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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The neuroscience of gratitude

Hello World!
I cannot believe how time has flown! Before I move into December, I must post about the science of gratitude. I have been noticing many articles on the neoroscience of gratitude and attended a neuroscience of gratitude lecture by the ladies featured below (holding their books). I must say there is a recurring theme and that is, neurons that fire together wire together. While it is easy to think that you must have something in order to cause gratitude, having thoughts of general thankfulness can also bring about that which you desire! Simply pausing to appreciate can generate greater health, wealth, happiness, and more. Here is a fantastic link on a summit held by UC Berkely, which features top researchers, concepts, and more;

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/new_insights_from_the_gratitude_summit



The other main take away is that you must practice gratitude just as any other skill or habit (like brushing your teeth). We are hard wired for a negativity bias, but regular observation for what we appreciate can help reduce the negative effects of negativity bias. So how do you start? One easy way is a simple gratitude log, writing every day something that you can appreciate, you can download apps, and other techniques might include directed attention to the sensations you experience in a given moment. Right now, I am grateful for the opportunity to write this blog post, for anyone who reads it, science, diversity, art, gratitude, lectures about gratitude, websites about gratitude, family, friends, and so much more. Feel free to share what you are grateful for, I would love to hear! I hope you have a day full of thanksgiving! If you are still reading this, thank you!
In gratitude,
:)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Madame Mars

Hello World!
I cannot believe how time has flown this month. I have so much to share from the Diwali celebration at the tech museum to the lecture on the math of everyday toys and objects that I attended to science at Disneyland... I have not blogged as much because I have been meeting amazing women astronauts, local leaders in art/science, international inventors and ministers of science, and more... I apologize and will get caught up, but in the meantime I share with you this super nifty site I recently learned about called  http://www.madamemars.com
Madame Mars is all about female explorers in space and it is a great website and blog, I hope you will check it out! 
:)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November diversity awareness and observances

Hello World!
Happy November to you! I am pleased to share the monthly list from Theta Nu Xi, multicultural sorority inc. of different observances, campaigns, and days of observance to further your awareness, education, and diversity skills. Happy November!

  • Addiction Awareness Month
  • Child Safety and Prevention Month
  • Lung Cancer Awareness Month
  • MADD's Tie One on For Safety Holiday Campaign
  • National Adoption Month
  • National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month
  • National American Indian Heritage Month
  • National Child Mental Health Month
  • National Diabetes Awareness Month
  • National Healthy Skin Month
  • National Impotency Month
  • National Inspiration Role Models Month
  • National Long Term Care Awareness Month
  • National Marrow Awareness Month
  • National Military Family Month
  • National Native American Heritage Month
  • National Novel Writing Month
  • National Sexual Health Month
  • National Stomach Cancer Awareness Month
  • Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Day of Mourning - November 27, 2014 (Thanksgiving Day)
  • International Day for Tolerance - November 16
:)

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Club

Hello World!
I hope you are having a frightfully good day (feel free to read a past post in the science of scary). I am writing today to share about something one can do when you are new in town and feeling uncertain, and that is find a supportive interest group! I did just such a search and found the club, http://theclubsv.org a women's technology leader group and I attended one of their events. It was fantastic! I met diverse women who were all nice, welcoming, and supportive. It is important, whatever you do, to have a network of people to rely on, and it always amazes me how much more a person can grow and accomplish with a group! At this meeting they had the VP from Pandora (the music service) and she spoke of the need to be curious and face your fears when pursuing your passion. She also talked about an "itty bitty committee" that rests on your shoulders telling you negative things that keep you from your full potential. It is necessary to quiet these voices and we do this by addressing the doubts (asking questions, answering what if, etc) and letting our curiosity take over (there will be no room for fear)! I really enjoyed her talk, it was genuine and real and fun to listen to. She owned her talents and imperfections and did not let doubt or the like keep her from her dreams. I also heard from a different speaker who discussed the fear and lack of opportunity of being around other women, only to discover what a powerful force such groups can be. So on this day known as Halloween to many, traditionally associated with fright, I encourage you to find Your group, and have a hauntingly good night!
:) 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

World's largest wind tunnel

Hello World!
The other day I had the opportunity to tour the world's largest wind tunnel! It was quite a sight!



You might wonder what the purpose of such a large wind tunnel is, besides of course, generating mass amounts of wind... I learned that new airplanes get tested for their aerodynamics (ensuring your safety), old airplanes, such as the Wright brothers plane (replica) was tested for its aerodynamic design, and other objects that fly get tested here, such as the Mars Rover parachutes. The ability to test an object provides both knowledge and the ability to see if it would work as designed, before a catastrophic failure or to maximize performance. I know the team who worked at the wind tunnel (from the director to the interns) loved their job. Pretty cool!

(Photo from YouTube of car in wind tunnel testing)

Here are some neat sites I found where you can learn more, learn the math behind aerodynamics, and even make your own (virtual) wind tunnel to test your ideas!

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-world-s-largest-wind-tunnel 

http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/tunnozd.html

http://raphael.mit.edu/Java/ 

Have a windyfull day ;)



Saturday, October 25, 2014

NASA nails


Hello World!
I recently attended the 75th anniversary of NASA Ames http://www.nasa.gov/ames/openhouse2014/#.VEvDoNm9Kc0 research center and spotted these fabulous nails at the event! I just love when fashion and science go together. 



I also loved seeing around 120K or so people come out to support STEM! From Mars rovers to industry partners to the mass gathering of 150 food trucks, there was something for everyone. My favorite was the world's largest wind tunnel (to be posted). For more about Ames and what they do, (and some cool opportunities!) check out http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/home/
It is exciting to be in STEM, you create what your future holds! 
:)


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thinking

Hello World!
I hope you are doing well, I read this interesting article and wanted to share. It discusses cognition and meta cognition (thinking about thinking) and ways we can all improve our abilities, such as flexibility, curiosity, and embracing development over the idea one is either born with it or not. 

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/harvard-says-best-thinkers-7-182227176.html

It is helpful to me to remind myself the power of our thoughts and the influence on our lives... I encourage you to read the article and enjoy some food for thought! 


Wonder what Rodin's thinking person sculpture thinks? For a little art with your science check out http://museum.stanford.edu/view/rodin_garden.html

:)