Saturday, July 2, 2011

Looking For That Special Lady?

"Date a girl who reads. Who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You'll know she does because she'll always have an unread book in her bag. She's the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the library, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand bookshop? That's the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially if they are yellow.

She's the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she's kind of engrossed already. Lost in the world of the author's making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. She if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce Ulysses, she's just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice of if she'd like to be Alice.

It's easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know you understand that words are love. Understand that she's knows the difference between books and reality; but, by God, she's going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to a climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to an end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours, but she will always come back to you. She'll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually the next time she's sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you'll wonder why your heart hasn't burst and bled all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to The Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together, and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours, and half-baked proposals, then you're better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

-Rosemary Urquico

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ten Most Extreme Substances

The term "extreme" has been overused to the point of exhaustion; when something truly extreme is experienced, there is a lack of words available to fully express it. Thankfully, it has recently lost most of its buzz-word status; it's mostly back to meaning things on the fringe, way out on the edges, where they blow our mind with extremeness (rather than simply being at a loud concert). We've all heard stories of magnets powerful enough to move trains vast distances, or acids capable of eating through tough materials in seconds. However, were you aware that there are even more extreme versions? I could hardly believe it myself. That being said, I present ten of the most extreme substances I could find.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Battery Goo: Innovative Electric Cell

A sample of Cambridge Crude
(photo courtesy of Dominick Reuter).

With oil reserves slowly being depleted, the industrialized world is forced to turn to alternative sources of energy. Many pioneers have taken the steps to completely eliminate oil dependency, prominent being many international corporations. The automobile industry, being the one of the worst sources of carbon emissions, has begun to commercialize electric and hybrid cars in recent years. Unfortunately, having a cutting-edge fully-electric vehicle presents drawbacks, such as lengthy charge times or inefficient compromises like a battery swap. Readily available gasoline is often far more attractive to less proactive drivers; electricity can't be "pumped" into a car with near the speed of gasoline (nor into a purely electric car). However, MIT researchers may have come close to solving this problem with a battery goo that can be pumped just like gasoline.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Compudesk

Do you ever dream of customization? From Nerf guns to entire homes, there is a huge community of artists and manipulators who just aren't quite satisfied with the aesthetics of store-bought goods. While a large number of these people are in fact skilled craftsmen building either from scratch or scrap, there is an equally large community dedicated to merely changing the appearance of an object. Got a thing for art deco? No problem, there's a community on the web that will help you turn that old radio into a thing of beauty. For others, computer customization is their niche. One man even created a de- er, compu- ...compudesk that would fulfill any cyberpunk enthusiast's dreams.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Power of Reading Fiction

Perhaps it's due to the way movies and television programs portray bookworms, but people who like to read are often portrayed as socially awkward. While I could write an entire post dedicated to solely how wrong and irriatating these stereotypes are, I shall instead share an article I found recently. A recent study shows that reading fiction can actually improve your social skills, as opposed to most notions of social roles.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Think We Can Put Our Differences Behind Us, For Science...You Monster

In 2007, Valve proudly unveiled The Orange Box as a special deal selling five games for the price of one. Along with several familiar titles, there was one that had never before made an appearance: Portal, the quaint puzzle game that took the gaming community by storm. As players navigated the spatially-challenging puzzles, humorous dialogue, and an antagonist chillingly reminiscent of HAL 9000, they were left with a sense of accomplishment and enthusiasm for more. However, a keen sense of mystery was also imparted on the players: What was Aperture Science? What is the story of Chell, the silent protagonist?

Monday, June 6, 2011


A minor note, but an update nonetheless. About, Links, and Contact pages have been added to the tabs bar. Check back periodically; the Links page will be updated about as often as Blogstraction itself.

On an unrelated note, I managed to have an intelligent conversation on Omegle yesterday. Yes, I was surprised too. The fellow was perfectly cordial, and was capable of speaking in complete sentences (a skill sadly lacking in many). While the event itself is in no way major, it assures me that things aren't as hopeless as they often seem.