Tag Archives: specks

Volunteering For NASA!

Picture: anime girl and stars.Over the past month, I’ve been doing volunteering for two NASA projects online. I spend two hours every other day, ten hours a week, viewing photos of space objects and classifying them. This volunteering gig is open to the public and you need not a science degree to participate! The benefits are: helping scientists with their research data and you gain awesome science experience! ^o^/

I learned about such programs from a YouTube channel that I follow daily called “Sci-show” in this video: The Awesome Power of Citizen Science. Links to the volunteering programs are in the video’s description! Immediately after the video, I decided to check it out, as I sometimes have a few hours to spare way early before dawn. I could spend that time writing longer blog posts, but I opted to do something really cool instead.

The two projects that I participate in is finding and classifying comets in space and identifying planet-forming disks. It was pretty easy to follow the tutorials on what I am to search for and it’s easy to check off what I’ve found within an image and then send in a report. There are forums, which are manned by scientists of NASA, who will answer any questions and give tips to volunteers. And other volunteers can discuss or socialize about their findings.

I very much wish to work for NASA or a local science lab in Minnesota someday, so this kind of volunteering work appeals to me and I enjoy every moment of it. I’ve learned so much and feel confident that I can successfully identify a comet from a star or a planet-forming disk from space debris.

I’m also interested in biology, so I do plan to join a cam-capture wildlife project as well, when it is approved for the site.  Within the peer review sample (as all new funded projects must be approved by the community first), I enjoyed spotting animals that I’ve never seen before in the US and reading the data on each identifying clue of that animal.

Science is cool! ^o^/

Picture: science cat.

Today’s song is: David Bowie – Space Oddity. Thanks for reading, as always!



Life Is About Perspective!

Picture: starry-space-.For months now, I’ve been uttering the same line of “Life is all about perspective” or some variant of that idea. It’s a motto that I’ve began living, after I had the revelation that “I’m a speck, on a speck, orbiting a speck, among other specks, among still other specks, in the middle of specklessness!”, to quote Bill Nye.

To explain, we are just a speck in scale to this huge planet Earth. However, Earth is just a speck in scale within our observable universe, about the size of a pixel. And our universe is just a speck in scale relating to the rest of space beyond it. From our point of view, our world may seem huge, but in reality it’s just a speck among other specks.

Another favorite quote that I enjoy is by Douglas Adams, “The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”.

Life is how I view it to be. If I choose to focus on the negative or insist that my life is crappy, then my life will be just that. If I choose to accept that sometimes crappy situations happen within my life, but overall my life isn’t over and there is much possibility for me to fill it with more positivity than negative, then my life will reflect that view as well. Life is about perspective.

I spend less time whining about the things that I cannot change and I try my best to adapt to the things that I can. That is not to say that I don’t ever whine or pout, to fold my arms and stomp my feet, or to cry. I still do those things when life doesn’t follow my plans, but I react this way much less these days.

Picture: anime spirit.I’m not choosing to be apathetic or unfeeling, as that’s an extreme against an extreme. I understand that sometimes it’s good to vent, to not always have a “stiff upper lip”. My family’s motto was to “never let them see you sweat!”, and my family seems to suffer with high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, ulcers, and other nasty illnesses that often leads to premature death in many cases.

These life-threatening illnesses may have been avoided if my relatives blew up emotionally once in a while. It’s just a theory of mine, as I never fit in with the family motto and, besides my eye disease, I’m in pretty good health. ^_-

I no longer allow myself to become stuck in venting or to focus on the negative for several months at a time. I’ve had a very crappy time of it in my life, which is putting it very mildly, but no longer is it an option for me to  curl up into a ball and give up on life.

Picture: You are here Space.Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed by my situations, or I start to believe that these situations are the biggest issue in the world, I take a moment to remind myself of another perspective. I simply look at a particular photo of space, and the tiny “You are here” and I calm down immediately. ( See paragraph picture, click to enlarge.)

I realize the issue that I may face in life is just a speck, on a speck, orbiting a speck, among other specks, among still other specks, in the middle of specklessness. It’s not as huge as I may perceive it to be, it’s not the end of the world nor universe. Whatever it is, I will get through it, like I always do. ^_^

This may not be THE answer to my quest for happiness, but it’s a very good direction, I think. There are many people in the world that have it worse off than I do and yet they seem to have happiness in their lives regardless. And the key to their happiness seems to be hinged on their perspective. Here’s one awesome example: Perks Of Going To The Hospital (The Clairity Project).

I’m not claiming that it’s easy to change one’s perspective about a negative card dealt in life. It does take a special PR skill to flip the script on a negative situation and view it as a positive experience. However, it’s not impossible to do, and I gain my help from the support of my family and therapist, for the really huge chunks of negative.

In other words, I don’t give up and decide what to do with the time that is given to me. I could spend the time wisely and to my advantage, or I could spend it curled up in a ball. It is my choice. It’s always my choice.

Thanks for reading this speck, from a speck on a speck! ^_^v