It’s human nature to want to explore

I have mad respect for RedBull, an energy drink company turned powerhouse of epic. RedBull supports adventure. They embrace risk. They empower people to break bones and boundaries. Here’s their latest video, which is awesome.

I hear you like the wild ones, honey, is that true? Yes, yes it is.  I curate amazing, wild things from Red Bull on a new Facebook page called Be More Epic.

Transcript:

“I think it’s human nature to want to explore.

Find your line and go beyond it.

The only limit is the one you set yourself.”

Images brought to you by RedBull:

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What if Google ads were replaced with inspirational words? It’s happening to me.

Holstee Manifesto, inspireWhat if when you visited an ad-supported website, you were shown the Holstee Manifesto?

Back in December I saw an ad for Holstee. For the first time ever, I clicked (and ended up buying inspiring notecards printed on 50% elephant poo). Since that fine day, Holstee has been stalking me.

And I love it.

I read about monkeys plaguing Puerto Rico and Holstee is there. I browse Colossal; Holstee is there. NYT, WSJ, YouTube..Holstee is there.  There’s really nothing like clicking on a link and getting a thumbnail of “share your passion” or even better — while wasting time on Reddit, “life is short” pops up and jolts my supernova self back into focus.

I occasionally click the ads and buy more things from Holstee, as much in joy to share their kind words with friends as to keep these awesome ads in my browser.

Have you ever experienced something like this? Have you ever tried hacking Google Ads?

In case you need visual proof, here are a couple screenshots:

monkeys plague puerto rico

Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 1.09.26 AM Screen Shot 2013-01-07 at 8.42.52 PMScreen Shot 2013-01-04 at 11.37.34 AM

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A Bucket List

US Presidential Elections 2012 have me thinking about awesomeness.   Ironically, the time of year that America divides decisively into two halves, seemingly uniting only in declaring their unfettered hate of each another, makes me think about how much I love it when these sentiments don’t dominate conversation. Remember that time when we landed Curiosity on Mars?  Remember how awesome that was?  Yes, you do.  Humanity rocks.

Tonight seems appropriate, then, to dig up and publish the old Bucket List.  That’s right – I have one. It’s in Google Docs. I keep it real(time updated).

The magna carta of Amyian wonderfuel:

 

Amy’s Bucket List

 

  • Go to space
  • Wild Life:
    • swim with pink river dolphins in Amazon (more info. note: attract these curious creatures with music and splashing)
    • climb the inside of a strangler fig (more info)
    • new: see (annndmaybe play with) fairy penguins in Australia (tiniest penguins on earth at 14”, bay near Pearson islands northern coast)
    • run through fields of: blooming lavender, dutch tulips, a blooming south african meadow
    • play with tiny monkeys (Miami, FL..wherever)
    • Apoka via Karl
    • hike to the boiling lake on Dominica via Karl
  • Speak at TED (done-ish..but do more solidly 🙂
  • Own a ridiculously fast, energy efficient convertible (all our patents are belong to you)
  • live in Asia
  • learn Mandarin
  • become good at Javascript
  • skydive in a wingsuit somewhere with beautiful scenery
  • have sex in space
  • be able to balance a handstand for one minute (as of June 2014: 10 seconds haha. Sept 2016: ~10 seconds)
  • EXPLORE/Adventure
    • see Indonesian blue lava by helicopter or something
    • Ko Tapu (James Bond Island)
    • Torres del Paine (Chile)
    • Great Blue Hole, Belize
    • Baiyang Waterfall Trail in Taiwan info
    • New Years on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    • Machu Picchu
    • Mendenhall Glacier, alaska (vid)
    • Slickrock Trail, Moab
    • night dive in waters inhabited by bioluminescent creatures (more info)
    • visit a living bridge in rural indian jungles (more info)
    • The Beach of the Cathedrals, Ribadeo, Spain
    • The Moeraki Boulders (Dragon Eggs) In Koekohe Beach, New Zealand
    • Giants Causeway Beach, Ireland
    • Panjin China – red beach (go in Autumn)
    • Arrecife Alacran http://www.gulfbase.org/reef/view.php?rid=arrecife14
  • become proficient in advanced maths
  • jump off the roof of a building into:
    • a pile of snow
    • a swimming pool
  • ride a giraffe
  • become a National Geographic Explorer
  • Beethoven’s 9th challenge
  • figure out consciousness
  • Visit every country on Earth.
  • visualize global air quality data
  • film some time Lapses (macro and hyper)
    • more to come… (as of June 2014)

Bucketed!

    • skydive (done!)

    • run through a field of flowers (done!)

    • learn to surf (done!)

    • play with penguins (done! in Dubai)

    • speak at the white house (April 2014, EyeWire)

    • Run through field of sunflowers (2016)

 

  • So far I’ve been to:

    1. Aruba

    2. Bahamas

    3. Belgium

    4. Canada

    5. Costa Rica

    6. Dubai/UAE

    7. England

    8. Egypt

    9. France

    10. Germany

    11. Greece

    12. Mexico

    13. Netherlands

    14. Nicaragua

    15. Panama

    16. Qatar

    17. Spain

    18. Switzerland

    19. Turkey

    20. UAE

    21. ..USA + PR

 

No time like the present, as Tibolt says, to “take action on your ideas.  Action generates inspiration!”

First, four Bucket List Accomplishments:

1. Learn to Surf

Completed: August 2009

One summer I happened upon a housesitting gig in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Thanks to a nicely timed Facebook status update from an old high school friend (these were the days when we weren’t constantly fbing) and a spontaneous me, I decided that if I did not take this opportunity to live in Hawaii, I would probably regret it in five years. On two weeks notice, I hauled out. A month later I checked surfing off the bucket list.

A sensible bucket lister would include things like summiting a volcano or cliff jumping..but no, the only thing that counted towards bucket lis mastery on that excursion was in fact learning to surf.  Shaka and mahalo to my lovely local friends who patiently waited as I battled swell after swell before finally hanging ten. Below: Brent Nakano, little sister Sara who came out to visit, and yours truly.

2. Run through a field of flowers

Completed: April 2011

It was so great that I didn’t just run through them, I sprawled out and basked in the awesomeness of 360 degree pink-tipped clover. And then I added more flower sprints to my Bucket List futures.

3. Skydive

Completed: Summer 2004

The summer after high school, I decided to jump out of a plane. This is the decision process that goes into most of my bucket list feat completions, or life in general.  I want to X. I do X. There is a video of this dive..somewhere.  The guys who made it liked heavy metal and as I recall it’s set to limp bizkit. Rock on, 2009 bro.

4. Play with penguins

Completed: April 2012

Because who doesn’t want to hug a penguin? They’re fucking awesome. Tiny feathered tuxedoed demolishers of fish with winds apparently strong enough to break an adult’s femur yet the little buggers still can’t get airborne. This shenanigan actually got me published in the Huffington Post via Quora (a most amazing social network).

That’s it.  In 26 long years I’ve completed four Bucket List items. A whopping one item every 6.5 years. Better step it up if I want to finish in my one and only lifetime.

Next, Future adventures:

  • Go to space
  • Have sex in space
  • new: run through fields of: blooming lavender, dutch tulips and a blooming south african meadow
  • Visit Machu Picchu
  • Speak at TED
  • Own a ridiculously fast, energy efficient convertible sports car
  • live in Asia
  • new: skydive in a wingsuit somewhere with beautiful scenery
  • be able to balance a handstand for one minute
  • New Years on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
  • become proficient in the most advanced mathematics
  • jump off the roof of a building into: a pile of snow; a swimming pool
  • ride a giraffe
  • scuba dive in waters inhabited by bioluminescent creatures

That’s my entire bucket list. I also want to understand consciousness but that doesn’t really feel appropriate next to “live in Asia,” it’s not really a bucket list item so much as the purpose of my life.

Now, thanks in part to US elections, my bucket list is public. You should make yours public, too. Inspire people!  Make a google doc of your bucket list and publish it on the web. Share a link in the comments or post it on Quora.

Finally, the point of this post is to overcome partisanship and remember human awesomeness. I’ll leave you with a #lifebonus video from my friend John Boswell, the beautiful mind behind Symphony of Science:

 

 

 


 

Want to tackle one? Talk up!

I blogged about this once.

Consider answering “What is on your bucket list?” on Quora.

don't take life too seriously

*remember not to take life too seriously*

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Ben Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues

Ben Franklin is one of my heroes.  He is industrious, intelligent, experimental, controversial, revolutionary, scientific, social and well-traveled.  He is also the world’s first Quantified Self tracker. Here are his thirteen virtues

1.  TEMPERANCE – Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

2.  SILENCE – Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3.  ORDER – Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4.  RESOLUTION – Resolve to preform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5.  FRUGALITY – Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing.

6.  INDUSTRY – Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7.  SINCERITY – Use no harmful deceit; think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8.  JUSTICE – Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9.  MODERATION – Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries, so much as you think they deserve.

10.  CLEANLINESS – Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habituation.

11.  TRANQUILITY – Be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12.  CHASTITY.  .  .  .  . [be respectable]

13.  HUMILITY – Imitate Jesus and Socrates”

“Come give us a taste of your quality” – Shakespeare

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Career Advice

A question popped up in my Quora feed today that prompted a short sidetrack into a topic I think many of us struggle with on a regular basis: work.  The Question:

I hate my job, but it pays a lot of money. What should I do?

On a whim I decided to contribute a unique perspective, seeing as I am in the exact opposite situation. Here’s my response:

Interesting question.

To give you a different perspective, my job/life is spectacular but my bank account is empty. I work 80 hours a week but only a small fraction are paid.   It isn’t such a big deal because a. I live an extraordinary life and b. doing what you love eventually pays off.  Last month I spent my birthday in Doha, Qatar.  Last weekend I was sailing SF Bay during a break from building a game to map the brain with MIT.  Two examples of hundreds.. Extraordinarily wonderful and surprising things will happen when you stop focusing on money and start focusing on living with passion.  Reevaluate why you value the ideas and things that matter to you.

There is no substitute for living a life you love.  Start now..it will only get harder to change

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Be Inspired on Quora

How do you discover the web?

I’ve become a big fan of Quora, a Socratic social network.  In the words of its founder, Adam D’Angelo:

When you want to know more about something, Quora delivers you answers and content from people who share your interests and people who have first-hand knowledge — like real doctors, economists, screenwriters, police officers, and military veterans. On Quora, it’s easy to create a personalized homepage of everything you want to know about by following topics, questions, people and boards.

UCSD’s Neuroscience Department shared Quora with me on Twitter about a year ago.  Yes, that’s right.  Neuroscience labs are on Twitter.  Follow some.  But back to Quora.

If you already use it, do so more frequently.  And connect with me.

If you don’t use Quora yet, it’s pretty simple.  Like Twitter, you follow people and they can follow you back.  Link with Facebook and your “likes” automatically become Topics you follow.  This means that when someone adds a question to a topic you follow, it shows up in your feed.  You can also follow questions.  Play around with Quora.

Ask questions.

Add and explore answers.

Shuffle and discover random and hilarious questions, like

Create boards.

Today I built “Be Inspired” featuring ongoing questions like

(The crowd loves Euler’s equation)

Quora rocks.

Share links to your favorite Quora questions in the comments.  Add the most delightful questions to Be Inspired.

Amy

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Whoa! #lifebonus

About a month ago I shared #lifebonus, the first installment of an ongoing series designed to incite surprise and discovery in life.  Or at least my inbox.  Today, here is another round.

On Friday, the following Facebook status went live while a more personal email went out to a few friends:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject: Life Challenge

Are you having an awesome day?  Yes?!  Yes.

This week’s Life Challenge:

Share something that made you say “woah!!! ..but is it too geeky to share?”
Due Sunday at noon, or earlier if you’re an intellectual baller.
Response could be a great article from 3 years ago or a photo you saw yesterday or a crazy fresh resource, such as

AskNature.org

Browse nature’s solutions to challenges such as network cooperation (think interwoven trees and UV protection from bacteria), physical integrity (think bones and trees) or mechanical energy (think spider legs using hydraulic lift and how honeybees fly).  Browse around. You’ll be surprised how exciting it is.  Covert learning.

via Nicholas Sykes at TEDxSummit

Cheers, have a wonderful weekend and take three deep breaths right now (seriously it’s good for your biochemistry). I’ll blog some replies and send out a post on Monday so that your week will start out with a little bit of epic.  And if you are curious for more Wow!Geek discoveries, let me know and I will be happy to share a few more.

Amy

Try this with your friends.

Who knows what you might discover?  I do.

The scale of the universe.

History meets Quora and Reddit:

Ask about any era of history and get answers from professional historians!

Keep in mind that this forum is for asking questions about what did happen, not what could have happened had something gone differently. For those types of questions, check out /r/historicalwhatif

Images from the Boston Globe Big Picture‘s Earth Day Gallery.

Science and Tech

Rockets that breathe.  SABRE engines “use atmospheric oxygen in the combustion process.  The engine achieves this with its two modes of operation: its air-breathing and conventional rocket capabilities.”

 

Magnetic Fields light up ‘GPS’ neurons. Findings allow scientists to infer that birds, like compasses, can determine both direction and relative position.  Importantly, this research adds to evidence “showing how single brain cells can record multiple properties or complex qualities in a simple way.”

Get your own Galaxy Cube (image right). 80,000 stars from the Milky Way laser etched into glass. As seen in Design for a Living World.

Philosophy

12 Things you should be able to say about yourself:

1. I am following my heart and intuition.
2. I am proud of myself.
3. I am making a difference
4. I am happy and grateful.
5.I am growing into the best version of me.
6. I am making my time count.
7. I am honest with myself.
8. I am good to those I care about.
9. I know what unconditional love feels like.
10. I have forgiven those who once hurt me.
11. I take full accountability for my life.
12. I have no regrets.

Awesome tapes from Africa:  “music you won’t easily find anywhere else—except, perhaps in its region of origin.”

Popularity data:

Curious world!

At Wikipedia, it always interesting to see traffic on various articles, Some are constant while others are “One-Day-Hero” articles, receiving 1million views in one day, and that’s it – nothing after that.  The world acts in curious ways.

Here is an example: Google Launched Zipper Doodle few days back on Gideon_Sundbäck‘s B’Day. (Click here to see the doodle) You can see his article received 1m+ views on that day, and almost negligible traffic today.

For me, its something interesting, how the mind works and how someone [or something] gets popular overnight, and then is again forgotten over the next few days.

I hope this post contains something cool for you to think about.  The way I see it, your mind is a world. You are a wold abundant with resources like intelligence, stories, experiences, perspectives, curiosity..  Your self resources can be – and I think are best when – shared.

Be creative in your pursuit of extraordinary interactions.  Send out a Life Challenge or other playful yet serious opportunity with which friends can spice their minds.  Think of it as a game.

What should I send out next week?  I love discovering innovations and ideas you are passionate about.

Finally, this last image came as a Life Challenge response, too.  What does it mean to be happy, anyway?

In the words of my friend Carlos,

“Love this!  Nothing is too geeky, Amy.”

I concur.  Bring on the geek.

 

 

Thanks to Marconi Pereria, Rio de Janeiro; Antonella Broglia, Madrid; Will Sterling, Nashville TN; Mosab Abulkhair, Amman Jordan; Cody Marx Bailey, Austin Texas; Ramy Nassar, Waterloo Canada; Terry Pollard, Oxford UK; Kevin McClure, Birmingham Alabama; Shreenath Regunathan, San Francisco California; Philip Kovacs, Huntsville Alabama; Chris Palmer, Huntsville Alabama;  Kat Haber, Vail Colorado; Hugo Schotman, Zurich Switzerland; Abhishek Suryawanshi, Pune India; Nicholas Sykes, Doha Qatar.

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x worth sharing

Relentlessly I insist that you start more side projects and share them.  It inspires me.  I believe in leading by example so here are two small crowd-sourced ones to get you started.

1. Design Worth Spreading

Tumblr featuring designs inspired by “ideas worth spreading” featured at TED or TEDx events.

2. Photos of notes

Self explanatory.  10+ moleskines full of thoughts, drawings, quotes, left-handed writing that might make it look like I am on drugs, etc are going online for you to get a glimpse of my mind.

Inspire a stranger. Submit photos of your notes.

TED2012 begins one week from today.  Burst of enthusiasm.

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