What’s Up With OLD NAVY’s Jeans for Girls?

WTF?

WTF?

Kia recently wrote a letter to Old Navy which I think is worth reprinting here. In contrast to the boy’s jeans lineup which features reasonable options (Skinny, Straight, Boot-Cut, Loose), the girl’s jeans feature four types of “skinny,” and one option that implies the jeans could have been borrowed from the nine-year-old model’s boyfriend. I’m as socially liberal as anyone, but if she’s borrowing his jeans, what else are they doing? As a parent I’d like to be able to buy clothes for my grade-school age daughter that are comfortable, facilitate unrestricted running around at recess, and don’t have the word “boyfriend” in the name.

Try again Old Navy.

Old Navy! Really?!

What are you thinking naming your jeans for kids, Boyfriend Skinny? And why oh why do three out of five styles actually call themselves skinny? And one of the others is even skinnier than that??

I just want to buy some nice comfortable clothes for my seven year old to run and play in. To go to school in. I certainly hope she is very far from having her first boyfriend, and even further from borrowing his jeans.

Boys get a relaxed fit choice, and that’s what my daughter wants too.

And nix that boyfriend name in the kids jeans. Now. It’s really, really wrong.

Sincerely,
Kia Simon

“First they came for the musicians … “

Yesterday I read a thread on ambient artist Biosphere‘s Facebook page that made me reflect on the ongoing economic revolution centered on replication and automation. Biosphere posts that he is weary of his music being pirated and feels resentful (a natural and understandable sentiment) and is met with a flurry of comments.

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Most of his fans are supportive, but many roll out the same tired arguments attempting to justify their own stealing or somehow blame the artist, including:

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Emerson Elementary Fund Raisers — Help Some Great Kids!

Auction 2015 banner-01
This is a short appeal to help Emerson Elementary, the local public school my daughter attends (and where my grandmother also attended). Here are two opportunities to support schools in Oakland that could use your help:

1) Emerson School Auction

Last year I had a great time at this event, and this year we have even bigger donations from local businesses. Kia is helping to organize this one, so I’ve had a sneak peek at some of the loot that is going on sale. Mind blown. This is going to be a fun event with good wine flowing at very reasonable prices, and lots of great stuff to bid on.  Also the venue Omni Commons is amazing and has a fascinating history (it was built in 1934 as an Italian-American community center, but was also a nightclub for many years). Bay Area folks I hope to see you there! Readers I haven’t met please introduce yourself if you attend. You can purchase tickets HERE.

2) Ride For A Reason

This bike ride from Oakland to Sacramento started off as a protest but has become a huge fundraisers for six OUSD schools (Claremont Middle, Edna Brewer Middle, Emerson Elementary, Oakland International High School, Oakland Technical High, and Westlake Middle School).

Here is Kia’s donation page — you are a HERO if you donate.

The funds raised from both events will support music and art programs at Emerson, and many other activities and programs the PTO supports. Ideally California would fully fund its public schools so parents like me wouldn’t have to scramble like this, but we’re not there yet. Public schools (like public fire-fighting and public emergency services) are a foundation of civil society. Schools like Emerson Elementary accept some of the least privileged kids in the city of Oakland, and these kids deserve to experience quality instruction not only in the “fundamentals” but also in art, music, poetry, and other great programs these events help fund.

Thank you in advance for your support!!

How I Thickened My Hair and Advanced My Hairline with a Simple Massage Technique (and no Drugs)

Head hair as of June 2014 vs. April 2015

Hair as of June 2014 vs. April 2015

Back in June of 2014, about ten months ago, I received an email from a young man named Rob with some ideas about DHT and hair loss (in response to this post). Rob had an interesting theory that DHT was not the main culprit in terms of male hair loss; that scalp fibrosis/calcification and excess sebum production were more responsible for male pattern baldness than any excess of dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

I was initially skeptical of this claim. There’s plenty of evidence to link miniaturization of male hair follicles (and subsequent hair loss) to DHT. One of the two major drugs prescribed to slow or reverse male pattern baldness is Propecia (finasteride), which is a strong 5AR inhibitor, preventing the conversion of testosterone to DHT. The problem with inhibiting 5AR (and the reason I never tried finasteride for my own hair loss) is the long list of potential side effects including reduced libido, impaired sexual performance, depression, and anxiety. I would rather be completely bald!

Rob claimed to have complete halted his own hair loss and regrown almost all of his hair using a massage technique. He wrote:

The cool thing about all of this is that it’s actually possible to reverse scalp fibrosis and release excess sebum trapped in the scalp skin, thereby increasing blood flow and allowing your scalp to flush out any trapped DHT. Using specific massage techniques I was actually able to arrest my hair loss and regrow nearly all my hair in just under a year (no drugs, shampoos, products, or surgeries). This is where our opinions differ slightly – I believe you can have healthy DHT levels and your hair too – and that the trade-off between sexual functionality and hair loss doesn’t need to exist :)

Rob offered to send me his eBook and instructional video for free. This made me even more suspicious — there are hundreds of scam artists out there peddling snake oil hair regrowth products to vulnerable, hopeful men hoping to get their hair back. But Rob wasn’t asking for anything in return, and he seemed sincere. What did I have to lose (besides more hair)? I downloaded the eBook and read it with growing interest …

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Momu Mobile Studio Setup (MOMU-MSS): Making Electronic Music on the Road

Momu's Mayakoba mobile studio setup.

Momu’s Mayakoba mobile studio setup.

I recently had the opportunity to enjoy an all-expenses-paid resort trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico with Mark Musselman (the other half of Momu). While I’d written plenty of music on the road with an ultra-minimal laptop + headphones setup, this was the first time attempting to travel with a “mini-studio” that would make collaborative beat-making easy and fun and not involve additional checked luggage. The vacation (or “creative sabbatical”) happened to coincide with the release of Momu’s new album The Mission (now available on Beatport, also presale until April 8 on iTunes and Amazon).

When planning our gear we knew we needed the following:

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