Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Posts tagged ‘Household Tips’


Politicians Politicking, Scientists Science-Fictioning, One Big Show of Waste


Search Away: Hacked Panama Papers Go Online

The notorious Panama Papers, the largest document leak in history, exposing offshore tax haven users, is now online as a searchable database.

The enormous bundle of 11.5 million documents exposing hundreds of thousands of companies and individuals is online as a searchable database with interactive visualization depicting links between persons, companies and countries.

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), an organization which, until today, had sole access to the documents, the database reveals the names of the real owners of many shell companies.

The website opens with a disclaimer, noting that there not all people and organizations on the list use tax havens illegally. The statement also mentions that many people have similar names, and recommends diligent ID validation.

The documents, revealing some 360,000 names of companies and people, were extracted and leaked by an unknown source from a database owned by the Mossack Fonseca law firm. The firm, which has chosen to continue practicing, claims it was hacked.

Mossack Fonseca issued a cease-and-desist order on Thursday to the journalist group, claiming that revealing the information publicly is a violation of attorney-client privilege. The ICIJ, however, published the information, claiming it is acting in the ‘public interest.’

Tax havens, of which Panama is widely known, are often used to conceal wealth and, of course, evade taxes. Reporting based on the documents caused swift fall-out for some of the prominent clients around the globe — including the resignation of Iceland’s prime minister.


This is what the website looks like:


panamapapers popup

Then this pops up.

On Thursday 12th May at Lancaster House London, a bunch of rulers/lawmakers will pretend to think about governing themselves at the ‘first’ (how long have humans been corrupted) anti-corruption summit in London where David Cameron has vetted which countries will attend. There will be representatives from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Pic: Paul Hackett/Reuters. Who is 'fantastically corrupt' David?

Pic: Paul Hackett/Reuters. Who is ‘fantastically corrupt’ David?

Here’s a list of some of the other worldwide anti-corruption events that have been going for years but don’t get as much media attention:


Their London conference:

Looking on the furry side


The WikiLeaks founder won’t feel so lonely anymore during his lengthy stay at the Ecuador embassy because now he has a cat.

The kitten, a two-month descendant of the original European wildcat, was given to Assange by his children to keep him company.

Assange intends to keep the world appraised of the antics of his feline companion via a Twitter account called @EmbassyCat.

Julian Kitty

The WikiLeaks founder has been residing at the Ecuador embassy in London since 2012 out of fear of being extradited to Sweden and ultimately to the United States where he could face espionage charges for publishing secret US documents through his website.

Offtrack sidenote:

Don’t they look sweet, I hope she wasn’t from a mill or breeder and that the photos aren’t taken with a flash. I wonder what name he’s thinking of. Mum and I couldn’t decide on name for our feline family member so she is still Kitty and a plethora of terms of endearment or annoyance Mum has for her, they change daily… I built a makeshift climbing frame for Kitty out of leftover food crates a local shop didn’t want, I made it according to spiral technique to save space and crates, had easy to reach levels/steps, places to sit and even a kind of arch at the top. Was she interested… No. Mum has reclaimed it. Kitty preferred a & faux velvet covered wood frame I was once able to get for her cheaply on which she only used one level, it had a hole in so she didn’t even fit properly and ignored the bits she did fit on… Mum’s architectural makeshifts are much more successful but then maybe her recipients weren’t as particular e.g. my parrots Samson (the strong, mindful, silent type) and Harry [Potter] (highly outspoken and courageous) – I didn’t know any better back then, you shouldn’t name after figures, it affects them on top of being similar to their favourite human. For Samson she made a very simple to use but comfy ‘transport’ system/playground in his baby cage out of old baby clothes she’d kept. She tried the same with Harry but he was [initially] so shy and timid he wouldn’t even move from one perch to another so I spent hours daily feeding him seed by seed & water, he preferred branches in there. Then I found a discarded bare (no needles left) real Xmas tree and it really brought him out of himself, he relocated straight away and we stuck his food on the tree. Another year I found a much nicer discarded tree and it pleased everyone, took a whole month for the pine buds to be found/eaten and people got to hide inside.

birds love trees of course

The first tree, he was so happy – so were my knees, alleviated from all the previous kneeling!

Here’s a climbing frame Mum made for Harry before he could fly (the person who had him before was a wing clipping b*stard):

Household DIY Bird Climbing Frame Adventure Course

The chain ‘sheet’ and former springs actually came from underneath one of those fold up beds someone had left, it was broken so we couldn’t use it for its function but rather functional parts.

According to the website govwaste.co.uk:

The figures increase live

The figures increase live

Money well spent? Not. What was I saying about Jules Verne?


Professors Use Tuition Dollars for 500 Million-Year Plan to Save Earth

Astrophysicists spend tuition fees to expound upon the lifesaving possibilities of radical measures like launching asteroids toward the Earth or attaching a gigantic sail to the planet.

In 500 million years, scientists project that the Sun’s expansion will leave the Earth a scorched, uninhabitable rock. Fortunately, researchers at Columbia University are being paid taxpayer dollars and student tuitions to salvage the fate of the planet’s future inhabitants.

Michael Hahn and Daniel Wolf Savin, astrophysics professors at the venerable institution extrapolate on the Earth’s decline and the evasive lifesaving action that the space alien overlords who will inevitably take over the plan should take, in an essay titled “How to Survive Doomsday.”

The team of academics have created a survival plan for the distant descendants of humanity, who history suggests will not be able to comprehend contemporary English to enjoy the essay.

Student tuition dollars are funding projects while comfortable tenured professors criticize them for complaining about soaring tuition rates, saying that if they can’t pay it off it is because they are lazy. Columbia University’s tuition is the highest in the US, at about $53,000 per year.

The professor’s’ first humanity-saving scheme is to launch a massive asteroid toward the Earth. “If we fired a 100km wide asteroid on an elliptical orbit that passed close to the earth every 5,000 years,” the scientists declaimed, “we could slowly gravitationally nudge the planet’s orbit farther away from the sun, provided that we don’t accidentally hit the Earth.”

The scientists then broke for lunch, to prepare for the thought processes required to come up with additional ground-breaking ideas.

But seriously, the professors then suggested that an alternative way to maintain the habitability on the Earth would be to attach a giant solar sail to the planet, something at least 20 times the diameter of the planet. Using this method, it is postulated that our Earth could then sail through the galaxy, as Thor Heyerdahl did the Pacific Ocean, on his basket of reeds.

If all else fails, the scientists suggest that humans can simply upload themselves into storage.

Student debt in America now exceeds $1.41 trillion, with over 2/3 of that debt accumulated within the past seven years. Certainly, these wild-eyed research projects are more likely to send students to debtor’s prison than they are to save lives, whether in 500 million years or just tomorrow.


Homemade Mini-Heaters

They say, whoever they are, that need is the mother of all invention. The same goes for art in my opinion which springs also from a need. Well my Mother is always creating and fixing things and she’s blimmin’ good at it even if I do say so myself 🙂

I’ve got a one of those flat candle warmers that you see in Indian restaurants which basically keep dishes hot at the table and being that we’re practically turning into snow-women Mum had the idea of making different versions for room heating, or at least huddle heating. (She made a great oil diffuser the other day out of an old bottle opener, tealight and a cup – MacGyver eat your heart out.)

You basically use tealights, put them on a plate, put those on a base pot/bowl of some kind and put a colander or sieve on top. They give out a nice amount of heat for hand and face warming and eventually clear away the condensation/moisture in the air that covers everything i.e. the surfaces/mirrors etc. Tealights are inexpensive, last afew hours on average and so better value for money in the long run than gas tabletop/surface mini heaters/cookers for heating yourself a bit rather than food which does need gas to cook in the first place. Depending on the size of plate used you can probably put 2-3 on a smaller one and 4-6 tealights on a big dinner plate.

Candle Tealight Homemade Heater Hand Warmer Poor Household Tips Economical

Candle Tealight Homemade Heater Hand Warmer Poor Household Tips Economical

The stains on the top aren’t caused by the candles, it’s an old sieve.

Candle Tealight Homemade Heater Hand Warmer Poor Household Tips Economical

Candle Tealight Homemade Heater Hand Warmer Poor Household Tips Economical

Looks a bit like a mushroom

Candle Tealight Homemade Heater Hand Warmer Poor Household Tips Economical

They also make pretty nightlights that makes the room like you’re underwater or in a cave 🙂

Candle Tealight Homemade Heater Hand Warmer Poor Household Tips Economical

Candle Tealight Homemade Heater Hand Warmer Poor Household Tips EconomicalOr a UFO – ET phone home.

Candle Tealight Homemade Heater Hand Warmer Poor Household Tips Economical
Candle Tealight Homemade Heater Hand Warmer Poor Household Tips Economical

For the post on homemade fruit/veg peel heaters go HERE


Victorian Tips of the Day 6 & 7 – Cooking

TIP 6 – Mushroom Ketchup!

Break some large mushrooms, throw over them a good quantity of salt, and let them stand two nights. Strain and press out the liquor, and put into a stewpan with black pepper bruised, sliced ginger, shalots, and horse-radish. Boil it an hour, strain it, and bottle it up quite close when it is cold. If well boiled, tied down properly, and set in a dry place, it will keep two or three years; otherwise it will soon spoil.

mushroom ketchup recipe Victorian

TIP 7 – For a Cold!

A remedy for the ‘common cold’ eh, there’s so many some more proficient than others and quite a few healthy ones that boost your immune system in general. I haven’t tried this one but it doesn’t sound bad, pretty tasty actually!

Take a tea-cupful of linseed, a quarter of a pound of stick liquorice sliced, and a quarter of a pound of sun raisins, put them in two quarts of soft water, and let it simmer over slow fire, til nearly reduced to one quart; then strain off, and add to it, while it is hot, a quarter of pound of brown sugar-candy pounded.

James W. Laughton, The General Receipt-Book, c. 1845

Note – Linseed it known as flaxseed in the US.

Victorian Tip of the Day 5: Removing a Ring Stuck on a Finger

It’s been a while since I quoted one of these tips from days gone by, so here ya go 🙂 :

Rings loosened from the finger

If a gold ring sticks tight on the finger, and cannot easily be removed, touch it with mercury, and it will become so brittle that a single blow will break it.

The Housekeeper’s Receipt Book, 1813

Sounds extreme and a waste of Gold but there are probably circumstances where it’d be or feel necessary.

Victorian Tip of the Day 3: Chilblains

Soak them in warm bran with water; then rub them well with mustard-seed flour. This must be done before they break.

The Housewife’s Receipt Book, 1837

That reminds me, wish I had some mustard oil for the now semi-swollen toes I have… Though I think I have some apple cider vinegar left…

Victorian Tip of the Day 2: Homemade Perfume

Eau de Cologne

Into 2 quarts of wine at 36, put 2 drachms essence of bergamot, the same essence of cedrat (a superior kind of bergamot), 2 drachms essence of citron, 1 oz essence of rosemary, and a 1/4 drachm of the essence of neroly (an oil produced from the flowers of the Seville orange tree): let it stand twenty-four hours, then straining through brown paper, and bottle it.

Anne Cobbett, The English Housekeeper, 1842

In his room at the end of the day the valet might prepare a mustard bath for his master’s feet or rub him down with eau de Cologne to prevent his taking a chill.

Victorian Household Tips, 2006

1 drachm = 1/8 of an oz or 3.6g.

I can imagine the scent of this and it’s dreamy; I’m a fan of bergamot and neroly (neroli), and my all time favourite which might go well here – patchouli. I think it would be a unisex fragrance and of course I’m a fan of perfumed oils (e.g. uses of Rose oil) over modern perfumes with hundreds of ingredients of who knows what, have an astringent/household cleaner  tone to them and of course can’t be used in a quantity or more than a couple of spritzes for the sake of those around you. Plus they need to be topped up and can’t be used all over the body for not only smell but for nutritional/health value or as a barrier to the cold.

On a sidenote – ew, the ‘master’ can’t even rub himself down with oil, tch. For shame (and no I’m not including people who are physically unable to do so).

Victorian Tip of the Day – Homemade Eye Makeup

I got a book titled ‘Victorian Household Hints’ published in 2006 which features interesting information on the roles of servants in the household and some of their tips for keeping the roost running efficiently. I thought I’d post some of them one by one for the sake of cultural interest, I am not advocating or disagreeing with them. Hope you find them interesting too!


Rub them often with elder-berries. For the same purpose, some make use of burnt cork, or clove burnt at the candle.

The Duties of a Lady’s Maid, 1825

Sound weird?! Homemade mascara has been around for ages with the the usual formulations including ashes and oil and/or some kind of metal like with kajal and kohl for lining the eyes and other religious/cultural uses.

I don’t wear mascara and have only tried it a couple of times in the past but generally have found the thought offputting since lashes are there to prevent things getting into the eyes yet mascara is in constant contact with them. Added to that modern chemical concoctions are really offputting and having heard from a number of older women that they believe their eyesight has deteriorated from lifetimes of wearing them I steer well and truly clear. That said there are a number of natural mascaras on the market with beneficial ingredients so if I were a mascara wearer those would be worth a look see .