March 29, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: Science Fair

Recently, I went through a awful process. It was dark, and scary, and named SCIENCE FAIR!

Ask any Math/Science/Technology student in my school--the worst part of our magnet is science fair.

It is a blood-sucking leech, draining the social life and sanity out of us! I'm naming it Hirusocia. Hiru- because Hirudinea is the class under which leeches are classified. -Socia because social. Yeah, Latin's weird. Hurisocia causes many a brain to explode around January. This can be seen between classes. Observe: various students are running around frantically, screaming about how they haven't even started their projects yet.

Which brings me to another point. Most people's projects contain a certain amount of lie to it. In fact, two years ago, there was a project about how much of the average science fair project at our school was fake. According to his findings, the average student faked 51% of his/her project. Or is that fake?

Hirusocia is worse for some, it was just "not fun" for me because I was in Behavioral Sciences. Just so you know, that's regarded as the easier category. That's understandable. Because of this, though, it is usually a large category, meaning more competition.

From my proposal in October to the Science Fair in February, I procrastinated on every step. Don't be like me! It was hell. I kept planning so do work, but then I kind of blew it off. I'm an awful example.

Don't oversleep on the day of science fair. Also, when you see that you're waking up at the time at which you had planned to leave, don't tear the plug out of the wall to make your alarm clock stop. First, check to ensure that's it's not your phone.

Do not forget anything at home, because your parents will be mad if they have to drive downtown to bring you some forms.

You may want to print out a few copies of your abstract. It'll help the judges remember you by.

And about the judges--yes, you'll just be standing next to your board for 90% percent of the 8 hours you spend at the venue. Yes, all the judges will be listening to the unoriginal project four spaces down. That guy will get scholarships and internships and first place--do you know why? Because he did about a million statistical analyses.

On the bright side, a lot of the projects are really interesting. Mine, for example. I discovered that people in my city are not prejudiced against people who are Hispanic. But I got beat out by, "Science UN-Fair?!"

But that's cool. I'm over it.

On the other bright side, it is very easy to sneak food in. Also, there was a trivia contest in the break room, and I DOMINATED, and therefore, I was given prizes. (Yes, there was a Harry Potter portion.)

On the stunningly bright side, however, the more you look on the bright side, the higher your chance are of going blind.

Science fair felt like a waste of time. However, if you feel like you have a chance at winning, or if you just feel like trying, then go for it!

Your Blogger Who Is Incredibly Relieved To Be Done With Science Fair,

March 22, 2011

Music Review: Angles by The Strokes

The Strokes, famous for their amazing debut album, Is This It?, and an equally stunning sophomore album, Room on Fire, broke up after the third album First Impressions of Earth. Apparently that one was a dud.

It seems that with this newly put-together band, everyone has their two cents to contribute when it comes to discussing Angles. Since last year, I've been in love with The Strokes, so naturally I've been stoked for their new release.

A large part of the reason that The Strokes broke up was that Julian Casablancas, the singer and frontman, made the other band mates feel as if they were apart of a creative dictatorship. It makes sense that now they all have a hand in writing the music and lyrics, right? Of course, because of this, the sound would get more experimental. Well, that 's good, right?

Well, not exactly.

It seems that that Strokes sound is all Casablancas--Angles lost it, with it reappearing only in "Under Cover of Darkness." The Strokes Sound has been transformed--I loved the sound! Unlike quite a few critics, though, I don't think this album is miserable.

Among the new songs, there are a few gems.

  • "Machu Piccu"--definitely different than all their previous songs--is wonderful! With great buildups and guitars, and with Casablancas' one-of-a-kind voice, you won't be able to stop yourself from singing along.
  • "Two Kinds of Happiness" gets experimental, but is undoubtedly one of the best songs. It has epic guitar solos, that semi singing-in-the-background sound we Strokes Lovers have come to adore, and not-quite-heavy drums.
  • "You're So Right" has me screaming "This is all so wrong!" Casablancas' voice is flat, the song gets boring, and the techno destroys everything from the singing to the drums. I'm listening to each song as I write about it, and this one is giving me a headache and my face is scrunched up in disgust. This song is a demerit on the Strokes' record. I must finish this paragraph so that I may change the song.
  • "Taken For a Fool" is my favorite song on this album. It's taken me a full minute to write this sentence because I keep breaking into dance. I love the guitars, lyrics, and singing. It's not The Strokes Sound, but it's still amazing. It's not super dance-y, like the crap on the radio, but it's one of the faster tracks. I can't think of anything to dislike about this song. It's exciting, it builds up and then lets loose with some great guitar, and--ok, can you please just trust me on this one and allow me to spend the rest of the song singing and dancing? Thank you.
  • "Games" isn't remarkable, but it's not bad. It doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the album. It can get bland at moments, but the chorus is good. This one has a slight techno tilt to it. I do love it, though, as Casablancas sings, "One more daaaaay / One more niiiiiiight." It actually makes you feel something, as apposed to the rest of the song, where's I feel more or less like, "Okay, write about this song, then I'll just skip to the next."
  • "Call Me Back" is the slow track of the album. This drumless song, the silence filled with a loud keyboard and an only slightly repetitive guitar, makes you sway. What my problem is, though, is that you start to anticipate this huge buildup where you expect they'll burst out with a loud guitar, and Casablancas will start sing-yelling the lyrics like he does so well. But all we get is a slightly faster guitar, and then we're left feeling unfulfilled.
  • "Gratisfaction" is happy, upbeat, and light. Some say it borders on "silly," but I don't mind. It's reminiscent of 80s rock--I feel like I should be snapping my fingers to this track. This one actually does stand out from some of the album. I never expected a song like this from The Strokes; it's so different from their music up until now. Well, I suppose that's what happens when five people are writing a song rather than just one.
  • "Metabolism" sounds an awful lot like "You're So Right," and I use the word awful for a reason. It sounds like "You're So Right," with the techno toned down, thankfully. "Metabolism" isn't too bad, but it's got the overpowering guitar and the boring sound. As certain times, the music will get loud, but the problem is that the guitar plays the same chord for the entire few seconds that it lasts.
  • "Life Is Simple In The Moonlight" is good. It starts out slow, then the drums lead us into a louder, slightly faster part of the song, with Casablancas singing with emotion that gets you on your feet. This cycle repeats a couple times, but never fails to keep you entertained. I am in love with the guitars on this one. I really like this song, and I wish I knew the lyrics to sing along with it.
This albums doesn't exactly meet expectations, but it's a transformed band--the music is transformed as well. I miss the classic Strokes Sound, but I don't think they've completely done away with it. I'm hopeful for their next project, and until then, I'll be rocking out to Angles--even if I must skip over a couple.

7.8 Stars out of 10!

Your Strokes-Lover,

March 09, 2011


If you celebrate half-birthdays, then does that mean that on full birthdays you have to use twice as many candles, one for each half-year you've lived? You would need a huge cake just to fit all the candles by the time you turn ten. If you have a huge cake, you'll need a large number of people to eat that cake. Then again, if you have two birthday parties a year, then they become less important, meaning that less people will feel obligated to attend.

Well, at least the local fire squad will attend. What happens when you're eighty and have no breath left to blow out 160 candles?

If you start celebrating your half-birthdays, are you required to celebrate every half-birthday for the rest of your life, or do you just have to acknowledge that they exist through your candles.

Maybe instead of having a candle for each half-birthday, you could just have half a candle for each half-birthday. You would just have to break a lot of candles.

Or you could be sane and efficient and just celebrate your birthday once a year.

Nah. That makes too much sense.

Your Blogger,

March 07, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: The Origin of All Drama

My year has been wonderfully devoid of any drama. It's heaven.

However, after talking to some of my friends about it, it seems that this isn't really a universal thing. (Sorry, readers!)

As I reviewed my year in my head and my peers shared their Drama Diaries, I found a common denominator in every situation--boys.

No, I don't mean that if anyone with a Y chromosome waves at you in the hallway you should run screaming to the hills, I'm just saying every story has been, "Boyfriend did this," "Ex-Boyfriend said that," and "I let it slip that A likes B."

So why don't I have these problems?

"Because no one likes you and you're destined for spinsterhood?" says that très penible reader.


Because I have perspective. How does this work? Well, you see...

Perspective > Seeing things clearly > Realizing that you know no one worthy of your romantic time > Not dating > No drama!

That, and I'm Muslim.

But remember--this doesn't mean I have any less of a high school experience or anything. Quite the contrary; I get to look back at high school and think, "Wow, I had so much fun with all my various friends!" Others can think, "Wow, I never realized how many Ben & Jerry's cartons I finished, how many hours I spent by the phone, and how many idiots I wasted time on."

Theory of Freshman Culture, Behavior, and Interaction #4: Social drama and strife is commonly caused by romantic relationships, endeavors, and situations.

Don't get me wrong, though--I'm not recommending that no one ever date. I'm just reporting my observations. If you decide to go all Lonely Hearts Club on it, be my guest. If you do date, be prepared for possible drama.

Your Drama-Free Blogger,