sparkle, motion

What is glitter? GLITTER IS LIFE!

This NYT feature on the history, science, and cultural import of the greatest substance on earth is utterly delightful. It is also absolutely iridescent with fun facts and brutal truths:

  • “The primary functions of glitter are, of course, aesthetic; glitter exists so that glitter can be put on things that do not have glitter on them: Popsicle sticks, stuffed animals’ irises; Newt Gingrich.”
  • “The concrete floor was finely coated with what appeared to be crushed moonbeams. The forklift winked with shiny crimson flecks. The metal coils of the conveyor belt shone with a rainbow crust. And yet, the space gave the impression of being tidy and well-swept, not unlike a Dust Bowl kitchen if the prairie topsoil had been Technicolor.”
  • “Because glitter is difficult to remove completely from an area into which it has been introduced, and because individual varieties can be distinguished under a microscope, it can serve as useful crime scene evidence” (Ed. note: Glittercrimes is my new band name.)
  • And now the bad news: “’glitter is a petroleum product. It comes directly from fossil fuels, and fossil fuels are a very finite resource and we’re using them to make completely disposable things.’ (There are natural sources of glittery effects, too, like mica, a substance used in many cosmetics. It is mainly harvested from India, frequently in illegal mines, by children.)”