Your Life is a Woman on Acid

I originally saw this video on Mentalfloss, and if you have never visited Mentalfloss, you should leave this blog right now and go experience that wonderful site.

Now, if you haven’t slipped down a black hole of knowledge there, and you are back reading this blog, then I need you to watch this video. And turn your sound on. (I know, I know. I’m asking a lot of you today.)

For some reason, this video really stuck with me. For one, the woman sounds exactly like a Disney princess. So, it is basically like a Disney princess doing acid. For another, you don’t know who to feel sorry for: the doctor who does not understand “reality,” or the woman who can’t put “reality” into words. The entire thing is a bit unsettling.

But not for the reasons that you might think. It’s not unsettling because the woman has ingested an hallucinogenic drug. And it’s not unsettling that we, like voyeurs, are watching her attempt to understand the world around her.

It’s the skeptic tone in the doctor’s voice that is so strange. She even notes that his presence does not allow her to become “one” with everything. I know that he is trying to be a good scientist. He is trying to get an objective account of what she is seeing. But for some reason, I felt that I had heard a voice like his before.

And I realized that I had. It came from everyone in the world who ever refused to believe in what someone was saying. I started to realize that the woman was just anyone who had ever had an opinion, a dream, or an idea. And the man was someone who did not believe in the sanctity of that opinion, dream, or idea. You will notice in the video that he does not move to ease her discomfort when she is completely confused about why he can’t see beautiful colors or shapes in the corner. He does not try to make her feel better by telling her that he sees it, too. He simply allows her to think whatever she wants. And she’s visibly frustrated by his non-reaction.

This is the dynamic of the entire world. One person understands and sees a reality unlike the rest of us. And other people don’t understand. Other people are technically not even on the same plane. Other people are confused or bothered by our perception of the world.

But that doesn’t mean you should stop believing. It doesn’t mean you should stop describing what you understand. Whether it be religion, equality, or your own success. Like this woman, you need to be strong in your conviction, even in the face of people who literally do not share your vision.

You have to understand that this woman truly believes in what she is seeing. Her fear is real. Her wonder is real. Her love is real. The only question is: can you say the same of yourself?

It’s Not the Years in Your Life

Humans. We’re extending our lives a little more everyday. Doctors actually printed out a 3D heart so that they could save the life of a baby recently. We’re getting closer to immortality all the time. Maybe one day we can defrost Disney, become bionic, and clone our clones.

But being immortal isn’t going to help us live our lives now. In fact, it doesn’t matter how old you are, 9 or 90, you aren’t going to survive for 10 more years or even 100 if you don’t understand this basic principle: there is always time to live up to your potential.

You need to believe that you can start anew at any time. No matter how many times you have failed or how many times you have started over before. You have to know that you can learn or try anything new, at any age. That, just like Madonna, you can reinvent yourself.

I mean, I hear all of the time that children can learn languages quickly. A child’s brain is already mapping new ideas and connections all of the time, so what’s one more English word, one more Spanish phrase?

But what everyone assumes from this fact is that there is a small window that you have to jump through in terms of knowledge. If you don’t do something when you’re young, you will never learn to do it at all. And if you miss the opportunity, well, you miss out. Of course, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Science does not say that we ever stop learning at a fixed point in our lives. We can discover a new language, a new skill, or a new lifestyle at any time, and we absolutely should.

Yes, it may not feel like you have a lot of time on this Earth. And it isn’t fair that we are limited to a lifetime that is synonymous with the blink of an eye on any other planet. But I assure you, you will have plenty of time to write the next award-winning screenplay, the next 700-page tome, the next best chapter of your life. That is, if you start right now and never stop.

I don’t know when you’ll die. It could be tomorrow. And it could be 500,000 tomorrows from now. But I can assure you, if you begin by squeezing every drop out of life, you will never feel as though your time is running out. Just the opposite.

Do Me A Favor and Look at the Moon

As a self-proclaimed astronomy nerd, I have every reason to love the moon.

The way it shines through my bedroom window in bright slats comforts me in a way that the sun could not hold a fiery candle to (even if the candle was lit by its own rays). If I go to bed early enough, the moon lights my face and provides me with the most natural, silvery night light (emphasis on the night.)

Today (or rather tonight) we have a full moon. And actually, we will have a blood moon visible early tomorrow. Of course, this isn’t the “technical” term, but a blood moon happens when sunlight scatters through the atmosphere and casts an eerie red glow on the moon’s craters (or cheesy flesh?)

What’s more is we will even have a lunar eclipse at the same time. Think double rainbow, but bigger and better. And also with the moon.  What more could you ask for from the night sky?

Still not convinced that the moon is totally awesome? Here are some five fun facts about our little celestial buddy:

1. There is no dark side of the moon. 

-Granted, we only see one side of the moon from Earth, but both sides receive the same amount of sunlight. Sorry, Pink Floyd, the album is still great although it is based on a lie.

2. The moon is drifting away from the Earth little by little.

-Every year, the moon moves 3.8 cm away from the Earth and will continue to do so for about 50 billion years. Hey moon, is it something we said? Maybe we smell…Or maybe it can’t stand the heat…

3. The moon has quakes.

-No, the moon isn’t nervous for any job interviews or anything. It just has Ear–er–quakes. Unfortunately, this is caused by us and our gravitational pull. Scientists believe that the moon has a molten core, like us, too.

4. The moon has mountains.

-Mons Huygens is the tallest mountain on the moon. But before you get your climbing gear (and your space suit), you should know that the moon’s tallest mountain is only half the size of Mt. Everest. And plus, I think you’d get some horrible equivalent of altitude sickness if you tried (or would you because there is no air? BaileyDailey is asking the real questions tonight…)

5. The moon is not a planet.

-First, Pluto and now this! When will the planet torturing stop! Alas, the moon, by the scientists’ definition of a celestial body, is not one. It is only a natural satellite. Don’t worry moon, we still love you! (Maybe that’s the reason it is slowly pulling away from us…)

And that’s it! I hope I have helped you to see the “light,” and you now love the moon as much as I do! If not, at least check out the blood moon. It should be pretty cool.