Dæmon Experience

Posted: November 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

Cyanipica cyana

Resuming the path to label my personality, I perused my Internet browser’s entire history looking for one website that I had logged on years ago, maybe when I was 10 or 11 years old.

The Daemon Page has always been my favorite website to go when pondering the character of a  (pronounced like the word “demon”, though obviously not the same), a reflection of your personality and nature that comes in the form of an animal with a gender and a name. If you’ve read the series, Pullman’s The Golden Compass and following sequels have popularized the concept of dæmons. A dæmon often communicates with you through your conscience or your subconscious thoughts–technically, it is you. Your dæmon makes up your conscience, creativity and originality, self-awareness, and rationale.

I have a history of imaginary friends and pets. When I was 7 or 8 I had a pet hamster with white fur named Sugar, and I would pick her little cage off the ground and have to set it down, as if it was material. My parents never knew about “Sugar”, but I didn’t mind. She was the pet that I never had that I could actually cuddle (until I got my cat Tiger!)–I had always owned fish and plants. My sharpest memory of Sugar was in the airport, before boarding the flight to Florida from Boston, when we were moving there. I especially remember putting Sugar’s cage onto the conveyor belt in the security section and holding the cage on the airplane. Sugar vanished once I transferred to my new school, my new third grade classes…perhaps I was too busy to think about her or transport her wherever I was. Whether she was my childhood dæmon or not, I don’t really know, but I guess it means that I was relatively shier when I was in elementary school.

At the moment, I think that as children, we have a stronger imagination and ability to see material things where they aren’t. I remember visiting the Dæmon Page in sixth grade and trying to believe in a dæmon (at that time, I was a red kite), but my quest wasn’t very successful.

However, right now, I’m in a fever of trying to illustrate my complete personality, and visiting the Dæmon Page, I realized that describing this animal reflection of myself would alleviate the frustration that I felt taking pointless quiz after quiz. After reading through different analyses, I have narrowed my dæmon down to two animals: the raven or the magpie.

The main difference between the raven and magpie is that though a raven tends to remain within a large group, sometimes it wants to get away from its peers, who it considers inferior and petty. Ravens like to stay in large groups and prank each other, just like magpies do, and both are very defensive of their friends and family. Though the magpie matches all of my traits, one of the raven’s attributes is that they value bravery, which I don’t (I’m a Ravenclaw fan, not a Gryffindor fan, ironic?), since my image of bravery is recklessness and naivety.

Still, I don’t think that I’ll let go of being a raven completely. I don’t think it’s a mere coincidence that they’re my favorite animal and I assume them to be my calm and thoughtful side, while the magpie represents my more outgoing, prankster side when I’m with my friends and feeling a bit daredevilish. I guess that my dæmon will have to work overtime being a Gemini with multiple personalities.





Weirdest of the World

Posted: October 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Some peculiar and interesting quirks I found out about in my World History AP class and by surfing the web on Google.

  • Ancient Greek society tolerated gays, but not lesbians (like the poet Sappho).
  • Speaking of homosexuality, the punishment for that if you were in the French army was execution (during WW I).
  • George Washington grew marijuana in his garden, though I doubt he used it in…that way. So much for the idolized example he set for Americans.
  • An Omaha Indian chief, Blackbird, was buried sitting on his favorite horse. Poor horse, I wonder if they just dug a hole a buried them upright?
  • “People in Siberia often buy milk frozen on a stick.” Haha…is that true?
  • Prince Vladimir of ancient Russia had a harem of 800 women and his reputation told of him being a drunkard.
  • Julius Caesar hid his balding head with a laurel wreath.
  • Men of ancient Greece often exercised in public naked. How awkward.
  • Indo-European Languages were very similar, for example, the word “father”… German: vater, Spanish: padre, Greek: pater, Latin: pater, Sanskrit: pitar
  • Excepting some small indigenous societies of Asia and Africa, there are no matriarchal societies today.
  • In ancient China, fortunetellers would use specially prepared broad bones, e.g. shoulderblades of sheep, turtle shells to tell the future. They would inscribe a question on the bone, subject it to heat by placing it in fire or scorching it with an extremely hot tool, and examine the splits and cracks that formed on the bone due to the heat. The fortune-teller studied the patterns and determined the answer to the question inscribed on the bone. Usually, they would record the answer on the bone, and scribes would sometimes add information about what actually happened.
  • When these bones were discovered by peasants, they were called “dragon bones” and sold to duggists who used them for potent medicine.
  • The Olmecs of Central America were known to transport huge bolders of basalt for their colossal head sculptures by having human laboreres drag them from quarries, float them on rafts, and drag them again to their intended sites. I wonder how many laborers died by getting flattened into a pancake.
  • Gunpowder was accidentally created when Daoists were trying to formulate an elixir of life. How ironic.
  • A hamburger stands where the Declaration of Independence was originally written.
  • Ancient Roman athletes had steroids as well. Charioteers would ingest a drink consisting of dried boar’s dung before races.
  • When Sparta was at its zenith of conquering other peoples, it had a ratio of 20 slaves/helots per Spartan citizen. No wonder why they needed to keep their army ready at hand.
  • Ancient Chinese doctors only got the money if they cured their patient. If not, they had to pay the patient[‘s family]. That makes sense to me, especially when a lot of “solutions” that doctors propose don’t actually work.
  • Many great conquerors died from relatively pathetic deaths when you’d think that they would die in some glorious battle. Genghis Khan died from an accident that involved him falling off his horse.
  • Attila the Hun died from a nosebleed on his wedding night.
  • Ketchup used to be a kind of medicine in the 1830s.
  • One staple food for soldiers was hardtack, which would attract weevils if not eaten for a while/stored safely. Soliders preferred to eat hardtack in the dark so that they “couldn’t see what was on it”.
  • Magellan’s crew, the first to circumnavigate (sail around the world), faced a tiring, devastating journey. During the period which they navigated the treacherous Strait of Magellan, the crew survived on worm-ridden biscits, leather that they had softened in the ocean, and foul water. Ship’s rats became the centerpiece of famished sailors’ meals, and a survivor reported that some crewmen even ate ox hides which they softed up by dragging them through the sea for four to five days and afterwards grilled on coals. Scurvy, a disease caused by lack of fruits and vegetables, killed 29 members of Magellan’s crew during the Pacific crossing.

Interesting things you can pick out of your American History/World History textbook. I wonder about people sometimes.


Technology of 2010

Posted: October 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hello, world, on this lovely day of October the twenty-third!

Dampened by my math homework though. Math is easy for me, but it’s not my favorite subject. Also dampened by my overactive allergies, the visible proof of my body trying to make my day miserable (its excuse: keeping bad things out!). Sometimes I wish that those cells would listen to my brain, my mind, me, for a change. In that scenario, I could rant and lecture them and reprogram their little systems to say “Dust is good! Do not sneeze at dust!” In reality, dust isn’t good–on the contrary, it’s disgusting–but I would rather not sneeze every ten seconds until my nose is sore to the touch from peeling my skin off with tissues.

On the brighter side, my dad is planning to get me the “latest version” of the Mac Air. I’m not a tech freak that reads the tech news every few hours, so I didn’t even know that a new version came out, but I think that him spontaneously deciding to buy one for me has to do with this two-or-three-year-long debate we’ve been having: PCs vs. Macs.  I bet that he’s trying to give me some real evidence that Macs are way better than PCs, but I’ll wait and see…

At the moment, I have a COMPAQ PC laptop. It’s very noisy due to its fan, which is a total flunk: before I got one of those external cooling platforms for it, my laptop used to die from overheating after a year of use.

The problem with the Mac Air is that since it’s so light and anorexic compared to other laptops, it has less storage. I photoshop many graphics, my mom uploads an outrageous amount of photos onto my computer (why not hers, who knows? -.-), and I keep all of my school-related documents–as well as my own writing–on my computer. Not to mention a few chunky programs and cheesy computer games.

Oh, and my tablet program.

I’m not sure if I want to let go of my PC yet. I’ll just have to wait and see…I did have a bad experience with a Mac Air once when I went to Best Buy with my family (around the time when it just came out, the first version), picked it up to see how light it was, and accidentally set the alarm off. Scared the heck out of me, though I was pretty irritated afterwards. The main feature of the Air is its light weight and thinness, right? Why did you set an alarm that would go off whenever someone picked it up?

I wonder what Apple’s going to invent next. In several years, I predict that people will not only be raving about their techy electronics but their techy cars, techy doorknobs, techy dentures, techy flowers with microchips and whatnot, maybe even techy underwear =/

I also heard that Google was planning on making cars that could drive by themselves. Wonder how that will turn out: a waste of time, or a successful, profitable offshoot from their search engine business?


Categorizing the World by Food

Posted: October 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

Since I don’t have much homework today, I decided to spend some time categorizing countries by their cuisine stereotypes, or what foods I thought of when someone mentioned the country. This started mainly because I was trying to find some good French recipes, but all the ones that I could come up with were onion soups and pastries. Of course, if you do know a good recipe, right now would be the time to share it!

Note: This post is not meant to offend anyone and is meant for passing time and possibly humor only.

America: McDonalds. I know burgers don’t come from America, but my country is infected with fastfood restaurants.

China: Noodles! Rice! And chopsticks, even though those aren’t edible!

Mexico: Salsa and chips. I love salsa enough to eat the whole jar by itself.

Canada: Pancakes and maple syrup, because of their flag.

Australia: Kiwis, and kangaroos. I can’t get the image of kangaroo meat out of my head ever since we learned that prehistoric peoples in the Pacific Islands and surrounding areas ate giant Kangaroos… I’m not a kangaroo hater, I’m just somewhat scarred.

Belgium: chocolate 🙂

Brazil: coffee and citrus. Yum.

Colombia: good coffee!

Czech Republic: Some kind of potato meal. I remember reading about some traditional Czech meal that had potatoes in it, but I recall its name. For some reason, the Czech Republic just fascinates me.

And beer. I do know that this country consumes a lot of beer each year!

Denmark: hot chocolate? Cold countries make my mind click to hot cocoa.

France: pastries, onion soups, breads, and mousse.

Germany: The hamburger, right?

Greece: salads. I always hear about Greek salads but I’ve never tried one.

India: Vegetarian meals, mostly because of the faiths. I wouldn’t mind being vegetarian, but at the moment I’d rather wait a few years before totally giving up meat. Other than that, rice and spice.

Ireland: potatoes.

Italy: pizza, ice cream cone, and pasta. I would list Italian Ice too, but I’m not sure if it’s like French Fries–not actually from the country. I’ll have to look it up.

Japan: sushi

Koreas: kimchi and noodles

Switzerland: Chocolate, both liquid and solid!

UK: Fish and chips.

Vietnam: noodles and soup = very good

At our school, we have an International Day where everyone dresses up, brings in food, and shows off their country of origin. It’s really fun and is coming soon. The best part is the food, and all the money goes to UNICEF. I was thinking that we should try to support other fundraisers as well, especially since on International Day, everyone wants to buy the diversity of foods.

But talking about food is making me hungry. I’m going to have some dinner.