Brain downloads

I love reading books. I love the journey, getting to know the characters, the anticipation of what will happen next.

book animated GIF

But then I look at my To Be Read list and I feel downtrodden. I feel like I need to hurry through the book I’m currently reading so I can get to the endless stream of book I just need to read. Sometimes I need to take a break after reading a really good book just to absorb all that imagery and feelings. Then there’s the pile of books and the TBR list on Goodreads yelling at me, “Read me. Read me. READ ME!!!”

I get overwhelmed. Then I wish I could just plug in and download the book directly to my brain, Matrix-style. I could read so many books in just a few minutes. That long list would be gone by lunch!

Then I think the anticipation of what will comes next will be gone. That calm, reflective period after spending a whole night reading a great book would be gone too. Everything that makes a great book even better would be gone. Everything would be gone.

When it comes to reading it’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey. And I love the journey, one book at a time.


Images: Giphy

I’m lazy, here’s some funny gifs

I’m tired and have a lot to do today and I just don’t want to write anything.

Sad BabySo here’s some funny gifs. Enjoy!

Funny GIFs Clown Prank

If you have ever seen ‘It’ then every clown scares the crap out of you.

Stripe Tease Prank GIF

That’s rude, he could have said bye.

Toilet Paper Prank

I want one of these.

Funny GIFs Butt Face

That kid’s wearing a wig, right?

And I'm Out

This is why running is bad for you.

Cupcakes dog

If the dog had hands he would have slapped that lady.

Cat Jumps Into Bean Bag Chair

Now what?

Are These The 43 Funniest GIFs Of All Time?

You can tell he’s trying to use telepathy to get the treat.

Are These The 43 Funniest GIFs Of All Time?

I have the same look on my face when people do that on the subway.

Are These The 43 Funniest GIFs Of All Time?

That truck is having a bad day.

Are These The 43 Funniest GIFs Of All Time?


The Final Hobbit Movie will be bittersweet

There is always a war raging in my head when a book is turned into a movie. Will it live up to my imaginings? Will they get the drama, comedy, etc. right? How much will it change? I feel a lot of angst when going to see a movie based off a book I really loved.

However, I really enjoyed The Hobbit book and I really like the movies – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – as well. I like seeing how some of the characters have changed or developed to bring more drama and comedy to the movies. There were so many characters in the book that I felt there wasn’t enough time to get to know them.

Don’t get me wrong some of the scenes in the book were so much better than in the movie; such as, when they get stuck in the woods with the giant spiders. We can see more of Bilbo’s challenges and his desire to help his new friends. And let’s not forget about all the songs!

The ending of the book was perfect and I felt the same as Bilbo and Gandalf as they made their way home. There are a few parts of the ending I hope they change in the movie though, especially since the characters in the movie are such good eye candy. Yeah, I said it. Some of those dwarves are hotties!

This last movie has even more meaning for me. My father died in October 2012. In honor of our’s father’s December birthday, my brother and I always go see a movie together. My dad loved going to the movies and it was tradition to see one on birthdays. My brother and I have seen the previous Hobbit movies on dad’s birthday. This will be the first time since my dad’s death that I will not be with my brother watching the last Hobbit movie. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be bittersweet in more ways than one.

Why you get lost in a book

I found this article on Bustle written by Caitlin White and thought it was spot on! (Hopefully, they won’t get mad I re-posted the article.)

tumblr_m3bi93ZCuX1qgu7y5o1_500Image: Kellie on Segulla

Here’s The Scientific Reason Why You Get Lost In a Book

Ever had that experience reading a novel when you become so absorbed that you forget to each lunch or you miss your subway stop? Or you’re turning the pages so fast when you look up the house has gotten dark around you, and you realize you’ve been squinting to see the words. You probably call it “getting lost in a book,” and we could all probably name a novel that has caused this to happen. No surprises here, but many people mention J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as making them victims of this absorption.

For the first time, bookish neurologists have looked into what causes people to get lost in a book, and they’ve used Harry Potter books as research. A team of researchers and scientists lead by psychologist Chun-Ting Hsu at Free University of Berlin in Germany studied brain reactions to particular passages in the Harry Potter books to see if certain types of excerpts facilitated the immersive experience.

The result was the “fiction feeling hypothesis,” which the research team describes as:

According to the fiction feeling hypothesis, narratives with emotional contents invite readers more to be empathic with the protagonists and thus engage the affective empathy network of the brain, the anterior insula and mid-cingulate cortex, than do stories with neutral contents.

For us non-scientists, it essentially means emotionally charged book passages → empathy with the book characters → brain engagement → getting lost in a book.

OK, so the key to unlocking the immersive reading experience is point A: emotionally charged book passages. What do these entail? First of all, the scientists studied four-line passages from Harry Potter — some were neutral, as in exposition, and others were fear-inducing.

One guess as to which of the two causes more people to get lost in a book… you’re right. It’s the latter.

Take for example, two passages from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The study didn’t disclose which excerpts were used, but it’s not hard to imagine what they were like.

Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways. For one thing, he hated the summer holidays more than any other time of the year. For another, he really wanted to do his homework but was forced to do it in secret, in the dead of night. And he also happened to be a wizard.

And then there’s passage No. 2:

Harry’s eyes darted downward, and what he saw made his stomach contract. There was a hand protruding from the cloak and it was glistening, grayish, slimy-looking, and scabbed, like something dead that had decayed in water…But it was visible only for a split second. As though the creature beneath the cloak sensed Harry’s gaze, the hand was suddenly withdrawn into the folds of its black cloak.

Even Muggles know that Dementors are terrifying, so yes, the second passage, in this theory, is the kind of writing that will cause you to miss your subway stop.

And not only that, but the latter passage also triggers completely different neural pathways than the former, leading much more clearly to the empathy portions of your brain.

So what does this mean? Well no, it can’t yet tell us how to make an entire book immersive, because if there isn’t any exposition at all we’d be all so confused about the book’s plot that it would be hard to get lost in it. But it does showcase how books not only teach empathy, but the types of writing that can boost empathy even more.

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever read The Fault in Our Stars, that reading fear-inducing text — and yes, fear doesn’t have to be scary monsters, but it can be existential, too — can make you cry and feel empathy.

But it’s these kinds of studies that can only enhance people understanding the importance of reading, particularly among children as their brains age and advance. And it’s a positive first step toward researching reading and emotion, showing that no, we book nerds aren’t crazy — maybe we’re just addicted.

Images: Giphy (3)

Happy Veteran’s Day


The U.S. Department of Federal Affairs has an informative article on the history of Veteran’s Day.

“The important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

I woke up blue

I don’t mean that figuratively. I mean it literally. I blue myself.

While I wait for renovations to begin and end at my apartment I have been sleeping on an air mattress with a sleeping bag. Until yesterday, I had sheets and used the sleeping bag as a bed spread. But I washed the sheets and didn’t feel like putting them on the air mattress again so I slept in the sleeping bag.

kiss animated GIF

The inside of the sleeping bag is mostly blue and I guess the color rubbed off on my skin because when I hopped in the shower this morning the water turned blue as it ran down my body. I used my body puff to scrub as much of the blue off but, unfortunately, it did not survive the battle. My once white puff is now tainted.

I’m just glad I was wearing a t-shirt and underwear because I could have woken up with blue boobs and a blue ass like Mystique from X-Men! Except I don’t look this good.

%d bloggers like this: