Saturday, June 14, 2008

it does not follow

i pretty much need to get to the bottom of things.

i'm exacting. i'm precise. i ask questions.

i'm also scattered.

these two characteristics have been on my mind recently, but not at the same time. not until i started writing this post--right now--did i remember a personality test my colleagues and i took at the gates foundation. it was quite informal; we lollygagged on islands of blankets strewn lazily on a grassy lawn, ticking off answers to questions, and then waited impatiently to divulge the impending scarlet letter we all would have to bear.

my label? i'm concrete random. how's that for a dichotomy?

indeed. a precise scatterer.

[and now i shall make an example of myself. i digress. my original topic of this post had nothing to do with the scattered side of me, but i will now showcase that characteristic by changing the subject. dramatically.]

my sister and i were talking about products--moisturizers, in particular. i rallied for SPF worn daily in my best i'm-older-and-wiser tact. it went without saying that i wasn't talking about just any SPF, but an organic one that doesn't have all the trappings of a powerplant (an aside: david and i use different sunscreens). and then, when chatting with a friend yesterday, she posited that the chemicals found in SPF products--even the organic ones--may be more unhealthy than time spent in the sun.

so i researched. and when reading the paper today, i learned that the chemicals are indeed bad for someone--marine life. after reading the comments to the piece, i followed a link to SkinDeep, a site i have visited in the past, but not to rank my sunscreen choice. the fine folks at SD showed me the best and worst sunscreens, and although my current screen isn't a complete dud, it didn't make an appearance in the top 150! i also learned that even the top sunscreen may be linked to cancer. while i'm not ready to quit the SPF-a-day kick, i could certainly do better, and i will.


Jay Fienberg said...

Also, there's some current thinking that insufficient exposure to the sun is causing people to be deprived of vitamin D, which deprivation is severe enough to be systematically lowering people's health and ability to fight-off invasive diseases / conditions like cancer.

My understanding is that it's vital to get 15-30 minutes of direct, unblocked sunlight on your skin, everyday.

sarah said...

hi jay. unblocked, huh? hmmm. so that means i need to perform a thorough scrubbing -- or at least expose un-blocked parts -- in order to benefit from the rays each day. i'll work on that.

do you wear spf daily? how do you follow the regimen of 15-30 in your cloudy neck of the woods?

Jay Fienberg said...

I only wear sunscreen when I am going to be in the sun for extended periods. I wore it everyday in Hawaii last week.

But, in general, I try to sit or walk around outside a little bit during the day, and get a "normal" dose of sun that my skin can handle without sunscreen. In vitamin D terms, I think this works even when it's cloudy. But I definitely crave sunlight here when it's been scarce.

pattie said...

Hi S~ I have also read/heard about the spf controversy-a big issue for me with the little ones. Dermatoligists will still say SPF all the way, despite the other studies. I am still undecided on the unblocked 15 minutes. I typically put sunscreen on the girls before we leave the house-even when we don't intend to be outside.
As far as brands go-I am at a complete loss!
On another note from previous blogs-
I really enjoyed "The Things they Carried". Our community had a "Big READ". Libraries handed out free copies for a year, and the author spoke at the end of the year. It was fascinating. AND, I have "House Thinking", but I just haven't ever been able to get absorbed in the book. Let me know what you think!
STay well!

sarah said...

hi pattie,

i LOVED the things they carried. i think i read it soon after college; we read Going After Cacciato in an English class, which changed my mind about war fiction.


about the spf. check out Skin Deep. all top-rated sunscreens are for the kids. the one i ended up buying this weekend--keys soap--was #4, after all the kid stuff. it's good to know that the safest stuff is for the lil'uns.

sarah said...

oh, and about the book, "thinking space"... i started reading it at a bookstore and i'll pick it up at the library today. i thought it was pretty interesting, but i haven't read much yet.

my friend hollis had a hard time getting into it too. huh. i'll keep you updated.

skabob said...

I put on sunscreen last year when I was skiing in the spring. I am afraid it never occurs to me.

david silver said...

i like the term concrete random and i find the characteristics interesting:

1. You want to know what the point is to all this anyway.
2. You are a great trouble-shooter and experimenter.
3. You are the practical dreamer.
4. You are very perceptive.
5. You have lots of projects going and have trouble finishing any of them.

the first four seem to describe you pretty well but i'm not sure about the last one.

Ivan Chew said...

I was going to ask why you needed to wear sunscreen everyday. Until I realise I've also been utilising sunscreens on a daily basis. Almost every hour. They're called Buildings.

jewlee said...

...I'm pretty sure that I would also be described as a Concrete Random....
SPF, love it? hate it? I have always stayed away from it because of it's complete unnatural base. The "natural" SPF?? I guess first, after so many years of fear of it I am slow to think of it as a good thing and B, I haven't done any research since I had the market. I think it is funny though to know that if you don't use it you can get cancer and if you do use it you can get cancer. Something is going to get you. Do the best you can and do what you feel is right for you.
By the way, I am loving the Zia moisterizer.....AND we have a tent and sleeping bags for you and David to use!!!!

jini said...

i read an article saying that 15 unprotected minutes 3 times a week was a good idea for vitamin d. i guess that sounds reasonable, but spf stuff makes sense to me.
our read this year is "don't let's go to the dogs tonight" by alexandra's pretty amazing.