Aug 7, 2014  •  In Personal, Travel

High Expectations [The Perils of an Overactive Imagination]

I have never liked going to “tourist-y” attractions when traveling.

I know this is the cool thing to do these days — to seek out the less popular, hidden gems when vacationing — but I have always been like this, even from a young age.

And the reason for this aversion? Disappointment.

The Mona Lisa. The Eiffel Tower. The Sistine Chapel. Starry Night. The Parthenon. The Pantheon. The Colosseum. The Statue of Liberty. Notre Dame Cathedral. The Blue Domed Church in Santorini. The Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Last Supper. Saint Peter’s Basilica. Capitol Hill. The Louvre. The Palace of Versailles. Niagara Falls. The Grand Canyon. The Trevi Fountain. The Statue of David.

And so on and so forth.

Never have I been impressed and/or surprised by visiting these famous landmarks, works of art, or structures in person. Because in my mind — fueled by my love of reading and colorful imagination — they were always so much better. More grandiose, more colorful, more intricate, more impressive

In other words, I expected more.

disappointment

I couldn’t help but be reminded of this personality quirk (flaw?) when I read “Lowering Expectations Is Key to Happiness” earlier this week. According to the article, researchers at the University College London discovered that feeling happy does not depend on how things are going, but how they are going relative to expectations.

Which completely makes sense, when you think about it!

Perhaps this is why I tend to stray more to the negative side of spectrum when it comes to general life satisfaction? Because I imagine, and thus expect, all aspects of my life — whether it be relationships, parenting, career — to be better?

It’s funny, because my overactive imagination doesn’t automatically turn to the worst-case scenario. Rather, I tend to conjure up elaborate, more-than-ideal situations and outcomes. So perhaps I will continue to be disappointed more than pleased…but stay an optimist.

Aug 5, 2014  •  In Entertainment, Geek, Movies, Science, Star Wars

The Science of Star Wars

Physicist Andy Howell recently gave a talk about the science of Star Wars — yes, the actual science behind, the inspiration for, the data that supports, and the ‘how’s and ‘why’s behind the wonders of the SW world! — and wrote up a summary for Ain’t It Cool.

This is so nerdy that I couldn’t help but stay up ’til 2am, devouring the details.  8-)  

The topics include:

  • Space Fantasy
  • Droids
  • Tattoine
  • Holograms
  • Parsecs
  • Lightsabers
  • TIE Fighters
  • Training Remotes
  • The Death Star
  • The Destruction of Alderaan

For example, did you know that training remotes (the floating robotic orb Luke uses to practice his lightsaber skills) are a reality? And that they’re flying on a spaceship right now???!!!!!

In 1999, MIT professor David Miller showed his students STAR WARS, and when it got to the part about the training remotes, he said, “I want you to build me some of those.” They and subsequent researchers came up with these things called SPHERES that are being tested on the International Space Station. They float because it is weightless on the ISS. And then they maintain their position and move around by shooting jets of compressed air!

Then there’s this jaw-dropper:

science_of_star_wars

And you can read the calculations behind the statement at the end of the article!

I think it goes without saying that Copernicus explores The Science of Star Wars! is a must-read for all Star Wars geeks. Go bookmark it now!!!

Via Kottke.

Aug 4, 2014  •  In Beauty, Giveaways, Personal, Shopping

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway! [Win One of THREE Prizes!]

When I asked if you guys were sick of my talking about Korean beauty products, reader J Lee replied, “NO NO NO. YESYESYES to more posts like these!!!” And others seem to be enjoying these posts as well. :-P  

But as much as I would love to keep buying and reviewing new items, I would much rather spread the love first.

And you know what that means, don’t you?  ;-)  

That’s right — another giveaway!

I thought about having the winner(s) choose a Korean beauty product I have talked about in my Korean beauty haul series. But I knew that not everyone has the same skin/cosmetic concerns as me.

I then considered giving the winner(s) a gift card to an online Korean beauty store. But I know that not everyone is into beauty stuff.

Additionally, not ONE online Korean beauty store carried ALL the items I mentioned in these posts. :-(

So I figured, why not just please everyone? Since Amazon carries all the items — either directly or through third-party sellers — AND since you don’t have to buy a beauty product with an Amazon gift card…

I’M HOLDING ANOTHER AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!

With not one, not two, but THREE chances to win!

ONE lucky winner will receive a $50 gift card:

And the second and third winners will EACH win a $25 gift card:

To enter this giveaway, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below. Not sure how to use Rafflecopter? Watch this 52 second video for a tutorial on how to enter a giveaway using Rafflecopter. There are 5 methods of entry, with the first method (commenting on this blog post answering the question “What would you do with your Amazon gift card if you won?”) being mandatory while the third method (Tweeting about the giveaway) can be used once per day:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end on Monday, August 11th, 2014, at 12:01am EST, at which point a winner will be randomly chosen and announced here. If the winner has won the drawing via a fraudulent or illegitimate entry (i.e., not commenting on this post, using different accounts to enter multiple times, using a Twitter account that is only used to enter contests on a frequent basis, using the same Tweet URL to enter multiple times) I have the right to choose another winner.

This giveaway is open to ANYONE over the age of 13!

Please use a valid email address and/or Twitter handle so that I can contact you if you win! If the winner fails to respond within 48 hours of my contacting them, another winner will be selected.

Good luck, and thank you for entering!

Aug 3, 2014  •  In Art/Design, Books, Entertainment, Movies, Video Games

Pop Culture Reimagined as Little Golden Books

Another day, another art exhibit I’m dying to attend on the west coast. (Srsly. I know NY has some of the best that the art world has to offer, but I freakin’ LOVE the LA art scene!)

Galley 1988, which has gotten love on this blog before, is currently showing Storytime: A Little Galley Show by illustrator Joey Spiotto.

little_golden_book_breaking_bad

little_golden_book_clockwork_orange

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Aug 2, 2014  •  In Art/Design, Books, Entertainment, Movies, Scary, Video Games, Web

Classic Horror Movies Get the “Goosebumps” Treatment

If It Were Stine is a Tumblr blog dedicated to reimagining classic horror movies, television shows, and video games as R.L. Stine’s popular children’s book series, Goosebumps.

Despite having been a junkie for the teen horror genre in my formative years, I wasn’t a big fan of R.L. Stine or the Goosebumps books. I thought they were predictable, contrived, and quite honestly, not that scary. (I was a bigger fan of the less-popular Christopher Pike.) However, I can’t help but admit that designer Theodore Holmstead-Scott and writer Jude Deluca have done a fantastic job of translating these on-screen horror classics to Goosebump-worthy book covers.

Here are my favorites. Be sure to read the back-cover synopses for the full experience!

The Shining:
horror_films_as_goosebumps_the_shining

Poltergeist:
horror_films_as_goosebumps_poltergeist

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