Thursday, September 30, 2010

Story Writing

Right now I’m in the middle of writing a zombie story, the beginning of which takes place in UWI (lol!). It’s the first time I’ve ever based a story on somewhere that I’ve actually been, and that I see everyday. To tell you the truth, it’s been a pretty fun experience. I mean, writing usually is really fun. You get to stretch your imagination to limits which you would have never before imagined were possible. It’s a relaxing way to escape reality and recreate the world as you see fit. But there’s another side to writing. A – well, I wouldn’t say darker side – but a side the is more serious and more real than just your regular English class creative writing essay.

There is a point for all real writers where your story becomes more that just ink on a page. There’s a point where the story itself becomes a living thing, writhing and trashing, refusing to be tamed. It starts off slow at first. You get this idea in your head, and you think, ‘Hey, this is pretty good. I should write this down.’ And as you begin to scribble down your idea, a next one pops into your head, picking up where the last one left off. And next idea joins that one and then another and then another, like bread crumbs from that old fairytale. But when you turn around to see exactly where you are, too late you realize that you’re already lost.

The ideas in your head suddenly explode simultaneously, trapping you in this world you think you’ve created. But then you realize that’s not true. You didn’t create the story. The story already exists. And it would like nothing more than to leave the cramped quarters of you mind and vanish forever. You may think that you have name for the story, but you realize that it doesn’t fit. You try to name the characters and you realize that you can’t. You can’t name them because they already have names, lives, emotions and personalities. You are plunged into a maelstrom, churned by this creature that you call a ‘story’.

You get a hold of yourself just in time to realize that if you don’t do something soon, you are going to lose this story forever. So you grab hold of it for dear life, refusing to let go. You will write this story. And as you grab hold tighter, you get plunged deeper into the world of the story. You being to understand the intricacies of it, exactly what makes it tick. You begin to bond with it. And then it grows calm. It is as if the story has observed you deemed you worthy, allowing itself to be tamed by you. Only then would the story open up and show you all of its secrets.

I’ve written many stories in the past, some I’ve left behind, some that I hope to begin writing again in the future. But I’ll never forget them. Their voices will never die. Their worlds will never cease to exist.


So what if I’m a little crazy? Life’s more fun this way! :p

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On Being Hateful

I have this friend on Facebook who has a really nasty habit. A great deal of his photos are pictures that insult and poke fun at other peoples beliefs. There are no subtleties or misinterpretations about them. They are just blatantly insulting. When asked about it, the person usually responds with lackluster answers like “It’s just of for fun” or “No real harm done”.

You see that? That is wrong. Really, really wrong. Not everyone in life is going to believe the same thing you believe, and yes, a lot of things that other people believe may seem downright stupid. But that still doesn’t give you the right to make fun of it. It’s a selfish, immature and hateful thing to do.

Saying that there is no harm done is a downright lie. Almost every single war that ever was waged started because someone didn’t pay the due respect to someone else’s beliefs, be it political or religious. Pictures on Facebook may not start a national war, but it may cause friction among friends, fights, hurt feelings and broken friendships. For some thing that is supposedly ‘harmless’ disrespecting someone’s point of view can do much damage. And something like this can never be just for fun. There is nothing to ‘LOL’ at when you are hurting someone’s feelings. True, their beliefs may mean nothing to you. Why should you care? Look at it this way. Your loved ones mean nothing to them. How would you feel if someone posted pictures making fun of you mother, or sister or significant other? Imagine it for a minute. You see that rage and anger you feel? That’s how people feel every time you post another picture or link that makes light of the things that they hold most dear.

Yes, you have the freedom speech, and yes it’s ok to criticize someone’s point of view. There is nothing wrong with saying that you think that someone’s beliefs are wrong and then going on to say why it is wrong. Criticism can be constructive and it can help both parties learn. Belittling someone’s else stance on things that are of utmost importance to them profits no one. They get angry and you don’t grow from it. In fact, it tears down who you are as a person. So the next time you decide to upload a picture,or link that clearly degrades something that people may hold close or even ‘like’ or comment on such a link or comment, on a a public forum like Facebook, think about how you would feel it it were you. I’m sure you’d find that the joke’s not as funny when it’s on you.

p.s I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but it just had to be said.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Sliding Dog

Max Lucado is a really cool Christian writer/speaker who once gave this story about a dog:

There was a family whose dog was pregnant with pups. One day, while the dog was lying on the lawn, the patriarch of the family, in a tragic accident, ran over the dog’s back legs with a lawnmower. They rushed the dog to the emergency room, where a veterinarian was able to save the pet’s life. Both mother and puppies were fine, but the dog had lost both of its hind legs. A couple of weeks went by and the dog’s wounds healed, allowing her to begin moving around again. Despite not having the use of her hind legs, she would step forward on her two front legs, and slide the rest of her body forward. A few weeks after that, the dog gave birth to a healthy litter of puppies. But as the puppies began to move around on their own, the family discovered something strange. Instead of walking on all fours like regular dogs do, the puppies mimicked their mother, and stepped forward with their hind legs, sliding the rest of their bodies behind them.

You see, when it came to walking, the only examples that those puppies ever had was their mother. Had she given up and decided never to walk again, there’s a very good chance that the puppies may have never walked at all. I bet she didn’t even know that her pups were learning to walk by mimicking her. She probably just thought of it as a way for her to get around, not a lesson to be thought to her offspring. But they learned it any how.

We need to understand that we don’t live in a vacuum. Every single thing you do affects the people around you. There are people who admire you and look up to you. Many of them are the people that you don’t expect. Sometimes, they are people who you don’t even know exist. There are some things in life for which you may be the only example they have. Your sphere of influence extends far further than you would ever expect. You may speak a certain way to someone, give up on a particular struggle, act in a particular manner and think that no one cares. That’s a lie. There is always someone who cares, and there is always someone who is going to follow you. Making a difference doesn’t only take effect when you do things for everyone to see. What you do when you think that no one is looking matters too.

I know for a fact that I’ve been influenced by people that I don’t know and people who I’ve never met, and I’m pretty sure that I’ve influenced others. In everything you do, think of the people who you are influencing, not just yourselves. You may not believe it, but there is someone, somewhere who wishes that they could be just like you.

Until tomorrow guys. Bye!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Comfort Zone

Before I started this blog, I was really scared, and sometimes, I still am. Why? Because I was afraid that no one would read what I wrote that I would be an epic failure and possibly a laughing stock. Every logical impulse in my mind screamed for me to stop before I went too far and made a complete and total fool of myself. But against my better(?) judgment, I went ahead and started writing. And its been going pretty good so far. But to do this I had to step out of my comfort zone.

The comfort zone isn’t all bad. If we never had a comfort zone, we’d go through life living on edge, never able to relax, always worried about tomorrow. It keeps us safe from out baser instincts and allows us to be normal civilized human beings. It saves us from insanity. The danger in our comfort zone usually breeds a dangerous enemy: complacency. We get accustomed to the life we have. We know what we are going to do tomorrow and the day after that. Our lives are good, we are happy and we think that this is way it should be. And then complacency takes us and swallows us whole.

Risks take us out of our comfort zone. It stabs complacency in the chest and makes it writhe in pain. But since it’s already bonded to our comfort zone, the pain it feels gets transferred to us. The same safety system that protects turns around and begins attacking our decisions. It lies to us and tells us that what we are doing is wrong, and that we should stop now before we cross the line of no return. And sometimes – most of the times – we listen. We stop what we are doing and fall right back into complacency’s waiting jaws.

But our world is kinetic. It thrives on movement. The greatest of discoveries humanity has even made and the best of experiences ever had come from men who were told that they were ‘crazy’. But the didn’t care. They stuck that knife into complacency and walked on. We can never move sitting in our comfort zone. We can never go anywhere. We need to break it up and move forward. And you know what? As we move forward, we create a new comfort zone, one that we never thought possible. Of course not all risks end in success. But I think you would find that that great majority of them do.

I took a risk and stepped out of my comfort zone to begin writing this blog. Did I succeed? Well, you’re reading this, aren’t you? I guess I didn’t make a complete fool of myself.

  Until tomorrow!! Bye!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ramblings of a Lovesick Freshman

Hey guys, I was busy with church today and I have pile of stuff to do for tomorrow, so I don’t have time to write a proper blog post. So I decided  to show you something that I’ve already written.

Here’s the story: In the first semester of my first year, I was head over heels for this girl in my faculty. So much so that I decided to write her something to tell her how I feel. But I chickened out and never gave it to her. It’s been a long while since that and I found what I had written for her in one of old notebooks. Here’s how it goes:

I am far better with writing than saying stuff out loud, so I am going to write this down in the hope that I can get my voice out. The truth is, if I told you I love you, I would be lying. But if I said that I didn’t, I guess I’d be lying as well. You see, I don’t really know how I feel and I want to have a chance to find out. I want to get to know you. You’re one of the most wonderful and beautiful girls I have ever met. Your very presence numbs my tongue and twists my thoughts beyond recognition. I know what I want to say, but I can't find the courage within me to do so. But what I fear most of all is that one day, I could lose you, and I can’t stand to see that happen. So, what it all boils down to is that I want a chance to get to know you, and  maybe, a chance to love you.

I promise that tomorrow I’d have proper post that isn’t as embarrassing or sappy as this one. See you guys!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mythical Creature Saturday- Dullahan

I actually finished this post ahead of time! Yay for being proactive! Anyway, on to today’s mythical creature: The Dullahan. Ever heard of it? No? Ever heard of The Headless Horseman? Yes? Then you have an idea of what a dullahan is.

What is a Dullahan?

A dullahan is traditionally portrayed as the headless rider of a large black horse. It carries its head under it’s arm or on its saddle brow. The head has massive eyes that constantly dart from side to side. Its mouth is usually curve into a large hideous grin which reaches from ear to ear. The head is said to have the color and texture of moldy cheese or stale dough. The dullahan also carries a whip made out of a human spine which is used to control the horse. In some legends the horse has flaming eyes and it moves so fast that the friction it creates sometimes sets the grass alongside the road it travels on fire.

Dullahan Origins

The Dullahan (or the Gan Ceann as it is call here) originates from Irish folklore where it is a member of Useelie (meaning “Unholy” or “Unblessed”) court of fairies. These fairies were usually evil and attacked humans without provocation. Another origin story comes from the Arthurian legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Ghost. Here the dullahan appears as a hostile, green ghost of a knight, determined to kill Gawain, after which he is struck headless by the knight. A third legend relates that the dullahan is in fact the Celtic fertility god Crom Dubh, who demanded human sacrifices every year. When Christian missionaries came to Ireland, they denounced this type of worship and it fell out of practice under their influence. Crom Dubh, not to be denied his share of souls, became a dullahan or ‘far dorocha’ , which translates to Dark Man. All these stories are what inspired “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.

Dullahan Abilities

A dullahan is usually as a bringer of death. Wherever it stops, a person is due to die there. Also, if its head were to call out the name of a person, that person will immediately die. They also have the ability of supernatural sight, as they can see miles when they lift their heads aloft. They do not wish to be seen when on their rides, so they usually throw a basin of blood at any observers or whip their eyes out with a human spine. It is also impossible to block a dullahan as any gates or locks in their pathway open on their own accord to let it through. Some stories give the dullahan special powers such a magic swords or the ability to breathe fire out of their heads. Some variations include the dullahan being an animated suit of armor. One special variation occurs in the anime Durarara!!, where one of the main characters is a female dullahan who doesn’t ride a black horse, but instead rides–get this- a black motorcycle!! I dare you to tell me that the Japanese aren’t awesome!

How to defeat a dullahan

Despite being all kinds of powerful, dullahans are afraid of gold. As little gold as a gold pin causes the dullahan to disappear into a large roar of wind.

Why dullahans are awesome.

1) They can’t be killed. Ever. Even though they can be chased away, they live forever.
2) They travel at such incredibly speed that they cannot be outrun.
3) Their enhanced sight allows them to see their target from miles away.
4) They can throw their heads at people. That’s awesome right there.

Why dullahans suck.

1) They are afraid of something a common as gold. Seriously, gold? Here’s uberly powerful creature that you can defeat with bling.

I think dullahans are pretty awesome, apart from their one really crappy weakness. What do you think? Leave a comment to tell me.

See you guys tomorrow!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Elmo’s World and Ours

I just finished watching a 20 minute interview with Elmo on YouTube. It was really funny to watch a bunch of people send in questions to a children’s puppet, honestly hoping that they’d be answered. It was also really interesting. I bet you didn’t know that Elmo has a dad who’s in the military and currently deployed. Or the reason why he has no eyelids is because his favorite food is wasabi (I still don’t get that.) And at times, it was really touching. Like Elmo saying that his idea of the meaning of life was respecting elders and loving everyone. It was a pretty well done for an interview with a forever 3 and a half year old monster.

A while back some of my friends asked me if I still watched Sesame Street. When I told them that I did every now and then, they all responded with shock. They were like “Isn’t there anything else to watch on TV?” Truth be told, sometimes I don’t feel like there’s anything better to watch on TV. Controversy sells, and most of the shows on TV all try way too hard to be shocking and disturbing enough to stir up some press on it. But that’s not the reason why I still watch Sesame Street. I watch it because I believe the things they show are still a big part of life.

Now I don’t mean that we need to be reminded of the alphabet or how to count to 20. We’ll always remember the hard facts that we learn. I’m talking about all the life lessons to that are given. The fact that asking questions is still a good way to find out things. That if the situation warrants it, it’s still ok to cry. And that the imagination could still be used for the most wonderful of things. These may all sound like very childish things, but in fact, they are things that still apply to us today. Sure, situations may become more complicated, but the foundational principles of our lives still remain the same. Society tells us if we want to grow up, we must abandon our childhood impressions and embrace the “real world”. But to me, that makes no sense. What would be the point of all the years we spent going through the richest of learning experiences if all of it means nothing in the end? We like to think that when we leave all these things behind that we have become ‘mature’. But that’s not being mature. That’s pretending that a part of our lives doesn’t exist. Real maturity comes when you learn to balance both parts of your life. When you hold on to simple basics and build on them, embracing life with all of you.

Someone who spends all their time trying to relive their childhood is pretty weird. But it’s good thing to every now and then to go back to the things we used to enjoy. To watch our favorite Saturday morning cartoon or to read our favorite childhood book. To remind ourselves of our roots and to remember that we don’t have to abandon these things to be adults. There's a reason why "the good old days" are called "good".Elmo’s world and ours may be very different, but some things still remain the same.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Keep Smiling

Now anyone who has read my very first post knows that I’m a big fan of Kimmi Smiles. She’s funny, beautiful and partially responsible for my inspiration to create this blog. Anybody who watches her videos knows that she’s a cheerful, upbeat and an all-round happy person. But I’d often ask myself, how could someone be so incredibly happy? We live in a harsh, mean and uncompromising world. No matter how hard we try, bad things are going to happen to us. We can be happy now, but something will come up and rob us of it. It never lasts. So why be so happy at all?

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to wondered that. So in a short note, Kimmi answered the simple question of “Why are you so happy?” with an equally simple answer: “Just because.” Why not be happy? Here’s a short excerpt from the note:

“There is no point to getting stressed out, worried, sad, angry, jealous, annoyed and so on. Of course we can’t control these emotions, but I personally believe there is a positive side to everything that happens.”

And you know what? She is absolutely right.

This morning, I re-read yesterday’s post, and yes, I do feel stupid. Why should I be mad that I have to stay up and write a blog post? You guys keep coming here everyday and keep reading what very well maybe the ramblings of a crazy guy. No one pays or forces you to read them, but you still do it. And then you come back to tell me how wonderful you think my writing is. You guys make me happy. So why should I be mad? I shouldn’t. It may make me unhappy if I have to stay up an extra half an hour, but the happiness I draw from your support clearly outweighs any ill feeling. That’s a clear positive right there.

So if you guys are reading this and you’re harboring some negative emotion, let it go and look for the positive. There always is one. Pain and suffering cannot exist without joy and happiness. Sometimes it's hard to see the positive, but just knowing that it's there help a lot. If you ever feel down and out, try doing this: Think about some time in the past when you were happy and remember how you felt. Then think that no matter how hopeless your current situation may seem, you’ll feel that way again one day. That always cheers me up. Our life is too short to waste it being gloomy.

If you want you could read the full note here.

So I’ll see you guys tomorrow. And like Kimmi says : Keep smiling :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wrong Turns and Right Choices

To be completely and totally honest with you, I really didn’t feel like writing this post. I came home really late from school after learning what has to be the one of the most exhausting mathematical methods in existence. Tomorrow is the first IVCF meeting of the semester, and I have to fast all day. I feel tired and cranky and I would like nothing more than to curl up in my bed and sleep, but I have to post. I’m probably going to read this tomorrow and feel stupid.

Anyway, after my incredibly late and tiring class, I walked over to the shuttle stop to see if could catch a ride to the other side of the campus. Somehow, the power was out over that whole block of the university, so I had to stand and wait in the dark. When the shuttle came around, I could have sworn that when I read the destination on the front, it said that it was going to TGR car park on the other side of the school, so I hopped on. As soon as the shuttle went through the back gate, I figured that I probably didn’t read the destination sign as well as I thought I did. Instead of boarding the on-campus shuttle, I had gotten on to the shuttle that drops people off at their apartments in St. Augustine and Curepe. To complicate things, the shuttle was filled entirely with girls, so ifI were to step off the shuttle behind any of them on a dark, lonely street in front of their apartment, I’d look like a total stalker. Luckily, I know all the streets in the area, so I was never really lost. The shuttle eventually stopped in Curepe junction, where I could drop off without looking like a wannabe rapist, and catch a maxi taxi home.

Apparently my weird mind manipulated the entire thing and somehow pulled a life lesson out of it. Sometimes, we all feel like we’re headed in the wrong direction. Things don’t seem to be going our way, opportunities don’t line up and nothing seems to be going the way you want it to. But that doesn’t mean that everything won’t end up alright. Sometimes all we need to do is just stick with it a little while longer. It may not end up that way we want it to. In fact, it may end up quite differently than what we expected. But in the end we’d walk away, happy all the same. And who knows? Maybe we’d learn some weird philosophical lesson from it.

P.S. I’m sorry if I sound abrasive, but like I said, I’m rather cranky right now. I promise tomorrow that I’ll have a less grumpy post.

Bye guys!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


The main job of an industrial engineer is to look at the way a company is doing a particular job and change it so that waste is reduced and the income of the company rises. One mistake that many new industrial engineers make is going into a company, and instead of focusing on one area of interest, they try to fix the entire organization. They try to be the hero.

But is there anything wrong with being the hero? We all love heroes, don’t we?Since the days of our childhood, we’ve been enthralled with Spiderman’s antics and Superman’s strength. We all grew up with the idea that, one day, we could model ourselves after our favorite hero and save the world from evil. And as we grew up, we began to move away from the superheroes of our youth and embrace real-life heroes, be it some close to us, like a parent or a teacher or a well-know freedom fighter like Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr. We believe that if we grow up to be the best that we can be, we can do all the wonderful and amazing things that our minds can imagine. And many of us do continue to model ourselves after these people, and we go on to lead wonderful lives because of their example. So what is wrong with being a hero?

The fatal flaw is the part we do not see. The pain the hero endures. The constant threat that he’s always under, knowing that at any time, and at any moment he could be killed or otherwise destroyed for what he fights for or what he believes. We all want to be Superman on a pedestal, flying high above Metropolis, but we don’t want to the kryptonite dagger in the stomach that he had to go through to get there. We all want to be Nelson Mandela, renowned for ending the apartheid regime. But we don’t want to spend 27 years in prison not knowing whether or not everything we fought for was in vain. We all want to sit in the king’s seat, but we don’t want the sword that hangs over it.

True heroes don’t want to be heroes. They fight blindly for what they believe in, ignoring the poison of despair that surrounds them. True heroes don’t want to save the world. They don’t want to be recognized. They just want to see what they strive for blossom. And sometimes, in so doing, they achieve a goal that does indeed save the world, and are given the so –called ‘hero worship’. But even so, very few heroes are ever noticed. There are heroes who lie in unmarked graves. There are heroes who die everyday in wars all around the world defending people who don’t even know they exist. There are heroes that wake up every morning with a nagging wife, rebellious child and a sizable mortgage, that put on uniforms and go out to protect us. Heroes don’t die knowing that they’ll get a front page headline with a monument in the city square. Heroes die only knowing that they died fighting for what they believed in and that they can fight no more. And even in that moment, they aren’t afraid. True heroes are never afraid to die.

So before you don your red cape and pull your underwear up over your pants, think of this: heroes should be willing to die for what they stand for, be it a physical death or any other kind. If you don’t think that you can do that, then stop. There is no shame in that. If we were all heroes, then there would be no one left to save. There are many other ways that you could help and be an example to those around you, but try not to get caught up in the heroics. Just live for what you believe in, and everything else would follow.

You can’t be the messiah without being crucified.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Weekliversary!!!

Yes ladies and gentlemen! It has been exactly one week since I started this blog. Does it seem like such a short time to you? Because for me, it was one of the longest weeks of my life. Looking back, I guess I didn’t really know what blogging entailed before this week. It’s not about just sitting in front my laptop night after night and typing complete randomness. Every time I published a post, it was like I was discovering a little part of myself that I didn’t know existed. Some of the things I wrote were things that I’ve always known, but never thought about with such sharp clarity. These self discoveries didn’t come easy, and I have feeling that they’re going to become even more difficult in the future. But this week has also brought some of the best experiences I’ve ever had. So I’m going to list some of them (the ones that I remember!) in this post

September 13th: The Artistic Engineer
This blog was little more than and idea, but a firm idea at that. That night, I agonized over what to name it, finally decided to stick with “Artsy Engineering”. I will never forget the out-pouring of support that came from my friends when I posted the first link of Facebook. My friend, Elizabeth’s comment boosted my confidence in my blogging abilities. I was on an emotional high for the rest of the night.

September 14th: Perfect Imperfections
I was afraid that all the initial excitement from the first day would die down, but to my surprise, the momentum kept right on going. I was even more thrilled when Elizabeth decided that her blog post for the next day was going to be based on mine. It's a really good feeling to know that you had inspired the person that inspired you.

September 15th: Slow Me Down
This post garnered a view from someone in Japan! Being a fan of all things Japanese, I was uberly happy over that one view.

September 16th: Fellowship
This was one of my shortest blog posts, and I thought that it probably wouldn’t have that much of an impact. That was until one of my friends messaged me on Facebook and told me how much the post had meant to her. She didn’t know it, but I almost cried when I read her message. I felt so stupid that I had underestimated the how much my writing could affect people. It was probably the biggest encouragement that I had had all week.

September 17th: Indecisive
This was one of those learning experiences that I was talking about above. I had to dig deep down to find something to write about. And in the end the answer presented itself in the most unexpected and novel of ways.

September 18th: Mythical Creature Saturday – Zombies
I was honestly worried that this was going to flop. But the general response I got was that it was ‘very entertaining’. I didn’t know that I could do ‘very entertaining’.

And today, one of my friends stopped me in one of the hallways at school, shook my hand and told me how much he enjoyed my blog and that I should keep it up.

I started this blog with the goal of letting others see life through someone else’s eyes. And after one week I realized that I was nothing only allowing others to see life differently, but I was also seeing life differently myself. So as I continue on this journey of self discovery, I ask you guys to come along with me. Without you, these posts mean nothing. I’m sure I left out a lot of the things that you guys helped me learn this past week and I want to thank you all from the depths of my heart. You have no idea how much your input and support mean to me. Hopefully as we continue, we’ll discover much much more, together. When I’m with you guys, I’m never alone.

“Blog = speaking out loud. Its like taking a megaphone louder than a bomb exploding and telling everyone your message.” – Gerard R.

See you guys tomorrow!!

P.S. I want to give special thanks to Shanu and Justin. You’re the best supporters a blogger could have!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Turn the World Upside Down

“But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”” – Acts 17:6 NKJV

Yahoo used to be my internet home page, simply because I liked the way it would give you little news tidbits, so that I wouldn’t be completely lost as to what was going on outside of the bounds of my country. But after a while, I got sick of what I saw. A sex scandal here, a school shooting there, wars over the most miniscule of things, and blatant destruction of the environment by a radical and distorted capitalistic mentality. At the same time, celebrities who contribute very little constructively to our society are blown up far bigger than is necessary. Do I really need to know that Lindsay failed a drug test, or that Miley deactivated her Twitter account? How does that affect my life? It seemed to me that as the world got worse, the media became the opium to placate the masses. Why should we care about stopping our moral decay when there’s a new movie coming out? Sometimes I sit and wonder if I were have kids, what kind of world would they grow up in? I know that this sounds sorta pessimistic, but it seems as though the world has been turned upside down.

Tonight at church, our pastor was talking an ancient church in 52 A.D., reputed by being started by “those who have turned the world upside down.” The entire religious beliefs of those who are know as Christians today came from small churches like these. It went from a few people to near to 2 billion all over the world. In the end, they really did turn the world upside down!

Nickelback is a band that I listen to from time to time. They have this one song called “If Everyone Cared”. Throughout the song’s video are various examples of people who have changed the world. Bob Geldof, Betty Williams, Peter Beneson and Nelson Mandela were all ordinary people who changed there world in unbelievable ways. They didn’t have any special privileges or any advantage over anyone else. They were just regular people like you and me.

So I’ve made a decision. I’m going to turn the world upside down. I may not lead any marches or start any revolutions. I may never become one of those famous people who are quoted, but I’ll change the world in my own way. By being the best me that I can be. By influencing those around me to do the same. We can’t just sit on our hands and wait for the world to change. We have to get up and go change it. And never think that what you do is so tiny that it doesn’t matter, or that it’ll never be noticed. We don’t live in a vacuum. Every good thing we do starts chain reactions that inspire others to do the same. So tomorrow, when you go out to wherever you go, don’t shake your head at what you see. Just do one thing, one small thing to change it and you’ll be doing the world a big favor.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead, American Anthropologist.

Today I changed Yahoo back to my home page. One day, the world is going to be turned upside down. And I’ll be glad to say that I helped.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mythical Creature Saturday - Zombies

I was reading my blog posts and the post of some other bloggers and I decided to diversify my blog somewhat. I thought about doing something funny, but I don’t do funny very well. At least not while I’m typing. So I decided to do something a little different.

If you can’t already tell, I don’t really have a life (:p) and I spend a lot of time on the internet researching random stuff, mostly on Wikipedia. From time to time, I come across articles about mythical creatures and monsters that are actually pretty cool. So starting this Saturday and continuing every week, I’ll feature one creature that I find interesting right here. And seeing as how I’m writing a zombie story, I thought that there’s be no better way to start that to write about zombies.

What is a zombie?

A zombie is typically a corpse that has been reanimated by means of magic or by a pandemic virus. They can also be created by living persons falling under the effect of the two factors mentioned above. In this state, they are generally robbed of their higher brain functions, being unable to complete even the most basic on operation like speaking or turning a door handle. They tend to move in large groups and crave human flesh, despite not needing it to survive. In the case of a pandemic virus, they usually spread it by biting uninfected humans.

Zombie Origins

The idea of the zombie most likely came from the West African belief of Vodou (commonly know as Voodoo). It was believed that a powerful sorcerer could hold the spirit of a person in an urn, and hence rob them of their will. The ‘zombi’, as it was called,was completely under the control of the sorcerer, or ‘bokor’. It was believed that after a while, God would reclaim the soul of the person, hence allowing the person the die.

Zombie Abilities

Depending on the factor that changes them from human or corpse to zombie, the zombie could have various abilities ranging from simple longevity to random superpowers. The latter is generally not common . Typically zombies gain no special abilities due to their transformation. However, since they crave flesh, their bodies adapt by increasing their five senses to be better at hunting their prey (which are usually humans). As their upper brain functions have been shut down, they do not feel pain, and therefore can continue moving and attacking while sustaining wounds that would severely hamper a human. It can be also theorized that since they are immune to pain, they can accomplish feats of strength that cannot be attained by humans, since the human body uses pain limit the use of strength to prevent muscle damage. This however, would result in permanent damage to zombie’s muscles, leaving them unable to repeat that action. Traditionally, zombies tend to move very slowly and shuffle when they walk. However, recently zombies have been portrayed as being able to move with quick and frenzied motioned (see 28 Days Later)

How to defeat a zombie

Because zombies do not feel pain, it is pointless to attempt to wound them. The only surefire way to kill a zombie is to destroy or damage it brain. This can be done in a variety of ways, from decapitating the zombie to a gunshot to the brain. Destroying the leg and/or hand muscles of a zombie would render them permanently immobile. One should note that when a zombie has been killed, it’s body should be destroyed to prevent further infection. This can usually be done by cremating the corpse.

Why Zombies are awesome

They have a couple of big advantages over humans:
1) They are immune to pain, so they are not hampered or slowed down by injury.
2) They may crave flesh, but they do not need it to survive. As such, they can live for extended periods of time without sustenance.
3) They do not required any of their organ systems beside their brain, making it their one and only weak point.
4) They travel in hordes, making it near impossible to kill just kill one and escape.
5) They have heightened sense making them better hunters.

Why zombies suck

1)The fact that they can’t feel pain allows them to incur injuries to their legs and arms, which would render them immobile, without attempting to avoid such injuries.
2) They have no higher brain functions so they are unable to navigate slightly complicated terrain and avoid pitfalls.

All in all, I think zombies are pretty resilient creatures. I mean, they have to be, if they’re gonna take over the world. What do you think? Leave a comment below to tell me. And while you’re at it, tell me what you think about “Mythical Creature Saturday”? Is it good? Is it bad? Is it just stupid? Your input is appreciated.

Note: This is not meant to be a serious post. Please do not give me the scientific reasons as to why zombies cannot exist. You will be ignored.

See you tomorrow guys!!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Up until a couple minutes ago, I had absolutely no idea what this post was going to be about. I woke up sorta late today and still felt tired, sat down through two boring lectures (unless you count discovering the ergonomic significance of the brushing cutlass as interesting which, I must admit, kinda is), and as soon as I got home I jumped back into my bed because it was raining. And everyone knows you don’t pass up good sleeping weather unless you absolutely have to. So here I am, after my nap, staring at a blank blog template, wondering what in the world I should post about. One of my friends had suggested that I find a bunch of topics before hand so that I can have something to write about on off days. But it was little too late for that. I thought maybe I should write about my blog stats, which I seem to be obsessed with as of late, but that seemed too silly. I even thought that I should maybe just forget about today’s post and just write a small apology in tomorrow’s. But I knew that if I skipped today, that there was nothing keeping me from skipping tomorrow and the day after that, and eventually, my blog would just shrivel up and die from neglect. So I had to write about something.

I was still drawing a blank when my mom asked me to do some of the dishes. While in the engaging in the monotony of the familiar job, I began mulling over some random ideas. I thought that maybe I could write about my friends in school. Maybe I could talk about Vasu,the friend I had from high school who kept me from being one of those many lost freshmen by showing around on my first day since we were doing all the same courses. I could write about Timmy, the one friend I always prayed I would have some day. Or about Alyssa, the borderline crazy friend who is kind enough to give me a ride home as often as possible, without making me pay for gas. Or Justin, who kindled my interest in comic books, which helped complete my transformation into a genuine nerd. Maybe I should write about people who I don’t want to name for one reason or the other. The girl who I find myself staring at during lectures, hoping that miracles do happen. The guy friend who pisses me off like no one on earth could, but who I am still friends with. The girl who Vasu nicknamed ‘Bella’, partially because she looks like Kristen Stewart, and partially because of an embarrassing ‘sparkly vampire’ quip I made the first time I met her (don’t ask me what I was. I’m never repeating that. Ever.) About the friend who messaged me on Facebook and told me how much one of my posts had encouraged her, and in turn, encouraged me to keep posting. Maybe I could write about that.

Or maybe I could write about my writing. About the new zombie story that I decided to write after watching Kimmi Smiles’ videos. I could write about the two other superhuman blogs I started writing back when I was obsessed with Heroes, and how I desperately need to set aside time to to continue writing them. About my Facebook short-story “Whispers of The Light” which only has one chapter because every time I write the second chapter, I’m never pleased with it, so I delete it and start over. About all the stories I’ve written through out high school: Priceless Revenge ( a crime drama) , Echo Squadron X (a science fiction story) and Beasts of Armageddon (a fantasy apocalyptic piece), all of which lie piled up on the space saver in my room. Writing material can be writing material too, right?

Then my mind really started to stray. I started thinking about all the weird dreams I have. About my one view my blog got from someone in Japan (which made me more excited than you can possibly imagine). About the crazy idea I had about drawing a manga, or how sometimes I get so wrapped up in my thoughts that I sit down and talk to myself until my mom yells at me to stop before I go crazy.

All these things flew around my mind like the fireflies from that Owl City song, colliding with each other and exploding into brilliant flashes of light. All these things to write about, and still nothing to write about. When people usually think about writer’s block, they think about drawing a blank and being unable to think of anything to write. I was thinking of too many things to write. And as walked back to sit in front of my laptop, a thought hit me. Why not write about the things you want to write about? Why not take your entire thought process and turn that into a post? Then maybe one day you can go back and take each of them and turn them into their own special posts. So that’s exactly what I did. And as I did it, I realized that life is way too interesting to ever run out of things to write about. Everything that you are capable of conceiving can be written down. There will never be nothing to write about.

Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll write a post about an ergonomically built brushing cutlass.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Today, I was invited to a welcome party/concert that IVCF Mt. Hope was throwing to invite all of their freshman students. Let me just quickly define two terms in the above sentence. IVCF stands for “Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship”, which is a local arm of an international organization which helps Christian youths in college to meet others of the same belief. Their motto is “To know Christ and to make Him known.” If I seem to know a lot about this organization it’s because I’m part of the executive this year as the Bible-Study Coordinator. And Mt. Hope is the a branch of the local university UWI (University of the West Indies) which focuses on the study of medical sciences. Now on to the blog.

The amphitheatre where the event was being held wasn’t very full, and some of the equipment wasn’t working or available, so it started late and some of the stuff had to brought in while to show was going on. It ran into overtime, so by the time it was over, most of the target audience had already left. Some people may have thought that all this would have meant little success for the event. Not for me however. I might as well been sitting in the front row seat of a concert thrown by some “internationally acclaimed” rock star. Everything was awesome. The music, the songs, the spoken word, the icebreaker games…everything was just wonderful.

I guess that the real reason behind my feeling so was the fact that I was with a whole bunch of people who shared the same beliefs and interests with me. We could have been outside in a field with no instruments or speakers and it still would have been awesome. I guess there’s no real substitute for being around people who are just like you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Christian or not, or if you’re religious at all. There’s a kindred feeling that comes with feeding off of the energy of those around you. If you have the time, you should join the local youth group, or club or sports team, or pretty much whatever interests you. You’d be glad you did.

I’d like to give special shout out the the Mt. Hope IVCF executive. You guys did great in putting on the show. I hope to see more like it in the future! :)

So, till tomorrow guys! Bye!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Slow Me Down

Walking around campus, it's pretty easy to identify all the freshmen students. It's as if someone took a Sharpie and wrote "NOOB" across their forehead. Something about them is just so different. Maybe it's that joyous look they have on their faces that they're finally in college- a look which goes away quickly enough when they start going to classes. Maybe it's the clueless look they have when they're trying to figure out if Engineering Lecture Room 1 and Engineering Lecture Theater 1 are the same place. Whatever it is it makes it pretty easy to notice them.

Their most defining characteristic-for me at least- is their age. They all look so much like little kids walking around in adults clothing (especially the really small Indian girls! Some of them are so tiny!!). I know fully well that they are most two years younger than me, and that there is a chance that some of them may be in fact older than me, but it doesn't stop them for all appearing like children to me. And to be honest with you, that scares me a lot. It's only been a little over a year now since I start university, and yet already I see a such a large gap between myself and the new entrants to the school. It's as if I walked around the corner and BAM! - an entire year just slipped past.

We are often asked the question "If you knew you were going to die soon, what would you do?" People typically answer by saying that they'd do all they things they wanted to do in life, but never got to do. Things like flying to France, climbing Mt. Everest, eating at a special restaurant, swimming the Atlantic Ocean, and even less noble wishes like getting laid or robbing a store. You see it all the time on the news and on various other media, where people are doing daredevil crazy things because their doctor gave them a couple of months to live. I, however, really don't see the point in that. We spend our entire life rushing from one thing to another, going to school, work, home, church and many other places. We engage in as many sports as we can, learn to play several instruments and hang out and party for as long as time allows. Why is it that when we know we're going to die that we do the exact same things?

Like I said above, time is flying by at an unbelievable rate. Soon we'd look back and see exactly how small the footprints behind us are. But it doesn't mean that we should try to pack our every waking moment with activities so that never feel like we're doing 'nothing'. If we do that, in the end, all we'd have to look back at are the things we didn't get to accomplish. Sometimes doing nothing is good. Just to take one day, every once in a while, and do nothing at all. Perhaps watch some TV, listen to some music or take a walk. To just stop rushing through life for a moment and just live. I'm not saying to be lazy, but not to be so obsessed with your life that you miss it.

Tomorrow isn't guaranteed, so technically, we all don't have much time to live. If I were to find out that I were to die soon, I wouldn't rush around trying to accomplish a bucket list of goals. I'd do what I've always like doing. Watching loads of anime. Reading science fiction novels. Hanging out with my friends and laughing till our eyes run water and our sides hurt. Spontaneously going on long excursions to buy Japs. That way when the end comes, all the memories I have of my last days, would be of the things I love. The name of this post comes from a song by Emmy Rossum, which pretty much captures the entire idea of the post. There's one line that stands out though. It goes "All that I've missed I see in the reflection, passed me while I wasn't paying attention." Don't let that be you. Learn to slow down.

P.S. OH OH OH!!!! I need to tell you this. One of the persons responsible for inspiring this blog, Elizabeth Thræn has written a blog post in response to yesterday's post!! I'm am soo excited!!! You can read it here!

You can also listen to the song mentioned in today's post here.
See you guys tomorrow!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Perfect Imperfections

To be totally honest, after all the hype of starting my blog yesterday, I was totally terrified that I would have nothing to blog worthy to write about today. So I went to school with eyes wide open for something to blog about.

After a morning of listening to boring lectures and hearing Alyssa, one of my friends, rattle on and on about how awesome Rafael Nadal is (apparently he's the youngest player to complete a career Grandslam. Who knew?), I finally found what I wanted to blog about. And I must say, it came in the most ironic of ways.

We have this course named Engineering Design, which basically where we learn to make stuff. In going the PowerPoint slides on what exactly the course entails, one line kinda jumped out and slapped me in the face. It was a partial definition of the term "Design". It simply read "Design is a combination of art and science." Like I said, it's pretty ironic. Here I am, naming my blog "Artsy Engineering" and the next day I'm confronted with exactly that.

But that's not where the main idea for this post came from. As we moved deeper in to the course, I learned that one of the tenants of Design is compromise. Something may be completely awesome from an aesthetic point of view and completely useless from a scientific one. The same is true the other way around. And so in the end compromise is reached in which both sides balance out. While one may be able to say from either an artistic or engineering point of view the the finished product has several imperfections, one can also say that, being balanced, it's the perfect product.

And that got me thinking. Our world is full of mishaps and flaws. Things that go haywire and crazy at the most inopportune of times. It would seem that God made some serious mistakes in His design. But what if the imperfections that we see are what make our world so perfect? What if the things we see as flaws are really the compromise between art and science? What if we just had sliver linings but no clouds? How would we appreciate them? What would the world be like if there were just clouds but no silver linings? Would we be able to live through it?

So from now on I'm not gonna look for the rainbow after the rain. I'd just be happy that both the rain and the rainbow exist, because that what makes it so sublime. And so, there are never going to be bad moments or good moments anymore. Just perfect moments. And it's because of all these imperfections that our world is so perfect.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Artistic Engineer

Hey. I'm Jeremiah Oji. I'm 21 and I'm in my second year of Industrial Engineering. First things first :Why exactly am I blogging?

Last night, before I fell asleep, I laid on my bed and stared at the ceiling, thinking about all the stuff I spent my day looking up on the internet. I thought about how teenagers and young people, my age and younger, were all over the internet, showing off what they did be it comics, videos or blogs just like this one. Some were were awesome, some were stupid, and some were just plain boring. But whether or not they succeeded in what they had intended to do, they all succeeded in one thing: they got someone, somewhere in the world, who otherwise didn't even know they existed, to hear their story. To see the world through a new pair of eyes. And so, as a someone whose burning passion is to write -any and everything-I thought that I would join this train. That I would write a daily blog on pretty much anything I felt that I need to write, post it here, so that someone elsewhere would get a little glimpse of me and what's it like to be me. To see the world with new eyes. So starting today and continuing as long as God spares life (or until I get bored and lose interest), I'll post little something from my writing.

As for the name of the blog, that's still up in the air. Some of my friends said that it was good, some said that it was boring, and said that it was alright. But here's the reason for the name:

There's a rumor that goes around campus-and I daresay, the world at large- that engineers are good at only two things - science and math. And unless you have some inherent fascination with either of those, you tend to find them both rather boring. Well, you see that's not true. Despite my current academic trajectory, I am very interested in the more artistic side of life, especially writing. I'm the artistic engineer. And this is my domain. But let me know if you guys come up with any better suggestions.

So until tomorrow, farewell.

Oh, I almost forgot. As I mentioned, my inspiration for the idea of a blog came from young people across the world, but I really must give credit to two people in especially:

A beautiful YouTuber named Kimmi Smiles
check out her channel here
Her zombie videos are full of win!

The other person is a fellow blogger/writer/playwright/artist/generally awesome person Elizabeth Marie Thræn. Support her daily blog here

Well, bye!