January's Universe - Importance In Responsibilities

I have a lot of trouble choosing what is most and least important each day and finding the items of utmost importance of each month is close to impossible.  A lot of the time, I find myself reaching for the things that I find challenging and mysterious.  There is nothing wrong with that, and as a matter of fact, everything I do has somewhat of an equal importance, or at least I would like to think that way.  I believe this because anything can happen in life, and my direction could be affected by almost--anything!  Who am I to say what the "correct path" is?  I still have goals, intentions, and dreams, but the bewilderment of life is what makes this world worth living in.

What am I doing in this month's Universe?  What are my duties and responsibilities this month?

Animating A Mission To The Moon















Why am I animating a moon mission?
I thought it would be cool and I love making art.  Sometimes, I love going by the mantra, "Just do it."  I could sit around and do normal things, live a normal life, watch normal tv, read the news, but I wouldn't be living the life I wanted to live.  My life would revolve around living the lives of others.

I think my skill in visual arts and rendering could help out this team of engineers whose expertise is in math, science, research, and aerospace systems.  Their final project will be sent into the NASA Rascal competition.  The deadline is solid, so I am moving as fast as possible.

Finding Sponsors For a Hackathon
What do I get out of this and why do it?
The first hackathon I went to changed my perspective on team projects and if I can give someone else the same feeling, it would mean a lot to me.  Also, I'd like to run a tech event that promotes a healthier environment and workflow.  Most hackathons have garbage food and amenities, and I'd like to shift focus to something a bit better.

I am not completely naive to the challenge of raising a lot of funds, but I did jump on this task a little hastily.  For future tasks like this, I may let someone else take the responsibility because I have many other things to work on.  Fitting everything into small amounts of time becomes cumbersome and stressful very fast.  I am curious to how much of a social life I can achieve with so many responsibilities.

Sponsorship Searching and Creation of a Second TEDxKU Event
I find myself still doing grunt work as the leader of an organization.  What am I doing wrong?
I love to have control and power over all operations within TEDxKU.  I am being completely honest.  The truth is, I know this is the wrong approach.  Slowly, I've been relinquishing my control in the organization, but I need to continue doing oversight to a degree.  Things are happening not as I would like because expectations aren't clear.  I see this organization as my responsibility because I helped create a firm structure for it, but leadership isn't about leading.  Leadership is about making leaders out of everyone else.  My first business should be meeting with every committee lead separately.

It is a challenge to let others fulfill tasks in which I am responsible for, but I will let go.

I have compiled a budget, sponsor list, and tier outline for sponsorship.  I am going to work with my finance officers to fulfill the event budget within the next week.  It is a challenge, but I must let my team thrive.

Developing an Educational Video Game - Meson Mania
What does my paid job entail?
I work at the University of Kansas Physics Dept. developing educational science games.  Specifically, the games are focused on teaching elementary particle physics and sometimes lower level science topics.  I program, design, publish, and table at events promoting the video games I develop.  Under the name "Quarked!", the games I've been involved in and published are on Android, iOS, and web.

What is Meson Mania?
This game is our first 3-dimensional game where the player has 3 mesons and races to the end of the accelerator.  A meson is a subatomic particle composed of one quark and anti-quark.  Different types of mesons interact with electromagnetic fields differently and have different masses.  The strategy for the game is to not crash into the walls of the particle accelerator and use the particles you have to race to the end of the accelerator as fast as possible.  Less massive mesons will be faster, but may hit one side or the other of the accelerator faster.

I enjoy making games of this nature because they challenge both my programming and physics knowledge.  I am constantly learning, but I lack any support from a team of developers.  Teams are what make projects worth doing in my opinion.

Learning Ukulele and Theremin
Why learn both instruments at once?
Well, underlying both instruments are notes, melodies, and music theory.  Each instrument is completely different, but make me see the world in a different light.  The theremin on one hand replicates vocal melodies with spot-on accuracy.  The ukulele, more of a classical instrument, creates tonal melodies similar to a guitar or normal stringed instrument.  I enjoy the simplicities and complexities of both.  I'll talk about these in another blog.

For theremin, I'm learning, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."  The song I am learning for the ukulele is, "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong.

Drawing Using Values and Pencils
Why do I like drawing with pencils? Where is the value in this?
Using a pencil to draw value in the world around me is tough, and adding too much dark value to one area of a drawing can throw everything in a scene off.  It can change a masterpiece into what most would perceive as trash.  I like perfection, but for some strange reason, I've never seen my work as trash.  I always see it as unique progress even if it isn't completely unique in and of itself.  Some of the value, I perceive as emotion.  At one moment, I may be hurried and leave a scribble, in another moment, I may be patient and leave a thick shadow.

Drawing like this gives me a different look on life and helps me think differently.  Plus, at the end, I have something to remind myself the beauty of creation.  When I put a piece on my wall, it's finished.

Books I'm Loving
"A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson :: Bryson is a fantastic writer that puts names and stories behind the best scientific discoveries.  Worthy of the read at least so far.  I am about a third way through the book.
"Become What You Are" by Alan Watts :: Every chapter takes me several days to think about.  I can see philosophy from many perspectives from this book.  The eastern philosophy is beautiful in that it embraces uncertainty.
"From Galileo To Newton - With 35 Illustrations" by Rupert Hall :: This book is interesting but takes an imagination sometimes.  This book goes very in-depth into Galileo's trials and the fight behind religious, Ptolemaic, old philosophies, and new discoveries in science.

Rebuilding My Diet - Values - Intentions - Biohacking
What am I doing?
I am resetting my diet back to a bulletproof, high fat, vegetable, mid level on meats, and very few carbs.  I am also intermittent fasting with butter coffee, yerba matte, and green tea.

I am approaching each day with gratitude and an open mind.  I hope to bring curiosity and bewilderment to every situation I encounter.

I start my morning with a quick routine of drinking water, taking supplements, inversion, making my bed, making coffee or tea, journaling, meditation, and sometimes a cold shower.  Immediately I start working on the most important task of the day which I wrote down on a sliver of paper during my nightly ritual.  A little off topic, but sometimes I consider completely scrapping the morning routine to focus on what I want to do, and I think this is okay sometimes.  If there is something that I am just motivated to do and have a game plan, I'm going to do that.  Although, I think a little preparation to begin can make a big difference in terms of well-being throughout the day.  If I am not immediately working on the most important task of the day, I am likely heading to school, work, or a predetermined appointment.

What have I learned?
A morning is nothing without the night.

I think living the best life possible always comes down to the old line of thinking, "There is no better time than now."  Starting the best life in the morning just doesn't cut it.  I've tried that, and I can tell you it works for a while, but the night is beast and if not tamed, can manifest into something horrifying in the morning.  I like to prepare all of my things at night, no matter the time or what I did prior to the nightly routine.  Doing my best to follow-through on this is dire.  I understand it doesn't always seem possible, but it is possible.  The whole concept of a night and morning routine is a mind game, not everything needs to be done, but the mind needs to be in the state of accomplished fulfillment.  The day needs to feel over after the night routine and prepared to enter the next day fully prepared.

New Classes This Semester
Why is learning so fun?
I never want to stop learning because it feels like I have a better grasp upon who I am in this crazy place we call the Universe.  Each bit of information gives me a better understanding.  I know I'll never fully understand, but while I'm here, I'll steal every bit of information I can.

I am taking these classes:
Data Structures - Studying programming efficiency, the teacher offers milk and cookies during office hours.  He is a funny guy that I think I can learn a lot from.
Sensors and Measurements - With a team, we get to develop a sensor that measures anything we can dream up.  What a cool class!
Intro to Poetry - I get the honor to learn how to write poetry and different techniques.  I am really looking forward to this class.
Intro to Quantum Mechanics - Starting with the photoelectric effect, we are learning how physics applies to very small situations.
Molecular Biophysics - This class brings biology, physics, chemistry, and math together and deciphers what they mean and how they work together.  We took a deep look at what entropy really means today.  More than randomness or order, entropy, is simply a set of possible outcomes.  Specifically, it is S = k ln W , exactly what Boltzmann defined on his grave.

There is importance in anything you/I do.  You/I are/am important.

Austin





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