Meet Lucy

Last weekend, my brother brought in a new puppy named Lucy. She is an eight-month-old Lab/Border Collie mix my brother rescued from an owner who was neglecting her. She’s an escape artist, though, and already got out twice, so she can’t go outside without someone to watch her. In that first picture, that’s Oreo, my dad’s Labradoodle, in the background. 11069598_963193313720639_803465592140313194_n

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Green Grass…Round My Window

Today is the first day of spring. Well, not so much in my area; as I write this ironic post, I’m looking at the snow falling outside my bedroom window collecting on my lawn and on the red Japanese maple. Anyway, I thought I’d share one of my favorite songs for this time of year. Yes, I know, I’m a twenty-year-old woman listening to music enjoyed by eighty-year-old men.

Go Green on St. Patrick’s Day: Five Crazy Ways to Help the Environment

n fact: if you ever go to Mars, you can never come back to Earth. Once your body adapts to the environment of Mars, it can no longer survive on Earth. I’m assuming the same would happen with any other planet that you could live on, and even so, it doesn’t seem that human beings will be able to settle on other planets any time in the near future. Unless the government is covering something up (cue the “crap, she’s onto us!” from all the undercover agents reading this.) That’s why we need to find ways to preserve our planet, and sometimes we’ll need to get creative. Case in point…

1. Peeing in the shower

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I know it’s yucky, but every time you flush, you use about a gallon of water with a new toilet, and between three and seven gallons with an older toilet. You can save water by “letting the yellow mellow,” or simply by peeing in your shower.

2. Put “science” in your will

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Thanks to science, we can convert cadavers into a liquid fertilizer through a process called “alkaline hydrolysis.” Pretty neat…until you remember that there’s a possibility that the fruit salad you’re chowing down on may contain traces of fertilizer made from dead people.

3. Patty power

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Cows are infamous for producing a lot of methane. Methane is the same stuff that is often used to produce energy. Therefore, it’s not a load of bullshit (terrible pun absolutely intended) to say that cow methane can be put to use as energy, which would mean less methane in the atmosphere. There are already plans to convert cow waste into energy.

4. Watch NSFW Material 

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“Fuck for Forest” is an organization that shows pornographic material. Members have to pay for it, and some of the money goes toward preserving the rain forest.

5. Buy some creepy crawlies

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If earthworms eat old pieces of garbage food, like apple cores, they can help turn them into compost that you can then use for your garden. You can also just put earthworms in your garden. The tiny holes that they dig in soil help nutrients and water get into the soil to nourish your plants, and they also excrete nutrient-rich waste. Aside from earthworms, there are other creepy crawlies for your garden: instead of spraying pesticides, you can get spiders, ladybugs, and praying mantises which will control the population of plant-destroying insects in your garden. As a bonus, ladybugs and mantises are beautiful insects.

The Ten Most Wft Hybrid Animals

Before anyone yells at me for the title of this, or for being disrespectful and partial to different animals, I was emphasizing how surprising some of these hybrids may be to some. If you want to leave me a rude comment, then why are you on WordPress and not Youtube? Yes, Youtube is haven for rude comments, so instead of slamming me, go slam a Youtube video. Thank you.

10. Liger

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Pictured above is Hercules the liger, who weighs 922 pounds. Ligers are the result of the mating of a female tiger and a male lion. Ligers are typically larger than either of their parents. Male ligers are infertile, but females may be able to produce offspring if bred back to one of their parent species. As lions’ and tigers’ territories do not overlap, ligers can only be found in captivity. This animal is not to be confused with the tigon, created by breeding a male tiger and female lion. Tigons are smaller than ligers, are more brightly colored, and unlike male ligers, male tigons grow manes.

9. Wolfdog 

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A wolfdog is a cross between any purebred or mixed domestic dog and any species of wolf. The one pictured is a Saarloos Wolfdog, which is a cross between a Mackenzie Valley Wolf and a German Shepherd. They are even more unpredictable than wolves due to having natural wild instincts as well as canine inclinations. They are skittish, often difficult to housebreak, prone to aggression, and liable to snap at their owners with little to no provocation. Therefore, wolfdogs are not ideal house pets.

8. Savannah cat

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Although TICA (The International Cat Association) has registered the Savannah as a domestic cat breed, it is still technically a hybrid. Savannah cats are larger than standard house cats, because they are a crossbreed between a regular domestic cat and an African Serval. They are usually produced via artificial insemination due to the size difference between a cat and a Serval. Although Savannahs commonly come in spotted gold, like the one pictured above, they come in a marbled pattern, and some are black, snow (which is white with black or clouded spotting or marbling) or a gorgeous silver color. Savannah cats have many interesting (and cute!) quirks, such as their tendency to greet their owners by head-butting them, their inclination to splash water out of their bowls (probably best not to put his bowl over your expensive Turkish rug) and their ability to jump onto high areas due to their longer legs. However, Savannahs are so loyal to their owners that they are comparable to dogs, and unlike the wolfdog mentioned above, they are excellent house pets if you can put up with their idiosyncrasies.

7. Grolar bear

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Although many hybrid animals are infertile, the grolar bear, a cross between a grizzly and a polar bear, can easily produce offspring. One specimen shot in the wild was given a DNA test, and it was revealed to be second-generation: one parent of the bear was a grizzly, and the other was a grolar. Another fascinating fact about grolar bears is that they can be more readily found in the wild than most of these hybrids. Some people theorize that global warming is the cause of the increase of wild grolar bears. With the melting ice caps, polar bears are being forced to migrate south and into the territories of grizzly bears.

6. Cama 

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Camels have been used as draft animals for a long time: they are large, hardy, and strong. However, camels can also be foul-tempered. Llamas are not as powerful as camels, but they are more affable, and as a bonus, they produce soft wool that can be trimmed and spun into clothes. If only there was something that had the best traits of both camels and llamas! Camel breeders in India thought the same, so through artificial insemination (remember, camels are much bigger than llamas) they managed to create the cama. Camels and llamas are not only related, but they have the same number of chromosomes, so they can produce fertile offspring. That’s right: camas can breed to other camas.

5. Beefalo 

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I’m not even joking when I say that in the future, burgers at every fast food chain in America might all be made from 100% organic Beefalo meat. All beefalo are fertile, so neither sex needs to be bred back to their domestic cow or buffalo cousins to continue the species. Beefalo meat, like buffalo meat, is lower in fat and cholesterol than standard cow beef. It is also believed that raising beefalo is less detrimental to the environment than ranching cattle.

4. The Toast of Botswana

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Goats and sheep are loosely related; they belong to different genus, so it’s rare for them to have successful offspring. Most goat/sheep hybrids are stillborn; however, in some rare instances, healthy, albeit infertile, offspring are born. One was born in 2000 in Botswana. Despite being infertile, the “Toast of Botswana,” as this animal was famously known, had such an overactive sex drive that it was given the nickname Bemya, which means “rapist.”

3. Mule

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Mules, reputed for their stubbornness, are probably the most well-known creature listed, but not everyone realizes that they’re a hybrid between a horse and a donkey! Mules are manmade and infertile, so they can only be produced by mating horses and donkeys. Mules are often used as draft animals and are praised for their hard work and strength.

2. Blood Parrot Cichlid

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Blood parrot cichlids are beautiful but unfortunate fish created by crossbreeding a midas cichlid with a redhead cichlid. They are controversial because they commonly come with a variety of genetic problems, such as a deformed mouth that makes feeding difficult, a compressed vertebrae, and deformed swim bladders which render them unable to swim properly. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the fish are naturally a either yellow, reddish-orange, or gray, but are commonly treated with chemical dyes to make them blue, pink, purple, or deep red. They are also sometimes tattooed. Other sellers cut their tails so the fish will grow to be heart-shaped, and will be sold as “heart parrots.” The majority of male blood parrot cichlids are male, but there are cases of offspring being produced from parents who are both blood parrots.

1. Manbearpig

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I’m cereal. I’m super cereal.

The Weirdest Dating Sites Ever

Hello, internet. Recently (just in time for Valentine’s Day) I finally found a boyfriend. Not that most people reading this will give a shit. Anyway, almost everyone has heard of online dating sites such as Match.com and eHarmony, but what about the weird ones? My mother and I laughed our butts off when we saw the commercial for FarmersOnly. As for BlackPeopleMeet…the concept itself seems innocent, but there’s a double standard: nobody cares if there’s a website called BlackPeopleMeet, but if there was a WhitePeopleMeet, everyone would be up in arms. Then there are the ones that are just flat out ridiculous, like…

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WealthyMen.com. I’ll start out with one that’s relatively tame, because of course there’s a dating website for women of all classes to find a rich guy.

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Zombie Passions. For the undead looking for a love that will never die. You can even search depending on what caused your zombieism, whether you’re a zombie from a toxic spill, a zombie from a mutated virus, or a zombie from a radioactive meteor.

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For men (or women…I don’t wish to discriminate) who are literally willing to die for love and are prisoners of romance, check out Women Behind Bars.

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Here’s how CanDoBetter apparently works: you put a picture of you and your bf/gf on this site, and the website decides which of you can do better. Then, whoever the site selects gets a profile.

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Are you young at heart? Do you have trouble finding a date because people of the opposite (or same…once again, I wish not to discriminate) sex frequently tell you that you don’t act your age? Then DiaperMates might be for you.

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No Longer Lonely: a dating website for people with a history of mental illness. Actually, I personally think that this is not a bad idea, because people with mental illnesses do need support.

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This is 420 Dating. That’s right: there’s a dating website for marijuana aficionados.

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Positive Singles…a dating site for people with STDs. Whether it’s herpes, HIV, or syphilis, if you come here, you’ll definitely find a “positive” match.

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FurryMate. A dating website for furries. I…really have nothing else to say about it.

Happy Valentine’s Day…from the untame bottom of my heart.

Experiences of an Aspie Blogger: 4 Reasons Why Being an Aspie Child Sucks (and why it gets better in adulthood)

Life with Aspergers isn’t as devastating or limiting as some people think. It’s possible for Aspies to go to college, find successful careers, and even date and raise children. However, before you can get that far, you might have to overcome a rough beginning, for reasons such as…

4. Stereotypes/Bullying

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Look, when it come to talking about the childhood of an autistic person, this is the elephant in the room. Through all of my time as a student in grade school, I was placed in Special Ed. As adults, we accept each others’ differences for the most part. Nonetheless, compassion and open-mindedness are traits that must be acquired. Autism aside, there is a misconception in grade school that all “special” kids like to make Impressionist art with their own feces and are too soft in the head to learn any letter in the alphabet beyond “C.” Here’s the general rule regarding the “special little snowflakes” in elementary school: never let those little buggers anywhere near you, because they are semi-human and probably carrying a rare mutant alien bacteria not commonly mentioned outside of dystopian B-movies. This sounds funny to the average twelve-year-old, but it’s heartbreaking if you’re on the wrong side of the bullying. It’s not just the broad category of “special needs” that earned me my badge of mockery. If I had a dollar for every time someone called me “retarded,” “stupid,” or “an annoying brat,” I wouldn’t even need an education, because I’d have my own five-story manor in Princeton. At one time, there was a boy in my neighborhood who called me “Burger Lady.” This all came not just from classmates at school, but also from family members and from people on the internet. When I was eleven years old, I attended summer camp with a girl who was not only verbally aggressive, but physically as well. Almost every week, she would hit me. What people don’t realize is that, while people with autism are generally more introverted, autism doesn’t shut down the human need for interaction. We are social animals, and there are few things more painful than being ostracized. Bullying can have long-lasting consequences as well. In my case, I left public school after the eighth grade for private school. I’ll never forget the terror and loneliness of walking into a new classroom while surrounded by people that I wanted to chat with, but was afraid to. I wanted to make friends. It was never my desire to live in isolation, but I isolated myself from the other students, convinced that the whole world was my enemy. Every time I tried to open my heart to someone, it would get broken. My reasoning through high school was that avoiding others left me with an empty heart, but an empty heart still didn’t hurt as much as a broken one. Sure, I had my friends; nonetheless, I refused to fully trust anyone.

Why it gets better: As children mature, most of them grow out of the bully stage. As for the victims, it’s possible for some of that damage to heal. The teachers I had in private school actually encouraged me to harness my talents and recover from the past. After graduating, I enrolled in a transition program, where a great teacher encouraged me to adopt a more optimistic view of life. It didn’t happen overnight. It took me time to learn to relax my cynical attitude, but life is much more fun when you don’t view the human race as your adversary.

3. Everyone thinks that you’re a “bad kid.” 

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This right here is the snag of many an autistic child. The worst thing a parent or teacher can do to a child with Aspergers is to convince said child that he is bad. It’s too easy to see a child throwing a tantrum and assume that he’s an obnoxious brat, when he might just be overwhelmed. Am I saying that you shouldn’t discipline your kids? Hell, no. I’m just saying that there’s a right way to do it. If your child throws a tantrum, wait for him to calm down, them tell him how pointless it was. It’s no use yelling at a child to get control of himself. When I was a child, people constantly yelled at me for being “naughty,” “immature,” and “mischievous.”  This bruised my young heart. I wanted so badly to be a good kid. I just didn’t know how to be good. All I knew was that I was bad, and I didn’t wish to be bad. The way to approach a “bad” autistic child is to teach him how to properly behave, in lieu of screaming at him and saying that he’s a brat. The former is constructive; the latter is destructive, and only serves to damage the self-esteem of a child.

Why it gets better: Sooner or later, you’ll learn how to be “good.” Trust me.

2. Autism is concurrent. 

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There are very few people who are just autistic, with no other psychiatric diagnoses. Nine times out of ten, autism co-exists with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, or anxiety disorders. I have a friend who has Asperger’s and schizophrenia. The bane of my existence, the big D, came about when I was thirteen. I frequently found myself unhappy and crying for no apparent reason. My sleep patterns became out of whack. At night, I would hide in the bathroom and read any number of books that I kept stashed under the sink. During the day, it took serious effort for me not to randomly fall asleep. The things that once interested me now only earned apathetic shrugs, and on a bad day, I had no problem with running a sharp object across my skin. My will to live slowly faded until I began to dream of suicide. My parents, noticing that I was not myself, took me to a psychiatrist, where I was diagnosed with depression and given medication.

Why it gets better: No matter what you have along with autism, there is likely a therapist and/or pill that can suppress its symptoms. I’m happy to report that today, I am depression-free. Oh, about the medication thing…

1. Side effects of medication. 

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I lucked out in this compartment, because some medications cause potentially fatal side effects. Along with antidepressants, I was given medication to help me sleep, but it also caused me to gain weight. The mirror became my worst nemesis, and walking up the stairs at school was enough to leave me out of breath. Being the hypochondriac that I am, I resorted to eating healthier snacks and exercising, which took care of that problem; nonetheless, some of my friends with autism still have weight problems due to the medication that they take. (Eventually, I was taken off of the problem pill.) Yet that’s not even the scary part. Here is a list of side effects of Prozac: http://www.rxlist.com/prozac-side-effects-drug-center.htm

Zoloft is similar, but has a few different side effects: http://www.rxlist.com/zoloft-side-effects-drug-center.htm

And now here’s Adderall, which is commonly presscribed for ADHD: http://www.rxlist.com/adderall-side-effects-drug-center.htm

Blurred vision? Hair loss? Irregular heartbeat? Holy shit!

Why it gets better: Weight loss is daunting and difficult, but not impossible. Also, if your medicine is giving you serious side effects, for God’s sake, talk to your doctor.

Remember: nobody is hopeless. Any person can succeed, if given the chance.

10 Odd Ice Cream Flavors from Around the World

I’ve been waiting for 2014 to end. The year exhausted itself before December 31. Back in October, I wrote an article about the unusual flavors of Kit Kat sold in Japan. I spoke with a friend about that blog post, and he suggested me to write another column about some of the planet’s most bizarre (by the standard of the average Western citizen, anyway) ice cream flavors. By request, here it is.

1. Bacon

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I’ll start with the most innocent-sounding variety. It’s unconventional, but will still sound appealing to a lot of people. Yes, this is actually a thing. There are numerous recipes for bacon ice cream, including maple bacon ice cream and even maple bacon bourbon.

2. Squid ink

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Squid ink ice cream can be purchased in Japan. I’m having a hard time deciding whether I want to eat this ice cream or sign my name with it.

3. Charcoal

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Yes, charcoal. The stuff you get from burning organic matter. Digest that. Once again, this can be found in Japan.

4. Akutaq 

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Pronounced as “a-goo-duk.” It’s also known as “Eskimo ice cream.”  Modern recipes often use Crisco; however, the traditional dish as enjoyed by Eskimos consisted of berries mixed with deer, moose, or whale fat.

5. Cicada 

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Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream in Columbia, Missouri sells ice cream with actual cicadas in it. Cicadas are known for being noisy insects; they make produce song during the spring and summer, similar to crickets and katydids. They are also said to taste like peanuts and are a good source of protein.

6. Bone marrow with bourbon smoked cherry

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This is the most oddly specific flavor on this list. This is one of the top selling flavors at Salt and Straw in Portland, Oregon.

7. Earl Grey Sriracha 

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If you’re in the mood for an ice cream that combines the flavors of something that men stereotypically like (hot sauce) and something that women stereotypically like (tea) just head on over to Little Baby’s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

8. Raw Horse Flesh

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I really don’t have anything to say about this one.

9. Breast milk

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Yes, this is a variety sold in a store in London, and it’s made from actual human breast milk. I’m sure it doesn’t taste that bad, but I wouldn’t be able to eat it without hating myself a little. Come on; I’m an adult. I learned how to speak words that aren’t cries, sleep in a bed that isn’t adorned with prison bars, and hold a cup a long time ago. I’m too old to kick back and enjoy the savor of nature’s infant formula. Nonetheless, I guess it’s never too early to introduce a mini human to the concept of brain freeze.

10. Viagra 

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Some people will see this and inquire, “What the hell does Viagra ice cream taste like?” Supposedly, it tastes like champagne. I found no info on where this is sold, but the madman (or genius, depending on your perspective) who invented this ice cream claims that it contains the same chemicals in the famous blue pill that induces an erection. Alright, but can women and children eat it? It’s champagne-flavored, but isn’t it a bad thing to mix alcohol and prescription drugs? Can you overdose on this ice cream? Are there any side effects? Should you talk to your doctor before ordering a scoop? So many questions.