Motivation Monday (on Tuesday): A Week Off

Most of my motivation posts this year have been about the workout goal I set myself for the year, and for good reason.  It has kept me on track, motivating me if no one else.  After six months in the gym, I am certainly happy with how I’ve done, but for some reason I expected it to get easier with time.  If anything, it’s become more difficult, and so I did something a stubborn perfectionist like myself really hates: I took a week off. My week off meant no gym time, no careful measuring of eating habits, and a later...

Back to it!

After a relatively long hiatus, I am back blogging.  I am currently more than 22 posts behind my “post every day” goal, so expect some short and sweet posts to make up the difference.  I’m not worried about it, because life gets busy, and we all have other priorities.  But I’m glad to be back.  A true love of Astronomy and Space will always keep me here, writing about the new and exciting science in a field I have loved my whole life.   If you, reading this right now, are the only person who ever reads these words, I hope it adds...

A Lonely Universe?

Life in the universe is a fascinating topic.  The simplest question: Are we alone? It breeds so many deeper and more profound scientific questions, like “How many habitable planets are there?” “How likely is life to develop on any given planet?” and “How long can a civilization survive?” We can’t answer them definitively, but we can narrow it down. The Drake equation, shown above, was first developed by Frank Drake, the head of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), in 1961.  He took the question of are we alone and made it quantifiable, in a probabilistic way.  It lets us...

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: Perfection

When you imagine yourself in the future, do you see yourself perfecting something? Are you a perfect spouse? A perfect athlete? A perfect musician? Do you have a perfect body? A perfect job? A perfect life? It may be fun to dream about it, but perfection just doesn’t exist.  Being a young dreamer makes the idea of things being perfect in the future an exercise in hope, but when you get to the future, things don’t become more perfect.  If anything, they become more complicated, less perfect. The world is fascinated by those who are the best, the closest to...

New Life in Space

Humans have lived in Space. And so have fruit flies, mice, monkeys, chimpanzees, guinea pigs, rabbits, frogs, reptiles, and a variety of plants.  Now we can add a new life form to this list: Flowers.  The first ever space flower was revealed recently, and it’s a yellow Zinnia. Scott Kelly has been aboard the International space Station (ISS) for over 300 days.  It’s not an easy job, being away from loved ones, nature, and the rest of humanity, locked up with at most five other humans in a tin can that experiences a sunrise every 45 minutes.  It messes with...

Motivation Monday: Acquiring Knowledge

This past weekend, I participated in a speech contest, the theme of which was education.  I do have a lot of experience with education, but for this speech I tried to think more broadly about the topic, to find something that can relate to anybody.  It led me to think about education as more than just going to school or reading a book.  The acquisition of knowledge is about openness to new ideas and experiences, and having the bravery to try new things in order to learn.  This post is excerpts from my speech, and an analogy to education that...