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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

String Theory

There are times when I jump head first into immersing myself in subjects waaaay beyond my comfort zone.
And so, I've been delving into some online classes having to do with Physics. I have never taken a "real" physics class in my life, so these efforts deserve a pat on my back don't ya think?

Well, one of the classes I've been listening to is searchable on Google with the following search term:
"String Theory for the Scientifically Curious with Dr. Amanda Peet".
I was heartened to hear that she is a professor at one of my old schools, the University of Toronto.

Anyway, in case you are interested in just a tidbit of what I have gleaned so far from her talks....permit me to share just a few notes I jotted......

Particles can be described like marbles or like waves. Dr. Peet coined  a new funky term called "waveicles" which is  combination of the two descriptions. Particles can be round-ish and still have "wave-like" characteristics. And then there is "string theory" which describes particles as shaped like rounded strings or even wavy tube like "things".

Part of my self led educational journey has to do with increasing my vocabulary.....so here are some of the terms that I am attempting to add to my grey matter:
fermions and bosons
quarks and leptons
gravitons ( have not yet been actually seen)
W's or Z's
black holes


According to Dr. Peet there are four essential forces in the universe. The strongest force is known as
the "Strong Nuclear Force" and the weakest is "Gravity". The other two forces are
"Electro-magnetisim" and what is called "Weak nuclear Force" and their strength is somewhere in the middle, neither the strongest.....nor the weakest.

Atoms or subatomic particles are described in three ways:

by Mass, which is another word for weight
by Spin, ( does that mean how they turn?)
by Charge (whether negative or positive)

Another interesting bit is that photons,which are "light" have no mass.....meaning that they are weightless. Kinda cool.

Well that's all for now.
May God's Spirit lead your learning.

Peaceful Productivity,

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

When Your Words Matter

Are you a carnivore for great blogs? great reading in general?
There is a space for your words.

This is "the age for the common man" and the internet has made it so.

Quirky individuals can make a living from telling their own story.....with finesse and regularity....hence the inspiring success of folks like Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin et al.

But back to my thought for you today, my tribe, my gang of readers.....

If you are one of those people who simply must write something on a regular basis for the public, perhaps it's time for you to consider going professional....sort of.

At least you can start carving out some space for your voice via a handful or even just one of the following platforms.

Some of them are free and some cost money......and some may result in you earning some coinage:

Blogger blogs    https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/1623800?hl=en

Word Press blogs or website https://wordpress.com

Seth Godin likes typepad:  http://www.typepad.com

Or you could simply start self publishing some of your own homespun wee books of wisdom
via websites such as Smashwords :https://www.smashwords.com

or Lulu.com  :https://www.lulu.com

Or Kindle Direct Publishing:  https://kdp.amazon.com

Make your mark, my brothers and sisters. Why write for free for hours on Facebook, when you can get paid for your brilliance, just by packaging your words ?

Peaceful productivity,

Saturday, March 19, 2016

To Tell Your Own Story

What is it that motivate epic bloggers like Seth Godin or Tim Ferriss???

I believe it is that they have seized that brilliant joy that can be discovered from refusing to repeat everyone else's story.....and actually tell your own.

Yes, it's risky.....downright scary and occasionally embarrassing to be authentic and say something original and creative. But oh sooooo very cool.

Have you done anything original today???

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A TOTALLY Different Attitude Towards Books and Reading

This post might make a few librarians and conservative or uptight scholars cringe.

What I am about to describe is how I read according to my own goals and skills.

Let me summarize first what I formerly thought about how folks like me were SUPPOSED to
handle books and reading:

1/ always read a book in the order it is written......
2. don't skip chapters
3/ Try to glean from the books you read precisely what the author is trying to convey to you.
4/ Put your own opinions aside and try to grasp the viewpoint and opinion of the author(s).
5/ If you don't recognize or comprehend a word that you discover in a book you are reading, you should get out a dictionary in order to figure out what that word means.
6. Never write in the margins of a book, even if you own it.....and never underline key portions of a text because it shows disrespect for the writer's words.

Bah HUMBug!

How I have changed....... I have totally changed how I react with books and the great result is that now I LOVE LOVE LOVE books,.....why? because I have learned to read them on my own terms and conditions:

This is my new method:

I decide what I am looking for first, even before I start reading the book and I keep that GOAL in my mind while I am browsing for the right book.  I keep that GOAL in mind even after I have chosen a book, because then I browse the chapters and the index in the back/front of the book, to figure out the most interesting portion which addresses the data or principles that I am currently researching.

I skip lots and lots of chapters........ if they don't fit in my specific educational or research goal.
I don't really dwell on the intentions and beliefs of the authors of the books I read, as my goal is simply to cypher out the concepts and information that I am seeking in order to accomplish my self led education.

I very rarely read a book in the order in which it is written, unless the whole thing addresses the goal which I am seeking to gain from spending time with a certain book or author.

If I own a book myself, whether it is bought brand new or second hand.....I take great joy in writing copious notes in the margins and I highlight or underline as many interesting words as I wish.
I am not concerned in the least about the next person who may borrow my books, because....it's MY BOOK and I'll write in it if I want to.

I also very RARELY use a dictionary while I am reading, because it robs me of the joy I get from learning a new word and it's meanings directly from the context in which it is written in a book.

So that's about all for now. I just wanted to spout that out. Take a hold of your self led education and grab by the horns like  a raging bull.  Remember, friends, it's not about anyone else's goals or ideas about your life. Self led education is about you learning something because you are hungry to learn and because it was such a joy to discover once again, that even though you have made it into adulthood, that your desire to learn has not dissipated with your faded high school diploma, but rather that your desire to learn now has more urgency and refinement than ever before. 

You suddenly see the need to learn in a totally new light! You finally feel empowered to set your own educational goals and can almost squeal with delight because you are aware that you can finally choose your own TEACHERS!

Enjoy learning, friends and let's see where it leads.

Proverbs 12:1-2New King James Version (NKJV)

12 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
But he who hates correction is stupid.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

It Pays to Know How YOU Learn.....in your own Unique Way

Do you curl up with a thick book and can't put it down until you've mastered the concepts therein?

Or do you have a notepad near your study area and jot down key points just to help you process the information.....even if you never look again at those notes....you find that the jottting down process helps you learn.

Or do you prefer to listen to seminars via audio files on your Ipod or MP3 player?
Do you love audio books?

And then there are tactile learners that prefer to learn only through hands on learning experiences....so they can feel the experience in their very own fingertips. Chefs, mechanics, artists may all have qualities in this category along with many others.

Figuring out how you learn well, will revolutionize your independent learning path.

As for me, I discovered just a few years ago, that I am a very strong "auditory" learner and that I have a HUGE amount of patience to list to the same files over and over again as long as they are in audio form. I learn well with EXTREME  REPETITION and the repetitive style doesn't even make me bored!

I write this post to encourage you.....don't give up on your interest in learning just because some highschool teacher didn't understand your skills or learning style. And don't feel like you have to choose just ONE method of learning.

For example, just because I prefer to learn in an auditory mode, doesn't mean I just stop reading things. Nope, I still dive headfirst into oodles of power packed books. But in the midst of my "self led" independent study I try to incorporate several videos ( whethe via youtube or some other video source) into my educational path. I replay them over and over and over again until I glean what I wish from the video.

Any thoughts? Any comments. Do tell.....in the comment section below.