For some reason, I’ve always hated it when people try to give me cosmetic/beauty advice. I’ll mention I’ve dyed my hair and they start going on about how a dark coffee copper mauve would have suited my peach-olive complexion or whatever (as you can see I know as much about beauty jargon as I do about molecular chemistry, which is nil). But the thing is, you know, I never asked. I didn’t say “what colour would have suited me better?” or “Hey, what do you think I SHOULD have done here?”, I just stated an event that happened and involved my body in some way. Some day I’ll say “man, I really fucked up my eyeliner yesterday” and someone will come bursting in through the walls like the Kool-Aid man and tell me that I need, absolutely need, to try this technique they swear by that involves a blow-torch, a spoon, 3 Q-Tips and a corkscrew. The worst thing is when you say “no thanks” to all of this unwarranted beauty advice: they get offended. Like, what, you don’t want to look like the goddess they can turn you into just by ranting advice at you and you blindly accepting it? You don’t want to rub a pound of coconut butter onto your skin while you hum gregorian chants and swig a litre of pomegranate juice? Jesus, it’s almost like the fact that you put SOME effort into your appearance doesn’t actually mean that you want to devote all of your time and mental capacity to a beauty regimen that won’t matter in 30 years because we all eventually get wrinkles and sun-spots and stretch marks.
People who give these tidbits of advice never mean anything malign by it, I know. In whatever language bubble they converse in with their like-minded friends, these are just the things you do and say, it’s the way you communicate. But I’m not part of that bubble, I don’t want unwarranted advice to be a common occurrence. And I’m not afraid to look someone in the eye after they’ve told me how I need to start paying attention to my pores or follicles that I really don’t give a shit, that I never asked, and that I would appreciate it if they didn’t do that again.
I’ll never really know why it bothers me so much where others seem to thrive off of it. But that’s just the way it is: If I didn’t ask, don’t offer.
Anonymous asked: I have really bad hands in winter. Right now they look like I stuck them in a blender, the skin has all kinds of slices along the knuckles and fingers where it's split. I haven't been able to find any vegan hand lotions, but my mom has three different types in our house (all with urea); is it terrible if I use it just for now, while I'm trying to find a substitute?
If you have olive oil around the house, it helps to give your hands an olive oil massage (other oils should work just as well). You can also look up other homemade remedies for cracked and dry winter hands on the internet. It sounds a lot more sane to want to rub oil on your hands than animal urine (urea), and I’m pretty sure you, like most everyone else, have access to oil in your house. It’s not terrible, but don’t be short-sighted - you have thousands of other options.
Why have Cosmo sex tips when you can have…
Cosmos sex tips?
Anonymous asked: What's your take on Quebec's push to ban public displays of religion? Do you feel your atheism affects your opinion on it? Thanks! <3
I read about this in a paper I picked up in a cafe a while ago. My only problem with it is the fact that by “ban public displays of religion” they basically just mean ban religiously associated headgear from the middle-east. They definitely aren’t targeting people with Christian/Catholic symbols.
Maybe it is not as much of a problem here in Ontario as it is in Quebec - I’ve never been - but the only reason I can see for the ban would be if these religious symbols are somehow being used to oppress or harm others or form malicious rivalries between those of different religious faiths. Even if I were decked in complete religiously-associated gear, the most people could reasonably comment is that I’m a fashion faux-pas, not a danger to society.
They might be even crazier and be talking about making a fake meat roast out of nuts.
I considered this possibility until I imagined the outcome of such a recipe and how truly nutty it would be.
peripateticthinker asked: Have you got a favourite nut roast recipe? There are so many to choose from!
Nut roast? You mean, like, legitimately roasting nuts yourself? Hm. I’ve never actually done it (except for with pumpkin seeds around Halloween time). I should try it out this year, I loved those candy coated nuts that we’d always have around this time of year, but so many commercial versions of them are non-vegan.
X-Mas Mom Problems?
Dear tumblr followers,
what do you get your mothers for Christmas?
Soy (who does not know what moms like)
Engineering at McMaster University
Every department at my university is fairly “normal”… except for the Engineering department. They go out of their way, and have for a long time, to brew up some wacky mayhem. Many of the Engineering students consider it necessary for their learning experience as a Mac Eng student to be a prankster, or pull off something that gets in the local papers. Sometimes these shenanigans are benign or even charitable, and other times they seek to make life harder for every student who isn’t in Engineering. If this department had a D&D alignment, I would call it Chaotic Neutral. However, since their wacky behaviour is coded as tradition and something intrinsic about the nature of our university, a great deal of their fairly non-academic events get completely subsidized.
They can go to events for half-price in Toronto, drink beer subsidized by the school, host parties with the Nursing students… if the average student looks close enough on MUGSI, they will notice that part of our tuition goes to building their solar cars.
They have produced Musicals since 1999, such hits as “Alice Through The Optically Reflective Back-Side Metallized SiO2 Lens” or “Les Engineerables”.
One big problem with a single department holding so much power over the school’s culture - whether they use it for good or evil - is that the Engineering department is predominantly male, and it often seems that not only are women discouraged from being part of the Eng culture, but it can often conflate the power of the Eng society with male fraternity and superiority. When the Eng department uses their influence for the worst, it can regularly take the form of malicious sexism.
I find it strange that one department above all has legends and fables behind their traditions, is the only department that has a jacket which represents them rather than a tee-shirt like the other departments (Mac Eng students wear leather jackets with the iconic fireball on the back, whereas for example Humanities students have dark blue tee-shirts with a picture of Darth Vader on them that says “welcome to the arts side”). But I can only hope that the “dark side” of the engineering department - malicious pranks, constant fights with social sciences about who is “better”, and cultish behaviour - are rumours of the past that will be wiped out with a new wave of more conscientious students all around.
The essay I just mentioned, titled “Quantum Theory, Common Misinterpretations, and Instrumentalism” can now be read online here. As it was course text specific, to explain particle-wave duality I make reference to diagrams in Richard Dewitt’s Worldviews: An Introduction to The History and Philosophy of Science. However, any primer on particle-wave duality will suffice for clarifying the information provided there if free e-copies of the text are not available. Additionally, a full understanding of particle-wave duality is not necessary to understand its context in the essay, as I have provided textual descriptions of the very general idea of what particle-wave duality entails (including what it means for something to be “particle-like”, something to be “wave-like” and the size limitation of what constitutes a “quantum entity”).
I would love to hear feedback from young philosophers, scientists, and the like who are following me, as well as anyone who dabbles with interest in particle physics, quantum theory, or any theoretical scientific works.
Last but not least, I highly recommend all of the texts I have referenced in the paper (listed in the works cited). I also recommend any other objects of media I may have referenced in the paper (hint, hint: The 1997 movie Contact, and the book it is based on by Carl Sagan).
Anonymous asked: Hi Soy. Do you believe that truth is intrinsically or instrumentally valuable? What kinds of sacrifices can we make in the name of scientific discovery? I ask, because I saw this video on my dash of an entomologist pouring molten aluminum into an anthill to create a mold of the colony. Is the knowledge gained from the creation of molds of greater or lesser moral value than the lives of all the ants in the colony?
I just wrote an essay that was (in part) about how the models offered by the scientific method should be treated as if they are instrumentally useful instead of an intrinsic structure that has been pulled from the nature of reality. But, at the same time, I do not fully believe that our treating it as such is full admittance that this is the only answer possible, but rather it is a humble reservation of judgement for the sake of preserving science as a field of free inquiry as opposed to a field of dogmatic faiths. I wholly admit that this is a caution that I posit necessary because of the rather unsavoury nature of human beings and their ability to get, well, carried away with things. Perhaps if we were more moderate in our declarations of worldviews then we would not have to stay so far away from the possibility that some rigorous theories in the world can connect with something resembling objectivity.
In short, I will stick to convincing people of the usefulness or instrumental value of progressive human methodology (whether it be in the field of science or ethics or somewhere in-between) before I even begin to approach people with the idea that there are some unchangeable facts about either fields. This is a much more compatibilist attitude than I have held in the past (and to that note, it could either be speculated that I now hold this view because I have “matured”, OR that I hold this view simply because truths can often offer extreme values that are vehemently rejected by some and I am not a deus ex machina enough to handle the stress it brings…)