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mental health mondays :: walking the line

dom sent me this article earlier today. it's from pitchfork of all places, but it does bring up some interesting questions of the effect of illicit versus prescription drugs on music and musicians. of course, being the savvy readers you are, you're already aware that these lines have become increasingly blurry in the last decades, in particular where psychiatric meds are concerned.

after all, the line between drugs that people take for enjoyment and drugs that people take to make their brains work and feel better is particularly thin. cholesterol medications aren't likely to inspire the next "purple haze", but crazy meds well might, because, of course, they play with the parts of your brain that control things like pleasure, sensory perception and learning. in fact, many psychedelics and psychiatric meds have similar effects on the brain. club kid favourite mdma produces its fabled euphoria by encouraging the production of neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine and by inhibiting their reuptake [a fancy way of saying that it makes them stick around longer in the brain]. antidepressants like zoloft, prozac, effexor and wellbutrin do exactly the same thing to keep people with depression from wanting to die, because euphoria is relative to your starting point. that's also why people with mental disorders seem to experience drugs very differently from those who don't. [also, this is why you want to be extremely careful taking any kind of drugs if you're already taking something for any kind of mental disorder. seriously, i know someone who shot his serotonin levels dangerously high by taking cold medication while on wellbutrin.]

increasingly, the biggest difference between drugs we take for fun and drugs we take for medicine is the quality of the supply. street-level crystal meth is usually made in highly unsanitary conditions, using fillers that are more likely to damage your internal organs than the drug itself. desoxyn is made in a pristine pharmaceutical laboratory under highly controlled conditions. [sorry kids, walter white isn't real.]

so if the drugs we get from doctors and the drugs we get from that slightly twitchy guy with greasy skin are really the same thing, who's to say that the next great period of psychedelic inspiration we get won't come with a prescription?

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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 as the goal to which all lipsticks should aspire for years 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. that said, a number of the new covers are just gorgeous and the allure of variety 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…

work smarter

i imagine that most people reading this have already started what would be called their "career". career now doesn't have the same connotation that it used to, given that generations past often stuck with one field of work or even a single job for much of their working life, while the average tenure of an employee in the united states as of 2015 was less than five years. among younger workers [millennials and generation z], the average is more like two years.

either way, the workaday world as we once knew it is changing profoundly: some statistics estimate that 50% of american workers will be employed as freelancers by 2027. human resources contractor randstad says that "agile workers" [freelancers, contract or temporary employees already represent 30% of the canadian workforce. such work sounds like a good deal for all: employers can recruit employees for immediate needs rather than having to commit to a permanent position that might become obsolete within a f…