Facebook Facial Recognition

Facebook Faces Class Action Lawsuit Challenging Its Use Of Facial Recognition Data https://n.pr/2H5sln7

Its beginning…

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One small box fit it all….

I am still on my new clean and healthy home kick, bear with me. One very important thing I must address is the concentrated packaging. When I shop at Costco to supply my family of 5 with certain foods and other items as needed, I always feel so guilty. The detergents and cleaning products are priced about the same as the grocery store would be with coupons and if I catch a good sale. Financially, it made sense and saved me the time of shopping around- until I found my new favorites of course. The huge Costco packaging, although recyclable in most cases, is still a large piece of plastic that had to be produced, shipped to a store taking up large amounts of space and weight in a large truck/train/boat or wherever it comes from, and stored in my home. It also contained chemicals so I had to keep it out of kids reach.

I groan and bear it.

This product is concentrated. One 8 oz. bottle will make (6) 16 oz. bottles.

So no- I didn’t order six bottles of some cleaning solution because then I would feel like that was just wasteful, too. I ordered one small bottle of each type and mixed it with water in a spray bottle. The water didn’t need to be shipped- so that saved a ton of packaging space and let’s not forget delivery truck emissions. I will feel so much less guilty when I re-purpose, or recycle this small bottle. An added benefit- there’s no harmful chemicals! This is helpful because repurposing becomes oh so much easier.

I am seriously into this stuff. It’s kind of ridiculous because I barely even tried a dozen of their products, there are 450 or so more to try!

Like I said before, I was skeptical, I always am. I take every day as a new day and if I decide it’s not worth it- I will let you know that too. My brutal honesty is both my blessing and my curse I guess.

Dr Vandana Shiva is a leader in environmental politics, and an excellent researcher/scientist/scholar/pioneer. You can read more about her here: http://www.vandanashiva.com. She writes about the enormous greenhouse gas pollution that is due to shipping, among many things in her book “Soil Not Oil.” One obvious goal in this book is to make us aware of how our habits and routines can change, positively affecting the earth with simple lifestyle modifications. Local, local, local is a big theme in her writing.

I have been aware of this for several years, and try my best to not only grow as much of my own food that I can, but also to support local companies whenever possible. Sometimes the local specialty/artisan products are much more expensive and therefore cost prohibitive, but I will always look for a product that comes from a closer location if available.

This product ships from a state 10 hrs away, and they have a 2nd location for the eastern/midwestern U.S. that is also about smack dab in the middle of that shipping territory. Although not located in my state, I don’t blame them as they are actually able to ship to the Pacific coast and Canada from their western territory location. Once a month, a truck delivers a small box to my home. I can live with that considering how frequently people order one item from Amazon and that same truck is driving down my street daily. Also, now I don’t frequent Costco as often to “stock-up”.

I am sharing this with you because I care about the earth, and about health. The more people who are open to trying to change their habits will also benefit our society and culture. I dare you to look in your cabinets and see how comfortable you really are. I wasn’t and I knew I had the power to make a change, and I did.

Clearing the air

I love having a clean home but I dread cleaning it sometimes. It’s not even the work, as many of you know I like to work. It’s the chemicals. After studying environmental science for many college years I am painfully aware of the damage chemicals cause not only to the environment but also to my family’s health. I have made my own cleaners and found it to be much more expensive or not as effective because simply locating the items, plus, I don’t have time for it anymore.

I was referred by my friend (also my physicians assistant) to this online shopping club that has a really inexpensive annual fee ($19), and everything they sell is non-toxic and safe for your home. You don’t have any minimum purchase requirements but you do get a significant discount if you order a minimum every month. I will refrain from naming the company, keep reading.

With that said, I am extremely tired of being marketed to by all the moms out there trying to earn an extra buck slinging something… some product, some concept, some this or that. I turn on my auto-pilot filter and begin ignoring them because when you have 1 firm income to rely on, anything extra is difficult to budget in. I am always very skeptical of marketing and sales pitches- and I research everything to death. I wouldn’t waste my time to inform people if I didn’t think they would benefit- how silly am I to be excited about cleaning products?

*The catch here- these are all things I am already using, but didn’t realize there are better products for better prices.

I struggled to decide whether to join because it seemed too gimmicky, and once I read a wellness guide and researched more and more and more…. then I couldn’t decide which products to try first. I went through my home and decided to simply replace the things I use heavily, or things I am almost out of. I placed my order Wednesday evening, and then called Thursday morning to see if it was too late to change my order (because I realized I should just try a whole cleaning supply pack instead of pick and choose). It was too late because my order was already on a truck, good news for expedience, bad news for mind-changing. It arrived Saturday morning.

This is a list of everything I bought, before shipping and sales tax it was about $70. I paid $84.72 exactly including shipping and CO state sales tax. I am telling you because I was skeptical of what it would cost myself- this is my gift- I am taking the time to inform you.

Cleaning supplies

  • (6) 16oz. Glass cleaner
  • (6) 16oz. Tub and shower cleaner
  • (6) 16oz. Daily shower spray
  • (1) 16oz. Toilet bowl cleaner
  • 48 load liquid laundry detergent
  • (20) whitening laundry pods
  • (6) 16oz. prewash stain treatment
  • (100) dryer sheets
  • (3) 2.4oz. wax melts

Skincare

  • 6oz. insect repellant
  • 4oz. Men’s deodorant (not for me of course)

All of this cost exactly $84.72

So far I have tried everything except whitening laundry pods and prewash stain treatment.

I am embarrassed to admit I haven’t scrubbed the tile in my shower for an impressive 2 months (at least). I sprayed the tub and tile, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. I rinsed it with a cup of water and it was like magic, you can see where it did and didn’t get. I did not scrub at all! I followed up by spraying the rest and letting it sit. The soap scum literally just disappeared. Previously, I would use Method Daily Shower cleaner (which is supposed to be all plant-derived ingredients), but the fumes would make my throat close up-  my lungs felt so contaminated afterwards I would have to close the bathroom door and turn on a fan.

So far I am sold. The products clean extremely well, the price is very affordable, and I can breathe afterwards. I feel comfortable with my kids cleaning their own bathrooms now, their lungs are safe!

If you are looking for a safe, affordable, option for your home- this is the best deal I have found.  They also have many other products I haven’t even touched on- vitamins, supplements, (2) skincare and makeup lines- I will definitely be trying these, weightloss meal replacements, many other cleaning items including sanitizers, essential oils… so many options!

When you are ready to get away from the chemical frenzy of so many products, but you don’t have the income to buy expensive “all natural” products either, this is something you NEED!

Let me know when you are ready and I will share what brand it is…..

 

Adequacy

Social networking increases our ability to connect with friends and former acquaintances. It also gives us power. Power is a valuable tool, and can construct or destruct. If you are confused with how it gives us power, let me elaborate. It is our “platform” so to speak, our pedestal to prop ourselves up, in some cases above others. When we prop ourselves up, we can create a sense of security in our social standing and acceptance among those we covet. What we neglect to notice is how we can affect others in this process. While we are busy constructing our view of our life for others to peek into, we are destructing the confidence of others around us. The power we feel from putting our life on a pedestal, with all the perfect pictures, comments we add to our friends pictures, and carefully crafted image of our life; we fail to notice those around us who struggle with feeling adequate.

I read an article about the restructuring of the news source Indian Country Today, and it struck a nerve. The last question the interviewer asked was what is an important issue that needed attention. The response: “The teen suicide rate on Indian reservations is higher than anywhere else in the world.” Not the country, not a specific state, the entire world.

What does this have to do with social media? I can’t draw the lines exactly, I haven’t been on a reservation since 1999. Well before social media was even a thing, but it was on it’s way. What I can attest to is how the sense of feeling adequate in the face of the world is critical in constructing your life. On the flip side, when you feel inadequate, whether on your own or in comparison to others, destructing your life becomes a possibility.

We watch the girl we barely know go on vacation, from our cell phone on facebook while riding a bus to school, or from our couch with a box of tissues. We compare our life to hers, why we can’t go on vacation, or our vacation wasn’t as… epic. What we don’t see, and many others have written about this, is what her vacation was really like. All we see is what the person wants us to see. That is not the reality, it’s only a version, a constructed version.

I wish it was easier, sharing the beauty of our lives, our joys and happy times. Without hurting others in the process. It can be. What we really need is the actual human connection. I know that stepping out of the facebook realm I have missed a lot of what others I once knew share about their lives. I look at it as if they were going to share their vacation with me, I would know about it outside of the mass sharing index we use to catalog our life. I do know that when I look at my daughter’s and they are riding their bikes, or learning multiplication, or building forts… I see them. I don’t see a photo opportunity to show everyone else. I enjoy the moments, and savor the time we spend growing and learning together.

I have friends and family without kids. Some by choice, others by the waves of the universe. I know that their feelings of inadequacy may be hidden when they comment about how sweet, or when they scroll past and leave no comment because inside they are hurting.  This is why I don’t do it. There are friends and acquaintances who will miss out on what I don’t share, and I love to see the honesty in what some people do share.

What kind of writer am I?

I wrestle with this topic in my own way, at some point, almost every day.

There is this quest as a philosopher. It is to truly understand and give a proper account of the world, without bias and misinformation. Lose all assumptions and open your mind to really get a fair look at the world, and not just with your eyes. Using your mind to make sense of it all, and then help others along the way.

But you see, there are many different types of philosophers, and this only describes one sort. So I see that we are all different in many ways, yet we are all the same in many others. How we respect and honor one another, it seems so easy and obvious. How do even the highest of moral beings make quick and irrational mistakes?

I want to be an informed and helpful writer. So I analyze every topic I would write about and rule out the prospect, the ideas I have, simply because I feel the inadequacy of properly labeling the “voice” I may have. There are styles, I don’t know what they are all called and I chose to learn more about science, than grammar. I may not be great at math, but I can spell flawlessly. (Most misspelled words you will read of mine, are because I need to trim my fingernails and my fingers keep slipping off the keys, lol right!) It seems as though writing is reserved for those who study English or History. Purpose and passion is where I come in. But where is the value? Maybe inspirational messages for tea companies…

There are these things about writing, the permanence of your word. Yet, the ability to edit and truly have what you really mean, out there, for the world to see. I love the editing process, but I only do quick edits for my own writing… I have to remind myself, the message is important but I need to always read with fresh eyes before publishing.

There are timelines, and timeliness, not the same. Well recorded events and current events, often with the most pressing messages necessary. But accuracy is the key- “How Urgency Can Provoke Misinformation”, a topic I will write about one day, as it is commonly accepted and sometimes correction is less obvious, so you end up with people with the wrong understanding. What happens when they quickly respond according to inaccurate information? We have a responsibility to be accurate. So dig a little deeper when researching something, especially something important.

I have to keep my writing brief and to the point. It’s all I have time for. As a person with a responsibility to my family, there are many tugs on my time. So I have to stop ruling out my ideas, and make time for the important ones.

Rainy Day Blues

It is one of those rainy days here, as I am sure it is in many other parts of the world. When you look outside and see cloudy skies, wet weather, and it is a little chilly, how does it affect your day?

Creativity is sparked in some.

Others enjoy a warm cup to drink and a quiet book.

Many curl up and hide… really.

I like to do stuff. I drive to places I keep meaning to go, and check them out. I hit my to-do list, and actually accomplish some of the items (like write on my blog.. hey hey double whammy… keep on reading and you will see what I mean!)

Refreshing as it is, getting things in your life and home ready for the winter takes extra effort. The enticement is certainly not the actions necessary, even though the completed projects are rewarding.

Today~ I repotted a sad plant. It was on clearance for $3 from a nearby home improvement store. I was worried about this plant. It wasn’t doing horribly, but didn’t look happy enough for an aesthetically motivated house plant buyer to want. I thought to myself, “I sure don’t have any dying house plants right now, maybe I should get one.”

The fate of this very pretty green and yellow leaved plant was not advancing well into the future, unless I did something about it. Whining kids in tow, I searched the soil for bugs, none seemed evident. None of the leaves have been chewed on or spotted, only yellowing and only from the center of clusters, making me think it was either over or under watered, and was outgrowing its current conditions.  I checked the roots, and sure enough, bound in a twist, thick, and suffocating.

So I did what any ordinary garden/plant geek would do, I bought it. The whole way home I thought about two things- it would be great if my 3 year old stopped kicking the seats, I’m trying to freakin drive; and my track record with house plants is terrible, why did I just get one that needed extra help? Balancing this questionable line of reasoning, I sucked it up to the facts- at a mere $3 it would be a great next victim.

This struggling plant sat on my porch for a day or two, just in case those bugs showed up, didn’t want a population to fester without consent. It did eventually come inside and sit on a shelf, with just enough light (according to the little tag). That was 3 weeks ago… Took a little longer to make room in the schedule I guess. It got threatened with being banished to the porch by my other half, if I didn’t repot the silly thing already.

Today I actually did it. I made a crock pot recipe (red beans and rice) for dinner, and after cleaning the kitchen from breakfast and the prep… I looked out side and said to the audience, “I’m finally ready to repot this plant, come on 3 year old, lets get our hands dirty!”

It took a whopping 10 minutes.

Once we repotted it, I did what every ordinary person does, I looked up the plant variety. Wait… I think I did it backward-  turns out it’s going to be OK. Apparently, it’s not toxic for dogs and kids so that’s a relief… that was my first investigation. If they eat the stem of the leaves it offers a significant burning sensation in their mouth, but other than that it is safe. Knowing that I decided to keep it above reach, don’t want the new puppy munching on the green stuff in between meals and getting funky, ya know what I mean?

So on this rainy and wet day I helped Mother Earth with similar efforts;  I helped something struggling to stay alive flourish and grow. My cup is full.

What can you do to make Mother Earth smile on a rainy day?

The only down side, I don’t think the plant and pot match very well… Like my mother would advise, use what you got. Hopefully, it will outgrow the pot and I can do this again sometime!

Spring has (not quite) arrived!

Browsing my own (few and far between) writings here, I notice how the seasons affect my perspective. I love all of them, and now I can laugh at myself for being so serious about it all. Of course, it’s spring for me so cheery and thriving, growing new things, bright and colorful. 

Love the cool weather, with the sun peeking out and keeping it warm enough to play all afternoon. Kids love it too! Energies are rising, and my eldest just arose so off I go!

“A Girl Like Me”

The sweet song of a 2 year old, as we brisk through the grocery store during the noon hour. As one woman visually scolds her competition walking past her in line- she smiles at the song, and then at me.
Open minded people are the cushion to breathe between one another. We make room for all with politeness and understanding. There’s no judgment.
If we assume the standard is the same for all- we could be causing tremendous pain for those actions we don’t accept. Our rejection is societies ail, and ale. It makes us ill.
So smile- and try your hardest to understand.

What I think about birth centres: an interview

Although this article doesn’t consider American birth centers, maybe we should have more?

SHEENA BYROM

Laura

Laura Iannuzzi is an Italian midwife, currently studying for a PhD at Nottingham University in England.  After qualifying as a midwife in 2001 Laura has worked in different areas of practice, and since 2004 Laura has been employed by the University Hospital of Careggi, latterly at the Margherita Birth Centre.  Laura’s research topic for her study is ‘An exploration of midwives’ approaches to slow progress of labour in English and Italian birth centres‘.

Laura emailed me and asked if she could interview me about my thoughts on birth centres-not for her study, but because she is interested in the relative success of birth centres in England. I agreed of course, as I usually interview others!

Dear Sheena, first of all thank you very much for your availability for this interview. As you know, this is for me a great pleasure and honour; you are indeed largely recognised as an inspirational…

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