disruptor, and a possible neurotoxin. You can find it in over 3000 products, including lotions, deodorants, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner and body washes.

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