Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer updates - swimming, books

August 1st, 2014

My deepest sincerest apologies for not updating sooner. I have been recently consumed in the flames of chemistry homework but have finally finished without being burned to death :-)

I can actually say, though, that my summer is going pretty swell. (ha, I used a retro word there)

Mornings have brought swim practice, afternoons have brought swim practice, and weekends have brought swim meets. It's the best feeling in the world to race, like I might have mentioned in a previous post - and when you're swimming with some of your awesome friends, the experience in ten times better. After skipping quite a few practices in the winter, I think I've actually improved to be way better than I even was before. It does count as a confidence booster, sometimes, which is helpful.

I've also been able to tackle some books I've always wanted to read with this extra summa time. Jane Eyre - finished. To Kill a Mockingbird - finished. While I always say classics aren't my favorite, Jane Eyre certainly is an exception. The perspective is astounding; you're led through Jane's thought processes, and while you certainly might not agree with some of her decisions, it's still interesting.

To Kill a Mockingbird has made the list of my all-time favorite books. There's not that much symbolism, that's true (there's just the occasional symbol like the mockingbird, etc. etc. obvious stuff like that) but the examination and juxtaposition of good and evil is food for the brain. My brain, at least. :-)

I might be posting some random writing samples later. Who knows...

Tell me about your summer in the comments! I've seen that a lot of you just look at my posts and don't comment, and that's fine. Commenting would be great, though. :D

Monday, May 5, 2014

Heading off to TSA Nationals (for Transportation Modeling)

May 5th, 2014

With APs looming around the corner and SAT 2 subject tests slowly creeping up as well, I'm swamped with studying. However, the one bright side to all of this is that after I'm done with testing and the school year, I'll be heading off to TSA Nationals with some other kids in my school.

As you may have remembered from a previous blog post, I competed this year in Transportation Modeling. I competed in the same category last year, only to get second in the state (not good enough to go to nationals, according to my school's standards). This year, after putting countless hours of effort into shaping, carving, and painting the car, and creating AutoCAD drawings and writing essays, I finally got first. In my opinion, Transportation Modeling should be a team project. There's so much work, compared to the other individual projects...and I wouldn't mind working in a team, either. :)

Anyways, Nationals this year is in Washington D.C., at the Gaylord National Hotel! It's absolutely beautiful from the pictures I've seen online. More importantly, it has a pool, so I can still practice at Nationals. The pool itself isn't small either - it looks like an artsy version of the standard 25m pool for swimming.

In addition to Transportation Modeling, I've also taken on three more TSA competitions at Nationals (including promo graphics) for fun. I can't wait - doing promo graphics gives me an excuse to try out my new Digital drawing app.

More updates to come!
For now, good luck to all others taking APs and SAT 2s. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

TSA Transportation Modeling - Year Two!

March 18th, 2014

After working for a couple months and vigorously cramming last week, I have finally succeeded in finishing my TSA project :D
I'm doing the same competition as last year, Transportation Modeling. It's individual, and this year's theme was alternative energy vehicle.

Here's some pictures of the car (I tryharded this year):

The washers on top of the car allow a detachable windmill and solar panel to stick to the car, as seen in the upper photo.
Guess what kind of paint I used to paint the car?
Nail polish. It was holographic, and I only used half a bottle. If you're looking for nail polish, I strongly recommend Color Club Halographic Hues--they're not exactly exorbitant in price, but they're not cheap either. The quality is astounding, compared to the nail polishes of more esteemed brands. I thought I needed 4 bottles to paint the car...and I only used half a bottle. That was after three coats.
Anyways....enough digression. Comments? Feedback?
as a really random side note, my display has stars that light up. :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Energy Use in the Modern Economy - SHP review


Let my start off by saying: HAPPY REALLY BELATED NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!
Thank you all for being such loyal readers <3

Recently, Columbia SHP's first semester ended and the second started. Now, I'm taking Modern Psychology. Last semester, I took Energy Use in the Modern Economy. That class was definitely worth the time, and the teacher was awesome. I learned an unbelievable amount, and I've actually been able to apply it to everyday life. Although the class does focus on energy use, and the different types of fuels and their characteristics, there's a decent amount of math and physics involved (which conveniently allows me to work on math and physics while also learning about something I'm interested in. Win-win. :D).

I know the second semester selection window passed already, but for any of you SHP guys, I would strongly recommend picking Energy Use. Even though it may not sound the most impressive, you can really use the information you learn.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Really, Really Easy Way to Do Nails - No Experience Required

December 11th, 2013

Hey guys, sorry sorry sorry for not posting for a long time. The times have been rough. xD
Just to get warmed up again at this stuff, I'm doing a post on nails. Just for fun.

I don't spend all my time painting my nails, but I do paint them once in a while. There's all these complicated tutorials online where you have to water marble, or paint animals with nail polish, on your nails. Frankly, the results aren't so awesome, either. And in order to do those, you need a lot of colors, which costs quite a bit of money.

So, I developed a new idea which requires pretty much no painting skills, and only one color of nail polish. But you do need a printer. A regular inkjet printer. And, of course, YOU DON'T NEED TRANSFER PAPER OR SOME OTHER KIND OF FANCY SCHMANCY DECAL PAPER OR WHATEVER. TOO MUCH WORK. :D

  1. Paint nails in one color. I used pink.
  2. Find some pictures on the internet, or draw some pictures and upload them to your computer.
  3. Copy and paste the pictures onto MsWord.
  4. Resize the pictures to make them smaller (about the size of your fingernail)
  5. Print the page out.
  6. Cut the little pictures out.
  7. Get some rubbing alcohol, or vodka. Whatever's more convenient. I used cooking vodka, since it's used around my house for cooking/frying so often.
  8. Pour that into a shallow pan/plate. It's easier than using a tall glass or cup and wastes less.
  9. Dip one fingernail (immerse it) in that pan for maybe 5 seconds.
  10. While you're doing that, dunk one of the pictures in the rubbing alcohol.
  11. Take your finger and the picture out, and position the picture (with ink side touching fingernail) on your fingernail.
  12. Once you're happy with the positioning, press down. Hard, but not too hard. Keep pressing for 20-30 secs.
  13. After that it should be really easy to pull away the paper, and the picture should be transferred onto your nail.
  14. Apply a top coat, or else the ink will wash away.
  15. This is what mine looked like (Christmas themed! :DD):
As a sidenote, I named the reindeer on my index finger Bob. Say hi to Bob. :D

This is basically a variation of the newspaper nails trend that was going on a while ago, but everyone's putting so much effort into actually painting pictures when they could just print out pictures and plaster them onto nails. Less work, guys! Instead of painting designs with dotting tools and stripers and everything, just transfer from a regular sheet of printed paper.

This strategy works for black pictures, grayscale, and color. Just use an inkjet printer...I don't think laser-jet will work, but maybe it will. I don't know; I've never tried it.

Comment if you have any questions!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What happens when you don't sleep enough

September 25th, 2013

For the past few days, I've been experiencing first-hand what lack of sleep can do. It's terrible. After only getting about five hours of sleep (I bet a lot of you are laughing like "hoboyshethinks5hoursisshortwhat" but hey, I'm a heavy sleeper) I can tell you: never try to deprive yourself of sleep.

After getting up and stumbling around bleary-eyed for a longer time than usual, I was tired for the entire day, yawned incessantly, and had random piercing headaches. I usually never get headaches. Then I started to cough a lot, and I generally felt like falling on my face and sleeping on the floor.

Just...sleep when you can. It really helps. Unless if you have a giant project due the next day that you HAVE to finish no matter what. I those situations--hey, what can I say. Choose one: enough sleep or a decent grade on the project.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

It really seems like the world is ending...but it's not.

September 22, 2013

So my new hobby recently is reading the news when I get home on my iPad--and I couldn't help but see that in the past two weeks or so, there have just been so, so, so many disasters. One after another. They all just keep on coming. ._.'

For example, there was the whole flash flooding in Colorado, where a few died, quite a few went missing, and houses, neighborhoods, and roads were left in shambles. There were plenty of pictures of the devastation that made me feel kind of hollow.

As if that wasn't depressing enough, there was the Navy Yard shooting. It seems like after the Sandy Hook school shooting, these gunmen/women have been getting more enthusiastic (why D:). Well, in this case, there wasn't such a big hubbub about gun control laws (even though there should have been). Just the fact that these are adults, not children, does NOT justify in any way that the whole gun control situation should not be changed.

And THEN there was the mall shooting in Kenya. Just a couple of days after the Navy Yard shooting. Unlike the Navy Yard shooting, this time there were dozens of people killed, with many more wounded. And apparently there are also hostages being kept by terrorist militants.

Hopefully people will stop shooting, and hopefully nature decides to just lay off on the storms for a while. (Wow, when's that going to happen? Never. -_-')

I'll try to update this blog as soon as possible. :)