Listen & Learn: Science and History Podcasts

Science and History podcasts are a fun, easy-to-digest way of learning. I’ve mentioned before that I love podcasts. Lately, I’ve listened to fewer because I no longer have a commute. But I try to listen to at least one of the science and history podcasts. They are always fascinating. I always learn some new detail. Often, I find a bit of inspiration for future stories. Science Friday This podcast, hosted by Ira Flatow, covers everything science. From the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies. Every year they host Cephalopod Week (beginning June 21). You’ll learn fun and cool stuff about cephalopods.  The Science Friday Initiative, a non-profit organization, dedicated to increasing the public’s access to science and scientific information, produces this podcast. Science Friday videos are available on Youtube. The podcast is available on Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, Sound Cloud, Podbay, Tune in, and the website.  You Are Not So Smart Host David McRaney says the You Are Not So Smart podcast is “a celebration of self-delusion that explores topics related to cognitive biases, heuristics, and logical fallacies.” It’s always fascinating. McRaney interviews scientists about their research into how the mind works. At […]

5 Tips For Staying Motivated

It’s the “lazy hazy days of procrastination” in Kansas. Motivation? It’s too hot. Focus? There are swimming pools and parties and picnics calling you. Not getting far on that project of yours? Here are five tips for staying motivated during the lazy hazy days of summer (or any time of year.) People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. Zig Ziglar Get Started There will be days when you don’t feel like working. Do it anyway. Take a small step. If necessary, take a tiny step. But do it. Once you’ve taken that first step, no matter how small, the next step is easier. Can’t get started? Check out my post on creating the life you want. It discusses a 5-second rule that might change your life. Starve your distractions. Feed your focus. Unknown Reduce Distractions This is a big one for me. And yes, there are some distractions (husband and kids and family) one cannot simple “reduce.” When my son was very young it was difficult to find the time and quiet to write. Then, when he got a little older, I used a noisy timer. I’d set it […]

Do You See a Dystopia in America?

Dystopia is all the rage right now. Nearly every day in America, someone refers to a dystopia. From The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu to the current administration in America. A dystopian American society seems closer than ever. Discussion usually becomes a lament that “America is turning into a dystopia.” Do you see a dystopia in America? It’s both in the present and the past. We’ll take a look at a few historical examples, but first… What is Dystopia Dystopia is “an imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives.” Merriam Webster Dictionary Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (1884-1937), a Russian novelist, wrote the first dystopian novel, We. Also a playwright and satirist, he was a “chronic dissenter.” Tsarist censors condemned, arrested and tried Zamyatin. He won an acquittal. He wrote a novel, We, in 1921. His manuscript circulated in Russia but he could not publish it there. An English translation was published in the United States in 1924. The original Russian text was published in New York in 1952. The story tells of a “Single State” where workers live in glass houses and have numbers rather than names. According to Goodreads, the novel is “ a resounding cry for individual freedom.”  […]