On the Gentle Art #15

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"Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;" 

- To Althea, From Prison by Richard Lovelace 1642 A.D.

Constraints – life has a lot of them, biological and otherwise (your blood’s ph level, the minimum amount of oxygen that you need to breathe, the level of carbon monoxide & carbon dioxide in your system), and we add to life’s constraints with every choice we make or defer. (That is if you believe in free will. Some intriguing fMRI studies seem to suggest that our choices are made subconsciously before we consciously become aware of them and “choose” accordingly.) Constraints themselves are neither good nor bad. They are merely circumstance boxes in which things can or can’t occur. Plant a seed in dirt and it grows. Plant a Monsanto seed in dirt and you get sued for intellectual property infringement. See constraints! Continue reading “On the Gentle Art #15”

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On the Gentle Art #14

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What are you afraid of? Are you scared of things that go bump in the night? Monsters? Demons? Serial-killers? Clowns? Serial-killer clowns? Or worst of all, spiders? Maybe you are the type of person who is scared by the more mundane: heights, water, flying, subway travel, or mystery meat school lunches? (I always stuck with the PB&J myself. I didn’t trust the Soylent Green Sloppy Joes. Badly behaved kids had a strange way of disappearing. They said to the “alternative school”, but I never trusted them either.)
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On the Gentle Art #13

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I must begin this post by offering my sincerest apologies to my readers. I have not written an article in this blog for too long a time, and maybe some of you think that I’ve caught the Blue-belt Blues. Well, I must admit that I have been battling life for the last couple of months juggling a never-ending contract obligation, working on my second novel, and other writing projects. Most important of all however, has been my battle with a current crisis of faith, one that grows out of nagging injury, aches, pains, bouts of G.I. issues, depression, restlessness, and never-ending doubt while the certainty of time keeps conspicuously tick, tick, ticking away. My thoughts have been a tumult as of late, and then as a steadying anchor in a choppy sea this came to me:
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On the Gentle Art #12

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How do you go about making the perfect nozzle for a non-Newtonian fluid? Got the answer? I’ll give you a minute or two to come up with it. Now that you have it, how would you make that perfect nozzle work perfectly if you needed to dispense the fluid under high-pressure? Oh, and now for the catch. You need to figure out how this is going to work in a vacuum in microgravity. What the heck am I talking about? Let me clarify. NASA has put out an RFP for Oobleck dispensers to run cutting-edge experiments on the International Space Station. (The astronauts are bored, and they want to play practical jokes on their cosmonaut counterparts.) Continue reading “On the Gentle Art #12”