Category Archives: Quirk

Having Fun in the Pun

Angry Writing Utensil

-Marissa Tomko

In drafting this story, I started by taking notes on paper. But then my pencil broke, which was no good. To write with a broken pencil is pointless. So I went in search for a new one, but it was hard because I was feeling very confused. After all, I feel like we’ve all asked the question: 2B or not 2B?

I’m willing to bet most people have already stopped reading this because they hate puns so much. For those of you who haven’t, thank you! You are among the chosen few who appreciate this form of humor as much as I do!

As it turns out, puns have a long history. According to NPR, they date back to the seventh century BC, if not further. While most big languages have puns, English is one of the lucky few that is particularly punny. This is thought to be due to the fact that the language pulls from so many others, giving it a rather extensive vocabulary.

Another language word magicians would have pun with? Sanskrit. Former presidential speechwriter for Bill Clinton, John Pollack, says there’s a good chance that the word “pun” came from the language. In Sanskrit, “pundit” means someone who explains ambiguous situations, and there’s a good chance “pun” comes from the same root.

In an interview with NPR, Pollack gave an explanation as to what gives this kind of joke power, or PUNch if you will. It can be found both in the ambiguity of the wordplay and in its ability to build up more than one meaning into a phrase with fewer words.

For those of you who are looking to take puns to the next level, you might consider trying your luck at the annual O. Henry Pun-Off, where contestants pun away stand-up style!

If these jokes still make you wrinkle your nose like you smelled something pungent, calm down. Take a deep breath. And get some acuPUNcture. I hear it’s great for stress relief.

Flux Playlist: About Time For A Montage

Sometimes you just need three to five minutes to turn your life around—it sounds like it’s time for a montage. Need to study for that big test? Need to run a 10k? Need to beat that fighter in the ring? Need to clean your apartment (or yourself)?

Really, any aspect of your life can be improved with the motivational tune of a good montage song. Go run up some stairs to a government building. Slam that textbook shut. Swirl out of the dressing room in the fifth pantsuit. It’s montage time.



Push It To The Limit – Paul Engemann
Hung Up – Madonna
Holding Out For A Hero – Bonnie Tyler


The Final Countdown – Europe
You’re the Best – Joe Esposito
Now You’re a Man- DVDA


Hungry Eyes – Eric Carmen
Never – Moving Pictures
Married Life – Michael Giacchino


Let’s Hear It For the Boy – Deniece Williams
Watch Me Shine – Joanna Pacitti
Why Can’t I – Liz Phair


I Wanna Rock – Twisted Sister
I Want You To Want Me – Cheap Trick
Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Do Not Fail The Snail Mail


-Marissa Tomko

“Okay, I’ll send you a letter!” said no one ever.

But really, be honest. When is the last time someone mailed you a personal letter? I bet you remember because you either a) noticed how thoughtful it was, or b) thought it was weird, or, c) some combination of the two because who doesn’t love thoughtfulness and weirdness?

In any case, I think that there is something so beautiful about a handwritten letter, and it’s sad they don’t hold as much relevance in today’s society. The combination of seeing somebody’s handwriting scrawled across the page, the postdate stamp looking all artistic, and the sheer idea of receiving mail all make me feel giddy and nostalgic.

My parents raised my brother and I as strict thank-you noters—not a single gift or birthday card goes unthanked by either of us. As a kid, I was in constant correspondence with my sister-in-law who, looking back, was such a trooper for putting up with my lengthy notes idolizing her. Waiting for her mystical, fairy-sticker-covered letters was part of my daily ritual. Even now, I find myself writing letters to friends who have found themselves around the world and lacking constant access to computers. That is precisely the reason that letters have fallen out of style: technological advances.

A study cited by the Wall Street Journal found that the average time since an adult put a pen to paper for any reason was forty-one days, and in the past two decades, the US Postal Service noted that the number of letters mailed dropped by 10 billion.

Of course, there is surely something to the modern day email and text message. They’re instantaneous, you can send them from your smartphone, and they’re so much easier to edit and send to multiple people. But what will our children have to read? Instead of leafing through Love Letters of Great Men, will they be Googling “One Hundred Ways To Say ‘Love Ya’ With Emoticons?”

There is also the matter of etiquette. If a member of a friend’s family passes, do you shoot them an email? No. You send them a letter of condolence. It’s the polite thing to do. And what if you receive an generous gift from your grandmother who still thinks Apple is just a fruit? You can’t really iMessage her sweet soul, you have to send her a nice note!

A friend recently showed me Handiemail, a website that can write out your emails or type out your letters. So crazy that it just might work? Eh, I think it’s just crazy. Half of the fun of letters is being able get to know someone through their handwriting. You might tell me I’m still hanging on to being 16-years-old, but I definitely still have cards and notes from my high school boyfriend tucked away because of how cute and horrible his handwriting was. Being able to look back on something like that with a smile is not possible if some random machine did it for you.

Even if you aren’t trying to profess your love or say you’re sorry to someone, take ten or twenty minutes sometime this week and write a nice letter. Maybe you want to thank your roommate’s family for hosting you last weekend, or maybe you have a friend at another school who you haven’t had time to call lately. Imagine their surprise if they were to receive a letter, in the mail—the real mail! I can think of few things more thoughtful.

Phobia Here, Phobia There; Phobias Phobias Everywhere!


-Marissa Tomko

I have coccinellidaephobia.

It’s so bad, especially during the beautiful spring months. I’m so afraid. The reason I am skeptical to tell you what this phobia means is because looking at the word that coccinellidaephobia is associated with gives me the biggest chills.

Okay, I think I can tell you now. It’s not like I have logophobia. If I did, I’d have to reroute my career goals.

Ladybugs. THERE. I said it. Coccinellidaephobia is the fear of ladybugs and I have only ever heard of two other people who have it. So please, if you do, feel free to comment below. I could really use you right now.

There are a lot of wacky fears out there, and I have complied a list of what I find to be the top ten most interesting. (Note: If you suffer from phobophobia, I suggest you leave now.

Geliophobia: The fear of laughter

Why did the chicken cross the road? I’m not going to tell you, just in case you suffer from this phobia.

Dextrophobia: Fear of objects at the right side of the body

As a left handed member of society, I respect this fear.

Nomophobia: The fear of being out of mobile contact

Let’s be honest, we all have this to some degree.

Barophobia: The fear of gravity

Well, meet you on the moon, I guess.

Arachibutyrophobia: The fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth

If you suffer from this, my advice is to avoid elementary school cafeterias.

Bibliophobia: The fear of books

Hey! I think I developed this during finals week last quarter!

Syngenesophobia: The fear of relatives

There are a couple of people in my family that cause this fear in me. And no, I’m not going to name any names.

Ablutophobia: The fear of washing or bathing

I think my little brother suffers from this. But it’s fine, he still smells good . . . somehow.

Ephebiphobia: The fear of teenagers

Okay, okay. This is fair. Teenagers are pretty sketchy characters.

Koumpounophobia: The fear of buttons

Zippers are way easier to work anyway.

Restroom Responsibilities: A Social Contract

Foreboding Toilet

-Casey Klekas

The public restroom is a beautiful thing. It is a very private affair, I think, to use the restroom. Yet, we’ve come to an agreement that we can all use these rooms for that very private use—the most intimate use—so long as everybody abides by a few simple rules. It goes without saying—but I’ll just go ahead and say it—that when you walk into a restroom, there are certain responsibilities that you have just accepted.

I can only speak for myself, a magnificent young mammal of the male persuasion, but I know that when I walk into a public restroom I have just agreed to clean that toilet seat, regardless of my treatment of it. I will probably even clean the landing where the porcelain meets vinyl. Furthermore, if the toilet is clogged before my entrance, there is no way to prove that I didn’t do it myself. Unless I perform some kind of public disgust in front of the restroom door, there is a high chance that the next in line will charge me with the crime.

I’d say the guiding principle of using public restrooms is that they should be cleaner upon departure than they were on arrival. If that sounds like too much to ask, then simply leave no trace, regardless of author, that you might be embarrassed to be associated with.

This is a principle I have learned the hard way. I was not the most accurate six-year-old in my class. I also had the proclivity to mark my territory, if you know what I mean—oh, in the corner of a room, private or public, or behind the toy chest. But, in regards to the restroom, I wasn’t a flusher. I would rarely lift the seat. Once I was leaving the restroom in such a state when an older boy I knew walked in behind me. As he passed I said, “Hey, someone peed all over the seat in there. Gross, huh?”

Another time I was over at my best friend Steven’s house when his sister came charging in the room and threatened her “little brat of a brother” with a fresh beating because of what she found in the bathroom (a true Jackson Pollack). A wide-eyed Steven denied his involvement, but even his sister was embarrassed when I raised my hand and confessed. She watched me clean my chef-d’oeuvre from the seat.

When I was old enough for employment, I often had to clean the bathrooms of our establishment—bathrooms whose primary clients were ages four through ten. This is where I learned the merits of hard work and the error of my ways.

“Who did this?!” But how could I bring myself to reprimand the little communists of whose party I used to be a member. Let he who is without guilt cast the first stone, I always say.

The motto that I’ve come to adopt, stolen from somebody’s grandmother, is, “If you sprinkle while you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seaty.” I like to add, “If you hit the floor, wipe some more.”

Flux Playlist: A Disney Disco

What do we want to be when we grow up? Obviously, we want to be college students who still listen to Disney songs. And, hey, we’ve achieved our dream!

This playlist was difficult to make: how on Earth are we supposed to pick just three Disney songs each to represent the bulk of our childhood? How can such a tiny number of songs properly convey the memories these lyrical tunes inspire in each of us? From The Little Mermaid to Ducktales to Bambi, we hope our choices are able to bring you back to a simpler time, a time of mom cutting your spaghetti and tee-ball practice. A time of Disney.


A Whole New World – Aladdin
My Lullaby – The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride
Part of Your World – The Little Mermaid


Colors of the Wind – Pocahontas
Kiss The Girl – The Little Mermaid
Almost There – Princess and the Frog


I’ll Make a Man out of You – Mulan
Hakuna Matata – The Lion King
Go the Distance – Hercules


Little April Shower – Bambi
So This Is Love – Cinderella


Everybody Wants To Be A Cat – The Aristocats
The Circle Of Life – The Lion King
When You Wish Upon A Star – Pinocchio


Rescue Aid Society – The Rescuers
Stand Out + Eye to Eye – A Goofy Movie
Duck Tales Theme Song – Ducktales

Flux Playlist: A Classical Cacophony

We don’t mean to brag, but we’re pretty classy people.  We enjoy beverages with our pinkies out; we curl our mustaches when we’re deep in philosophical thought; we tut disapprovingly at things we find displeasing. The list goes on. Another super classy thing we partake in on occasion is listening to classy classical music. This week’s playlist gathers together some of our favorite forays into lyric-less, instrumental music. Sit down, back straight, fold a napkin on your lap, and enjoy.


Bach: Sonata No.1 for Solo Violin in G- BWV1001 – Nathan Milstein
Violin Concerto in C minor, RV 199 ‘Il sospetto’ – Itzhak Perlman
Flight of the Bumblebee – Rimsky-Korsakov


Somewhere in Time – Sergei Rachmaninoff
Main Title (Game of Thrones) – Ramin Djawadi
To the Stars – Randy Edelman


La Campanella – Franz Liszt
Bella’s Lullaby – Carter Burwell
Transatlanticism – Vitamin String Quartet


Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven
Hungarian Dance – Johannes Brahms
Ride of the Valkyries – Richard Wagner


Attaboy – Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile
Waltz #7 – Chopin
Lake Erie Rainfall – Jim Brickman


Daphnis et Chloé: suite nº 2 – von Karajan and Berliner Philharmoniker
La Vallée des Cloches (Miroirs, No. 5) – Sviatoslav Richter

Translating the (Ridiculous) Language of Redbox


-Reed Nelson

Take a trip to your local Redbox. With you, take a pad of paper, preferably pocket-sized, and a writing utensil, preferably not a fountain pen. Write down the movies you see.

Go ahead, I’ll wait. You can find more of them in this town than street signs in the University District.

But if you don’t want to scroll through such memorable titles as Stitches, Skew, Pawn, and Expiration, here is what you missed: an electronic box featuring a mystically infinite selection of films with titles like Stitches, Skew, Pawn, and Expiration.

Sure, Academy Award winning films can be found at most locations (Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, and Django Unchained to name a few), but why would anyone rent something that pretentious when K-11, the story of Raymond Saxx—two x’s, in case the first one got lost in plot detail—is available. According to the informational screen, it’s about a businessman who gets sent to the LGBT wing of the Los Angeles County Jail where he then gets Nasty-Nated by “Mousey, a malicious transgendered inmate.”

Redbox, you have my attention. Especially when the opening line of plot info on Life of Pi reads, “A Montreal writer in search of his next project happens across the incredible story of Piscine Militor Patel.” Boring.

Why would I want a title longer than ten characters, anyway? 140 is so 2010. If I’m renting a movie, I’m renting Jacob, a movie that most definitely stars the Baby Sinclair puppet from Dinosaurs, but all grown up.

Or maybe I’ll just go with The Wicked or The Collection or The Bay. Or another one that starts with “the.”

Lord knows I’m not making that intrepid journey up to the last remaining Blockbuster in South Eugene. So what if I wanted to rent Annie Hall or The Squid and the Whale? I came home just as happy with The Marine 3: Homefront and Ghost Storm, the latter of which is a movie about two heroes saving the wonderful folks “on a small island from a strange electrical storm which is led by angry souls looking for revenge.”

(Again, their words, not mine. But, information authors at Redbox, that whole leaving-out-the-name-of-the-island move? Well played. I need to know. Like, right now.)

But Redbox is like Steve Jobs: I don’t know I want it until Redbox gives it to me. Vengeful Ghost Storms? Yup. I’m in. I already have so many questions. Like, is this based on a true story? How many ghosts does it take to make a Ghost Storm? Are there Ghost Drizzles? How about Ghost Hurricanes? Or do supernatural atmospheric occurrences peter out around Ghost Nor’easters? Are the individual ghosts visible during one of these storms? Or is it just like a collective energy kind of thing? Why is there no mention of Ghost Cellars? If this is a remote island, shouldn’t they have severe storm precautions? How does a Ghost Storm differ from, say, a Mount Olympus-inspired Midwestern thunder-and-lightening throw-down? Could those two types of storms duke it out in the sequel? Can you start a Kickstarter for the sequel involving warring storms?

See. Redbox was right. Ghost Storms are infinitely more interesting than stories of human behavior, test of will, and interpersonal relationships.

That’s why I don’t go to Blockbuster anymore. And it’s the same reason I traded in my working automobile for a Segway. Gas-mileage, baby, I’m progressive.

Blockbuster, after all, is so expensive. three dollars for a movie? Rather have a Red Bull Special Edition Blueberry, thank you very much. It doesn’t matter if I’ve seen all the award winners at Redbox, I’ll pay a dollar to see them again.

(I will then let them sit on my kitchen counter for the next six days, allowing them to become, individually, six dollar movies instead of one dollar movies, thus defeating the entire purpose. But, in the immortal words of Icona Pop: I crashed my car into a bridge. Wait that wasn’t right, I was looking for: I don’t care, I love it. That’s right, I love holding onto movies that I’m not all that into for an extended period of time, bleeding my bank account like some mini-Office Space siphon job.)

So, next time you want to rent a movie that you haven’t seen in a while, or maybe you just want to finally watch Shawshank Redemption for the first time, go instead to Redbox, and grab yourself a copy of So Undercover, starring Miley Cyrus. It’s totally the same thing, I swear.

Image by Valerie Everett.

On Trend: Style Profile-Holly Madrid


-Rache’ll Brown

With bold patterned bottoms and a hand-painted denim jacket, sophomore Holly Madrid shines in a sea of North Face jackets and over-worn Uggs here in the Pacific Northwest. Madrid’s style can be described as anything but traditional—her daring choices, love for the ‘90s, fondness for high-waisted anything, and belief that “every girl should own at least one fur jacket” makes this girl stand out. I sat down with Madrid to talk about thrifting, Clueless, and how to own a look like a boss.

How would you describe your style?

My style is kind of all over the place! But if I had to describe it, I would say that growing up in Los Angeles largely influences it.

Do you have any style icons?

Some people I admire are musicians Azealia Banks and Grimes, model Cara Delevingne, and Dionne’s character from the movie Clueless. These women wear outfits that most people would not go near or even think to buy, and I applaud them for their originality and bravery. It’s all about pushing the limits, and constantly wearing at least one piece of clothing that makes people question your sanity.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

I love online shopping. If I am looking for something specific, I can just type it into Google and instantly find it. When I’m feeling not-so-lazy, there’s a boutique called LF at home where I frequently spend too much money. If I feel like saving at home, I go to a flea market held on Fairfax & Melrose, and here in Eugene one can’t go wrong with Buffalo Exchange.

What is the coolest item you have come across at a thrift store?

Thrifting is awesome! I love it because you can leave home with twenty dollars and come back with what seems like an infinite amount of clothing or bizarre little tchotchkes. Well, besides all the Star Wars/NASCAR shirts I’ve found, I would have to say that my most recent find was my all time best—it’s a lime green dress with a high neckline, no sleeves, and covered with cut open lemons and oranges. It’s chaotic, but totally essential to my closet.

What makes the perfect outfit?

The first and most important part of an outfit is feeling comfortable and confident. If I’m wearing something that other people might think looks good, but I don’t feel my best in, it ruins my mojo completely. Dress in what you feel marvelous in, not in what you assume will impress others.

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On Trend: Campus Style

-Rache’ll Brown

Spring is in full swing, and by the looks of campus, students have fully embraced the seasonal change and are starting to take advantage of the beautiful weather. The vernal equinox signifies a new beginning, and there is no better way to enjoy a spring term than by adding some unique pieces to update a winter wardrobe.

Transitioning from fall to spring, sophomore Shelby Newton adds cute white sandals and a light pastel sweater to a trendy, yet simple, black and white base.

With a bright top and capris, freshman Marisa Baptista welcomes the warm weather with a casual and comfortable look.

Junior Chrissy Hardesty adds some color into an otherwise dark and classic outfit to create a fun flare for the season ahead.

Wearing a lace crop top and shorts, sophomore Suzie Meyer celebrates the beginning of spring! By adding a blazer and keeping her fall boots, Meyer starts spring with an effortlessly chic vibe.

Freshman Tracy Mok combines a floral scarf with a letterman jacket to bring her favorite old and new seasonal trends together.

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