Standing on Mars

One of my first books on Astronomy was about the planets.  It had a collection of pictures from the first missions to each of the worlds in our solar system.   Seeing those photos, the planets felt so alien, so different, and the perspective was like something out a 1950s science fiction comic.  But now, with modern advancements in imaging technology and rocketry, we can send heavier instruments to distant worlds, and see them in high definition.  It changes the perspective and makes the world seem more familiar than alien, more livable and real.  Take a look at the first picture...

Saturn Double Shot 2/2: Enceladus Eruptions Explained

One of the most surprising and intriguing finds during the decade-long Cassini mission has been the discovery of geysers on the Moon Enceladus.  Originally spotted in 2005, scientists have spent the last decade trying to understand how they work.  And now they finally have a working model. How does an eruption on a frigid Moon last so long?  Eruptions on Earth are not long-lived, and if they are, they are very spread out. For Enceladus to have a ton of localized geysers in the South polar region, you need some pretty specific scenarios. Aside from the fact that a constant stream of material could clog...

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...

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...

Motivation Monday: Recovery

The world is a hard place.  We all fall and crash into it from time to time.  Failure hurts, whether it’s your first time or your 500th. And we all feel it.  Everyone fails, no one is exempt. Even people who you consider wildly successful have failed, probably more often than you would think, or they would admit.  And because we all fail, we all need some time to pick ourselves up, dust off, and get back in the game.  Because if there is one thing that’s absolutely true, it’s that failure is only permanent if you stop trying.  So get...

Motivation Monday (On Tuesday): Small Adjustments

As I move past week 8 of my new workout regiment, I find myself thinking about two things: I’m getting used to this workout, and need to spice things up I have a 10K run coming up in 10 weeks, and I have a goal time of 60 minutes. With a race and a major goal coming up, I am thinking about more specific training – to drop some weight, increase my stamina, and up my running pace.  Combine that with the need to change up my workouts, and it’s time for a new routine. Adjusting the process can be...

Motivation Monday: The Little Victories

The difficulties and struggles of today are but the price we must pay for the accomplishments and victories of tomorrow. – William J. H. Boetcker There’s a goal you have in mind.  It’s big, it’s difficult to achieve, and if you succeed it will look good to everyone else who sees you accomplish it.  People will envy you and wonder how you did it.  they will see the huge difference it has made in your life and it will inspire them.  But there is a lot that they don’t see. I’ve talked about the grind, the adjustment, the focus and...

Motivation Monday: The Pushback

It’s easy to talk about motivation, staying strong, staying inspired, working hard, pushing yourself, making adjustments, sticking to a plan, setting goals, and giving it your all.  But it’s hard to admit defeat.  It’s hard to tell the world that you’re struggling, and that it’s harder than you expected.  If you do, chances are you will feel ashamed, especially after being so positive about recent progress.  Nobody wants to admit to the world that they failed at anything, especially in a world where success gets the spotlight and failure is checked at the door. But this is part of the journey too, the...

Valentine’s ‘Holiday’

I think valentine’s day is a waste of time and money.  It’s great to show someone that you love them, but do we all have to buy a bunch of stuff on one particular day because ‘it’s the norm?’ I am not single, but when I was, I spent just as much time loathing this pointless day.  So in the spirit of saying no to a useless commercial ‘holiday,’ here is a picture of a lonely star, instead of some heart-shaped astronomical object. The star pictured is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, and although it is part of a...