“It’s, like, gooey.”
“Yeah, dude, that’s the placenta.”
After the incredible success of our first foray into the placenta-powered world, Jaya Saxena and Jazmine Hughes decided to go one further. We learned that putting placenta in our hair made it a little bit softer and smell slightly of cornchips (which men LOVE)—what would happen if we put it on our faces? Enter the Placenta & Collagen Premium Facial Mask Pack, available on the well-known site Amazon.com for as little as $5.95.
Here is the only information that the Amazon listing gives:
- Placenta & collagen mask pack with placentl liquid will give you a fantastic beautiful treatment
– Also gives your tired skin moisturizing effect and beauty effect
– Our placenta & collagen mask pack contains green tea, aloe, licorice, seaweeds extracts and so on.
Green tea! Aloe! Licorice! Placenta! All things that sound very chill and normal to put on your face. We were excited! Then we read some reviews:
I just apply the mask after I wash my face then apply the mask and keep it on for about 15-20 minutes, rub in the juices lol
It comes drenched in the baby sheep juice,so as long as you seal it up and don’t leave it sitting out in the air, it will stay moist.
Helpful and gross! It is far better to just stick to the official company description.
Undeterred, we opened the masks — Jaya was right; they were, indeed, incredibly gooey, and it was at that moment we realized what we were putting (placenta, if you forgot) onto our beautiful faces. We put on our masks and looked at each other. “You look like you’re a robot trying to convince someone they are, in fact, a real human.” “You look like Hannibal Lecter.”
Here’s how it went.
The music was everywhere there were tourists. Since arriving in Peru, I’d heard the same songs looped interminably by flute bands: in public squares, hotel lobbies, bazaars, bars, and cheap buffets; in Cusco and Aguas Calientes and Urubamba and Ollantaytambo; and, increasingly, in my sleep. A few general guidelines materialized. First, no group could possibly resist “El Cóndor Pasa,” famous for being repurposed by Simon and Garfunkel in 1970 (“I’d rather be a hammer than a naaaail/yes I wouuuld/if I only couuulld//yes I wouuuld,” and so on). Second, the flute bands would, over the course of their set, eventually return the favor by likewise appropriating some classic Anglo-American pop music: songs like “Hotel California,” “Stairway to Heaven,” and “Hey Jude” (but never, curiously, any Jethro Tull). And, at 6:45 in the morning, Kansas’s “Dust in the Wind.”
I was waiting to board the Andean Explorer, a once-a-day luxury train that runs from Cuzco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, with its magnificent sixteenth-century cathedral that sits across the main city square from Starbucks and North Face annexes, to the city of Puno (“The Folklore Capital of Peru”), which sits on a polluted bay on the shore of Lake Titicaca. The age of the average rider seemed to hover around sixty, the lobby full of pasty Australian retirees travelling with large tour groups. We were informed over a loudspeaker that the ride was estimated at roughly ten hours; this, we later learned, was unduly optimistic.
One afternoon late last summer, when Zelda was seven months old, we were on a long walk in our Brooklyn neighborhood. It was about the time when we usually ventured home to play in her room for a while before having dinner in the kitchen. But there was a breeze coming off the river and I didn’t feel like going home just yet. The sun was not too hot, and there was a beautiful light shimmering over Greenpoint. Our courage was up. The restaurant at the end of our street had tables out on the sidewalk, and just one was occupied. “Let’s have dinner here, Zelda,” I said, locking the foot brake on her stroller. We sat down and lazily gazed at the menu while we waited for the high chair. I looked over at the only other patron: a woman, about my age, sitting alone, reading The New Yorker. Her hair looked freshly cut and styled. “Oh fuck, she’s reading The New Yorker,” I thought to myself, laughing. Just a woman alone at a sidewalk cafe reading a magazine. How luxurious. How common.
De Bullion and Prince
Arthur, Montreal, QC – $500/mo. + utilities, 2005
In Montreal, many apartments are floors of a former single-family home, and have stairs on the outside as a result. Our landlord liked to perch on this staircase, literally right outside of my window, and argue with various contractors. Learning to subsist independently after my freshman year of college was tough, and my landlords, I guess, assumed that the best way to help with the transition was ambient conflict. Many mornings I awoke to the silhouette of two people arguing about some sort of repair work that I never witnessed.
Soon after moving in, some overeager construction worker tore a hole in our bathroom ceiling. We could see into the apartment above us. Our landlords covered this with some thin plywood and told us they would “get to it.” They didn’t get to it until we withheld part of our rent. Our windows had no locks on them, and a few months later our apartment was robbed. Between my laptop and the backup on my first generation iPod, I lost my music collection. Since this was 2005, it was mostly poor-quality Metallica songs mislabeled as Nirvana from Napster and Kazaa (Lite, I was careful). Another time, we moved our landlords’ “showcase” dish cabinet into the storage room after one of their contractors broke its glass door. We knew we would be blamed, and prepared for an eventual showdown.
Despite all these setbacks, we were determined to make it through the year. And we did! At our final meeting with the landlords, they demanded $1,500, mostly for this glass door. My normally very relaxed Trinidadian roommate led a charge, angrily listing everything they had done to us that year. After an awkward pause, we emptied our wallets to the tune of about $67, and walked out of there never to speak to them again.
Some people did cheat less in the morning, Sah found, but only if they were early birds to begin with. The opposite was also true: night owls cheated less in the evening. Time of day had less effect on honesty, the group concluded, than did the synchronicity between person and environment. “Our results should really dissipate those stereotypes of morning people being more saintly,” Sah says. “The important thing is the match.” Early birds aren’t ethically superior. And, to the extent that other research suggests that they are, it may just be that they are luckier: modern society, for the most part, is built around their preferences. We are expected to function well early in the morning. We can’t just wake up when our bodies tell us to and work when we feel at our peak.#
Research suggests people who get up early are no more ethical than people who don’t, unless they are people who are going out of their way to get up early, which is something that can only be known by the sleeper himself. So, in conclusion: trust nobody, including morning people.#
A sparse and gloomy score for a documentary about tax evasion. Also suitable for sitting at your computer and staring out the window at nothing in particular!
★★ A hissing wind came through the dead leaves still on the trees. Angled crackling or irregular ripples covered the surface of the fast-frozen sheet ice where the puddles had been. By early afternoon, the sun and salt were enough to liquify some things again, despite the biting wind. The seven-year-old wore his hood over his hat and kept looking for ways to angle out of the gusts on the walk west, toward the river. There the melted spots were fewer, the pavement blown dry. The wind held the preschool door shut, then grabbed it as it swung and held it open; it gave the stroller and the older boy’s parka a shove to speed them around the corner. “Go away, wind,” said the three-year-old, resentful and bossy. “Go away, wind.” Clouds like the belly scales of snakes slid across the sky. Then, from the shelter of the apartment, there was a tilted sheet of gray, the line of its edge angling from low in the south to high in the north. Take a picture, the seven-year-old urged. (Keep the window open, so I can stick my new year’s decorations out in the wind, the three-year-old added.) The cloud curtained the late sun into a dull circle for a while, then slid away in time to send ripe orange light bouncing off the apartment blocks, on the way to a smooth spectrum of sunset.
It’s no secret that the media industry has been high on the list of businesses that have been disrupted by the Internet and are struggling to find a new footing.
For a few years, things appeared to be settling down a bit, as the music, written word, and video businesses seemed to be on promising digital paths.
Record labels and artists were selling music on iTunes. TV networks sold new shows there and at Amazon, and sold old ones for streaming to Netflix. Big news organizations churned out iPad apps, and more started charging for their online content, even as some of their star journalists found they could fund their own breakaway sites.
Those tentative paths to digital stability, though, are either faltering, or at least coming under serious question. In their place, media companies and creators seem to be entering a new period of confusion, as the financial, technological and consumer behaviors they counted on are changing rapidly.
This is about right! Internet media companies are behaving in a manner that suggests they are confused. This confusion is passed through many stages of managerial amplification (anxiety’s counterpart to biomagnification) before reaching employees, whose brain-eggs are becoming thin and soft as a result. It’s all very exciting.
So: Here is an informed hypothetical about one way in which things will become less confusing, at least for some publishers.
Since Arthur Chu’s historic win streak on Jeopardy! early last year, he’s shrewdly turned his still-minty viral celebrity into a regular gig as a cultural critic and, as some have put it, “the ombudsman of the nerd community.” At Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Manhattan’s Chinatown, we talked about milking his fifteen minutes, the crisis of nerd culture, and becoming an unlikely Asian-American male icon over a plate of chicken feet. (For me, since he politely declined.)
Is online celebrity strange?
It is, because stuff that’s happening on Twitter, you feel like it’s the whole world and you step off for a few minutes and it doesn’t matter to the majority of people. Even to the extent that it does, there’s a huge decoupling of what makes you important online. A lot of times, I just throw up my hands and say, “I don’t even know what my follower count means anymore.” You just have to keep that in perspective. It affects the real world but it’s something separate from the real world.
What did you do after Jeopardy!?
Call up publicists and PR firms, and said straight up, “Hey, do you work with viral celebrities?” Then I’d ask, “If you were me, how would you hang on to the fame, how would you monetize it?” I got good answers—they weren’t bad answers—but it was stuff I couldn’t imagine myself doing. It was stuff like, “Well you should take the whole idea of game theory and you should become an advice kind of guy, you should do lifehacker stuff, stuff like how-tos on how to invest, get a mortgage.” I said, “That stuff doesn’t interest me.” I didn’t want to keep talking about that for the rest of my life.
In high school, I desperately wanted to be a punk because it seemed akin to being dangerous. I was convinced one cold stare from a blue Mohawk-ed dissident could send a jock running away in terror; that was the kind of social power I was interested in. I tried valiantly to increase my intimidation factor as a thirteen-year-old-girl by listening to a lot of Good Charlotte and wearing excess amounts of pyramid-stud jewelry. It was probably not the most authentic way to announce my arrival into a subculture, but it was the best impression that I, a scared-straight rural nerd, could muster.
By noting my use of the term “jock” and “punk” to differentiate types of people, you would be correct to assume that most of the social cues I understood at age thirteen came from teen movies like She’s All That—mainly that you were just supposed to stick with people who looked similar to you. To ensure I found my tribe of weirdos, I made sure to wear a lot of heavy black eyeliner, bondage pants, and fake band t-shirts (I didn’t know about any good ones yet).
Based on my cheap and ill-fitting—yet totally hardcore—wardrobe, I managed to find my fellow ragtag bunch of Good Charlotte-loving misfits in gym class, where we earned the wrath of our butch teacher by slacking off endlessly. There was Laura, a slender friend who hid their dynamite bod in men’s XL t-shirts (years later an unfamiliar Facebook request made me realize they were transgender); Alyssa, a fairheaded goth pixie straight out of a Tim Burton movie; and Frances, a Spongebob Squarepants enthusiast with the social skills of a misfiring Dalek. We all wanted to date a different member of Good Charlotte (except Frances, who maybe wanted to date SpongeBob) and thought that Tim Armstrong from Rancid and Brody Dalle from The Distillers were the cutest couple in the world.
We countered our adolescent ennui through dumb playful activities like putting my hair in liberty spikes or commandeering the cafeteria jukebox with Nirvana and Ozzy Osbourne. I vaguely remember someone throwing pudding at us because of our musical choices. We were the losers, but that was okay; we already hated everyone to begin with.