A Good Clean Kill, And Other Beauty Secrets

I’m sure many of our “baby boomer” friends will remember the soap ads from the 1950s and 60s.  Clean was big business then, clean was beautiful, and nobody wanted to stink.  B.O. (body odor) was a hot topic thanks to decades of marketing.

Dial wasn’t the first “deodorant” soap, but it was the first one that didn’t smell like turpentine or paint thinner – oh, I’m talkin’ “Lifebuoy.” Lifebuoy, originally made by Lever Bros. (now Unilever) in England, has been around since 1895.  The smell was phenol, a compound made with carbolic acid extracted from coal tar.  To fight B.O. you could instead smell like an auto body repair shop.

Dial, named for its “round-the-clock” anti-B.O. protection (from perspiration), was introduced in 1948 by Armour Co. (yes, the meat-packers) in Chicago. Armour had made tallow-based laundry soap since 1888.  With the help of some clever chemists, Armour added hexachlorophene, or G-11 or AT-7.  How about those numbers?  Continue reading “A Good Clean Kill, And Other Beauty Secrets”

A piece of two hearts? (2)

[Note: Comments have been turned off on this post, accidentally.]

I had an embarrassing evening, a burst of excited energy shared with others followed by “Oops!” I eagerly contacted the other writers and a couple of friends of the blog to tell them that our work on Janis Joplin had disappeared! It had not. It was just buried under many other pieces in the blog search engine.  Following some chardonnay, I realized that I was excited for two reasons – one that someone cared enough to mess with our work, as when my Magic Bulldozer piece on Dennis Washington disappeared.

But the other was that I was going to be able to do the work again. It is the kind of stuff I really enjoy, discovery using my own talent rather than relying on others, and in the Joplin case, also that of our friend Straight. This morning, headache aside, I decided that I wanted to do the work again anyway. I have fresher insight into these matters now than two years ago when the original post, “A Piece of Two Hearts?” appeared.

Continue reading “A piece of two hearts? (2)”

Campaign of Illusions: Where the Zero Cut Movement to Save the National Forests Went Wrong

Zero-Cut No Commercial Logging again? A quarter century after it became the banner and guiding star for much of the grassroots forest movement, and then over a decade of semi-retirement, the campaign for this legislation is trying to mount a national revival. My question is simple: Is it the best strategy for a collapsed forest movement, daily confronting the debacle of rapidly increasing logging and roadbuilding in the national forests?

The combination of President Trump and an overtly hostile Republican-controlled Congress has shocked the grassroots, non-collaboration forest movement. Awakening from over a decade of a sort of slumber, these forest defense activists are daily burning up internet chat rooms with news chronicling cascading losses in Agriculture and Interior Department rules, regulations, administrative edicts, and newly-passed laws and congressional riders that roll back decades of environmental laws and court victories.

They are stunned to see the reality that their strategy of timber sales appeals and lawsuits are no longer holding back the bulldozers and chain saws of the timber industry and its U.S. Forest Service puppet. As they ponder these mounting losses, they watch their local forests logged with increasing ferocity, a comprehensive assault on public lands with transgressions that few imagined they would live to see. Continue reading “Campaign of Illusions: Where the Zero Cut Movement to Save the National Forests Went Wrong”

Trial by Fire

Last evening I participated as one of five presenters in a live-audience,  multi-media discussion/presentation with a group of foresters, a smoke jumper and State of Montana’s tourism specialist in the Dept. of Commerce.  The topic was “Can we manage wildfire; Should we manage wildfire.”  As the lone “tree-hugger” on the stage, I tried to probe other panel members for the reasons for their beliefs – most believed in management as a “solution” to our wildfire “problem.”  Needless to say, the anthropocentric viewpoint predominated.

Soldiering on, I tried very hard to interject a few self-evident truths about nature and fire’s natural role in the continuous mystery of life in its many forms.  When cornered with truth, however, the other participants simply lied to escape reality.  I’m sure they believed their lies, but even to the live audience lying seemed obvious, but generally an acceptable answer to a confrontation with an inescapable truth.  Continue reading “Trial by Fire”

Eva Perón: Another shoe drops

This post is written to accomplish three objectives.

  1. I needed to satisfy myself that the actor known as “Eva Perón” was indeed one person, and not a composite. I went looking for twins and body doubles.
  2. I needed to understand who the second “mother” was in the Ciccone family photographs. It took a second set of eyes, those of Richard once more, to solve that mystery.
  3. I need to put this project to bed and get on with my life. Here’s hoping.

As to the use of names like “Eva Perón, “Silvio Ciccone,” “Madonna Fortin,” and of course, the singer known as “Madonna,” we have no idea who they are or what their real names are. I use those labels for convenience, nothing more. All the world’s a stage.

So off we go once more. You might be surprised, no, shocked, at Richard’s discovery. Continue reading “Eva Perón: Another shoe drops”

Eva Peron: The plot thickens

Below are photos of Paul McCartney (1959) who performed live with the Beatles in the 1960s, Mike McCartney (1957) who stepped in and out of “Paul’s” shoes, and eventually became the permanent Paul McCartney we know today.

1957 1959

I can easily tell them apart. Others, including facial recognition expert Joelle Steele, insist they are the same person. The reason, I suppose, is career-related. If she were to assert two Paul’s, she’d never be called upon to offer expert testimony again. I am not calling her a liar, but do know that evidence is often tainted by the need to make a living. But for most other people, recognition of two different people is hard because of the glassy-eyed manner in which they view the world, never really stopping to both think and examine evidence. It is what they are told it is. Continue reading “Eva Peron: The plot thickens”

Eva Perón: The Rest of the Story

Evita lived on in the material world

Back in the day, when Straight was still here, we bounced from one discovery to another. The zombie matter was of great interest. Rarely did a day go by that I did not get an email from him suggesting I look into this or that person. The man has great instincts. He tired of the work, wanting to live in a more positive sphere. I get that, and wish him well, always. For me, just as I loved to curl up with Sherlock Holmes as a kid, I love the work I do here and would not trade it for journalism in any form. This is honest and rewarding work.

DSCN16935FBA7736-804C-4B63-B6E4-5C7CF15875A8There have not been too many new discoveries since Straight left, though I have moved far afield of facial analysis. But I do have my eye out. Thus it was that my wife suggested we visit La Recoleta Cemetery while in Buenos Aires with two crypts in mind: That of Liliana Crociati de Szaszak, a young woman killed in an avalanche in Switzerland (left), and Eva Perón, or Evita (right).

I knew very little about Evita other than that movie from 1995 and the Weber/Rice Broadway musical with its associated ear worms. I did not care for most of the movie but enjoyed the opening number in which Madonna sang Buenos Aires, train providing the percussion. The rest was not memorable for me, and anyway, what the hell was Che Guevara doing there? He seemed to be an anachronism. (He was put there for a reason, no doubt, but we can only guess.*)

Continue reading “Eva Perón: The Rest of the Story”