To Sharp as a Tack: Ways to Enhance your Memory

Sharp as a Tack: Ways to Enhance your Memory

                        Have you ever experienced going to another room and forget why you’re there? Have you ever forgotten a friend’s birthday or forgot to feed your pets? Our ability to remember becomes weaker as we get older. They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks but experts say otherwise. You can definitely improve your memory if you follow these tips:

  • Exercise your Brain

To Sharp as a Tack: Ways to Enhance your Memory

Keeping your mind active can definitely help in enhancing your memory, especially if you’re already in your 50’s. Do crosswords puzzles or take a new route when you’re going somewhere. You can also try to learn a new language or play an instrument. Just do whatever you can think of to keep your mind active.

  • Get Happy

To Sharp as a Tack: Ways to Enhance your Memory

Stress plays an important role in messing up your memory. So if you can avoid getting stressed out, do it. Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel light and happy despite any situation. Remember: sulking in sadness does not solve anything. You can also try meditation and surround yourself with positive people.

  • Eat Well and Eat Healthy

To Sharp as a Tack: Ways to Enhance your Memory

                        Eating healthy does not only help the body but the mind as well. Eat food that is rich in Omega-3 because the amino fatty acids that it contains are very beneficial to the brain. Limit your consummation of calories and saturated fat. Eat more fruits and vegetables and stay away from junk food. They are called junk food for a reason. Also, drink green tea or even wine but moderately.

  • Pay Attention

To Sharp as a Tack: Ways to Enhance your Memory

                        This will definitely be most applicable to students, especially those who are having a hard time studying for exams. If you have actually paid attention to your classes, you wouldn’t have to do so much memorizing. Paying attention helps the short term memories to become long term memories so you can get them back easier if you actually understood them. Listening is a very important aspect of paying attention so you better work on that first.

  • Get Organized

To Sharp as a Tack: Ways to Enhance your Memory

            You are more likely to forget things when everything you own is in chaos. Try organizing your stuff, especially the ones you use the most and discipline yourself to put them back wherever you originally found them so you won’t ever forget. Mostly, keys are often the ones that get lost and forgotten so make a single space for your keys on your desk or wherever you please. Just remember to put them back there each time you use it. That way, you always know where your things are.

  • Sleep on it

To Sharp as a Tack: Ways to Enhance your Memory

            Sleep is a major memory enhancer. Lack of sleep kills a lot of neurons so make sure you get that 8 hours of sleep. For students and yuppies, I know it’s hard to get long hours of sleep but try. If you got nothing to do on weekends, try to catch up on your sleep so your brain and body can rest and rebuild itself. Make sleep a priority and take power naps whenever you can.

Famous Killers:  Celebrities Who Actually Killed People

Famous Killers:  Celebrities Who Actually Killed People

                Celebrities are people too, and as far as people go, we all make mistakes. It’s just that sometimes; celebrities have ways to get away with it even if it’s actually killing someone. Here are some famous celebrities who have blood on their hands:

Matthew Broderick

Famous Killers:  Celebrities Who Actually Killed People

                You may know him in his role as the troublesome Ferris Bueller in the hit 80’s movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  He may not be as much of a troublemaker like his famous character but Matthew did get into a huge trouble that killed some people. On August 5th 1987, Matthew was driving with his co-star Jennifer Grey on a country road in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. His car veered into the wrong lane and collided with an oncoming car. The woman who was driving the car and her elderly mother died instantly. It was determined that the actor wasn’t drunk at the time of the accident, and he was charged with causing death by dangerous driving. However, he was eventually convicted only of careless driving, with a $175 fine.

Keith Moon

Famous Killers:  Celebrities Who Actually Killed People

                The iconic drummer of the rock band The Who is known for his violent and aggressive behavior on stage and even in real life. However, the accident he got himself involved in is not actually a product of his behavior but instead, ruled out as an accident. While trying to get away from a bunch of rowdy fans, Keith Moon accidentally ran over his body guard, Neil Boland outside a pub in Hatfield, England. He wasn’t charged with anything.

Sid Vicious

Famous Killers:  Celebrities Who Actually Killed People

                Any fan of punk music knows who Sid Vicious is err was… and not just because he’s the iconic bassist of the father band of punk, The Sex Pistols, but because of his involvement in one of the most controversial murders in the history of music. After a heroin filled night, Sid and his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen was staying in their room at the hotel Chelsea in New York City. Sid woke up to find his girlfriend sprawled on the bathroom floor, covered in her own blood. She was stabbed to death. He was arrested and convicted for the murder of Nancy Spungen but he claims he did not do it despite the evidence. Then he changed his story and admitted that he did not mean to kill her and then claimed, he did not remember what happened. Months later after being released on bail, Sid Vicious overdosed on heroin. It was not clear whether or not he committed suicide but they have found a note in his pants pocket asking to be buried beside his Nancy.

O.J. Simpson

Famous Killers:  Celebrities Who Actually Killed People

                Football star O.J. Simpson was recently divorced from his wife Nicole Brown when one of the most controversial murder of all time happened. On the night of June 12, 1994, Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman was found stabbed to death outside her home in Los Angeles. Simpson was arrested and was put to a very publicized trial that the entire world eagerly watched. Despite the evidence pointing to Simpson, he was not found guilty of homicide. However, in a civil trial held in 1997, he was deemed to be liable for the two deaths and had to pay a fine of$12.5 Million to each of the victims’ families.

Charles Bukowski: The Tortured Genius of Poetry

Charles Bukowski: The Tortured Genius of Poetry

               

                                They say behind every genius lies a tragic story. Sometimes these tragic stories become science discoveries, inventions that change lives and sometimes, they transform into the most beautiful poetry the world has ever seen; that my friends, is the poetry of the great Charles Bukowski, one of America’s most prolific poets of all time.

                Born Heinrich Karl Bukowksi on August 16, 1920, Charles had a very rough childhood. He was born in Germany and was brought to America when he was only two years old. His father is a firm believer of straight discipline and he would often beat Charles and his mother, even for the simplest offense. Charles’ school life wasn’t so good either because he was bullied by bigger kids his age. He also had a hard time with girls because no one would even look at him because he had a very bad complexion.

Charles Bukowski: The Tortured Genius of Poetry

                It was in 1939 when Bukowski decided to leave his Los Angeles hometown and drop out of college to move to New York City. It was in the beginning of World War II and he tried to make it as writer in a new city. He spent so many years writing, travelling and receiving a lot of rejection slips from various magazines and newspaper companies. Because of his series of failures, young Bukowski gave up on writing and just decided to do something else; by something else he meant almost destroying his life completely by drinking too much.

                After coming back to Los Angeles, Charles began writing again. He was thirty five years old when his writing career actually began and unlike all the other writers of his time, he started publishing in underground newspapers. His works became popular through word of mouth because the main character of his stories which he named Henry Chinaski, is so relatable. There was so much rawness and truth in this character that people are beginning to see themselves in this semi-autobiographical character that Bukowski has created.  In 1955, Bukowski was treated from near-fatal bleeding ulcer and after his release from the hospital, he began writing poetry and his alcohol addiction became worse.

Charles Bukowski: The Tortured Genius of Poetry

                Charles Bukowski wrote more than 40 books of poetry, novels and prose. His most popular novel is entitled “Women” which tells the story of a man’s crazy and unusual love and sex life. His books of poetry are widely popular since they all have a taste of satirized machismo with stories that dwell in alcoholism, poverty and bad experiences. He is known to make himself the hero of his stories without trying to look good and no sugar coating of anything whatsoever. He used his bad experiences and made them sound as bad they really are, and in turn, readers and critics alike found his work honest and straight to the heart. It was as if his hands popped out of his book and ripped your heart out into pieces.

                I haven’t read all of Bukowski’s works, especially his novels because I’ve been captivated by his poetry for some time now. His writings are so different from all the other poets I’ve read and his words will really stick to you no matter how unremarkable the words he used are. He’s not even trying to impress you with big words. It’s just conversational and it feels real. And that’s the reason why he is one of the best poets because he knows how to word out emotions without pretense. My most favorite Bukowski poems are “So You Want To Be A Writer” -the poem I read to myself every time I feel like quitting and “Roll The Dice”- the poem I read to myself before I start to do anything.

Charles Bukowski: The Tortured Genius of Poetry

                Charles Bukowski died of pneumonia on March 1994, but his works continue to inspire and affect readers of young and old with stories as real as the scars on our skin. He may be gone but Bukowski’s words and poetry will live on forever.

raw image from: bobchoat.com

 The Most Badass Females in History

Most notable people in history are composed of men who conquered continents and won battles but that does not mean that all women ever did during those times was stay at home. As a matter of fact, there are also a lot of women conquerors and warriors who went down in history for their bravery and badassery.

Here are some of the most badass females in History:

Artemisia of Caria, Badass Military Strategist

Artemisia of Caria portrayed by Eva Green in the movie 300: Rise on Empire

Artemisia of Caria portrayed by Eva Green in the movie 300: Rise of Empires

A military strategist, rebellious queen and wartime commander of the 5th century Halicarnassus, no one dared mess with Artemisia of Caria. She was so good at military tactics that when Persian King Xerxes allied with her, she called him an idiot for not following her military advice. Thus, the king lost his battle. Herodotus the historian later wrote that King Xerxes made sure to follow all of her military strategies after that.

Policarpa Salavarrieta – Badass Colombian revolutionary

Policarpa Salavarrieta portrayed by Carolina Ramírez in the Columbian telenovela La Pola

Policarpa Salavarrieta portrayed by Carolina Ramírez in the Columbian telenovela La Pola

                Growing up amidst a rising rebellion is probably what led Policarpa to the path of resistance. According to historical accounts, she was a daring, sharp-tongued woman who’s determined to be freed from the Spanish ruling in Colombia 1817. She worked as a humble seamstress in the houses of royals so she could gather information, while sewing. She would also flirt with soldiers and urge them to join the rebellion in the desert, while sewing. Her secret was later discovered and she was arrested by soldiers. Bet you thought she would just submit to authority? No, not Policarpia that’s for sure. She was sentenced to die by firing squad on November 1817. On her execution day, she refused to kneel before her captors and she didn’t shut up as well. The soldiers were then forced to beat the drums louder so the public won’t hear her encouraging them to revolt. She was tied to a stool and her last words were “My death will be avenged” and avenged it did because her bravery sparked a revolution that later led Colombia to freedom.

Tomoe Gozen, Badass Samurai Warrior

Tomoe Gozen as portrayed by Jeananne Goossenin the Syfy series Riverworld

Tomoe Gozen as portrayed by Jeananne Goossenin the Syfy series Riverworld

                Being a samurai alone already makes this woman a total badass babe but wait till you read about her tale. Tomoe Gozen was born in 1157 and fought in the Genpen war among her fellow samurais despite all conventions. At that time, the war is no place for women but she got easily recognized as an important member of the Japanese army because her skills were better than a thousand soldiers. Her archery skills made her a legend and she was said to ride horses and expertly maneuver them to trudge down cliff sides. If that’s not badass, I don’t know what is.

Gabriela Silang, Badass Filipina Rebel

Garbiela Silang as portrayed by Tin Patrimonia in the biopic 'Gabriela'

Garbiela Silang as portrayed by Tin Patrimonia in the biopic ‘Gabriela’

Of course, this list would not be complete without our very own Gabriela Silang. Following the death of her husband, Diego Silang, the leader of the Ilocos rebellion group against the Spaniards, she took over his responsibilities and lead his troops to battle. She fled on horseback to the mountains of Abra to reestablish her husband’s troops and planned their attacks. They fought the Spanish soldiers for four months. Gabriela, together with her troops marched to take back the town of Vigan. However, for some reason the Spaniards knew they were coming and had prepared for their arrival. Unfortunately, they walked straight into an ambush. Gabriela escaped with few of her troops but they were later arrested and hanged on September 29, 1763 at Vigan’s Plaza. Gabriela was the last to die and her death inspired many other rebellions from different provinces.

Feminism is not Anti-Male

Feminism is not Anti-Male

                Feminism is a word mostly associated with hating men and not some form of idea that all genders should have equal rights. Many people think of feminism as something that will empower women so hard that we will all rise to power and make men our slaves. While some think of feminists as bra-burning witches who encourage women to leave their husbands and form an alliance against all men. The fact that most people believe all those ridiculous things about feminism just proves that very few people really understand what it means and why groups of men and women around the world are fighting for it.

Feminism is not Anti-Male

                 Here’s what everyone needs to know: Feminism is not Anti-Male. Feminism does not equal misandry. There’s a huge difference between feminists and misandrists and it only gets confusing because some women who declare themselves as feminists are very vulgar when it comes to expressing their hatred for men. Generalizing the entire male population as rapists and animals is not feminism at all. Just because the word female is in Feminism does not mean the idea only applies to women. Feminism also upholds the rights of men in the society, especially when it comes to gender stereotyping. This idea promotes and supports men in their rights to appear vulnerable and be actual human beings in a society that boxes them into images of machismo. A portion does not equal the whole even if that portion is annoyingly loud.

Feminism is not Anti-Male

                The goal of feminism is to create a society where all genders are free to be themselves, to succeed and be happy without their genders being an issue. Where every employee gets the same salary for the same type of work regardless of what gender they identify as, where men can be whoever they want to be without being called ‘gay’ for liking something effeminate and women will not be called ‘sluts’ for showing skin and where the word ‘gay’ is not to be used as an insult and every one respects each other’s choices and beliefs.

                It’s an ideal albeit ambitious society and so far, it’s kind of hard to achieve since there are even women who don’t like feminism and agree with the way the system has been built on the foundations of patriarchy. Clearly, they don’t realize how much of our potentials are being wasted because of gender inequality.

Feminism is not Anti-Male

                Feminism also makes everyone aware about the hardships that most women go through in every part of the world. Because of feminism, issues like reproductive health, birth control, everyone’s access to education, women’s rights to vote, etc. are given their much deserved attention. Again, just because it directly affects women does not mean it doesn’t affect the entire nation as a whole. After all, females are also part of this equation we call society. We cannot function without the other and vice versa so we might as well take care of each other.

Feminism is not Anti-Male

                The reason why Feminism gets a lot of bad rap is because most people do not even look deep into it. They only see it as a way for women to get what they want and God forbid, they shouldn’t give women what they want because…what’s going to happen again? Nothing! These people just don’t want change because they are unable to see the future. They are unable to realize that we all need is each other to function and to undermine the other is just unnatural and will cause an imbalance. It’s time to start thinking of our existence as one and realize that we all need each other to live. That’s not an opinion. It’s just the truth so open your eyes. Feminism is not anti-male but it is anti everything that steps on the rights of all human beings. Deal with it.

Mozart: The Man, the Genius, the Music and the Mystery

Mozart: The Man, the Genius, the Music and the Mystery

                Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated by great classical composers. But aside from their magnificent compositions and their contribution to the world of music, what interests me the most about these musical geniuses are their life stories; especially the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the greatest composer the world has ever seen.

The Man

Mozart: The Man, the Genius, the Music and the Mystery

                Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria on January 27, 1756. He was baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. He added the Italian name “Amadeo” later in his life. He was born in a family of musicians and his father Leopold, an accomplished violinist, was mostly responsible for bringing out his musical genius at a very young age. His mother Anna Maria and sister Maria Anna “Nannerl” often called him “Wolferl”. His childhood was mostly spent travelling all across Europe, performing and dazzling royalties here and there. Historical accounts of Mozart’s performances say that he leaves his audience’s jaws hanging at the sight of his genius. After all, in 1760’s Vienna, how often do you see a five year old child play a very complicated piece of music blindfolded, right? Even if we are to witness that kind of talent today, we’ll also be amazed. As he grew up, Mozart became very aware of his abilities that sometimes, he came off as arrogant and pompous to other composers. Most of them probably just felt threatened but it was highly evident in Wolfgang’s actions that he regards his talents as exceptional and therefore he should be allowed to share it to the rest of the world. So, despite his father’s protest and to the disappointment of the archbishop who Mozart claimed treated him like a servant, he ventured out to Vienna where he found his real audience and the love of his life, Contanze Weber. He remained in the city of Vienna, composing operas for Emperor Joseph II and the rest of the aristocrats. According to those who knew him so well, he was a witty, clever individual with a kind – hearted soul who loves to laugh and making practical jokes.

The Genius

Mozart: The Man, the Genius, the Music and the Mystery

            At the tender age of four, Mozart was already considered an accomplished pianist. At the age of five, he was already performing private concerts for royalties, doing tricks like playing the piano blindfolded or with a handkerchief covering his hands. When he was about three years old, his father found him scribbling something on the concrete floor. Leopold asked him what it is he’s writing and the clever young genius replied with “a concerto!” and indeed it was a legitimate concerto that can only be written by an accomplished musician. At six he began composing, writing his first symphonies at the age of eight. He was constantly traveling all over Europe with his father and his sister Nannerl.

Mozart: The Man, the Genius, the Music and the Mystery

At the age of 17, he was already appointed as the assistant concertmaster to the Archbishop whom he despised for treating him like a lowly servant. At age 21, he travelled to Paris and many different parts of Europe, accepting commissions for compositions as well as playing at concerts. He went back to Salzburg when his mother fell ill and died while accompanying him in his tour. Once again, he became a “servant” to the archbishop that he detested so much. When the archbishop went to Vienna, he was ordered to come and play for the coronation of Emperor Joseph. Seeing that Vienna is the home of musicians, he demanded to stay there and resigned from his post as concert master. There, the emperor commissioned him to make operas for him. Therefore, starting his career as one of Vienna’s leading composers.

The Music

Mozart: The Man, the Genius, the Music and the Mystery

            In his lifetime, Mozart wrote more than 600 pieces of symphonies, operas and concertos in his short life. He is probably the only composer in history who has written music in every genre of his time. Mozart wrote mostly for royalties, especially for the Emperor Joseph II where he composed most of his masterpieces for. Experts describe Mozart’s music as timeless pieces of music, especially his works such as the last ten string quartets, the string quintets, and the Quintet for clarinet and strings; the Mass in C minor and the unfinished Requiem; the Serenade for thirteen wind instruments, the Clarinet concerto, the late piano concertos, and the last six symphonies. Mozart’s more than twenty piano concertos remain to be an epitome of the classic concerto form. His concertos begin with an elaborate sonata form first movement followed by a melodious second movement, and he finished it off with rapid and engaging rondo as in the Piano Concerto no. 22 in E-flat. My most favorite Mozart symphony, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is one of the most recognizable tunes in the world today though not a lot of people know it was Mozart who composed it. Speaking of Mozart’s compositions, it was him who made the popular tune of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “The Alphabet Song”. The tune was his original composition entitled “Je, Maman” which he made in Paris. Mozart’s symphonies are all so infused with a passion and expressiveness unheard of in symphonic writing until the existence of Ludwig Van Beethoven. His operas such as The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni are regarded as his best works that helped shaped the music of the generation that succeeded his.

The Mystery

Mozart: The Man, the Genius, the Music and the Mystery

            Probably the worst tragedy in music history is the day Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died. On December 5, 1791, after battling a strange illness that caused him so much pain, Mozart went unconscious and did not awoke. He was only 35 years old. It was said that he grew distant and depressed after having so many debts at that time since the Aristocrats did not support the music and the arts because of the Turkish War. He was with his wife Contanze and sister-in-law Sophie when he died. They were so broke that Contanze couldn’t afford to give his husband the rightful funeral he so deserves. Mozart’s body was buried in an unmarked mass grave and up until now, no one knows where his body is buried. The cause of death is a mystery since no one knew what was wrong with him. A rumor sparked about him being poisoned by Antonio Salieri, his musical rival who vowed to do anything to protect his post. However, it was not proven if Salieri did kill his rival or if it was just a rumor. Still, for Mozart to have died so young and in so much pain despite his prominence at that time is truly a tragedy.

Mozart: The Man, the Genius, the Music and the Mystery

            He may be gone but the fact that his music still lives on 200 years later after his death proves that he truly is the greatest composer of the classical era and there’s no other musical genius, before or since, quite like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Mozart

Life Lessons from Awesome Animated Movies   

Life Lessons from Awesome Animated Movies  

                The amount of times I had to defend the name of animated movies against people who think they are just for kids are over 9000. Seriously, whenever I get excited for any animated movie, may it be Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks, someone always says it’s ‘childish’ and “you’re 22, how can you even like those cartoons”. First of all, animated movies aren’t just cartoons. They are films that took a lot of time and effort to make. They are not just for kids because they are for everybody to enjoy.  And if you do not like at least one animated feature, you must be living a very sad life.

                Anyway, in my years of watching animated films, I have learned so many things especially when it comes to life in the real world, relating to others and being the hero of my own story. Here are some of my favorite animated films and the life lessons I’ve learned from them:

Finding Nemo

Life Lessons from Awesome Animated Movies   

                I was still in Elementary school when the movie Finding Nemo came out. I have no idea how many times I’ve watched it over and over again. The story of Finding Nemo is about a clownfish named Marlin who lost his son Nemo to deep sea divers. He did all he can to save his son with the help of a forgetful fish named Dory despite being so afraid of the ocean. Together they battled sharks, jellyfishes and rode the East Australian Current with some awesome turtles thus, learning a very valuable lesson along the way. Finding Nemo is not just a film for kids, it’s a love letter to every parent who is struggling to raise their children the right way. This film taught me to listen to my own parents given that they will listen to me as well. And also, no matter what happens, just keep swimming! Everything will work out fine in the end.

The Princess and the Frog

Life Lessons from Awesome Animated Movies   

                This Disney princess film is so underrated despite how it basically teaches everyone, not just little girls, that to get to your dreams you must work very hard for it. There are no shortcuts. Tiana had to work two jobs and barely gets enough sleep so she can afford to build her dream restaurant that her father always wanted. She’s a very good example of a hard working woman who’s independent and self-sufficient. She also taught me to believe in myself and not rely on some wishing star.

Kung Fu Panda

Life Lessons from Awesome Animated Movies   

                One of DreamWork’s best animated films comes in the form of a big fat Panda named Po. Kung Fu Panda is an amazing journey to self discovery and knowing your self-worth. When Po was chosen to become the Dragon Warrior despite being inept in Kung Fu and overweight, the villagers cannot believe it, even Po himself. But later in the story, he found out his true strength and overcame his fear of being well, himself. The best lesson I’ve learned from this film is that there is no secret ingredient to success. If you want to make something special, you just have to believe it’s special.

Grave of the Fireflies

Life Lessons from Awesome Animated Movies   

                One of Studio Ghibli’s masterpieces, Grave of the Fireflies tells the story of two siblings caught in World War II stricken Japan. It’s a heartbreaking story and to tell you the truth, this one is not actually for kids. It shows how much war can damage both parties and it doesn’t just destroy countries but also the lives of innocent citizens who were all punished for a crime they know nothing of. It teaches that war does not determine who’s right or wrong but rather, who will be left suffering. There are no winners, everyone loses something.

The Lego Movie

Life Lessons from Awesome Animated Movies   Life Lessons from Awesome Animated Movies   

                You may find this surprising but this animated film actually has a lot to offer, more than just the outrageous comedy. It’s a story of an ordinary construction guy named Emmet who suddenly discovers that he’s The Special, destined to save the world from destruction. You think you’re in for a generic loser to hero story but as you progress through the film, you’ll realize that the movie is about you and everyone else you know. How did that happen? You have to watch the movie to find out. Let’s just say that after watching this movie, you’ll learn that you are the most interesting, most valuable person in the universe and you are capable of great things just like everyone else. To be special, you just have to believe that you are one. And to quote Vitruvius, “I know that sounds like a cat motivational poster but it’s true”.