Blogging, Books, Current Events, Learning, Poetry, Reviews, Technology, Writing

X-Factor: Look for the eXtraordinary Around Us and Extra

The X-factor typically refers to an intangible quality or attribute that sets someone or something apart from others, often contributing to their success or appeal. Something extraordinary in its own way! So here are a couple of things I read about recently, which I feel have that x-factor within. And of course, given I am featuring the letter X, I looked for ‘x’tra cool stuff.

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support. Please see the full disclosure for more information. I only recommend products I definitely would (or have already) use myself


eXtra Cool X-ings (Crossings)

On our drive back from LA a couple of weeks ago, we heard this news on the radio, about planned road closures on 101 in LA overnight. This is to enable construction of the “largest wildlife crossing in the world of its kind.” This $92 million project, called the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing, is a collaboration between various public and private organizations including Caltrans, the National Park Service and the National Wildlife Federation (souce).

Check out this picture book – Crossings – that brings to light the efforts being made by wildlife-lovers across the world to help animals safely travel across our increasingly urban world


Next, I bring you xenobots. Xenobots certainly seem to have been made with an x-factor all their own. Scientists created these living machines capable of a few years ago, and today, they have made something more (Anthrobots, from adult human tracheal cells) possible.

Xenobots get their name from the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) for scientists used the cells from this frog to create these livingbots!

(source: various including Wikipedia)

Books With the X-Factor

Picked a book with a number at the start of the title (excluding ‘the’) for this letter!! Another Cybils finalist…

The 1619 Project

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson with illustrations by Nikkolas Smith  (Children’s Multicultural Biographies in Verse | 6 – 10 years, and up)

Description: The 1619 Project’s lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States.

Quick Thoughts: eXtraordinary indeed!

Riffs and Rhymes with the X-Factor (or not)?

The Day 27 NaPoWriMo prompt is to write an “American sonnet,” which is generally 14 lines (but not necessarily!), discursive, and tends to end with a bang, but there’s no need to have a rhyme scheme or even a specific meter.

My attempt at the American sonnet. While I am not sure it fits the definition, it does have 14 lines, no real rhythm, has some rhyme, and seems discursive (to me at least!). Or rather, seems like my normal dive-into-rabbit-holes-of-myriad-connecting-thoughts actually.

Laughter peeled ahead of me,
somewhere in that shadow-darkened alley.
Brought to mind those canned laughs
on old time and newer comedy shows.
Did I remember to buy those black beans?
For I promised my family Taco Tuesday.
I could use the rest up in a summery salad,
maybe tempt summer to show up that way..
Last week was spring-like but today,
we reverted to chills of December.
That was when we were basking in the Florida sun,
gaping at gators and sipping some ‘ritas for fun.
I snapped back from my reverie
heard a keening cry shred the air.

~ Vidya Tiru @ Ladyinreadwrites

eXcuse Me, Kya Re from the movie Style (2001)

And Now, the End of this X-Factor Post

Dear reader, do let me know if you have read the book listed today? Will you attempt a poem today? Do share any book recommendations, poetry you loved or wrote, and of course, all and any thoughts on this post.

I am linking up to A-ZBlogchatterUBCNaPoWriMo

And you can find all my A-Z posts (this year and previous years’ as well) here:

A to Z Challenge Posts

9 thoughts on “X-Factor: Look for the eXtraordinary Around Us and Extra

  1. This is all really interesting. I learned some new things. I didn’t even know what Xenobots were or even knew it was a thing.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this list , I’m gonna check out each for a read so which I feel have that x-factor within too. Gonna explore more about the x factor. Cheers SiennyLovesDrawing

  3. That wildlife crossing project sounds amazing, and those xenobots are fascinating. I’ll definitely check out that picture book ‘Crossings’ and ‘The 1619 Project’ too. And your poem was a delightful addition!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *