Sunday, 31 March 2013

Yep, that means small ad spaces are only $1 each (small now sold out - sorry!). You can buy an ad by clicking here. Just put in the promo code "HappyEaster" for $5 off all ad spaces. If you're looking to promote your blog or your brand to 1000+ unique readers per day, then this is for you ^_^

Saturday, 30 March 2013

A Colourful Mermaid

This is a very colourful outfit that I have been planning in my mind for quite a long time - I just had to wait for all of the pieces to come to me in the mail (all the way to Australia, so it's been a while!) I'm very happy because it turned out exactly as I imagined. I'm going to save this outfit for an overcast, rainy day.

blouse - c/o Oasap
tights - c/o Oasap
shoes - c/o YesWalker
skirt - c/o Faith & Lola
necklace - c/o I Love Crafty

Some days, I just want to post pretty outfits on my blog. The science I'm really focusing on at the moment at uni is all about eukaryotic transcriptional and translational regulation and how cells regulate their mRNAs, eIFs and other proteins to control gene expression. While I am finding it very fascinating, it's not the easiest thing for communicating here (in fact I showed it to Luci, who just said "yeah... that was all gobbledegook. Like, I got some words were in English, but that was all I understood.")
So I hope you all don't get mad at me for missing out on a science fact today. Alright... a little science fact then. Many of you were interested by my Synaesthesia post the other day, and said that you also strongly associate colours with numbers or letters, but don't actually see them. Have a look at Ideasthesia. Probably, the majority of people have some form of this (just look at the "Kiki and Bouba" effect, for instance. Why would most people associate a spiky shape with the word "kiki" and a rounded shape with "bouba"? Do we all have a predisposition to synaesthetic-like-qualities?).

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Thursday, 28 March 2013


Beige, stripes and a bow-tie! These are some amazingly cool new stockings from my sponsor Oasap. Though pricey, I'm happy to recommend these ones because they are thick and don't seem like they'll ladder easily (I've also worn them for a few days, and they're all good so far!) There's also a black & white version instead of the so-called "nude" version for anyone with darker skin - I've always though it's pretty unfair that standard "nude" colour always actually means "nude white person" colour, because there's a heck of a lot more skin types out there than this so called "nude". Anyway. They're still cool tights.
blouse - c/o Choies
skirt - Wholesale
tights - c/o Oasap
shoes - Chicory (Japan)
hat - c/o Wholesale
bag - Vintage

After talking about colour perception in my last few posts, a number of people brought up synaesthesia.  Synaesthesia is one of the first things to get me interested in neuroscience and the study of human perception, and it's an incredibly wonderful and weird phenomenon!
Synaesthesia is a rare neurological trait, leading to the crossing over of perceptual information: that means people with it can "see colours" in numbers or letters, "taste" words, "smell" days of the week, or "feel" that certain words or numbers have distinct personalities. It can involve any of the senses. Someone talking, for example, can simultaneously be perceived as sounds and as a taste on the tongue by someone with synaesthesia. The most common form is what is called "grapheme colour synaesthesia", where individual letters and numbers are associated strongly with different colours. This type can often help synesthetes with memory tasks where long strings of words, letters or numbers need to be remembered.

It's unclear which parts of the brain are involved in synaesthesia, although a leading theory is that it's due to "cross-wiring" in the brain: neurons (brain cells that can conduct electricity) that are meant to be in sensory system cross over into another sensory system. There is also a theory that all babies are born with "cross-wired" brains, which as we grow, are "pruned back", and that synaesthesia is a failure of the brain to do this properly. (Though the word "failure" puts synaesthesia in a negative light, which I don't think it should be at all. I think it would be a pretty cool thing to have - although experiencing the taste of  mouldy detergent every time you heard a particular person's voice wouldn't be so awesome).

The wikipedia page on Synesthesia provides some pretty sweet reading.

Hoping you're all feelin' fine,

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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

30 Days of Dressing Up: April 2013 (preview)

It's almost April, which means that I'm doing my "Month of Dressing Up" series again! Make sure you check out my last one, March 2013, if you missed the series the first time around!

Anyway, this time I thought I'd make it more interactive for you guys. Below are the items I have chosen to style, and I was wondering if you could suggest any killer combinations. I've already thought up a whole lot, but it's very possible I've missed a few, so if you want your suggestions to appear in my 30 Days of Dressing Up for April, then let me know what you think! (Try and stray away from the super obvious ones if you can. Some unusual combinations that just might work are particularly what I'm looking for.)

Links to the items:
 a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l

My previous 31 Days of Dressing Up is here for inspiration.

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Giveaway: Win an item of your choice from Tomorrow Never Knows Vintage / CLOSED

Hooray for giveaways! I have another giveaway for the lovely readers of my blog - one item of your choice from TNK Vintage! An adorable and very well-priced vintage boutique operating out of Toronto, TNK Vintage is also offering the readers of my blog a 50% off discount code until the 15th of April - just put in at the code 26790 at the checkout to use it! So if you want to grab something before it disappears... it might be a good idea to use the code and get the item now.

Please use the Rafflecopter widget above to enter this giveaway. There is one mandatory entry and a bunch of additional entries to boost your chances of winning! Please make sure you do them properly, or your entry will be invalid (I do check!)

This giveaway is open internationally until the 15th of April. Good luck!

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Monday, 25 March 2013

Fairy Bread, Sleepy Head

Check out these Oasap tights! *Droooool*. Aren't they awesome? (They're not super dooper thin either, if you're thinking of purchasing them!) And yes, I cut a fringe into my new wig - and I'm not sure if I made it better or worse. Time will tell...

blouse - Vintage
sweater - Vintage
necklace - Claire's (Japan)
tights - c/o Oasap
skirt - Vintage
shoes - c/o Yes Walker
hat - c/o Wholesale

Why do we yawn? One of my new favourite science bloggers, Katie from the Molecular Circus, tried to answer this question on her blog the other day. It's a really interesting read! There are several theories as to why we yawn, and science still doesn't really know - my favourite theory is the empathy one, but it's likely there are a couple of reasons for the existence of yawning. (Click here to read her post!)
Also, did I make all you guys yawn with all this talk of yawning? No? How about a photo - will that help?

Hope you're all having a happy day!

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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Lace & Hearts / Mind Reading & Barnum

As promised yesterday, here is my new Choies wig and Yes Walker flats together in an outfit! It is super dooper hot weather today (Australia doesn't seem to understand that it is autumn yet), but I really wanted to wear these tights, so I paired it all with this simple, summery lace dress from Koogal.

dress - c/o Koogal
tights - c/o My Tights
shoes - c/o Yes Walker
necklace - c/o Oasap
wig - c/o Choies

Okay, guys. For something different today, I'm going to tell you, yes you, reading right now, some things about yourself. Before you read below, just read this list of qualities, and take tick each one off if it applies to you. And then ask yourself - does Annika know me? Has she read my mind?? (Didn't you guys know that I can read minds now?)

So, here goes -
Most of the time you are positive and cheerful, but there is a time in the past where you were very upset.
At times you feel very sure of yourself, whereas other times you are not as confident.
You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself.
At times you have serious doubts whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing, but generally you have had a positive influence on the people in your life.

You have just experienced what is known in psychology as "The Barnum Effect". Popular with astrology sections in magazines and psychics, the Barnum effect shows how easily we can be manipulated into believing that the vaguest statements are actually meaningful insights into our own lives.

Think about the above sentences. Did they apply to you? They probably also applied to most of the people reading this post.
Okay, so it's likely you thought this test in particular was silly, because it's obvious that I, Annika, am not going to know all about you and your personality through some kind of psychic blogger powers.

But this test, when given by some kind of authority figure (or by someone who claims to have 'mysterious powers') works extremely well. In fact, the original "Barnum test" was masked as a "personality test" (just like a self-test you might find in a trashy mag), in which psychology students in the 1940s had to answer some questions on their personality. They were then all given pieces of paper with "feedback", and asked to rate how well it applied to themselves. Most gave it a rating of 4 to 5 out of 5 for accuracy. Only afterwards was it disclosed that all the "feedback" given was entirely identical to everyone elses.
(original image source)
Our brains are interesting things, and it's good to know how your own one can be fooled ;)

I hope you're all super well,

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Friday, 22 March 2013

Product Reviews: A New Wig & Cute Shoes

I like to think that with my collection of wigs now at 10+, I have a good idea of what makes a good wig and what makes a bad one.
I was sent this wig by Choies. If you saw my last wig review, you would know that I think the quality of the Choies wigs is superior to Ebay-bought ones. This is definitely true with this new Choies wig. At $32 (I think it is permanently "on special"), it is well worth getting this wig over a $10 or $20 one from Ebay. While ebay wigs can be great, the cheaper ones (from around the $10 mark) from Ebay are good for the first day or so... and then the hair starts falling out. EVERYWHERE. All the wigs I have gotten from Choies thus far have been a lot more sturdy, and I've gotten a good few months wear out of one of them, that is only now starting to become quite ratty (and I think that's unavoidable if you're dealing with synthetic hair).
If you watched my last wig review video, you'd know that I prefer my wigs to have long bangs. I'm not sure whether or not I'm going to cut this one yet - or if I will keep pinning it up like in the picture below. Obviously, the situation in the picture above is not ideal (if I want to see).
While my new short haircut is great, having long swooshy hair occasionally is still really fun. The link to this particular wig is here.

These ankle strap flats from Yeswalker are another item that I was asked to review on my blog.
I have been after a pair of simple black flats with a cute ankle strap for quite some time now! If I hadn't been asked to review these (and so was sent them for free), I would have bought something very similar, very soon. And these would have been a really good choice. At only $28 (and free shipping!), these shoes are well worth the price. They are elasticated, super comfy, and look adorable. I can't wait to wear them with a pair of thick white tights (unfortunately, I have destroyed all the white tights that I owned). However, they happen to look super cute with basically any socks you can think of pairing them with:
both socks from Japan (Thank You Mart & Tutuanna) / heart tights c/o My Tights

I am wearing both of these in my next outfit post! So make sure you come back to have a look at them in action tomorrow.

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Thursday, 21 March 2013

Lady Anachronism / Tetrachromacy

This blouse is entirely incredible. For the last few days, I've been pairing it with high-waisted shorts, skirts and polka dot dresses! It works with everything, and I can either tie it up at the waist or do up the buttons all the way down, which makes it a very versatile item!

blouse - c/o Choies
dress - Vintage
hat - c/o Wholesale
necklace - Claire's (Japan)
shoes - Vintage
socks - Cotton On

After I talked about colour vision in my last post, Emily alerted me to something called tetrachromacy, which I'm going to talk about here today!

First off, most humans are "trichromats", meaning we have three different types of cells  (called cones) in our eyes that can detect three different wavelengths, or colour ranges. One type of cone detects red colours, one detects green and the last, blue.

However, quite a few humans who have "colour-blindness", and many mammals (like dogs) are only "dichromats". This means they only have two types of cones in their eyes and so see a smaller range of colours than trichromats.
Then there are some animals that experience more than the colours that we can see. Many birds and insects are what are called "tetrachromats", because they have four types of cones in their eyes. This means they are able to see all the colours we see (red, green and blue), plus a whole range of ultra-violet colours as well. And just as it would be impossible to describe 'red' to someone who is red/green colourblind, it would be impossible to imagine what the world would look like with so many additional colours.

Theoretically, tetrachromats would be able to see millions more colours than we could see. They could distinguish between two shades of blue, for example, that would look identical to a trichromat. Although tetrachromacy has been said to exist (rarely) in humans, this has been hard to confirm experimentally (and there are claims that tests on so-called tetrachromats have been flawed due to insufficient blinding leading to the Clever Hans effect - something I'll talk about in a science post real soon).

However, science may be able to turn people into tetrachromats.

Scientists have been able to, via gene therapy, transform rats and monkeys who were only dichromats ("blind" to red and green colours) into trichromats. The method still needs some confirming, however if it does work, this technique could be adapted to allow colourblind people to see, and possibly even allow normal "trichromats" the chance to see in tetrachromatic vision! Which would be like having a mildly cool superpower, I think. (Read more about this in a very interesting article in the Scientific American).

How are you all doing today?

p.s. I have announced the winner of the Koogal giveaway! Thank you so much to all the people who entered and the awesome effort that you all put in! I was inspired by all the outfits people put together with Koogal items. Congratulations Ashley K. (I have sent you your voucher!)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Icecream / Colours & Theory of Mind

Today I decided that imitating a giant ice cream would be a fine idea, and I have not regretted it one bit. Except that I somewhat melted in the almost-autumn-heat wearing my new op-shop finds: this lilac sweater and mint-green blouse. Aren't they the prettiest things?

blouse - vintage
sweater - vintage
skirt - c/o Faith & Lola
hat - c/o Wholesale
tights - Yoshida
shoes - Chicory
clips - DIY

Alright, so this is really interesting to me as both a science-minded lady and someone who is into fashion! Again, I have another science post all about perception, to convince you that the "realities" we experience are largely all in our own minds. This thought experiment has always interested me: the colours we experience are less of an absolute physical property of the world, and more something our mind interprets as all the different colours of the rainbow.  Colour is an illusion. Therefore, both you and I could look at an apple, and call it "red", but my "red" could be totally different to your "red", and if I were to hop inside your brain and have a look at your "red", I might think it was actually green. Have a watch of this video from the fantastic V-sauce, who explains this idea a little better then I did just there.

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Saturday, 16 March 2013

Oh my heart beats in it's cage / Inattentional Blindness

I HAVE SUCH EXCITING NEWS! I'm doing some pretty goofy expressions in these photos, which you'll have to excuse me for - I couldn't stop smiling really ludicrously/crying from happiness, as I'd just found out that I have been asked to be a part of my university's 'talented student program', WHICH MEANS that I might get to do special research projects and maybe even present them to a bunch of proper scientists at proper science conferences, and basically, BE A REAL-LIFE, PROPER SCIENTIST, getting to throw myself into some research instead of just studying what's already been discovered! I am a billion times over the moon about this and just had to share it with you all :D

As for my outfit today: I looove this Koogal sweater! I've been wearing it every single day since I got it in the mail. It goes so well with circle skirts and denim shorts. For this outfit though, I paired it with some cute red gumboots, a red skirt and a red backpack so I kind of have a colour-themed thing going on here. I've also got a giveaway running from Koogal at the moment which you can enter (if you haven't already) here!

sweater - c/o Koogal
skirt - Wholesale
socks - c/o Sock Dreams
boots - Ebay
backpack - Asos

I received some feedback on my explanation of the Ames room in my mini-magazine that I posted yesterday, with a reader expressing surprise that human perceptions can be tricked so easily! I'm really interested in the study of human perception, because when you get into it, a large amount of what we perceive (of what we think of as reality) is just totally made up by our brains. Here's one of my favourite demonstrations of how little attention we pay to reality: Inattentional Blindness.
This video is from Derren Brown, who demonstrated the phenomenon with his "person swap". Basically, he asks for directions from passerbys, then swaps around with a totally different person during a slight distraction - and gauges whether the passerby notices the change. Many people don't.

I particularly love at 2:20 when he swaps with a female, and the woman he was talking to doesn't appear to notice in the slightest.

Yeah. Human beings are pretty bad judges of reality.