Fall Clothes Shopping in Hawaii

Last week I spent a fun filled week with one of my best and most adventurous friends Kathy. While shopping is certainly not the only thing that we did when I came to visit, as person who loves clothes and shopping, when I am on vacation I always try to get clothing that I can not find where I live.

I found two really cute dresses and a tank top in at a store called Honolua Surf Company. They super soft too. I tried to find them on their website to link to but they are not up there. The company is based in Hawaii. I must say the fit of the clothes are very nice, the price is right, and they have some cute and original stuff. I think that there is one of every island too.

My friend Kathy lives right on Wakiki Beach. This is like the fashion district in Honolulu. There were all these high end stores and they were selling their fall collections as if it was going to get cold there. I was really surprised. Most places in Hawaii never get below 85 degrees! I guess the tourists must buy the stuff and take it home, who knows. You would think that they would just ship all their summer stuff to Hawaii instead of stocking these stores with thick winter coats, and sweaters.

The Old Navy is also being stocked with warm and fuzzy fall clothes. Kathy went there to get some of Old Navy’s famous cheap flip flops (called slippas in Hawaii) and all they had was neon yellow and neon blue! They will not be getting any more until next year either. So, I just went to Old Navy here in Arizona and found her just about every color they make on clearance and I mailed them to her. She will have flip flops for every out fit now!

If you do ever end up shopping for clothes in Hawaii, skip the clothes you can buy on the mainland. They are probably more expensive in Hawaii anyhow. Get your self some neato board shorts, a cute bathing suit and do not forget to get a sarong! Sarongs are easy to find and cheap in Hawaii plus they are very fun to where too! When you get back home you can always use the sarong by the pool as a chic wrap over your bathing suit.

DRM Free Music Files: Play Your Music Where YOU Want To

When it comes to purchasing music files online to play on your computer or MP3 player you can now choose from dozens of different vendors.  While iTunes and Napster come to mind immediately the music on these sites have one major limitation.  In most cases you cannot play the music on any machine other than those that are authorized by the service.  Depending on the company you may be able to authorize several or only one machine.  If you burn the compressed file to a disc and move it to another machine it is very likely that it will not play due to the Digital Rights Management (DRM) that is applied to each file before it is downloaded.  For years users have complained about the restrictions, and while there are ways around it the fact remains that most people believe that since you paid for the music you should have the right to do with it as you please.

Finally there is a digital music provider out there that has had the guts to remove all DRM protection from the files it sells.  Amazon.com recently unveiled a new MP3 music site that sells DRM free tracks for as little as 89 cents each which is on par with most other download services.  The difference is that you can do anything you want to with the Amazon music tracks.  Load them on your MP3 player, burn dozens of them to a CD to play on your car’s stereo system, or take a copy to your place of business to listen to as you work.  All of these are now options without any loss in quality due to burning and re-ripping the files.

Aspartame, Cancer, and Diet Soda

Each and every can of diet soda—if it contains aspartame—produces an excessive amount of the carcinogen formaldehyde in your body. Aspartame is the chemical in Equal® and NutraSweet®. Formaldehyde isn’t listed in the ingredients; your body produces it as you digest the soda.

Each molecule of aspartame is broken down in the body into aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol, one molecule of each.

aspartic acid is harmless; it’s broken down into alanine, an amino acid, and oxaloacetate, an organic compound.

phenylalanine, an allergen to some people, is broken down into mostly tyrosine, an amino acid, and to a lesser extent into phenylethylamine, an alkaloid, and phenylpyruvate.

methanol (wood alcohol) is broken down into formic acid (the toxin in ant bites) and formaldehyde which is a carcinogen.

Drinking one diet soda with aspartame gives about 20 mg of methanol. While this isn’t enough methanol to give you a bad hangover, it produces 6 mg of formaldehyde which is three times the daily EPA limit. It’s 30 times the limit in New Jersey, 100 times the limit in California, and 300 times the limit in Maryland.

Formaldehyde causes cancer and each can of diet soda contains chemicals that produce more than the legal limit of this dangerous chemical.

According to Dr. Devra Davis, the Director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, all scientific evidence about aspartame has been negative for human health, and it wasn’t until Donald Rumsfeld left government and became the CEO of G.D. Searle, the manufacturer, that the government approved aspartame for use in human food and drinks.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, when asked about Donald Rumsfeld’s connection to the aspartame approval, Dr. Davis stated:

“I don’t know what his precise role was. I only know that prior to his becoming CEO of Searle, aspartame had been turned down by every scientific group reviewing its safety and that the General Counsel of the FDA asked the U.S. Attorney’s office to convene a grand jury to decide whether to indict the producer for knowingly misrepresenting findings… The grand jury never acted. Those working on this for the government went to work for Searle. The day after Reagan’s inauguration, the company resubmitted a request for approval. Within five months of Reagan’s presidency, aspartame was approved.”

In Dr. Davis’ new book, The Secret History of the War on Cancer, she describes the manipulation of the US government by the chemical industry—not only with respect to aspartame but many other chemicals that touch the daily lives of the citizens.

For more information on preventing cancer, see The Center for Environmental Oncology or the Environmental Working Group.

Just one last tip—don’t drink your diet soda if it has been warmed by the sun for a while. According to a 2006 article in the Albuquerque Journal, the heat and light cause the ascorbic acid and the benzoate preservatives in soda to form benzene, another carcinogen that produces leukemia and other blood diseases.

A Non-invasive Treatment for Hair Removal and Damaged Skin

When you think of lasers, you might imagine military weaponry, complicated surgical procedures, or even a futuristic sci-fi movie. Did you know that lasers are also being used to repair skin problems and remove unwanted hair?

Once scientists explored the power of lasers, they found countless ways to harness that energy and use it for other purposes, including cosmetic ones. Yes, the same technology used for powerful weaponry, to mend internal organs and for satellites in space is now being applied directly to your skin.

Don’t be frightened by this concept. Quite simply, a laser is a focused, intense beam of light that transmits energy that, in turn, converts to heat. Lasers use different wavelengths tailored to the specific function. For dermatological applications, the beam is decidedly smaller and less potent than those used in larger operations.

This laser method is called intense pulsed light (IPL) and it targets the melanin in your skin. Melanin is the substance that provides pigment to skin and hair. The laser’s light permeates the top layer (epidermis) of your skin, which is 80 percent water. It strikes the melanin in the second layer (dermis). The melanin absorbs the light, which turns to heat. This heat destroys the melanin and the hair follicle.

For skin repair, IPL is being used to effectively treat a wide range of problems, including age spots, acne scars, fine lines, sun damage, large pores, rosacea, and redness from broken capillaries. You can even use IPL to fade an unwanted tattoo if you’re suffering from “buyer’s remorse”. Once the pigment is destroyed by the light’s energy, your immune system disposes of the tiny particles.

IPL also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in the dermis. These two essential proteins provide structure and firmness in your skin, which helps to even out the texture and fill in indented areas like acne scars. As you age, your skin cells manufacture less and less collagen and elastin, so the boost from the laser is just as beneficial here as it is to repairing the desired skin spots and flaws.

IPL works much the same on hair follicles as it does on your skin. There is melanin in the hair follicles, which provides the pigment to the hair. The laser pulses through the top layer of skin, zeroing in on the melanin in the follicles. The laser’s light heats up the melanin. This heat destroys the surrounding hair shaft and follicle. Once the follicle is deadened, it no longer produces hair.
There are other methods for treating unwanted hair and unsightly skin conditions, but IPL offers distinct advantages:

Quickness: Treatments can take less than a minute, depending on the area. You can remove 20 spots from the back of your hand or get rid of the hair on your upper lip in about 10 to 20 seconds. The larger the area, the longer, the treatment, but you’ll find that it’s still faster than most other methods;

Safety: There is no danger with IPL. The treatment from this type of laser is completely safe. Plus, side effects are rare; and

No downtime: You can return to your daily activities immediately. IPL requires no anesthesia, bandages, or recovery period. You might experience some redness in the treated area but it will fade away within a matter of hours. You can also apply makeup immediately after the treatment to cover this slight discoloration.

Before your IPL procedure, you’ll need to prepare your skin in order to get the best results. Because these lasers attack the melanin in your skin, you need to refrain from any activity that will alter your skin color; that means no tanning — whether in the sunlight, tanning bed, spray tan, or bronzing lotion — for two weeks prior to your appointment.

If you’re undergoing IPL for hair removal, you must stop tweezing, waxing, or plucking the unwanted hair for two weeks in advance so that the hairs and melanin are intact. You can shave, trim, or use a depilatory on those areas to keep the hair under control.

When you go for your treatment, the doctor will apply a cooling gel on the area. The IPL device will then be swiped across the skin, emitting pulses of light. The sensation of each pulse has been compared to a light snap from a rubber band. If the feeling bothers you, your doctor can use a topical anesthetic cream to dull the skin. Once the treatment is completed, the gel is removed and you’re ready to go!

IPL can be found in a variety of names. You’ll see FotoFacial, Smoothbeam, Vbeam, Photo Rejuvenation, and many others. Ask the practitioner about the technology to be sure that it is using intense pulsed light. Also talk about the number of treatments needed to get your desired results. You can expect to undergo anywhere from three to eight procedures, spaced about three or four weeks apart. In the end, you’ll be rewarded with more youthful, healthy, hairless skin!