All posts by Quark


Isn’t life amazing?

It didn’t happen by accident

It didn’t happen on purpose

Chemicals rammed into themselves

Slowly making cells

And deep beneath the sea

Slowly they reacted

And later they became me


Lucky Star Anime and Manga Review


Lucky Star is about four girls going through high school in Japan. The contrasting personalities of the girls (otaku, studious, tsundere, and bonkura) make for well-balanced humor. It is a very light-hearted anime but it does better than other adaptions of four-panel manga in that it fills in what space would be between strips with its own content.


The English adaption of the manga, at least in the editions I own, was not well translated. I usually encourage the use of Japanese terms without any real english translation–like tsundere and moe–in any manga. The editor, translator, and letterer for the English version were all lacking. The manga contain multiple typos and errors that tend to detract from the overall experience at times. If you are a fan of the anime, though, I suggest you hunt down a copy. The strips are artfully illustrated and witty. Towards the end of the series, the volumes contain more and more strips that were used in advertisements for other series and feel like filler material.

Think before you go out to buy the manga–it is now out of print in the U.S. and not cheap! But definitely worth it if you are a fan.

Fire Science Degrees

After talking to my parents and some firefighters, I’ve come across the finding that fire science degrees are kinda  a waste of time.

In the words of a firefighter/paramedic, “you can teach a monkey to fight fires.” Obtaining a fire science degree can take two years out of your time, and at the point, you will be behind your peers competing for the same position.

To make yourself a more valuable candidate, it’s best to obtain an EMT certification, which should take about three months/ten weeks, depending on the program. If you’re interested in it, go for a paramedic program. Fire Departments that provide ALS services to their districts need paramedics. They can train firefighters, but they can’t train paramedics. There’s a higher demand for one than for the other.


Clockwork Heart

It is the only part of me that works

The heart that lies in my chest

Thrumming against my ribs like some prisoner

Grizzled and bloody and throwing itself at its cage

When my body is full of so much sorrow

That I wish I could just turn over and throw it all up

When it is hard to breathe

When the light is hard to find and I am alone at night

When the darkness spreads out and I am left

To shred at my eyes in order to stop the tears

I lay

And listen to my heart beat

I know it is the only part of me that works