• 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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  • Level Zero Shivanaut

    Posted by Qrystal on October 12, 2010 at 10:23.
    Category: Tools. Tags: diary, exercise, shiva nata, thesis.

    As described in my last post, I am starting to learn Shiva Nata, a mental exercise performed with physical motion.  Since the introductory material suggested that journalling my progress might help me better appreciate it, I figure I may as well share my thoughts on it publically in case [...] Continue Reading…

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    Starting a New Dance

    Posted by Qrystal on October 1, 2010 at 16:33.
    Category: Tools. Tags: exercise, productivity, shiva nata.

    I’m a little bit nervous about a lot of what I am about to write, even though I have written many times about self-analysis and transformation attempts and steps to help me get moving in the direction I want to go.  I’ve just never thought of it as a dance, [...] Continue Reading…

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    About Physicists

    Posted by Qrystal on August 30, 2010 at 9:18.
    Category: Concepts. Tags: nature, physicists, physics.

    Physicists spend a large part of their lives in a state of confusion. It’s an occupational hazard. To excel in physics is to embrace doubt while walking the winding road to clarity. The tantalizing discomfort of perplexity is what inspires otherwise ordinary men and women to extraordinary feats of [...] Continue Reading…

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    Passive Voice versus ‘We’ in my thesis

    Posted by Qrystal on August 3, 2010 at 18:46.
    Category: Concepts. Tags: grammar, thesis.

    I was contemplating the problem of the “royal we” versus the use of passive voice in my thesis, and it sparked the following ideastorm on twitter:

    RT @timtfj:
    Passive [voice] makes the facts harder to absorb. Disengages the reader.

    Harder than in normal non-scientific writing, I mean.

    I wonder if anyone’s done the [...] Continue Reading…

    2 Comments »

    Classic Blunders of Western Civilization

    Posted by Qrystal on March 18, 2010 at 17:42.
    Category: Miscellany. Tags: .

    Getting involved in a land war in Asia.
    Going against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
    Holding an important meeting the day after St. Patrick’s Day.

    via meetingboy
    :)

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    Winter Tanka

    Posted by Qrystal on January 5, 2010 at 18:02.
    Category: Poetry. Tags: poetry, tanka, winter.

    | Ambient white light
    | reflects from snow-crusted ground;
    | such brightness, outdoors,
    | contrasts the darkness indoors,
    | requires drawn shades to see.

    - by Qrystal

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    Resolving to Overcome My Stuckness

    Posted by Qrystal on January 4, 2010 at 17:35.
    Category: Life. Tags: determination, myself, procrastination, thesis.

    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 [...] Continue Reading…

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    Challenge level versus skill level

    Posted by Qrystal on November 24, 2009 at 13:00.
    Category: Concepts. Tags: .

    This is a diagram of mental states, as developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, showing how challenge level and skill level contribute to various mental states.  I found it when looking up Anxiety, something I am trying to understand in myself.

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    Twitter’s New Retweets: a proposal for change

    Posted by Qrystal on November 19, 2009 at 21:36.
    Category: Miscellany. Tags: .

    Here is the feedback I just sent to twitter about their new retweet feature:
    The new retweet feature has a lot of potential, but it’s being overshadowed by the fact that it isn’t the same as the organic retweeting that emerged from how we use twitter.  It seems the main [...] Continue Reading…

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    Dreaming of a Droid

    Posted by Qrystal on November 14, 2009 at 14:58.
    Category: Life. Tags: .

    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 [...] Continue Reading…

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