I first came across consumer advocate Paula Begoun about fifteen years ago; she focuses her attention on “beauty products”, including skin care, makeup, and hair care. She started out by writing books such as, “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me”, and “The Beauty Bible”, and has expanded to web sites like Cosmetics Cop and Beautypedia, a PBS series, speaking engagements, and radio programmes. I’ve saved a lot of money by reading her books, and combing her web sites for information.
In some ways, I do find it rather off-putting that she is now sporting her own line of cosmetics and skin care, however, her consumer advocacy does not seem to have suffered as a result, and she uses legitimate scientific research sources, not “claims” and anecdotal nonsense to back up the information she shares. I have actually purchased a few of her Paula’s Choice skincare products, and have been extremely happy with them; I am a huge fan of her 2% BHA exfoliating liquid.
Beautypedia is now offered for free, and has reviews of thousands of products. Cosmetics Cop has myriad articles for information, and is the place to purchase “Paula’s Choice” products.
Canadian painter Robert Genn shares thoughts, quotations, and wisdom about art and creativity twice a week in his e-letter “Painter’s Keys”. It never fails to inspire, or provoke thought. It costs nothing, and contains no advertising or spam-like material! I have been receiving this newsletter for several years and have found it to be of tremendous value in my artistic and creative journey. Mr. Genn’s web site is a terrific resource for artists of all kinds, as well as an archive of all of the Painter’s Keys letters.
Niall learned how to make beautiful waxed tissue stars at school, so I went in search of instructions online; it was a very difficult task! Here’s a red one that Niall made:
Eight-pointed Red Star
How to Fold a Tissue Paper Star Ornament
These stars are made from coloured wax paper, commonly used for making paper kites. When hung in a window, the light shines through the layers of coloured paper with a stained glass effect. Spread some joy by following these simple steps.
Cut the paper into rectangles or squares. The more precisely the paper is cut and folded, the more accurate the angles of the design are when you are done. A good size for a rectangle is 1.5“x3.5” and for a square about 3.5“x3.5“.
For an eight pointed star, use eight rectangle pieces of paper. Fold each piece of paper as follows:
Fold it exactly in half lengthwise (along the long axis). Unfold. You will use the crease as a guide for the remaining folds.
On one short end, fold each corner so that the short edge lines up with the center crease. You will end up with a square point on that end of the rectangle. Repeat at the other end of the rectangle.
On one end, fold each creased edge to the center one more time. Kind of like when you’re folding a paper airplane.
You will end up with a single, square point on one end of the rectangle and a double-folded, narrower point at the other end. Once you have all eight pieces of paper folded, layer them side-by-side in a circle, with the square points all matched up in the very center. The folded edge of each square point will line up with the center crease of the point next to it. Use a glue stick to glue the points together. You may also want to glue your final folds down so they don’t pop open.
Crease your folds sharply and make them as exact as possible.
Kite paper can be found in some hobby shops and online. It comes in many different colours and is much sturdier than tissue paper.
Use your imagination and try different folding patterns to make points.
Layer points more closely or further apart for different sized stars and different patterns. Square pieces of paper make different sized points also.
Hang your star in a window where the light can shine thru it. The pattern of lines that the folds make are often just as pretty as the colours and the way they mix!
CBC created a two hour celebration of Canadian inventions. The “top one hundred” are listed here (CBC has once again removed a wonderful resource page), and include: the light bulb, insulin, the telephone, the Wonderbra, the zipper, the snowmobile, basketball, Pablum, the Walkie-Talkie, and my food favourite Poutine!
Vision TV is an award winning Canadian non-profit television station that promotes diversity through its programming.
It offers drama, comedy, phenomenal documentaries, current affairs programming, music, lifestyle programming, special events programmes, and independent faith and cultural programming (the variety is astonishing and pleasing to our family, and we have learned a great deal about world faiths and cultures through this programming).
A response to the Christian Fundamentalists’ push to bring “Intelligent Design” into the science curriculum of American schools…
“An elaborate spoof on Intelligent Design, The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is neither too elaborate nor too spoofy to succeed in nailing the fallacies of ID. It’s even wackier than Jonathan Swift’s suggestion that the Irish eat their children as a way to keep them from being a burden, and it may offend just as many people, but Henderson, described elsewhere as a 25-year-old “out-of-work physics major,” puts satire to the same serious use that Swift did. Oh, yes, it is very funny.”
— Scientific American
While driving, I was listening to a CBC radio interview with the wife of film maker Ali Kazimi and heard the most soul stirring music being sung by Shahid Ali Khan. When I got home, I searched the internet until I learned how I could purchase this music from Kazimi’s film “Continuous Journey”, about Canada’s shameful refusal in 1914 to let a shipload of 376 South Asian passengers (many of them citizens of British India) into Canada.
The sound and music CD was discovered at Improbable Music, and features Shahid Ali Khan, Kiran Ahluwalia, Ben Grossman, Ravi Naimpally, Mark Korven and Philip Strong. You can listen to a short clip at the web site. When I listened to the film maker’s wife speak about Shahid Ali Khan singing the piece that I heard on CBC Radio, she said that Kazimi asked him to sing about longing for home etc…you don’t need to know the Pakistani language, you can hear and feel it right down to your bones. I recently discovered a quotation by Shahid on CBC describing his music, “The duty of Qawwali is to reduce the distance between the Creator and the created”.
Over the years, two sites, Screen it! and Kids In Mind, have been very helpful to me in previewing movies — without actually having to watch them myself — when deciding whether or not I think that I want my children to watch them.
The Screen It! site is a little difficult to find one’s way around, and one might assume that it’s an just advertising site (it’s just not attractive or well laid out!), but it is well worth one’s while to spend some time figuring out how to find the reviews. They offer detailed content listing in many categories for every movie they review. Each category is then assigned a rating that summarizes the quantity and degree of the content. Here’s a link to the page that describes just what they do, and how to use it. Here’s another link that will take you to the page where you can type in the title of the movie you’re interested in reading about. You can use the site for free, or buy a membership and get added benefits.
The Kids In Mind site is a quite different and compliments Screen It! very well. Beside the title of each movie, the site gives a rating from one to ten in three categories: Sex/Nudity, Violence/Gore, and Profanity. They explain objectively, in detailed list form (from the beginning of the movie to the end), why a film rates high or low in a specific category. They do not recommend ages for viewers, or comment on artistic merit, but rather leave that up to parents based the parents’ own value system.
I particularly value these sites because neither of them are associated with any religious or other organisations.
Listening to CBC Radio’s “The Current” this morning, I learned of these two websites: PR Watch and Source Watch. New York Times writer Andrew Revkin, author of “The North Pole Was Here”, was underlining the fact that the media is scientifically illiterate, and often generally illiterate about other things that they report on. Definitely not “new news”, but very refreshing to hear it being discussed by the media! You can listen to this story by clicking on the Current link above and scrolling down to the “Listen to The Current: Part 2” link on the CBC page.
CBC — Canada’s public broadcasting company — is definitely one of my favourite things!
NOTE: This video is no longer available at Youtube, however, it is available right here at Shoutfile!
Processed food is a huge problem in our “Western society” in my view; educating people, especially young people, is key to avoiding processed food. The demonstration performed by Jamie Oliver captured on this BBC video accomplishes this brilliantly!
This is the coolestweb site about snow…it has everything from amazing photographs of snowflakes to information about snowflake physics. Created by created by Kenneth G. Libbrecht, Professor of Physics and Chairman of the Physics Department at Caltech, it is an exciting site for children and adults!
Update February 8th, 2007: Dr. Libbrecht was a guest on Martha Stewart Show today. On the Martha Stewart web site, along with a quick “Snowflakes 101 Lesson”, he gives instructions on how to preserve your own snowflakes!