The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

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On an Edge with a Fire Behind You

Posted on February 27, 2013

In Russian, voicing the word “Murmansk” properly would mean to voice it intensely, with the accent on the “u” and a pitch that naturally deepens. The tongue should roll with the “r”, and it should conclude definitively with a crisp “k” click, allowing the word’s powerful phonetics to ring in pulsating waves emanating from the speaker’s vibrating throat. The name Murmansk was born from the local Sami word murman, meaning “the edge of the earth”. My friends and I stepped out of the train station into a thick fog produced by our own heavy breaths. The immediate city was gray and coated with a crust of dirt, apart from the sea foam green façade of the station, a circular building with a garish obelisk…

Oh, Life

Posted on February 21, 2013

The sun around five in the afternoon has this way of hitting my most glamorous and sparkly item of clothing. The sun rays bolt through the window in one awesome and solid beam of light, crashing upon the hundreds of tiny mirrors sewn onto a gossamer piece of black silk. What results is magic; what would be an ordinary room is now a sanctuary of gold flakes and warmth, the stream of sun collides and leaves itself to be thousands of baby beams creating Lilliputian splats of shine, and the mediocrity and chaotic disarray of this room, and indeed of my current life, are masked, if only for a few short minutes until the sun grows tired of its spot and moves on. Good…

An Ethnography of American Hockey

Posted on February 11, 2013

My passion for hockey begins at the stadium entrance and dissipates at the exit. Other than tennis and soccer, most other sporting events are simply that – an event, a primeval gathering of people watching the few chosen to perform and put on a good show with tact and sweat and skills beyond the average denizen. The universality of sports is an infectious and powerful thing: it is the tangible manifestation of good and evil, a time when you have no choice but to be dangerously on edge, your mood subject to more fluctuations in half an hour than a manic depressive person off their meds. When your team approaches the goal, you feel something bubble up inside and you’re dizzy with excitement, or…

The Benefits of the Dog

Posted on February 3, 2013

This is Sammy. It was a star-crossed move that I wasn’t around when my family adopted her, otherwise I would’ve pressed to name her Ernest Hemingway II. She’s still a baby at seven months. She has an inexplicable obsession with fuzzy socks, and she fears loud noises but nevertheless chases trucks. Behold: my top five reasons why having a dog has improved my quality of life, if not added the same amount of years to my life span that living in Russia has shaved off. 1) Energy. As human beings, it is a relatively common phenomenon to mimic the moods or energy levels of those around us (if you’re surrounded by crappy people it’s easier to be in a crappy mood). A baby dog…