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:

toilets

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.

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Size is Relative: When Oversized American Kitchens Are Called “Tiny”

Americans have a skewed sense of size. They will use adjectives like “tiny” to describe living spaces and kitchen appliances that would be considered “huge” or at least “normal” in the rest of the world. I have long since learned to expect to see the trend towards glorifying large size and wasted space in American mainstream interior magazines. What surprises and worries me more is to see American environmental activists embracing the idea that their perfectly normal or even large living spaces should be called “tiny.” In my opinion, environmentally conscious people should refuse to accept and embrace American mainstream ideas about what ought to be considered “normal” in terms of size and also in terms of lifestyle choices. After all, size is relative, and we can choose our own vocabulary and benchmarks for what constitutes “large” or “small.” [Read more…]

Do this One Thing for the Climate

Scientists routinely identify some lifestyle habit that contributes to global warming and come up with a better alternative that causes less environmental harm. Then people recommend that others should change their lifestyles and do the better alternative whenever possible. So far so good. And then somebody shows up and says, “Let’s all do this one thing and we will save the planet.” Um, no, that’s not how it works. [Read more…]

Power Fantasies

Do you fantasize about murdering random strangers who annoy you when you meet them in a public park? No? Great! Congratulations on hopefully being a sane person and a decent human being.

Yesterday I hit a new milestone in my blogging “career.” I got online death threats for the first time. Yay! Lucky me! Well, sort of. The person (whom I will call Crazy Murderous Daddy in this blog post) didn’t actually threaten to come to Latvia and kill me; instead they wrote a description of a power fantasy about how they would enjoy killing me and my dogs. I always expected death threats due to my blog posts about trans issues, but nope, instead a person got pissed off when I wrote that parents have a responsibility to supervise their kids and teach their kids not to touch other people’s dogs without the owner’s permission. Wow! And here I thought that “parental responsibility” is not a controversial subject. [Read more…]