1,000


When I  “publish” tonight, Notes celebrates 1,000 ponders. Agonizing all day over how that feels, what I’ve learned, how I’ve grown and people I’ve met, struck me as cheesy. Then it hit me – 1,000 doesn’t want a parade, 1,000 feels like pondering Lego videos.

800


This is my 800th post – re-posting favorites, linking to most viewed, blowing off steam, polite reflection  – all pondered with equal consideration. 800 expressions of life according to Notes is no small feat. Each one from a place of concern, astonishment, wonder, exuberance, caution, personal experience and honesty. Learning to temper outrage, listen with respect, accept opposing perspectives, admit when I’m wrong, stand my ground, remain optimistic, unapologetic outbursts of cosmic delight, obsession with ancient civilizations – reasons 800 posts led me to where I am today. A better person, a woman who found her voice and friends along the way. People I respect, admire and credit with expanding my horizons.

Ultimately pondering 800 led to Playing For Change. In honour of 800 Notes, listen to PFC- ask yourself what matters, why we should care, and how you can make a difference. What’s Up epitomizes notestoponder.

 

Crazy Button


I need my head examined. Quora obsession – call it my dark side,finds me lurking in places I’m not proud of. What began as a “phase”, has become an embarrassing testament to powers of indignant outrage, astonishment, and mind blowing realization. Polite reminders to behave myself deliver tepid results, best intentions fall victim to uncontrollable curiosity. Convincing myself of “curious” intentions, eases excruciating reality – I need my head examined.

On a good day, I’ll post questions like “What is the greatest archeological treasure lost to war or conflict?” or “Will cursive writing become obsolete?”. Genuine queries resulting in thoughtful exchanges.

Bad days (the crux of my bat shit addiction to Quora) go something like this – following are two questions asked this evening under the topic “Religion”.

“If you’re an Atheist, is it better to raise your children as Theist so he/she can find strength in difficult times?”

“Is it true that Atheists don’t really believe in God, but that they really just want to be God?”

This is when it gets tricky. Reasonable Notes would guffaw and move on, possessed Notes shakes hands with futility. Something about preposterous questions void of frivolous explanation or reason pushes my crazy button. Every sinew of my being, taut and helpless as propriety skips out the door.

“Crazy button” deserves clarification, crazy suggests ranting tirades – the reality of my “crazy” doesn’t even come close. Crazy resides in the fact I respond. Crazy shame lurks in not logging out or moving on once “are you serious”, holy freaking crap and WTF? settle down. Crazy is my fascination with absurdly brief ridiculous questions – particularly those intended for morally corrupt heathens. As I’m writing another question surfaced…

“Do some people just pretend to be Atheists, and try to convince others God doesn’t exist because they believe God doesn’t want mankind to know of or believe in his existence?”

I’m having second thoughts about my plea for help – that question was too good. Perhaps I could temper obsessively poor judgement with strict resolve to look, keeping snide remarks and opinions to myself.

 

Help, WordPress is Crashing


Rushed home tonight earlier than expected, fired up the laptop before my coat hit the stand. Anxious anticipation of all things WordPress, met with blank, unfamiliar exasperation. Site stats page – blue header, above utter blankness. Clicked on Reader – nothing. Notifications – zippo, nobody home.

Instinctively searched WordPress Help and forums – found similar complaints, and a few “fixes” (without exception, all beyond my pathetic computer knowledge). Not about to uninstall wordpress after backing it up, systematically uninstall plugins until finding one that might be the culprit, or re-name files (all described in language or references making about as much sense as reading Gaelic) I found myself pacing like a caged beast.

Abandoned WordPress, delved into Google with rabid determination. How hard could this be – it worked two days ago, I hadn’t inadvertently changed settings or downloaded a fictional last straw. Who was I kidding – why can’t people who know what they’re talking about remember I’m an idiot? Why was Adobe Flash Player blamed for the fall of western civilization? How hard is it to answer a straight forward question?

Went back to WordPress hoping it was all a bad dream – nope, WordPress was evaporating before my eyes. Blank tease followed blank screen into oblivion. Like a spectator at my own funeral, wanting to scream “here I am, I have so much more to say” – not an ear perking to inaudible splutters.

Exhausted, disillusioned, battling hordes of invasive emotion – a thought tip toed cautiously towards desperation’s siege. Close all programs – restart your computer. Initially cautious little thought appeared useless – it watched me storm away in a huff of blustery resignation. Ever the optimist, one last try before bed. Holy crap – WordPress was back.

Exhilaration is fading – I can’t imagine a restart fixed the dilemma. Consider this a plea – a request for insight from anyone with patience to “dumb down” tech speak and enlighten a hopelessly lost notes.

Things I’ve Learned on Quora


Almost a month ago Quora became somewhat of an obsession. I wrote of Quora with the giddy, naive and glowingly childish enthusiasm of an optimistic fool. First glance promised instant gratification delivered via an untapped source of critical thinkers. Oh man – not so fast notes.

It isn’t Quora’s fault – allowing myself to dabble in places fraught with the perils of unbending logic was an obvious exercise in futility. As with anything we reap what we sow – 3 1/2 weeks, and 100,000 views later – some things I learned on Quora….

First – I’m only human, I like stats, views, and upvotes. Hardly a surprising admission although one that never matters in my wordpress world. Allowing my “knee jerk” rantings to froth corners of better judgement was captivating. WordPress epitomized polite reason – Dr. Jekyll to Quora’s Mr. Hyde. Jeckyll knew better, Mr. Hyde threw caution to the wind.

A week or so in, I posed a question asking why Americans considered freedom of speech license to speak hate. Yikes – I’m either stupid, delusional, or hopelessly Canadian. I knew the answer, fully grasped America’s perspective, understood the fundamental stance of free speech in America, yet couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t understand it would bring 40,000 views, complete with a litany of arguably the most venomous personal attacks imaginable. Bottom line – 99.9% of respondents reacted without an iota of comprehension other cultures might see distribution of hateful propaganda as harmful.

Answering questions proved satisfactory. My answers to why Petra was a wonder of the ancient world, and contribution to a question on the most astounding “tricks” by armies or nations at war kept me out of trouble for a while. This was a place reserved for positive exchange of ideas – a place void of accusations, yet I wasn’t content to behave myself.

I knew better than to respond to preposterous religious stupidity, or ask those same people why they thought Atheists lacked morals or committed more crimes. Several weeks of hating myself for spouting sarcastic jabs finally ended with a self imposed intervention – it’s out of my system, along with sincere vows to be a better person.

A few minutes ago I asked (with http://geneticfractals.wordpress.com/ in mind) how someone would explain the 4th dimension. That was 15 minutes ago and with nearly 500 views, 6 followers, and 3 answers on the record – I’m back to seeing Quora as it was intended. For anyone curious, the first few “answers”…..

Jens Adler NielsenJens Adler Nielsen, PhD in solid state physicsSuggest Bio

We have 3 spatial dimensions, typically revert to as height, width and depth.The 4th dimension is time.Basically in order to meet somebody you need 4 coordinates or you will miss each other.On earth, these 4 coordinates are typically longitude, latitude, floor and date, but it could be another set of coordinates, however there will always be at least 4 and if there are more, you can reduce them to 4. Hence the universe is 4-dimensional.

Brenton MilneBrenton Milne, electrical engineer

If you want to visualize it, you can try imagining a fourth dimension as colour or brightness, like how you might present four dimensional data in a graph.Think of a point in 3D with x,y,z coordinates, now give it a brightness as the fourth dimension. Extend this to straight lines (interpolate x,y,z,brightness between two points). Imagine how other primitives work, like continuous curvy lines etc.Note that one you try to imagine solids you will find that there are multiple values of the fourth dimension present at each x,y,z location. For solids the movie analogy in the other answers may be more helpful (and more reflective of our universe where our fourth dimension is time)

 

 

 

Notes Turns Two


I almost forgot Ponder’s birthday – Mother’s Day 2012, my daughter sent me an email asking that I log in to a wordpress account. Never having heard of wordpress, knowing only that she had my complete trust, I obliged by clicking on the link and entering our trusty old family code word to pass the gates of ho-hum into “where have you been all my life?”.

I can’t take credit for my first post – it met me at my wordpress gate,  posted by my daughter based on a story I told her a few days earlier. It stoically boasts one “like” and seventy five “views”.

https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/transactions-of/

My daughter claimed there was far too much rattling about my head and I needed an outlet. Wading cautiously forward, I had the advantage of exploration – no expectations, preconceived ideas, or notion of grandeur. I wasn’t plotting a path of clicks and views, didn’t contemplate strategies aimed at monetary gain or methodically increase my presence. My “about” page, kept brief, vague and on point – simply a post a day, something to think about, talk about, learn more about. Reluctant to divulge personal information, self consciously I began to write for the first time in thirty years.

Shaky at first, not sure where it would take me, I posted meat and potatoes snippets I found fascinating. Clinging to my knowledge of ancient history – Gobekli Tepe, Derinkuyu, Peri Reis, Hypogeum of Malta, and Mica lined Pyramid of the Sun. Terrified I might be “pegged” a bat shit alien conspirator or crystal fondling numerologist, I tested the waters of space weather wing nut by posting on the Carrington Event, meteor showers, and to cascading groans of my family – solar flare alerts.

Six months later, not a soul outside my family knew about my blog. One night, well into a bottle of wine I found the courage to hit “publish” on something terrifying – a personal story. I held my breath, briefly paralyzed by second thoughts. None the least of which – it wasn’t particularly well written. I’ve left it alone, resisting the urge to fuss and polish the rather childish story because it was the turning point. I relaxed, told friends about my blog and never looked back.

https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/regret/

I never know what I’m going to write, don’t apologize for who I am and care little for pointless mud slinging. What astounds and warms the tip of my toes are the remarkable people I’ve met along the way. I consider myself lucky to have found a little rut to run in. People who know me only through wordpress likely know me better than those who have known me for years. This is who I am – I’ve grown immeasurably in two years and can only daydream of where it will take me. Thank you wordpress.

 

Note To Self


Tonight I find myself pondering impressions those who don’t know me might extract from some of my posts. To my dismay, it’s been brought to my attention that at times I come across as “preachy” or creeping far to close to “looking down my nose” . I find this notion extremely disturbing; this is not who I am, or how I wish to come across. As a result – not only in my defence, but as a reminder to myself – I’ve come up with this “Note To Self”.

* Ponder before you write, don’t write before you ponder.

*Another point of view is just as valid as yours.

*You’re not as smart as you think you are.

*Avoid the following….

http://thesaurus.com/browse/biased

* Stay calm and carry on.

* You’re a kind person with a big heart and open mind – don’t embarrass yourself.