Science in the City, Malta 2018 – all you need to know

Science in the City is an annual event taking place not only in Valletta, but in another 320 cities around the world. This will be the seventh anniversary of marriage between the arts and science. Science in the City, the brainchild of Dr. Edward Duca is now fixed in Maltese cultural calendar.

The message of this year’s event is that everyone starts from zero. Even experts started with no knowledge whatsoever. We encourage everyone and anyone to visit and start or continue to understand, admire and discuss the world around them.

The QA with the folks handling the PR for this event was amazing so I’ll leave it as is, and you can see the entirety of it here.

#scicitymalta #MSCAnight

Here’s a small TL;DR for whoever is lazy in his reading.

Words of Osiris Note: The shows featured are those that cropped up in our Question and Answer session, and should only be taken as suggestions. Feel free to wander around the stands and shows, especially those featured as main events! (Use the App)

1. Crowd Favourite: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

2. New Science in the City App:

  • Map with show time schedules and age appropriateness.
  • Listed Transport arrangements, to avoid parking hassles.
  • Interactive Map of all the restaurants offering a Science in the City discount, great for drinkers and foodies.

Words of Osiris Note: After installing the App myself I could only see two fast food chains advertised around the main show area. The only true restaurant is out-of-the-way, at the Valletta Waterfront. Hope they won’t be the only ones. #moreandhealthieroptions

3. Not for Kids only:

  • Talking Science at Palazzo Ferriera (Facebook event) features topics such as blockchain, biohacking, gender assignment and terrorism amongst others.
  • Honourable mention: Ro-Botanicals: mixing plant tech with delicious cocktails + talks about the future of food.

4. Theatrical and Musical spectacles:

Theatrical

Musical:


Once again the full Question and Answer can be found by hitting this link


This blog post is in no way sponsored and has no affiliation with the Malta’s Science and Arts Festival organisers.


Featured Image: European Science Engagement Association

Maltese cyclist handing in his car’s number plates

Joe, a 35-year-old native Maltese citizen is daring to give up his beloved car and make cycling his commuting medium of choice. After getting frustrated in the “back to school traffic” around two years ago, he rode his bike to work and never looked back since.

Joe ended up using his car perhaps twice a week on the weekends. During our interview, he told Word of Osiris that “the cost to keep [the car], compared to the benefits, did not justify keeping the car”. Many react in disbelief to his decision, but after some consideration, they see eye to eye on the matter. He definitely recommends cycling to work for anyone living within 6 to 10km from their workplace. Having shower facilities available would be the cherry on the cake. He added “it only takes me two minutes longer cycling than driving to work in normal traffic. In comparison then [sic], driving to work in the “back to school traffic” take me twice as long as it takes me when I cycle”.

Therefore, Joe is handing over the number plates to his personal car, only keeping a shared family car for errands.

Talking with Joe about cycling in Malta, he sincerely recommends staying sharp while cycling and “kind of expect the worst so you might be able to anticipate a situation before it is too late”. Having said that, he also acknowledges that there are hundreds of motorists who show cyclists respect. He continues by saying that many infrastructural initiatives are “impractical to say the least and at times down right [sic] dangerous”. Joe argues that cyclist safety is always a compromise and never a priority, and when cyclists choose not to use precarious infrastructure they are labeled as downright law-breakers, ending up giving “a wrong message to motorists”.

In a spree of sincerity, Joe told us that he doesn’t think Malta will become a bicycle haven anytime soon. He encourages the practice of teaching children the benefits of cycling and introducing government incentives for employers who install showering facilities in their workplace. With these initiatives we could hope for more bicycles on the road, and the dismantling of the ever-looming traffic gridlock.

As a friend of Joe once asked him “…why on a country so small we [sic] need to go everywhere by car when we are barely the size of a large city”. Cycling helped Joe lose weight, improved his metabolism, while also giving him a sense of accomplishment once he arrives at work.

For the European Mobility Week, try change your habits and explore other alternatives.

Grab your bicycle, and whizz off.


Big thanks goes to Joe for taking time to answer our questions. The whole interview can be viewed here


Featured Image: www.wikipedia.org

What are you willing to do to succeed?

In this day and age, we look at various go-getters and enterpreneurs reciting their stories on how they started with nothing turning into undoubted success. We’re bombarded with it people posting pictures of their lavished lifestyle or their incredible ventures.

It’s safe to say that most would give an arm and a leg for the fruits of success. The metaphor might sound outlandish but how far would you really go?

In 2011, the now infamous Lance Armstrong was being seriously investigated by the USADA, accusing him of doping and drug trafficking. The investigation started on the basis of blood samples results from previous years and the testimonies from witnesses such as former teammates. As all of them do, he denied the claims and kept on doing so until he was under oath. In his admission, he admited of being and I quote “a guy who expected to get whatever he wanted, and control every outcome”. For him, it felt like the right thing to do. He ensured that everyone on the team was on it and they all used he same dopants.

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Cornischong

He was a controlling success freak. Anything for that trophy. The actions of psychopath.

Psychopaths, and to a degree, sociopaths, show a lack of emotion, especially the social emotions, such as shame, guilt, and embarrassment.

Psychopathy could range from ready to kill to doing everything in your power to achieve success. Their cold-hearted attitude with respect to people and rules, would disgust many.

This case was definitely an extreme, but what are you ready to sacrifice for your goals? Are you ready to trade time with your kids to hit those work targets? Would you ever consider investing in your savings to start a business instead of having that dream holiday your partner always wanted?

Striking a balance is never easy, but should be easier when considering your true priorities. Make sure you don’t harm the people or things you take for granted while you’re tunnel-visioned on your so-called path to success.

Malta: Quirky road signs you rarely or never see on the road

Not that we take care of them signs sticking around when we drive, but they’re… interesting?


Disclaimer: High chances of cultural shock if you continue reading. You’ve been warned


Few years ago, I got into an internet discussion about this:

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The national speed limit sign

Was grumpling on how people slow down to less than 60km/h when our national speed limit is 80km/h.

You might not be surprised the person I was arging with had not idea what that sign even meant. Weeehaaa, Malta, ladies and gents.

Anyway, moving on from the tangent, another set of lesser known signs are those with a band of narrow lines. These are quite relatable and maybe you, Malteser, can recognise them:

 

Incidently this means no overtaking, which even I forgot:

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Ok, that’s it with the informative stuff of signs we already see around. The next one a sign that would be dreaded by all lorry drivers or those vans stuffed to the brim.

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You don’t see them at all these days and so, a neat little refresher if they even intent to stick some of them up.


Next up we got the freaky ones:

 

Ye, the last one doesn’t mean airport *grins*


 

Next up we find the never seen ones:

 

This one is meant to indicate that you can stop your car for not more than:

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Here are some quitessentially British signs which I never seem to see around:

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maybe the safe height one does show up now and again.


 

Last but not least these:

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Apparently, they serve to demark an area where the road has priorty over crossing or intersecting traffic.


 

If you’re Maltese, have you seen these signs before?

If you’re not, are they used in your country?

Let me know in the comments down below

 

Introverts & How to Make Friends with Them

Introverts are just misunderstood extroverts.


For the longest time, I have been an introvert.

When I was young, I was brought up at parent’s days where the teacher would ask my parents “Does this boy speak at all?”. I think my parents would remain flabbergasted every time, I was quite the normal boy at home.

I wouldn’t call myself a quiet child, I was kind of a menace, in a fun kid kind of way.

Growing up I stayed in the same school all boy school for all my primary and secondary education. Got accustomed to the people there and truly felt at home. I started to nurture my own character and I talk regularly to friends which I met there.

twenty nine two

The horror of breaking my bubble came on school leaving day. Being very shy of cute girls and suddenly being thrown into a school full of them, made me look like ‘that strange guy’ even more than ever before.

Don’t rush to conclusions, I had my group of friends at higher/college (or as we call it, Sixth Form); some of whom I couldn’t thank enough for being by my side at such a time. But naturally, I would be awkward with the rest. Was always the small group of friends type of guy, like all introverts, I guess.

This continued all the way to University, unfortunately, a place where in my first year I basically didn’t click with anyone. Only in my repeater year (yes, it was that bad), I had some good friends which I still greet with a smile everytime we meet at work.

Dropping out of university and joining the workforce was a night to day change. Colleagues really made me feel at home. I felt like myself, surprisingly, I felt accepted.

doctor, lab, laboratory, medical, medicine, chemistry, test tube

At one point an ex-uni-classmate who happened to be working with me in the lab told me, “I never thought you were this fun to be around. Shame that I didn’t get to know you better before”

As many times before, I was happy about the compliment, but god knows how much a friend would have made a difference in my first year at university. Oh well, what can you do about it?

Actually I got an idea; introverts are people who find comfort in true friends usually in a intimate setting of a small group of people. They won’t bulge in, so give them space to express themselves and they’ll show you a completely different facade.

If you see a soft-spoken soul staying in the corner, you should:

  • Ask them their name! Of course, tell them yours. Break that ice.
  • Make them feel at home; usually simpling involving them in a conversation would do.
  • Crack a joke, because laughter is the key to any good vibe,
  • Listen to what they have to say

Make an introvert feel special, it may mean the world to them.


Are you an introvert yourself or do you have any friends who are proclaimed introverts?

Write us your story, in the comments below.

 

Men in 2018: the weaker sex?

The evolution of men


In the not so distant past, men had an important place in society. In politics, they defined the world and where it was going. In our homes, they were the bread winners, which would come from work to rest and spent some time entertaining the family. Men were also the muscle of our workforce.

twenty four

I grew up in a family where my dad was the man of the house, and he still is. Mum’s opinion was always a second. Nowadays men are seen as equal to the women, as it should be. Times have changed.

Thoroughly glad with this change and many men like me, have embraced it too. We cook, clean and do bits and bobs around the house. We help around because nowadays we both have the same lifestyles and routines.

Yet, there is still a category of women which still want to be the queens of the house, and end up telling off any effort a man does especially when cleaning around the house. We are always seen as less competent in our homes, as women were seen decades ago in other sectors of society.

Just this morning a colleague saw me clean the table we’re about to dine on and said “I think I never seen a man so competent in cleaning.” I thanked her for the compliment, but deep inside I felt hurt.

We’re hurt because our new role in the house is looked down upon by judging women.

“A man can never clean like a woman.” or “I don’t like how my husband cleans, I usually just redo it.” are all words I hear much too often being said.

There might be some truth in all of it. You still hear of men that still have the ideology of ‘women in the kitchen, men at work’ even though an ever-growing number of females have joined the work force. They lazy off and leave it to the able women, to the women’s detriment.

This is where our sense of duty as men should kick in, just as it would do at any other task. Women have been doing this for years now.

Not to be sexist or anything but in my eyes, I think women are much better than us. I’ve seen it in the way they can organise, the larger number of women in university than men (at least in Malta), and their determination in being something better.

twenty four 2.jpg
A sign used in the war but a symbol of women power even till this day.

While men expect to have a place of authority like they have always had, women are working hard at it and pretty much are owning what they deserve.

All of this boils down to where does the strength of men lie in this day and age. Our ability to work most manual jobs makes the sector still in our ballpark.

Alas, is that it?

How can we make more men continue studying even to the tertiary level? Will men to be the kings of the mop? Are men ready to change into something better for our families and society overall?

Comment below and tell me what you think!

 


 

My Worries as a Future Parent

Children are a worry even before they’re actually made

I’m quite the realist. I do believe that the future is going to be great, but I always view it with cautious positivity. Nothing wrong, I guess.

I have been in a relationship for five years, which might seem a lot, but they wizzed by. Now I’m engaged but we still have nothing to our name, not even a date for the wedding and yet I already started thinking about our kids.

Premature? Nah, just realistic. I see her as a great wife and an even more amazing mum. I’m blessed.

Now that kids seem to be in the equation, here come the worries.

One of the most obvious thing to worry about is the baby’s health. It’s like a box  of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get.

If I had to pray to the Gods, that would me my only desire, healthy kids.

My worries don’t stop there. More bulge out, just like an old fat beer belly.

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My wife is as important to me as any offspring of mine. Will it be a great toll on her? Will I every have to choose between the two? The thought makes me feel frail.

I posed another question to a friend of mine at work, “I don’t feel like a father. Will I be up to it?“.

The previously teenage mother replied, ” Nobody is ever prepared, it’s a challenge, just go for it. Paternal instincts will take over.”.

It is truly a huge commitment, one that together with your partner will share all the burdens and joys of it all. At least, that is what I strive for.

My greatest fear, will I still have time for myself? After a newborn, everything seem to revolve around them.

Any yet, recently I watched my brother in-law in-action and he made me notice that you’ll still chase your dreams no matter what. You’ll still have your intellectual discussions, iota of free time and a set of different priorities that will forge you into a happy, married father.

Just like in love, if it’s meant to be everything will fall in place, living happily ever after.

 

“I would never hit a woman”

Does this phrase show our good manner?

Just heard this phrase being cited, and something just hit me. I deem myself to be the old-kind of gentleman. I always try to open doors for my fiancée and I like to treat her like my queen.

It would never cross my mind to mistreat her or to any other woman. I never felt that I had to say it. The same thing goes through my head if I’m in a fight with a male.

Maybe because I’m thirty or maybe because I was never such a physical type of person, but punching or hitting someone seems so distant to me.Four quote

I never thought of hitting with fists rather than words.

To be honest, I don’t know what irritates me the most. Is it the clear sexism or the whole aggressive nature of it all?

It seems crazy to me that in our day and age with all the equality and intellectual talk this phase is still used.

I do understand that men abusing of women is still very much a current issue. Nonetheless, we fail to see is that even men get abused by their partners but this goes well under the radar.

I never heard a woman say I would never abuse of a man, and it would sound wrong if she did.

It should never cross our minds, let alone have a cliché phrase for it.

Anxious Parents

Just last night, I was at one of the thousands of christmas parties we have to attend in this festive season. To my surprise, it was enjoyable but I always feel a bit awkward in these settings.

Anyway, long story short after being late like always, I ended up sitting in front of a mum in her forties. She was very nice and even though I didn’t know her much before that she was quite open with me and the others alike.

She was worrying that her 15-year-old son was secretly dating a 17-year-old girl. Everyone on the table wasn’t surprised that her son started dating girls. After that she told us that her son wants to watch a movie at home or have a sleep over with her.

It was clear that her son wanted to get friendly with the opposite sex.

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This colleague was dead worried that her son would be prone to have sex especially since the girl was almost legal.  I wouldn’t blame her, if I was in her place I would be anxious too.

For these situations, having a good relationship with your children is key. Being able to listen and guide them without brute force is the best way to deal with a growing teenager. Be a friend that isn’t be too nosey about everything.

He/she is gonna do mistakes, which he/she will learn from. Don’t be a know it all; an asscrack in your kids eyes. Let him experience life, while planting seeds of advice as he grows up to be an adult.

I’ve been a teenager and kept many secrets from my parents, but I knew I could always go back to them if I was ever in doubt or in need of help. I also remember that while I fought with them constantly, I always listened to what they had to say.

Somehow, their advice somewhat stuck at the back of my head. Even though I never admitted to it, their words were always important to me and I respected and still respect them to this day.

Thanks Mum and Dad ❤

Bullying and Parents

Today, I visited a medical clinic to do a small procedure. I was bullied by my parents to go but that’s besides the point.

While waiting, the bullying topic came up and everyone was telling their incidents dealing with bullies.

One parent said that her boy once got in a brawl with a child at school. His classmate later on that year organised a party and apparently this parent’s kid wasn’t invited.

“Come on, they’re just kids” she said.

Kids can be mean too. Even in their early years, they must learn that for every action there will be consequences.

I see this relaxed mentality all around me everyday. People double park, just to buy a newspaper. People poke fun at someone, “oh, it’s just a joke” they say.

Be sensible to others. Double parking might keep a man from getting to work on time. A joke can be hurtful to someone who heard that same joke over and over.

Most of all, don’t expect love back if you don’t sow happiness.