When I started my consulting business three years ago, even though I had been planning it for some time, it was still quite scary. For the first time in my life I had no monthly cheque to look forward to at the end of the month. Would I get enough work in to cover my expenses? Luckily I managed to pull in a big job quite quickly. It was a project on the borderline between pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, which was just the kind of thing that I could offer and which not too many other people could. Without this bit of luck I might have had to get a job instead. And with all due humility – it was quite handy for the client that they found me. They are a start up too and getting some help early on must have been beneficial. Continue reading
An interesting way to spend the time is to compare the way science is reported in the media to what the actual published research states. There is often quite a mismatch. So when I saw some online comment about an article in Time that said that men preferred woman with less makeup, I didn’t take anything at face value. Continue reading
Another blow for Johnson and Johnson: an American jury has awarded a big talc payout to one of its customers. I haven’t looked at the details yet, but on the face of it this is another case of sentiment trumping science. Nobody likes big corporations and we are all only too willing to believe the worse about them. So when you are told that they are poisoning the public and lying to cover it up, you tend to sympathise with the victims. Continue reading
I only popped out for some milk
It started when I noticed that I hadn’t backed up my blog for over a month. I don’t think you should trust to automatic backups on blogs. You should back them up whenever you post something that you really don’t want to lose. I used to back up every few days. I have had some bad experiences with unbacked up stuff, and heard even worse ones from other people. So why had I stopped. I applied the 5 whys technique and discovered that I just wasn’t happy with the way my blog looked.
So I set aside a morning to work on getting my blog back into shape. I wanted to give it a cleaner look. I wanted to make it a better user experience. I had decided that I was only interested in people who actually read it, so I wanted to put all the ‘call to action’ stuff at the bottom of the page so that anyone reading would have a clear run. And I wanted to get rid of the boring typeface. I am also really bored with the images from an old clipart CD I have been using since around 1998. I don’t know if many people today have even seen a CD of clipart.
The other thing I wanted to do was to sort out my social media so I can post straight to them without having to do a lot of clicking.
So all reasonable stuff and I set aside a morning to dive in and get it all sorted. Well the morning flew by. So I allocated an afternoon as well. Then I carried on into the evening. And in fact, I was still at it at about half past eleven. Continue reading
The basic problem with my blog from my point of view is that over the years I have made quite a few small mistakes. I have blogged about things that aren’t interesting either to me or to my audience. I have left up spelling errors and grammatical faux pas. I have written stuff that doesn’t fully reflect what I think, either because my thinking has changed or because I didn’t express myself clearly enough. Continue reading
Don’t worry, I haven’t gone all political. I sometimes set myself the goal to write a blog post based on whatever the first tweet I find on my Twitter feed is. I read the tweet, set the clock running for ten minutes, and see what comes out. This time I found someone was asking if a basic income would encourage people to devote more time to their training and career development. This sounded like a reasonable assumption. But I wondered if it might have other beneficial effects as well. As I say, this is not a political blog so I won’t express an opinion on whether or not we can afford it, nor as to whether there might be better ways to spend public money. I am just wondering what the effect would be if it were to be introduced.
I have just picked up on an interesting story on Twitter. Lush are being gently mocked because people are finding that one of their soap bars that contains some seeds are sprouting in people’s bathrooms. This is a nice easter story – germination is something that is associated with spring after all. And it is quite funny. I have feeling that the people responsible for quality at Lush aren’t laughing though. I can remember a similar incident from long ago in my career. This was before Twitter but in any case didn’t get out into the public domain.
A large batch of strawberry seeds were weighed out in a factory with the intention that they should be used in a batch of exfoliator. They were left for a few days in the humid environment that you have in a cosmetic factory and they too sprang into life, expanding to several times their initial volume. Continue reading
The Body Shop is working with a company called Newlight Technology to come up with greener plastic bottles. There is no doubt about it. The biggest impact that the cosmetics industry has on the planet is the packaging it puts its products into. Most of the ingredients are readily biodegradable and with very few exceptions don’t have any harmful effects on the environment at all. Continue reading
I was interviewed by skincare journalist Imogen Matthews a few months ago. The main subject was the way your skincare needs change as you age. If you are interested you can find it here.
There is a news story that L’Oréal have issued a product recall for their Ideal Moisture Dry and Sensitive Day Cream in Canada. The reason is that the level of MI in it is higher than Health Canada’s regulations allow. This is quite a rare event – big cosmetic companies are usually pretty good at following regulations. Unfortunately Google has not revealed the details of just how much over they were. But the product has been on the market for three years so there is a good chance that they have simply failed to keep up with the regulations and that the product was legal when formulated and launched. They have shifted just under 60,000 units. Continue reading