Taoist mythology, Lanna history, mythology, the nature of time and other considered ramblings

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Location: Chiangrai, Chiangrai, Thailand

Author of many self-published books, including several about Thailand and Chiang Rai, Joel Barlow lived in Bangkok 1964-65, attending 6th grade with the International School of Bangkok's only Thai teacher. He first visited ChiangRai in 1988, and moved there in 1998.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mean, miserly bean-counting and quality of life.

As Stanley Fish wrote (New York Times, August 9, 2010, “Plagiarism Is Not a Big Moral Deal” – and also disclaimed as arguments he was reporting, not endorsing), “In recent years there have been a number of assaults on the notion of originality, issuing from fields as diverse as literary theory, history, cultural studies, philosophy, anthropology, Internet studies. Single authorship, we have been told, is a recent invention of a bourgeois culture obsessed with individualism, individual rights and the myth of progress. All texts are palimpsests of earlier texts; there’s been nothing new under the sun since Plato and Aristotle and they weren’t new either; everything belongs to everybody. In earlier periods works of art were produced in workshops by teams; the master artisan may have signed them, but they were communal products. In some cultures, even contemporary ones, the imitation of standard models is valued more than work that sets out to be path-breaking.” Commentator Vanessa W of Chicago posted, in response to that article, “Dean Fish mentions and then doesn't explore another form of intellectual theft: professors who make graduate students and other research assistant do all the research and writing for their manuscripts and then take credit for all the work.” Touché!
“Interrogating the universe with scissors and a paste pot”, as Jonathan Lethem referred to it (in “The ecstasy of influence: A plagiarism”, Harper’s Magazine, Feb. 2007), creative amalgamations “consist of a kind of sine qua non of the creative act, cutting across all forms and genres in the realm of cultural production.” Then, “consider the remarkable series of ‘plagiarisms’ that links Ovid's “Pyramus and Thisbe” with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story, or Shakespeare's description of Cleopatra, copied nearly verbatim from Plutarch's life of Mark Antony and also later nicked by T. S. Eliot for The Waste Land. If these are examples of plagiarism, then we want more plagiarism.”
Current copyright, trademark, and patent laws are not only corrupt, and don’t just deny the essential gift-aspect of the creative act - they sit on the face of shared enjoyment, smothering life, culture, fun, participation and spontaneity.
On the other hand, the conceit that some things should not be bought or sold, including votes and sexual interactivity, is absurd: people do things to get things, be they physical things or not. But who cares about reality anymore? All that is important is relative standing…

The brother of a close friend of mine uploaded tunes from 50+ year-old 45 rpm “singles” he’d found at garage sales and in bargain bins, legal to give away and no longer available for regular commercial sale on any kind of disk, tunes most who had ever heard had forgotten, and made them available for downloading from his blog, by anyone who went there. The music business mafia soon put a stop to that. Why? No-one was losing money, or anything else. Similarly (to me, at least), Microsoft sent goons to police e-mail shops internationally; here in ChiangRai they confiscated machines, as if they had some kind of legal authority in this country.
But it’s easy to point to sources for many tunes, and Microsoft’s luck with sales – success is often not the result of hard work, diligence, brilliance, talent or even perseverance. Often it’s merely from willingness to take advantage, opportunism. And, somehow, we’re willing to sacrifice some of our potential quality of life for that. Meaning, we’ve been gullible fools.
And maybe because of that, some want to vent at unfortunate victims of our pathetic educational system, and berate them for making reports for classes by cutting and pasting from the Net. I remember how in 6th grade, I wondered how I could be expected to write anything “original” about the Roman Empire, and in 10th grade, how a teacher could have the gall to assign each of us in my class the task of writing an “original” story. Amazing, simply amazing.


Thursday, August 05, 2010


Maybe, as with the diplomatic refusal to mention Gazprom and ex-KGB mafiosas in justification of military adventurism, the completely unrealistic babble about tax cuts is necessary to mask a concerted effort to lower the expectations of minimally productive (and minimally aware) workers in the USA. They won't do lots of jobs, especially in food production, expect too much, consume too much, and contribute but little - and so, I suppose, must be reined in.
After all, why should they have so much more than the vast majority of people elsewhere?
Two sides to coins though - with a better educational system and less religious mummery, they might - and I must stress that equivocal 'might' - just become more responsible citizens... and might, even, not vote against their own best interests (as if they had a tendency to vote, at all...)...
Seems Republicans have always assumed that a lower class of sluggards will always exist, and must be manipulated without drawing much attention to that fact. And there might be something to that, if one can stomach the blatant, unmitigated hypocrisy involved.
Most people simply don't ever find the head-space to think for themselves, but I'm not sure that excuses the ego-defensive and self-assertive aggression which insecure, necessarily self-doubting (in private) "Americans" so regularly exhibit. Bad manners are hard to accept, like hypocrisy. But then, people who live in fear cannot be expected to live with much grace...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Vinegar, salt, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, olive oil and 20 Mule Team Borax

Not so long ago, people didn’t need jobs, they needed skills. Sometimes it seemed they just needed a place, land, maybe a position in a feudal society - but that was a temporary condition, as quite well may be our current dependency on money. We need to stop being so lazy that we want fitted sheets, sliced bread, all that packaging we use... And instead of preferring this overlord to that overlord, we should prefer the freedom of choice… there’s nothing new in what I’m saying here, true, and little if anything new in what follows, but it seems to bear repeating, or being presented in a new and different way, as it is advice insufficiently followed up on.
Of recent, one hears of the many valuable uses to which hemp can be put; many people, for a long time, made pants from cannabis plants. Now kids have never even learned to sharpen knives. As a result of bad habits, we’re getting taken advantage of, and I know people who just get angry at any suggestion of this truth.

I’ve also known Bible-thumpers who denied there being a book in there with my name. That book says: “That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath the caterpillar eaten. Awake, ye drunkards, and weep… The field is wasted, the land mourneth: for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth… the harvest of the field is perished… because joy is withered away from the sons of men. The herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. And the heavens and the earth shall shake…”
Not very cheery; but with the freedoms irresponsible humans seek come responsibilities they shirk: somewhat difficult tasks like making durable jeans from hemp fibers or even simply sharpening knives. The Book of Joel says there is hope, at least for some, and I agree - although I might be seen to put a different interpretation on things.
The cost of commercial, chemical-based products is high - in cash, for health, and in terms of environmental pollution caused by their manufacture and disposal. People with allergies, asthma, sinusitis or bronchitis should reduce synthetic chemicals in the home environment, and there are many inexpensive, easy-to-use natural alternatives which can safely be used in place of commercial household products. For instance, vinegar, salt and baking soda are excellent for everything from cooking to personal body cleansing. Try adding vinegar to water to clean windows with cheap paper towels – you might be impressed!
Keep lemon (or lime), vinegar, baking soda, salt, Epsom salt, hydrogen peroxide and olive oil around, and learn their many uses: you’ll be glad you did!
• Baking Soda - cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours.
• Unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable, and’ll clean just about anything; soaps which contain petroleum distillates should be avoided.
• Lemon - one of the strongest food-acids, is effective against most household bacteria. Lime will do just as well.
• Borax - (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.
• Vinegar - cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up – use the cheaper white vinegar. Apple-cider vinegar costs more, but can provide great health benefits (about half a shot with 2 shots of cold, pure water is good).
• Cornstarch - is useful to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo rugs.
• Trisodium phosphate (TSP) - a mixture of soda ash and phosphoric acid, is toxic if swallowed, but can be used for cleaning drains or removing old paint, jobs people frequently do with much more caustic and poisonous chemicals. TSP dosn’t create any fumes.

Baking Soda, an abrasive cleanser, is excellent at dissolving dirt, mildew, grease, and even wax. It’s great for removing dirt and grime, and also acts as a natural deodorizer. 4 tablespoons baking mixed with a quart of warm water and shaken makes a great all-purpose spray to use on anything from the bathtub to the fridge.
Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle instead of fabric softeners as well as help remove odors from clothes.
Wet stains on the oven and then shake baking soda over them, scrub with steel wool and watch even old rust stains disappear. Sprinkle it your carpet before vacuuming to eliminate food and pet odors. Baking soda even works as a quick substitute deodorant.
Wet crabgrass down then dust with baking soda, or apply as a paste using a paintbrush.
For cabbage worms and caterpillars on garden vegetables, mix half/half with flour and dust on the plants.
If your squash, zinnias, lilacs or roses have a dusty, powdery mildew, use a spray of a tablespoon of baking soda, another of dish soap and a third of olive oil added to a gallon of water.
For sweeter tomatoes, sprinkle baking soda around the plants once a week (before watering)
To make an all-purpose cleanser, add ½ cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc. When you clean your kitchen, for a final wipe down, use this or a cloth placed in warm water and several tablespoons of baking powder - and make everything smell fresh.
Open baking soda in a fridge helps absorb odors and remove excess moisture. Add some salt, stir and turn from time to time, then replace every 2 months. Anywhere that moisture is a problem, such as cupboards under sinks, place a bowl of baking soda to help control humidity. You'll need to occasionally stir the powder for maximum effective life.
Use to brush teeth (put on your tooth-brush before adding some toothpaste if you want). Used as a mouthwash, baking soda will also relieve canker sore pain. Gargle with 1/2 tsp. baking soda in 1/2 glass of water. A half teaspoon of baking soda mixed into a glass of water can act as mouthwash. Salt can also be used as an emergency gargle solution, as can hydrogen peroxide. Don’t swallow; follow up with cold water rinse, and avoid utilizing this suggestion if you have high blood pressure.

Sprinkle some onto a damp sponge for cleaning, then add to your veggies crisper - cover with a cloth or paper towel for crisper veggies that last longer. Also, clean vegetables and fruit with baking soda: sprinkle in water, soak and rinse the produce. Wash chemicals and pesticides off fruits and vegetables in a pot filled with water and 3 - 4 tablespoons of baking soda added. This keeps fruits, especially berries, clean and free of mold, plus they last longer.

When washing dishes, add a tablespoon of baking soda to your soapy water - it softens hands while cutting through grease! Wash food and drink containers with soda and water - especially thermos bottles and coolers. It gets rid of stale smells. Stains on porcelain sinks, toilets and plastics can be removed by applying a layer of baking soda and then using a damp sponge. To remove burned-on food from a pan: let the pan soak in soda and water for 10 minutes before washing. Or scrub the pot with dry soda and a moist scouring pad. For a badly-burned pan with a thick layer of burned-on food: pour a thick layer of soda directly onto the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle on just enough water so as to moisten the soda. Leave the pot overnight, then scrub it clean next day. As an alternative to caustic soda for clearing blocked drains, throw a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a couple of jugs of boiling water.

Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of rubbish receptacles to help control odors, and reduce pet odors by sprinkling over areas they’ve dampened; allow to dry, then vacuum. Sprinkle some baking soda into your vacuum-bag, and on rugs and carpets just before vacuuming as a deodorizing treatment (most carpet powders you buy are baking soda based!). Mops can be soaked in a mixture of 4 tablespoons baking soda and a gallon of water for a while. Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight (if humidity isn’t great), then vacuum.

Baking soda extinguishes fires, even dangerous grease fires. The carbon dioxide generated when the powder burns starves the fire of oxygen. Keep baking soda by your stove and in your car, in case of grease or electrical fire. It puts out fires in clothing, fuel, wood, upholstery and rugs. Scatter the powder by the handful to safely put it out - it won't damage anything. Salt is also good for putting out grease fires.

Make modeling clay for kids by combining 2 cups of soda with 1 1/4 cups water and a cup of cornstarch. For crayon marks on walls, apply a baking soda/water paste on an old toothbrush and lightly brush the affected area. Reduces scratch mark visibility too! Water stains on wood floors can be removed with a sponge dampened with a baking soda solution.

Boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes - half a cup of baking soda added to a full load of washing will help brighten your wash and remove odors. Work a baking soda and water paste onto stains prior to washing to help remove them from the fabric; clothing stained with grease or oil will come out cleaner with baking soda added when washing: add 1/2 cup soda to your washing machine load (for really stubborn grease stains, add a can or bottle of Coke, after putting onto the grease stains a mix of one part salt to four parts alcohol). Use baking soda dry with a small brush, to rub canvas handbags clean.

To deodorize:
• Plastic food storage containers - soak overnight in warm water and baking soda
• In-sink garbage disposal units - grind up lemon or orange peel in the unit
• Garage, basements - set a sliced onion on a plate in center of room for 12 - 24 hours
• Put baking soda in a salt shaker and keep by your shoes. Sprinkle it in, and in socks and slippers too, to eliminate odor. This is especially effective for running shoes. For scuff marks on white shoes or trainers, drop some medicated oil on a piece of cloth and rub off those dirty marks!

To remove light rusting, mix a paste of baking soda, salt, lemon juice and vinegar, then and apply with a pot scourer; a baking-soda/water paste applied to chrome surfaces, allowed to dry then buffed off will leave chrome shining, and also polish silver and stainless steel. After you're done rub a bit of olive oil on to prevent streaks, corrosion, and tarnish. Use to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from toaster. Dampen cloth and make a mild abrasive with baking soda.
Mix a little baking soda with water, then apply to corroded auto battery terminals - the corrosion dissolves and can be washed away. Baking soda applied to fresh grease and oil spills on your garage floor will draw away the oil, which can then be scraped off. Sprinkle soda on greasy garage floor. Let stand, scrub and rinse.

Clean your bathroom with dry soda on a moist sponge - sink, tub, tiles, shower stall, etc. Bathroom mold: Mold in bathroom tile grout is a common problem and can be a health concern. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower. Keep your drains clean and free-flowing by putting 4 tablespoons of soda in them each week. Flush the soda down with hot water. Soak your shower curtains in water and soda to clean them. Use air-freshener with baking soda) to clean mirrors: it does a good job and leaves a nice smell with the shine. Note, though: commercial air fresheners mask smells and coat nasal passages to diminish the sense of smell.

Apply soda directly to splinters, bug bites, bee stings, sun or windburn, rashes and poison ivy to relieve discomfort. Make a paste with water, or take a soda bath to relieve general skin irritations - including measles and chicken pox. Aloe vera also helps. Add a cup baking soda to your bath to calm you down and sooth and smooth your nerves and skin. Or try adding a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, especially if you have skin problems. Use a baking soda/water mix and an apple cider vinegar rinse every other day in place of shampoo, and add a half cup or more of baking soda to bath water to soften skin. Putting 2 tbsp. of baking soda in your baby's bath water will help relieve diaper rash irritations.

For heartburn or indigestion, instead of a commercial antacid (with aluminum silicate), take a half to a whole teaspoon of baking soda mixed with a half glass of water.

When scalding a chicken, add 1 tsp. of soda to the boiling water. The feathers will come off easier and flesh will be clean and white.
Add to water to soak dried beans to make them more digestible, and add to water to remove the "gamey" taste from wild game.
Scatter baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from eating your veggies.
Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants.

Some say vinegar and baking soda make a super cleaner as they work even better when they work together, while others resist suggestions of combining baking soda and vinegar as a household cleaner or as a fabric softener, saying they neutralize each other.
A local baker may be able to supply you with larger quantities or try contacting a bakery supplies company as some sell direct to the public. You can also save money on baking soda by re-using it. For example, once it has served its purpose as a fridge deodorizer you can put it down your sink to help keep your drains clear.
Realize that the routine box you would buy in the grocery store contains aluminum. You may purchase aluminum free brands at most health food stores. Aluminum has been thought by some to contribute to memory lose when too much is ingested over the course of years…

Citric cleansing:
Lemons have antibacterial and antiseptic properties and are a natural bleaching agent. They can be used for dissolving soap scum and hard water deposits. You can shine brass and copper with lemon juice. A lemon, or lime, cut in half and dipped in salt is good for cleaning spots off copper pots or fixtures. Put a whole lemon peel through the garbage disposal to freshen the drain and kitchen. Pour the juice on white linens & clothes; allow them to dry in the sun to bleach away stains.
For a chopping block cleaner, rub a slice of lemon across a chopping block to disinfect the surface. For tougher stains, squeeze some of the lemon juice onto the spot and let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe.

Olive Oil:
Olive oil promotes "good" cholesterol (HDL), is gentle on the digestive system, soothes ulcers and works against gallstones. Less processed oil generally contains more nutrients, but may be more expensive. Use that for food; the cheapest, lowest-grade oils are best for some of these tips.
A teaspoon of olive oil can help soothe a scratchy or ticklish throat, and taking a sip of olive oil before heading to bed can help lubricate your throat muscles, cutting down on snoring.
For earache, carefully use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the outside ear cavity… maybe even warm the oil before applying.
Olive oil also has benefits for hair: comb a bit of the stuff through dry or frizzy hair, especially in winter or on humid days. It can help repair damaged hair. Apply, put on a shower cap, do whatever for 30 minutes then shampoo. Olive oil is also a great skin moisturizer, in part because it contains linoleic acid, which prevents water from evaporating. To remove paint from your skin, just use olive oil and a little granulated sugar or salt. The paint will come off and your skin will be exfoliated and moisturized, too.
A little olive oil and a soft cloth will keep your shoes looking great.
It can also provide a safe and natural lubricant for shaving, and even be used as an aftershave! Similarly, olive oil can soothe chapped lips. Make your own balm by mixing olive oil and melted beeswax in a 1:1 ratio (add an essential oil if you want a nice fragrance).
Much as humans can benefit from grooming with olive oil, so can cats. Ateaspoon of olive oil added to cat food helps prevent hairballs, and promotes a shiny, healthy coat. It’s gentler on a cat's system than petroleum-based anti-hairball lubricants.
For stuck zippers, apply some olive oil! It’s a useful lubricant for many applications, and not dangerous for children or pets. Use for squeaky door hinges or anywhere you might use less ecological WD-40.
To polish a wood desk, use two parts olive oil mixed with one part lemon juice. Pour just a few drops on a soft cloth, wipe away the dust, scuffs, and fingerprints; this works well for many wood things, and also conditions and revitalizes leather goods. Preserve a baseball mitt by rubbing in olive oil! Let set for 30 minutes, then wipe away any excess.
To make an olive oil lamp, find a glass bottle with a screw-on metal lid. Poke a small hole through the lid. Make a wick of a long, thin strip of cotton scrap – longer than you might think you need. With a nail or whatever you used to make the hole, push a little through. Fill the bottle with half water and half oil (or all oil if you like, but it's not as pretty!), insert wick and screw back on the cap. Let sit for an hour, so that the wick is completely soaked, then you can light it. It will burn for several hours - depending on its size. The wick should last you a long time, but if you need to, you can pull more through the cap.

Salt Tips:
Soak fish in salt water before de-scaling; the scales will come off easier.
Removing fish odor from your hands is simple with salt: just rub your hands with a lemon wedge dipped in salt, then rinse with water.
Add salt to green salads to prevent wilting.
To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling! When making potato salad with hard cooked eggs, boil the eggs in salted water, they will be easier to peel. Eggs gone bad sink in salt water, good ones don’t. Remove mildew with lemon juice and salt.
Clean your greens (vegetables) in salt water for easier removal of dirt, and add a little salt to the water when cooking foods in a double boiler to make food cook faster.
Before washing a very greasy pan pour salt in pan and wipe with a paper towel.
Soak enamel pans in salt water overnight and boil salt water in them next day to remove burned-on stains. Sprinkle salt in your oven before scrubbing clean.
Remove offensive odors from stoves with salt and cinnamon.
Clean light coffee stains from aluminum coffee pots and porcelain coffee cups by rubbing on a little salt. Clean copper molds and pans with a vinegar and salt paste.

Put a few grains of rice in your salt shaker for easier pouring.
Salt can help cut rust: remove rust from household tools by using salt and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Apply the paste to rusted area with a dry cloth and rub.
Clear the air with this homemade air freshener - cut an orange in half, remove the pulp, and fill the peel with salt. It will provide a pleasant, aromatic scent.
Help cut odors off of your wooden cutting board, simply by pouring salt directly on the board. Rub lightly with a damp cloth. Wash in warm, sudsy water.

Add a little salt, or baking soda, to water for cut flowers, to give them longer life; for silk flowers, place them in a large bag, pour in a cup of salt, and shake vigorously. They’ll come out clean.

Clean clothes irons by rubbing salt on the damp cloth on the ironing surface.
Fabric colors hold fast in salty water wash.
Freshen sponges by soaking them in salt water.
Soaked discolored glass in a salt and vinegar solution to remove stains.
Cover wine-stained fabric with salt; rinse in cool water later.
Salt and lemon juice removes mildew.
Salt will kill slugs and snails, and sprinkled on shelves, will keep ants away.
Kill grass growing in the cracks by adding salt and then pouring in boiling water. Soak new candles in a strong salt solution for a few hours, then dry them well. When burned they will not drip.
Pour salt on fabric with a new grease spot on the salt and it will soak up some of the grease. Rinse, then scrub new salt gently into fabric and rinse again before laundering.
Soak new pantyhose in a salt bath, they are less likely to run.
If your baby throws up, sprinkle salt, let it sit for 5 minutes, and it will help absorb the mess and odor.
Pour 1/2 to 1 cup salt followed by scalding hot water down your kitchen drains every week to keep drains fresh and unclogged.

Hydrogen Peroxide is used to relieve asthma, allergies, Candida, chronic fatigue, headaches, cirrhosis, and yeast infections, to fight cancer, diabetes, heart disease, herpes, acne, flu, sore throats, ulcers, warts and more, but information about it is murky at best: what does “food grade” mean? Why is food grade hydrogen peroxide so strong? Why are poisonous “stabilizers” added, and how potentially harmful are they? Why have not more studies been done, and why is this subject so poorly reported on?
Hydrogen peroxide can help eliminate garden pests: spraying it on leaves supports strong growth, and when used on soil, it helps plant roots expand.
It’s also another good stain remover. Sprayed quickly enough on a stained area, it’ll take out even blood and wine. Spray it on the effected area, rub it together gently, and then wash as normal. Or, mix equal parts of water and peroxide, pour directly on the stain, let stand for about 30 minutes. Unlike bleach, which eventually can turn white clothing gray, peroxide breaks down the protein in blood through oxidation. This results in no damage of darkening of the clothing.
Use hydrogen peroxide on bathroom surfaces helps to get rid of fungus. You can also soak feet in it to help eliminate foot fungus.
Hydrogen peroxide helps to bleach things (remember peroxide blonds?). It's used in teeth whitening gels. Used instead of bleach, it’s cheap, safe, and effective.
Spray it on fresh produce (vegies and fruits) to clean off pesticides; fill a bowl with cold water, add 1/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide, soak fruit and veggies for about a minute, then rinse with running water. This kills E. coli and bacteria effectively.
As a mouthwash, it helps whiten teeth, and eliminates a lot of bacteria simultaneously.
Remove germs on contact lens with peroxide. Regular cleaning solutions only remove deposits; they don’t kill germs. Soak lens in peroxide for about an hour, then rinse with a neutralizing solution before wearing again. Peroxide is also great for cleaning cutting boards.
Root rot in house plants can lead to their demise; it may be a cause of yellowing leaves. Fill a spray bottle with a cup of water and an ounce of peroxide. Water your plants as usual with this solution (keep any remaining water-peroxide mix out of the sun as peroxide will breakdown in sunlight.

Uses for vinegar:
"Food-grade" hydrogen peroxide was rumored to cure AIDS, killing HIV, and for all I know a little bit might help somewhat, but don't forget, it can kill you, too>
Both hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, the first an oxidant while the second an anti-oxidant, can be used as a natural deodorant, with antibacterial effects.
Vinegar can help remove bacteria and pesticide residues from fruits and veggies. Mix three parts water to one part white vinegar, and dispense in a spray bottle. Then rinse with water. This wash kills 98% of bacteria on produce. Dampen a paper towel in white vinegar and wrap it around hard cheese to prevent mold spores from forming.

Vinegar can be used as a solvent to dissolve many common adhesives.
Hiccups can usually be cured instantly by swallowing a teaspoon of vinegar.
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer and is a great all purpose cleaner, on anything but marble. The strong smell will disappear when it dries. Use it by mixing 1 part water to 1 part vinegar, for use on the stove, appliances, & counter tops, stone and brick surfaces.
Add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle instead of fabric softener.
Pour vinegar around the inside rim of the toilet bowl and scrub to get rid of rings.
Mop bathroom floors with a vinegar and water solution.
Add a couple teaspoons to a spray bottle filled with water for window cleaner.
Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar to warm, soapy dish-water for tough jobs.
Coffee and tea stains: Stains in cups can be removed by applying vinegar to a sponge and wiping. To clean a teakettle or coffee maker, add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup vinegar; bring to a boil. Let cool, wipe with a clean cloth and rinse thoroughly with water.
Carpet stains: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water. For fresh grease spots, sprinkle corn starch onto spot and wait 15 - 30 minutes before vacuuming. For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum.
Note: Brown (cider) vinegar will stain porous materials!
Keep chickens from pecking each other: add cider vinegar to their drinking water.

Lemon juice mixed with vinegar and or baking soda make great cleaning pastes. A lemon cut in half and sprinkled with baking soda makes a great abrasive cleaner you can use to scrub stubborn dishes, surfaces, and stains.

To clean drains, pour ½ cup baking soda down drain, add ½ cup white vinegar, and cover the drain. Wait 15 minutes and then pour in a gallon of hot water.
For a super toilet cleaner, use ¼ cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar: pour it into toilet and let sit for 5 min. before scrubbing with a brush.
A cup of olive oil blended with ½ cup lemon juice makes a great furniture polish for hardwood furniture.

Epsom salt can help potted and garden plants to increase their blooming and health. For potted plants, simply dissolve 2 tablespoons per gallon of water, and substitute this solution for normal watering at least once a month (it’s safe to do this as often as desired). Prep garden soil by sprinkling a cup of Epsom Salt per 100 square feet; work it into the soil before seeding or planting. Seeds will germinate better, and start with a strong and healthy growth. It’s also beneficial for most transplanted plants; it doesn’t, however, work with the herb sage.
Fill a sprayer with water and a tablespoon of Epsom salt (per gallon), then spray your garden after planting, when it begins to grow, after a month or so for transplants, and when the vegetables begin to mature. If your trees bloom or produce fruit, Epsom salt can be particularly useful due to its ability to increase the production of both flowers and bounty. Simply work in two tablespoons per nine square feet into the soil over the root zone three or four times a year. Planning to complete this at the beginning of each season is particularly helpful for preparing the tree for the change in weather, and allowing them to become stronger and healthier.

Believe it or nuts: used dish water, and even laundry water, is also great for putting on gardens.

More helpful, time and money-saving suggestions:

Mash and freeze ripe bananas, in one-cup portions, for use in later baking (or you can freeze them whole, peeled, in plastic baggies)

To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing!

Rinse cooked, ground meat with water when draining off the fat - this helps "wash away" even more fat!

When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn’s natural sweetness!

To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it’s fresh; if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

To help eliminate cockroaches, fill a large bowl with cheap wine and leave it under the sink. The pests will drink it, get drunk, fall in the bowl and drown... To discourage ants, draw chalk lines – they won’t cross them!

To avoid hurting your fingers while hammering metal nails into the wall: hold the nails with a wooden clothes peg instead. So even if you miss, you won't get hurt.

To take the tears out of chopping onions: plug in a portable fan and turn it to high. It'll help blow away the fumes from your eyes - no more tears!

Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.

Egg shells can be used to clean glass bottles: Break the shells into pieces, drop them into the bottle with a few drops of detergent and a bit of water, and shake vigorously. Then rinse with water.

If your soup's too salty, add cut raw potatoes and throw them away once they are cooked and have absorbed the salt.

To return discolored socks to their original color, boil them in a pot of water with a few slices of lemon (or lime). The fruit is a natural bleach.

For slippery shoelaces which refuse to stay tied, rub them with a candle. They’ll be less slippery, and knots will stay put.

Ants hate baby powder, and also cinnamon; if you find them in your house, just some on the ants and they won't be back again for awhile, even after you remove the powder. Dust baby powder on honey jars and sugar bowls, as well as the outside of the cats' dish - it keeps the ants off. Sprinkle salt (and baking soda) on your shelves to keep ants away. Fill a squirt bottle with plain old cheap white vinegar, and squirt it anyplace you've seen ants (kitchen counters, windowsills, etc) and let it dry. Or, make a 50/50 water and vinegar mixture, pour into a spray bottle and spray any surface ants appear on with the solution several times a day - it's non-toxic, won't harm anything, and the smell will go away in just a couple of minutes (for us, but for ants, vinegar has a natural chemical that alters what they can smell, including messages they leave each other). Black pepper is another non-lethal, poison free, cheap, and safe way to get rid of ants: sprinkle black pepper where you see them, and they’ll scatter. Where they try to go is where you want to sprinkle some more, to keep them from coming back. It's safe - even near pets and kids, around food, etc.
Another suggestion, to repel both cockroaches and ants, is to put baking soda under sinks and along basement windows. Pour a solid line in areas of ant activity – as with chalk, they won't cross it.
The best thing against roaches is 20 Mule Team Borax laundry additive (cheaper than, and just as good as, anything with labeled claims to act against roaches), boric acid (hydrated sodium borate), mixed with sugar and placed where roaches roam but children and pets can’t get at it. If the piles remain undisturbed, sprinkle more sugar onto your borax piles and mix with a toothpick again. Borax can suppress metabolic processes; as a result it can be used to keep insects at bay, as well as control bacteria and fungi.

Lastly, a cool recipe:
Vanilla Wafers were made from scratch at home long before Nabisco
introduced the lightweight, poker chip-like packaged cookies in
1945. In the 60s Nabisco re-named thec Nilla Wafers - about 100 to a box. You can
relive the days of old with a homemade version fresh out of the oven:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon water

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Cream together sugars, shortening, egg, vanilla, and salt in a
large bowl.

3. Add the flour and baking powder. Add 1 tablespoon of water and
continue mixing until dough forms a ball.

4. Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls and flatten slightly onto a
lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until
cookies are light brown. and, just found on FB: Cream of tartar is one of nature’s best bleaching agents. Cream of tartar, a.k.a “crusted wine,” is mixed with baking soda to create baking powder (bet you didn't know that.. okay, some of you probably did, you smartypants). While it is an acid, it’s not harmful. It’s an acidic salt which comes from grapes.
Use a few tablespoons of cream of tartar with hot water or hydrogen peroxide and clean any aluminum pans which have discoloration or any rusty drains, pans, or stains. Do you have copper kettles? Mix some cream of tarter with lemon juice and rub the copper with it. For a porcelain sink, tub, commode? Rub the porcelain surfaces with cream of tartar and watch the stains disappear. Fabric stains? Mix a few teaspoons of cream of tartar with some glycerin and use like spray-and-wash. The results? Well, I’m here to tell you that this stuff cured the ring around Joshua’s shirt collars. Just need a great nonabrasive cleaner? Mix 2 teaspoons of vinegar and 2 teaspoon of cream of tartar in a small dish (use 3 or 4 teaspoons of vinegar and 3 or 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar if you have more items to clean). Apply with your cleaning rag or scrub brush and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Scrub. Wash with hot soapy water.
Lemon juice, virgin olive oil, magnesium citrate, baking soda, apple-cider vinegar and various herbs are said to help pass or dissolve kidney stones, but I'd take that with a grain of salt - figuratively! Baking soda contains sodium, read salt, and my doctors recommended lowering salt intake when they noticed that I had kidney stones. Some say the salt thing is misguided, and I suspect that sometimes it most certainly is. My doctors say drink 2 liters of water - not tea or juice but WATER - a day; others say tea helps just as well. I doubt soda pop does, though. A doctor prescribed calcium carbonate for me for the residual stone dust after the big ones were smashed to bits, but it didn't agree with me, and I suspect baking soda, and especially lemon juice might not altogether agree with me either.