school

What I Learned in Chemistry

1. No, telephones and microwaves will not give us cancer! Yay! Here is why: well first of all, my chemistry professor said it so it must be true! And secondly, let us have a look at the electromagnetic spectrum. See how the harmful wavelengths like X-rays and Gamma rays are up in the very small wavelength section? See how microwaves are down low past visible light and close to radio waves? And nobody is freaking out about a lightbulb or a radio, now are they! So there you go. Cell phones and microwaves operate using..you guessed it..microwave radiation. So it’s right snuggled in between the non-harmful wavelengths like radio and visible. Not to worry!

2. If you want fruit to ripen, put it into a paper bag with another fruit that is already ripening. When fruits/veggies ripen, they release a chemical called ethylene, which in turn makes the ripening process faster. Cool!

3. Moisturizer does not provide moisture to your skin! No! I know! It’s insane and ridiculous! What it actually does is help your skin to retain the moisture it already has, by providing a protective layer to stop any moisture from escaping. Therefore, the best moisturizer you could use would be shortening. Ew!! I know. But it’s the thickest! Your skin would be silky smooth.

4. Cracking your knuckles is just pulling nitrogen gas into your joints. It has not been shown to cause arthritis.

Baby Skunks (and gunshots)b
Image by nebarnix via Flickr

5. If your dog is sprayed by a skunk, tomato juice is not the best option! My trusty chem prof says what you should really use is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide (bleach), baking soda and dish soap. This actually neutralizes the smell. He showed us some complicated looking molecular formulas and explained why it neutralizes the smell, but I got bored and stopped paying attention. Here’s a good recipe for de-stinking your doggie!

6. For anyone who drinks tap water (anyone? Is it just me??) if you’ve ever noticed that it is cloudy sometimes – don’t worry! The cloudiness is not because of mineral impurities, it is caused by tiny air bubbles coming out of solution. Sometimes our pipes are a cooler temperature and cool water holds more air than warmer water – so when we bring the water to a slightly warmer environment, some of the air comes out of solution in bubbles. But if you just leave the glass for a minute or so, the extra air should be released and your water will be clear and sparkly!

7. Don’t be fooled by bad marketing claims: if olive oil makes a big bold claim that it has “No Cholesterol!” that’s because CHOLESTEROL DOESN’T COME FROM PLANTS. Only a handful of plants produce any type of cholesterol, and not even the harmful kind. Bad cholesterol comes from animal products. So think of that the next time you get seduced by advertisement: don’t go favouring a certain brand for their lofty claims, or else you’ll look like a dummy. :)

8. What else did I learn in chemistry? That besides interesting factoids and trivia about day-to-day life, I can’t stand the subject. So here, Chemistry, a tribute and a shout-out to your good side. Live long and prosper.

Much love,

101 Great Stress Busters & Pick-Me-Ups

[This post is the second in my Back to School Series]

Photo thanks to saranv

Down in the dumps? Crushed with stress? Falling apart?

Well, no. You’re probably not quite there yet.

But since it’s back to school season and the stress will soon be (unfortuately) starting to pile up on you, (and since I really don’t want that to happen to you!) I decided to compile a list of things to do when you feel sad/stressed/lonely/bored/boring.

Whenever you feel like the world is coming down around you, I hope that looking at this list and picking one or two ways to treat yourself ends up soothing some of your woes.

Got the blues? Here are 101 things to do!

  1. Have a bubble bath, while listening to your favourite music, while reading your favourite book or magazine.
  2. Paint your toenails, just because (preferably in a very vivid tone)
  3. Skype with your best friend.
  4. Drop Everything And Read time! (DEAR!) For an hour, forget your stress and unwind with a book.
  5. Dance!
  6. Make yourself an elaborate dinner in bed, and watch a favourite movie.
  7. Take a long hot shower and change into some comfy clothes.
  8. Meditate!
  9. Do some exercise – the endorphins will pick you back up.
  10. Eat some chocolate and drink some wine.
  11. Disconnect: turn off your phone, computer, and Facebook, and have some ‘me-time’ to do whatever you want.
  12. Smile, as big and bright as you can. It generally makes you feel happier.
  13. Make plans! For a dinner date, or to go to the movies or the gym, or to watch a tv show with a friend.
  14. Stretch!!!
  15. Give yourself a massage.
  16. Curl up on the couch and have a heart-to-heart with a friend.
  17. Take a nap, and wake up relaxed and refreshed!
  18. Gussy yourself up! Do your hair and makeup, and put on some clothes you feel great in. It’ll give you a nice little confidence boost.
  19. Make yourself a green drink or fresh fruit smoothie, to hit your body with a yummy load of antioxidants and vitamins.
  20. Sit up straight!
  21. Do something indulgently luxurious: cook in heels, buy a gourmet lunch, write all your letters in cursive, put on a face mask and cucumbers, buy a whole bouquet of flowers for your apartment, only wear silk, sip champagne..
  22. Treat yourself with something small and beautiful: a new eyeshadow, fresh notebook, a pair of earrings, a  new book..
  23. Write yourself some affirmations, and repeat them! Believe them!
  24. Drink lots of water and flush out all those bad feelings.
  25. Take a glamourous self portrait (or 50).
  26. Journal about your frustrations.
  27. Get takeout from your favourite restaurant.
  28. Take a walk and marvel at nature.
  29. Do a cartwheel or a somersault.
  30. Cry.
  31. Have a tea party.
  32. Have breakfast for dinner!
  33. Laugh!
  34. Pretend you’re seven years old, and write a letter to yourself from the seven-year-old’s perspective. Chances are, you’ll seem pretty perfect to her.. If this is too odd for you, just write yourself a love letter.
  35. Colour with crayons. Make art. Use a colouring book if you so choose.
  36. Start writing your Life List!
  37. Cradle a warm drink..mmm.
  38. Get some sun!
  39. Go out on a weeknight to have a beer and a long conversation with a friend.
  40. Watch a Spanish soap opera and dub in your own words.
  41. Play a game! Monopoly, Clue, Twister..
  42. Lie flat on your back and listen to your favourite music, LOUDLY.
  43. Sit quietly and focus on your breathing.
  44. Do a puzzle to get your mind off your issues: crosswords, sudokus, word games..
  45. Cuddle with a stuffed or real animal!
  46. Get a haircut, manicure, pedicure, massage: something to make you feel transformed and uplifted.
  47. Make some music! Play an instrument or sing your heart out.
  48. Plan a vacation, even if you can’t afford to take it. Plant the seed in your mind!
  49. Change your bedsheets.
  50. Read 1000awesomethings.com.
  51. Create a plan of attack for your upcoming assignments.
  52. Sketch, draw or paint!
  53. Smell something citrusy or minty to perk you up.
  54. Play hooky for the afternoon and watch the Price is Right.
  55. Start dreaming big: write down all the things you’d love to do one day!
  56. Get some hugs!
  57. Write down seventeen things that make your life absolutely awesome.
  58. Do a few small tasks that are causing you stress: clean up your desk, return those emails. Get some of that stuff out of the way and you’ll feel much better.
  59. Acquire a pet or a plant, and get some life into your life!
  60. Bake some cookies, brownies or cupcakes and decorate them elaborately.
  61. Read some inspirational and motivational quotes from special people throughout history.
  62. Go window shopping.
  63. Visit websites like Textsfromlastnight, FailBlog, or FML to get some giggles.
  64. Eat your absolute favourite food.
  65. Watch some trashy reality tv or cartoons!
  66. Put on some brightly coloured clothing.
  67. Escape! Go explore your neighbourhood, go to a museum, walk around downtown..
  68. Eat some ice cream.
  69. Seek out the nearest sauna (local pool/gym?) and release those toxins!
  70. Smile at babies! Make them smile back. :)
  71. Take a book out of the library that isn’t school-related!
  72. Build a blanket/pillow fort and sit in it, eating junk food and reading with a flashlight. Be defiant if anyone tries to get you out.
  73. Make a mind-map of all the different things on your mind. Very therapeutic.
  74. Re-arrange the furniture in your room. Feng shui it if that makes you feel any better.
  75. In the shower, perform a stellar scalp massage and get those nerve endings tingling! (or buy one of those head massagers for $5 at Chapters or Urban Outfitters)
  76. Walk barefoot in grass, sand, mud or water..mmm
  77. Write a to do list (getting all your worries out on paper) and then prioritize your tasks. Then only do the really urgent/important ones.
  78. Have a tv marathon! If you can’t afford to not do any schoolwork, alternate between watching an episode and doing work for equal amounts of time (or until Megavideo lets you keep watching..)
  79. Buy some lingerie. The frillier and prettier the better. I don’t care if you have nobody to wear it for! Wear it around your apartment.
  80. Go swimming: excellent exercise, and it’s so soothing.
  81. Jump on your bed like a small child.
  82. Do karaoke in front of your mirror.
  83. Start a blog/tumblr. (I’ll read it)
  84. Read some tabloids for supreme distraction
  85. Find a friend and go play on a play structure/swing set
  86. Sign up for a class of some sort! Yoga, tai chi, pottery throwing, painting..
  87. Sit underneath a tree, preferably a great big willow tree.
  88. Invite friends over to cook dinner with you.
  89. Go to bed early. Way early.
  90. Stop and smell the (literal) roses.
  91. Look at old pictures of you and your friends, smile and reminisce.
  92. Make some resolutions.
  93. Call your siblings/parents.
  94. Help someone else out! You may not feel like it, but it might put your problems in perspective and also make you feel good too!
  95. Spend some time getting yourself organized!
  96. Take a break and just get clean. Take a shower, brush your teeth, change into fresh clothes, tie your hair back. You’ll come back to your work feeling refreshed and ready.
  97. Vent, rant, scream, punch your pillow, yell. Get it all out!! Then take a break and cool down.
  98. If you have access to a car, go out for a long drive with the windows down. Sing loudly.
  99. Write a song/play/novel/story. It can be as silly or serious as you want!
  100. Do all your homework with the goofiest pen you can get your hands on. I have one with a multi-coloured pompom at one end!
  101. BREATHE. Relax. Calm down. Get some perspective. Take a step back. Breathe, and focus.

That’s all she wrote..

I would honestly love to know: what do you do when you’re having a bad day or are frazzled with stress? Please, please let me know! (Because I too, have bad days and can always use inspiration!). If you leave a comment about what you do in times of stress, I’ll add it to this post so we can all benefit!

Don’t be afraid to beat your stress over the head with a stick.

Much love!

xoxo,


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