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.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Foray Into the Tangled Blogosphere...

Welcome, Bloggers, to Blogstraction! This blog shall serve as a personal repository of all that is interesting to me (and otherwise distracts me from the work at hand), including but not limited to: ranting, interesting trivia, videos, life lessons, film discussion, cooking, papercraft, life tips, health, and various projects of mine.

For the short version: this blog is a bit about everything, really, simply for the reason that I am fascinated by everything. Here is where I'll spread the word about all that captures my attention. In the intervening time between now and my next post, please enjoy a bit of crossover fan-art goodness.
Credit goes to Mike for the picture