Cassini Science: Ring Propellors

As I was watching the grand finale of Cassini and listening to the mission team talk about the accomplishments of the mission, I learned a little bit about propellors.  Not your typical airplane propellor, but the name used to describe this fascinating feature in Saturn’s rings. Seeing Saturn’s rings from afar, or even relatively close with Cassini, we see the rings as perfect.  How do we end up with strange features and imperfections like this one?  Looking elsewhere in the rings, we can find clues. The first clue is the namesake of the mission itself.  The Cassini spacecraft was named for...

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...

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...

Motivation Monday: The Detriment of Perfectionism

I am a perfectionist.  This means that although I work very hard on projects to put my best work forward, I also have a tendency to hold my own work to an insanely high standard.  It also means that when I see the incredible successes of others, I beat myself down for what I feel I haven’t yet accomplished.  It often leads to stress because I can almost never reach my own high standards, and depression occasionally follows because they can’t be met.  I have curbed these tendencies over the years, by understanding exactly what I need to feel accomplished,...