Crash Course Astronomy: I’m sometimes surprised how little people know about the astronomy in general and the night sky in particular. After all, half of every day is taken up by night; who could you not learn about the stars? Of course, the answer is easy enough – people aren’t interested, or at least, not interested enough to want to spend a few hours every week getting bitten by mosquitoes or bundling up against the cold in order to memorize constellations and recognize planets. If you’re interested in astronomy, but would rather learn via your phone or desktop, Phil Plait, aka the Bad Astronomer, can help. His “Crash Course Astronomy” series on YouTube explains the basics of the science.
RPG Blog Carnival: The Third Fey March: Hosted by Pitfalls and Pixies, June 2019’s blog carnival is dedicated to the fey, an aspect of fantasy that doesn’t always get as much attention as the arcane, the undead, and the demonic. I’m thinking of polishing my notes from my own fey-infused adventure arc, the “Verdant Waste”, for Nuketown‘s own carnival entry.
RPG Blog Carnival: Holidays, Festivals & Celebrations in RPGs: If you missed the May 2019 blog carnival (like I did), check out Roll4 Network’s summary post. It provides links to the seven posts that were contributed to May’s effort.
Why You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self-Control: We all procrastinate at one point or another. This New York Times article delves into why … and as the title says, it’s not about self-control or time management.
“Procrastination isn’t a unique character flaw or a mysterious curse on your ability to manage time, but a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks — boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, self-doubt and beyond.”
As a one-time chronic procrastinator, I have to say a lot about this article rings true. When I put something off, it was rarely because I didn’t have time (or couldn’t make the time). It may not have seemed that way, but I think it was more about fear of failure or anxiety about not living up to expectations. The fact that procrastinating increases the chance of failure was beside the point.
What’s New About Conspiracy Theories? I’ve always been vaguely interested in conspiracy theories and their close kin, hoaxes, and urban legends. Not because I believed them (heck, I spent a fair amount of time debunking them) but because I was curious about how these things spread and mutated. When conspiracy theories were on the fringe, it was an amusing hobby of sorts, fun to dabble in and amusing when packaged up in the form of The X-Files. It’s become far more serious since conspiracy went mainstream. The New Yorker looks at how things changed.
Another huge study of over 650,000 kids shows absolutely no link between vaccines and autism. Doctors say it’s proof we’re living in a ‘fact-resistant’ world. As this article on Business Insider demonstrates, its easier to prevent disease via vaccine then it is to convince someone of facts they refuse to believe. That’s not a new thing ([just read up on Galileo]) but it is a frustrating thing.
To Evade Pre-Prohibition Drinking Laws, New Yorkers Created the World’s Worst Sandwich: The law of unintended consequences at work folks! If I ever get around to writing a Gaslight Era adventure for Call of Cthulhu, you can bet these sandwiches will be in it.
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The NGC 4414 galaxy. Credit: NASA.