In November 2020, WordPress sent me a badge for being with them for seven years. Look at that! Seven years of toil and inconsistent posting and I earned a badge!
It was ironic that I wasn’t able to post a monthly archive of articles in November. The laziness went on until the beginning of the holidays, when overconfidence kicked in and the “I can finish this during the Christmas break” lived in my head rent-free.
Then, Genshin Impact happened.
I decided to stop trying to create an archive for November and stop cheating myself in the process (I had the same concern last year and created November-December 2019 Articles, it’s starting to become a pattern), so here’s a rundown of the articles I found read-worthy.
One of Jupiter’s icy moons may glow in the dark (National Geographic)
What I find interesting in this article, apart from the fact that it is about one of Jupiter’s many moons which in itself is very interesting, National Geographic’s interactive moon can be dragged as necessary to examine the celestial body’s different parts. The several years of observation and studies and the amount of money put into Astronomy and software design have led to this moment: audience can now simply swipe left or right, press their digits on their mobile devices and see Europa’s “salty” Tara Regio.
The physics that suggests we have no free will (BBC Reel)
Not an article but a video talking about how big numbers and patterns generated over time could counter what people think of coincidence and free will. Why have I included it in the list? Free will.
Why Swedes don’t speak to strangers (BBC)
I do love articles that give the response to their click-bait titles in the first paragraph. I also adore how the Swedes call small talk. Read the article to find out what term they use! Nowadays, however, given the different levels of quarantine enforced, the need for small talk is justified. People want to socialize even more. Looking at it from a different perspective though, given the small window of opportunity to communicate, wouldn’t it be better to talk about something actually meaningful? That’s a trend in social media- highly opinionated folks behind a platform can be “doctors”, “politicians,” or “experts” yet in their real lives, they can only manage to say, “The weather is fine!”
You do you, guys. Free will.
Why the ‘paradox mindset’ is the key to success (BBC)
David Robson has become one of my favorite article writers. I think I have already written that somewhere in this blog.
This article in particular reminds me of one I wrote two years ago for a colleague who asked me to choose between career advancement and internal motivation (read Passion vs. Strength here). Upon reading the BBC article, I have come to realize that I was already exploring the paradoxical concept between doing well in one’s career and relentlessly pursuing one’s goal.
‘Cottagecore’ and the rise of the modern rural fantasy (BBC)
The 2006 rom-com movie “Holiday” immediately came to my mind when I read this article.
People’s deep-seated passion for crafts and aesthetics resurfaced in the middle of the COVID crisis. These interests take our minds off the situation way beyond our control. Somehow, through devoting our energy to them, some of us find joy, contentment and peace away from the bustling city-life (even when we’re still technically living in our respective cities).
The solar discs that could power Earth (BBC)
Wouldn’t it be nice to optimize green energy? Imagine harnessing the full-potential of solar energy to provide free electricity to mankind! Now, imagine having that resource without big corporations taking advantage of citizens. I know I’m asking for too much. Such a big project requires funding and it is inherently a business, but ideally, this project will have a great impact.
Accidentally Wes Anderson: When real life meets film fantasy (BBC)
Fact versus Fiction: Which is better?
I’m not familiar with Wes Anderson nor his works and consulting Wikipedia has made me realized how little I know about the movie-industry in general (often limited to pop-culture and Oscar-winning tropes). However, I could relate to the ‘chicken-or-egg’ question. Which inspires which? We know historical literature is definitely inspired by what’s going on. Needless to say, some years from now, we’ll have works about the 2020 pandemic that struck the world. On the other hand, we have a number of literature that inspire or somehow “foreshadow” what eventually happens.
The thing is, we can’t call it accidental when we’re actually looking for it, can we?
HAYABUSA-2: Pieces of an asteroid found inside space capsule (BBC)
An episode from the Big Bang Theory comes to my mind: Leonard insisting to use his laser as a better option for cutting an asteroid Bert found. What if there was something inside that asteroid that could potentially harm living beings? But then, people working with these things are scientists. They know what they’re doing much more than I do.
The benefits of embracing deep time in a year like 2020 (BBC)
Once or twice, you may have found yourself wondering what your city looked like several years ago or how it would look like twenty years from now. According to the article, this is what “deep time” thinking is like. Looking at photos of Machu Picchu, watching the moon and stars, and hearing about natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions propel me to these thoughts. Thousands of years ago, an ancient civilization flourished on top of mountains only for their houses to be regularly visited by tourists. Outside of our solar system, there are a number of stars and planets that formed billions of years ago that the history of mankind appears incomparable. Table-top mountains look amazing and regal these days but centuries ago, they might have looked like the plains we don’t give a second glance. It only took several years of tectonic plate movement and here we are admiring them.
It helps to put things in perspective that the world will continue to exist for billions of years without human beings.
I’m still in the middle of re-reading my Harry Potter novels as part of my Harry Potter annual marathon. I don’t read as fast as I used to– I blame my current distractions (Youtube, Netflix and Genshin Impact). This may sound like an alibi for the would-be absence of January 2021 articles but we’ll see.