Monica
29 April 2015 @ 10:38 pm
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Why beard oil?
Beards need care (and love) too! A well-groomed beard is generally considered more comfortable and more visually appealing than a poorly groomed one. Growing a beard is just like growing hair - the longer it gets, the more care it needs - washing, trimming and conditioning. Beard oils moisturize and prevent beard hair from growing brittle. As a result the skin gets smoother and the beard is shiny and soft.

Carrier oils vs. essential oils
Carrier oils like coconut, grape seed, jojoba, saffron and argan are the main ingredient in beard oils. They are absorbed easily because of their chemical compositions, similar to the natural oils produced by the sebaceous glands of the skin. Some carrier oils have anti-inflammatory properties which cut down the irritation. Essential oils are optionally added for a natural fragrance and the ones considered manly are cedarwood, lime, bergamot and others. If applied directly, they might cause chemical burns or skin irritation and that is why they form a smaller volume of the product and are paired with carrier oils. Apart from their scent, most essential oils condition the beard hair as well.

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How is it done?
Making a beard oil is quite simple. You need a carrier oil, some essential oils (optional) and a dark glass bottle (for example, a dropper bottle) to keep the final product in. Just combine the oils in the bottle and shake well to blend. There are plenty of recipies on the Internet. I tried making the Woodsy blend oil from Growing Up Herbal which has an amazing scent:

Per 30 ml (1 oz) of carrier oil (I used grape seed oil) add:


  • 6 drops cedarwood essential oil

  • 2 drops lavender essential oil

  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil

  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil

  • 1 drop lime essential oil (I couldn't find any so instead I used lemon essential oil)

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Monica
31 March 2015 @ 11:47 pm
Carrots are one of my favourite things. Not only they can be used in different kinds of soups, dishes and salads but there are also many carrot desserts. I have tried baking two different kinds of Carrot cake and this is my new favourite type of cake. Also, I've recently bought a pair of rabbit shaped cookie cutters. They're adorable.


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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
A classic carrot cake recipe.
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Carrot Cake with Lemon Frosting
An easy cake with delicious frosting.
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(Rabbits) Sugar Cookies
A basic sugar cookie recipe for you to use with your favourite cookie cutters.
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Monica
17 February 2015 @ 11:25 pm
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There is something reassuring in cyclicality of life, the change of seasons, days and nights. In a world where every step can lead to unpredicted events, knowing the pattern of things happening can be encouraging.
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Current Mood: mellowmellow
 
 
 
Monica
08 February 2015 @ 07:48 pm
What image comes in your mind when you hear the word "programmer"? I doubt you imagine a woman. Yet, everytime you use a computer, remember that it might not have existed without the work of some great women.

Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine. Because of this, she is often described as the world's first computer programmer.

Jean Jennings Bartik was one of six female mathematicians who created programs for one of the world's first fully electronic general-purpose computers - ENIACs. Men didn't think it was an important job.

Grace Hopper, a math professor, found a way to program computers using words rather than numbers - most notably a program language called COBOL.



Now let's go back on the question I asked - what's the image of a programmer? I am pretty sure it is male, nerdy and antisocial. For the last four and a half years at the university I've stumbled across some professors who clearly stated that girls are not good at math. Girls are just a decoration. Girls cannot be programmers. Unfortunately, this opinion is not common only with aging male mathematicians. Sexism is a common thing in the IT sector. And that's probably the biggest cause for the IT genre gap.

Facts speak. The percentage of women in IT is declining. The percentage of Computer Science graduates who are women is dropping. Men are being hostile to women and discourage their participation in programming. Female developers are being offended with sexist remarks or being asked out for dates. Teen girls are lacking positive role molels and do not choose careers in technology.

As a female and a developer, I feel like showing a little bit of femininity is dangerous. But even if I am not a girly-girl (and always been more on the nerd than the chick side) I cannot ignore everything feminine in me. I do have ovaries and I like dresses. But I also find programming extremely interesting and challenging. Can't we just forget the stupid stereotypes? Please?
 
 
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Monica
13 January 2015 @ 01:45 pm


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(source)



"I love you more than words. And I am a big fan of words."

"I want birds to have strips of my soppy diary to pad out their nests. I want the mother birds to regurgitate food for their young and little bits of half-chewed sick to accidentally landon my name."

"Unhappy people have a role in society – and that is to make the rest of us feel better."

From "Submarine" by Joe Dunthorne
 
 
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Monica
10 January 2015 @ 10:14 pm

I had another baking afternoon with Gery and we tried two new recipies - Toffee muffins and Empirina's Apple Cinnamon Strudel. Later, I decided to combine apples and caramel in one and baked some Apple Cinnamon Muffins.

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Apple Cinnamon Strudel
I didn't manage to make the "layers" perfect and my strudel was a little watery but it tasted so good! For sure I will bake some again.
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Toffee Muffins
These muffins filled with toffee sauce are really, really sweet! But who doesn't like sweet? Gery decorated them with sugar stars instead of nuts.
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Apple Cinnamon Muffins
I added some nutmeg and dried cranberries to the batter and decorated the muffins with caramelized sugar and walnuts. This muffin recipe became one of my favourites.
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Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
 
 
 
Monica
01 January 2015 @ 06:07 pm
2015  
Happy New Year everyone!

In 2015 I am going to work on these things:

Health
More exercises, cycling, hikes. Drink more water, eat more fruits and less sweets (bonus: homemade bakery only)

Eco
Change my habbits to contribute to a healthier Earth. Use only cruelty free cosmetics. Make my own beauty products.

Knowledge
Never miss an opportunity to learn something new. Be active in my studies. Improve my meeting of deadlines.

Happiness
Learn how to relax properly. Visit new places and try new things. Have time for my hobbies.
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Monica
24 December 2014 @ 04:11 pm
Here are some of the hama beads motifs I have made in the last few months. Also, I am wishing you all happy holidays! Take some rest and smile a lot!


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Current Mood: busybusy
 
 
 
Monica
07 December 2014 @ 02:59 pm

Decoupage (or découpage) is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf and so on. I was planning to try it out for a long time and finally did.
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Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
 
Monica
24 November 2014 @ 01:10 am

The loneliness
a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship

Technnology gives us the opportunity to communicate easily which each other but only when used with intention. Having an account in social network X, we have plenty of friends, family members, acquaintances. Exchanging comments, likes and messages feel like something natural and ordinary yet we feel alone.

Our social isolation is amplified by technology. The "Internet Paradox" shows the discrepancy between the opportunity to connect with others and the lack of social interaction. We all know social networks' promises that whenever you want to reach out and communicate, your friends will be there for you. But only when they do not reply you realize the sad truth.

When did we become so unintimate? Why are genuine connections, being honest and open so hard? Does showing the best aspects of our lives to the Internet really make us feel better for ourselves? Here is one great video that says all I have in mind:









The privacy
the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves, or information about themselves

Social networks lets us keep in touch and share our personal information with our friends without much effort. But who else do we share it with?

"What they don't tell you is that it's impossible to move, to live, to operate at any level without leaving traces, bits, seemingly meaningless fragments of personal information. Fragments that can be retrieved, amplified..."
"Johnny Mnemonic" by William Gibson, 1981

Different services like social networks and IMs require users to agree to Terms of Use. But sometimes these declarations permit the storage of personal data about the users or even share it with third parties. The biggest mistake most people do is to say "I have nothing to hide". In fact, everybody HAS something to hide. Even if your information is uploaded to a private profile there is not necessarily a guarantee that it is secured. So one rule we should follow is never to upload something that we will someday regret.

"As social animals we can't bear the idea of missing out and so many find themselves placing their most intimate expressions onto a businessman's hard-disk, buried deep in a data center in another country - one they will never be allowed to visit."
From "The CryptoParty Handbook"

Even while browsing, you leave traces on every page you visit - name and version of your browser, operating system, IP adress and many others. This information becomes part of a larger body of data that can be used to identify you individually. An evolving portrait of you can be build over time.

Do we really feel comfortable sharing so much? Will we ever regret it? Does being careful equal paranoia or just sanity?


Sources and more interesting links:
What Facebook Is Doing to Your Brain Is Kind of Shocking.
Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?
The CryptoParty Handbook (highly recommended)
Privacy concerns with social networking services
Social Networking Privacy: How to be Safe, Secure and Social
Secure Messaging Scorecard
 
 
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