Notes from Europa

With his life-support system fully secured, Augustus opens the loading dock gate. A frigid plain of blue-white ice, crisscrossed by orange lines of radiated salt, stretches towards the horizon where it meets the dark vacuum of space. He plunges his ice axe into the ground and steps onto Europa’s surface. Since landing on the Jovian moon more than two months ago, Augustus spent most of his time confined within the cramped spaces of the Artemis. The only times he left the spacecraft was to inspect the large antenna, which had stopped working following the gamma radiation blast from extrasolar space. Atop the spacecraft, he opens the control unit to the large antenna. Using a wire stripper, he cuts through the outer plastic sheath of one of the coaxial cables, exposing the woven copper shield.

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close up of oak tree bark

Are You There?

“Hey, Spaceman!” I was breathing heavy when Jimmy woke me from my daydream. He was sitting in the driver’s seat of the company’s white Ford Ranger. Beads of sweat were dripping down his round, sunburnt face. “Earth to Spaceman!” he said. It was muggy as hell that mid-August day in Northumbria Cemetery. Harry Belmont, the cemetery groundskeeper who also happened to be Jimmy’s dad, had told Jimmy and I to trim around the Chen monument on Section H. Harry said the “old biddy,” his term for the yet-to-be-deceased Mrs. Chen, was complaining again.

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child on a swing looking at starry night

Why You Should Always Aim for the Stars

A few weeks ago, I asked my 5-year-old son what he wanted to be when he grew up. “I want to be an astronaut,” he replied. “I want to visit the moon, planets and stars in my spaceship.” Like many children, my son lives in an exciting world full of potential. He isn’t afraid to dream big. Unfortunately, many of us lose this trait as we get older, squashed by those who deem such thinking as unrealistic. We are told to “settle down” or to get a “real job”, that chasing a dream will only lead to disappointment and financial ruin.

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Egyptian Pyramids

What “The Alchemist” Teaches Us About Goal Setting: 4 Valuable Lessons

In the workplace, having goals gives us and our projects direction. Without goals, we and the organizations we work for become rudderless vessels. If you’re looking for inspiration in your goal-setting efforts, look no further than Paolo Coelho’s perennial bestseller The Alchemist. For those of you not familiar, The Alchemist is the fictional story of a Spanish shepherd boy named Santiago, who travels to the Egyptian Pyramids in search of his treasure. Throughout his journey, Santiago experiences many challenges but remains committed to his goal. The inspirational story also provides us with many lessons on goal setting. Below are my favourite lessons learned for goal setting and planning.

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