Saturday, August 31, 2013

A New Beginning

Tomorrow morning I will be moving into residence, which will be my first step into the unknown world of university life. To be honest, though, I don't really look forward to it. Not only am I afraid of meeting a bunch of new people– which has always been a concern– I am also unsure if I can handle all the schoolwork (especially because my program has a lot of group work, which kind of requires getting to know other people well). Moreover, during the last four years I have been relatively happy, which gives me no particular reason to desire a different kind of life. Still, I have to try my best to enjoy the next three or four years, so here I am giving myself a few reminders:

Monday, July 29, 2013

When We Were Orphans By Kazuo Ishiguro

When We Were Orphans

This is my fourth Ishiguro novel, with the first three being Never Let Me Go, The Remains of the Day, and A Pale View of Hills. Like the other three novels, this one also has an elaborate prose as well as an unreliable narrator, both of which are elements that I appreciate.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


As the its title (Murderous Intent) suggests, this novel is a thriller/mystery. In the novel, there is a high school girl whose birthday is on February 29th, and on each of her last three birthdays, a girl was raped and killed. This girl also has a friend whose grandfather is a rich businessman. His weird sexual desires causes him rape his maids and sleep with young girls...

Unfortunately, even though was very intense to read, the plot was just horrible. Many things are explained improperly or are illogical, and the rape killings that happen once every four years have nothing to do with the actual storyline.

Terrible, terrible, novel.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Old Capital By Yasunari Kawabata

Front cover of The Old Capital, 1961 Novel by Yasunari Kawabata.jpg

The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata describes the story of Chieko, an adopted daughter of a couple who own a kimono wholesale business.

The novel is very quiet. It paints a beautiful picture of Kyoto, and a large portion of the novel is used to describe Kyoto's scenery. The same kind of serenity is reflected in the characters's emotions. Even when the characters are extremely emotional, the prose is not lugubrious; it often just allow the readers to see the emotions through the conversations between the characters.

(spoiler ahead)

My Summer Plan

It's all done! Three days ago I finished my biology exam, which marked the end of my high school career. It was also the first day in about a year that I was completely stress-free. I celebrated that day with hours of computer games, and the next two days went more or less the same.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Endocrine System #3: Thyroid Gland

Located at the base of the neck, the thyroid gland is one of the biggest endocrine glands in the body.

It's main function is to produce thyroid hormones, which are used for regulating the body's metabolism.

Endocrine System #2: Stress Regulation

The adrenal gland handles stress through secreting various hormones. The adrenal cortex is responsible for dealing with long-term stress, whereas the adrenal medulla is responsible for dealing with short term stress.

Dealing with Short-Term Stress
  1. Stress causes the release of the acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter
  2. This signals the adrenal cortex to release catecholamines: epinephrine and nor-epinephrine
  3. Effects: 1) increased breakdown of glucagon into glucose;  2) increased blood pressure and bloodflow; 3) increased metabolism; 4) decrease in bloodflow to kidneys and intestines, and more blood flows to the brain, muscles and muscles, and 5) increased breathing rate.