My insignificant results make me feel insignificant in front of

  1. the suffocating body of previous, influential findings;
  2. the presentation sprinting towards me at 432563472325 miles per hour, all the way laughing at me because we are SO UNREADY.

And, SPSS just makes me feel insignificant overall with all its confusing tables and charts.

Until I got into psychology, never had the word “insignificant” become so meaningful in my life.

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Making my first research poster is kind of like going off on a quest after hearing one vague prophecy from a elderly (and somewhat senile) wizard. What do you include? Where do you make it? What font size do you use? (I’ve seen anything from 8- to 24-pt font suggested, so at this point, I’m just waiting to see whether my prof says there’s too much text and orders me to lop off half of the poster.)

Thankfully, all questers run into wonderful and unexpected benefactors at some point during their journey… And mines happen to take the form of a handout from Swarthmore College, as well as the Flickr group “Poster sessions”. No, I never expected that I would be looking up for sample posters on Flickr of all places, but, right now, it’s a god-send. Where else do you find 294 research posters to sift through at your own perusal?

On a side note, I chuckled at seeing Wikipedia’s disambiguation link on their page for “Quest” (yes, I look up everything on Wikipedia, even if I don’t need to): “This article discusses significance-laden journeys.” Significance-laden journeys, you say? Hopefully at p < .05 at the very least.

And the unicorn used this method to memorize all the different types of presupposition triggers for its semantics class.

I was playing Alter Ego last night during an unintentionally extended break from studying. It’s a text-based RPG (role-playing game), somewhat similar to those Choose-Your-Adventure books, where they tell you to turn to page X if you want to do this, turn to page Y if you want to do that, except you’re not playing a predetermined character by the author. You’re playing yourself.

Instead of earning gold to buy swords which can hack up a Level 150 monster, Alter Ego takes you through the various stages of normal, unspectacular, human life — infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, etc. — and in each stage, you have a wide, wide range of possible choices, and your decisions will ultimately impact your future. In this way, the game achieves its goal to provide a place to imagine what your life would be like if only you did X or were more like Y.

The one qualm I have about Alter Ego is that they just don’t allow you enough turns per stage. This means that you don’t get to experience all the possible scenarios of each stage per run of the game, and I feel that’s just not enough to complete what you’re supposed to complete in each stage of life. For example, I was finally able to get through all the “college experiences” I needed to graduate…by the time I was in the OLD ADULTHOOD stage. >.> Would I even need a college degree by that point?

That the number of turns is limited is probably why the game is so short. I did not want to die yet (“there’s still so much I haven’t done!”), but there was no other choice: My time was up. They congratulated me on my death. I closed the browser window with the feeling that life is really transient. Did I not just run through a person’s entire life in a couple of hours? I was born, I grew up, I grew old, I died. Everything passes…so quickly. And it makes you think how fast real life passes you by too; in my case, I’m almost finished with another year of university! How can that be possible? I haven’t done that much yet!

Reflections aside, Alter Ego is a refreshing take on a fantasy-dominated game genre. Sure, there’s no images, but a game that is so personal in nature would not work with petty graphic representations. Try it — I’m sure you’ll like it. See what your life could turn out like if you make the same choices as you do in reality now, or become the exact opposite of who you are now…and see if your life turns out better (or worse). Perhaps you’ll walk away with some interesting reflections on life that may help you in reality.

One of my best friends recently wrote me a letter, and since then, I’ve been reflecting.

I’m truly thankful for having met such great people in my life. People who have put up with my flaws, mostly without question, time and time again, despite all the frustrations I’ve probably inflicted upon them. And I’m sure I don’t make much sense to most people — I don’t make sense to myself sometimes, either — but, I’m trying to not be so…well, wishy-washy. (Yeah, that’s a word I don’t think I’ve ever used before. I even feel weird typing it. But, it was the only word I had in mind at the moment, due to a particularly salient example from my Semantics class. >.<“)

So, I hope you know who you are when I say to you now: Sorry, and thank you.

A funny scene from the 2010 Hong Kong movie 72 Tenants of Prosperity (72家租客), which I just watched last night.

Haha, I can never get enough of it. XD I’m pretty sure I’ve replayed this clip at least five or six times today.

(I should note that I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good comedy. There’s never a boring moment, and it’s so ridiculous that you just ignore the fact that it makes no sense whatsoever and decide to go along for the ride. And, the cast really is all-star, if you’re into that kind of thing.)

Okay, back to studying for my SUPER AWESOME FUN MIDTERMS! :D

Warning: This post may not be comprehendable by people who don’t do CSS/HTML.

The site I’ve created for my psych lab presented a frustrating float problem: I needed to have a title icon relatively positioned so that it overlapped the border of the content <div>, but I also needed all images, which are floated, to fit completely within the content <div> as well. Usually, to force floated images to stay within a <div>, you can put { overflow: hidden } for the <div>, but if I did this here, it would cut off my title icon. And that was just plain ugly.

Hence my journey into messy absolute positioning of the title icon, inserting ten thousand <p>&nbsp;</p> to fill up the extra space beside the abnormally large map to our lab, and self-questioning of whether that title icon was really necessary. That is when Google gave me an ingeniously simple solution I should’ve thought of when the problem first cropped up: Dump a single <p>&nbsp;</p> that is set to { clear: both }.

No, it’s not the prettiest solution — it’s best if everything can be controlled by CSS, or something outside of the HTML file — but I will have to live with it for now. Besides, it’s better than seeing this in the page source:

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<!— plzdontlookatmycode —>

I have a headache right now, but I thought I might as well write something in order to…well, not neglect my blog again.

Life has been extremely busy lately. Yeah, it’s only the third week of the second semester, but everything seems to require more work than last semester. O.o Furthermore, I’ve delved back into the awesome world of web design \o/ for both the linguistic department’s student union and the moral development lab of which I’m a part of. Web design and coding in CSS/XHTML has taken a lot longer than I expected, probably because I haven’t written any code whatsoever in the past two years. >.> Basically, these past couple of weeks have been a crash course in coding. (I’m not complaining though; it has been great to just DESIGN again, instead of memorizing terms from textbooks. Also, CSS3 is TOTALLY AWESOME. Go text-shadow!)

Besides that, there’s also a lot of other stuff going on. But yeah.

Excuse me while I go take a walk. Hopefully, some fresh air will clear my head.

Earlier last week, I went to browse around Chapters and happened to come across this very cute USB hub man by Kikkerland:

Adorable USB hub man by Kikkerland. Sadly, it's not fully functional on my computers.His smiley face was irresistible, and since I had a Chapters gift card to spend, I decided to take him home with me.

I just released him from his plastic trappings today. He has a long USB cord that extends from his head. As soon as I plugged him into my computer, his green indicator light (his heart?) lit up immediately. Awwh.

Everything seemed to go smoothly as I extended his arms with two of my USB flash drives. Files were easily and quickly read. Then, I decided to plug my MP3 player into the his leg… And it read that too. At first. But after a minute, my MP3 player disappeared from “My Computer” and there was no way to access it.

I reasoned that, even if it failed to work with my electronic devices, it would be still great if it could handle four flash drives. So, I took out my MP3 player and stuck two flash drives into the two remaining ports. They were read, and the windows asking me what action I wanted to take regarding each drive popped up, but seconds later, all four of my USB drives plugged into the little guy were unaccessible! It was as if I disconnected all the drives; they were not being read at all. Unplugging any two USB drives, though, allowed the remaining two drives to be immediately read.

And so my fifteen-minute affair with a smiley USB guy ends in tragedy. It’s a shame that I’ll have to return him, not only because he’s adorable and that going back to Chapters is inconvenient, but because he would have rendered fumbling blindly around the back of my processor for hidden, dusty USB ports unnecessary.

Well, it was nice knowing you, USB hub man. You and your cute green heart.

One good thing about large Chinese supermarkets is that they often have a “hot, prepared foods” section. This is where they prepare and sell vast quantities of fried rice, steamed buns, soups, stir-fried dishes, and many different types of dim sum. And, if you go later in the day when it is near closing time, they usually put whatever food they have left out on sale to get rid of it all.

It’s not often that I like the stuff that comes out on sale in the evening, since it’s usually the stuff that doesn’t sell as well. But yesterday, they had small tubs of 낙지볶음 (nakji bokkeum) on the sale table, and I could not resist but take one. I had not tried it before, but I did know that it was a Korean side dish, and since I’ve so far liked all the Korean side dishes that I’ve tried, I was pretty confident that my $2 would be well-spent. Furthermore, I had no qualms about eating tiny octopuses in a spicy sauce (낙지볶음 is basically stir-fried octopus); being from a seafood-loving family, I’ve consumed octopus (and squid!) countless times.

I don’t usually eat much rice, but I did last night, because those octopuses (or octopii?) were just so good. They were a bit too salty and spicy to be eaten alone in large amounts, but that is perfectly balanced out by a small bowl of rice. I have to say, while Koreans may have to wash a lot of dishes after every meal (they serve a lot of side dishes in ADDITION to a main dish, and everyone has their own separate bowls for rice too), they certainly have found out how to make bland rice really tasty.

The 낙지볶음 was so good that my parents and I consumed the entire box before I remembered to take a picture of it for this post first! What  a shame. However, it did look something like this, except it was slathered with generous amounts of sesame seeds and sesame oil, and it was accompanied with some crunchy, julienned carrots and pickled daikon radishes:

낙지볶음 (nakjibokkeum), stir-fried octopus. A spicy and very tasty Korean side dish.

Gosh, just writing about it makes me hungry for some 낙지볶음 right now. Maybe I’ll go get some more tonight.

(Image courtesy of nawayo.com)

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