Tag Archives: Neil deGrass Tyson

Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend

9/16/15 9:53pm

Just found out from an email that Scott Dinsmore of LYL just died.

He died from falling rocks on Mount Kilimanjaro.

The email was sent yesterday 9/15.

It’s quite ironic that I learned about this the day I am considering pausing on reading the LYL posts to work on my LBT blog. I don’t think I’m going to unpause it, because my priorities haven’t changed. In fact, it may magnified them. I want to get the LBT blog posts out as a way to make a difference in the world.

I just feel really sad for this young man and his young wife, who had so much left to do.

I requested to join the closed Facebook group and saw that there are already 4000+ people in the group. This suddenly made me realize the impact this person has made.

I hope this motivates every one of them in the group (and more who have probably yet to hear the news) to carry on Scott’s message and live their legends and change the world. If anything positive that can come out of this, I hope it’s that.

9/17/15 7:41am

It seems too much like a movie that he died so young, motivating his Living Legends to continue their passion. I still have to ask myself if it’s real or if I just dreamt it.

I’m a Living Legend beginner, and I haven’t met Scott, like so many people.

I can’t imagine how Chelsea, his wife, feels. I want to know how it actually happen, but I kind of don’t, and it doesn’t matter. Part of me hopes Chelsea knows the impact Scott has had and could somehow find peace and comfort through this, maybe by continuing and expanding his work to reach more people.

In a few days, then weeks, and months, the sting will ease, and life will be back to normal for most of us. The drive in us from this incident will still be there, and to use that drive is the best way we can do to honor him. At the end of the day, or at the end of time, with no intent at all on being morbid, death is inevitable. I remind myself through Neil deGrasse Tyson that we’re just star dust, and none of this really matters.

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It’s All Relative

Time

A well-known rule, at least to me, is to avoid going grocery shopping hungry. I often end up buying more food than I should. And once I’ve gotten something in my stomach, I have buyer’s remorse for getting so much food.

It often boggles my mind how time alone can change how a person feels both physically and mentally. Around the time astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson was hosting the reboot of the show Cosmos, I found this piece of artwork online done in chalk by a duo of design students who called themselves Dangerdust, illustrating one of Dr. Tyson’s quotes: “The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.” The piece was so aesthetically and poetically beautiful that I wanted to get poster to hang in my home. But at the time I was also in the process of decluttering my life, trying to live with less things and being very selective about what I have in my home, like this poster.

Aware of my tendencies to impulse-buy sometimes, I actually managed to resist the urge and instead set a one-month reminder to see if I still wanted to get the poster by then. A month later, with a bit of mental and emotional distance, I realized that while I still really liked the piece, I continued to have trouble justifying the purchase. As a compromise, instead of buying it and putting it on my living room wall, I pinned it on my virtual wall on Pinterest so I can look at it whenever and wherever I want, while enjoying one less item in my home.

Space

I had been fascinated with astronomy at a young age, learning about how the Earth’s tilted axis creates the seasons and how the moon’s revolution around the Earth results in the phases. My knowledge of astronomy expanded throughout the years to learn about the solar system, galaxies and the universe (along with a bunch of laws, properties, and theories that sort of went over my head). The universe is a very very very big place, and that is an offensive understatement. I’m always taken aback when I’m reminded of the incomprehensible scale of our universe when I revisit Carl Sagan’s reflections on “Pale Blue Dot” or rewatch the Eames’ “Powers of Ten.”

The line from “Pale Blue Dot” that got me the most was: “Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.” It definitively put in perspective our roles in life and in the universe. In fact, it liberated me from my responsibilities and obligations in life (to a certain extent), and I felt more free to do whatever I want.

Powers of Ten:

Size of Earth and the sun compared to largest known star (among many other things):

Tech

After working for more than five long years in a video game company in the tech hub of San Francisco, I took a leave of absence and traveled around the world. While abroad, when I told people where I work, I tried to reference things they may have heard of, like FarmVille and Words With Friends. But people rarely knew what I was talking about. While understandable, It’s still a bit disorienting to realize that the product I have poured my time and hard work into and supposedly has some market share worldwide actually has little recognition by people in those parts of the world.

Environment

As a person of science, based on the evidence experts have presented over the years, I strongly believe that global warming/climate change is real (regardless of the name it is given). I am very interested in doing what I can to lead an environmentally sustainable life. Recycling, composting, taking public transit, using energy-saving light bulbs, conserving water, automating bill pay to reduce paper mail (and worries), and being very selective about material purchases are some of the low-hanging fruit that I believe a lot of people can do.

But that is only my belief. Based on their beliefs and priorities, some people may care more, some may care less, and some may be actively against it. As a result, they do whatever aligns with those beliefs and priorities: living completely sustainably and carbon-neutral, being eco-friendly only when it’s convenient and affordable, or letting their bottom line dictate their decisions, regardless of the welfare of the planet.

Civil Rights

Similarly, I believe in and support equal rights for people of all kinds and identities. However, beyond voting and independent boycott, I have yet to do much to show my support. Still, there are varying levels of support that people can give. In addition to beliefs and priorities, people’s personalities play a role in their behaviors. Some supporters are very active, practicing their First Amendment right to assembly and free speech and speaking out against injustice and discrimination in everyday social situations. Some, like me, are more quiet, studying the situations, and making small, calculated moves.

Personal Improvement

By my late twenties, many moments and events in my life led me to let go of my need to be perfect and instead to focus on “becoming better.” I stopped constantly thinking in binary terms, like good vs bad and right vs wrong, because I realized that rarely is something 100% good or bad, etc. So instead, I learned to look at situations and judge things on a scale, determining what worked well and what could improve. I would compare it to past experiences, and evaluate its importance against the big picture. This method gives me more opportunities to learn and grow than the black-and-white approach, where I might restart the process from scratch, throwing away the mistakes along with any progress that I could have built upon.

Accomplished and To Accomplish

Once in a while, I look at my life and notice how many things I have accomplished compared to my peers and in the eyes of my family. But very quickly I would compare myself to the world and notice many more great, inspiring things that I have yet to try, explore, and complete. If I focus only in the former, I may get too complacent. If i focus only in the latter, I may set myself up for disappointment. Instead, I look at both sides and get a good sense of where I stand in the grand scheme of things. When I feel defeated for failing at something new, I remind myself how far I’ve come; when I bask in my glory for too long, I remind myself to “get back to work.”

It’s All Relative

Time can extinguish excitement, heal wounds, torture impatience, and romanticize nostalgia. We are the temporal and physical mayflies of the universe. What I value most may be worthless to others. One person’s paradise may be another person’s livelihood. I have done much and well so far, but I can do more and better.

See

7, 17, 21, 26, 29.

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Be like the mayfly.

Sometimes when I fly and look out the window, I see the ever-so-slight curvature of the Earth, or I look down at the ground and can barely make out individual buildings, or when I look at a sea of hot air balloons over a larger sea of people, or whenever I watch those interactive presentations or videos about the scale of the Earth in relation to the rest of the universe, I get overwhelmed by the inability to comprehend just how small I am. “Humbling” is too kind of a word to describe how it makes me feel; “trivial” is more appropriate.

This leads me to two conclusions: 1) It doesn’t matter what I do in my life; it’s most likely not going to affect the universe. I am only a combination of atoms clumped together that becomes what I am at this moment in cosmic time anyway. So I should just do my best to enjoy my life the way I want. (To be clear, like everyone in the world, I have issues to work through in order to achieve that.) 2) With this “I am minuscule and trivial” perspective, I pretty much strip myself of any self-important and “ego” qualities. Of course, this is relative and when put in the context of our daily lives, our importance is different. Regardless, my perspective in the grand scheme of things still holds true for me.

 See

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