Measuring Stuff

Through tertiary training, I learned to measure stuff.  Physics taught me to measure to the limits of the measuring-equipment, while Engineering was a little more flippant in its approach to accuracy.  I love measuring stuff.

This has carried through to everyday-life in surprising ways.  When I finish reading the news over breakfast, I make a call, or measurement, on whether this is an 'Up-Day' or a 'Down-Day' [ in terms of World and National events ].  This does require a concerted effort to seek out any good news.

At the end of each day,  I measure on a personal-level if, on balance, this has been a 'Good-Day' or a 'Bad-Day'.  Gratifyingly, the G-Ds far outweigh the B-Ds.  If I did not employ this technique, I could be tempted to focus on the negatives that are an inevitable part of all lives.

Unfortunately, the U-Ds are significantly fewer than the D-Ds.  That's when I apply another trick from Engineering -- "Weighting".  This is important to emphasize the things that matter in MY life.  I cannot change the world, but I currently have reasonable influence in outcomes for my loved-ones.  Yes... It's all about ME, and I make no apology [g].

For the engineeringly-inclined:  DR = MD + 0.3 * (WD - 5)

DR == Overall Day Rating for MY world
MD == My Day: Rating on the B-D / G-D Scale [ from 0 to 10, respectively ]
WD == World Day: Rating on the D-D / U-D Scale [ from 0 to 10, respectively ]

Footnote:  If this turns out to be a silly idea, BigThink has now provided the means for me to delete it [grin].

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less