30 December 2012

What Makes Up A Good Photo?

Well, what is it?  A lot of people assume that to take good photos, you have to be a professional photographer. Or take a photography class. The answer is that you need neither. To take a good "people" photo, all you need is knowledge of the four traits that make up a fantastic photo.


Expression is so important in every photo. The scene could be fantastic, but without expression your photo lacks reality. It isn't interesting without expression.


Color is pleasing to the eye. When anyone sees something colorful, they are attracted to it.


Motion captures the moment. You should be able to hear the froth of the waves, see them crashing onto shore.

A noisy photo is never a good one. Where is the subject? The background? The subject of your photo deserves attention, and the only way they'll get it is if the photo is simple and powerful.

What are your tips for taking good photos?

29 December 2012

Skiing

Skiing is such a weird word. Skiing skiing skiing. Anyhow, I went skiing for a couple of days. Yesterday, the day before, and the day before that, to be precise. I've been skiing once before, at Massanutten Resort, where there was a green slope called "Nutten to It" (haha, get it?). It was reasonably fun, except for the fact that last year's winter was pretty terrible, with literally no snow and warm temperatures. So the snow was basically two inches off the ground.

This year, I skied at The Wisp. We planned to leave early an maybe arrive at 12-12:30 so that we'd have time for some activities. The day we began to drive to the resort, it started snowing. Awesome, right? NOPE. We got STUCK on the road, because it was too slippery. Every time my dad tried to rev up the car, there was this weird whirring noise and the smell of burning rubber. Well, we somehow got past that obstacle and by that time, we were glad to even arrive there.

We got there around, what, 7 pm. At first, we planned to just hit the sack, but then it turned out the Mountain Coaster, what we'd been looking forward to, was open until 9. The Mountain Coaster allowed the user to control the speed. We walked to the start of the coaster. It was fantastic. Anyone going to The Wisp: don't miss the coaster! The car went unbelievably fast, and to top it all off, all that secured me to the car was a puny seat belt. I could see my life flash before my eyes at every breakneck turn.

After walking back from the coaster, we stopped at the food court to get some dinner. There weren't any healthy vegetarian options (have I mentioned I'm vegetarian? My friend +Neyha Bhatia likes to call me a "Veg Head"), so we asked the chef to make us a couple of wraps. My brother had pizza, of course, just cheese, Costco size, two slices. I'm surprised he didn't gain a couple of pounds, then again, he's 9+. The wraps were ok, my mom makes better ones.

The next day, when we went down for breakfast, I had French toast with syrup. I was originally gonna order a veggie omelette, but the lady told me that they grill the omelettes on the same things as the meat. Which sucked, because I need my salt in the morning! Salt's what gives me my daily boost! Well, I had to go with the French toast. I was waiting patiently for my toast, and then my heart nearly stopped. The lady just tossed the toast onto the same grill, the very grill that was used for both omelettes and meat! Well then, my friends, why couldn't I have had the omelette? I felt like kicking myself for forgetting that no one else uses toasters for French toast. To top it all off, the toast wasn't even sweet or cinnamony! It tasted like a very bland omelette. I felt like throwing up, until I added the syrup. Nothing like sugar for taste, huh? Also for calories.

Then I went to the ski camp, because I'm no expert at skiing. I was the oldest kid in my group! Everyone else ranged from 7-10 years old, and I'm already tall for my age. I just kind of skulked around awkwardly, towering over the puny little midgets. So the skiing group I was in was level 2, which meant they'd supposedly done green slopes, and knew the basics. Well, all but three of those annoying little ants DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO PUT ON THEIR FREAKING SKIS! My brother, this other girl and I had to wait at the bottom of the hill while the others tried to figure out how to jam their feet into the skis. One girl could barely ski while standing up! I'm not blaming her, but why the heck would she be in level 2 instead of Willy Wisp (beginners)?

To add insult to injury, or perhaps the other way around, the snow making machines were on for the entire 7 hours. Imagine a hundred icy knives poking into your face over and over again. Now multiply that by a thousand, that's how that felt. It was so cold, the tips of my fingers froze painfully inside my gloves. I skied fine, but everything else was torture.

To add even MORE insult, the lunch was a meager portion of mac and cheese, minus the chicken tenders for me. I don't mind mac and cheese. But I am one hungry girl. Five of the kids in my batch ate just their tenders, and didn't touch their mac and cheese. "Ew, how can you eat that?" they asked me. "Ew, mac and cheese is just so gross!" SERIOUSLY. If I am hungry, I will eat just about anything. 10 minutes after devouring the mac and cheese, I asked my instructor if there were seconds. I knew it was rude, but damn, I was starving! Can you guess what the instructor said? He said "No." I wanted to scream, because 5 kids still had their full portions of mac and cheese, and weren't planning on eating it, and here I was, so hungry I could probably eat 3 more plates full of the stuff. I almost cried as I watched each kid throw their untouched mac and cheese in the trash.

Hearing about my incessant hunger may cause you to think that I am a fat, greedy girl. No. That is not it at all. I just have a rather speedy metabolism, and any kind of activity will make me hungry hungry hungry!

That night, we went to a bar/restaurant for dinner. BAD IDEA. The veggie food a) took like 3 hours to prepare and b) tasted like rat barf. And inevitably, my head started hurting a lot. I pigged out on the desert, lemon meringue, then felt terrible about eating so much tart and walked up four flights of stairs to make up for it.

I will now take a brief intermission from complaining and smile to myself while I remember the snow tubing the next morning. Other than my headache continuation from the previous night and dehydration, the cold air whipping against my face was refreshing.

I said it was brief.

Yeah, the cold air was refreshing, but cold is never good. 6 hours later, in the car, driving back home, my throat started to kill me. By the time we got home, I could barely talk for pain. My mom made this awesome Indian herbal thing, and the pain went away so I could rest in peace. Except not in peace. I had the weirdest dream that my dad was telling me to be careful of people trying to kidnap me, and the rest of the night I was lapsing into 2 minute snoozes, then waking up and looking around in paranoia. I could not sleep. I just could not. So I woke up earlier than 7, which is my usual, I woke up around 6:42 and went downstairs.

My headache and sore throat are gone now, thank god, and I feel much better.

What's your most miserable vacation?

24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Well, it's that time of the year again. That time where carols and remixes are drilled into our head. That time when we are already tired of decorations before the whole thing is over. Yeah, it's Christmas again.

My parents have this weird way of telling us that they forgot to get us presents ("Oh, Aditi, we didn't have time to go out and buy presents this time."), and then acting all surprised when the presents magically turn up on Christmas morning ("I wonder how that got there!"). Really? REALLY? Well, I still love 'em for it.

I always break out in pimples around Christmas because of all those candy canes. Geez. My sugar addiction is gonna be the death of me someday. The days right before winter break, I probably eat about 3-4 candy canes a day. What is with the addiction of those things? Maybe I shouldn't have moved to America. I mean, the chances of overeating and getting fat and all that are so high! Plus, we use all these crappy measurement systems that make no sense and that no other country uses. I mean, a measurement system based on Queen Victoria's elbow? You know, a NASA project failed because the US used yards and the other party used meters. Anyways, this has virtually nothing to do with Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, most schools give us students a winter break. Also schools are not allowed to give us homework over winter break. Well, if there's plain holiday and no homework, then what are those of us who aren't on vacation supposed to freaking do? When we were in elementary school, any break from school was a welcome relief. Now? There's nothing to do! When I'm not practicing piano or dance or working on projects, what am I supposed to do? Mess around on the computer like I'm doing now? Actually, there are quite a few ideas.

  • Start a blog. Sound familiar?
  • Visit a museum. You could learn quite a lot about something you thought you already knew.
  • Draw comics. I did this once when I was bored. My friend nearly peed his pants laughing. 
  • Write a short story. Nothing like writing stories to improve your skill.
  • Write a poem. The same can be said for poetry.
  • Teach yourself something new. There are so many tutorials out there on the web. Learn how to cook. Learn how to make a friendship bracelet. Learn a magic trick.
  • Look at old photos, old notebooks, old papers. You'll be surprised how entertaining it can be to see a younger version of yourself. Thoughts include, but are not limited to: 
    • "Man, I was so stupid in 5th grade!"
    • "Was that me? Seriously?"
    • "HAHAHAHAHA!"
    • "I hope no one decides to show this to my future spouse."
  • Get outside your comfort zone. Go hiking. Listen to new music. 
  • Set small challenges. Today, I am not going to check my Google+.
  • Make a list (or two). Lists are fantastically fun! Make a list of things you hate, of things you love, or things that annoy the hell out of you. Anything.
Of course, if all else fails, sleep! Nothing like a little extra sleep. God knows I need it. Once again, I have gotten completely off topic. Or maybe this was my intention. I'll never know. Frankly, my brain works in a weird way. 

What do you like to do when you're bored?

Things That Annoy Me (more than they should)

I am a very negative person. I am annoyed by a lot of things, including but not limited to:
  • when people are obsessed with a boy singer/boy band just cause they're hot
  • when people bother me when I'm reading
  • when people call me girly because I wear a dress or a skirt sometimes
  • when people try anything to get attention
  • when people post statuses every minutes about their doings, as if we care
  • when people waste the teacher's time on purpose by asking retarded questions
  • when people try to force their opinions on others (yeah, I know I'm being hypocritical)
  • when girls keep combing through their hair with their fingers--are you itchy or what?
  • when guys flip their hair like Justin Bieber
  • when people put down their parents in public (and additionally, expect us to be sympathetic)
What do YOU hate?

13 December 2012

Maintaining A Healthy Weight (and Skin)

This is NOT a post for those who want to lose a drastic amount of weight. Sorry, I can't help you there. But for those of you who fear that you're going to start gaining weight, or just want to live a healthier lifestyle, here are a few important tips. Note that most of these tips actually work for maintaining clear skin as well.


  • Drink water. Water has zero calories. It speeds up your metabolism (the rate at which your body burns fat). It's a great way to curb cravings. It flushes out toxins in your skin. Feeling hungry? Drink a glass of water. At any point in time, any transition, any pause, drink a glass of water. 
  • Don't skip meals. Many people skip breakfast or other meals in order to lose weight. Well, erratic mealtimes have precisely the opposite effect. Our bodies, while they have adapted to today's world, they are always prepared for the worst. In fact (mini geek diversion here) when we store fat, it is in case we don't see another meal. So by not establishing a proper schedule for eating, we are telling our bodies that we don't know when we'll next eat. This prompts our bodies to store more fat in case we have to go a long time without food. Another bad effect of skipping meals is that we are so hungry by the time it's time to eat that we overeat. 
  • Get 10 hours of sleep each night. While this can be hard to achieve, getting lots of sleep actually speeds up our metabolism. It keeps us alert and energized. Also, feeling tired can lead to feeling stressed, which can lead to acne.
  • Satisfy cravings. Just because a food is bad for you doesn't mean you should totally stop eating it. In fact, if you do this, one day you might just crack and eat way more than is necessary. I know this from experience. Set a strict rule for yourself: one small portion of this food each day, and no more than that! That way, you'll get your fill of this food while still eating healthy.
  • Exercise. This doesn't necessarily mean do a workout every day (though that would definitely help). Do it in small ways. Take the stairs whenever possible. If you can walk, avoid driving. Exercise before eating. It's said that you burn more calories if you exercise before eating as opposed to after.
Of course, you won't start to see results immediately. Sometimes weight-gain (or acne) happens because of hormones, and this is something you can't control. It's ok. Do your best, and everything will even out in the end.

11 December 2012

Facial Yoga

So I was browsing around, wasting time as usual (wink, wink) and guess what I found?

There's body yoga.

There's breathing yoga.

And there's...facial yoga?

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as facial yoga, and it is supposed to be the "new Botox". Regularly practicing this type of yoga correctly is said to keep your face as healthy and youthful as does a face-lift. Interesting, eh? The best part is that you don't even need any materials or stuff like that: all you need is your face. You can do it anytime, any place--although I would discourage you from pulling these faces in public.

Here are a couple of my favourites.

Surprise!
This exercise keeps your forehead smooth by working the muscles around your eyes and forehead. Simply widen your eyes and stare at a point until your eyes start to water. Longer, if possible. Repeat.

Baby Bird
This exercise prevents jowl formation (otherwise known as the loose skin that hangs down from your jaw) by keeping those muscles firm. Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth, look up, smile, and swallow. It's going to feel as if your skin is splitting, but that's ok. Just don't overdo it.

Cheeky
This exercise keeps your cheeks firm and toned by keeping cheek muscles perky. Puff out your cheeks as much as possible and hold for as long as possible.

Buddha Face
This is a relaxing exercise that basically smooths out all of your face. Close your eyes, imagine a point between the brows, and smile very slightly.

Those are just a few of my favourites. While it looks silly, yoga actually does work. Try it sometime. What works for you?

Live Like There's No Tomorrow


09 December 2012

Life of Pi: Movie Review

I am astounded. In less than two hours, I have learned that there is still such a thing as a good movie. There is still such a thing as a movie that doesn't need romance to live. There is still such a thing as a movie that can make you thankful that you have what you have, and that you are loved. Life of Pi took me through the unbelievable voyage of one boy and his courage, his faith in God, and his will to live.

The majority of the movie is a flashback, beginning with an adult Pi conversing with a writer. Pi begins his story from the very beginning, starting with the reason behind his unusual name and continuing with his unusual religious beliefs. He provides us with a synopsis of his life that had me rolling in my seat with laughter.

Soon enough, it comes time to move, and Pi's family is going to move to Canada via ship. In a fist-clenchingly scary scene, the ship is caught in a fierce yet fantastic storm that completely submerges it in water. Everyone drowns. Nobody survives.

Except for Pi.

And his tiger, Richard Parker.


Thus begins Pi's true tale, of how he fought against all odds to stay alive in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He is forced to watch as three animals somehow eat each other up. He marks each day on the side of the lifeboat. His nature is such that he provides for his tiger as well as himself. His strength is derived from love for the tiger. And everything in the movie is so realistic that you have to blink to remind yourself it's not real.

He makes mistakes, learns from them, and has us all in gut-wrenching sobs. Pi is as human as the rest of us. He is no superhero; he is no genius. At moments, he wants to die, wants to give up. The one thing that keeps him going is the companionship of his tiger and his faith in God. He has everyone rooting for him the whole way.

This movie is a must-see for everyone. It has nothing inappropriate. It will leave no one scarred for life (except maybe Pi himself). I would recommend it to those of all ages. Like they say in the movie, "It is up to you which story you want to believe."

03 December 2012

The Graveyard Ghost

Inspiration strikes at the oddest times. I had a sudden inspiration to write while doing my Geometry homework. What can I say? Poetry is so much more interesting than proofs.

The Graveyard Ghost

Have you heard of the graveyard ghost?
Alone and brooding, he haunts the tombstones,
Waiting. Waiting and watching,
Wondering. Wondering who will venture first,
Scorning the rumors and abandoning sense,
Driven merely by foolish pride.

Have you heard of the graveyard ghost?
Stormy and insane, he has no mercy,
Killing. Killing and enjoying,
Smiling. Smiling his manic smile,
Delighting in the intruder’s scream,
Savoring every moment.

Have you heard of the graveyard ghost?
Scarred and terrified, he is not happy,
Thinking. Thinking and wandering,
Remembering. Remembering times long ago,
When he was a boy, and she was a girl,
Head-over-heels in love.

Have you heard of the graveyard ghost?
Jumpy and frightened, he is cautious,
Staring. Staring through everything,
Regretting. Regretting a crime he once committed,
Horrified at the sight of her blood,
Stained across her chest.

Have you heard of the graveyard ghost?

What's the weirdest time inspiration has struck YOU?

02 December 2012

On Cutting Off Hair

Sometimes I feel like the littlest things, the littlest changes, have great significance. For instance, I cut off a lot of my hair yesterday. Many girls don't like cutting off their hair, because they feel hair is a sign of beauty, etc. 


SO WHAT? Hair can still be pretty if it's short! I find it significant because...well, for me, it signified freedom. Sort of. See, I was studying like mad for the TJ test until yesterday, so I cut it off as a sign of change and...well, you know...freedom from studying! I never study otherwise. (Shh, don't tell anyone.)

29 November 2012

The Types of Chatters

I have a lot of different types of friends, and as I chatted with them, I couldn't help noticing that they all have different styles. I also noticed a bit of a correlation between time spent online and chatting style.


  • The Smiler: This person adds an emoticon onto everything. Everything. Even when it doesn't make sense. 
    • "how are you? :)"
    • "is she bothering you? :)"
    • "aww, i'm so sorry :)"
  • The Txtr: This person leaves out as many letters as they can. Their words are virtually illegible. 
    • "wht r u up 2?"
    • "is lf ok rt nw?"
    • "thts so wrd!!"
  • The Queen of Hearts: Just like the Smiler, the Queen of Hearts tags on a heart to every line. 
    • "i'm reading harry potter <3"
    • "i like to eat <3"
    • "i'm going to the bathroom <3"
  • The Novelist: This person writes paragraphs. All the time. I confess, I do this a lot. It's not all that bad because it's usually not boring. But still. Most of these examples are quite dramatic, so I shall refrain from providing an example.
  • The Newsperson: This person provides you with updates, accurate to the very second, on what they are doing. Hooray! Free news!
    • "i'm drinking water now"
    • "doing my homework"
    • "i have to pee!"
  • The Lol-er: Either this person says "lol" in awkward situations, or they actually think everything is funny. 
    • "i saw a pig on the way home lol"
    • "i have to eat dinner sorry lol"
    • "i failed my math test lol"
  • The Ghetto Speaker: This person talks in ghetto language. It's actually kind of funny. They emphasize every accent and syllable.
    • "naw, dat ain't no right answer!"
    • "das dayum weyurd!"
    • "yo dawg, how's the man?"
  • The Random Typer: Whenever there's an awkward pause, this person decides to break the tension by smashing their hands onto the keyboard and pressing enter. It's not very effective.
    • "asdfghjkl;"
    • "asilhvjanerjerlhvjalnvwuoeghuergbe"
    • "$*#&(*$)HNWHD"

23 November 2012

Comics

Comics are a great medium to express ideas and thoughts without scaring off a reader. Often, people don't like to see long paragraphs, and they tend to form the wrong impression about the text. But comics don't face that problem at all. They're colourful, hilarious, and very enjoyable to read. Here are a couple of my favourites.



Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin, a first-grade nightmare, explores the ups and downs of school and the adventures in his own backyard with his tiger, Hobbes, who is calmer and somehow more sensible. It's amazing how Bill Watterson expresses his own thoughts through a six-year-old boy and his tiger. The comic's great because Watterson makes fun of pretty much everything in a non-offensive but satirical way. One of the reasons I like it so much is because I remember reading it as a child merely to look at the pictures. I "rediscovered" it a year back, and read the books all over again, and I discovered the cleverly hidden meanings behind each comic. I kind of had that "AHA" moment, and it was a good feeling. I read The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book a while ago, and it's a very good read by Bill Watterson himself. Very interesting.



Peanuts. The "Peanuts" gang, comprising Charlie, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Sally, Rerun, and of course, Snoopy are around five to six years as well; the strip focuses mainly on Charlie Brown, and he goes through a rather bleak, humourously depressing life, at least from his point of view. The illustrations are not, perhaps, as lavishly detailed and coloured as other comics, but attention is drawn to the dialogue and the style simply adds to the mood of "my life isn't going so great". Charlie Brown is a normal sort of kid, like the others, going through friends and crushes, but the way he interprets each situation is hilarious. Charles Schulz, the writer of this comic, said that Charlie developed from some of the more painful aspects of his own life.

7 Reasons Chocolate Should Have Its Own God

Lots of religions have gods for multiple things. They all have different names, of course, but they are essentially god of the same things. There are gods of love: Venus, Aphrodite, Kama, Hathor, etc. There are gods of the sun: Apollo, Surya, Ra. But what about gods of chocolate? I'll give you 7 reasons that chocolate should have its own god.


  1. It is essential to life. Seriously, who can live without chocolate?
  2. It is a topic of research. People are trying to find out more.
  3. It is a controversial subject. Just like love!
  4. It tastes good. Water tastes good, and it has its own god.
  5. It is found in many different forms. Bars, shakes, smoothies, coffees, syrups.
  6. It looks awesome. Doesn't it? 
  7. It's chocolate. Isn't that technically reason enough?

Me...As a Baby

I sure knew how to talk. :P


18 November 2012

An Ode to Technology

I was just sitting here, when all of a sudden this idea came to me. Of course, I'm supposed to be doing my homework, but that's way more boring than writing a poem.

An Ode to Technology

Oh technology, oh technology, how wonderful are thee,
Thy usefulness and convenience are so pleasing to me.
Oh technology, oh technology, so shiny, clean and sleek,
Thy keyboard and thy monitor are perfect for a geek.
Oh technology, oh technology, thou will be in my heart,
Thou can save just anything, thou always are so smart.
Oh technology, oh technology, thy programs are so neat,
Google Chrome and Internet just cannot be beat.

Oh technology, oh technology, something’s going wrong,
Thy apps are slowing down too much, five seconds is too long.
Oh technology, oh technology, thy files are much too deep,
I’m spending long hours on thou, I’m wasting all my sleep.
Oh technology, oh technology, my eyes are now burning,
My brain has turned to mush, the gears have stopped turning.
Oh technology, oh technology, how terrible are thee,
My sleep and good eyesight are gone, what has thou done to me?

15 November 2012

How To Annoy People...A Lot

I really need to try some of these.


  1. Insist that your drive-through order is TO GO.
  2. Go to a restaurant and throw a bunch of ketchup packets on the ground. Stamp on them.
  3. Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears.
  4. Staple papers in the middle of the page.
  5. Wave randomly at strangers. If they ask you about it, say, "I saw you at ___'s house!" Insist that it's true.
  6. Walk into a restaurant and refuse to be seated. Just stuff all their mints into your pockets and walk out.
  7. Yell, "Do you hear that?!". When they respond, reply with, "Never mind, it's gone."
  8. Ask people what gender they are.
  9. Attend a poetry recital. Then ask why the poems don't rhyme.
  10. Ask people random questions and write down their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about "mental health".
Hm, quite a lot of these. If I get enough, maybe I'll make a separate page of things you need to do. Haha. You know what, if I actually do one of these, I'll post a video of it. Sound good?

14 November 2012

Doodles

Just a couple doodles I finally got around to uploading.

I like to draw people. I like to saw I draw realistically, but that's not really true. I tend to make things prettier than they really are, which results in slightly non-proportionate features etc.

Ah well.



Poem

I'd like to share a poem I wrote for English class. The original's been marked up by my teacher, or I'd scan it. The words are mostly cut out of magazines, with a few words added in by me. It's not the full effect on here...but ah well.

Comments?



By the beautiful sea
I walk for miles in the sparkling morning sunshine
The sand stretches on, and no end in sight
Surrounded by gravity-defying waves
Crashing mercilessly against the jagged rocks
Feeling impulsive
The water slaps at my sides as I venture in
A colourful blend of blues and greens, the salty sea spray
It is magical, this island getaway.

13 November 2012

More Book Art

Gosh, I would definitely do this if I weren't so protective of my books.

Maybe with a really boring book.

Nah, all books should be treated and appreciated equally. I'm rambling, aren't I? Well, books have feelings too. I know that for a fact. Don't ask.



10 November 2012

Hair Tips

If you're anything like me, you have really thick, wavy, nearly unmanageable hair. Don't get me wrong, I love my hair (thanks, mom, dad). Everyone wants shiny, soft, smooth hair, so here's what I do to maintain my hair. Oh, and all the credit goes to my mom, who taught me this stuff, because her hair is even thicker and softer and shinier than mine.

Many people wash their hair everyday. I don't. I do it once a week, usually Saturday. It's not necessary  for me to wash it everyday because I wear it in a ponytail all the time. Many of my friends balk at this, but then again, they wear their hair down all the time, so it needs washing more often. Plus, my hair would get super rough if I washed it everyday. Anyways, to each his own.

Washing Hair:

  • The night before I shampoo my hair, I cover it (rub it into my scalp, too) in oil and lay a towel over my pillow. Keep this in overnight, it's like a pre-condition. There are several oils that work. I use an Indian oil called "Bhringraj Tel", but you can use any of these oils:
        • Coconut oil
        • Almond oil
        • Olive oil
        • Avocado oil
        • Any other kind of oil that comes from veggies/fruits
  • While shampooing, I take a small mug and put in a small dollop of shampoo. Then I fill up the mug halfway with water and mix it up with my fingers. I'm diluting the shampoo. This way the shampoo spreads and cleans all my hair and isn't too much. I use anti-dandruff shampoo, but any shampoo is ok as long as it's diluted. Then wash it off nicely.
  • ALWAYS USE COLD (AS COLD AS YOU CAN TOLERATE) WATER WHILE WASHING YOUR HAIR! Hot water breaks bonds. Cold water keeps the shine in and helps with frizz control.
  • I use Kirkland Conditioner, it smells neutral and it's really awesome. Generally I squirt liberal amounts of conditioner onto my palm and spread it all over my hair. Then I use a wide tooth comb to carefully spread the conditioner to all parts. Then I use one of those clips (I call 'em crocodile clips) to keep my conditioned hair on top of my head. That's when I wash the rest of myself/brush my teeth or whatever. Anything to keep you occupied for five minutes. Then I let it down and wash it all off. 
Drying Hair:
  • I DON'T use a towel to rub the water off. I let my hair loose and tame it with a wide tooth comb. In all honesty, it's best to let it dry before combing it at all, but you can't really walk around the house with hair that poofs up and curls like mine.
  • Once it's dry, you can brush it.
Smoothing Hair:
  • For smooth hair, you can either braid it or twist it up into a bun. Or two. I prefer to twist it because braiding makes it all curly. Me want wavy! No curly!
  • Leave the bun in for as long as possible (this is why I do this whole thing over the weekend).
  • Take down. Ta da! Smooth, beautiful hair!
  • If it's still frizzy, you can use a mild oil to tame it. It won't make your hair stringy. I use Keo Karpin. But usually I don't put oil in my hair.
Happy hair!

Coolest Interactive Tools Ever

So I was browsing around when I stumbled upon some really cool interactive things. I made a list.
Note: I use Google Chrome and I haven't tested these on other browsers. They work best on Chrome.


  • Ball Droppings. All right, that's a weird name, but it's incredibly cool. There are lots of tiny little balls dropping from this tube off the screen. You can draw lines with your mouse. The balls bounce off these lines and create sounds while doing so. With the right lines, you can make a tune! http://balldroppings.com/js/
  • Sound Matrix. This one deals with sounds as well. There's a huge grid of squares and you can click on a bunch of them to start a tune. http://www.sneakytime.com/sound/
  • Silk. This one is graphic. It's really pretty. You can drag your mouse around and it'll create this silky, smoky, colourful mist that's easy on the eyes. It does create sound as well; based on what you draw. The sounds are relaxing and soothing. http://new.weavesilk.com/?ika/
  • Google Gravity. This one's nice; it's basically Google, except everything falls down and crashes. Results come crashing down from the top. Fun to play around with. This guy has a blog, too. And there's other cool stuff on his website. This one, Google Gravity, just happens to be my favourite. http://mrdoob.com/92/google_gravity
  • Touch Effects. This one's by Microsoft, but don't get scared away. It's pure eye candy. Click, and the dots follow your mouse. http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Graphics/TouchEffects/
Have fun! And don't get distracted!

07 November 2012

Apps You Need to Get

Hey...I was playing on my iPod touch earlier. It's a really old version, but I was still pleased by how the apps manage to keep me from being bored. So I wanted to put together a list of really awesome apps, for the bored people out there. Some of these you will probably know.

Warning: they are quite addicting.

Warning: I mean, really addicting.

Warning: Like really really really--
  • Temple Run. This one is pretty obvious. You swipe left, right, up, and down. Some of the high scores on Game Center are staggering. But just to disillusion you, there is a cheat that a lot of people use in Temple Run. Highlight to read: Play in Tutorial Mode. When it tells you to turn, quickly swipe in that direction not once, but three times. Swipeswipeswipe--then the game should shift to an unending bridge. Sometimes there will be powerups, sometimes not. What you can do now is plug the device in to charge and leave it in that infinite mode. Next morning, check it. Surprise! You have, like, 20 million points and counting! Yay!
  • Jetpack Joyride. Not many people have heard of this one. But it's just as addicting as dear old Temple Run. You press down to rise up, and you try to avoid obstacles such as zappers and lasers. Also you get to kill scientists.
  • Surviving High School. Play as several different characters as you try to get through a time period in high school. Go through relationships, friendships, grades, and competition. There are mini-games within the game. It's super addicting, and the best part is, they add a free episode every week!
  • Pocket Frogs. Now, for me, this one was really fun at first. After a while, it became really old. Basically you start out with a couple of frogs. You can buy new ones, or breed the ones you already have. You can also take one of your frogs at a time to a pond; here you can find gifts, or other frogs to breed with. There are levels of frogs, ranging from common to rare to legendary.
  • Animation Desk. For budding animators, this app gives you a lot of freedom to animate. You can make as many frames as you want, set it to a speed, and choose from over 50 colours. After that, you can email it to yourself. It costs money, though.
  • SpyMouse. This is the most addicting game ever. You play as a mouse, trying to collect all the pieces of cheese in each level without getting beaten up by the cats. You can hide in the shadows, you can eat peppers to make you go faster, you can buy a bunch of utilities like rollerblades. The only thing that sucks is that if you press the home button in the middle of a level, the game never loads again. That happened to me quite a few times, but I always managed to get it to load. Not this time. It's gone for life, but I haven't tried re-downloading it. I'm scared that my progress will be deleted.
  • Logo Quiz. Truly an app for puzzle-lovers. This tests your knowledge of logos from everywhere. There are endless levels. It's fantastic. And if you get stuck, there's an app called Logo Quiz Cheats to help you out.
I'll add more later on. Hope this is helpful, and hope you enjoy the apps! :)

05 November 2012

Things You Should Definitely Do

Here's a list of things you should DEFINITELY do, to make life a little more interesting. Note: I don't take responsibility for any trouble you may get in. :P


  1. Hire two private investigators. Get them to follow each other.
  2. Wear a shirt that says "Life". Hand out lemons on the street.
  3. Get into a crowded elevator and say "I bet you're all wondering why I gathered you here today."
  4. Get a Ph.D. Change your last name to "acula".
  5. Get a parrot, and teach it to say, "Help! _____ turned me into a parrot!"
  6. Run up to someone and say, "You're one of THEM!". Run away as fast as you can. Pretend to trip and fall down. Get back up and keep running.
  7. Look into the glass wall of a store, and if someone else is on the other side looking back, yell, "Oh my god! I'm hideous!"
  8. Go to McDonald's and ask for directions to Burger King.
  9. When you're tardy to class, tell the teacher your pet rock had a seizure.
  10. Go up to people at the mall, show them a picture of yourself and say, "Have you seen this person?"
  11. Throw a ball at someone and say, "Stupid Pokemon! Get back into your Pokeball!"
  12. Follow a stranger around in a store and spray everything they touch with disinfectant.
  13. Hide in a broom closet and when someone walks in, say, "Ah, young one, welcome to Narnia."
  14. Buy a packet of birdseed and ask how long it will take for the birds to grow. VARIATION: cheerios and donuts.
  15. Go into a dressing room, wait 5 minutes, then say, "Hey, there's no toilet paper in here!"
  16. Go hug a tree and then say to a stranger, "Sorry, I was having a moment."
  17. Get into a taxi, point to a car and yell, "FOLLOW THAT CAR!"
  18. Hide in the clothes rack at a store and when people look through the clothes, say, "Pick me! Pick me!"
  19. Buy a HUGE diaper, then go up to a stranger and say, "You dropped this."
  20. Go up to a lady with a daughter and say, "Your son is adorable."

Hehehehehehe. Hope you like it...and please, please don't try the majority of these.

Harry Potter

I dunno if I've mentioned that I love the Harry Potter series before. Well, I do. I've loved it every since I read the first book in 6th grade. Since then, I've read each book about 20-something times, discovering hidden meanings in each book.

 Harry ponders over his scar in the mirror.


But a few days ago, I questioned myself. It takes some really good writing for me to appreciate any book.Why, I asked myself, why, why, why do I love the Harry Potter books so much? 

So I decided to make a list.

  1. It's fantasy. And that helps me throw the real world out the window and take a bite of the fresh writing.
  2. It's realistic. I know I just contradicted my previous sentence, but in all honesty, Harry and his friends go through experiences similar to...well...Muggles. Other than all the spell-casting and wand-waving, they have emotions and feelings, and that helps people relate to them.
  3. It's well-written. That seems obvious, right? Who would love a book that wasn't well-written? You'd be surprised. A lot of books are trash, but because of their exciting/romantic plotlines, people read them anyway. Not Harry Potter. 
  4. It's thrilling. No one--well, not me, at least--wants to read a book without ups and downs, twists and turns.
  5. It's full of substance. Like I said before, a lot of books pretty much rely on romance. They have angsty love triangles and fairytale romances. Ew. Ew ew ew. Thankfully, the Harry Potter series doesn't have romance until the ending books, and even that is lighthearted; if a reader skipped over those bits, the book would still make sense; it would still be interesting.
  6. It's dark, but it's still happy. Not many books can pull that off. Harry Potter's tale is sad. It makes me cry. But it has a happy ending, and it leaves us with the nice feeling that despite tragedy and murder and all that, life can still be happy.
  7. It's like a puzzle; everything fits. Everything. The spells are named after the Latin/French word for their effects, the names are based off of old English words, etc. And not just that, but all confusions are cleared up logically at the ends of the books, and you feel like, "Oh, why didn't I see that before?"
So yeah, seven for luck. By the way, the sketch up there? It's from nocturnalsoldier.org/Tealin/harry.html. He's got some fantastic artwork.

01 November 2012

5 Creative Anti-Smoking Ads

These anti-smoking ads are both creative and effective. Ugh. Imagine brushing your teeth with cigarettes.






30 October 2012

29 October 2012

Epic Bookshelves

I really love books. I used to be a voracious (delicious word) reader. I don't read books--I devour them. I crunch on each page, just savouring the taste. Now...there isn't enough time. Anyways, here are pictures of some really cool bookshelves.






28 October 2012

Striped Nails

Hey, just wanted to share another nail art style...you may already know about this one as well. It can vary in a lot of ways; the number of stripes, the colours (duh). It can get a bit tedious (and you'll see why) but it's super easy, and it's worth it. All you need is tape, and of course, nail polish.


  1. Arrange all the colours you want to use in order, from lightest to darkest.
  2. Apply base coat.
  3. Apply the LIGHTEST colour on your full nail. 
  4. Apply top coat.
  5. Take a tiny strip of tape (Scotch tape works best) about the size that you want the lightest stripe and press it GENTLY down over the place where you want your lightest stripe.
  6. Apply the next lightest colour over your nail. Try not to go over the tape, but if you do, no problem. That's what it's there for.
  7. Apply top coat.
  8. You can stop now (I did) or you can keep going--repeat steps 3 to 7 in the light to dark order.
  9. When it's all done, flaunt your stripey nails!

Hilarious GIF

I know this isn't a photo, but it was too funny not to share.


27 October 2012

Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread Cookies


I was browsing ohmysugarhigh.com, and guess what I found? A recipe for cookie heaven!! My one weakness is chocolate-chip cookies. I cannot resist! I just had to post the recipe here.



INGREDIENTS

yield: 4-6 dozen, depending upon size.
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2-3)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups quick or old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks


DIRECTION
  1. Preheat oven to 375° degrees F.
  2. In medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In large bowl beat butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add brown sugar and then beat additional 2 minutes. Beat in banana, eggs and vanilla, just until combined.
  4. Stir in flour mixture.
  5. Stir in oats, nuts and chocolate chunks.
  6. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for one minute before moving to wire rack to cool completely.

All credit to ohmysugarhigh.com.

Beach

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the beach? It's like my second home...

On a related note, I'm obsessed with the movie series Pirates of the Carribean. Usually I don't enjoy movies, because I find them silly and overrated, but I have to say that the one I just mentioned is fantastic. It's just right: 50% action, 9% romance (which is a bit much) and 41% plot. I'm serious, other than the romance bit, it's perfect. I just wanted to mention that.

26 October 2012

Brilliant Ideas

Just wanted to share a couple of really cool ideas/inventions! They're ingenious.





23 October 2012