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filthy lucre

donald trump has shown utter indifference to the possible torture and killing of an american-based journalist jamal khashoggi by saudi arabian security forces acting on the direction of saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman but that's hardly a surprise. he said on the campaign trail that he loved the saudis because they gave him money. he refused to consider placing saudis on his infamous "muslim travel ban" list, despite the fact that saudi arabia is the one country that has been credibly linked to the september 11 terrorist attacks. or that the saudis' particular brand of fundamentalist islam has been described as the root of the extremism espoused by groups like al-qaeda and isis.

trump likes wealthy people and the saudi royals are the blueprint of the type of wealthy people he likes. they spend and live in lavish excess. family members are like catnip for the international celebrity press, even if the news media [like khashoggi] are perceived as enemies of the …
Recent posts

it was my privilege

i haven't posted about the whole u.s. supreme court thing. it's not that i haven't been following it. it's not because i don't have feelings about it. if anything, i have the opposite problem: i have too many feelings about it. i'm normally a pretty icy viewer of news. between dom and me, he's the one who's more sensitive to what happens to other people. i just tend to be focused on what needs to change. or i get angry. and i am angry about what's been going on in the last weeks. but it's not the usual spitting vitriol in the face of the conservative old guard kind of anger. this anger eats away at me like a cancer because it makes me feel hopeless.

many years ago, i thought the idea of "privilege" being accorded to certain groups was a crock. that was because i misinterpreted it as meaning that white people, or men, or straight people, or cisgendered people could never have it as bad as their marginalized counterparts. what it really …

blood drops

a little while back, i took the plunge and had one of those "submit your spit" tests done by 23 and me. in retrospect, i probably should have gone the ancestry.com route, since i'm primarily interested in my genealogy and they have the largest database for that. however, i did get some genealogical information as well as some interesting health/ physical information, so it's not like it was a waste of time. [plus, as the genealogical database gets more robust, your file is updated with whatever new information they can glean.] i'm still thinking of taking the ancestry test, just to see how they compare, and because there are a few points that i'd like to investigate more.

[side note :: i'm well aware of the issues that have been raised with these testing services. to the criticism that they are misleading, i don't believe that they are. the crucial part is that you have to read the fine print. i found that the 23 and me people do a very good job of e…

originals

as we see out the final quarter of 2018 and i continue with my three-year [close enough] project of trying to learn every language in the world, i find myself excited by the news that 2019 has been designated as the year of indigenous languages by the united nations. this was announced back in 2016 but it's now upon us and hopefully, this will see an uptick in attention being paid to the vast array of languages in the world. [and how many of them are threatened.]

"indigenous languages" in this case refers to those spoken by small groups native to areas, most of which have been colonized or where the populations of different groups are isolated enough that there are substantial differences even over short distances. in a broader sense, all languages are and aren't indigenous to somewhere. english could be said to be indigenous to england. on the other hand, we know that english is a language that developed from a combination of latin-, germanic- and french-speaking i…

making faces :: written in the stars, in lipstick [part two]

it's the middle of september already? i'm not prepared for that? i mean, i am prepared for it because the heat this summer has been murder on me and i've been begging for a reprieve for months but i'm still bowled over by the speed at which time passes. this year, i've been measuring time through the launches of bite beauty's astrology collection, which arrives like the full moon once a month. [the full moon arrives every four weeks, which is less than any month except february -ed.] earlier this year, i took a look at the first four launches of the collection and already it's time to catch up with four more.

the most important thing for you to know is that after several months of problems, bite and sephora appear to have sorted out their inventory planning. for the last several releases, information has been clear and reliable as to when and where each lipstick will be available [pre-orders taken for a couple of days on bite's own website and a general…

making faces :: can guerlain improve on its rouge g perfection?

earlier this year, guerlain did something that managed to be both predictable and shocking: they discontinued their iconic rouge g lipsticks and reinvented them with new colours and new packaging. given that guerlain had tinkered with almost every part of its cosmetic lineup in the last few years and that the rouge g assortment hadn't had even a refresh since 2014, the line was definitely due for big changes. on the other hand, the rouge g formula has been held up for years as the ideal to which all lipsticks should aspire and with good reason; tampering with perfection always entails risk.

thankfully, guerlain have deftly navigated the seas of risk and opportunity to arrive at a final destination that combines their established strength with a clever way of reaching out to new customers, namely those customers who are a little hesitant to fork over the money for the rouge g in its luxury packaging. now, rather than paying one hefty sum for one lipstick in deluxe packaging, you ca…