A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. – William Shedo

It was a beautiful midsummer morning on the porch at the local cafe, and I savored my coffee and blueberry muffin, while the outdoor ceiling fans turned idly overhead. But shortly, into the reverie intruded a young family on a breakfast outing. A young woman had clearly brought her kids, husband, and her parents out that morning for breakfast on a lovely day.

It seemed that this family must certainly hold the center of the bell curve — a 30-ish couple, parents of toddlers, and a 60-something couple clearly enjoying their role as relatively new grandparents. Watching this prototypical family while avoiding the flying food debris created by the toddlers revealed a lot about how our goals and actions change during our lives.

The children of course operate on entirely short term goals — like getting bits of muffin into their mouths and figuring out how to run around the table while still satisfying their hunger.

But the young parents certainly had developed a more complex set of goals. They wanted to have children, to make enough money to support them, to nurture them, and undoubtedly to see them grow into mature and independent adults on their own.

The grandparents gave me pause however, for I wondered if many of their most cherished life goals had been met already and how they felt about that. They’d obviously raised a lovely young woman, cared for her, provided for her education, and seen her produce offspring which clearly delighted them.

But were these people now satisfied with their life? Do they now hunger for something more? Having achieved a primary goal of all parents, are they now ready to rest and be satisfied. While I never asked them, my feeling is that they are not satisfied nor should they, or any of us, be. Humans have a hunger for the future and want to see it and participate in it.

Our ability to think in the future, to plan actions, and to set and achieve goals is what separates us from the apes after all. But it is not just figuring out how to avoid embarrassment at the hands of a 4-year-old or what to have for lunch. All of us yearn for higher purpose, for more abstract and even unobtainable goals.

Author Robert Heinlein said, “In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” And indeed, experience has shown that, while we must live in the “now”, we must also have an eye on the future. Once we give up on our goals and dreams, we give up a portion of what makes us human…. and alive.

Wouldn’t this have made you forget the Lincoln Logs, back in the day when we thought they were cool.

A company called Fat Shark offers one of the coolest R/C cars we’ve ever seen. How so? Its system has a camera mounted in the car’s driver’s seat. It transmits its signal wirelessly to VR-style goggles that give the operator a first-person view of the terrain ahead of the car itself. That alone would be neat, but the camera has pan and tilt functionality that the driver controls by simply moving his or her head to "look" in each direction.

Via Engadget.

Need I say more?  It’s “top down” season….



I can’t keep these damn things off me this summer.  They’re malicious, and aggressive:

To begin with, ticks don’t fly, jump or blow around with the wind; these suspects are not ticks.  They are small, very patient and amazing in their approach to locating their host/prey.  Their purpose in life like so many species is to propagate their species.  They don’t feed often, but when they do, they can acquire disease agents form one host and pass it to another host at a later feeding.  Their sensory organs are complex and they can determine trace amounts of gases, such as carbon dioxide left by warm-blooded animals and man.  They can sense the potential host’s presence from long distances and even select their ambush site based upon their ability to identify paths that are well traveled.


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The third season of Eureka will launch July 29!

Eureka‘s third season premieres July 29 at 9 p.m. Season three delves deeper into the classified inner workings of Global Dynamics and will feature new characters, including Eva Thorne, aka "The Fixer" (Frances Fisher), whose mission is to clean up Global Dynamics.


Consciously deciding to learn new habits opens up new neural pathways and expands creativity and innovation.  From the New York Times article:

So it seems antithetical to talk about habits in the same context as creativity and innovation. But brain researchers have discovered that when we consciously develop new habits, we create parallel synaptic paths, and even entirely new brain cells, that can jump our trains of thought onto new, innovative tracks.

Rather than dismissing ourselves as unchangeable creatures of habit, we can instead direct our own change by consciously developing new habits. In fact, the more new things we try — the more we step outside our comfort zone — the more inherently creative we become, both in the workplace and in our personal lives.

And by the way, this is also the foundation of knowing your own strengths, packaged by Gallup as Strengthfinder.  Via 43folders.

Primetimepolitics has posted a full hour interview with Mark Steyn — always worth viewing, particularly “part 2″, for his views on multiculturalism in Canada.  And of course, the flaws in this movement in Canada are applicable to the U.S. and other parts of the world. (Via Powerline)

We went to see Sex and the City last night and enjoyed it.  Probably didn’t find as much deep societal meaning as this reviewer, but thought it was OK.  So many directions the plot could have taken, we wondered why so much time was spent on Carrie’s rehabilitation from hurt.  After all, she’s been through it before, yes?

Rocketboom is one of my favorite sites, quirky and different.  Here’s one example: