Staying Motivated: Weird and Wonderful Resources

So @Remus mentioned in @witchery’s thread on Mountie occupations that he was struggling with concentration while working. One thing that I find really helps me is building in breaks in my day to read academic-ish papers and articles that are outside my research area but have catchy titles or just sound interesting. Usually this means trolling through the recommended titles on Firefox Pocket, looking for weird physics or space stuff. I was thinking it might be beneficial for others here if we had a thread going for inspiring content like this…stuff that makes you think and question but in a way that generates energy and inspiration. So to kick it off…

Yesterday, I was listening to a recent episode of RadioLab (also highly recommended for this purpose). The episode was titled “Asking for a Friend”, and was the first in a (so far) 2-part series of unrelated questions that stick with people…things that are a little bit silly, but when you think about it, are genuinely interesting. Here’s a little tl;dr to set the scene: The last story was an interview with an Oxford professor of humanities, Anders Sandberg. In his free time, he’s a hobby scientist who scrolls through Stack Exchange looking at questions. And one day, he saw the question that simply said “what if the Earth were blueberries”. The question was removed by the mods because they thought it was a joke. But Anders Sandberg had thought it was a good question, and he was mad they took it down. So he looked into the question himself and wrote a paper with what he came up with. It’s very qualitative, as far as scientific papers go. It’s loose with the physics and it’s not…the most technical. But it’s fun. You can tell this guy was So Interested in the physics of a planet made of blueberries, and writing this brought him joy. And that brought me joy. So without further ado, I direct your attention to Blueberry Earth.

My goal is to keep this updated with the weird science that keeps me motivated. If you have something to share, feel free to throw it here as well!

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One of my favorite things to do for inspiration is to listen to standup comedy. Understanding and laughing at jokes engages a really specific part of the brain, since not only is it helping you with your chemical balance, but also tapping into cognitive function and the creativity of word-play. It’s usually better if the comedy is based around a subject that gets you to think critically about what’s being said, but that all depends on you.

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BLUEBERRY EARTH SOUNDS INSANE

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But beautiful! Jam planet! Also, in the podcast interview, he talks about how this would all affect the moon and eventually Blueberry Earth SWALLOWS THE MOON. HOW COOL IS THAT???

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DOES THAT GIVE IT AN IRON CORE? Can it control a magnetosphere eventually?!

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Oh that sounds wild. I love reading papers that are outside of my normal academic research although I usually end up going down a rabbit hole. Lately I’ve been reading up on medieval forestry techniques, forests as liminal space in folklore, and Ming dynasty pirates. There’s some really interesting stuff out there!!
I also love listening to the podcast Lore-I have to listen to it during the day, and sometimes the descriptions are a bit too vivid for me, but if you’re into urban legends, horror, and folktales I would definitely recommend it. He does a great job researching the historical facts and legends and is very compelling to listen to.

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Feel free to link any of those papers you mentioned :eyes: I’m intrigued!

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Well now I need blueberry ice cream. And pie. And jam. This is all your fault.

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blueberry tornados

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You’re welcome :grin::grin::grin:

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Well how I stay concentrated is really weird and it typically doesn’t work for other people but here goes nothing!

Depending on what I’m doing I have a different mindset and based of that mindset I can discern what I need to do to stay focused. For example, say working out, if I’m doing something that I feel like I can’t do it anymore but I know if I stop now it’ll get me nowhere I just start counting and tell myself once I get to a certain number I can stop. Then once I hit that number I say, “Well if you reached that number you can reach this number so keep going.”

If I’m doing something unpleasant but I was asked to do it I just imagine the person I told I’d do it having a really bad day and that this would cheer them up.

If it’s a paper or something for class I typically just tell myself that I need to do this otherwise I don’t get to become a paramedic (enter your profession here)

That’s how I do things most of the time. So sorry this was this drawn out!

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Here’s some of the sources! I access most of these through my university library, since I got to keep my access after I graduated, but I do know that the book on pirates is available elsewhere online.

Negotiating the Landscape: Environment and Monastic Identity in the Medieval Ardennes by Ellen Arnold
Robin Hood in Greenwood Stood: Alterity and Context in the English Outlaw Tradition. This is a collection of articles, so I’m not quite sure who shows up as editor.

Elusive Pirates, Pervasive Smugglers: Violence and Clandestine Trade in the Greater China Seas by Robert J. Antony et al. Also a collection of articles on Ming dynasty pirates, as well as a few on Japanese sea lords.

I usually end up writing my own papers as I read so much, partially because other people I know want to learn about it, and partially because I just really like writing papers.

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I honestly just load up on caffeine and, if I’m able, turn on some music I can jam out to. That usually does the trick for me!

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I’m not sure if this is a good place to put it, but …

my school does month long courses, and i’ve found that having only 4 weeks of items to work with has made it easier to go to school this time around.

unfortunatly being active duty it makes it complicated sometimes. for instance, i recently had to request my schedule pushed back because i didn’t have internet for 3 weeks. when i returned there was an issue where i wasn’t able to access my coursework. i’m glad the academic team was able to work things out though, and i’m going to be able to continue to go to school.

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Alright! Several months later, here’s another weird article nugget of motivation: bigfoot and the scientific method!

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Popping back in with more weird science to keep you motivated: making the best bubbles, with physics!

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My all time fav is caching… Gravy lawd!!! My Momma told me in the 90’s that our local “today’s music” radio station Q101 had this “hide and seek” game where they hide something within our local area (a park sign, in a tree in a public park, in a local business etc…) And the person who solves each clue and ends up finding said hide wins whatever the radio station hid (I got a New Kids On The Block t-shirt - still their biggest fan but shhhh don’t tell anybody hahaha - proud though)
Today it’s online and along the same principles the radio station did, except for GPS and trading of small and big things left behind by other cache enthusiast… I make my own TB (trade backs) (rules - if u take u leave) and being OTR (over the road) with USX (US Xpress) I get to find many caches along my journey with the company… U must have GPS of course, and the internet… U have to go to Geocaching.com and sign up (free account but I have premium account to access all the hides free account doesn’t offer) the caches can be anything from a simple pill bottle to the most elaborate like a coding puzzle or one I found a pirate treasure box in the woods that had several levels to solve to get to the actual cache itself which was awesome sauce to me and mind blown to say the least… There are other neat caches besides the “traditional” ones loads of information fun stuff to learn is at the above link and this one… https://www.cachingbox.com/different-types-of-geocaches/… This hide and seek treasure hunt game gives me time to walk out my stresses and enjoy the fresh air and nature around me… Not just exploring the States behind a windshield but also in person up close and personal… This is one of the coolest things my Momma introduced me to and now that she’s been gone since 2007 I glad I can have a daily reminder of her through caching… I hope this helps and even becomes ur or any other commenters new obsession… Our “usernames” are OTRGeoNealTruckers and GeoHippieChelly… If anybody finds this interesting and wanna chat more bout some of my amazing and awesome adventures give me a shout :call_me_hand: Chelly

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Do u have a link to the lore podcast u speak of??? Plzzz and thanx, Chelly :green_heart::yellow_heart::purple_heart:

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Here’s a link to Lore: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lore/id978052928

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Many thanx :green_heart::yellow_heart::purple_heart: I loved the Amazon Prime shows go check it out if u haven’t already u won’t regret it​:smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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