Archive for September, 2013

Life Lesson: Homework.

Homework sucks, we all know this. Really, any forced or mandatory work is miserable. Especially if it’s only busy work and you don’t get paid for it.

However, since I am a major procrastinator, I’ve learned some tricks when it comes to getting the really boring work done and done right on time.

First, break subjects into chunks. I do my least favorite things first (math), to get them out of the way for the more time consuming work.

Then, instead of doing AP homework first, I do my easier subjects because it makes me feel really smart when I can get through that homework fairly quickly.

After the easier work, I start the AP work. About a half hour in, I take a ten or fifteen minute break and grab a snack. Since I normally start with my history work, I have to break it up at about half hour intervals so I don’t get super overwhelmed and freak out, because that may or may not happen frequently.

The hardest part of homework is any work online, because what’s more fun than doing homework online? Anything else.  I don’t know about you, but I have to constantly force myself to get back to work when I’m doing something online.

That being said, it’s taken me ages to get this far in just this single post, I’ve been at it almost an hour now and I keep getting distracted by anything and everything; from checking my grades, getting on some random meaningless social media site to looking at videos on Youtube of song covers sung by dolls. (Seriously, that’s a thing, I kid you not.)

Granted, as much as everyone hates homework, it is a necessary evil that needs to get done, whatever the cost may be to your internet surfing time. Just log out of Facebook, turn the sound off your phone and resist the urge to be in the constant loop of internet.

Once you’re done with your assignments, there’s plenty of time for that.

For you time listening to my rambling. I present to you a picture of a tortoise eating a strawberry.

 

My Internet Adventures! Imgur edition.

I’ve mentioned Imgur before, but let’s go a little more in depth with it today.

Like Reddit (link here), Imgur is one of the bigger photo sharing sites online where you are able to post images along with stories anonymously and other people vote or comment on them.

Now, that’s just the basic idea of Imgur. Both Imgur and Reddit are on a point system, where if someone likes what you post, they upvote- or if they don’t, they downvote. Posting is just the general term to posting pictures or adding comments on someone else’s pictures or your own. These are all things that you get points for.

Once you have accumulated so many points, you gain reputation and trophies, which really do nothing but look really nice on your profile when people look up your username.

While sites like Reddit are full of people who are major jerks to pretty much every other person, Imgur is slightly more sympathetic and caring, unless you’re “karma whoring”, which is making up a story to gain status on your profile because you just want the points (here).

However, Imgur is one of the hardest addictions to get away from since it’s constantly changing, depending how your viewing settings are. Tons of pictures are posted every minute by normal people, so  you feel a sort of kinship to these seemingly random people online, which makes breaking away from this community really difficult.

Essentially, it’s a website for procrastination and if you are a procrastinator, it sucks you in because it’s way more amusing than doing whatever work you were actually supposed to be doing online in the first place.

To sum it up, the Imgur website can be found here (if you want to become super addicted to the internet, if you aren’t already). Other than that, there’s not much else to say about it until you visit it and learn about it for yourself.

In return for the time you spent reading this, here’s a link to one of my favorite websites called Procatinator, a website with pictures and gifs of cats with relevant music.

Here’s a picture of my cat. Enjoy.

One Click Stick Butter Cutter.

Now, since there aren’t always new infomercials on, I’ve decided to also do an invention part of the blog which piggybacks with the whole infomercial side of things. This does give me a lot more room for variability in my topics since most infomercials are about beautification and children’s toys, that being said, there are going to be a lot of seemingly random inventions.

On that note, today’s topic is butter cutters. There are many different types of similar products from those that cut the whole stick of butter into pats and the other ones that hold the butter and cut pieces off when you turn a knob, or something similar. But, I’m just going to talk about one specific type.

The first item to show up when I found this was called, “One Click Stick Butter Cutter.” It’s kind of the most adorable thing I’ve seen, as far as butter cutters go.

The above picture is the one that the company uses for advertisement, and while trying to find this specific picture, I came across the website for the company. Link here.

I mean really, who doesn’t need a product that cuts butter for you?

Pros of the butter cutter. First, you don’t get grease on you or your clothes (especially when you’re someone like me and the minute you get anything on your hands, you instinctively wipe it on your clothes). Second, this container is supposed to be more space effective in your fridge, since it sits upright and you don’t have to keep it in a butter dish. I don’t know about you, but my family never uses a butter dish in the fridge, or at all, so I don’t know if that’s a huge selling point. Last but not least, it’s dishwasher safe.

While the pros sound pretty reasonable, there are a lot more cons. I mean, a lot more. Since you keep this in the fridge, the butter is cold. Right? That means it’s more difficult to cut, and even worse when you’re using a button to cut it. A selling point on this product is that it’s safe for kids. Well, yeah, because they can’t get it to cut anything. Another is that it’s cheap, and not the good cheap, but that it’s cheaply made and breaks easily. And the last major complaint was that this cutter doesn’t fit normal sized butter rectangles, so you have to cut the butter to make it fit what’s supposed to cut the butter for you.

All in all, this doesn’t sound like a great product, but it doesn’t sound absolutely horrible. To each their own. Personally, I would not buy this just because I don’t actually cook all that much or find this a necessity.

With that, I leave you with a picture of a monkey.

Hanger Cascader.

Seeing that I’m female and I have a rather extensive collection of clothing, I thought this might be an overall interesting product for me. This one, however, is a lot older than the other products I’ve reviewed so far. In fact, I hadn’t even seen the commercial until I looked it up on Youtube. Link below.

Now that you’ve seen the commercial again, I imagine you might have some recollection of it when it was on a lot.

Now, in the commercial, it talks about another type of hanger organizer like product, which I also found online. So I’m going to summarize the reviews of both products and see which ones people like better, if they like them at all.

People didn’t like the plastic version because it wasn’t strong enough to hold the clothes that were going to be used on the product and that it would bend under even small amounts of weight. This is the exact opposite of what people said about the metal one, people really liked that it was able to hold heavier clothing items, like suits, easily.

However, people who reviewed the metal one believed that the plastic ones would work fine for lighter apparel, which is the complete opposite of what the reviewers of the plastic one said.

Now, I’m saying that one group is right or wrong, but this seems like one of the products that I would honestly need to try before I could agree with one side or the other just because it does depend on what you want to store this way.

If this does work though, it would make my closet have so much more space and look less like a disaster zone every morning after I get dressed. Now, if only I could find someone to hang up my clothes for me…

For your time, here’s a picture of a snow leopard cub in a basket.

My Internet Adventures! Versailles edition.

There are things in this world that I just really love, and one of those things are castles or palaces. Like every other little girl growing up, I wanted to be a princess. (Shortly after that phase came astronaut, but that’s something for another time.)

The reason I wanted to be a princess was not because I loved Disney movies, which I did; but it was because when I was growing up, my family didn’t have cable and we watched a lot of public informational broadcasting; which, typically has a lot of cooking and travel shows. It was shortly after watching a historic travel show that I fell in love with castles.

And no, not what most people find attractive about castles, but the nitty gritty part of castles’ history; the wars, the knights, and the lies told to gain favor. That’s what I liked when I was younger, in fact, I still do like those parts.

I’m sure that you’ve all seen pictures and heard about the famous palaces and castles like Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and Versailles in France. Versailles show below.

versailles

But there are so many other castles out there, like Blarney Castle in Ireland — which is absolutely beautiful and has its own poison gardens, I thought that was cool. (Really, gardens that are used to only grow poison.)

The cool part about castles is the floor plan and the architecture. Really, when these castles were built, there wasn’t anything close to the technology that we have today and yet they have these huge, intricate castles.

Now, to the random facts. Today, it’s all about Versailles.

The palace is about 16 miles from Paris; King Louis XIV did this on purpose, he didn’t want commoners to be able to storm the palace (easily).

The Hall of Mirrors is a room that used over one thousand candles to light the 43 chandeliers that were in the single room.

The reason mirrors were used in ways like this was to protect the walls and ceilings from smoke given off by candles. The mirrors reflected the little bit of light and made it appear brighter.

Originally, the area Versailles is built on was a forest that Louis XIII loved so much that he built a hunting lodge there, which became this monstrosity once Louis XIV was crowned, because it emphasized his total control of the state.

Shortly before and during the French revolution, this palace was a reminder to the French people that their monarchs spent huge sums of money on things like this when they couldn’t even afford bread to eat, because of this most of the furnishings were taken and were put into a museum, supposedly.

Don’t you just love the French?

For your time, here’s a picture of a red panda, enjoy.

Sources:
http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-chateau-de-versailles-3325.html
http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/The-Palace-of-Versailles-2809.html
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/articles/palace-of-versailles-facts/
And AP Euro work from last year.

Life Lesson: Homecoming.

Homecoming is supposed to be a time of school spirit and fun, but in my opinion, it’s anything but. Rather than being a stress free week for both students and teachers, this is one of the most stressful times of the year for me.

With marching band practices picking up, and AP homework piling up; time management for me becomes probably the most important part of this week. It’s a balancing act between homework, chores, band practice and any other random event that pops up.

Now, with all of this work comes stress. Sometimes, it just takes one more thing not going your way to make your day feel like a total disaster and wreck the rest of the day.

While this may be how you’re feeling right this minute, take a step back and breathe. It seems like a lot right then, but just take a break and go sit outside or go for a walk. Don’t let it get to you. It’s only one miserable week a school year (hopefully), and if you’re not all that into homecoming anyway- don’t sweat it, just do what you normally would.

I do, however, think that everyone should go to the dance and the football game anyway, even if it’s not something you really like all that much or don’t think is even worth the cost of your ticket, but if you go with a group of your friends or go just to make fun of the people, it’ll be worth the memories later in the year and in life when you look back on high school and the friends you made at those events you really didn’t want to go to in the first place.

Truthfully, as much as I hate the stress of the week as a whole, I’m always impressed with what all I can accomplish in the short amount of time I have to do things in; it shows me that I can do all of my things with a little bit of effort and a whole lot of stress, and that right there makes me feel a little bit more confident about the rest of my high school years and for when I get a “real” job in the future.

All in all, homecoming isn’t about the dance, it’s about the people and the memories you’ll make in the end.

With that, I’ll leave you with a picture of a baby llama.

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Life Lesson: Siblings.

This is the third topic of my blog, for right now anyway. Life lessons, sometimes everyone can use a refresher on lessons we should all know about. Today, it’s specifically siblings.

Now, as you may not know, I have a ton of siblings, four to be exact. That makes me the middle of five. The word siblings might as well mean torment and irritation.

This topic was brought up by something I saw on Imgur, which is a photo sharing site that I visit often. But, I’ll link the picture, because it’s something that totally relates to my life growing up being the odd one out of most things. Picture/s here.

My family is definitely not what you would call perfect or the stereotypical family, since the people I call my siblings are technically my half and/or adopted siblings. However, they are my siblings because they might as well be called something they are, which is besides the point.

But the life lesson here is that, no matter how much you can’t stand them, and trust me, I know how that feels, they will always love you; no matter what.

What this stems from is the fact that my siblings and I have never been close ever since I remember, and I wish I could know them better than I do, but I know that right now, it might be too late to. That being said, since I’m not close to my brothers or sisters, it’s hard for me to pretend to like them or get along; but I do try to. And over the last three years of actually living with my younger siblings, and older sister for a bit, I’ve noticed that they are not something I expected.

I grew up with my dad for the most part, and it was just the two of us, so it was quiet and calm. Then I moved in with my mom, and it’s the absolute opposite, just because of the amount of people I’m now living with. There are fights that you would never believe between any of us, and it’s almost daily now.

My point is, that your siblings do care about you, at least a little bit, will always love you, in most cases, and try to protect you.

This is probably one of the few heavier topics that I’m going to discuss, so bear with me. And on that note, have a picture of a bear.

Chances are the life lessons side of this blog are going to personal, so, if that’s not something you want to read, then you can just skip to the other categories.

Pillow Pets.

I’m sure you all have one of these, or know someone who does, as a girl, even I have one. Commercial below, like usual.

Now, I personally love my unicorn pillow pet, Fred. A lot of my friends even have one of these (in our defense, we all got them when they first came out, which was around 8th grade), mostly the unicorn type, because really, who doesn’t love unicorns?

Both my little sister and I have these at home with us, she even has one of the mini sized ones and uses hers as pillows rather than just regular stuffed animals like I do.

So that being said, I have a lot of experience with this product that I’m going to talk about. I’ll start with my opinion first, I like that it has the option of being a pillow or a stuffed animal, but my little sister has very long hair and the clasp that changes it back and forth uses Velcro, and while even though there is an extra piece of fabric that covers the Velcro, it doesn’t always stop it from getting stuck to my little sister’s hair. Another con is that while they’re soft and cuddly, they get dirty easily and can be difficult to clean depending on where the dirt is.

Pros! The best part. As mentioned before, they are super soft, comfy and really durable. Pillow Pets also work really well for road trips, which my family goes on a lot of, because they’re just the right size to take with in a crowded car and if you get bored, you can always pretend they’re eating cars that drive by.

I’m going to admit that I am a little biased since I have my own, and have had one for several years now. My cousin and her husband just recently bought a Pillow Pet for their daughter, and in seeing her play with it (she just turned three), it the perfect kind of stuffed toy for a rougher child.

Though this is considered a pillow, it’s not nearly as comfortable as using a real pillow, which is the complaint, if any, on Amazon or other sites where they have been purchased, or that their child just isn’t interested in the toy itself.

Knockoff brands are all over the place, so if you’ve bought one before and didn’t like it, or it was cheap, it probably wasn’t the real thing, which is one of the cons to this product.

That’s really all there is about this product. Look out for the next post sometime this week. Keeping with the unicorn idea, here’s a cat with a unicorn horn.

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Air Curler.

Air Curler, a product to curl your hair without using a curling iron. Remember the commercial? Super happy women with their hair dryers with attached plastic? If not, it’s below, like usual.

So, instead of using direct heat, the Air Curler uses a tornado like motion to wipe your hair around in snarly wads while drying it. Sounds cool, if you really like brushing knots out of your hair.

Now, I’ve seen some video responses on Youtube of people actually using the Air Curler and read some reviews online. The videos mentioned that your hair must be pretty wet, the hair dryer on high, instead of on low like the directions recommend and that it doesn’t make the softer curls it boasts of, but rather just ringlets. As well as it’s hard to find the sweet spot that causes the hair to curl.

Amazon buyers really dislike this product over 15 people rated the product with one star while others only 7 people rated this with 5 stars. This is out of a total of 35 reviews. The lower rated reviews say that the Air Curler is big and clumsy which makes it harder to use; while this doesn’t necessarily agree with the videos perfectly, I do see that the product does look a little uncomfortable to use.

Pros overall are that people did like the ringlets they got using this product, if they got it to work correctly. One review that was highly rated was that it worked well if you read all of the directions and used something to keep volume if you hair falls flat easily.

Now, something the information online boasts is that it doesn’t damage your hair by using direct heat, but using indirect heat is still bad for your hair, just not as bad as using direct heat, so there’s that. In my opinion, I would rather have the curls I want without the frustration but using the heat.

So that’s the Air Curler for you. And as thanks for reading, here’s a picture of a bunny.

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My Internet Adventures! Jackson edition.

The internet adventures portion of this blog is just more information about something I found online that was interesting to me. Today, the topic is Andrew Jackson. This might be just the first installment of other political people to come depending on how this goes. These are really random useless facts you’ll never need. So enjoy.

Andrew Jackson is first up. He was the seventh president of the United States of America, from the years 1829 to 1837 and served two terms. Jackson’s nickname is (was?) “Old Hickory” because he was super tough and fought in duels since he had a very aggressive manner and personality. Now that the basics are out of the way, below is a picture and the random facts I promised.

Jackson joined the Continental Army at the age of twelve and carried packages and letter across the front during the Revolutionary War during this, he was captured by the British which made him the only president captured and made a prisoner of war. During his time as a prisoner of war, Jackson was made a servant for a British general until his release in an exchange between the British and the American. He then served in the rest of the war.

During his time in office, Jackson had what we would call house parties, letting everyday people in to the White House. Which is very different then what goes on in the White House now.

Andrew Jackson was almost shot while walking through the Capitol, I should mention almost shot twice by the same guy. The other man’s guns misfired twice and Jackson then beat him with his cane. To get Jackson to stop, members of Congress had to physically restrain him. That was the first attempted assassination of an American President.

Last but not least, Jackson’s pet parrot was taken from the funeral because the parrot would not stop swearing.

There’s your list of random Jackson’ facts. For you time, here’s a picture of a hedgehog.