What I Really Meant WasLanguage is a fascinating subject and so intense that one can only touch on some aspects in one article. Communication can be verbal, written, auditory via radio and television and by methods of illustration in the form of advertisements and posters, even mannerisms and physical gestures. Meaning of words and phrases are alone so complex and misinterpreted due to cultural differences, disabilities like poor hearing, stuttering or lack of education.


Language is continually changing and adapts more rapidly in the present age of technology and jargon is commonplace in many fields, composed of specialized words and terminology in  trades and professions, such as :


“think outside the box” -  give greater thought to

“euphemize” - exclude access to outsiders

“end user perspective” possible success of a launch and in the military

“ICBM” inter-continental ballistic missiles


One of the finest features of human communication is the euphemism, a milder substitute for too blunt, harsh or embarrassing wording, a more neutral way of expression.


Euphemisms were no doubt popular during the rather conservative and quaint Victorian era. For example  “to powder one’s nose” meant going to the toilet, an alcoholic drank “an adult beverage”, a person being fired was “given an early retirement possibility’ and “passing onto other realms” was, well you guessed it, dying !!


Advertising is a powerful tool and manipulative wording can dupe unsuspecting and  naive consumers. Wording, colours, shapes and sizes can influence credibility and many false claims are made in the beauty industry such as “sheds kilos, cures acne, stimulates vitality, grows hair and erases wrinkles !!”


The promotional ethics presiding within Matsimela disallow a “quick-fix” approach.



Make Up RisksThis week’s article moves away from bugs but we are not yet done with other “nasties” albeit that they are essential in the bigger picture, namely the ecology.


Our tale begins with a typical woman who aims to look glamorous and has all the tools of the trade at her disposal, namely a great range of makeup.


Work beckons, time is tight so she skips washing her face and commences the ritual by putting foundation onto her fingers and applies as usual.


To obtain a matt finish she applies face powder, dusts on some blusher and powdered eye shadow. 


She then pumps the wand of the mascara into the tube and applies the product to her eyelashes and completes the eye makeup with eyeliner.


The clock is ticking but luckily she is almost done with the last application, that of lipstick.  This routine is no doubt familiar to thousands of women worldwide, so what’s the big deal?  It is now time to analyse what unsuspected dangers might have been lurking in this ritual.


Firstly, I think that one can safely say that many if not all of the above preparations could have passed their expiry date and it is worth noting that some items could be as old as 8-10 years old and the deterioration, though often unseen, can have consequences.


Discussing the foundation, a basis to facial makeup, contamination will result as bacteria are transferred from fingertips to product. Less vulnerable are the pump varieties emitting a lesser amount and are less tactile.


If following a routine, dry powder products are then applied, these being in a safer zone as they are less vulnerable due to their composition.  But having this said, grease on the surface of a compact can harbour germs and is best scrapped off revealing a cleaner surface.


Not yet done ` mascara is now vital to accentuate the beauty of the eyes. Nothing is more vulnerable to harbouring bacteria and encouraging the growth of fungi, than the dark, moist tube housing the creamy product !  Finally, our unsuspecting lady applies lipstick, being composed mainly of wax which has a way of hardening and can lose moisture and depth of colour.


What then are the changes which are warning signs?

Firstly the colour pigments of liquid makeup can alter or separation of components can occur.


Other cream-based items such as eye shadow, blusher, lipstick and mascara may have the odour of a child’s crayon, a sure sign of being rancid.  Although lip and eye pencils are of a fatty nature, the frequent sharpening cleans and refreshes the surface.


Generally speaking food consumables are rated by a “sell by date”.

However  “off the shelf” applies to cosmetics, in other words when usage commences.


The following is merely a guide as to when to “toss them” and to be within the parameters of safety :

Creamy products have a life span of about 3 months, dry powders 2 years.

It goes without saying that puffs, sponges and wands should be washed frequently as these are a haven for microbes.


Finally, everyone loves a bargain but  consumers should be wary of cosmetics sold at flea markets, discounts offered and purchasing on the internet as products can be stale, tampered with or watered down or even be fake versions of the original.



CO EXISTING WITH BUGSWhether some of these miniature life forms are on or within us or elsewhere, they are a fact of life and pardon the pun, they frequently “bug us”


An Entomologist, whose income depends on them, could be of the opinion that this is nothing more than a case of an infested mind !


However, humans do have fears and it is ironic that however small, they can be intrusive, lurking in the background.


Naturally having them as one’s best buddies is ridiculous, but then extreme phobias can be harmful to mental and physical health.


Maybe fear and loathing is a product of modern culture, or society having been evolutionarily primed to be keenly aware of insects in our proximity.


However, culture and religion too can play a major role. For example as Hindus believe in reincarnation into various life forms, killing could be an issue.


Of all the millions, a few that are constantly in our space are worth mentioning, many feeding on human blood which invokes a sense of vampirism !


In the case of mosquitoes the annoyance is more likely the irritating buzzing and bed bugs have a time schedule nipping flesh whilst one is asleep.


On the other hand, cockroaches are despicable to most and have a nasty way of “spooking” one when the lights are turned on. These creatures having survived a jaunt into space and returned in perfect health are here to stay.


Although spiders are feared by many, not so much for being bitten but due to their creepy, silent movements and that characteristic “Legginess” as one expert put it !



Flies are a horror when they continually settle on food and fleas create itchy bites on people and animals.

Ants invade en masse and exist in large colonies and a few larger varieties do have a go at one’s ankles.


All life forms are crucial to the planet’s eco-systems. Many aerate the soil, others pollinate to uphold life and scavengers ingest dead matter acting as vacuum cleaners eliminating threats of disease.


Economically, many small creatures add value producing honey, silk and lacquer.


In terms of food; protein is supplied to reptiles, birds an even humans especially in South America, the Far East and Africa. 


Bugs are now noticeably appearing in the west on menus, not exactly “haute cuisine” and to many a locust wrap is squeamish to say the least !


Should all insects be eliminated from the planet, scientists warn that within 50 years life on earth would cease to exist.


As for beauty products, bugs are not an issue but bacteria and fungi are of real concern.  On the whole, women use make-up for months if not years being unaware of the dangers.


This will be covered in a future article.




YOGA A SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL PRACTICEFor beginners attempting to understand dozens of tongue twisting Sanskrit words and terms is mysterious and no easy task. Many readers probably envy their Indian counterparts for the general terminology so familiar to them.


So this week’s article will attempt to “enlighten” the more ignorant !


The following are some uncluttered terms and practises more commonly used :

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The Human Body ClockOur bodies internal clock is housed deep within the brain and its existence can be most apparent when it is off balance. This clock can affect mood, appetite, alertness, cardiac and other body functions.


At times we all feel the ebb and flow of daily life and the most basic rhythm we live by is the sleep and awake cycle, which is mostly related to the cycle of the sun. It would be ridiculous to think that one has to gaze at the sun and moon to maintain the cycle ! Interestingly, our bodies rely on a hormone known as Melatonin,  levels of which increase in the evening causing a sensation of drowsiness, beckoning sleep and decreasing with daylight when a “wake-up” alert kicks in.

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