Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2015

mental health mondays :: beautiful minds

a friend posted this article on facebook this morning and i thought that it was a lovely way to brighten up a decided gloomy november monday, when many people reading this are recovering from a long weekend. [i'm not, but since i work from home, weekends are a bit ephemeral.]

the article has more information on the techniques used, but here's my summary: greg dunn is an artist who originally started out on a very different path. he holds a phd in neuroscience and has used his earlier work to inspire his creativity. using painting and etching techniques, he makes art from microscopic images taken of human brains.

he makes doodles of your noodle.

while his work might not tell you anything about your mental health, it does provide a remarkable insight into the complexity of the human brain and all of the things that dwell within it. and i have to agree that there is an intrinsic similarity between the minutiae of our minds and the sparse, elegant beauty of asian, or asian-inspir…

armchair centreback :: success through pizza and punching

first off all, a mighty round of congratulations to mr. jamie vardy, who is now not only the top scorer in the premier league, but the man who holds the record for the longest run of games [eleven, as of today] in which he's scored. not bad for a guy who three years ago was practicing his shot-taking with his garage door. i assure you, no soccer fan today hears the name jamie vardy and wonders who you're talking about. hats' off to you, young sir. [he's 28. that's not young for a professional soccer player by any stretch. -ed.] [way to make me want to hang myself. -kate.]
of course, when people do hear about vardy's record-breaking weekend, there is a very good chance they will have an arrested development moment: "him?" after all, the man whose record he bested, ruud van nistelrooy, is regarded as one of the finest midfielders ever in the modern premier league era, an icon of the ferguson era manchester united that dispatched opponents like the eye …

making faces :: oh my, it's more armani-ness

i did promise a while back that i had a bunch more armani trinkets to show you and it's about damn time i got around to making good on that promise. last time around, i looked at the eye tints that armani had launched in the late summer/ early fall, which somehow ended up following me home when i wasn't paying attention. [yes, that is the best story i could come up with.] this time around, i'm looking at some of the luscious lip products that blew in through the window to keep their friends company.

starting with familiar territory, armani staged a "stealth launch" of half a dozen new shades of their rouge d'armani sheer lipstick formula. unfortunately, i haven't managed to find more than three of the six new shades and i've found different ones at different counters. i'm guessing that this may be somewhat easier if you live in a place that has more or larger armani counters. certainly, it's less of an issue if you can order from armani direc…

world wide wednesdays :: sex and violence

today is apparently the international day to eliminate violence against women, the beginning of sixteen days of activism against gender-based violence that ends on december 10, which is human rights day. given thst, i thought it would be a good day to explore the perils of being a woman in different parts of the world, as well as the progress that's been made. the fact that there is still plenty to do in order to achieve equality in the western world [and the fact that advances that have been made are always fragile, as is seen in the ongoing american debate over access to abortion], can cause us to lose focus on exactly how big the challenges are in other places. we hear about the brutal practice of female genital mutilation, but there are a lot of other dangers women continue to face, including both violence and structural impediments to independence and security.

before completely moving away from the first world, however, it's interesting to note that, while wealthy countr…

mental health mondays :: a bill is due

don't look now, but america's infamously ineffective congress may be on the verge of getting something done. something important.

rep. tim murphy [a republican, no less and also the only psychiatrist in congress] has paired with texas democrat eddie bernice johnson [a psychiatric nurse] to put forward the helping families in mental health crisis act, meant to bring about serious reforms in the way that the american health industry deals with the mentally ill [h.r.-2646]. at the same time, senator bill cassidy [r-la] and senator chris murphy [d-ct] have introduced a bill in the senate [s. 1945] called the mental health reform act of 2015.

this is actually a second kick at the crazy can for murphy #1 and johnson, whose earlier bill was heavily criticised by those involved in the psychiatric care industry. this time around, reactions have been better. mental health america, a century-old not for profit group, has offered their cautious support for murphy-johnson, labelling it &qu…

the ouroboros of stupid :: adventures in fascism, feminism, and fallacies in the industrial music scene

i originally wrote this piece for heathen harvest as an editorial about a month ago in response to an article that was probably best left ignored, the sort of thing that is just so ignorant that you know you're just wasting everyone's time by even trying to argue. my logic was that people are debating donald trump's ideas seriously and the crazier he gets, the more popular he gets, so it might be dangerous to assume that some arguments are so ridiculous that they don't warrant any response, even if the arguments are about a music scene that almost no one ever thinks or cares about. 
after a week or two, i contacted my editor at hh and told him to scrap the article. i'd started feeling like the fire had burned itself out and there wasn't much point in trying to poke the embers. furthermore, since i was taking an irascible tone with two different groups, i felt like i was potentially provoking a fight with a lot of people and possibly creating more of the same cr…

making faces :: chanel's k.i.s.s. for fall

i must be honest: i've been a little disenchanted with chanel for the last couple of years. it's not that what they've been doing is bad, exactly, but that so much of it [and there has been so much] has seemed forgettable or- gasp- trendy. their relaunch of their rouge coco line this year might have been due, but the colours they included seemed like slightly washed out versions of the juicy, bold hues we've been seeing from everyone for at least a year and a half now. same goes for their relaunch late last year of their rouge allure glosses. they got rid of the best and most unique lip gloss shades on the market [no qualifier!] and replaced them with ones that looked a lot like things we've from dior or even mac. note: that doesn't make them bad colours- far from it. but chanel is one of the priciest brands around, so if i'm looking at their products and thinking "this looks a lot like something i can get for much less from another brand", it'…

a case for why you should avoid my family altogether

i've recently succumbed to the glitzy allure of an account on ancestry.com, which is kind of like crack, if crack was made up of little green leaves and ended up giving carpal tunnel syndrome from using it all the time. come to think of it, crack would have a better reputation if it did that, although i have a feeling that dropping it after a month or two of free access is likely to require some serious detox.

i feel kind of bad, because i took some pride in the fact that i had found out so much about my family without ever spending a nickel to do so, and now i've given in to the most commercial vehicle for peddling your dead ancestors on the planet. that feeling is somewhat mollified by the fact that i've accomplished in less than a week about six times what i was able to accomplish on my own and have found out that, contrary to what i previously believed, i have some pretty illustrious, albeit very distant, progenitors. i also have some pretty questionable ones, but tha…

mental health 'mondays' :: they sell sanctuary

one of the things that has been running through my head since friday has been just how like a cult isis is. although it lacks the monomaniacal leadership that one typically associates with apocalyptic cults, it does prey on the vulnerable and the young, seducing them to a violent ideology wherein they will be rewarded for their earthly sacrifices with vip treatment in the afterlife. in the age of the internet, where many to many communication has become the norm, the power of the idea requires no leader to draw others. it sits alone, appearing to need no central leader, although, of course, there are leaders central to its perpetual recruitment drive.

cults tend to involve various sorts of mental disorders, although it is a mistake to conflate the two. leaders tend to suffer from narcissistic personalities, their need for adoration and total subjugation fulfilled by dismantling the egos of those who follow them. they may also show strong antisocial tendencies, unable to consider the f…

making faces :: get a mauve on

i have a strict "no mustache" policy in our household to which there are no exceptions, even for an excellent cause like movember. although the actual movement to grow mustaches as a way of raising funds and promoting awareness for prostate cancer started in the u.k., we in canada have become the kings of movember, which is why bite beauty has decided to get in the game and help some of us ladies to get behind the cause, even those of us who can't get with the mustache game.

this month only [which is half over and for that i apologize], bite is offering a new shade of lipstick in canada called "mauvember", the proceeds from which are being donated to the cause. i need to preface this by saying that the shade sold out almost immediately from sephora's website, but i've heard from multiple sources that there are still plenty to be had in stores.

"mauvember" is made in bite's luminous creme formula, what i refer to as their standard, which i…

fluctuat nec mergitur

this has not been a good couple of weeks. yesterday, while terrorists prepared to attack the city of paris, people in southern lebanon were grieving their dead after bombings there injured more than two hundred in a shia-dominated suburb of beirut. the attack was condemned as "satanic" by hezbollah, the shi'ite political group who have been fighting isis and who are themselves designated a terror organisation by western powers. this just two weeks after a suspicious crash of a russian airliner in egypt killed over two hundred people there.

i already expressed my reaction to a similar attack in the french capital less than a year ago and i stand by those thoughts. but i still feel the need to say something here, because the horrific violence of the past two weeks just leaves me aching. i've been in paris. i've walked around the streets not far from the restaurant and concert venue that were attacked yesterday. i remember seeing the modern curve of the stade de fra…

unhappiness in the land of happy days

i may be getting addicted to the process of republican debates. tuesday saw them in milwaukee and after last month's debacle on cnbc [i didn't write it up? god, i'm slipping], the focus was largely on fox business channel even more than on the candidates. however, it took about five minutes to determine that fox had come prepared, which means that we all got to focus on [mocking] the candidates again.

you'd assume that, as a progressive, i would want a very weak candidate to emerge, but in fact i'd prefer to have someone with a solid grasp of policy [or at least english]. i don't think that's what republicans want, though and, no word of a lie, that saddens me. i was shocked at how poorly john huntsman fared last time, which goes to show you that i just don't see in their candidates the way they do. but that's part of what makes it fun!

tuesday's fight for the right took us to milwaukee, home of the 1985 and 2015 world series champions and the s…

world wide wednesdays :: remember

i was planning a new world wide wednesdays this week, but given that it's remembrance day, i thought it would be appropriate to bring back this one from last year. i haven't changed my opinion one bit: i believe world war i was the defining event of the twentieth century and it harms us all that we forget its lessons. and sadly, yes, i do believe that those lessons have been largely forgotten, things like the importance of caring for veterans, the injustice of the moneyed classes using the poor as almost literal cannon fodder, the fact that conflicts are rarely black and white, but have a lot of room for interpretation and can get pretty hysterical very quickly. i could go on, but i think my point is made. here's hoping this year brings something better.

*

i thought i'd indulge in a bit of a departure this week, in remembrance of what i firmly believe is the defining event of the twentieth century: world war i. it's certainly arguable, but i've thought about it…