An old post recalling a dream I woke from..

I just awoke from such a vivid dream. I was going through astronaut training in preparation for what seemed like a trip to our moon. I was getting outfitted in the astronaut gear discussing Yuri Gagarin with the other crew members and the little known story of his comrade which perished upon reentry, Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov. My recount of the story kept getting cut off as the dream skipped a bit further into moments closer to the launch date. However, you can read about it here, if you aren’t familiar (and after reading it you may wonder how the hell there hasn’t been a film made about this…you aren’t the only one).

Eventually I dropped the story and at one point we were riding in a big passenger van or bus of some kind, with the POTUS on board. He (Pres. Obama) looks over, and I think he may have said this because we were wrapping up our Yuri story, but he said, “Well, you all will be riding in the safest, most advanced craft every built.” Looking at me, I stared back, nodded in approval, saying, “Fuck’n right.” 

There were a few exclamations and cheers from inside the vehicle and I think he was taken back just slightly that I had used those words but he knew they were expressed out of confidence in the meticulous engineering and testing efforts of NASA along with confidence in the mission, so he responded with some type of muffled agreeable response and the extension of his hand, which, my personal view of him and politics aside, I obliged and shook firmly.

As we traveled to the briefing room/launch pad and just after letting go of his hand, I spoke freely, trying to muster the words without collapsing into tears of pride and disbelief. I expressed how proud I was to be on this mission and that the first time I had seen the Orion Crew Capsule, it was a prototype used to develop and progress the heat shields, to which I examined while watching the Space Shuttle Discovery become retired and placed into its permanent home at Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum. I could barely make it through the condensed version of this brief comment. I was breaking down with tears of overflowing emotion: joy, surreality, humility (image courtesy of @nasa).

In my dream, while crying and trying to break through the tears to finish what I felt compelled to say, I could see the faces of other men and women in the vehicle (presumably crew members, technical advisors, NASA PR, ?) and they had half smiles on their faces, honored by my enthusiasm and noticeable nostalgia during what felt like, reality. The dream cut away to one of those animated NASA simulations of what the mission would consist of. 

First, a proper alignment for a cost-effective, logistically appropriate launch and conjunction. As the images became clearer, I realized the moon was not our destination. We were going to Mars. The animation explained that this SRM (Sample-Return Mission) had already been set in motion by a craft which had previously landed, inflating habitable hubs, converting the Mars atmosphere into breathable oxygen inside each living/workspace (image below courtesy of Bryan Versteeg). 

Then another craft was sent out behind it, which landed a distance away from the hubs. It’s purpose was to act as a landing pad for the capsule we’d be traveling in, which would resupply us with fuel and a boost to reach escape velocity for the return back to Earth (image courtesy of Space X). 

The duration of the mission was unknown to me, but I began daydreaming (within my dream) about stepping foot onto the planet, eagerly awaiting my duties to fulfill amidst the other astronauts and what their responsibilities consisted of (image courtesy of @nasa). 

Picking up my first piece of Martian sediment, I remember being slightly anxious. What will reentry feel like? Will the heat shields live up to their projected durability? Logical questions that I pushed from my mind to focus my attention elsewhere. 

Then I hear “oh shit, we lost the box.” The black box (don’t ask me why it would even be in a position to “fall off”) had escaped from its mount onto the tarmac of the air strip. No matter, we were on our way…(and then I woke up).

11 Things Only People Who Suppress Their Emotions Will Understand

Originally posted by reigns-karma

Some of us carry catastrophic storms in our hearts and minds wherever we go. They try to keep everything bottled in as they have trouble expressing themselves or nobody’s listening.

When they do react , they are reacting to not only the current situation but the many like it before. If two or more of these aspects relate to you then I’d suggest you start venting and seeking avenues of love and acceptance for yourself (and the safety of others).

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Study Shows That “Male” And “Female” Brains Are A Myth

Originally posted by camicosmos

A recent study proves that “all male” and “all female” brains are rare and that most people are in the middle.

Awareness about gender fluidity has been increasing in recent years as sexuality and identity are being questioned and the current wave of feminism challenges traditional gender roles and the supposed abilities of each sex.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences further challenged the assumed differences between the sexes by studying the brains of 1,400 males and females to determine if there really are distinct differences. Find out what we discovered below:

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How Interpreters Juggle Two Languages at Once

For most of history, interpretation was mainly done consecutively, with speakers and interpreters making pauses to allow each other to speak. But after the advent of radio technology, a new simultaneous interpretation system was developed in the wake of World War II. In the simultaneous mode, interpreters instantaneously translate a speaker’s words into a microphone while he speaks, without pauses. Those in the audience can choose the language in which they want to follow.  

On the surface it all looks seamless, but behind the scenes, human interpreters work incessantly to ensure every idea gets across as intended. And that is no easy task.

It takes about two years of training for already fluent bilingual professionals to expand their vocabulary and master the skills necessary to become a conference interpreter. To get used to the unnatural task of speaking while they listen, students shadow speakers and repeat their every word exactly as heard, in the same language. In time, they begin to paraphrase what is said, making stylistic adjustments as they go. At some point a second language is introduced. Practicing in this way creates new neural pathways in the interpreter’s brain and the constant effort of reformulation gradually becomes second nature.  

Over time, and through much hard work, the interpreter masters a vast array of tricks to keep up with speed, deal with challenging terminology and handle a multitude of foreign accents. They may resort to acronyms to shorten long names, choose generic terms over specific, or refer to slides and other visual aids. They can even leave a term in the original language while they search for the most accurate equivalent.

Interpreters are also skilled at keeping aplomb in the face of chaos. Remember: they have no control over who is going to say what or how articulate the speaker will sound. A curve ball can be thrown at any time. Also, they often perform to thousands of people and in very intimidating settings, like the UN General Assembly. To keep their emotions in check, they carefully prepare for an assignment, building glossaries in advance, reading voraciously about the subject matter, and reviewing previous talks on the topic.

Finally, interpreters work in pairs. While one colleague is busy translating incoming speeches in real time, the other gives support by locating documents, looking up words and tracking down pertinent information. Because simultaneous interpretation requires intense concentration, every 30 minutes the pair switches roles. Success is heavily dependent on skillful collaboration.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How interpreters juggle two languages at once - Ewandro Magalhaes

Animation by @rewfoe

13 Impressive Psychology Tricks that Will Make Your Life Easier

Originally posted by thelucidnation

Every human being is a unique universe, but psychologists who have a keen eye for details keep discovering new behavioral patterns that are believed to be rooted in our childhood and can be applied to everyone.

We decided to share these useful psychology tricks; maybe they will positively affect your communication skills and make your life easier in some way.

  1. If you have the feeling that someone is watching you, just yawn and look around. If someone is really stalking you, he will yawn too, since yawing is highly contagious.

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