How Intellectual Cowardice Works

John makes a claim (Premise A) that Mark doesn’t like.

Mark will search high and low, from the hills to the valleys, sparing no effort, to find a “legitimate” authority figure who opposes Premise A and replaces it with Premise B.

Now that Mark has someone telling him what he wants to hear (Premise B) he makes no further inquiries.

This is the behavior of the lesser mind.

See, in the small mind of Mark, John’s original Premise A has been “debunked” by Premise B. It is of no interest to Mark (especially in preserving his biases) that Premise B itself may have been countered or debunked by yet a third Premise C, returning the conversation to Premise A.

Had Mark investigated Premise A honestly and with the same analytical precision and zeal that he used to find its replacement (Premise B), he himself would have leap-frogged over Premise B to Premise C in short order.

Mark won’t do this because it returns him to Premise A, which he hates.

The honest mind reads the premises, the dissents and challenges to it, then the dissents to the dissents and the challenges to the challenges, as far as he can go.

If you only agree with people who already agree with you, and who bristle at challenges to their pet theories…

“What reward have ye? Do no the Pharisees do the same?”

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Here’s Why Chemical Peels Are the Secret to Perfect Skin

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A spotless, lineless, flawless complexion is lying just beneath the surface of your skin—and doctors have found that a classic treatment is the fastest way there.

Satin slip dresses slinked down the spring runways. Celebrities are wearing chokers on the red carpet. And here’s one more ’90s revival for you: the chemical peel. After being eclipsed in the early 2000s by new skin-resurfacing lasers, these classic treatments (like, ancient-Egypt classic) are back on top in dermatologists’ offices. More people are getting them now than in 1997 (when peels were the number-one cosmetic procedure in the country), according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. “Turns out good old chemical peels can actually deliver certain skin benefits—like reversing melasma and breakouts—better than high-tech devices,” says Doris Day, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center. By casting off dull surface cells, they improve fine lines, acne, discoloration, and more. And they do it for all skin types and colors—usually for a fraction of the cost of flashier (literally) options. “The minute I switch on a laser, things get expensive,” says Vivian Bucay, a San Antonio dermatologist. A superficial fractional-laser treatment can run up to $1,000 a session—and you’ll probably need several. A medium-depth chemical peel may cost a third of that and “gives more impressive results in a single treatment,” says Bucay (but count on more recovery time).

As with most old-is-new-again ideas, today’s peels aren’t just total retreads (the new slip dresses are better too, FYI). “When glycolic peels got really popular in the ’90s, they hurt like a mother and left skin raw,” says Jeannette Graf, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. But acid formulas have been refined, and so have dermatologists’ approaches to using them. “Our goal now isn’t so much to cause visible peeling as it is to infuse the skin with ingredients that diminish lines, build collagen, and improve tone,” says Jennifer Linder, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, and the chief scientific officer for the clinical line PCA Skin. Still not sold? Here are five more reasons to book a peel—and help your skin make a radical comeback.

Peels can make your skin—and skin-care products—work better

In minutes, acids lift away dead cells and trigger a lovely chain reaction: “As that topmost layer is shed, signals are sent to the living cells below to multiply and move up, to increase collagen production, to make more hyaluronic acid—to act younger,” says David Bank, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University/Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. A thorough sloughing also offers one very immediate upshot: smoother skin that’s both more radiant and more receptive. “Your skin-care products perform better after a peel because there are no dead cells impeding their penetration,” says New York City dermatologist Neal Schultz, who averages at least 50 peels a week in his Park Avenue office.

They’re low-risk, and you can go custom

There are chemical peels that are safe to use on every skin color without risk of hyperpigmentation (usually a worry with darker complexions). “We now know that using low percentages of multiple acids gives a better outcome with less irritation than a single acid at a higher strength,” Linder says. Doctors have plenty of premixed cocktails to choose from, like PCA Skin Sensi Peel, which mixes trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and lactic acid to rev up collagen synthesis deep down and dissolve the drab skin on top. But a lot of doctors also cook up their own recipes to address very specific concerns. For tenacious brown spots, Bucay adds a pinch of brightening vitamin C or a smidgen of bleaching hydroquinone to her acids of choice. And when treating those same spots on sensitive skin, she offsets the potent lighteners with soothing polyphenols.

The right peel can end acne and soften the scars that come with it

Salicylic acid peels and Jessner’s peels (equal parts salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol, an antiseptic exfoliant) dive deep into skin to unclog pores while also skimming the surface to erode blackheads and fade post-pimple marks. Another advantage of salicylic acid: It lingers in the pores, where it continues to keep them clear over time. To improve pitted acne scars, Harold J. Brody, a clinical professor of dermatology at Emory University in Atlanta, targets individual divots with a high percentage of TCA before applying a weaker acid to the rest of the face to even things out. “I think this method beats most resurfacing lasers, plus there’s little to no downtime and it’s safe for all skin colors,” he says. Bucay prefers treating acne scars with peels to skirt this surprising laser pitfall: “There’s roughly a 30 percent chance of an acne eruption following Fraxel,” she says. “It’s really disheartening when someone gets a flare-up of the very thing that left her with scars in the first place.”

Nothing controls melasma better

There isn’t a permanent cure for the recurring sun-triggered dark patches brought on by hormonal surges (like those caused by pregnancy and the Pill), but chemical peels (paired with at-home bleaching creams, high-SPF sunscreen, and strict sun avoidance) offer the best fighting chance. Lasers may make lofty claims, yet “they’re essentially trying to treat a light- and heat-sensitive condition with light and heat,” says Cheryl Burgess, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Even when a laser does eviscerate splotches initially, pigment often reappears weeks later, making lasers seem like a major investment for a short-term reprieve.

A peel will let you (maybe) toss your undereye concealer

We don’t even like opening our eyes in the pool, so we’ll be the first to admit that acid near our eyeballs sounds dicey. But doctors say Glytone’s new Enerpeel Technology Brightening Peel System works beautifully and safely on the hereditary dark circles created by piled-up pigment. They credit the form of the acid—3.75 percent TCA and 15 percent lactic acid in a nondrippy gel carefully dispensed via a pen applicator—and the delivery system, which “drives the acid in deep, bypassing the epidermis to lessen irritation,” explains Graf. A series of treatments may be needed, but some people see a profound improvement after just one.

Original article: Benefits of Skin Peels

 

Great for guys too.

Norse Ways

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Think you’ve got the Vikings pegged? With all the caricatures and stereotypes out there, there’s probably a lot you’ve never heard about the seafaring Scandinavians who raided and settled coastal sites in the British Isles and beyond between the ninth and 11th centuries. Explore 10 surprising facts about the Vikings below.

Vikings didn’t wear horned helmets

Forget almost every Viking warrior costume you’ve ever seen. Sure, the pugnacious Norsemen probably sported headgear, but that whole horn-festooned helmet look? Depictions dating from the Viking age don’t show it, and the only authentic Viking helmet ever discovered is decidedly horn-free. Painters seem to have fabricated the trend during the 19th century, perhaps inspired by descriptions of northern Europeans by ancient Greek and Roman chroniclers. Long before the Vikings’ time, Norse and Germanic priests did indeed wear horned helmets for ceremonial purposes.

Vikings were known for their excellent hygiene

Between rowing boats and decapitating enemies, Viking men must have stunk to high Valhalla, right? Quite the opposite. Excavations of Viking sites have turned up tweezers, razors, combs and ear cleaners made from animal bones and antlers. Vikings also bathed at least once a week—much more frequently than other Europeans of their day—and enjoyed dips in natural hot springs.

Vikings used a unique liquid to start fires

Clean freaks though they were, the Vikings had no qualms about harnessing the power of one human waste product. They would collect a fungus called touchwood from tree bark and boil it for several days in urine before pounding it into something akin to felt. The sodium nitrate found in urine would allow the material to smolder rather than burn, so Vikings could take fire with them on the go.

Vikings buried their dead in boats

There’s no denying Vikings loved their boats—so much that it was a great honor to be interred in one. In the Norse religion, valiant warriors entered festive and glorious realms after death, and it was thought that the vessels that served them well in life would help them reach their final destinations. Distinguished raiders and prominent women were often laid to rest in ships, surrounded by weapons, valuable goods and sometimes even sacrificed slaves.

Vikings were active in the slave trade

Many Vikings got rich off human trafficking. They would capture and enslave women and young men while pillaging Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Slavic settlements. These “thralls,” as they were known, were then sold in giant slave markets across Europe and the Middle East.

Viking women enjoyed some basic rights

Viking girls got hitched as young as 12 and had to mind the household while their husbands sailed off on adventures. Still, they had more freedom than other women of their era. As long as they weren’t thralls, Viking women could inherit property, request a divorce and reclaim their dowries if their marriages ended.

Viking men spent most of their time farming

This may come as a disappointment, but most Viking men brandished scythes, not swords. True, some were callous pirates who only stepped off their boats to burn villages, but the vast majority peacefully sowed barley, rye and oats—at least for part of the year. They also raised cattle, goats, pigs and sheep on their small farms, which typically yielded just enough food to support a family.

Vikings skied for fun

Scandinavians developed primitive skis at least 6,000 years ago, though ancient Russians may have invented them even earlier. By the Viking Age, Norsemen regarded skiing as an efficient way to get around and a popular form of recreation. They even worshipped a god of skiing, Ullr.

Viking gentlemen preferred being blond

To conform to their culture’s beauty ideals, brunette Vikings—usually men—would use a strong soap with a high lye content to bleach their hair. In some regions, beards were lightened as well. It’s likely these treatments also helped Vikings with a problem far more prickly and rampant than mousy manes: head lice.

Vikings were never part of a unified group

Vikings didn’t recognize fellow Vikings. In fact, they probably didn’t even call themselves Vikings: The term simply referred to all Scandinavians who took part in overseas expeditions. During the Viking Age, the land that now makes up Denmark, Norway and Sweden was a patchwork of chieftain-led tribes that often fought against each other—when they weren’t busy wreaking havoc on foreign shores, that is.

Original article: The Norse