When Shit Hits the Fan

Nowadays I do not read news on a daily basis anymore. It’s just too depressing. But I do have to catch up with the news at least every now and then, because I prefer to have at least some clue about what’s going on in the world. Basically, getting sad and angry roughly once per week is better than experiencing it on a daily basis. So I looked at the news today. [Read more…]

Laws that Regulate Sex Work

Who ought to decide about laws that regulate sex work? Answer: Sex workers.

Unfortunately, in most societies politicians, police officers, academics, lawyers, religious authorities, feminist organizations, etc. want to dictate how sex work ought to be regulated or criminalized. Yet somehow everybody forgets to ask sex workers what they themselves want. [Read more…]

Recipe: How to cook summer squash flowers, leaves, and stems

As soon as you look into ways how to reduce food waste, you realize that a lot of ingredients that people throw out are actually edible and tasty. Next you realize that for years you have been wasting lots of food and money and wish you had known sooner that some ingredient you used to throw out is tasty.

Summer squash flowers, leaves, leaf stems, and tiny immature fruit are edible. Same goes for zucchini, marrow, courgette, pumpkins, winter squash, etc. (Is it just me or are the English names of these vegetables confusing?) [Read more…]

Insidious Sexism

Everyday sexism. The small things in life. When I complain about such “minor” incidents, people tend to accuse me of nitpicking and making a fuss about nothing. But they are frequent, they happen all the time, again and again, day after day, and together they create a deeply sexist environment that enforces upon people outdated patriarchal gender roles. [Read more…]

Planning Fallacy: The Hidden Depths of Weeds

The planning fallacy is a phenomenon in which predictions about how much time will be needed to complete a future task display an optimism bias and underestimate the time needed. People commonly fall prey to this fallacy, so it would be advisable to start working on projects early. Then again, my own experience is that I tend to work more efficiently and focus on a task much better when I know that I have little time left and I cannot drag on some job. Thus for me starting some project way too early is counterproductive. The solution is then to plan my schedule so that I have enough time to comfortably finish some job but without having too much spare time, because the latter would unconsciously prevent me from working efficiently. [Read more…]

Toilet silliness

Thanks to transphobia, public restrooms have become a hot topic and I have started paying attention to how they are labelled in different buildings. Today I saw these somewhat unusual signs for public toilets in a building:


Aren’t they fun? Women, men with babies that need changing diapers, and men in wheelchairs use one restroom. The rest of men use the other restroom. This brings up certain interesting questions. [Read more…]

Rare and tasty: Chaenomeles japonica aka Japanese quince

In the world there are thousands of edible plants. Nonetheless, the average person probably consumes only a few dozen of those on a regular basis. Lowers of processed foods probably eat even fewer than that. In grocery stores there are hundreds (or thousands, in cases of supermarkets) of items that have an ingredient list consisting of refined wheat flour, sugar, and palm oil. Or corn. Or potatoes. Or something like that, one of the few ingredients that are everywhere, in almost every ready-made food item.

Some of the rarely eaten foods are ignored for good reasons: be it poor taste or difficult harvesting process or small harvests. Thus these plants are known as edible yet seldom eaten and labelled as a “survival food” and reserved for times of famines. But many of the neglected plants are really tasty and amazing. They are ignored merely because the corporations that provide our dinners are busy producing and processing wheat, corn, and potatoes and don’t care to add new ingredients to their recipes.

[Read more…]