Thursday, December 22, 2011


In a moment of extreme happiness I'd like to say that I now have TWO (not, ONE, not THREE, but what's between) Android running devices!

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (Aka Neblet)
Neblet's been with me for a while. Proven to be a wonderful friend during lectures.
  • Light 
  • Easy to carry
  • Functions as tablet
  • Functions as netbook
  • Easy to take notes on (though I need to type a bit harder than a normal computer but I type hard anyways)
  • Android runs beautifully 
  • Touch screen is sensitive 
  • I CAN DRAW ON IT (wonderful for those lectures when I have to draw)
  • Angry birds. Free. 

The LG Optimus 2X (Aka <Currently Unnamed>)
I am now going to put my phone sim card into this device... it's not working very well since I'm having difficulty opening the darned thing... After much struggle I have managed to open the backing. I see a place for a microSD card! My gosh I really have to get myself one of those... Battery now in... according to the Fido guy this battery actually has no juice and I'll have to charge it up before being able to explore... oh well. Now to take the sim card out of my current Sony Ericsson. Done. That was easy. Oh no! I see potential problems putting sim card into LG... Oh my gosh I think I damaged the plastic on the top of the sim card... No matter. On-wards to the charging!

So as I'm charging the phone I'm also snooping around the box. IT COMES WITH EARPHONES THAT HAVE MICS! This is somewhat a punch to my inner guts because I actually went earphone shopping a while back (a few days ago) and was looking for earphones with mics but couldn't find one so I made do with a normal earphone. Then I proceeded to open the packaging madly, tearing apart the cardboard with no thought of what I would do if I ever wanted to return the thing. So... now I have extra earphones. 

CHARGED... ish... Why sim card not being read? Worried... sim card working in old phone... Oh I put it in backwards that's why... FAIL!

So I finally got it all in perfect working order. I've synced everything together. It's quite a nice feeling. Now I'm out of things to type about. So here's an unnecessary photo of my desk from a long time ago.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why your diet won't work

My mind has just been dazzled by this video. It's one and a half hours of time but truly worth the effort and may possibly save your life.


  • Today High Fructose Corn Syrup is used in basically every processed food as a substitute for regular sugar since fructose is much sweeter
  • Sucrose (made up of 1 glucose and 1 fructose) is also found everywhere since it is also sweeter and cheaper than glucose
  • Fructose is evil
  • Fructose is metabolized ONLY in the liver through a pathway similar to alcohol
  • 30% of Fructose turns into fat whereas less than 1% of glucose turns into fat
  • Fructose turns off brain sensitivity to hormones involved in feelings of satiety after meals so you never feel full
  • Fructose can desensitize cells to insulin to cause Type II diabetes 
  • One pop drink or fruit juice is basically one serving of food; but you still don't feel full
The real issue here, I think, is the fact that we're quite addicted to sugar. I mean a day without cake for me is hardly a day worth living (I exaggerate only slightly). And after checking most of the foods in my apartment at the time I have discovered that BREAD has glucose-fructose! IT'S EVERYWHERE!!!

Though really I guess I shouldn't panic so much, it's not like I binge eat sugar.. oh wait maybe I do.

Luckily my regular diet (when parents are cooking) is relatively sugar free, and this video did explain why I've suddenly gained 5 pounds since entering university. No it's not freshmen-15, it's because ever since university came I've been eating while studying. And since I study a lot I eat a lot. And I eat candy and chocolate and other high-sugar (high-fructose) snacks.

But to cut sugar completely out of my diet is not going to work... will reducing be enough? It seems fruit juice is my major contributor to this sugar at home, so I suppose I'll just have tea instead now. Simple enough. The real issue lies in the fact that as I'm writing this blog I'm also eating Ferrero Rocher that my roommate gave me as a Christmas gift. I'm almost half way done. This can't be good for me.

But sadly my self-control is not good enough. I'll just run madly around my house and speed up my metabolism with hopes that the citrate will all get used up before it can leak out of the mitochondria to start the VLDL formation.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Idea that will not work

Studying biochemistry: Sudden idea came to mind. What if we could take all the enzymes involved in glycolysis, make it a pill, and eat that with every meal? Then the sugars will get broken down inside our stomach and we won't get insulin release and therefore it'll be like we never ate!

But then I realized problems...

  • Those enzymes probably aren't designed to work in the acidic environment of the stomach
  • Even if they worked there'd be no NAD+ in the stomach 
  • And if we added NAD+ as part of the pill, I'm pretty sure I read an article saying that NADH can be absorbed through the intestines along with other small particles (like acetyl CoA)
  • So basically cells will still have access to the energy; they just don't have to do it themselves
  • Speaking of which there's probably no ATP in the stomach either, so that's something else that needs to be in the pill
  • Oh, and the enzymes will get degraded by proteases found in the stomach... because you know... digestion involves the degradation of proteins...
So then I thought, if a pill doesn't work, what if we made it an injection of sorts? So instead of an insulin injection, it'll be one full of everything you need for glycolysis! This will reduce blood glucose levels immediately and so insulin will not get released from the liver!

But more issues:
  • NADH in the blood... is that normal? Pretty sure it'll mess with pH levels
  • Speaking of pH levels, the blood has a different pH from cell cytosols so the enzymes won't be fully active
  • Also acetyl CoA can probably get transported through cells... Not 100% sure about that but it seems like something that's plausible 
So after talking with fellow science students about it the new idea that came up was an injection of a vesicle that had:
  • GLUT4 transporter: more glucose outside vesicle than inside; glucose flows in
  • Hexokinase: adds phosphate to glucose to trap it in vesicle while encouraging more glucose in due to concentration gradient
Then my friend told me that it didn't have to be so complicated and that we could just find something to bind to glucose in the blood and ensure it doesn't get into cells. But then the issue is how to get rid of this glucose-binded molecule since it'll likely be too big for filtration at the kidneys.

We went on brainstorming and I was quite pleased that from our simple undergraduate level of biochemistry understanding we were actually able to come up with so many ideas. It really did feel like what science was all about. Sure it may seem like we're just memorizing random useless information at times, but it's the application of all the information into potentially applicable ideas that really is the end result. 

I remember my summer research prof telling me, "No one likes doing the repetitive work, but we really have to take some time once in a while to remember why we're doing the work and to think of possibilities and come up with ideas. And you can't do that unless you do the work and get the results first."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

We're all going to die


Summary: Scientists have created a SUPER VIRUS from the avian H5N1 flu virus that now has the ability to infect humans.

H5N1 is usually a virus found in birds. Researchers infected a few ferrets with it, since apparently ferrets have similar immune systems to humans. Result: Virus can now infect people. Did I mention this virus is predicted to be able to kill off half the human population? That's 1/2. 50%. ~3.5 billion people dead.

Scary thought? Don't worry about it!

The real problem right now isn't if there will be a man-made epidemic, you see these scientists aren't so careless as to allow this new virus outside the lab. There are many safety procedures against that.

The issue here is if these scientists should be allowed to publish their work. This is a great achievement in biology and science after all... but recall current beliefs that the next world war will be fought with biological weapons. And these scientists have basically created possibly the most deadly weapon of that sort... and if they publish they'll be making the methods they used public.

Public meaning anyone has access to it, other scientists, innocent undergrads and the bio-terrorists.

So obviously they shouldn't be allowed to publish right? But the methods in this study could potentially open the scientific field up to novel ideas regarding infectious diseases. If we can mutate a disease to become infectious, we can do the opposite too can't we? The more we understand infectious diseases the more of a chance we have of finding a way to temper with their mechanisms of survival, thus saving ourselves.

So while the big guys figure out the legal details, all we regular folks can do is sit pitifully and await the results. Who knows? Maybe their methods used extremely expensive equipment that only the Netherlands can afford...

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Where'd all my ideas go?

Start rant:

  • Feeling extremely uninspired these days
  • Can't come up with new ideas
  • Unmotivated
  • Completely lost own opinion on life
  • Life is bland
  • Feels like the future's about to hit me in the face but I still can't see it very clearly
End rant.

Annoying drama aside, I actually do feel quite vague. Yes, I feel vague. There's no other word that seems to accurately describe it.

I just feel like there's nothing new in life. 

Obvious solution is to go do something new, but I have absolutely no motivation to do so. I feel like I'm just sitting around doing nothing of importance and yet perfectly fine with that. And the fact that I'm fine with it is what I'm not fine with. Did that even make sense? 

Point is, I'm uninspired and have no motivation to seek inspiration. And although it's quite clear that inspiration isn't going to go out its way to find me, I can't muster up the motivation to be the seeker. I guess I feel like everything that I want to do, I can't do. And to a point it reminds me of the Alchemist (Paulo Coelho), am I going to be one of the many people who'll never find my "personal legend"? 

So I've decided that no matter what happens, when I have a child, I'll support him/her to whatever his/her choice is... but as I made this decision I'd also rather not be blamed for not providing good guidance. It's quite annoying to try to do what you want in life when we live in a world where it seems like everything's against you rather than with you. And life just continues on without any mind to you. 

At the end of the day, it still feels like nothing you do matters while everything you don't does. I feel like society has become too rigid, making demands of us and forcing us into our assigned roles then trapping us there. I want to be able to explore the world without worries. I want to be able to make it through life piece by piece, working up to the end rather than throwing my youth away for the end result. I want to stop and smell the flowers, hell even make a basket of them along the way, but instead I find my eyes always looking down the road searching for... something spectacular. But by the time I reach it, I'm already looking on ahead for something else. 

But even though I know this, I can't listen to it. I'm not stubborn enough to believe in myself to the point where I'll allow myself to slow down. To a point I'm almost scared of believing that I can do whatever I want, simply because I'll have no excuse to not follow my heart. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Things to do with paper stars

I was folding paper stars today out of boredom from studying. It's always a nice way to relax. At the present time I've got a nice box of stars.


Ok, so it's not that many stars, I just started ok?! Regardless, I realized it would probably be a good idea if I took the time to figure out what the heck I'm going to do with all these stars after I get a bigger buildup of them. 

Time to think.

Fill up a jar 
This works as a great gift idea, also a great decoration for the house. Sadly I've already got a jar that kinda just sits on my desk without a purpose. Also, the real jars made for holding these stars are actually rather expensive, and I'd feel terrible giving away stars in some random leftover container that happens to be see-through. But this is also the easiest go-to method to desposing of these stars. In all actuality I do make the majority of my stars with the intention of giving them away eventually, I just never find the time to get a nice jar for them. 

Use them as gift packaging
This is a new idea I've started recently. Since I have a whole bunch of stars anyways, why don't I use them to package gifts? Esspicially when giving away jewlery boxes and the like, add some stars to the box and it turns out pretty cute. At first sight the receipent thinks (s)he's been given a box of stars, but in reality the stars are just there to mask the true gift! How cute! 

String them up
I really would like to do this... but I have a feeling that it'll require precise work with a needle. Though I think it'd be pretty cool to have paper stars stringed up and tapped above my bed. Forget those childish glow-in-the-dark stick-on stars, I've got 3D dangling stars! 

Use them as weapons
Yes I do know about the paper ninja stars:

But that takes way too much time to fold, and you only get to throw it once. Whereas with puffed up paper stars, you can have a whole bunch to shoot off at people. Make one fast and chuck it away! 

Make Jewelry 
Either get the legit earring making stuff or just thread some up for a bracelet. It probably won't last very long but these stars are practically endless anyways. 

Write messages
So you might know that most star paper is blank on one side. It is therefore possible to write secret messages in it. I have done so before. Of course, no one knows because no one will bother opening every single star I attack them with. For all you know, I could have threw you a star in which I apologized for stealing that $20 from your wallet that one time you lost $20... but you'll never know. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Key to Productivity?

I just deactivated my facebook.

Why you might ask? I think you know why, it's because of this:
Am I being paranoid? Probably. But that's not the only reason I deactivated. You see, I got facebook only 2 years ago and I have recently begun the pondering of why that is. In fact for most of high school I've refused all facebook invites with a strict belief that if peope really wanted to keep in contact with me, there are countless other ways of doing so. But now it seems few people are very fond of the idea of sending nice emails or a simple text. In fact, thinking about it nowadays, I don't often talk on the PHONE much either!

So I decided that I shall return to that former mentality and just start emailing people instead of posting on their wall. After all, that is the point of a wall post... in a way. Actually a wall post is a lot more public, it's basically screaming for people to see your conversation with a friend.

I would continue my rant on facebook, but really it's all common sense. Instead I shall list how productive I've been without it!

  • Biochem giant study sheet completed
  • Physio study sheet started
  • Bio study sheet started
  • Wrote this blog post
  • Finished anthro chapter
  • Checked Google+ every 10min instead of facebook
  • Found nothing really happens on G+ which forced me to be productive 
  • Cleaned out gmail (I'm trying to get my memory usage down to 1337MB)
Also I was so relaxed that I decided to take a nice hot bath. Sadly I got a slight case of heat stroke from being in the bath too long and forgetting that the water was extremely hot. Yes, this stuff does happen.


Reactivated it... with the intention of using it for networking purposes ONLY! Realized I needed to get this one person's email; but didn't have it... it's on their facebook. Darned publicity... 

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Getting sick pre-flu season

Every winter I generally go through 3 sicknesses. 2 minor, and 1 extremely major.

Looking back at high school I recall once my major sickness happened during December exams. I OD'd on advil and scraped a decent mark by my standards.

First year university my stommy randomly one night decided to make me vomit mid way through my peaceful slumber. I was out for another day or so.

This year I'm hoping that my current flu/cough/cold/w/e is going to be my major sickness of the winter. I've fallen at least a week behind, if not more. In fact I was burning up a fever one night in my apartment when my roommate went home for the night. Alone and without medication, I then proceeded to make some lamb soup and pitifully forced myself to drink it hot while bundled in my blanket to try to break the fever.

Luckily it worked, sadly I was left with terrible aches on my body and head. And so this weekend has been rather unproductive as well.

Anyways I don't really have any particular point to make with this entry since I really just wanted to complain. But today my headache isn't so strong anymore so hopefully I can get my biology pre-lab done...



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cooking Adventures

I have started cooking to survive. This is because I am no longer with my parental units. Below are multiple attempts at creating edible foods within the past week.

Bok Choy:
Attempt 1: Success
1/4 bag of baby bok choy, fried with 1 clove of garlic. Add salt and soy sauce. 
Rated: 3/5 (edible)

Attempt 2: Fail
Same ingredients and procedure as attempt 1, only this time I added oyster sauce. Problem was that I did not cook for as long of a time so some of the bok choy did not fully cook. Later used to make fried rice. 
Rating: 2/5 (Can be force fed)

Attempt 1: Fail
Baked in oven at 375 degrees F for ~1 hour. Then smothered in chicken broth hoping that it might taste good. Realized mid-way through that chicken was not fully cooked. Proceeded to microwave it in hopes of cooking it through. Did not work as intended. 
Rating: 1/5 (Not edible)

Attempt 2: Unknown
I intended to cook chicken some other way yesterday but I was lazy and went out for dinner instead.

Attempt 1: Success
1 egg, 1 cup flour, 1 1/2 cup milk. Cooked in butter greased pan. Topped with strawberries, whipped cream, chocolate chips and honey. 
Rating: 5/5 (No leftovers)

Attempt 1: Success
Half a cucumber fried with pork pieces. Added soy sauce and salt.
Rating: 4/5 (Ate it all)

Red peppers
Attempt 1: Success
Stir fried red peppers with onion and pork pieces. Added salt and hot sauce.
Rating: 4/5 (Will not last in fridge for another day)

Lamb Soup
Attempt 1: Success
Lamb slices (like the ones used for hot pot), baby bok choy, half an onion, ginger and green onion. And water. Added salt and soy sauce.
Rating: 5/5 (Must make again)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Action Typing and Parentheses

Ever been on some chat and expressed an action using typed words? For example:
  • *sigh*
  • -facepalm-
  • <headdesk>
  • [sob]
It's always worked simply enough in the past. In fact, I was quite fond of using the *action* asterisks to demonstrate an action via chat. However, recently I have started using google chat more than normal msn. And in google chat, using asterisks serves to bold a word and hence the asterisks are no longer seen in chat. This is a problem because when I want to sigh, I'd like to express it as *sigh* rather than sigh

So I resorted to using the -action- dashes. At first this seemed a wonderful idea, when used on facebook and MSN with little trouble. However, GOOGLE COMPLICATES MY LIFE. For you see, -sigh- on google turns into sigh! A brilliant move on their part since I can now easily make crossed out words jokes, however again I found it difficult to describe an action! 

Then I decided I would use some form of parentheses to signify an action. Now there were many forms of parentheses to choose from...

Square parentheses [action]:
For those who often use quotations, you'll know that the square parentheses are used to add in or change a word within a quote. So if you wanted to use a quote, "This is a quote." in a sentence and be grammatically correct with caps, you'd have to write it as "[t]his is a quote." Also if someone said something but the subject was not in the quote, you'd have to add in a [he] or [she] within the quote so it made sense. "[She] gave a quote." I would rather not cause confusion between quotes and my actions so I did not use square parentheses to signify actions.

Squiggly parentheses {action}:
I have never used these parentheses... in fact I'm not really sure what they're used for outside of showing domain and range in math class... Thing is using these parentheses to signify action just looks odd to me... I don't feel like a {sigh} really shows my sigh... in fact it looks like a thought bubble to me... as though I'm thinking about sighing but not actually sighing...

Round parentheses (action): 
Round parentheses I often use to add in other phrases within my phrases (because I often like getting side tracked when I type) or when I'm adding in some form of example of what I'm talking about (eg. Right now). Hence to use them to signify an action will only cause confusion ("is she sighing right now, or is she just stating that as another idea or example?")

Weird obtuse triangular parentheses:
I can't make these things (refer to 4th parentheses in image above)... at least without using the alt + ### so let's just forget about their existence...

Normal triangular parentheses <action>:
These parentheses are used in HTML and many codes. In normal conversation I use them to create fill-in-the-blanks. Sometimes if I don't want to mention names or other things I'll say that <insert name here> did <insert action here>. Now I suppose I can take this already set in place rule to sigh by <insert sigh>... but... it's not the same... 

So for now I'm going to use {action} for a while to see if this strange thought bubble shaped parentheses is capable of fully expressing my actions. If I decide it's not up to the task, well... I could always resort to the underscore _action_ unless that causes my text to be underlined on google chat... Oh actually it causes italics! Great... just great...

Friday, August 26, 2011

"It works"

My brother likes crying. As 5-year-olds sometimes do. My parents can't stand it.

The other day my mom asked my brother why he cried when he was having a play-date over. His reply, "I wanted my friend to stop, but she wouldn't stop! If I cry then you come over and make her stop! It works!"

It's true. It worked. And it still works. Every. Single. Time.

Basic human psychology here I guess, toddler kid cries--> parents are alerted that there is *something* that's causing their wonderly-adorable-innocent child discomfort. Parents dislike the thought that their child is experiencing mild displeasure. Parents MUST intervene.

Which is all great and wonderful for the most part, parental love and all that, but when the child is especially brilliant (as my brother is <insert ego here>) they start abusing this basic protection right.

Fact is, my brother knows perfectly well that if he cries, he'll get attention. So he cries. And he gets attention. This basic form of "lying" is actually pretty smart if you think about it. Whereas some children and nice a quiet and doesn't ask for things, my brother will go out of his way to manipulate the minds of our parents in order to get what he wants.

Case 1: Brother tells mother his stomach hurts and asks to come home from daycare. Mother says no. He then proceeds to tell her that not only does his stomach hurt, his fingers, feet and head hurt as well!

Case 2: Brother not good at soccer in his soccer camp. The best soccer player gets a lot of attention (which brother obviously wants). Brother starts yelling crude comments and doing weird dances during games causing his friends to laugh and the teacher to talk to him.

Case 3: Brother doesn't want to eat dinner. He complains of stomach aches. Parents remain firm on the fact that he needs to eat. Brother then needs to go to the washroom. 5 times. Repeatedly. Oh, and he was tired and wants to sleep as well.

Now ego aside, I'm sure most kids do this. Because they want the attention. So it becomes the parent's job to not spoil their child too much, or else their future becomes:
Still, you got to give the kids some respect for going through the struggles of attempting to psychologically manipulate their parents. It's almost... sinister.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


After using google + for a while. I have come to a valid conclusion of how to describe it to people.

Imagine Facebook and Twitter had a baby. Then Google kidnapped it and made Youtube teach it some lessons. Skype was the surrogate mother.

And that's Google+

Thing was, Skype never wanted to have Google+, but was forced into carrying the child unwillingly. Realizing the potential dangers that Google will become with the plus sign made Skype finally submit to Microsoft.

Hearing of this, Facebook, who was still pissed at Google for stealing the child, decides to team up with Microsoft... sort of. Rather, Facebook decides to let Skype help out around the home, so really it's not like Microsoft and Facebook "teamed up" against Google, more like Facebook thought Skype was cool and wanted to hang out more.

All things aside though, here's a list of things I want Google to add to Google+. Whether they do it or not may sadden me.

  • Let me post on other people's profiles: facebook's wall idea was quite ingenious mostly for that
  • Let me share my Google Calendar with people in specific circles
  • Have a link to people's blogs that'll update on their profile so I don't have to use the blogger reading list to know when someone updated
  • Share documents via Google docs: Good for people who want to edit each others works or stuff like that
  • Allow separate news feeds for each circle since I care more about certain people's lives than others
  • Allow me to share a post with all my circles EXCEPT one (instead of having to click all the circles I have except one I can just choose "Exclude <circle name here>" or something)
Otherwise I'm curious as to what other new contraptions Google will come up with for their newest interweb spawn. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Lack of true emotional responses

Ever hear a piece of news and have a reaction to it, only to realize afterwards that your reaction was not socially proper?

Today my brother said he was being bullied in summer camp. Apparently some kid told him his face was ugly then encouraged the rest of the class to laugh at him.


After a few split seconds I had another reaction: lol, kids these days with their idiotic insults


And then: Well kids are kids and they don't have the ability to come up with anything better... they'll learn

Which finally concluded to: Hey, I dealt with bullies when I was a kid, my brother'll just have to learn to do the same thing. It'll strengthen him up if he survives it.

But does this mean I will sit by calmly and allow some random kid to bully my brother? Actually yes I think I will... but at the same time I certainly don't think I would if I had not had a secondary emotional response.

Lately (some time ago) I've been reconsidering what makes a person who they are (nature/nurture). And I say it's the former (nature).

At this moment there is actually nothing I'd like better than to find the kid who told my brother his face was ugly and demand an apology for such insolence. But of course, I won't. A: it'll be pointless since screaming at little children does not look very good and B: I doubt the kid knew what (s)he was doing. So following through my multiple reactions to the news of my brother's bully I've concluded that my instinctive self is of an evil and selfish nature.

It may be cynical, but I stand by the belief that as a person, individually, all human beings are evil and selfish. The only reason we're good is because it's to our benefit to be selfless.

Consider this: You're lost and alone on an island. What do you do? You survive; killing innocent animals. If you're trying to be selfless and vegetarian, you kill innocent plants. If you choose to not kill or hurt ANYTHING, you die. Selflessness kills.

Now consider you're lost but not alone on the same island. The number of prey and resources has not increased. But in this situation it'd probably be a good idea to partner up with whoever else is with you as to increase your chances of survival. Out of selfishness for your own survival, you'd probably be willing to share food and water. If you were truly selfless you'd hunt and gather resources with the other person but eat and use nothing. This results in your death.

Now maybe the other person's a better hunter so you allow them to eat more, to increase their chances of survival since they can increase your own chances of survival. But I truly cannot think of a good reason to offer them more food otherwise. Unless you're just a nice person and would feel bad if they didn't eat more than you (in which case you're only being nice to avoid the guilt you'd feel otherwise).

I suppose in the end I feel like a functional society is the only reason we're even nice to each other at all.

Back to the case of my brother, society has deemed it unacceptable for me to yell at the bully, and... well if we didn't have other people around the whole incident wouldn't even have happened.

This is why I like it much better living on the island in my head. I can be as selfish and evil as I want and it would not impair me IRL at all.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Highway Lanes

Just went on a family road trip to the USA. I drove 1/3 of the time. We rotated between people (my parents and I) so that no one drove for more than 2 hours. I discovered some key points about highway safety. Namely the unique identity of each lane.

Firstly the difference between a highway and a normal road is that there are no red lights or stop signs on highways. That being said cars drive faster. But you knew all that.

Highways come in 3 varieties for me, the 2-lanes, 3-lanes and 4+- lanes. I shall now attempt to use my ascii skills to explain the essentials about each lane.

2-Lane Highways

These highways are usually located in rural areas or places that don't usually get a lot of traffic.

Right-hand lane          <-- {car}      <-- [truck]  
Left-hand lane    <--- {car}     <---- {car}               <--- {car}

In Right-hand lane (90-115 km/h)

  • Trucks: they can't drive too fast, they run on a different speed limit and it's generally more dangerous if a giant truck crashes. Momentum and what not.
  • Cars getting on and off the highway
  • Cars that follow the speed limit
  • Cars that're are lazy and want to just cruise by
  • Cars that have a hard time accelerating 
In Left-hand lane (115+ km/h)
  • Cars attempting to get to their destination faster
  • Cars that are trying to overtake slower cars in right-hand lane
  • Extremely reckless drivers
3-Lane Highways

These highways are usually still found in rural or less crowded areas, but generally come from or are going to a major city.

Right-hand lane         <-- [truck]          <- {car}
Middle lane         <-- {car}               <-- {car}          <-- [truck]
Left-hand lane           <--- {car}                   <------ {car}

Right-hand Lane (90-110 km/h)
  • Trucks
  • Cars getting on and off of highway
  • Cars driving religious by the speed limit
Middle Lane (110-120 km/h)
  • Cars just cruising by
  • Some trucks
  • Cars trying to over take slow vehicles in the right-hand lane
Left-hand Lane (120+ km/h)
  • Cars trying to over take a relatively slow care in the middle lane 
  • Insane speeding drivers
Often I find that the right-hand lane can turn into a faster lane because a lazy cruising driver in the middle lane's slowing people down and people are more wary of being in the left-hand lane where the insane speeders drive. In fact these categories are just a general thing, once the left-hand lane turned into the slowest lane for me. 

I'm not going to bother commenting on highways with more than 3 lanes because there, anything goes. And there's that added complexity of the High Occupancy Lane sometimes for major highways. 

All in all, I think this road trip was extremely educational. 

Friday, July 01, 2011

Sometimes when you think all is well...

There's a problem.

I had a blood test yesterday. I don't like blood tests. It's taken me all my life to over come my general panic at seeing needles. I over came this panic by generally not looking at the needle that's about to invade my body. I also pinch myself elsewhere while the needle is being injected to distract my mind from it's presence.

And for most vaccine shots and such it works. In fact I had another blood test a while back this year during which my panic-avoiding technique also worked. But yesterday I discovered there may be another problem I need to over come when it comes to blood tests.

So here's the full story.

We got a new family doctor and she recommended I do a blood test since I show Raynaud's Sydrome. So we went to do a blood test. It was one of those 12-hour fast blood tests so I wasn't in the best mood going in, but managed to avoid the tense panic and got a tube of blood taken out. Then I looked over and mildly thought to myself, "oh hey, that's my blood." before going to do the urine sample.

As soon as I stood up I started feeling dizzy, I contributed that to my hunger. But as I got to the washroom nausea kicked in. After hyperventilating for a moment, I went back out to find the nurse and said I was feeling light-headed. By this point the room was spinning. I recall the nurse helping me me to a room and telling me to lay down. During the walk to the room there were moments when I couldn't see and the world was so surreal that I swore I was dreaming. By the time I got to the room I blacked out completely.

Luckily I was only out for a few seconds, once I laid down I'm assuming blood managed to rush back to my brain and I was able to ask for a cup of water. It wasn't really a traumatic experience, but its implications aren't good.

Early this year I was with my mom when I tripped and got a cut on my big toe while bringing my brother to his school. At the time I didn't think much of it since I've gotten cuts before and the drive home would only be 2 minutes. But I remember as soon as I sat in the car I was already feeling nauseous, and I distinctively remember pulling the seat back so I could lay down a bit. Once we got home, after getting in the house I was feeling so light-headed that I collapsed on the floor, leaving my poor mother in panic over what the heck just happened. After a moment she brought me a drink and we band-aided the cut.

With all the evidence so far I'm pretty sure I faint at the sight of my own blood. Both times of which I fainted involved me seeing my own blood. I spoke of another blood test I had earlier this year that went well, well I didn't see my blood in a tube after the test so other than the mild pain in my arm there was no sign that I had lost any blood at all. I also tend to my brother's blood wounds without a problem.

Now the question is why I didn't notice this earlier, did puberty change my psychological responses? I don't recall fainting for previous cuts or blood tests... Either way I feel like I should get to the bottom of this issue soon.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I just had a conversation with my brother and his friend. It went something like this:

Brother: Sis it's not listening to me
Me: -rushes over- What's not listening to you?
Brother: My head isn't listenin-
Friend: -giggling- NO NO! OUR SOCKS!
Brother: -also giggling- Ya, our socks aren't listening to us.
Friend: Ya my sock won't listen
Me: Ok... so what do you want me to do about this?
-Mild silence-
Brother: I want to punch my sock
Friend: -punching his right foot- Ya I want to punch my sock too
Me: Ok then you guys go punch your socks.
-They punch their feet as I leave laughing wildly-

Sometimes I wonder what goes on in their heads. I don't recall being extremely strange when I was their age (Five-years-old), and I do remember being that age. The strangest thing I ever did was play pretend with my parents (I was the teacher and they were my students)... which isn't really that strange.

My dear brother also thought it would be pretty funny to tell me that his bum was on fire the other day. He waltzed into my room and shouted -between laughing hysterically- about how there was fire on his bum. Apparently it was the greatest joke of the century, but sadly I did not understand the humour.

There seems to be something incredibly funny about using "bad words" and insults as well. In their case "stupid poopy head" is a terribly brilliant insult. I understand this, after all if anyone dares call me a stupid poopy head, I wouldn't be very happy (despite my initial laughter of course).

For some reason I don't recall being so giddy about these "bad words" and odd jokes... is it a gender/sex thing?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011



I'm very excited about this as you can tell. The best part is I found out I got in via EMAIL! That's right; the undergrad coordinator assistant EMAILS people who got in! I would write more about how great this is but I have to go be happy now.

Monday, June 20, 2011

From birds to fish

We got a betta fish!

My brother named him/her Pearl. We bought Pearl because my brother would not stop demanding a pet. Now normally we've been able to distract his attention; but it just so happened that we took him out to play and he found a baby bird. He wanted to keep it as a pet; which we of course said no to. We went on a tedious explanation of how the baby bird had to stay with its mommy and daddy we would continue to care for it even though it's not in a nest (we were unsure where its original nest was but once in a while a big bird would come feed it).

Of course my brother refused to listen to logic. No matter, he decided he didn't want the baby bird anymore; he wanted a guinea pig. But my parents dislike things with fur. So I told him we could buy a fish. After a few minutes of convincing him that fish were awesome, our family came to agreement. And we got Pearl.

Not the most exciting story, I know, but the similarities between my brother's and my own childhood really struck me. I remember asking for a pet when I was younger; only to be turned down. On one occasion (after realizing that my parents would refuse to buy a cat or dog) I asked for a bird. When I was very young we used to have parrots until we moved. I thought that asking for a bird was an ingenious idea since we had them before! But it seems my parents, having taken care of birds before, didn't want to do it again. So then I asked for a hamster. Again I faced bitter rejection. It was then that I learned of my parent's dislike of fur/feathers/warm-blooded creatures.

I considered asking for a snake but decided to just play it completely safe and asked for a fish. They bought me the fish.

My fish died 3 days after we got it. I seemed to have a history with fish actually. When I was very young I remember going with my father to a pond and catching a little tadpole shaped fish. We had goldfish back at home back then so we just added the tadpole fish to our goldfish bowl. I then came up with the horrible idea that the big goldfish would try to eat the little tadpole fish. And so, complimenting myself on how much I cared about the safety of my fish, I took scissors and proceeded to stick them into the fish bowl to keep the goldfish as far away from the tadpole fish as the little fish bowl allowed. Luckily no fish died... actually I'm not sure what happened to the tadpole fish since it was gone the next day... perhaps even with my best efforts at hand the tadpole fish still turned into goldfish food.

But that was a story from my early childhood when I had no sense. As for the fish I got after my endless pet-wanting pestering died, I just gave up on my asking for pets.

So far Pearl's survived his/her first 2 days in our house and I feel like (s)he'll last. Betta fish are strong. And I will watch my brother carefully and keep him away from scissors and other sharp objects that can potentially endanger Pearl's life. He shall learn from my mistakes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sober Drunk

A friend recently told me that alcohol brings out a person's true nature. I raised my eyebrow and then the statement was changed to "alcohol amplifies a person's true self." My eyebrow remained raised. Statement now stands as "alcohol removes the usual social constraints."

Now usually this should all be common sense and what not, but I have a slight problem with it. Why do social constraints exist? Some of them keep us from hurting each other. Some of them keep us from killing ourselves. And some of them make sure we don't tell our secrets to others. The first two are fine and I can totally understand the use in social constraints at those levels. Now as for the secrets... this is where things start to bug me.

When a close friend drinks and ends up intoxicated and spills their life stories and insecurities, I'm not sure how to feel about it. A part of me thinks maybe they just need some help in expressing themselves and now that they've done it once it won't be a problem in the future. But then a part of me wonders if I'm worth hearing these secrets when clearly this friend did not tell me them when (s)he was sober.

Same with personality changes when intoxicated. Is that who they really are? If it is why aren't they always like that? Am I really that cold/harsh/intimidating that they have to put up a front for me? Flattering and all, but again; unsure how to feel about all that.

So now I ponder if there's such a thing as being sober drunk. A state of being when a person can fully decide to renounce all social constraints and have the freedom of being "drunk" without drinking. While in said state person must somehow not let their finer judgement (fear) get in the way of doing what they want. Also it would completely ruin the effect if the person could decide to escape the state of sober drunkness at anytime while in said state. So said person must make a mental effort to stay sober drunk for, per say, exactly the next hour. And just like that the sober drunk can be sober drunk for exactly an hour of their own willing being without the consumption of alcohol!

Ok, that might be going a bit far. But generally I don't think anything that an intoxicated person says really means much in the end. If they're madly in love with you and tell you; well great, now you know how they feel! But are you really going to be happy that said person wasn't going to tell you when (s)he was sober? Are they really in love with you if they can't admit to it before drinking a little something? Not to say they don't feel what they feel, but I suppose there's more to a secret than just the secret. I find what's more important sometimes is how the secret is shared, if it is. And if it isn't then, to me, it doesn't exist! And if the secret is 'shared' by ways of gossip, that's also quite a shame.

So I guess what I feel is that if there's a big important secret that cannot be shared; don't drink. If drinking is necessary then the secret must be shared maturely beforehand.

Lesson learned from writing this: reality should either be well hidden or plain in sight.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I make lists.

I'm a bit bored right now. So here's a list of some lists I'm going to make:

  1. List (that'd be this list)
  2. Ways to pass time
  3. Ways to stay healthy
  4. Fruits I like
  5. Places I want to visit again
Ways to pass time
  • Stare at walls
  • Read
  • Play computer games
  • Play games on game console
  • Fold origami
  • Run up and down the stairs at home until your legs feel numb
  • Clean
  • Organize
  • Plan for the future
  • Facebook
  • Write a story
  • Think of an object and write about why it's awesome
  • Play an instrument 
  • Study
  • Memorize something trivial 
  • Memorize something most people wouldn't have time to memorize (like Pi)
  • Start a Diary
  • Go Bike-riding
  • Find a park and walk around it
  • Find a forest and walk off the trail 
  • Photograph random things
  • Create Lists
Ways to stay healthy
  • Eat fruits and veggies
  • Sleep well
  • Sleep in darkness
  • Go walking or jogging or exercising in some way
  • Stay intellectually engaged
  • Smile
  • Laugh
  • Cry
  • Express yourself 
  • Talk to attractive people of the opposite gender (it releases endorphins, which are good for you)
Fruits I like
  • Apples (gala mostly and granny smith sometimes)
  • Grapes
  • Dragon fruit
  • Oranges
  • Pears (the soft ones)
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries (only if there aren't any blackberries)
  • Coconut 
  • Guava 
  • Bananas
  • Pomegranates
  • Avocado 
Places I want to visit again
  • Beijing
  • Shanghai
  • Shenzhen  
  • Yellow Mountain
  • Singapore
  • Cuba
  • New York 

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Motivation Hunt

I woke up this morning and considered overdosing on some over-the-counter drug so I wouldn't have to go through the rest of life.

That sounded really suicidal and emo, rest assured I never planned on doing that as it was merely a thought. Of course why did I have such a thought? Well I'm sure we all do at some point in life, especially when life is just boring or full of work. I have work to do, but I don't want to do it. If I read a book I'm being unproductive. If I study for MCAT... no that counts as work. So I thought; wouldn't it be great if I could just die right now?

No I do not want to die. Please don't assume that this is a secret plead for someone to come murder me. I enjoy living quite nicely. I'm just lacking a bit of motivation.

So I went on a motivation hunt! But I didn't know where to look. So I begun by trying to figure out what motivates me. Here's my list:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Candy
  3. Sleep
  4. Sims
  5. Wait.... these are all rewards for working
  6. Rewards
  7. Maybe the knowledge that I'm bettering humanity? 
  8. People smiling at me
  9. Being told I did a good job
  10. Being awesome
  11. Beating all the competition
  12. Rubbing it in their faces
  13. ... Cross that last
So in general it seems like in order for me to do my work, I need some sort of reward for it. Honestly that was a terrible list. Let me make a new one:
  1. Rewards
Ok. So in terms of rewards I tend to want one of 2 things; emotional comfort or physical comfort. Beating the competition and getting people smile at me are all emotional comforts. Candies and chocolates are physical comfort.

But then the real problem is that I can easily get access to most physical comforts without doing the work (unless the work is going up to get a candy). It's only the emotional comforts that require any work. However at this particular moment in time I am rather emotionally void. I don't really want any emotional comforts since my emotions are just fine. All I want are the physical comforts which I can access so easily. 

Am I going to disfavour myself and refrain from candy until I study for my MCAT? I really feel like it... In fact I'm feeling somewhat hungry now... I'm sure there's some chocolate somewhere in this house...

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Letter Writing: Makes you feel special

So for the sake of being awesome I wrote a letter that I plan on mailing off to a friend who lives in a far away city only reachable by plane today. Said friend also just reactivated facebook account, emails with me on a regular basis and is easily accessible by text message. But you know what? I sent her a letter; you know, the ones made of pen and paper rather than printer ink and paper?

As I wrote the letter I realized how terribly small the world is... It makes it so much harder to be intimate and confidential. I mean honestly, sure I can talk to friends via interwebs, but I can do that to everyone. In the old days you only talked to people you actually cared about because if you didn't care about them you wouldn't go through the long and time consuming act of writing out a long winded letter and sealing it and sending it and waiting for days to weeks on a reply. Today, I can send off a message and expect a reply in seconds. It's just something that I can do to talk to just anyone; which makes talking to friends like that lose the special appeal.

So I wrote cursive with an ink pen on pretty paper. Hope it's legible... regardless it was awesome and I feel like I should have worked by candle light and with a real ink pen:
It's so beautiful... I want one... but I doubt I'll ever get a real chance to use it properly, which sucks because again I'm forced to use modern technologies. 

Not that I don't like technology, it's wonderful and useful; but at the same time leaves me wondering if life would be better without it. It feels as though the ability to instantly communicate takes away from the intimacy of communication. I almost feel that something means more if one has to wait for it. 

And gosh do I have to wait for it now! Apparently there are random strikes going on in Canada Post... apparently letters are still being delivered but I'd assume that they're just trying to quench the public. Worst part is I recently realized how obsolete the mail delivery system is... Honestly if I want to write a letter I can email. If I need to get my bills, there's online billing. Advertisements and coupons get sent to my email and searched for over the interwebs. Paypal allows you to send money. If I want to make a package delivery there's UPS and FedEx. 

I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that Canada Post is basically obsolete in this modern day world. Is there any a case where there is a form of mail that can only be delivered via Post? I certainly can't think of any, but perhaps I'm just not thinking outside the box. (I was very tempted to type "outside the mailbox" just now...)

Still I hope I can finish all my letter writing soon and get everything delivered in time. It's also quite stressing that I just sent off a scholarship application via Canada Post and now I'm worried they won't ever get my application...

Thursday, June 02, 2011

July 4th: I await you

I am not American. I do not celebrate w/e they call their national day. July 1st is much more important to me. However, this year July 4th is pretty important too.

July 4th is when I find out if I got accepted into my program at UOT. Last year the average entrance GPA for this program was 3.86. This program is intense. And I want in.

It's especially nerve-wrecking for me to go on facebook and see some friends who already have their major/specialist etc listed under their education. In my head I'm just waiting for the day I can add my own specialist on my profile... It'd be an achievement I think. But then this got me thinking why I even care so much. I mean I know I'm going to get into this program; why am I making the update of my profile page such a big deal?

And this is true of lots of other things that get publicized via the interwebs. Ever see a friend's relationship status change and get a jolt of some feeling (either sympathy, jealousy, surprise etc)? I think today it's impossible not to live vicariously through your friends, after all every status update they make gets presented to everyone they know. People are so easy to stalk.

Of course there are the ones who really enjoy being at the top of the Top News. In fact I'm sure most of us would like to know that friends are looking at a status or photo or profile change. It makes us feel important I suppose? But then there goes all attempts to be modest about life, to keep yourself hidden, to not have to make your life seem interesting.

Honestly who cares about your life when everyone already has their own life to live? But that's exactly the problem because people somehow do care! We're constantly stalking each other trying to find the newest bits of gossip and news. We care about what other people think of us because we're constantly thinking about other people.

Now I would say, "starting from now on I won't care about any of you." But I can't do that without losing a few friends (or a lot of friends). At the end of the day we still cherish that feeling of being watched, of feeling like our life is good enough to be of importance to others. So perhaps we only think about other people so that other people will in turn think about us.

Now I wish I could make my own opinion on the topic and actually have a valid point, but that's not really me. But the fact that I still update this blog probably says a lot more about my inner stance on the topic than anything else.

But come July 4th, my profile page will be updated. But I might just hide it from the news feed.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My idea of a good book: One that make you cry and hate people

I read Unearthly by Cynthia Hand the other night (a long time ago because I left this entry unfinished). Actually that's a lie, I got to the second chapter then gave up. Below are my thoughts of the book written in real time while I read it:

Let this be a reminder to me to never judge a book by a cover.

Main character has been established (to me at least) to be a Mary Sue. Key note: being suppressed in school (Pg. 6: Called a “dorkina”) while secretly being capable of doing great things (Pg. 7: Ran too fast because she “wasn’t holding back”) and being of angel blood. The angel blood I don’t mind, picked the book up for it, but the entire mention that she was a fast runner was completely unnecessary. It was as though Hand was looking for an alternative to just having Clara tell us she was awesome, which she does anyways (pg. 12: Ohh, she heals faster and can randomly speak in other languages; awesome but there MUST be some other more creative way to tell us that).

The fact that she is suppose to look good (Pg. 13-14) is also unnecessary, I suppose it’s just a personal pet peeve when the author goes into a deep discussion over how wonderful their character looks (Comparison: Twilight). Note that what Clara believes are her short comings are actually traits that  considered impressive: being skinny “in a storklike, all-arms-and-legs sort of way” doesn’t change the fact that she’s skinny; a figure that today’s society considers attractive. And after going to such detail describing the magnificence of her eyes and their variety of colour changing abilities, she says they’re too big for her face. The hell; note that today big eyes are also considered attractive (Google “Circle Lens”). And after saying her hair is her best feature, she goes on to complain about it. Bella Swan (wait, that was the name of that girl from Twilight right? I can't remember...) anyone?
Oho! Her parents are split up as well… MORE Bella Swan anyone? And she seems to have a bad relationship with her father… my gosh I don’t know how many more clichés I can take here!
However I’m liking the idea of people with angel blood having a purpose in life. Good idea, done before I’m sure but the visions and general concept seem to be well set in place in the first little bit. Generally easy to understand the plot as it’s going along; character development… needs some work.

Finding it strange that all the information I get about Clara’s mother is that she looks angelic and acts angelic and while I understand she’s got angel blood, where’s the human side? Is there some dark sin she committed that is not being told yet? There had better be otherwise the lack of character in this book will infuriate me.
Also noted that Clara is the narrator… just realized I’m reading the inside of a teenaged mind… like she keeps like using the like word ‘like’ the way like a teen would like use it. INFURIATING!! However it does go along with the fact that she’s 17 and in that stage of life; more difficult for people who aren’t generally fond of YA fiction (like me) to cope with though.

Oh she just met him! Ahhh!! Cliched first love scene alert! Also she’s in a school with "pretty people" apparently… so unrealistic. And she’s good at math too but she also has to hide that...Why bother?
So she categorizes people as either pretty or not pretty… this is very effective as a YA fiction except putting an angel in with the “invisibles” is almost going against some rule here… By definition angels are suppose to be beautiful, in fact there was a section dedicated to Clara explaining her physical appearance which I have previously explained makes her an attractive person. Why is she not considered a “pretty” one? I have deeply confounded.

Wait wait... they named their clique? AHAHAHAHA!!! Ok, so I also named little friend groups before, but not anything like the "invisibles", are they somehow proud of it? I don't understand the logic of that name other than to make poor little Mary Sue seem like she's such a pitiable thing. And besides, group names should be a more intimate matter, not something to go around telling random newbies. This books seems like an adult take on what they believe high school now days is like.

Oh he's talking to her... Why is he talking to her randomly? Why could he not find sometime after school in private to talk to her? Why is this so cliché? NOOO!! SHE’S DESCRIBING HIS PHYSICAL APPEARANCE AS HOT!! Twilight Alert Triggered! Ok book officially dropped. Will Wiki rest of plot which actually might have been good if there was less clichéd teen fantasy romance. 

---End of real time reading frustrations---

I seem to highly dislike books that are meant to be read for fun. I actually often feel that my deep hatred of the Twilight series stemmed from the fact that it was such a happy book with a girl leading such an (dare I say it?) ideal life. Honestly I'm sure lots of hormone raged teenaged girls got their giddies reading the book; I skipped a good half of the book (probably more...). And now on GoodReads this Unearthly crap is getting only good reviews. Probably because most of the people who read it enjoy YA fiction in general. I only enjoy YA fiction it if it's got another genre thrown into the mix somewhere.

Honestly I feel like the point of a book is to take me to a place I haven't been before, or into a situation I could not imagine for myself. Hence my love of Fantasy and Sci-fi. But I've also found that some of the best books I've read involves a very good catharsis; usually proceeded by extremely agonizing pain.

-Book spoilers begin here for: Mists of Avalon, A Little Princess, Oliver Twist, Jane Eyre-

I loved Mists of Avalon; in the middle section I utterly despised Arthur for listening to his pious wife and her little close-minded pleas. The injustice of their belief that Morgaine sneaked into court to do evil when it was she who they had beheld as the angel that had passed the Holy Grail around was so aggravating and made me want to stab them all. There's really no other way to explain my anger. I was in complete and utter distress knowing that I, as the reader, could do nothing to make these imbeciles see the errors of their thoughts. However at the end, it was Morgaine who forgives them and she acts truly as the better person; offering me consolation that though injustice was done, she has overcome her suffering and so all is well again. It was a saddening thought but at the same time offered a much needed relief from my mental anguish.

A Little Princess started off happily enough; a nice mindless kind of thinking involved. But soon I was again in extreme mental disarray as the poor girl got abused and used just because she suddenly had no money. Honestly, I wanted to attack Miss Minchin, except that would harm my delicate book. I actually had the mindset to just throw the book against a wall in my frustration with her. Of course in the end happiness ensues and justice is somewhat served. I seem to enjoy happy endings, but only after a plot full of evil.

Currently getting through Oliver Twist, not a lot of time so it's going slowly. Still, the beginning was terrible, not as in it was badly written, but I felt that same burning anger and hatred for the antagonist of the story. And it didn't help that Oliver was so naive and innocent, I was melting with agony and sympathy for the boy. Unsure about the ending so far; hope the people who wronged him die though.

Jane Eyre I just started; her childhood was miserable too. At where I am right now that misery is over and done with, but its results you can still see in Jane's actions. Hoping that she gets with this rich guy and goes back to show off her foster mother though... unlikely to happen it's not something she would do but every good thing that happens to Jane now feels like justice.

Actually looking now at all these books that I really liked I think I understand why I liked them so. They all presented me with either an innocent person, or one who wished to do good, and placed them into terrible situations where the world was against them. And to see a 'good' person abused for petty reasons seem to strike a chord with me.

Now people can say that this Clara from Unearthly is an innocent, good-hearted person who was being bullied by society. I disagree. She's being bullied by her own lack of sense and good judgement. She's an angel darned it! If she wants to lead an awesome life, she can do it! Don't give me any BS about her having to hide her powers so she doesn't get discovered, she can hide her powers while making use of them. Is it so terrible an idea for her to do well in math? Will people see that she does well in math and hence make the connection that she must be "unearthly"?

And all the 'abuse' she undergoes completely lacks deeper meaning. In all the books above I enjoyed the protagonist was being abused due to a conflict in morals or values, or spite. No matter what the reason is though, it is clear and feels valid (maybe that's not the best word because validation almost seems to justify the action... but you get my point). Clara being called a dorkrina out of no-where leads me wondering why this random girl (who's name I was not even given) decided to insult her. There's no background to explain why she isn't "popular", especially given that she's generally pretty (even though she doesn't have the sense to see that) and from her action seems like a nice girl. Hell she struck a random conversation in another language with a stranger, don't tell me she's shy.

Guess it's another pet peeve of mine when the main character has low self esteem or is otherwise very unsure of herself. I prefer my protagonists to have a strong will and set out to do something with their life. Think that gives the story line more moral, "look this person got a happy ending because they never gave up and worked for it" rather than "look this random girl who's doesn't really try and has no real dedication to a long term goal in life somehow ended up with a happy ending". I guess I value the idea that we have to work hard for our own happiness rather than sit around waiting for it to be handed to us.

So now that I have completed this long winded rant (which took me over a week to write out), I encourage everyone to read books that make you cry and want to hate people: because if it can make you feel that strongly, then clearly it's been written realistically.

Now this doesn't count if you end up crying because the book sucked and hating the author for wasting your time. 

MCAT Frustrations 1.0

  • Shoots the physical sciences part is hard... wait I didn't learn this stuff yet!
  • What the heck is a bremsstrahlung?!?
  • Why the heck is it called Verbal Reasoning? Are they going to read the passage to us? 
  • Aha, Verbal Reasoning section is easy! As long as we're reading the passage ourselves... 
  • Where do I find answers for this test?
  • Where do I buy old tests with answer keys?
  • Must... find... for... physical sciences...
  • FOUND PAST EXAMS!!! Must... get... answers...
  • Answers for $4! My gosh this is a good business... 
  • Aha! I can do 1/2 of the biology questions! 
  • I should start a study group or something for this... wonder if UOT already has one...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It all started on the bus

I was sitting on the bus yesterday enjoy my ride home so I could eat. Being the classy person I am, I was also listening to Chopin at the moment. However sometime along the bus ride I realized that I could not enjoy Chopin as I usually did. No, something else was disturbing me.

It was the guy sitting right in front of me. Loud, irksome music of some form was coming from his general direction. I was displeased.

Now normally I would not have minded much, after all I've had people tell me that they can hear my music randomly. But the problem this time was that this guy was purposely forcing the rest of the lovely bus-riders to listen to his music!

How do I know this? Because only one earphone was in his ear; the other one rested on top of that same ear facing outwards towards the general public. If he wasn't forcing us to listen to his music then why the heck was his second earphone pointing out at us?!?

Oh, maybe he was just trying to look cool, the old, "I can wear my earphones however I want". Fine, I respect that, but at least do us all the favor and find a way to wear them so your music doesn't force its way into our ears! Why does the earphone have to face us? Make it face behind you or something!

Ok, so I'm taking this out of hand and maybe he just didn't want to listen to his music with both ears. But seriously, if your music's that loud of course you wouldn't want both earphones in; turn the volume down!

I guess I'm just annoyed by this because I myself always consider the strangers around me when I'm on public transport; I mean I don't want to annoy them anymore than we're all already annoyed (by the slow moving traffic). And personally I see no reason to need to put on an air of any sort with these random people so I don't try to make an impression of myself. There's no point in that.

Now I can continue this little rant by explaining that as this guy left the bus his pants were much too loose. I don't understand the attraction in that, if you want to show the world your boxes, just don't wear pants. If you're just too lazy to pull your pants up, just don't wear pants. If you think it's a fashion statement to have your pants on and flash your boxers... actually no I just don't understand that. Is it more comfortable to have your pants half on? I do not understand. It was a warm day too so he can't be showing off his boxers with pants on because it was too cold to not wear pants... This is all just too complicated.


AHA! I just found a blog dedicated to writing letters to annoying people on public transit:

I was throughly amused.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Avoid Divorce: Force yourself to fall in love


Summary: Dr. Epstein does not believe in love at first sight, or "the ONE" or anything of that sort. Instead he claims that humans cannot expect love to hit them suddenly and must learn to fall in love. So basically he signed a contract with this random woman saying that they would try for the next 4 months (though according to Helen Fisher's book it was 6-12 months) to fall in love with each other.

For those who don't know, I'm currently reading Helen Fisher's book:

I'm writing a book report on it for a random scholarship I found. Good book though, lots of interesting things in it, though a bit too much psychology and not enough raw biological science. Still does the job of explaining Love quite nicely.

In the book Fisher talks about Dr. Epstein's project, she mentioned it in passing without really expanding on the subject, so I decided to google it.

Dr. Epstein is quite a lot more keen on the molecular of Love than Fisher is. See Fisher took the evolutionary approach to Love, she did mention about hormone levels and did some MRIs of the brain in Love as well. But This Dr. Epstein seems to believe that love is based solely off hormone level and how the brain functions.

I find myself more in agreement with Fisher's evolutionary approach; it makes sense and allows for human love to adapt to changing environments. Dr. Epstein's belief that love can only be learned seems to go against the point of the falling in love in the first place. Fisher made it clear that love at first sight was quite possible; given the correction conditions. Human beings have evolved to be able to tell a lot about a person's personality on a first glance. First impressions say a lot, and though admittedly they aren't always true, they can be startling close to the truth.

Now Fisher seemed to rank Love into 2 categories, lust and attachment. Lust is that growing passion at the start of relationships while attachment is what follows (probably into marriage). I've then found that lust seems to come about due to instinctive nature while attachment is nurtured. For example there might be someone you feel very attracted to even though your personalities are in clear conflict; that's lust. Then there's the someone you get along with perfectly but you don't generally think of them with any want; that would be attachment. Now of course the two intertwine no doubt, but let's just leave the definitions at that for now.

Dr. Epstein's project seems to be more about falling into attachment rather than in lust. Of course if he can learn to love this random woman for all her characteristics then good for him, but can they truly have that burning passion and desire for each other if they don't genuinely feel that way to begin with? I feel like he is trying to prove not that you can force yourself in love, but that attachment can proceed lust in a relationship.

How did it end? Well I did more research:

Basically she bailed on him. She had 'second thoughts' about the project and decided to not sign the Love contract.

Actually read a bit more; it seems out of all the women who had applied to be the test subject for Dr. Epstein's project, he had rejected them all! Why does this seem like he was just using his job as an excuse to find an easy girl?

Also, the previously thought random woman was not so random, apparently he was 'smitten' by her after meeting which clearly indicates to me a passion before the attachment.

This brings me back to the reason I feel psychology should not be classified a science (note this blog entry has no sciencey label!), the experiments in this field of study are much too personal and subjective. Science should be only about sure known facts and not based on speculations that cannot be tested without bias.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Scientific Lab Book Keeping

I just committed one of the biggest faults in research journal keeping. I wrote on the first page.

This is killing me inside since I knew that the first page was suppose to be left blank for the table of contents. Look at my chemistry lab book this semester and you'll note that I left the first 3 pages blank. Well not anymore since I wrote the table of contents in on the first page, so now there's just an awkward 2 blank pages afterwards.


Worst part is as I wrote on the first page I had a slight feeling that I should stop writing and leave that page alone. But alas recording observations of the babPR72 Drosophila mutant was too distracting at the time and so I not only continued writing on the first page, but I wrote over the WHOLE page and then CONTINUED to write on the NEXT page!

By this point there was no way to leave a random page blank because I already had a bunch of information written in the first two pages. So where am I going to put the table of contents now?!?

Luckily there's this precessor page before the lined pages start that is blank on its back side. The front side is for contact information in case I lose the lab book. I figure if worst comes to worst and I need a table of contents later I'll just use this random blank page.

However to remind myself to never repeat this grave error again, I'm going to list all the rules of research journal keeping so I will be able to look at it later and remember.

  • Lab book must be hard cover
  • Pages much be stitched into cover, no loose-leaf or spiral bound
  • Pages are to be numbered
  • First page(s) left blank to act as table of contents later
  • All entries to be dated
  • When an entry is complete it should be initialed to prove that it was your own entry (and not that of some competitor trying to ruin your data)
  • Changes to past entries should also be dated and initialed 
  • Only write on the right hand page; leave the back (left) blank (so if you need to change things afterwards you have space to write on)
    • This might be another reason to leave the first page blank because there is no left side page accompanying it (woe is me...)
  • Cross out errors or in-corrections by drawing a single line through it so it is still legible (to ensure no data was hidden or purposely changed to alter results)
    • If a large paragraph or diagram needs to be deleted, put a big X through it but make sure it's still legible afterwards
  • Never rip pages out of lab book 
Hopefully I didn't forget anything important. Hopefully I'll remember to consult this list next time I need to start a new lab journal. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I still dislike electron movement

So I have this nice mouse. It's wireless. It also runs on battery power. The AA batteries to be exactly (those are the big cylinder ones yes?) Sadly my household supply of AA batteries is limited to broken rechargeable ones. Broken meaning they don't recharge anymore.

So I started using AAA batteries (the little cylinder ones). I figured it works just as well since it's the basic same setup of a galvanic cell, just smaller and therefore lasts for a shorter amount of time. But the AAA batteries still recharge, so I had a basically limitless supply of them.

This still got me wondering why the hell my AA batteries weren't recharging when the charger clearly worked for the AAA batteries. Given my first year knowledge of galvanic cells, I could come to no conclusion. I was throughly confounded and too lazy to search it up on google (searching is easy, reading the result of the search requires time).

Then I tried to put both batteries on the charger to see what would happen. And I noted that my my previous observation was incorrect. In fact neither batteries charged. So I suppose this means they aren't broken, but the charger has some problem.

This makes me VERY tempted to create my own charger, just grab some silver and zinc per say... As long as I get the electrons to flow in the other direction for a while right? Even if I'm wrong it'll be an interesting experiment.


So I used the normal lemon set-up:

Of course it totally failed but that might be because I mixed up my anode and cathode... zinc is the cathode yes? And so the plus end of the battery should be with copper since I'm trying to do the reverse reaction for the battery yes? Maybe if I actually took sometime to sit down and think about it I would have a better idea, for now I'll just exhaust my household supply of charged AAA batteries.

This just in: my charger actually does work, apparently the dead battery I got from it was only charging for an hour or so. Silly parents changing the batteries on the charger w/o telling me... 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Random Thoughts

I was going to call this another Random 20.... but this probably won't be 20 actually... I'll just stop it when I think it's long enough to be a valid post.

Start Date: May 2, 2011
End Date: May 16, 2011

  • I need to move my office stuff into my room and turn my office room into some other room... 
  • Do subway drivers take the subway to work?
  • So now I have 2 desks, one for day use and one for night use; good thing my laptop's light enough to carry around
  • A year behind on med school keening... must double keen next year...
  • I want to press flowers... but I'm not sure what to do with them afterwards.
  • Last night I woke up frightened again... this has been a repetitive thing for a while now
  • If a complete stranger walked up to you and confessed his/her undying affections for you; how would you react? At first seems pretty creepy but after you think about how many romances use it as a cliched love-at-first-sight thing... well actually it's creepy no matter what (unless you have a dream about it, nothing seems odd in dreams unless you want it to be...)
  • Someone just asked me if I was pregnant and did a DNA test on my unborn child to find that it was going to be autistic, would I abort. What would you do?
  • Can you be a bad person if you don't want to be bad?
  • If only there were two of me, then I could experiment with my comfort levels without any discomfort
  • I think we refuse to believe we're special because we think that everyone else must feel the same way... 
  • Actually, why do we even care so much about being special? Is there an evolutionary advantage to it?
  • Okay maybe there are many evolutionary advantages to it... but by wanting to be special it makes us the same as other people who also want to be special...
  • Screw individuality! Let's all be blobs!
  • Oh my gosh my throat doesn't hurt! I can swallow w/o pain again!!!