Monday, June 30, 2014

Daily Highlight: Kevin Murphy Hair Products

Credit: Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy Hair Products
Today's random highlight is my favorite line of hair products, the Kevin Murphy line.  These products smell amazing and improve your hairs' health significantly.  I have very long hair, so keeping it healthy can be difficult, but the Kevin Murphy products help repair and maintain healthy hair.  They have a range of product for many different hair types.  I personally use the Born Again Wash, but there are many products from hair sprays to my personal favorite the Shimmer Shine spray, which makes your hairs highlights pop.  These products can be difficult to find stocked, but for more info you can go here!

Abortion. My Lose, Lose Situation.

A Lose, Lose Situation....

I have Crohn's, Takayasu's Arteritis, and a few other medical ailments.  Because of this, I am on a host of very strong medications, including Methotrexate, a medication used for many things including autoimmune issues. Methotrexate is also commonly used, in combination with another drug, for abortions, making it extremely important that my husband and I do not get pregnant.  I take all the precautions, but nothing is 100% effective, except abstinence, and in my belief intimacy is a very important part of a marriage.  It should never be the only bonding you do, but it is very difficult, perhaps impossible, to maintain a healthy marriage without it. Should it happen that I do get pregnant the outcome would be the same for the baby no matter what I did. ( * )

If I go off my medications, both the baby and I most likely would die.  If I am on these medications the baby will die.  Either way the result for the unborn baby would be the same.  For individuals like me, an abortion is a medical necessity if I were to ever get pregnant. Luckily, because my husband and I observe many precautions, I have never had to face that decision, but everyday women are facing this challenge, and have only one option since whatever option they choose is essentially a no win situation.

With the recent ruling by the Supreme Court stating that the 35 feet buffer zone can no longer be in place around clinics, when the Supreme Court itself has a much larger buffer zone against protesters outside the Supreme Court, it is clear that many individuals don't understand many of the circumstances. ( * ) The protesters are now allowed to be even closer to the entrances of abortion clinics, screaming at people who are facing the most difficult decision of their life, many people who have no other choice. I believe abortion should never be used as a form of birth control, and honestly believe very few women use it for that.

Regardless of the circumstances, an abortion is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, decision a woman will ever have to make.  She still knows that there is a life inside her, and her decision is affecting that life. That knowledge is a difficult thing to face, and I doubt many women want to ever be confronted with that decision willingly. It becomes clear to me that many individuals like me exist out there, and face this fear every time they are intimate with the person they love.  They know that no matter how safe they are nothing is 100%. They fear that if ever confronted with that situation they may have to face the mob of angry protesters who have never bothered to take into consideration that no other choice may exist, that it may truly be a lose, lose situation for everyone.

(* = Reference or further reading material.)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Simply Cheetos, Simply Delicious! Review.

Credit: Here!
That is also a link to an interesting story on remembering that the word simply can be misleading, though the Simply Cheetos are all natural.

I have Crohns and some other autoimmune issues, so what I eat affects my health a great deal. Growing up, there were not many snack and pre-made food options, making it difficult to have a lot of variety and choice in what was available for me to eat.  Many more foods exist now, with the current healthy food trend driving more and more companies to offer alternative options.  Not only is this a recent healthy food a trend, but many more autoimmune conditions are popping up in first world countries, where in third world environments these conditions are extremely rare or non-existent.  This has made the creation of healthy, all natural food options an essential part of today's grocery selections.

My husband, Andrew, and I recently found a delicious, all natural, gluten-free snack that has been loved by many for years, Cheetos.  Thats right, the most artificial, fake tasting snack loved by Americans now has a natural alternative, and its amazing!  These are actually better than the original Cheetos.  They are made with sea salt, real cheese, and baked to perfection.  Every part of this product is natural.  The sour cream is also all organically made.  They are truly divine.  It is nice to see the increasing options consumers are now given, and the wide range of products now available compared to just 10 years ago.

There is also another Cheetos all natural option, but I don't like those ones as much, and they contain more corn.  Corn is a little harsher on the stomach, though it is nice to see even more options.  Sadly, around where I live they do not stock many at a time and we end up buying them all out.  We get them from Food Lion, and they restock every month and a half or so.  They do still often have the other natural Cheetos, but like I said I don't like them as much.  This is definitely a great product for anyone with digestive issues or just anyone looking to eat a little healthier.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Daily Highlight: Magnetars

I have decided to highlight one random thing each day.  It can be a time period in history, a product, science related material, whatever. :P


Credit: Wikipedia

One of my favorite objects in the universe are Magnetars.  These occur very rarely in space and we have only detected a dozen or so.  Still shrouded in mystery, the current running theory as to how these are formed is that through two massive stars in a binary star system that exist in an ultra compact orbit, within the size of the orbit of the earth around the sun.  One of the massive stars starts to run out of fuel and transfers its outer layers to its less massive companion, making it rotate faster and faster.  This will give the future Magnetar, the less massive star, an extremely powerful magnetic field. Strong enough to suck the iron out of your blood from hundreds and maybe even thousands of miles.  At some point the less massive of the stars sheds much of its extra mass, slimming the mass down enough so that a black hole will not be formed. Though there is still much we do not know about Magnetars, it seems a binary star system is a vital part in their formation. *  

Want to see a video flying around a Magnetar? Click Here!

(* = Links to sources.)

My Top 3 Places to Shop, Summer '14

Here is a list of my top 3 places to shop this summer.  These stores show a large variety of options.

Number 3: JC Penney
The past year or two I have had a hard time finding a lot of variety here, but recently they have a lot of great tops and skirts.  The shorts this season there are really comfortable and many have a lot of stretch, making them even more comfortable.  This is a great place to pick up some basics.

Number 2: Charlotte Russe
Again, he past year or two I have not been able to find much here, but this summer they have some beautiful dresses.  They do have way too many of the "Miley Cyrus" looking like a ho tops and high waisted shorts, but they also carry a lot cute jean shorts and tops.  This is a great place to pick up bottom pieces and dresses.

Credit: here!

Number 1: Charming Charlies
My favorite store right now, you can find everything you need for an outfit.  The prices are not bad either! The only downside is that there are not really any bottom pieces.  They carry mostly dresses, tops, and leggings.  I did find a skirt that is also a dress, but things like that are a rarity there.  They carry all the accessories in all the colors you could ever need, making it very easy to put together an entire outfit.  They often have great sales and some good clearance pieces, though the clearance is small.  Whatever you need, you can find it here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Thrifting Tips

So, since I do a lot of thrifting and shopping in general, I thought I would make a list of some helpful tips!

1. GO through everything!
When at thrift stores, some of the best items are usually hidden or easy to miss. It is important, especially with clothing, to take the time and go through the entire rack.  That same advice applies to purses as well.

2. Inspect everything!
It is also important to look over anything and make sure that the item is still in good condition.  Many thrift stores get items that are new, so it is always a good idea to see what condition the items you are buying are when deciding what you are willing to spend.

3. Know about what you are going to buy.
By knowing information about the things you are looking for, you can make better decisions and identify more valuable things.  Thrift stores are treasure troves, and it takes a little background knowledge to find the real treasures.

4. When buying brand name items know how to identify fakes. 
High quality items, such as designer purses, can often be fakes.  You can tell the real ones from the fakes by the quality.  Designer purses will have identifying marks throughout the whole pures.  Metal pieces will have the brand name on them, and so will the inside of the purse.  Also, with such easy access to the internet, you can look up information on how to identify authentic pieces.

5. Haggle.
Thrift stores are a great place to haggle.  Most thrift stores are more than happy to work out a deal, and sticker prices are negotiable. DON'T overpay!

6. Learn as much as you can.
 My last tip is to research as much as you can.  For example, if you collect tea cups, learn the names of high quality pieces.  Educate yourself.  If you do this you are sure to find some treasures.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Our Library of Alexandria

When watching Cosmos, Neil DeGrasse Tyson compares our access to information to the grand library that once existed in Alexandria.  I find this a very elegant comparison and could not agree more.  The access we have to information is incredible, and we can do it within the comfort of own our homes.  Any question can be answered, as long as you know where to find it.  With all this information, it becomes increasingly important to check that sources and context are taken into account, but once that is taught, the possibilities are unlimited.

With the increasingly growing database that is the internet, children are able to gain a vast amount of knowledge in specialized interests.  For example, children are able to look up information on things they are interested in and tend to become devoted to whatever their interest is, learning as much as they can about a specific subject.  When watching the recent season of Masterchef Junior, the younger contestants were better equipped to deal with the wide variety of cooking challenges that the show presented than the adult contestants on the normal show.  People are able to pursue and discover their passions much earlier in life.

This can have some advantages, but I can't help but wonder what the repercussions will be. With children able to learn many more things at much younger ages, its possible that job fields may begin looking at experience and knowledge at a younger age and targeting individuals for employment even earlier than they do now.  The pressures to excel at increasingly younger ages is accelerating, and peoples futures are being determined before they are old enough to know what they truly want in life.  Though this access to information is a huge asset, it becomes apparent that our society still needs to give time for children to mature and have a childhood.

Humans live much longer lives than they used to, so there is plenty of time to be an adult, but less and less time to have a childhood.  Being young is a time to spend learning as much as you can about as many things as you can.  It's about learning the patterns and ways of the world.  This time is essential in developing a love of learning.  With this, learning becomes a natural and enjoyable part of a person entire life, making them able to continue growing throughout life.  The most important thing to learn is how to learn and enjoy it, and with the ability to to ask any question and find information about your questions, the learning opportunities are endless, as long as we, as a society, remember to allow children to have a truly enjoyable experience with all of their learning opportunities.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Conservative's Defense of Gay Marriage

Growing up I held the belief that gay marriage was wrong and although civil unions were fine marriage was between a man and a woman.  Recently, I have come to the understanding that love and the right to be with the one you love are not only freedoms everyone should share, but they are a right and necessity to human relationships.  In the Declaration of Independence it says "...all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." To me, a huge part of my happiness, and perhaps the most important aspect to my happiness, is my relationship with my husband, Andrew, and I firmly believe that all humans beings have the right to pursue this happiness.

I consider myself a spiritual individual and take my relationship with that spirituality very seriously, even if I don't consider myself the church-going type.  My belief in a creator and the idea of a higher being shape many aspects of my life, from my art to my morals and values. I believe that a loving god would never create a situation that would deny his creations the right to find happiness, and that those who find love and happiness with people of the same sex should be afforded the same rights and benefits as those who love people of the opposite sex. 

As I said in the title, I consider myself a conservative and believe that the government should be as limited as possible in most things. My husband and I have talked a lot on this issue and have determined that this is one of the pressing issues for our generation of citizens and that many of the conservatives in the younger generation differ on this issue from the current, older generation.  He and I believe it is our place to make a difference. In my opinion, the government has no place in determining who you can and can not marry. Many people say that if that is the case than people should be allowed to marry a dog, but to that I say that we are not talking about animals, we are talking about human beings. No one is suggesting allowing people to marry animals, just that the oppression of this group of human beings civil rights be ended.  

With the family unit being increasingly weakened, it is time to focus on families and encourage stable relationships.  Let us work toward making stronger families and loving homes for the many children in this world.  The future is our children and how can we ever look at ourselves with pride if we continue to suppress human, god given, rights.  How do we face the next generation when we continue to allow human beings to be denied love, happiness, and family, the very essence of what it means to be human?

Quantum Levitation, The Stuff of Science Fiction!

Something I recently looked into was Quantum Levitation, and the ability to have real levitation.  Quantum Levitation uses the principles of the Meissner effect. This is an expulsion of a magnetic field from a superconductor during its transition to the superconducting state.* This basically means that the magnetic field goes around the superconductor and not through it, as the normally would.  A superconductor is basically a super cooled object of a few specific materials, like sapphire, with zero electrical resistance that expels magnetic fields.*  Because of this effect, superconductors are able to essentially levitate when over the right substance, using the magnetic field.

Credit: Wikipedia 

This levitation is also interesting because the only friction caused is from the air, so in an airtight environment there will be no friction.  Because of this effect, the levitation effect is essentially infinite once a superconductor is initially cooled. Technology in this field is constantly making advances in production of new, useful items, like wires, fibers, and cables.  There are even ideas to make new transportation systems, like a superconductor train that uses the levitation to travel across large distances at much cheaper prices than current transportation methods. Recently there was also an article I read that explained that many advances in making superconductors work under higher temperatures were being made, and that it may soon be possible to have superconductors work at more everyday temperatures. This would effectively make this effect usable in more everyday life situations and shows that Quantum Levitation is set to be a big part of our technological future.

For those interested in Quantum Levitation, there is a website devoted to the science of this effect and they even have kits for those wanting to try out their own levitation!  For those interested in this, you can find out all about Quantum Levitation here!  With so many advances in recent technology, like 3D printers and robotics, the age we live in seems increasingly like the stuff of science fiction!

(*  are links to references used.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Top 3 Make-up Items for Sensitive Skin, Summer 2014!

I have very sensitive skin, so finding makeup that doesn't irritate it can be difficult.  I recently found a line at my local Rite-Aid called Physicians Formula that uses a few different makeup companies who have made products for people with sensitive skin. All products are part of the Physicians Formula line. Here are my Top 3 picks for Summer 2014.

Number 3: Super CC+ Color - Correction + Care CC + Powder SPF 30
You can find this product here!

This CC powder is amazing!  It is very gentle and creates a nice, even skin tone.  With SPF it is also great at protecting your skin from sun and does not sweat off like a foundation or primer.

Number 2: Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Trio 
You can find this product here!

Though these are a little fragile, they slide on smooth and easily.  I have the hardest time with eyeliners as every time I try to apply eyeliner I start to cry it off.  These eyeliners are waterproof, so even if my eyes do get watery this eyeliner stays on!

Number 1: Ph Matchmaker PH Powered Lip Gloss
You can find this product here!

My favorite product, this awesome lip gloss custom matches your lips and created the perfect shade for you. This product has been designed using PH balancing science. It goes on clear and within 60 seconds you have a custom shade for just for you!  This product also lasts for quite some time, even when the gloss has rubbed off.  This lip gloss is a must have!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Thrift on '60 - Review

Today Andrew and I stopped by a thrift store on Richmond Road we had not yet visited, near Toano, Virginia.  This thrift store is no more than a mile away from where Route 60 intersects Barnes Road.  When looking at the outside there is no indication of the wonders inside, and many treasures can be found in this little thrift store that is a bit off the map.  Andrew and I found a beautiful, complete Japanese tea set among many other goodies.  There were even some bottles of a retired L'occitane lotion that I made sure to grab a few of.  Many pieces of well made furniture have various tiny treasures sitting on them, waiting for a home.  

Not only do they have unique items, but many items they have have been refurbished as decorative pieces, like chairs turned into potted plant holders.  You can also fine handmade barbie and doll clothes and other fabric doll house pieces.  Whatever you like, you are sure to find something for you here!  Though you can not find information about it online, I did manage to get the phone number if you are interested in stopping by and would like to call for hours and directions.

Thrift Store on Richmond Road Phone #: 757-707-4406

My Top 3 Beauty Products for Summer 2014!

Here is a list of 3 amazing beauty products for summer!

Number 3: Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Face Scrub
You can find this product here!

I love this face wash and it's a great price! This product cleans deep, and with mint added it is a refreshing clean you can feel.  I recommend all of the Deep Clean products if you are in search for any new facial regimen and want something that's gentle on your skin but also cleans deep.

Number 2: Kevin Murphy Shimmer Shine for Hair
For more info on Kevin Murphy and where you can find their product, click here!

This spray for your hair adds shine and sparkle, while repairing damaged hair.  Using extract from the Immortelle flower, a flower that never wilts, even when plucked, Shimmer Shine is a must have for anyone looking to add shine to their hair!  The spray also uses gold sparkles in the mixture, and seems to make your hair glow, bringing out any natural highlights. Although it is a little expensive and hard to find it is worth the search and will leave your hair looking and smelling amazing!

Number 1: Olay Professional ProX Advanced Cleansing System
You can find this product here!

Coming in at number one is the ProX Advanced Cleansing system facial brush.  This brush has two different spin speeds and cleans deep.  I bought this just for the brush, and used that Neutrogena Deep Clean wash instead of the one that came with the brush. Honestly, any nicely made one will work and is essential to keeping your face blemish free.  Since using this product I have had no problems with pimples and other skin issues, and my face feel clean all the time.  The first time you use this product it feels as if you just buffered your face, and you wonder how you ever could have managed without that clean feeling.  If choosing just one item to try of my top three, I recommend trying this one first. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Review

Recently, my husband Andrew and I began watching Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.  Though there are some similarities with the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime, Brotherhood follows the original manga plot and is very different than the first Fullmetal.  The new anime is much darker than the original one, even though the original was pretty dark to begin with.  In my opinion, Brotherhood is significantly better and explores the world of alchemy more in-depthly than the other anime.  You learn more about the history of alchemy, and the Brotherhood's story line is vastly different than the original.  The original Fullmetal and Brotherhood plots are similar in the beginning, but with the death of an important character the two plot split and create two very different stories.

Many of the characters have very different fates in Brotherhood, as well as a whole new cast of character not even in the original.  The first Fullmetal gets no where near as in depth into the world as a whole, and it is nice to learn more about the Fullmetal Alchemist world.  Though both animes are some of the best I have ever watched, I have to say Brotherhood is my favorite and I love the true to manga storyline much more.

I do understand why they changed so much of the plot, though.  Brotherhood, as I said in the beginning, is much darker than the original Fullmetal Alchemist, and not something I think would be appropriate for younger viewers.  The original is not something I would let younger children view, but Brotherhood takes it even further and can be, on occasion, a difficult to watch.  I recommend viewing both before letting young children watch as there are some disturbing concepts illustrated in Brotherhood, but for any anime fan or fans of dark, thought provoking shows this is a must.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ghostly Interaction

One of the most fascinating things I find in science is the idea that Einstein describes as Ghostly Interaction. This is the concept that once two particles interact those two particles will share a bond no matter how far apart they are in the universe.  They will spin in the same manner even when spread to the opposite corners of the universe.  This interaction happens faster than the speed of light and is shared forever once the particles initially interact.

Another recent theory explains a new view on why time always runs forward, when the laws of physics make it no less impossible for coffee to heat up spontaneously, or time to run in any direction.  Before, this idea was the idea of entropy and the universe moving ever toward a more chaotic state, but the new theory states that the reason time runs forward may be that all of our particles and subatomic matter are entangled and relative to the subatomic matter that surrounds it.  All of our particles and subatomic matter are being influenced by of Einsteins Ghostly Interaction, and that time runs forward because all the matter in our galaxy is bound by this interaction.  Using that theory, other parts of the universe may have time flow differently. The universe is thought to be in a "pure state" where, as a whole, all particles are uninfluenced by this entanglement, where there are pockets of particles entangled in different ghostly interaction.

The ideas of entanglement and ghostly interaction also make it possible to influence those particles that share this bond, and many recent philosophies use this idea to influence and attract what they project.  This basically means that you can influence the particles at the subatomic level and whatever you focus your energy on you will attract. With science producing new theories that seem to merge with philosophy every day, especially in Quantum Physics, it becomes more apparent that everything in the universe is connected and that a unifying theory does exist.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

My Top 3 Manga Heartthrobs

While I was out today my husband and I were talking about Fullmetal Alchemist and I had the idea to make a list of my Top 3 Manga Heathrobs.  I thought it would be fun. :P

Number 3: Hatsuharu from Fruits Basket
The bull of the Zodiac, he has both a strong personality and is full of life.

Number 2: Colonel Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist
I don't normally curse in writing, but his he is kick ass.  The Flame Alchemist, he is hot hot hot.

Number 1: Trunks from Dragon Ball Z
O.K., this one is for old time's sake.  Dragon Ball Z was one of my first anime, and when I was little I thought Trunks was the coolest.  He still is, though I now have my own real life hearthrob. ;) 

My Top 3 Manga

I read a lot of manga and in many different genras and have decided top compile a list of my top 3.

Number 3: Pita Ten by Koge-Donbo
Coming in at number three is Pita Ten. This story follows a middle school boy in his quest to find happiness, and it comes in the form of a young girl claiming to be an angel, Misha. This manga has beautiful artwork as well as a touching story.  Though Misha is annoying at first, you grow to love her innocent character and desperately want the young boy to care for her. Though the story drags a little, this manga is a must read.

Number 2: Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
Not only one of my favorites, but also hugely popular in both Japan and America, this shonnen manga is about two boys quest to restore their bodies after using alchemy to try and bring their mother back from the dead. Placed in a world similar to ours, where alchemy evolved instead of science, this manga is placed in a time and place similar to World War 2 era Germany. Though there world seems different than ours it draws many parallels to the conflict facing our world before WW2, and creates a compelling and dark story. The art is good in the beginning and it is fun to see the artist grow as the series progresses. If looking for an adventurous, dark tale this is the manga for you!

Number 1: Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
My all time favorite, Fruits Basket is a tale of a young girl who lost her mother and is taken in by a family known as the Somas. Little does she know the Somas have a curse. Whenever hugged by someone of the opposite sex, they turn into an animal from the zodiac. With beautiful art work, this manga delivers hours of true to life tales that will leave you contemplating them long after you have finished reading. Fruits Basket is not only the numbed one selling shojo manga in America, it is an essential read for manga fans.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Family Business

Today my husband Andrew and I stopped by my parents shop, Sodan Armament, a small, but growing gunsmithing shop. I call it a gunsmithing shop as its speciality is in gunsmithing and not sale, though you can purchase firearms from here as well. I often forget how enjoyable being there is, and always feel in good humor after visiting. This may be because of its inviting and relaxed atmosphere, but it could also be the family enviornment. Whatever it is, I always try to get by there when I am down.

Because of my various medical conditions I am unable to go as often as I would like, but also enjoy working there on the rare occasion that everything is well in the health department. There are always plenty of things to do, and when my Mother is working she can always find some task for me to do. With transfers, cleanings, gun repair, refinishing, bluing, duracoating, paper work, sales, and various other task simultaneously being preformed, help is always appreciated.

As the business expands task become more rutine and things become more efficant. They also updated the cash regester recently, which has helped with organization substantially. Professionalism has always been extreemly important, so maintaining an organized efficant system is top priority for my Mother and Father, though with all small businesses they strive to be better.

I believe growing up and being a part of a family busniess not only makes you stronger as a family, but also teaches many real life application, espically for a child or young adult.  Many of the things learned help to present you with more oppritunities at sucess, no matter what your deffinition of success is.  Being part of a family business teaches you loyalty, business skill, people skill, organization as well as many other, nesseacary for success, traits. Though I was grown when my parents opened Sodan Armament it has been a huge part of my life, and continues to not only influnce me, but all those who take thebtime to step in.

9, A Review of the 2009 Animated Film

I recently watched the animated film 9, directed by Shane Acker and produced by Tim Burton. Like many of the films Burton has worked on, 9 has a dark plot. Shane Acker is not a director I am familiar with, but he does a wonderful job in creating a touching story of a time after humans and the continuation of intelligent life.

Humanity no longer holds any place on Earth, and has long ago perished in a war against technology.  The only life that remains are 9 creations that are artificially intelligent. The origin of these creations is unknown in the beginning of the story, which follows one of these creations, known only as 9, in his quest to better understand the world and his place in it.

This movie is dark, but also deals with very deep, serious issues and has many touching moments. The only problem is the movie lacks a target audience, and it is probably because of this that I hadn't heard of it until I picked it up in a Walmart $5.00 bin. Because of its dark themes, it is not really geared toward children, but the fact that it is animated may cause it to be passed over by adults, even thought it is actually an enjoyable watch. Its main audience is primarily Tim Burton fans or fans of Tim Burton-like films, such as Coraline.

All in all, this movie is worth a night's watch, and will leave you contemplating some of the many issues expressed in 9, whether or not you watch animation often or not.

VCU - My Hell

Having a fair amount of autoimmune issues, I have a lot of experience in emergency room. I was in the hospital recently, and like every other time, it was hell.  I have determined that most emergency room visits are, the only difference between hospitals is how bad of a hell it is.  After many ER visits to various hospitals around Virginia, VCU Medical Center is the worst. If any simi-complicated case comes in, getting an ER doctor to listen to any helpful information is nearly impossiable.  Ever doctor thinks he's house and all patients are idiots.  Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of miss information out there, but when a patient tells you something you don't know it does't mean they are an idiot, but maybe the patient knows there own conditionds and body better than you.  There are also instinces when things don't go by the book, and should not be completely ignored.

Doctors of varing specilities devote years to learning very specilized fields, and often ER doctors are internist or have very general knowledge of medicine, while working on a speciality. Many of VCU's ER docs are espically difficult to explain out of the ordanary conditions to, and tend to sespicious of anything that is outside the box and thus distrusting of you as the patient. I suffer from abdominal migrains and that is not only uncommon but even more so in an adult, and once they are going full blast nothing but pain medication can help which only adds to the suspicision.

The wait in just trying to get a room even when brought in by an ambulance is absurd. I was brought in, directed to a section and once there waited 30 minuits just to be sent to another section where I waited next to an empty room being told there were no empty rooms. After they call someone who just went in to the room, looked around and left, I was finally put in that room all the while screeming in pain. The nurses told me I nedded to be quiet which lead to my ambulance crew explaing to her that is was not like I wanted to be in that much pain.  The treatment still took a considerable amount of time to be completed, but was actully on the quick side compaired to the many other times I have gone.

In terms of waiting there is not much that can be done, but some things that help if you go to the ER fequently is having your doctors have a note in your file, as well as a copy for you to cary, that has a set out treatment plan.  If pain managment is a problem a new section of medicine know as a Pain Clinic has recently emerged to help with long term pain managment and can often help with setting up a plan for emergencies. Also, try to get in contact with your specialist before you go into the ER so they can give the ER a heads up.  Even with all that hospitals and ER's are hell in general, and to make them a little less hell be prepared and have a plan.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Perfect Outfit - For an Interview

With all my science rambling you might think this topic is a little out of place, but I believe, no matter how wrong it is, people do asses you by how you look.  Creating a powerful outfit can be really easy and only needs a few elements.  With interviews, first impressions can be crucial, so you want to impress from the start.

The formality of the outfit is determined by the type of interview.  Interviews for a retail job versus a college interview won't need to be as formal, but wearing somewhat conservative clothing is always preferable.  It is also important to express yourself in your outfit to set you apart from others and adds a personal touch. Clothing and accessories can often be good segways into conversation and relating to the individual who is interviewing you.  Likewise you can use others accessories to break the ice by saying something like "I love your necklace!"  This not only brings a personal touch, but it often makes the individual more comfortable around you and creates a familiarity that will help them remember you over others.

Whenever you do an interview you are competing against others to stand out to the person interviewing you, and many times being memorable is a determining factor in whether or not someone selects you specially among other interviewees. An attractive, well put together outfit can be that extra ingredient that makes it just right.  A good, clean, conservative outfit incorporates a few flattering accessories, while not overdoing it. Some of the best advice you can give on putting together an outfit is less is more.  If your outfit is busy, you want to minimize accessories.  When you are wearing something a little more plain, mix it up with some flashy accessories.  For example, a simple blue sun dress can be bedazzled by adding a pretty gold seashell necklace and some blue and gold bangles, with a pair of black sandals. You can take something that would normally not stand out and make it your own.  The perfect outfit is out there, just remember to keep it clean and crisp for interviews, while still adding your special touch!

Black Hole, Baby Universe?

Black holes have always been a huge part of science fiction, as well as an object that has entertained the thoughts of innumerable amounts of human beings.  In my belief, they hold the key to understanding the true laws of physics, on every scale. Black holes stretch the very laws of physics and still what we know about them is nothing compared to what we don't know.  Aside from being completely unobservable directly, it is impossible to escape from one once over the horizon line, making them very dangerous, even if we could travel to one.

Many strange ideas and theories surround black holes, and many are just as more likely as the next.  In my view, being that black holes are singularities and the universe was created from a singularity, it is possible they are the same type of singularities, and black holes are actually just baby universes.  Also, with the theory that at some point dark energy will push the galaxies away from each other traveling faster than the speed of light, it may even be possible to think that those black hole singularities may one day have a big bang of their own, as the conditions would be similar to those before the universe began. Once all other matter other than black holes has disintegrated into nothing, we will return to the nothingness from which the universe began.

Perhaps we are just a black hole ourselves that exploded at the end of their universe. Energy and matter, on the most basic scale, are the same thing.  We can turn matter into energy, but not energy into matter...yet. The universe appears to move in the same circular pattern as life.  It lives, it breaths, it creates, it dies.  The more you think about it, the more you can't help but think that the universe is alive.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

World War Z Review

Where do I start?  This movie had so many unanswered questions it's ridiculous.  First off, the end made no sense. How do you mass produce a vaccine when most of the world is shut down?  Also, why was no one watching the wall in Jerusalem?  It was visually entertaining but really lacked in plot.  It's not a movie I would recommend, but if you have nothing else to watch and just want to laugh at the absurdity this movie is a good suggestion.

Two Drummers Smokehouse Review

Recently my husband Andrew and I went to a smokehouse called Two Drummers Smokehouse in Toano, VA.  We had been there before and enjoyed it, but the second time was even better.  When we first went it was a slow time of day so gauging whether they would be able to handle a larger rush was difficult.  This time we went during prime time.  Almost every seat was full, and yet we were seated very quickly.

Two Drummers has a very relaxed feel to it, while being remarkably clean and crisp looking.  The bar and TV's with the World Cup playing and the sounds of people enjoying dinner only enhance the warm feeling you get while sitting in a booth.  The smells of BBQ and good southern cooking fill the air, making patrons even more hungry.  Two Drummers is small so you would expect chaotic times like this to cause long waits for food, but we received our food very quickly.

My husband, Andrew, ordered that day's special, a Crab Cake sandwich and a small bowl full of hush puppies.  My choice was beef brisket with collards, mac-n-cheese, and a biscuit. It was some of the best food I have ever tasted.  The brisket was full of flavor and the portions were considerable for the price.  My husband enjoyed the crab cake sandwich to its fullest, and even snuck some brisket away from my plate. Not to worry, he lost a few hush puppies himself, though.

The service was friendly and inviting as well as attentive.  One of my biggest determining factors in whether I tip well or not is if my drink ever gets empty.  Having a cold, fresh drink is key to enjoying a good meal, in my opinion.  Our waitress kept my drink fresh and full and made sure to be attentive to our needs as patrons.  I have to say this is one of my favorite restaurants. It is fast, delicious, inexpensive, and I would recommend it to anyone!

For anyone interested in going to Two Drummers, check out their website here!

An Organic Universe

We live in an organic universe.  In a way, we are the universe gaining consciousness. When observing the universe, everything from the smallest to the largest scale is ruled by certain laws of physics.  Now, at the quantum level some of those laws break down but our understanding of that is increasing every day.  The one law that is never broken is the law of attraction, "like attracts like".  This idea is that the universe attracts similar things to each other.  A recent school of thought also believes, as do I, that you attract to yourself what you project.

When you look at the universe you see that nothing in the universe is alone.  Atoms have other atoms, stars have planets and other stars, and galaxies have other galaxies.  If we continue that train of thought, it would stand to reason that our universe is not unique and that, in fact, there are other universes.  This is an idea widely held by many scientist.  As you start to observe the disbursement of galaxies it looks like cellular structures or veins running through a body.  When I see this I can't help but believe the universe is alive.

One of science's greatest faults is not viewing the universe as an organic, living thing just on a much larger scale.  I am not saying that the universe is the inside of some huge organism, just that it is alive and has a consciousness though it may be far beyond human comprehension.

When you view the universe in this way, I think it is fairly obvious that there is a higher level of consciousness and thus some sort of higher power.  What if we are just the universe gaining consciousness of itself and likewise so are all living things, and at different levels of consciousness?  We are just one level of awareness that universe has achieved.  I often think about what it must be like for the stars and their vast time scales.

Science and religion are often forced headlong into battles over which one is more true.  In my opinion both can be.  Both answer different question and deal with different things.  Science explains how things came to be and how they behave, whereas religion deals with what our purpose and place in the universe is.  Until we stop pitting them against each other our understanding of both will remain flawed as will our ability to truly understand our place in the universe.

A Response to Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Recently I finished watching the series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.  Back in February of 2013 I read an article about the then yet to be released series in which the author discussed the purpose and aim of the show.  The idea was to recreate the explosion of the interest in science in the same way that Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage did in the '80's.  Though I think Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey was visually stunning, very educational and highly interesting, I don't think it achieved its purpose.

The most appealing aspects of Carl Sagan's Cosmos were the real images of the cosmos and the discussions of the amazing discoveries recently made in the universe.  Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey discusses many historical figures and many of the impacts made in science throughout history, but it does not invoke the level of curiosity about our place in the universe by sharing recent discoveries that have impacted the science community, in the way Carl Sagan's Cosmos does.  Many amazing aspects of our universe, like Magnetars, were not even mentioned! Personally, I find crazy things that can rip the iron out of your bodies from thousands of miles away way more likely to motivate me to discover more about the universe than the many episodes that were devoted to historical biographies. Don't get me wrong, those were very interesting and I learned many things I did not know, but it did not have the feel of wonder Carl Sagan's Cosmos achieved. Also, what about the Hubble Deep Field?  Or the baby picture of the Universe?  What makes those things so wonderful is the craziness of what you are seeing.  With the hubble deep field you are able to look back at galaxies that formed near the beginning of the universe!  I honestly feel those things should have been discussed more.

Many of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey episodes are full of wonder and beautiful imagery but I found myself always feeling a little disappointed.  All in all, though, the show was definitely worth watching as it does discuss many pressing issues that humanity is facing this very moment, and teaches about the history of science and earth.  Seth Macfarlane and Neil DeGrasse Tyson create a visually striking and fascinating educational biology program, but sadly did not accomplish the goal of recreating a new Cosmos.


One of my favorite sites to play on is  You may remember it from long ago as being a very popular pet site where you have pets, do quest, and participate in many community events.  Neopets was originally created for college students, and still maintains a large community of adult players.  For many, Neo is an escape from real life problems when you sometimes just need a break.  I, personally, enjoy the chatting and different page coding opportunities.

I am by no means an advanced coder, but can do html and edit CSS.  Coding was also a really go way for me, growing up, to learn to type.  Goodness know you do an absurd amount of typing coding and often have to reread over code and edit multiple times before it is ready to publish.

But back to neopets.  As I was saying...

Because of the older fan base on Neo, it was recently sold to Jumpstar by Viacom. Many Neopets players, or Neopians as they are called, have hope that some aspects of the site will become a little bit more relaxed. So far not much has changed, but hope will remain that some of the old undesirable aspects of neo will be updated of changed.

One of the greatest issues with one of their largest site events is the creation of computer programs that play the games for users and the fact that no mobile app exist for Neopets.  Since Jumpstar is a company that makes apps, a new app is sure to be on the way soon! Enough about Neo for now, though I do have some thoughts on the recent Cosmos program and will post about that soon.  I hope you enjoyed my rambling about neopets and hope my future post will interest you.

A New Blog...

I have often wanted to have a blog, but when I sit down and set one up I can't think of anything to write about.  Hundreds of thoughts and responses to various thing go through my mind everyday day, but the moment I open my Chromebook it seems every idea I have had flys away.  The best way to defeat writer's block, in my experience, has always been to either start writing  OR go to sleep.  I opted to do both.

So, I bring to you, my first blog post.  Hopefully I will be able to remember the some of the many things I always think I should right about now that I have a place to post them.  Please be patient with me as I begin and hopefully maintain this blog.