• 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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    Resolving to Overcome My Stuckness

    Monday, January 4th, 2010

    A new year is beginning.  It’s a time that inspires people (myself included) to change some things about their lives.  In the past, I had always gotten stuck on coming up with something specific enough to be measurable, and so it was never actually attainable; in fact, the exact phrasing of my usual choice of [...]

    Dreaming of a Droid

    Saturday, November 14th, 2009

    Oh xkcd, you make me laugh so often, but it’s especially potent when the content is so timely.  Boo iphone, yay androids! Currently trying to resist, with all my might, going out and getting myself an htc hero. However, I can’t quite pin down why I’m resisting so much.  Am I afraid it will distract me from [...]

    For the Love of Writing

    Thursday, November 12th, 2009

    It may not be obvious from this blog yet, because I don’t post nearly as often as I would like, but I really truly love writing.  I just keep trying to restrain myself from doing it, especially recreationally, because I know I should be writing my thesis instead.  Somehow, however, the smiley-happy feeling I get [...]

    Mental Battlefield

    Thursday, September 24th, 2009

    So. It is down to me, and it is down to me*. Me versus me, as it seems: my tendency to avoid That Which Must Be Done**, versus the desire to get finished That Which Must Be Done. For the longest time, I was not alone on this battlefield. Two years ago, I had enlisted [...]

    Fears in Peripheral Vision

    Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

    When something is faced head-on, you can often find that it’s nowhere near as big as you thought it was when it was only in your peripheral vision. — A quote from Catherine Cantieri’s ebook entitled, “How to Harness a Hobgoblin: The #1 Strategy to Unleash Your Creative Productivity” available at http://www.get-sorted.net. I like this [...]

    Giggling away crankiness

    Friday, June 19th, 2009

    At risk of giving TMI (ah, but who cares, really?) this xkcd comic was particularly appropriate for me this week (yeah, yeah, I know, the comic is almost two weeks old… I’m behind in reading my feeds, but I’m okay with that!). Thankfully, I read it when I was in the mood to be giggling [...]

    Loopholes in quantum entanglement?

    Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

    We have been told that experiments agree with all the predictions of quantum theory, including those that involve the impossible – the Bell test experiments, that are supposed to show totally incomprehensible effects of separated particles on each other. — Caroline Thompson In working on my thesis, I realized I wanted to be sure that [...]

    Just Like My Computer Desktop…

    Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

    Oh. My. Gosh. PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham knows what MY Computer Desktop looks like!! I especially liked the section entitled, “Papers you’ve been meaning to read for months.” I have five of those… :)

    Self-reinforcing Success

    Monday, February 9th, 2009

    A great weakness has been festering in me for too long now: I am very bad at completing things.  I have great intentions, great directions, great plans, great ideas, but almost none of them get implemented.  What’s worse is that each failure (perceived or actual) reinforces the mindset that causes it. Cause and Effect I’ve tried to [...]

    Research Paper MadLibs!

    Friday, January 16th, 2009

    PHD Comics: Abstract Mad Libs I laughed out loud at the blank labelled “buzzword”. In the case of my thesis, the buzzword is “quantum gravity”. I’ve been encouraged to toss that word into grant applications more than once. It’s not really a stretch, even though my thesis has nothing to do with gravity. I am [...]

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