The Racing Line

In racing, there is a line that, if followed, is effectively the fastest route around a racecourse. If one were all alone on the track, this would be relatively easy (if you were a race car driver). However, during an F1 Grand Prix, there are nineteen other world class drivers on the course with you,…

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Blowing Bubbles

I loved playing with bubbles as a child. We often made our own bubble solution from dish detergent and water, but the best was when Vera, my grandmother, bought us bubble solution from the store. I didn’t know it then, but the store-bought solution contained propylene glycol which acts as a surfactant to keep the…

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Do Unto Others

I can’t tell you how many times I heard that growing up. Commonly referred to as the Golden Rule, it appears in the Bible in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, but variations were present in ancient texts as early as 2040 BC. Sometimes it is used as a question, as in, “How would you…

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White-Hot

I vividly remember searchlights waving in the night sky near our house. They were often used to attract attention to an opening, a premier, or a car dealership sale. I found them fascinating. Those old searchlights I saw were arc lamps which produced a white-hot light from an arc between two carbon electrodes. Viktor Frankl,…

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Old Friends

I have a tendency towards being solipsistic – so mentally focused on my own wants that I am not thinking about other people. It is not so much selfish as it is mentally self-absorbed. I say not selfish because my wants are related to the good of the community. I get so distracted trying to…

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Who Is The Hero?

I heard or read somewhere that people are capable of rising to a higher standard unless a lower one is offered. In 1949, mythologist Joseph Campbell published The Hero With a Thousand Faces outlining his “monomyth.” Ironically, that same year, Christopher Vogler was born. In 1998, he would create The Hero’s Journey as a simplified version of…

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Resistance Is Futile

Long before the Borg, this phrase appeared in Doctor Who in the Cybermen. The Cybermen were basically the Borg before the Borg was a thing, only scarier. The Borg are cybernetic organisms linked in a hive mind called the collective. The idea was that eventually you would be assimilated into the collective, and there was nothing you…

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Nothing Good Ever Happens At Zero

In the television series adaptation of the novel The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, a major character says, “Nothing good ever happens at zero.” She’s referring to a countdown clock that only certain individuals can see. She is right. In the story, nothing good ever happens when the clock runs down to zero. The book is about…

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Are The Birds Singing?

During a conversation with Tracy Brower, author of The Secrets to Happiness at Work (among others), she mentioned that her grandmother used to remind them that when the birds stopped singing there was danger coming. She then observed that in our communities there are similar warnings. It’s not that I didn’t believe her, but I did look it…

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That’s Not Funny

Why are so many children reported missing during a solar eclipse? Because no one can find their sun! My kids would roll their eyes at me if I told them that “dad joke.” Luckily, I have a granddaughter who still thinks I’m funny. Humor can be a healthy expression that can help us feel less…

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