Friday, February 18, 2011


School this week has been so intense. I've been getting home no earlier than 5:30 every night. I have school till four, marimba practice till 5:30, dinner + clean up... I start my homework around 6 or 6:30 and work on it till almost midnight every night. I still have so much more work to do that I don't have time for. I have a 3 day weekend but I know my teachers don't take late work. I atleast got all my essays turned in on time this week. I have two tests on wednesday. Biology and statistics. Both of those tests have material that is do-able but I just have to do the work to prepare for those tests. I'm sure that monday will be a shitty day for me. I don't have anything planned with my friends. Tomorrow is competition for my percussion solo and ensembles. We have to leave at 7 AM to get there for our solos at 8. Good news is that our ensemble is at 2 so we don't have to be back until then. We are just going to go to the mall and fool around. I hope we decided to watch a movie or something. The AMC is there. I have a gift card. This post doesn't really have a point. I just haven' tpsoted since tuesday. I will start updating everyday. Promise.

Just curious...
What do you guys like to read? Interesting news? Personal blogging? Big of both?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


'Your name tastes like purple' By Teri Floyd
In my head, the letter "N" is green. The number 5 is blackish gray, and in his early 20s. The month of February is lavender colored and covered in ice.
So in case you haven’t guessed, I have synesthesia.
I’ve had it all my life, I suppose. People who are experts on such things say that we are born with it, that it is a brain disorder. The wires in your brain get crossed, and you experience all five senses simultaneously. They overlap where they should be separate.
Everybody who has it has a different form of synesthesia with minor undertones of other kinds. Mine mainly exists with letters and numbers. I see numbers, letters, words, etc in color. All of my letters and numbers have different colors, personalities, textures, ages and gender. I literally see them as living beings. Colors themselves also have gender. When I was a child often I’d play ‘house’ with my crayons instead of dolls. Seriously, I’d have red and blue get married or green and orange have a sordid affair. My grandma used to think it was so funny. It was just normal to me. Words have colors – for instance, my son’s name, Callum, is a bright, sunny yellow with flecks of baby blue, particularly in the L’s.
The inside of my head kind of feels like a Jackson Pollock painting. All splotches and globs of brightly colored paint, roads leading nowhere, just an explosion of thick, goopy color with a nonsensical message. Convergence, 1952 by Jackson Pollock is my favorite painting. Probably because it’s the colors of my name. Yellows, a hint of orange, lots of black, and a little fleck of blue peeking out; all of it streaked into oblivion. My name looks just like that; it did long before I ever saw a Pollock painting.

I also have synesthesia with regard to music. Certain songs bring vivid colors into my head. If I listen to "Happiness is a Warm Gun," by the Beatles, my head fills with alternating flashes of mustard-yellow and bright, silvery white. It has a distinct pulse and a gritty, sandpapery feel. David Bowie’s voice always invokes a bright sky blue that sometimes turns darker, or has shades of gray, depending on the mood of the song. Rap music invokes a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes all spiraling through my head at warp speed. I prefer one sole theme, which is why I think I don’t usually care for rap music unless it’s really unique or exceptional (for instance, Lil Wayne’s voice is a silvery gray with purple undertones that I find really pleasing). Classical music takes me through a landscape of color, shape and feeling. Usually I close my eyes when listening. It’s like having my own personal DVD of "Fantasia" playing through my head whenever I listen.
Usually when I tell people about my synesthestic experiences they look at me like I’m some crazed hippie. I probably am a crazed hippie in reality, but what I experience is more than just psychedelic. It’s spiritual. My synesthesia is so ingrained into me that if I lost my ability tomorrow, I would feel as if I’d been blinded or deafened.
Occasionally I experience the other types of synesthesia that have to do with taste, sensation and smell, but only occasionally. Smells and tastes definitely invoke a distinct color in my brain. For instance, the smell and taste of fresh garlic makes my head fill with bright, vibrant green. Diet drinks with their saccharine sweetness always appear in my head as being a shimmering, blinding silver.
It can be strange, having synesthesia. If I’m out to dinner with a friend, and they scrape their fork on their teeth, my brain fills with unnamed metallic colors, and my ears roar with the sound of it. I can’t stand it. I can taste the metal on my own tongue and it is unbearable. It can cause obsessive compulsive behavior sometimes. Occasionally the sound and taste of silverware is so loud in my brain that I have to use plastic cutlery when I eat.
Synesthesia certainly enriches my life as an avid reader and a writer. It always helped my poetry and as I become better at essays and stories I find that it enriches them, too. Certainly F. Scott Fitzgerald was synesthetic. No one can read "The Great Gatsby" and tell me that he wasn’t. I think that is why I feel so decadent and wistful when I read his books. I’ve read "Gatsby" dozens of times and never tire of the language and the way his words flow in an endless barrage of color. Many artists and celebrities are synesthestes, including Tori Amos, Eddie Van Halen, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stevie Wonder, Vladimir Nabokov and many, many others.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t grateful to have synesthesia. I have had it so long that it is like second nature to me now. I often forget that I do have it, and just go through life assuming that people are experiencing the same sensations as I do. I see the months of the year like a giant Rolodex, spiraling through an open space. They all have colors, genders, ages and personalities. I also benefit from having a somewhat photographic memory with directions, phone numbers, addresses and names, because I see them as a pattern of colors.
It all tastes blue to me."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

I, for one, am not celebrating. (Foreveralone)
But here's a love themed post for you lovers.

Results from Ortigue’s team revealed when a person falls in love, 12 areas of the brain work in tandem to release euphoria-inducing chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline and vasopression.
The love feeling also affects sophisticated cognitive functions, such as mental representation, metaphors and body image."
"Men and women can now thank a dozen brain regions for their romantic fervor. Researchers have revealed the fonts of desire by comparing functional MRI studies of people who indicated they were experiencing passionate love, maternal love or unconditional love. Together, the regions release neuro­transmitters and other chemicals in the brain and blood that prompt greater euphoric sensations such as attraction and pleasure. Conversely, psychiatrists might someday help individuals who become dan­gerously depressed after a heartbreak by adjusting those chemicals.
Passion also heightens several cognitive functions, as the brain regions and chemicals surge. “It’s all about how that network interacts,” says Stephanie Ortigue, an assistant professor of psychology at Syracuse University, who led the study. The cognitive functions, in turn, “are triggers that fully activate the love network.” Tell that to your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.
Graphics by James W. Lewis, West Virginia University (brain), and Jen Christiansen.

So back at Stanford, researchers recruited 15 undergrads in the early euphoric throes of a relationship. The volunteers had photos of the romantic partner and of an attractive acquaintance. As they looked at the photos, their palms were safely heated to mild pain. Then the volunteers repeated the experiment but were distracted by tasks such as: think of sports that don’t use balls. Previous research found that distraction can ease pain.
Both distraction and the pictures of new loves reduced pain. But, the love photo acted in a totally different area of the brain—the primitive reward system region that lights up where addictive drugs work, and where pain-relieving opioids do their magic. The study was published in Public Library of Science One. [Jarred Younger et al., Viewing Pictures of a Romantic Partner Reduces Experimental Pain: Involvement of Neural Reward Systems]
So the next time you’re in pain, maybe you don’t need to pop a pill. Just fall in love.
—Cynthia Graber"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Skin Gun

This is something I heard about during a 4 hour long biology conference.

"The Stem Cell Skin Gun is a new treatment for burn wounds that uses stem cells. The demand for this treatment should change a lot of lives.This treatment is still being experimented with, but a dozen people have used
 this procedure and have experienced fast healing of severe burns in just a few days."
Caution: Gore in video.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Webb Telescope !
"I have serious nerd wood"

"A million miles from Earth, the James Webb Space Telescope will soar through a frigid void, peering back to the time when new stars and developing galaxies first began to illuminate the universe. Scanning the universe for the invisible radiation called infrared, Webb will have to be larger than any space telescope ever placed in orbit, and function at temperatures just tens of degrees above absolute zero — the temperature at which even atoms are frozen into immobility.
With its infrared vision, Webb will be able to see light from the early universe that has been stretched as it travels across the expanding fabric of space. It will be able to see through clouds of dust to the warm, infrared-emitting objects hidden within. Our view of the universe will expand as Webb opens up previously unexplored territory to our gaze." (
I think this is awesome although I cannot explain it in my own words.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Skins UK

I started Skins season 2. Its a different kind of complex from the first season of Skins. It deals with the bigger issues of today's youth like death, injury, homosexuality, divorce, forbidden love, best friends, first love etc. Beside for the heavy pill popping in season one, I see the parallels within my own teenage life and in my peers lives as well. The UK versions are much better than the US version. They're set in Bristol,UK. First season follows a group of kids in college  (which for US is like 10-12th grade up). They're close friends that get into trouble like any typical teenagers life. Seaon two follows the main male lead from the first season's little sister's life after he goes to university and she moves up to college. If you're looking for something to watch, its not half bad.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Expansion and Innovation.

I spent the entire night from midnight on watching this very captivating man paint on a huge piece of wood. We talked and listened to good music. He was smoking joints and hand rolled cigarettes. I ended up passing out at 4:20 AM.
I just woke up around 1:30 through a bunch of weird, exciting dreams. Lie in bed with my cats for a minute. Thats when I realized that I need to be more interesting. Work on hobbies and activities more than sit on  my ass thinking the computer will make me cool if I used it for 12 hours a day. James is coming over to paint and I'm going spend some time reading. I need to clean this fucking room and change the sheets. I'm goign to tackle the long list of books I've always wanted to read but was always too lazy to do. I need to work harder on my programming and music theory. My other classes are ordinary so I just need to make good grades. I want to start drawing and maybe painting again. I need an outlet. I need multiple outlets.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Listening to a piece by Hauschka can be deceiving: What sounds like an ensemble of musicians and instruments is just one man, performing at one piano. His real name is Volker Bertelmann, and he hails from Dusseldorf, Germany, where he works with his "prepared piano." He wrests disruptive sounds from the instrument's 88 keys by outfitting the strings or mallets with objects such as ping-pong balls, aluminum foil and leather. His new album is titled Foreign Landscapes, and he recently visited NPR's studios to demonstrate his craft.

Q: As a non-musician, I'm curious what's inspiring to you about this
A: What he can do with a such a traditional instrument such as a piano to make it sound like a full symphony or concert band and how it uses it with composition to create polyphonic textures
Piano is a relatively new instrument. It is old enough that the original rock stars of music who created the theory and theoretical rules that every uses almost exclusively today figured out just a little bit more than a child sitting down at the instrument... but there are still things to be discovered. These are the same reasons why I find percussion interesting. Marimbasonly been aroudn since 1900, so w hen someone finds something to do with it it can be changed and improved. Possibilities are endless and its exciting to know that innovation is something I could get into

Q: It never occurred to me that way, mostly because the instruments I'm used to working with are determined by the philosophy of "if it's ineffective, build it better and throw the old one away"
(10:22:24 PM) ha ah: Well, as long as economics permit it 
(10:23:16 PM) exorhi: With music its less about the what and is more about the why and how 
(10:23:51 PM) ha ah: Theory as opposed to function, then?
(10:24:05 PM) exorhi: Function? Aesthetic
(10:24:12 PM) exorhi: Appeals to the music soul
(10:24:14 PM) exorhi: human ot music
(10:24:50 PM) ha ah: I understand what you're saying on an emotional level, I guess
(10:25:08 PM) ha ah: But nothing's really coming to mind, as it were
(10:25:41 PM) exorhi: Its just as artistic as english composition, but a man has to be taught to read and to write
(10:25:54 PM) exorhi: But we've been making music before we knew what itw as

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Did you know...

Ailurophilia is the "love of cats."

The nose pad of a cat is ridged in a pattern that is unique, just like the fingerprint of a human.

There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with 33 different breeds.

The American cat population reached nearly 68 million in 1996.  American Demographics magazine estimates that's about 200 million kitty yawns per hour and a whopping 425 million catnaps each day!

A cat's heart beats twice as fast as a human heart, at 110 to 140 beats per minute.

25% of cat owners blow dry their cats hair after a bath.

The largest cat breed is the Ragdoll.   Males weigh twelve to twenty pounds, with females weighing ten to fifteen pounds.   The smallest cat breed is the Singapura.  Males weigh about six pounds while females weigh about four pounds.

Calico cats are almost always female.

If your cat is near you, and her tail is quivering, this is the greatest expression of love your cat can give you.   If her tail starts thrashing, her mood has changed --- Time to distance yourself from her.