of interest this week: 31 January 2016

Old World Inspirational Sign - HDR

A brief selection of the many articles and other pieces I read this week, should anyone be curious.

  • How one mom’s extraordinary love transforms the short lives of hospice babies
    By Cori Salchert

    Cori Salchert calls the home she shares with her husband, Mark, a “house of hope.” A former perinatal bereavement nurse with eight biological children, Salchert began adopting what she calls “hospice babies” —babies with life-limiting or terminal diagnoses — in 2012.

    This made me cry.

  • Seeing One Day Pass on Earth from Space Is Beyond Stunning
    By Casey Chan

    This condensed footage of 24 hours of satellite imagery may give you a new appreciation of the planet we live on. If nothing else, it’s a calming and almost meditative visual loop.

  • Thirty Years Ago, the Challenger Crew Plunged Alive and Aware to Their Deaths
    By Tom Scocca

    This short-ish piece is chilling.

    I was sitting in my tenth grade French class when my Math and English teachers came to retrieve me from the room and tell me about the Challenger disaster. I was extremely interested in astronautics at the time, and I was shepherd into the AV room next door where another class of students was watching the tragedy unfold. I heard and absorbed the “instantaneous death” theme of the reports and speeches and tried to keep myself from wondering about the real details.

  • What It Means To Be a Science Fiction Writer in the Early 21st Century
    By Charlie Jane Anders

    If anything, the more I write and read science fiction, the more I feel the 21st century, not the 20th, is the science fiction century. Now is when we’re discovering exoplanets by the score, coming to a greater understanding of human biology and inventing the first real practical robots. Now is also when we’re confronting weirdness and insanity on a scale that would make Philip K. Dick feel like a stenographer. We need science fiction more than ever, but we can also do more awesome things with it than ever before.

    This is a great read about the exaggerated demise of science fiction, optimism in the genre, how science fiction helps us to address our real-world fears while we imagine our possible futures, and improved access to scientists by authors.

  • How to Become a Luckier Person Overnight

    Radical gratitude is simply a way of challenging our initial feeling that a new development is wholly bad and that our moping and anger is justified, exploring instead what might also good about it.

    Since about 2000, I’ve observed a nightly gratitude ritual. I have to count off at least ten things from that day for which I am grateful. These can range from being glad that I had an enjoyable lunch with a friend or that my neighbor got a new job that she likes to the return of hostages or even just the fact that I was able to drink enough fluids that day. I also started using a Good Things Box several years ago to collect the positive things that happen to me each year.

    But this idea of radical gratitude takes things a step further. Can I be grateful for dysautonomia? Surprisingly, yes. Can I be grateful for migraine pain at its worst? That’s a tough one.

Creative Commons photo: Old World Inspirational Sign – HDR by Nicolas Raymond

Posted in thoughts from the spiral.

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