Wednesday, July 30, 2008

quiz time

For a fun quiz on which city you belong in, head on over to kit4kit.

I should be in London!

Here's London from my trip last summer:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

kewpie



disturbing yet cute image for the day.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Movie Review: Surfwise

This movie isn't out on DVD yet, so you'll have to run, not walk, to your nearest theater to see it.

Surfwise is a documentary of surfer Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz, his wife and nine children. They all lived in a tiny trailer by the beach, the kids were home-schooled, and surfing was their way of life. It sounds all blissful, but it's not...the good doctor has some bizarre theories on how to live life, and family dysfunction is at it's best.

The movie is told by the whole family in present-day (the kids are all grown-up and have transitioned into life in the real-world), with great photos and home-movies to go along with their memories.

You'll laugh. You'll cry. And you'll want to learn how to surf.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

aliens exist!

This just in, from the guy who walked on the moon.

Ok, so let me get this straight.

Aliens: Yes.

God: No.

Loch Ness Monster: Sure looks like Nessie to me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Book Review: Buddha Baby

This book was a quick, fun, brainless read. It takes place in San Francisco, and it's fun to read about Chinatown, and what goes on inside the fancy Victorians.

This book could have been a whole lot more though. It had a good plot and interesting characters that could have been developed deeper.

Still, I recommend it for light summer beach reading!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

sunscreens that don't screen out the sun

The Environmental Working Group have released findings from a recent study on sunscreens. They studied 952 (!) brand-name sunscreens, only to find that 4 out of 5 sunscreens don't work, AND contain harmful chemicals.

The EWG recommends that you use SPF 30 or higher, and only buy products with at least 7% zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for broad spectrum protection. Oxybenzone (or benzophenone-3) is a common chemical in sunscreen that should be avoided.

For the full article, click here.

I thought I had been keeping up to date on this stuff, but I had to clean out my cabinets when I read that Neutrogena, Banana Boat, and Coppertone were among the many brands that don't work.

Click here for a list of products that the EWG recommends. You can also search for the product that you're already using and check their review.

The list has brands that you won't find at your local pharmacy. I headed out to Rainbow Grocery, only to find the shelf had pretty much been cleared out. Apparently I wasn't the only one who read this article. I ended up buying UV Natural Sunscreen SPF 30. It goes on pretty thick but blends in, and is a bit greasy. But if it works, I can't complain.

I talked to a staff person for recommendations for a facial sunscreen. She recommended Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer 30 . It's not on the list and hasn't been reviewed yet by the EWG. I called the company to get a percentage of the zinc oxide. It's over 14%, and it doesn't contain oxybenzone. It has good reviews on Amazon, and it seems to be working. Funny, because previously I had noticed that I was getting tan, despite using Neutrogena sunblock...

UPDATE on 8/8/08: I spent a week in hot and sunny Costa Rica, and I'm happy to report that both the Devita and UV Natural sunscreens worked splendidly. On me and on my rather pasty traveling companion.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Book Review: The Dharma Bums

I can't think of a better book than this one to read while I was camping in Arcata. I spent one lazy day sitting in the sun, drinking a beer, and flying through the chapters.

Jack Kerouac and his friends are Dharma bums, constantly quoting the Buddha and aiming for enlightenment as they indulge in lots of wine, partying, meditating, and immersing themselves in nature. The majority of the book takes place on the West Coast, as he travels from L.A. to San Francisco to the mountains of Washington.

Reading this book made me want to camp under the stars forever.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

camping in Arcata County

For July 4th, I headed up north to camp at King's Range, or The Lost Coast, in Arcata County.

It was stunningly gorgeous. And surprisingly not crowded!

This was taken from our campsite:


We hiked 4.2 miles out to the beach, making it a walloping 8.4 mile hike. The last half was all up hill, so we got quite the workout.


We were rewarded with the appropriately named Black Sand Beach. We even saw sea lions playing in the waves.












As my last two adventures involved carnage galore (here and here), it was only fitting that I stumbled upon a carcass as I was strolling the beach. Here's the obligatory photo:

Friday, July 4, 2008

happiness

Livescience has another great article on research done on happiness.

The good news is that happiness is on the rise. Around the world, the U.S. came in at the 16th happiest country, while Denmark ruled at number 1.

Happy reading!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

put these foods on your grocery list...

The New York Times has a great article on "The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating".

I didn't score too well:) I like cinnamon, blueberries, and swiss chard, but can't say I eat them daily. Or even weekly.

Time to go shopping at Safeway.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

watermelon


I *love* the summer.

Summertime fruit is the best. My kitchen is overflowing with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and watermelon.

I still get my bi-monthly delivery of organic fruits and veggies from Planet Organics.

And there's a another organic store in town that I have to acknowledge......Safeway!

Yup, the mega-goliath food chain that screams of mass consumerism, corporate greed, sterile lighting, and overall blahness, has gone organic. Their creatively named O Organics brand covers everything from breakfast to dinner to late night munchies.

Safeway also has a small but rapidly growing section of organic fruits and veggies. I've noticed the produce tends to go bad pretty soon after purchase, so eat it up fast.

(I guess I should mention that Safeway's organics line isn't entirely brand-new...I was just really skeptical, and it took me a long time to try it.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

bottled water vs. tap water

The debate continues...this article talks about the latest research.

Even though SF tap water is supposed to be one of the best, I have to admit, I still use a Brita filter. Here's the 2007 SFPUC water quality report.

How do you like your water?