Ariel M. Scisney
How To Use A Planetarium For Anything
Humanity has been in awe of the wondrous heavens since time immemorial. The ancients saw the sky as a reflection of their world, and they often looked upward to find meaning in their lives and even try to predict the future. In the spirit of understanding the sky, planetaria were developed as a way of sharing the majesty of the night sky with the general public.
The Business of Entropy
Do you know where your energy comes from? Not just the energy that powers your appliances, but every facet of your life. From the food you eat, to the fuel in your car, to the electricity in your home, energy moves everything in our lives. That should come as no surprise, but what you may not know is that our energy has a time limit. Rather, the location and distribution of energy changes over time. This is known colloquially as the second law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy. The first law states that the total energy in the universe is constant, and therefore energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change forms. Thanks to the understanding of these laws, humans have been able to industrialize their lives in ways unimaginable just a few centuries ago. But as a law of nature, entropy affects every aspect of our lives, not just the things we use switches on. So no matter what your profession is—or whether you ever took a basic science class—it pays to understand how it works.
9 Steps to Writing a Book
We live in an age where college degrees are a dime-a-dozen, jobs are scarce, and opportunities seem limited. But change is the nature of the universe, and when one door closes another one opens. We all know this, but we also know that finding our path in life is like walking in the dark.
Why We Need To Be Wrong
Growing up, many of us probably remember a time when our parents were the smartest people in the world. They knew the solutions to all our problems, and they could take on any situation. But eventually, we began to realize that they didn't have all the answers. In our rebellious teenage years, we likely realized that not only were they occasionally wrong, but more often than not they told us to disregard their errors, and take their opinions as valid prima facia. However, despite how young people often see adults as authoritarians, their life wisdom more often than not proved them correct when it really counted. Finally, when we become adults ourselves, and the people who have guided our lives have grown old and grey, it finally dawns on us. Those adults were just like we are, and nobody really knows exactly what they're doing.
The Art of Zen
My words tremble. It is said that Zen is a topic which words cannot describe in full, for it describes the nature of being. For those who speak do not understand, while those who don't know, truly understand. In that sense one who claims to know what Zen is can be said to be a fraud, like someone who picked your pocket and sold you your own watch. You already understand Zen, although many of us feel lost.
The Journey of An Atom
The history of the universe is a history of constant change. However, while its state and appearance has changed drastically over the course of its 13.82 billion years of expansion, certain key things have remained unchanged. For one, the laws of nature have stayed constant throughout time and space, for every cubic planck-length of the universe.
Why Don't We Remember Being Stars?
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
A Summer At Harvard
You never know where life is going to take you. But at the same time, many of us have a certain intuition about where we want to take our lives. In a strange way, everything always seems to happen at just the right time. But we can only ever says such things in hindsight. While the past is set in stone, the future is uncertain, and that's what makes the whole game of living so much fun. Some people describe life as an hourglass with the top half covered. We know how much sand has fallen, but we don't know how much is left—could be a lot, could be a little. For that reason, each of us owes it to ourselves to make the most out of every picosecond we have, because beyond our short lives is a long continuum of time and space. We can't stop the flow of time, but by living wholly in the present, we can chart our own course.
The Elements of Life
There is a fundamental question that arises as a consequence of that strange thing humans do where we know we exist. Namely, "what the heck is all this stuff made of?" Or more specifically, "what am I made of?" This most fundamental of inquiries has been pondered for about as long as there have been people around lucky enough to stave off disease, famine, and warfare. It's no simple question to answer, but today we are fortunate enough to live in a time when children can be handed the answers to these questions before they revolve around the Sun ten times. I've met and worked with more school groups than I can recall, and I'm always astonished at their ever growing capacity to learn. Even middle schoolers today understand the basic structure of atoms, something that has vexed the greatest thinkers throughout history.
Astronomy vs. Astrophysics
When I tell people that I study astrophysics, about half of them are awestruck, and the other half of them are completely clueless as to what astrophysics even is. This confusion hasn't escaped the bureaucrats who run the universities that give out degrees for these fields of study. I can't speak for all colleges, but at the University of Colorado Boulder, there is nearly no distinction between astronomy and its cousin field of astrophysics. The differences between the two are subtle, but they were enough for many of my peers to be disgruntled by the fact that the diploma awarded to students who completed an astronomy track and an astrophysics track both have the same label, "astronomy".
How to Create the Best Business Opportunity for You
In May of 2019, I celebrated my second anniversary as a business owner, and my first year of being fully self-employed, with zero percent of my income coming from a W-2. Suffice it to say, I am still quite the novice when it comes to business. However, simultaneously I have achieved a certain level of success that many people can't claim, having survived my first year without quitting or going out of business (two things that I have found to be nearly synonymous).
From Sea to Shining Sea
Growing up, I've found that I seem to have traveled noticeably less than many of my peers. By the time I graduated high school, I had only left my home state of Colorado 3 times. The first was for a Taekwondo world championship in Little Rock Arkansas, the second for a Taekwondo weapons training seminar in San Francisco California, and the third was to test for my 4th degree black belt in Las Vegas Nevada. At all three events, I met people not just from across our great nation, but from Europe and South America as well. I couldn't even compare!