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I usually talk about video games, TV shows and music. I also give advice and reviews. Have fun!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

20 Reasons Why Cats are Awesome

My cat. Many tears will be shed at his cuteness.
  1. The adorable factor, obviously
  2. Their purring is very therapeutic and relaxing
  3. Their mewing is also pretty cute
  4. Soft, furry paws... when claws are not retracted
  5. They are not needy and clingy
  6. Cats toilet train themselves
  7. They make good belly warmers
  8. Their fur is of ultimate soft caliber
  9. They can tell when you are in a bad mood
  10. However, they are too cool to care
  11. Cats are chill, not too much work
  12. Their tails are fun to watch
  13. Cats can manipulate you with just their eyes (eg. Puss in Boots)
  14. They make up 60% of the Internet (which says something)
  15. Cats can get any girl they want solely based on their looks (just kidding)
  16. They make you look like a sophisticated individual
  17. They balance out how much attention your dog needs
  18. They guard your bed
  19. You can entertain them for hours with a plastic bag
  20. Name them anything you want and it still sounds awesome. 

And to top off your day... I present this!

There we go. So... if you don't have a cat yet, go adopt one! If you do, get another one! :)

Sorry for the short post, I felt like I had to dedicate this to my cat for some reason.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A growing "problem" in South Korea

Last night I came across a horrifying story and I felt like sharing it with you guys. Unfortunately, all the links to the story are in Korean so I'll relay it back to you as accurately as possible.

Introduction (for anyone who is interested)

The actual story
 A Korean student in his final year of high school was being pushed every single day to be the top of everything. No, his mom was not happy with him being the top student in his school and getting near-perfect scores that would have pleased any parents. He ranked 4000th place out of millions (which ranks him in the 98~99th percentile) of Korean students on a national test similar to the SAT's, which frankly is quite amazing. But as you might already guess, she still wasn't happy. He was beaten every day (sometimes for hours at a time) for not being the best of the best ever since he was a kid. His father left their family when he was little and he was left with his mom who pretty much asked for the near impossible.

He became so desperate to please his mom that he faked his national test results and told his mom he ranked 62nd place, not 4000th place. I'm guessing she still wasn't very happy because she got a baseball bat and a golf club and beat him for ten hours for not doing better. No, I am not exaggerating. She then decided to have a meeting with his teacher the following day about his ranking. Realizing that his mom would find out he lied about his results, he then murdered her and locked her body in a separate room for eight months. Nobody would have found out if his father had not made one of his yearly visits and discovered that one room was sealed with duct tape and a horrible stench was coming from it.

Now, I know murder is never justifiable. And I'm not saying what he did was in any way "right". But I can understand why he did it. I'm guessing that having to grow up without hearing one "good job" from his mom and constantly getting physically and verbally abused would have made him snap at one point. I say rest in peace to the poor woman, but I hope this serves as a message to all parents who treat their children like robots or slaves. There are so many stories like this everyday; Korean kids who run away or kill themselves out of stress, yet this seems to have no effect on other parents and competition becomes even more fierce. Education is extremely important in my opinion, but so is making sure your kid is loved and appreciated even if he or she gets an F in every subject. In the long run, grades and rankings are just stupid numbers, but your kids are real people who deserve love and praise. Many parents don't even see that until it's too late.

And with that, I say have a great day and hopefully more and more Korean parents realize how this intense, almost inhumane academic competition is gradually becoming detrimental to our society.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Two wrongs don't make a right... or do they?

Still from a video on this article

Good morning! I happened to come across this story which was one of those rare ones with a happy ending... although it might not be the fairytale happy ending you're thinking of.
Here's a quick summary.

Basically, Kathryn, a university student, came out of a restaurant to find her bicycle was stolen. The next day, while browsing Craigslist listings in he area, she found an ad for a bike that looked a lot like hers. She called up the number of the guy who put up the ad and arranged a meeting. Once she got there, she confirmed the bike to be hers. She then asked the thief, Denzel Crawford, if she could take the bike for a "test drive". When he agreed, she then proceeded to throw her stolen bike into her car and drive away. Crawford then confessed to stealing the bike and was taken into custody.

You can read more about it here.

I can confidently say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. I know that most of the time two wrongs don't make a right, but I think it was incredibly justified in this case. What do you guys think?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Well, winter break is nearing and I can tell everyone at school has been slacking off lately. I'm pretty sure everyone here has procrastinated at one point; choosing to go to a party, play video games or finish watching HIMYM before going on to homework (or other significantly more important things). I've always put schoolwork first on my list but even I gotta admit that I've stayed up late a few nights because I'd wasted the whole day on other things. You know that guilty feeling that wells up at the pit of your stomach when you know you're not using your time efficiently? Yup, that's happened to me too.

I do think it has a lot to do with balancing out our lives (check out the diagram in this post as a reference). It's hard, I know, but here are a few tips that I've accumulated throughout my life that might help you out. Along with that, a very well-known IB-program director visited our school the other day and gave us a few tips as well. This is mainly directed to students but I guess it can work for other people too :)

 How not to procrastinate so much and study properly (tips and tricks)
  1.  Make a list (like I'm doing now)  of all the things you know need to be done. List the top-priority things first, less important things after. Things you do for fun (TV, Facebook, video games) are on the BOTTOM! Put it somewhere in sight so you can check it off as you go. 
  2. Study time is study time. Free time is free time. Get it straight before you start your work. Have all your textbooks, calculators, worksheets, etc. ready before you get started so that you don't spend half the time running around. 
  3. Be comfortable. Is your room the right temperature? Lighting? Are you in an ergonomically correct position? 
  4. Get rid of all distractions. Close your door, turn off your phone, you get the point. 
  5. Plan study breaks. No one can study for a solid four hours. In fact, I believe it was confirmed that the human brain can only focus on a certain thing for half an hour before we start getting distracted. During your break, stretch, go get a snack.
  6. Reward yourself! Decide to treat yourself when you are done with the big project or studying for the huge exam. 
  7. Get anti-procrastination programs like Concentrate (Mac OS X) to block off sites (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter) for a pre-determined amount of time so you can get started on your work without distractions.
I hope these helped. I constantly have to refer to this list whenever I get distracted, but I find that this always gives good results. 

On an unrelated note, how is everyone handling the cold? I love the winter yet I have to admit the worst moment of my day is having to wake up to go to school when I'm all cocoon-ed in my bed covers :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Siblings: Can't live with them, can't live without them

Me (left) with my brother (right). I don't think we've changed much since this picture was taken.

Even though it's only early November, it finally hit me that my brother would be leaving for college next June. I myself will be moving by that time, so there's that, I guess. Not like there was or could be another alternative. Change has always been a thing I was okay with, especially since I moved around so much in my life and got used to meeting new people and leaving old friends. For some reason, however, saying good bye to my brother seems a bit different (will try not to make this into some mushy post :D).

Anyone who has a sibling will know what I mean when I say that me and my brother growing up was not always rose petals and unicorns... In fact, I don't think it's ever been anything like that! Of course there were always those stupid fights about who wanted which cereal and whose turn it was on the Playstation, etc. Even as we got older there was a fair amount of yelling and slammed doors shared between us. But, at the risk of sounding incredibly cliche, I don't think I could even begin to imagine life without him.

I have no idea why I'm using cats to represent me and my brother, but I might as well be consistent :)

When I was young I never appreciated how much of a good friend/brother he was; most of the time he was just the annoying boy who took all my favorite Game Boy roms. Eh, but the years passed and I realized how much he taught me. Life lessons, to be precise (although he did do a fair amount of chemistry tutoring for me). He taught me to keep my chin up, be confident and try not to do everything so perfectly all the time. Have fun, but don't let it get out of control. Stay away from drugs and alcohol. Know which kinds of guys there are out there.In his own twisted, humorous way, he made me feel really special and I would know when he was proud of me.

Him going to college is inevitable, I know. He'll soon have his own life and I'll have mine. But will I miss him? Oh yeah. Sure, it's not like he's going off to war and I'll never see him again, but somehow I don't think us meeting each other as adults will be the same as the time that we- us only- spent the whole day building a castle out of Legos. Or that one time we made a "documentary" on the "unknown creatures of the dark" (my stuffed animals). Me and him gunning down droids for hours in Battlefront. Hours and hours of childhood fun I can't take back. All of these things that are meaningless to you guys but that take up a huge part of my heart.

So here's to siblings! People we're "forced" to live with that teach us more about life than any teacher can. People we think we hate but find out we can't live without. People who, no matter how much we throw things at them and yell insults at, will always come back for you. People who we can really be ourselves around and are a part of us.

Have a great day to everyone! Make sure to give a call to your brother/sister and tell them how much you love them!

And oh boy, I hope my brother doesn't read my blog. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Today was a good day!

Gaming-wise, today was a pretty cool day! 

I know, I know. I need to stop talking about video games. But how can you stop talking about something that you really love and actually helps you relax? Just this one time, please? I apologize in advance if I sound much more excited and hurried than usual. It's just that today's been a very fast-paced and eventful day. :)

So a few days ago my copy of Battlefield 3 finally came in the mail (it was delayed for 3 days due to "unforeseen circumstances".. ooh dear). It didn't even matter that it was late because I was so excited. That's what's been keeping me happy for days.

To top that, I joined a Minecraft server (something I've done only once or twice) and saw Notch there! No joke, there was him, epic beard/cape and all, just doing a checkup on this particular server. This might be some frequently occurring thing I'm not aware of, but needless to say I was very (disproportionately) excited.

Lastly, MW3 arrived this afternoon. I know I'm going to get a lot of hate for ordering it, but I really wanted to try it out. I've only played the multiplayer and so far I've had so much fun!

You see this triangle?

I'm thinking that I might have to add another category there.

It's all in good fun guys! Where do you think you fit in this... rectangle? 

I know I haven't given exactly the most comprehensive and descriptive reviews for each game, but I just thought that websites like IGN would give a far better review than me, an average gamer, would. So to wrap it up, I hope you all have a great day, and to all the gamers out there, I hope you are enjoying the "video game season" as much as I am!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Making our own choices...?

Many of you guys probably know what TED talks are. If you don't they are pretty much short seminars (20-30 minutes) where a very educated speakers comes to talk, educate, or motivate us on pretty much every single topic there is.

I came across one on the "art of choosing". It was actually incredibly interesting. The speaker, Sheena Iyengar talked of cultural, psychological or emotional differences between each person when we make choices. Or when other people make choices for us. Do we react differently to when WE make the choice and someone ELSE makes the choice for us, despite it having the same results? How do the choices we make define us? All of these questions are discussed by Ms. Iyengar, along with explanations of the various experiment she conducted on the topic of choice. I found her to be a remarkable speaker. Despite the fact that she is blind (you barely notice until near the end), all her observations seem to spread out to all your senses.

A frame from Sheena Iyengar's TED talk from ted.com

You guys can check it out here. I hope you guys enjoy and learn from this talk as much as I did!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tough day at school? Not really.

Today was a pretty normal day. Not very memorable in the least. I woke up at the same time as usual, ate pretty much what I eat every day, etc. I didn't even feel particularly tired or sick. Strange how ten minutes after I came home from school, I pretty much dropped dead on my bed and slept... and slept... for hours. I have no idea why, to be honest. It was a really deep sleep too. The type of sleep that when you wake up, you are completely clueless to everything (for a split second I thought it was Saturday morning) around you for a good ten minutes. How strange. I do take occasional naps but only short, twenty minute ones. Guess who's going to be awake in bed until two in the morning?

It's been two hours since I woke up but I am still feeling dizzy and kind of spacy. I just might have been accumulating all the stress and late nights from the past few days and my brain just decided to release the tiredness that comes with it today. Not that I'm feeling much stress nowadays though. I even get a good six hours of sleep each night. Maybe I just need more water. Yep, it's probably that. Not really looking forward to how tired I'll be once I go to college or even later, when I have a rigorous, work-demanding job. Urgh....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why phones and friends don't go together

Happy November guys! I thought I'd share something that happened to me the other day. Well, more like two things. Involving my close friends and my cell phone.

First off, I made the huge mistake of lending my phone to two of my guy friends because they desperately needed to look up an assignment on it. Whatever, I was okay with that so I lent it to them before school started. I got it back four hours later with them smirking like idiots. The screen seemed to have been scratched to death. Oh, and that was the least of my worries. My phone was off and when I turned it on, it turned out that they had changed my pin number. I have no idea how; maybe they knew my old one or guessed it? Anyways, I spent the remainder of the day trying to figure it out because of course, they wouldn't tell me. After incessant pleading they finally gave in and told me the unnecessarily complicated pin number. Once I actually turned it on, for some reason all of my three dozen widgets had been dragged out onto my desktop. Contact names had been changed to "lol" and all my memos erased. And let's not forget all my text messages and photos being erased! I was not amused.

Two days later, I had to make an urgent call to my parents during lunch time. This is where the immature circle of friends come in. My mom picked up the phone and a chorus of "Hi Hannah's mom!" followed. Not that bad, right? Soon after my friends were shouting, "stop hogging the bottle to yourself!" and "hang up already and pass me the lighter, Hannah!". Oh, it gets worse. My phone was then wrestled out of my hand and one of my friends then proceeded to have a 3-minute conversation with my mom discussing my non-existant drug habits. Needless to say, my mother was not very happy (even after I called her an hour later and explained what really happened).

Moral of the story: no phones when your immature friends are around.