Review: Planetary

On the heels of my last review, I watched another movie with a space-documentary theme.  Though it started out with the human perspective from space, it progressed into so much more.  This is the TVO documentary called Planetary. It began with Apollo.  Humanity broke the bonds of our world and set foot on another heavenly body.  For the first time, we could look back and see the world as it truly is.  One of my favourite quotes from the movie came up early, though I’m paraphrasing: We are the Earth, and the Earth is all of us.  Seeing the Earth...

Motivation Monday: Consistency or Change?

You’ve heard the advice before.  Be consistent to be successful over the long term.  Do the same basic things, eat less, move more, and don’t expect quick results.  It takes time to lose fat and gain muscle, and you won’t see the quick progress that you expect. On the flip side, it’s important to change it up to keep yourself interested.  Vary your exercises to keep your muscles guessing.  Your body gets used to a routine and doesn’t need to adjust after awhile, so keep changing it up and shock your system. Be consistent but change it up –  Two completely contradictory pieces of...

Motivation Monday: Start Now!

Now! Right now! Forget about reading this post, go out and do that thing that you should be doing to make your life better. Go! Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about why starting now is better than starting later.  There are so many excuses you can make when there’s something you want to do.  “There’s not enough time,” “I need to learn more or build a skill first,” “That just isn’t possible for me,” “I have to give up everything I have now.” It’s hard to start something new and work toward something different...

Motivation Monday: Forms of Distraction

What distracts you from doing the things you need to do? What keeps you from moving forward? We all know the common distractions – TV, games, alcohol, social media, etc.  But when you’re working on a particular goal, things that can seem positive can actually prevent you from achieving it.  You may not realize it, but there are plenty of counterintuitive forms of distraction. Let’s say that, like myself, you are working out at the gym, and you’re built up a pretty solid routine.  You go in the morning, go to work, and have your evenings free for other pursuits.  Now...

Motivation Monday: Uncertainty

In the world of science, there is no definite measurement.  In any quantity, there is what we call an uncertainty.  In a simple example, let’s say you were using a ruler to measure the length of a rope.  You line up the rope along the ruler, and take a reading.  But how sure are you that the rope was perfectly lined up with the end of the ruler? How certain are you that your reading was correct? There is always uncertainty.  It extends more broadly in life. I’m at a point in my life where I’ve been in the working...

Motivation Monday: Seasonal Downside

I am still here.  It’s been more than a week since I’ve written a word on the digital page, meaning there is a lot to catch up on for a guy who is trying to write a blog post every day.  But it happens, sometimes there are vacations, busy weeks at work, and crises to manage.  Life happens, yet still I continue.   Today’s motivation post will talk about part of the reason for my shift, and how I may be the only person who sees a changing season as a frustration, even if it is the long-awaited Spring. If you...

The Essence of Science and the Fringes of Reality

Data is fascinating.  And what’s even more fascinating is that the laws of nature produce predictable patterns in data.  For example, if you toss a coin 100 times and measure how many times heads comes up, you’ll get a number between zero and 100.  If you repeat that experiment again and again and again, you’ll get different values each time, but usually the number will be around 50, and 50 will come up more than any other value if you repeat the experiment enough times.  If you plot this data, with the # of heads in 100 coin tosses on...

Motivation Monday: The Impossible Made Possible

There is a secret to solving any problem.  You may have learned it in school, but you didn’t know it at the time.  It’s not always explicitly stated in solutions to problems, and you may have done it by accident once or twice.  It is elusive, but seems obvious when you’re aware of it.  If you know how to use it properly, you can turn any impossible task into something doable. The secret is to break things down.  To take any problem, as impossibly huge as it is, and split it into smaller chunks, manageable steps, and workable pieces.  Doing this, any...

Fake Saturn

I love false-colour images.  They reveal detail that you can’t see in real life, but they also highlight things in an artistic way.  For me it’s an excellent marriage of art and science, and as a communicator it helps me get concepts across in an accessible way.  So when I saw the APOD image of Saturn from earlier this week, I had to discuss it. Saturn never has looked this way, and it never will.  The colours are vivid and unrealistic, but they show the differences in three distinct but close wavelengths of light on the electromagnetic spectrum.  All of...

Motivation Monday: Routine

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” – Mike Murdock                  This morning was rough.  Getting up at 5am was getting easier.  Even though I was getting up in the dark, there would be a bit of morning twilight to greet me as I left my apartment, and by the time I left the gym, the full brightness of the day had arrived for my drive to work.  I didn’t need to turn on the headlights for the drive, even in the rainy weather. The time change made it tougher.  Suddenly I was up at what my...