From Category: thoughts

Friday

vintage handwatches
Photo: Alex Guillaume

Are you familiar with the Radium Girl story? The first time I heard about it was a few years ago when I stumbled upon the 'Radium Girls' movie trailer on Youtube. Only a few years later, I could enjoy the movie and take a deeper look into this heart-breaking story. However, there is always a ray of light at the end of the tunnel, even in a story like this.

collage from vintage newspaper articles about radium girls

Who were Radium Girls?

Radium Girls were a group of female workers hired by the United States Radium Corporation in the early 1920s. In these factories, women performed various tasks. They included handling the chemical element radium and applying radium paint onto dials for a glow-in-the-dark effect. Unlike owners of the factories and scientists, who were familiar with the effect of radium, women workers were not aware of the danger.

But radium and its wondrous properties, discovered by Marie Skłodowska-Curie, were used not only in the production of watches and airplane instruments. It was aggressively promoted as a miraculous beauty ingredient. Soon, radioactive face creams and the famous energizing tonic Radithor overwhelmed drugstore shelves. Beauty and medical brands couldn't miss a chance to capitalize on this discovery.

a picture of energy drink radithor

As a result of the "lip, dip, paint" technique, which Radium Girls used to paint dials, more than 50 women had died of radioactive poisoning. Although, the exact number of people, who suffered from the impact is unknown. The radiation sickness and even death caused by the radium exposure didn't affect the popularity of radium watches and other radioactive products.

The final dot in the case was put in the spring of 1938 when the justice ruled in favor of workers. The whole case of Radium Girls holds a revolutionary place in labor in the field of human health and the movement of labor rights. It turned the system upside down, establishing the right of the individual worker to sue big corporations and the occupational disease labor law. All thanks to the courageous women, human rights activists, and other caring people, who were not afraid to fight for their rights.

a cast of the Radium Girls movie

In 1938, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally outlawed several dangerous products and fake medical devices, including radium-containing drinks. The Center for Human Radiobiology was founded thirty years later in 1968, where scientists collected medical information, and samples, and provided examinations for living dial painters. This research made an extensive contribution to health physics and radiology.

The Takeaway

What is the takeaway of this story? I believe there are multiple things we have to learn from it. First, we should fight for our rights no matter if we are going to win. It is important to stand up for yourself, and for the people around you who need protection. Second, capitalism has its own ways and morality, when it comes to financial interest. We should be smart and responsible for our health. And, third, even the saddest story can teach us something important. The Radium Girls epopee must become an unfortunate example that can guide millions.

Thursday

girl reads book in the park
Photo: @thoughtcatalog

Reading is the safest and the most relaxing way to learn important life lessons. That's why today I gathered five engaging books that will help you become a little bit better and teach you some important truths. These books are not about self-improvement or personal development, these are the books that will teach you how to love, respect, and even how hate through the life and actions of characters from the books.

Each author in my list has a very special way of revealing the truth to the reader. Some are gentle, soft, and poetic, while others are roughly direct. But I hope all the books on my list will leave you with many experiences and emotions. I would love to erase my memory and re-read all of these five books once again.

Jack London portrait

Martin Eden
A novel by Jack London

“But I am I. And I won't subordinate my taste to the unanimous judgment of mankind”

This was one of the first books by Jack London I've read. A very romantic and beautiful novel about a young sailor from the working class who is struggling to become a writer and to win the heart of a girl from high society. I was fascinated by Martin's enthusiasm and his passion for knowledge. He is definitely a great example of a person who is trying to become better, pursuing his blue dream. The ending of the story is sad, and a little bit shocking, but absolutely understandable. I want to recommend this to everyone, especially those who are still trying to find their place in the world.

George Orwell portrait

Nineteen Eighty-Four
A novel by George Orwell
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” 

I know this book might sound a bit cliché, but it is a must-read for everyone. Nineteen Eighty-Four is a British dystopian novel written by talented writer George Orwell and originally published in 1949 about life under constant surveillance. This fiction has a lot of truth between the lines, and if you are a person who lived far away from the Soviet Union but want to imagine what it was like to live under a strict governmental machine of total propaganda, repression, and humiliation you need to read Nineteen Eighty-Four without any doubt. 

While I was reading this book I was thinking about our past and how many things it has in common with the present. I was thinking about the country I'm living in and other countries surrounding me. And of course, I was thinking about the future of humanity, do we have a chance?

Gabriel García Márquez portrait

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
Short story by Gabriel García Márquez
“His huge buzzard wings, dirty and half-plucked, were forever entangled in the mud.” 

The first time I read this book at school and I remember liking the story very much. Gabriel García Márquez combined two absolutely opposite literature genres of fantasy and realism in one masterpiece. The story starts when a very poor family finds an old man with huge wings who have crash-landed in their yard. 

The author does not explain this supernatural event, he does not open up to the audience a character and personality of an angel. He simply leaves this to the reader's mind and everyone can decide who this mysterious old man was with wings.

Vladimir Korolenko portrait

In Bad Company
Book by Vladimir Korolenko
“Better to have a piece of heart in the chest, than a cold stone.” 

I doubt my readers have ever heard about this book and the author Vladimir Korolenko, but I couldn't leave this book without attention. Bad Company can also be translated as Children Of The Underground is a tragic story filled with sadness and truth. Book events took place at the end of the 18th century in a small Polish town. The author demonstrates the everyday life of two boys from polar families - a family of main judges of a city and a family of beggars. This story is sincere and it definitely leaves a very pure and kind print in everyone's heart, I wish I'd read this lovely story at school. 

Alice McLerran portrait

The Mountain That Loved a Bird 
Book by Alice McLerran 
“I am Joy, and I have come to greet you.” 

A colorful and emotional book written by Alice McLerran and featuring the most beautiful illustrations by Eric Carle. The story is about a little bird named Joy and how she healed and was brought back to live in a broken, lonely mountain. Every word in this book is saturated with love, loyalty, and hope. Even though this book is not lacking in sad moments, I still think you can definitely read 'The mountain that loved a bird' with your little kids, since it will teach them to love nature and always believe in happy endings.

This was my personal list of five interesting books that will make everyone better. Please let me know if you've read any of these books and if you agree with my list. Don't forget to share your favorite books, that helped you to learn some lessons. Do you have Goodreads account? Add me as a friend, so I can check out your favorite books as well. Thank you for visiting my blog, I'll talk to you again very soon!

Monday

cosmic girl on a beach
Photo: Marek Okon

History repeats itself, and so do fashion trends, they come and go and return to our wardrobes again. It is an eternal fashion cycle and every trend comes back into style eventually. Each time an old fashion design reappears in fashion, it brings brand-new ideas and fresh concepts. According to this point of view, future fashion may repeat the hottest trends of the early 00s, so don't hurry to throw out your beloved hipster glasses and skinny jeans, you may want to wear them once again shortly. 

Of course, I doubt that future outfits will look like the old-school costumes from sci-fi movies and books. I hope fans of the original Star Trek will forgive me, but there are no places for aluminum swimsuits and faux fur crop tops in the future. And as much as I love tight catsuits, we need to face reality, the future won`t look like Marvel comics. But what will the future of fashion look like?

"What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today when human contact are so quick. Fashion is an instant language." —Miuccia Prada

woman wearing eco fashion
Photo: Noah Buscher

Intelligent Textiles & Fast Fashion


Climate changes will accelerate the invention process of new materials and fabrics. These materials will be bacteria and cruelty-free and have adaptive abilities to regulate body temperature according to the weather condition. Brands will need to develop a new design approach to stay up to date and survive on fashion markers. 

Fashion is the third most polluting industry in the world, so designers will need to think up how to carefully bring environment-friendly materials into the fashion industry. Thanks to worldwide globalization, cultural mixing processes, and advanced technology, future clothes will be comfortable, mobile, and fleeting. The concept of 'throwaway' or fast fashion will become a common principle of all designers, because of a rapid lifestyle and fast-changing trends.

future shopping process
Photo: Lucrezia Carnelos

Shopping Revolution

When it comes to future shopping, I disagree with people who think that regular physical stores will fully disappear from our lives. Of course, they will look and function differently, in a new contemporary way. For example, future dressing rooms will be equipped with holograms and virtual reality. These technologies will allow customers to try on new outfits without even changing their clothes. In the near future consumers will play a large, important role in designing their own garments. Fashion stores won`t need to stock a huge range of colors, sizes, and shapes. 

Future 3D printers and other similar technologies will allow customers to print necessary items with a unique design and sizing. Digital modeling and virtual reality technologies are even closer than you think. For instance, in October 2015, designer Tommy Hilfiger became the very first major fashion retailer who tested out the virtual reality headsets in the stores and shoppers experienced his fashion show virtually. 

"Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment." —Alexander McQueen
 
close-up of futuristic smart watch
Photo: Fabian Albert

Smart Accessories

Even today, computers, smartphones, earphones, and other gadgets have become more than just everyday items, but essential fashion accessories. When people are searching for a new computer or smartphone, they aren't just buying an electronic device, they are also making a fashion statement by choosing the gadget`s designs, color, and even brands. In the long run smartphones, smartwatches and glasses will become a stylish addition to our everyday outfits. Fashion will become more than just a personal expression of your style, taste, and personality, it will become a technology as well.

Oscar de la Renta once said that the greatest thing about fashion is that it always looks forward. With every passing day, we approach the future closer and closer, but we can't know for sure what is coming for us. My biggest wish for future fashion is to be versatile and indulgent. There will be no more racial, age, or gender boundaries ‒ anyone will wear the clothes they want. In the future fashion will empower people, not isolate or separate them. I'd like to see how fashion becomes an international language of communication and fashion designers become its interpreters, helping people to understand each other better.

Thursday



Ripped jeans, sad tunes, reeky cigarettes, and a world full of promises. The decade of grunge style in music and fashion has passed a long time ago, but apparently, we can't get over this historical injustice, trying to refresh the memory of this romantic, slightly gloomy phase. Grunge fashion is not exactly retro yet, but it is definitely something we all missed, even though some of us are too young to even remember this massive movement. 

As Robert Hilburn noticed in his Los Angeles Times article: "...grunge stuck around long enough to get into the dictionary, but the excitement and early promise of the 90's rock movement draw distant indeed as the decade comes to a close." Today I'm going to trace the legacy of grunge style in fashion, recalling the most outrageous, edgy, and rebellious collections, its rise, fall, and finally, the victorious rebirth of my favorite grunge fashion.

Winona Ryder, Drew Barrymore & Angelina Jolie
Winona Ryder, Drew Barrymore & Angelina Jolie

The Rise

My favorite grunge fashion first appeared in the mid-'80s together with the popularity of that time grunge music and became widely popular in the '90s. Popularized by grunge music bands and singers, this fashion style can be characterized by three words: androgynous, thrifty, and anti-glamorous. Although grunge fashion, just like grunge music and lifestyle, is supposed to be an anti-glamorous movement, which rejects everything posh and expensive, it swiftly became mainstream and made an appearance on the runway shows of that time.

Strangely enough, my thousands of grunge styles weren't understood by high-fashion critics, and the spring Ready To Wear collection, carried out by 29-year-old designer Marc Jacobs got him fired from Perry Ellis. But it was a legendary show and revolutionary collection that marked his career! Models wore loose dresses, sloppy trenches, and Dr. Martens. These "outfits looked as if it was put together with the eyes closed in a very dark room" were completed with stretched beanies and silver jewelry.

The Fall

In a short period, impure motives of grunge melodies, smoked voices, and budget-friendly outfits are going to be replaced with fluent recitative and weighty golden chains. The golden age of hip-hop music expanded, swallowing the alternative rock together with its depressing lyrics. Flannel plaid shirts were slowly changed for cropped denim and faux fur jackets. Everyone forgot about grunge for another ten years, enjoying the brand new sounds by Britney, Destiny's Child, and other pop idols of the late 90's early 2000s.

Kylie Jenner, Rihanna & Lucy Hale
Kylie Jenner, Rihanna & Lucy Hale

The Rebirth

The early and mid-2010s experienced the rebirth of grunge fashion and it keeps coming back again and again with every new season up until now. In the new century, grunge fashion looks even edgier and more rebellious. The everlasting ripped jeans and jackets look even more worn out, combat boots are even more massive and lip color is even bolder than ever. Leather jackets and chokers are promised to stay forever in our wardrobes or at least until another grungy trend won't take its place.

collage of three grunge fashion looks

The comeback of grunge fashion has marked the appearance of sub-genres like soft grunge: a casual and well-planned blend between classic grunge pieces and modern fashionable items. Soft grunge fashion is believed to be born on Tumblr and widely popularized by Tumblr girls. Apart from featuring classic grungy pieces like flannel shirts, combat boots, and denim, soft grunge allows using Gothic influences. Singers like Lana Del Rey and bands like Arctic Monkeys and Sky Ferreira are usually associated with this fashion style.

Although all of us have an awesome opportunity to experience the rebirth of one of the most controversial and beautiful fashion styles, there is one thing that has never returned to the world. And, I guess, you know what I'm talking about. Rusty and soiled grunge music with its screechy guitars and husky voice had not returned in our lives. But, we'll be waiting!

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