Intelligence…but what is it really?

Intelligence is something we all look for, be it in employees, colleagues, best friends or partners. Yet, its definition seems vague. No one really knows what intelligence is until they actually see it.

Intelligent people are usual those that understand a concept quickly and don’t need to study hard to get straight ‘A’s in their exams. Or is it? Is that a good mind coupled with a somewhat even better memory? We had a debate at work on who is really intelligent, those that study hard or those who put little effort and still pull out brilliance. Well I lean more to the latter. Studying hard is a kind of academic intelligence, but it stems from character. Should people who study or work hard be looked as less brilliant? There is room for endless debate.

forty four intext

Emotional intelligence and creative intelligence are of equal importance in our lives, and are usually forgotten or disregarded. Not all people can understand emotion even if brilliant in academical studies. Many savants are proof of this. They’re geniuses in their field but tend to lack in other areas such as social interacts. To analyse better the importance of emotional intelligence I performed a thought experiment. Let’s say an alien lands on earth and knows nothing about science equations and the likes, but can communicate and truly understand your deepest emotions.

Will you deem it to be intelligent life?

Intelligence in my eyes, branches in two, emotional and problem solving. The latter encompasses an understanding of concepts and using those concepts in a creative way. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understanding emotions or to convey them creatively through a medium, be it art, spoken words or gestures. For me, both branches are as important. Picasso as brainy as Einstein.

I still remember a classmate of mine at university that really didn’t care about grades, but in the laboratory he used to always find a creative way to solve problems. That always struck me in people. Their ability to come through where others get stuck, in emotions, creativity or problem solving alike.

For me those are our everyday geniuses.


Featured image: Image via www.vpnsrus.com

Intext image: Alejandro Zorrilal Cruz (28/12/2008)

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

Run, the Clock is Ticking

It has been around for millennia and is still being practiced today. The sport of the classical era, athletics. Truth be told, running as a sport is as simple as it gets. Nothing to it really, just putting one foot in front of the other. Piece of cake. or is it?

Running might well be the only sport where you have to be active through the whole event. A true endurance sport which, in my opinion, is under-appreciated. There’s no need of cumbersome equipment, no dependence on enormous and expensive stadiums, just you and the road. As pure as it gets.

For me, running off into the distance is the best feeling ever. It frees the mind and keeps your heart healthy. Some say its as good as having chocolate. Scientifically speaking there is some truth to that. Good old endorphins are released into your blood stream, and chemicals called anandamides gush to your brain to give you the famous runner’s high.

Competitive or not, running will always have a special place in my heart as a sport. While beating down the track, trying to improve your time, you harbour that determination and spirit that fuels you through life. Seconds turn to minutes, shredded from your personal best. It may not be flamboyant as football or other team sports or as action packed as a video game, but few are the sports which are completely about you and what you’re capable of.

You fight your demons, while persuing your goals. It’s you against the tick of the clock.

Just run.


Feautured photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Natasha Stannard

Those were the days…

Just yesterday I was small talking with a colleague and she mentioned the good old days. The days when she was young. Days in which her young self would go buy items from the grocer’s alone. Nowadays, she exclaimed, it’s not safe. Too much harassment, too many cars, and a whole list of other reasons.

Talking about my 31-year-old myself, young me would bike at night, all the time, driving my mother dead worried. As a thirteen year old I also started catching the bus to go to my athletics sessions. All this unsupervised, free from watchfully eyes, on my own. I think the sense of liberty and responsibility did change my view on life, and is healthy for every kid.

nostalgia (noun):
a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.

This longing nostalgic tone is ever-present in our day-to-day talk. Yet, we should thread carefully on these idealisations. We forget the limitations our previous generations had when growing up. The eldest of kids forced to take care of the younger ones, few job opportunities, little to nowhere to go or do in the weekends and the list can go on for ages. One can argue that it was a simpler life, but it was confined to our small island. Our kids will see horizons few of us had the pleasure to lay eye on.

I won’t even go into the thousands of social, medical and scientific advancements we take for granted.

In a way I do feel bad for children growing up today, but for different reasons. My kids will face more global warming and men’s greed side effects, probably have to rent house that they will never own and be void of many green spots in our little island.

With time everything changes, and there is no stopping it. Let’s only hope time changes things for the better.

Featured photo: Edson Chilundo

Answering the age old question…

For centuries great philosophers have battled to solve this question. Even Deep Thought spent 10-million years pondering about it in the book by Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

What is the meaning of life?

Seems quite ambitious to write down an answer in a couple of hundred words, but here’s my take on it.

For most, life is a struggle. Work, family, social pressures are all daily battles we are confronted with. A film springs to mind, one starring Will Smith, ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’. How many the struggles, life seems worth for those happy moments, the simple pleasures in life. We just want to be happy, and some go as far as to claim it is all they want in life.

Thirty seven

Is happiness all we strive for? Is the pursuit of happiness the key to give meaning to our lives? For me it certainly isn’t. While being happy on this earth is definitely something we all strive for, there is definitely more to it.

We must dig deeper and understand why we want to be happy. We’re happy when we or someone at heart manage to fulfill their heart’s desires. Be it financial security, having a relationship with a long time crush or scoring a high score in Tetris, they are all indelible marks in our future. While bragging rights on high scoring tetris doesn’t get you far, having money and a soul mate are all signs of a brighter future.

Our future takes centre stage when making many existential choices. For me, making our future promising is the crux of living life. While pleasure and happiness are fleeting, being a positive change can outlast our mortality. Be it to yourself, your kids, workplace or the entire planet, your efforts will make a difference.

Some call it acting on ‘God’s will’, improving your karma, or straight up doing ‘the right thing’; call it what you want but, being in the driver seat to a positive and evergreen future definitely breathes meaning into your days, months and years.

 

Featured photos: ‘In deep thought?’ by Andreas Eldh

What inspires us?

The monotony of the every day life is something we all face at some point or another. Everything becomes routine, everthing becomes mondain. We all need that something to tickles our brains, and make life gleam with interest.

Inspiration (noun): the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

As a full time laboratory analyst, compliance is the name of the game. I have to be creative elsewhere and this is why I started this blog in the first place. Our creative nature drives us to accomplish something we are proud of. It could be a sunset or a fast lambo which triggers you to grab a brush and paint or open the business you always dreamt about opening.

Yet most of us need an external catalyst. Youtubers, sportsmen, colleagues, friends and family are your weavers of inspiration, your role models. From this stems the importance of surrounding yourself with great people. Go-getters will always open your eyes to how much more you can do.

We are still missing the last piece of the puzzle. The cherry on the cake. The focus of all inspiration goes into aspiring for awesomeness , greatness, beauty, or success. You want to get that rush and overwhelming feeling of satifaction after you have achieved your goal.

Therefore remember, if the journey to greatness has a long learning curve, keep your inspirational catalysts close and never forget why you started in the first place.

If you feel inspired, don’t hold it in.

To Hell and back!

Hey there,

After disappearing for months, I’m back to give this blog another shot, another spree of life.

During the past months, I focused myself completely into finishing off my degree’s final project. It was titled ‘A Review of Electrochemical Research into Reduced Graphene Oxide, N-Graphene and Co-doped Metal-Free Graphene as Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reactions in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells’

Scary isn’t it?

That was my life, but now it’s done and dusted. Hopefully I’ll get a good mark to finish off my 5+ years of part-time studying.

Time to move on and do other things. I feel just like a kid in summer vacation, and here are my plans for the near future:

  • Revitalise my blog with fresh content
  • Try my hand at video editing, will start off with mixing a video of my last vacation
  • Rank up in League of Legends
  • Maybe try out streaming on Twitch
  • Swap my car with one that actually works
  • Buy a house
  • Start planning my wedding

To be honest, while writing these points, I’m thinking that I definitelly have a lot on my plate. I’ll have to prioritise but I’m sure that I’ll dip my hand in all of them to some degree or other.

Feels good to be back, excited for what the future may bring.

Until the next one, take care.

A Story of Loneliness, Depression, Assignments & Threats – My University of Malta story

I spent almost two and a half years at the University of Malta and as you can see from the title they weren’t the best years of my life.


I’m out of Junior College, hating school life and I’m already swept into a class full of blank faces. I started Uni, the so-called last stage before getting a certificate and working your arse off for the rest of your long life.

I was probably in the worst mental state of my life, I couldn’t get myself to do any extra work, and waking up in the morning was a chore in itself. I used to run from the bus stage at times just to make it a minute or two shy of being on time. I was in such a slumber that even my socialising skills were burnt to the ground.

Anyway, no real friends around even though there were some good people who gave me rides home and tried to help. The rest were strangers. Students who would copy off assignments from previous year students or one another. Some even signed off attendance sheets for friends who didn’t attend class.

Meanwhile, lonely me didn’t even have a chance of a humane discussion on our latest assignment with anyone. As time goes by I was giving in and started to spiral down in an even deeper depression. I hid into gaming while trying to forget the misery.

fourthy
credit: Pexels: Soumir Kumar

Through all this time of hardship, I don’t think anyone knew how beaten down I really was. I pushed away even the dearest of friends. My parents having marital troubles of their own never took a hard look at me and attributed all this to me just slacking off.

You can imagine I wasn’t the lecturers’ pet, and they made sure to make me feel I shouldn’t be there. One lecturer said:

Only one person failed the last exam. I made sure that whoever deserved to pass, did so” and looked at me straight in the eye.

It was me. I had a mark of 44 out of the pass mark of 45. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. They clearly tampered with the results. I repeated my first year.

In my repeater year, I did better and thankfully I had some friends. I also developed a crush on a girl who was in a relationship, more soul-crushing stuff in that department.

To sum it up, Uni still felt like it wasn’t for me. My brain had always let me down.

fourthy one
credit: Pexels: Pixabay

The second year starts and I had the head of the Biology department come up to me in his car at the lecturers’ car park:

“You already missed two classes, if you miss another one, I’ll make sure you’ll fail on the next one you miss,” he said

“But I was sick, I have all the required doctor’s certificates,” I muttered shyly.

“Doesn’t matter, those are the rules. Miss another one and you’ll fail, ok?” he replied.

I nodded and he drove off. I knew that I didn’t miss classes out of the blue or posed as sick. At that time, we had a maximum of missing three lectures and I was threatened to fail after losing two with valid reasons.

This was done in the face of clear attendance abuses from my classmates. We had some lecturers calling out the names of people after signing the attendance and five or six people (from around forty) were all magically in the bathroom.

Back to me, I was certainly in the crosshair of my lecturers. After that, I started to crumble and gave up. I was done with studying and all of this crap.

A few weeks later, I applied for a full-time job and got it. Was like breathing pure oxygen into old smoker lungs. My mood changed, my life changed, for the better. I left University on a note of mental health issues but I was sure I wasn’t going back. That was the end of probably the bleakest chapter in my life.


Credits:
Featured picture: Pexels – Pixabay.


The Beast from the East – Explained

A massive cold spur hit Europe and here’s why


We’ve all shivered and made snowmen this past days. And when I say ‘we’ I mean mainland Europe. Malta was only hit by some cold winds for a couple of days. Sad thing is that I had to go to work unlike most Europeans.

Anyhow, why did sudden Siberian cold hit mainland Europe?

To answer this, one has to look at the arctic region (north pole) specifically between 10km and 60km up in the atmosphere or what it is known as the stratosphere.

Due to the inclination of the earth (the same reason why we have seasons), the northern pole doesn’t receive sunlight and the temperature differences creates a vortex. This massive stratospheric storm called the stratospheric polar vortex spans as wide as the north pole itself.

 

Since it is so high up we don’t usually feel its effects, but there are instances where this vortex destabilises causing its doughnut shape to morph into two or more doughnuts.

thirty nine two
So, who’s complaining? (Credit: L0nd0ner -Pexel)

Actually Europe’s complaining since this splitting compresses air, heating up the stratosphere violently. So violent, that it pushes the cold arctic troposphere, or basically our weather portion of the atmosphere, disrupting our usually weather patterns.

Then we end up with something like this:

thirty nine
Credit: Paul Townsend – Flikr

If you want to know more please take a look at Simon Clark‘s video which has explained it much better than I ever could.

It’s all thanks to Simon Clark (twitter: @simonoxyphys) that I came to know of this so please do support him

Simon is one of the coolest and newest science communicators found on Youtube.

Do subscribe or give him a cheeky thumbs up.


If you love Science and want to read on more science-y things, click here 


Featured photo credits: Snapwire – Pexels.

A Cheer to all the new ones

The Liebster Award 2018

nineteen

My unproclaimed new year resolution was to stop dreaming and start doing.

I always had thoughts and opinions about everything happening around me that I wanted to share and so, even though I’m an average writer, I plunged in the world of blogs. Knew about WordPress, read a guide or two and off I went with writing posts.

This nomination was like lightning in clear skies. For this, I really want to thank and recommend the ‘Mum failing at life‘ blog. Pinx, you’re doing such a great job with your blog. Your page inspires me and drives me forward.

The Liesbster Award works as a chain of referrals where if you get nominated you have to answer eleven questions and nominate another eleven bloggers to answer your eleven questions. Lots of elevens but only one winner would be announced at the end of the year.


My Q&A:

  1. If you had the chance to have a conversation with someone from your past or present, who would it be? Why? And what would you say?

That must be my grandpa. He was a great man, who was a good husband, father, grandpa and is still remembered by many. A man with many talents and that was involved in one too many past-times. Would be great if I could tell him what I’ve been up to and ask him for advice.

2.  If you could do something without risk, fear or consequences , what would it be?

Leave my full-time job and emigrate. While I love both my job and my country, I do think the grass is greener elsewhere. But we all think that don’t we?

3. If you could live a day in someone else’s shoes, who would it be and why?

A day is too short a time to get the feel of anything happening in someone’s life. Nonetheless I would still swap shoes with my mom. Knowing how she tirelessly works and how much she has been threw over the years would probably make me appreciate her more.

4. What would be your dream job?

My dream job would be writing about what I love. A freelance writer would be my dream job. Able to do it anywhere and anytime of the day. Not having to dress up for work or wake up at five in the morning and not get stuck in traffic. It would be bliss.

5. Where in the world would you say is your “safe” place?

Probably inside, under a blanket with my fiancée. My personal computer is also of refugee. Playing video games makes me forget the world around me and it’s fun. I always wished I had a place where to go, like Central Perk in Friends, but I never felt at home anywhere else.

6. My mum is always full of useless information. What is your favourite useless fact that you like to share?

You would need to eat 24,000 pounds of raw salmon in one siting to get acute Mercury poisoning.

7. Have you ever been caught out and believed something that was obviously (after being laughed at) made up? If not, have you ever caught someone out? What did you tell them?

This was not funny but a colleague at work thought chemtrails were real. I work in a lab, and you would expect people with a science background to figure out why trails form while it whizzes through the sky.

8. What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received? How did you react?

I am always appreciative BUT I received a torch/laser key chain for my work secret santa. I had to react nicely, coz I was at work, but someone got scrubbers and a microfibre cloth so it could have been worse.

9. What do you find most challenging?

Probably studying and maintaining commitment to it. Hella boring especially when you have to answer questions or do curriculum activities which seem irrelevant.

Once we had a series of question to highlight the development framework that we acquired, that will eventually help us be better researchers. One of these ‘skills’ was enthusiasm, and I was like “kill me now, how does listing them even help?”.

10.  Where do you keep your plastic bags? (Personal family conundrum)

Usually keep them in a large miscellaneous drawer, where we also keep our cloth shopping bags, garbage liners etc… It is best if you store them in one large bag, so they don’t keep falling every time you open the drawer. You’re welcome.

11. How do you make people feel loved?

I believe I’m quite a cold and reserved person, except with my wife to be. Spending time with her and watching her laugh is the most rewarding thing in the world. With friends I always try to make sure I’ve always have a friend in me. Spending your precious time is the most loving gift, ever.


My Nominees

Like me, thousands upon thousands have this inspiration and started writing about their favourite topics. I’m definitely excited to share my favourite new blogs which I encountered while doing the usual soul/inspiration searching.

And here they are:

  1. Connecting Dots..!!
  2. Millionsdreams
  3. The Peachy King
  4. Megan Roylee
  5. How to Hustle
  6. imhereiguess
  7. Freckles & Musings
  8. Thoughts of Adventure
  9. 100 Pounds Away (a journey)
  10. Finding my Way (through child loss)
  11. Running vs Me

*  If you have more than 200 followers or  for some reason you don’t want to take part, please contact me. Let another fellow newbie blogger get a chance. *

Follow these rules to take part in this awesome initiative:

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated your blog. That’s me  =>.<=

2. Answer all 11 questions, no crossed fingers allowed.

3. Nominate 11 other new bloggers to make their day.

4. Ask them 11 intriguing questions.

5. Let them know they were chosen and how it all works.

6. Include the link to the award in your post, and copy your blog post directly to their comments section in the link

Still confused? Phone now on 800-link

My questions to you:

  1. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself or your mom while you were growing up?
  2. If you could choose to be an element (one found in the periodic table) which one would you choose and why?
  3. What was your greatest ‘could have been’? Could be any kind of missed opportunity or something you still long for.
  4. What keeps you up at night? *no innuendo answers, please*
  5. If you could turn into ant man (small size), who would you spy upon and would you wrestle a cockroach for the lolz? *Yes, that’s one question*
  6. Have you ever heard of Malta before?
  7. If you were Jeff Bezos but with hair, what would you do with the money?
  8. What is your stance on toilet paper, ply over or under? Explain *Attention: your followers will judge you*
  9. Who is the most inspiring person you came across? Be it face to face, read about him or met him on the web, they all count.
  10. What furry animal you wish it could speak english?
  11. Donald Trump, Kim Jon Un, Robert Mugabe: Shag, Marry, Kill?

Awaiting your fun answers!