The World

“Skycrane maneuver has started…”

We Earthlings have a history of fearing Martians invading our planet πŸ‘½, so it’s always amusing to watch a video of us invading them. πŸ§‘πŸ»β€πŸš€

I used to be obsessed with 7 Minutes of Terror: Curiosity Rover’s Risky Mars Landing, which shows how NASA gets a rover from hurtling 10,000 mph through space to softly kissing the surface of Mars — all within a few short minutes. It’s still an amazing video if you haven’t seen it and are interested in, well… anything cool.

My favorite part is the skycrane maneuver, which is hard to explain but looks insane. And it seems to work quite well.

β€œIf you’re landing a rover on Mars, there’s no doubt this is the right way.”

In fact, this skycrane show-off maneuver works so well that NASA keeps doing it. Check out a video of the latest invasion — I mean landing — in the name of Perseverance.

creativity · entertainment

Don’t Be Like Uncle Colm

Writing a full-length novel turns out to be hard. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Even if you know the story you want to tell, there are myriad challenges such as finding your voice, getting into the creative mood, and consistently finding the time to focus.

My latest challenge is pretty basic – figuring out what level of detail to use in the story. I want to make the story is engaging and specific, rather than just sweeping over things with the wave of a hand. πŸ‘‹

But too much detail quickly turns into sounding like Uncle Colm from Derry Girls.

So if I ever find myself adding unnecessary detail and de-emphasizing the main story line, then I need to watch Uncle Colm as a little kick in the butt.

Or soon enough, people will be saying, β€œAlright, Colm, let’s pack it up. You’re tied to the radiator…” πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

creativity

“Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.”

John Cleese gave this speech back in the 1990’s about creativity. Apparently he was a bit of a student of the topic. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

His main point was that creativity is not something that you have or don’t have. And it is not related to traditional intelligence.

Creativity is a mood – an open, curious, and playful way of operating. He calls this playful, creative state “open mode”, whereas we normally go through life in “closed mode”, basically trying to get stuff done.

To be fully effective, a creative person needs to juggle both modes well. After all, you’ve got to find the creative flow and keep your projects on track to actually get sh*t done.

(Thoughtfully subtitled in German πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ). Full version of the speech here.

This creative “open mode” is subconscious and requires de-focusing in a way. In other words, you can’t force creative breakthroughs. It is in this relaxed open mode where the creative magic happens. You just need to allow yourself the time and other factors to let yourself be creative.

This is the extraordinary thing about creativity: If just you keep your mind resting against the subject in a friendly but persistent way, sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious.

One reason I liked improv class was that it forces you into this open, playful mode (even when you are terrified).

Hopefully, when creativity is applied consistently over time, then great things can happen. πŸ€“

entertainment

Some Valentine’s Day Movies For You, However You May Feel

Some people love Valentine’s Day, and some people hate it. And it might change from year to year.

Personally, I like Valentine’s Day. It’s sweet. Even if you don’t have a serious partner, you can tell your kids, parents, or even your pet that you love them. 🐢

Regardless of how you feel about today, and especially if you are bundled up at home avoiding the cold weather, here are some movies celebrating the joy and/or pain of love. πŸ’—

And this isn’t just a list of current movies. This list is full of classics going all the way back to Pillow Talk from 1959.