• Who am I?

    I am Qrystal; or at least, that's my dot-name! Har har. (My name is really Crystal, but that's not as internet-searchable; hence, switching the C for the little-used letter Q.)

    I am here because I enjoy writing. I do this mostly for myself, but I also have a passion for helping others learn things from the things I write. Now that I am done my Ph.D. in Physics, I am stepping away from academic research so that I can indulge in some creative ways to share my knowledge and inspire the appreciation of scientific thinking in others. I am also working as a tutor, which is one of the jobs I've most enjoyed doing in my life so far.

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    Beer cozies

    Thursday, June 4th, 2009

    In doing some research for my Northern Ontario trip, I came across the following awesomeness: Beer can cozies, put to the test! The main takeaway: “Depending on their material, beer can cozies can be effective in keeping beer cool even in extremely hot weather. The two cozies that performed the best employed a layer of [...]

    Stop Wasting Time on the Internet

    Monday, May 11th, 2009

    I just found wrongcards: ecards that are wrong for every occasion and I really, really think that this particular one is sending me a very powerful message. I’m just not sure what it is… Many of the cards here actually made me want to send ecards to some friends I have been thinking about lately, [...]

    The glass, to a realist

    Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

    So much thought goes into how and the why, the half full or the half empty – that people completely lose interest in one key fact. That the glass isn’t only half full or half empty – the glass is there. Grab hold of it. Drink when you’re thirsty. Refill it when its gone. Smash [...]

    How To Mend Jeans with a Patch

    Thursday, March 5th, 2009

    Link: How To Mend Jeans with a Patch We have jeans that we’re *this* close to replacing — but that wouldn’t be very green of us, now, would it? Nor economical! I can’t believe it took me this long to search for the way to mend jeans, but I’ve gone and done it now, and [...]

    Buddhist Personality Type: Deluded/Speculative

    Thursday, March 5th, 2009

    The spiritual task …[for] the deluded type [of person] is to transform spaciousness into a state of rooted equanimity. Deluded types need to learn how to reel in their minds. Practices useful for a deluded type include: noting (labeling); mindfulness of the hindrance of doubt; body awareness; somatic experiencing; qigong or yoga; precision; mindfulness of [...]

    Priority Stolen by Last-Minute Tasks

    Monday, March 2nd, 2009

    … [A]ll your […] “urgent priorities” are only urgent because you have left them to the last minute. And why have you left them to the last minute? – because you are prioritizing by urgency, that’s why! So says Mark Forster, in trying to convince us that prioritizing by urgency is the wrong way to [...]

    Breathing as Therapy

    Friday, January 30th, 2009

    To breathe is the fundamental human need, primal and immediate. Not only is it a calming feeling, breathing is highly portable. I can bring this sense of peace with me wherever I grow, so long as I remember to be mindful. David Seah – The Air Prayer Hack I’ve been trying to remember to use [...]

    On the Forwarding of Emails

    Friday, November 21st, 2008

    This comic gives the definitive answer to the ever-present question, “Should I forward that email?” Now please, forward this informative comic to everyone you know and get them to forward it to everyone they know, so we can stop the forwarding madness once and for all! (I mean, of course, don’t.)

    Be Scared, get Extra Candy!

    Friday, October 31st, 2008

    According to the Halloween Candy Code, this symbol sketched in chalk at the bottom of a driveway advises fellow trick or treaters to “Be Scared Here for Extra Candy Portion”. What a brilliant idea! Credit for the idea, according to the above site, is this tweet from @cabel.

    Buying a Used Guitar

    Sunday, August 31st, 2008

    I was honoured today by being asked my advice about buying a guitar, by a friend of mine who I only get to see once a year at Summerfolk, a folk music festival in Owen Sound.  I am quite proud of my response, so I decided I would post it here in case others can [...]

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