Pray to the of law of gravity?

“The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.”

–Carl Sagan

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Tucked under blankets

Okay. Today I need to confess one thing. I haven’t exercised this week. And I feel guilty, because my excuse is: “it’s too damn cold!!”. For those not familiar, I live in Brazil, south region. And this week a major cold wave struck South America and, consequently, reached my city bringing very unusual low temperatures. You can check some news about it here and here.

I woke up with this “lovely” forecast:

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Now, for people living in the north hemisphere, this forecast may not seem so scary. After all, in countries with severe winters there are heating systems, fireplaces and other heating facilities.

There are some places here with some minimal heating infrastructure, but they are mostly located in inner cities further south or west, up in the mountains, where it can occasionally snow for a few days once in a while.

I live by the sea, in the beautiful island of Florianopolis. The occurrence of snow was not registered around here since 1984. The nearby mountains (country side) were covered with snow two days ago. Well, the meteorological service says that the phenomenon will not repeat so soon. Everybody here is delighted with the view!

This is an image of how the top of the hills of the nearby city of Palhoça were covered with snow:

Snow in the city of Palhoça (Source: noticias.uol.com.br)

 

So, facing these low temperatures without adequate heating systems is not so pleasant. And that’s the reason why I don’t feel like changing into my exercise outfit and getting out there for some action. I will wait until the temperatures are slightly higher: something around 12-15ºC would be just great!!

Now I can go to sleep guilty-free, tucked under blankets and hoping not to freeze!

Space is big.

Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it s. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

— Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, 1979

Free thinking and mind maps

Free thinking is a wonderful device that facilitates creativity. Essentially, it is an exercise where you try to record as many thoughts as you can in a set period of time. You don’t need to be concerned about spelling, syntax, or application of the thought; you just want to record your thoughts as they happen without editing.

From the book “Mind Maps: Improve Memory, Concentration, Communication, Organization, Creativity, and Time Management” – by Ken Arthur

I’m really enjoying this book about mind mapping! I’ve know the technique from articles I’ve read about Tony Buzan, who popularized the term. But I could never grasp the concept of mind mapping, and I couldn’t see how it could be useful in my activities, be it work or study.

It’s like a non-linear scheme of thoughts, ideas  and key words in which you create links and correlations. For me the most difficult part is to get rid of linear thinking!! Weird, huh?

Anyway, I drafted my first real mind map this year!  Yay!! But I’ll talk about that in a later post.

Let’s start mapping!!

A compendium of human knowledge: the “Encyclopedia Galactica”. Is it time?

 

 The sum of human knowing is beyond any one man; any thousand men. With the destruction of our social fabric, science will be broken into a million pieces. Individuals will know much of exceedingly tiny facets of what there is to know. They will be helpless and useless by themselves. The bits of lore, meaningless, will not be passed on. They will be lost through the generations. But, if we now prepare a giant summary of all knowledge, it will never be lost. Coming generations will build on it, and will not have to rediscover it for themselves.

 

 

“Foundation”  by Issac Asimov (1951)