Monday, 28 September 2015

The Best Online Deal Of My Life And The Story Of The Missing Pink Choker Set

A few years back, I had ordered a few tacky-looking jewelry sets from a leading eCommerce website (today, I wonder why I did). The deal was nothing unique. There was a pink choker set with large, dangling earrings, on display, and three other multicolored scoop shorts of weird designs. I was into my first job and enjoying the liberty of spending self-earned money to the fullest. Perhaps.

Best Online Deal Ever
So, I had placed a COD order with a Rs 2000 plus something bill. And, I was excited. It was the first thing I was going to buy with my salary. And it felt great. I eagerly waited for the delivery date to arrive. However, the product never came. The tracking tool on the website said it ‘had already been shipped.’ So, I sent back an e-mail inquiring about my order. Luckily, their response was quick.

“Dear Miss Deka, we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience and delay caused. Your product will be delivered tomorrow at 4 pm by so-and-so person.”

The wait was on. The delivery boy came the next day with a big package. I handed him the cash and quickly rushed inside the office to open it. There were three packages. The pink choker was missing. And one of the other two sets was broken.

So, there was another e-mail inquiring about the missing product and the replacement of the broken set. The response was quick again. “Dear Miss Deka, we sincerely apologize the inconvenience caused. Could you specify the model numbers of the two products?” The model numbers were mailed. And there was another response. “Dear Miss Deka, we are sending the two products at the earliest.” I was overjoyed and almost felt like a VIP. So, this means that the broken set need not be returned.

Five days later, another person was in my office, this time with a smaller package. The replacement was there, but the pink choker was still missing. The eCommerce firm had sent me a different set instead. So, there was some more emailing and complaining. More “Dear Miss Deka, we are sending the two products at the earliest” responses followed. A month later, I had three pieces of a set that wasn’t even included in the deal. And the most interesting part was, the firm had not demanded their return as of yet.

However, I was at my wit’s end. How could they not deliver my pink choker – the one because of which I had chosen the deal in the first place?!? So, I decided to try a trick this time. I hunted for that extra set on their website, noted its model number, and e-mailed them that I had not received the set. To my amusement, the pink choker was delivered this time. Wonderful, wonderful feeling! So, I had spent Rs 2000 plus something for 8 pieces of jewelry, had not I? Double profit, it was!

Sometimes I feel bad that I never inquired anything about returning the extra sets. But then, even they didn’t, did they? So why bother? For me, this was the best online deal of my life. It’s funny how I have never worn the pink choker. And about the extra sets, well, they were given away as gifts. Oh come on, you don't have to take it otherwise, do you? :) :P

Jewelry jackpot

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Everyday Products That are Derived From Animal Parts

How vegan do you think you are? Nice that you have cut on your consumption of meat. Great that you look around for organic products only. However, the factories and industries could be silently giving your vegan lifestyle a big blow. Want to know how? Go through these everyday product your are using. They usually contain animal parts (smirk)!

Perfume from sperm whale shit or vomit

Ambergris is the name for the excreta of sperm whales. It's rare and usually found floating in the oceans. It's solid, waxy, and out-and-out the poop of the mammal. Remember the bitter taste you experienced when you accidentally sprayed your costly perfume into your mouth. Ahem, poopy pleasure!

Perfume from whale poop

Ground up beetles in strawberry shakes and lipsticks

Carmine is a coloring agent acquired from crushed beetles. The industry has termed it a sophisticate name - Cochineal extract. Well, sadly, it is sometimes the red ingredient present in strawberry shakes. Um, Starbucks had almost blurted it out once (oops!). And, oh yes, have you been using any cosmetic product, especially lipstick that contains 'natural red 4' or 'carmine' or 'crimson lake.' Throw it away because you are applying beetle juice. Gee!

Carmine in lipstick and Strawberry shake

Beaver anal gland secretion and urine in vanilla ice cream

Castoreum, the brown, slimy thing that comes out of beaver's butt, goes into vanilla ice creams that you savor with such greed. Of course, you should not expect to acquire this biochemical in its purest form straight from the butt. Because the anal glands are located very near to the castor sac, from where Castoreum is secreted, the latter is a combo of beaver piss and other secretions of the gland as well. Hey, are you licking a beaver's butt right now?

Castoreum of bever in vanilla ice cream

Face creams with oil exudate from sheep skin

What happen to your hair when you don't wash it for days? It gets greasy, right? And, what if you've never ever taken a bath? Can you imagine the amount of oil that will accumulate in your scalp and hair? Now, think about a sheep with a lot of wool. The sebaceous glands present in the animal's skin excrete an oily product known as Lanolin, which is a great moisturizer. And, this is exactly what goes into most face creams.

Lanolin face cream from sheep

Jello-O is boiled pig skin + bovine hide + pork & cattle bones

A protein called Gelatin is obtained when pig and bovine skin, tendons, ligaments and bones are boiled in water. It is used as a thickener in puddings, Jell-Os, ice creams, marshmallow, cakes, and candies. Um, watch what you are eating!

Gelatin from cows and pigs

Energy drinks are bull bile

Taurine is a naturally occurring substance present in bull bile. It is extracted from the animal and introduced in energy drinks. Check the can right now. If it says 'Taurine' you sure are drinking bull bile. By the way, Red Bull is quite a nice (self explanatory) name, don't you think?

Taurine in energy drinks comes from bull bile

Shark liver oil in  lipstick and eye makeup

Squalene is a substance derived from shark liver oil. This compound can mimic the natural moisturizers present in our body. It behaves as a lubricant on the surface of our skin, absorbing very quickly, and giving us a flawless appearance. Ugh, shark up!

Shark liver oil squalene in eye makeup lipstick

Fish scales in nail polish

Does you nail polish contain 'pearl essence?' Well, this is not derived from some pearl found in the deepest of the deep oceans, like you believe it is. It is Guanine in disguise, which comes from fish scales. The scales are cleaned and mixed with solvents like castor oil. Coloring pigments are added, and bingo! Your bottle of nail polish happens! Yes, bitter truth, it is. Sounds very fishy, right?

Fish scales in nail polish

Bull semen in hair products

Silky, shiny hair - don't you just love it? But, would you mask your mane with bull semen all over to get it? Ew. But, the fact is, you might actually be applying it already (yes, unknowingly). There are some shampoos and conditioners that make use of this yucky product. By the way, there's something called semen facial as well. Want to go for it?

Bull semen shampoo

Snail slime in scar treatment and anti aging creams

The slime is a concoction of proteins, anti-oxidants, and hyaluronic acid. These three ingredients assist in skip repair. They pull out dead cells, reduce inflammation, moisturize skin, and keep it safe from wrinkles. No wonder the cocktail has found its way into scar treatment and age-defying creams. Have you ever rubbed snail slime on your face?

snail slime in cream

Lamb / sheep intestine in condoms

Not all condoms are made of latex. Study the packet. If it says 'lambskin,' then it surely has come from the intestine of a lamb or sheep. And its perforated. With no guarantee of keeping viruses and bacteria away. But, on second thoughts, what has a condom to do with being vegetarian? Oops.

Lambskin condom

Image source: Internet

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Suicide Note of Kurt Cobain and the Life Lessons it Teaches Us

No matter how many times I go through the suicide note, a chill runs down my spine. And, suddenly I realize all over again how the prejudices of life cannot be drowned even by the best of riches and fame. No, glamour cannot be equal to felicity if we go by the life and words of Kurt Cobain. The sweetness of success lasts only until the point we want it to. Even if we are surrounded by a huge crowd of admirers, the uproar cannot pierce through our loneliness unless we allow it to.

It's better to burn out than fade away.
Sometimes, even the most familiar of senses go numb, and the wakefulness dawns upon us that whatever we and our achievements are today, is soon going to become history. So, wasting time doing things we don’t want to do, or things that don’t excite us is simply unaffordable. We are so busy impressing others that we forget to live our own life. How pathetic is that? Yes, we have only one life. And, here are the lessons from Cobain’s suicide note you must remember if you want to live it happily:

Defy the mundane.

If a certain work is not instilling interest in your heart, you can never do it with perfection. Flaws will come up every time and suffocate you with guilt – of wrongdoing, of imperfection, and of failure.

Kurt Cobain Suicide Note
We have always known Cobain as an extraordinary music persona, a songwriter, a performer. Nirvana goes synonymous with this name. We have seen his zeal on stage and felt the fire in his tone. But, was Cobain living in his own skin? Was he happy doing it? What made him cook up ‘Boddah’ in the first place?

The Suicide Note of Kurt Cobain
Yes, when you can’t communicate your inner voice to the world out there, you tend to detach yourself from it. The roar of the crowd goes unheard. And the moment your work loses its charm in your eyes, it is nothing more than slogging. Do you want to keep on doing it? Would it not be wiser to break free?

Success cannot cure despondency.

There’s no solution to your low spirits other than yourself. The success achieved in your work is like a painkiller. Its action is temporary. And, eventually when the effect wears off, the pain comes back, and it is even more unbearable.

Kurt Cobain's last words
The best way to combat despair is to stop being stagnant. The more you are saturated with success of one kind, the more monotonous it will get. If you are an artist, try your hands in singing. If you are a writer, indulge in pottery. May be then, you will learn to appreciate your skills and your work.

Wear the hide like an elephant.

No one is immune to heartbreak. However, the more you are permeable to misery, the more it will grasp you. And it’s a bad, harsh world out there. You must prepare your bones for the inevitable onslaught. Unfortunately, Cobain had realized it very late.

The last words of Kurt Cobain
Yes, be like the little child who cries his heart out for the sake of his broken toy in one moment, and cheers up the in the very next when a new one arrives. Stay miserable and the world is going to get on your nerves.

You can’t stay in everyone’s good books.

All throughout your life, you will meet some people who will love you and others who wouldn’t think twice before breaking your heart. It’s okay to have a few foes. It’s even okay to have no friends at all. Fair weather is not wanted as a replacement of quality.

What Kurt Cobain's Suicide Note Speaks of

Yes, this is what you become when you try to love one and all. Learn to create bridges and break meaningless ties. And yes, there’s no use trying to fix a broken mirror. Learn to let go.

Stop being charitable about trust.

Pin your faith on people with great caution. The more you are sure about them, the more the chances of you getting hurt. It’s good to be skeptical about a person’s good deeds and doubt his intentions, because you are just saving your little, brittle heart.

What were the last words of Kurt Cobain
A good way is to hope for the best and stay prepared for the worst. A person’s true color shows up only in the darkest hour. And, if you want to witness this, untie the blindfold of trust covering your eyes. So, what are you waiting for? Snap out of the societal norms. Let the sunshine touch your inner self.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Do You Know Why Google Chose to Change its Logo?

It’s for the fifth time now. And this time, it’s huge. The seventeen year old logo has finally changed. But, the question is WHY?
Google, new logo
Well, it’s a decade long story! Google was once a land, people visited via desktops and laptops. But, time’s changed. We now have smartphones, tablet PCs, and the latest – wearable devices. Imagine it like this – you have to say hello in a million different languages because the people you are greeting, belong to different ethnicity. How weird will that be?

Google was suffering from something of this sort. Its ancient logo suited the desktops, but not in the newer devices. So, because the silver lining in its cloud was missing, it decided to create one. It revamped its logo so that it can appear in any device, be it a desktop, a laptop, a mobile phone, a wearable watch, the dashboard of your car, and even your TV!

The update was introduced to the world as a Doodle on the first of September this year. And, it looked like this:

Google Doodle New Logo

In other words, Google’s ‘hello’ to the world has received a universal language, which can be apprehended by any device anywhere, regardless of its built, model, screen size, or operating system. Its new logo can show up in the smallest of screens. All we need is Internet connectivity! Now that’s what we call convenience.

The full logo features Product Sans – a new font which reminds us of a child’s handwriting in primary school. The compact version has been changed, too. The familiar blue lower case ‘g’ has been replaced with an uppercase ‘G,’ which bears all the colors of the new logo together. Another distinct change, which has been introduced, is the addition of a colorful Google mic that assists in interacting with the Search Engine.

Take a look at how the Search Engine has evolved over the years in this video:

With the logo remodeled to function seamlessly across an infinite range of devices and inputs, we are definitely witnessing a ‘Google of the future.’ What say?