That Crash Test Girl

Real life experimenting – a history

When I was a child, I really enjoyed doing experiments. Sometimes these were science experiments I did for school, like planting bean sprouts in cottonwool filled containers and seeing how well they grew in different environments, or seeing what kind of material best protected an egg when dropped from a great height.

During non-school hours, I satiated my curiosity about the workings of the world by conducting more, slightly random experiments of my own design. How long, for instance, would it take to train myself to write legibly with my toes? With enough tender care, could I bring an ant back to life after holding it under water? (Spoiler alert: despite this early warning sign, I did not grow up to be a serial killer. It turns out that ants can hold their breath and survive for quite awhile sitting under water, and while I was convinced that it was my efforts to imitate human resuscitation techniques i.e. very gentle blowing on the little creatures and softly squeezing them in the “heart area”, that had bought them back to life, the ants turned out to have been alive all along, if slightly terrified*).

As I grew up and learned more about the world, some of my questions were answered and some of my theories debunked. Other questions always seemed to be cropping up, however. Would cutting back on sugar really give me more energy? (yes) Would daily meditation cure me of procrastination? (not yet) Could taking flaxseed oil help with my allergies (the discovery of one severe allergy to flaxseed later, no).

The internet was a god-send; for every question I had, someone always had the answer. Or had at least made a semi-informed, well-meaning guess at the answer. I harrassed google with what-ifs and skimmed through forums for home remedies, all the while looking for answers to the questions we all want answered: how can I be healthier, how can I be happier, how can I be…more awesome? While there were clues scattered alll over the web, my childhood science lessons rang in my ears. Heresay wasn’t going to be enough. A little research did not necessarily a fact make. I wanted solid answers to these questions. I wanted experiential data. I wanted proof.

And so That Crash Test Girl was born, as I decided to make myself the dummy behind the wheel of my own life tests. What you see on this blog are the results of my monthly and weekly experiments with popular theories about how to make my health/happiness/relationships/work/life better. We’ll probably get to know each other a bit more as it goes along, and sometimes there might be a picture of a cat or two, or Ryan Gosling, just for good measure.

If you want to play along, I’d love to hear about it. Have a Crash Test you’d like run or a question to ask? Drop me a line at and we’ll see what we can do together. This is going to be fun, I promise you.

Yours experimentally,

A very serious picture of my face. Let’s consider this our before photo.

That Crash Test Girl

*No ants were harmed in the making of this blog. Really truly. I love ants.