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A Life In Space (An Astronaut’s Mental Health State)

We see a lot of movies about how great and cool an astronaut experience could be. There’s a considerable amusement of how humans can go around and orbit and then in the universe while wearing their most known white jumpsuit. As a kid, we are all fascinated about what life could be in outer space. We imagine becoming part of the technological adventure just right outside the planet. To sum up, all we can think about is the amazing life of astronauts. But what entirely do they do? What are the things they have to put up with to be selected? And once there, what are the habits they practice to keep their emotional and mental states stable?

 

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It Is Not As Easy As What You Think

Space travel is not just about wanting to be part of an expedition and volunteering for the position. There is no chance a person would immediately get a spot right in the spacecraft. It requires a lot of things starting from the physical capabilities up to the psychological capacity. There are things that one must sacrifice to be able to set foot onto the rocket ship. Often, once chosen, there is no turning back. Trials and all sorts of testing are made to ensure that the deserving individuals are right on board.

 

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Astronauts are required to master all sorts of physical problems that come along with space travel. They have to endure intense breathing exercises, whether they like it or not. That explains why part of their training includes focusing on holding their breath for longer periods. And since there is no assurance of human life once limited breathable air got lost, the astronauts need their lungs to be fully capable. Aside from that, astronauts are required to have correctable eyesight. It should be near the visual correctness of 20/20 in each eye. They have to have a blood pressure not exceeding 140/90. Then astronauts need to survive water training where they are required to pass swimming tests during the first couple of months. Suppose you are wondering why water training is required. It is all because they have to carry a heavy suit that represents a different mass when worn in space. Of course, astronauts must qualify for the engineering skills required from a professional curriculum. These fields must at least contain professional knowledge in physical science, biological science, and mathematics. And for formal missions, they have to undergo military training as well. It is a training requirement that, unfortunately, lasts up to 2 years of completion. For what purpose? Well, it is solely for professional skills and decision-making purposes whenever the space task succeeds or fails.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

Why Bother With Mental Health?

Being up in space does not have that much downtime. The tasks and experiments are continuous, so astronauts are more worried about making mistakes because they understand the massive effect of their potential screw-ups. But despite that, people only view their jobs as engaging, amazing, and one of a kind. People do not fully understand the amount of psychological and emotional strain astronauts have to deal with every day. There is too much stress up in space, too, especially to those alone in outer space for a long period. Astronauts’ mental health is always unstable because they require themselves to be always in full alert mode. But since they cannot complain about it, the only thing they can do is force themselves to maintain a balanced mind and body, the best way they could. But we all know that is impossible and a lot of hard work.

 

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Astronauts often experience physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. In some unfortunate instances, despite their isolated situation, they still prefer to isolate themselves even more. Even if they are put in an environment with people, some of their peers tend to be unhealthy to be with. The entirely closed environment with many conflicting ideas and attitudes is hard to handle, especially when there is no room for personal space. And since there is not much growth happening inside the spacecraft, the risk of having thoughts of anxiety and depression is at stake. Unfortunately, for those heroes up in space, they can only deny and hide their true feelings. They are forced to lie to themselves that they are okay, even if they are not. They can’t trust their emotions, for they know it will affect their overall wellbeing.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

Insight

At some point, most of the astronauts do not allow themselves to focus on any physical, emotional, and mental stress because they know it can lead to a massive human error, which is unacceptable in their job. So if you try to imagine how everything is with these people, then you can conclude that even the coolest job on Earth is not that cool after all.

What I Learned From Our Family Trip To Sovereign Hill

Coming from a military family meant that my father was away pretty much all of my childhood. Dad had been deployed in different parts of the world – South Korea, Germany, Iraq, etc. – most of the time, you see. He had always been an honorable soldier who his subordinates looked up to for guidance and wisdom. I often heard stories about his heroism when some of Dad’s friends – retired or not – would visit our house to talk about their days with my father.

In truth, I could not blame them for putting Dad on a massive pedestal in their minds. He was among those soldiers who refused to leave any man behind during a crisis – not even when the terrorists were already bombing them somewhere in the Middle East. And though not all of them could come out alive, he made sure to retrieve the fallen soldiers’ bodies and bring them to back to their families in the US.

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Source: pixabay.com

Even in my young mind, I also knew that Dad was a rare man. He was not always around to do daddy duties, but he would time his calls every morning to wake us up and every night to bid us sweet dreams. Then, my father would also fix his vacations at summer so that we could go to the beach as a family.

When Dad retired after 20 years in the service, I was already in middle school, while my baby sister was in sixth grade. He took on daddy duties as if that’s what he had been doing forever. He drove us to school, sometimes made us lunch, and helped with our homework. As expected, he had a lot of veteran stories to share during our downtime, although they were practically PG-Rated to suit his very young audience.

Dad’s stories became a staple during bedtime. At nine o’clock, we would all convene around my baby sister’s bed – Dad, Mom, and I – to listen about their adventures in the great, big world. Our favorite one about his time in Australia.

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Source: pixabay.com

My father only spent six months in this sovereign country because the US only had a small base there compared to other countries. However, it was apparently where he had the most fun, stress-free times and often thought, “I want to bring my kids here someday.”

Among all Dad’s escapades, we always talked about visiting Sovereign Hill in Victoria, Australia. From what we heard, it was an open-air museum where all the attendees wore costumes from mid-19th century and did not mind if the guests did, too. Of course, the idea of being in costumes attracted us young, dreamy girls, so we fantasized about going there when we were a little older – when we could pay for our parents’ tickets and everything else.

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Source: pixabay.com

Going To Australia

Our family did not get to go to Australia until I was already working. My parents opened a catering business soon after Dad’s retirement so that they could support us through college. As soon as I got my first Christmas bonus, therefore, I surprised them with a one-week trip to Australia.
We focused on the state of Victoria because Dad wanted to show us the national parks there. I especially liked the Great Otway with its falls and natural waters. Then, we met up with some of my father’s old friends who were either deployed in Australia or chose to live there for good.

But my sister and I looked forward to visiting Sovereign Hill the most. We even brought 19th century dresses and spent on extra luggage at the airport just for that. When it finally happened, the museum did not fail to deliver.

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Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Realizations While Fulfilling The Dream

As I was walking around the Sovereign Hill, it genuinely felt like I stepped back in time when the people started mining gold for the first time. It was no different from the little mining villages you would see in Western movies, complete with bakeries and a post office. Then, my parents called me to ride the tram for an underground mine tour, which astounded me more.

At first, I feared of feeling claustrophobic upon hearing the word “underground.” But the longer we toured the goldfields, the quicker my fear got replaced by awe. There was nothing scary about the displays that the museum set up underground; they showed how the people used to live there and how gold became a significant aspect of their lives. I loved the experience so much that I dragged my parents in the other underground to do a walking self-guided tour.

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Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Final Thoughts

The trip to Sovereign Hill was hands-down the most unforgettable one that we had as a family. It brought us all back to the time when the Aussies in the area had nothing until they found gold to mine. Then, their entire world revolved around it, and they wanted to show much they valued it through the creation of Sovereign Hill.

If you ever get a chance to visit Australia, find some time to visit the gold-mining museum, too.

Growing Your Own Food Amid COVID-19 Through Hydroponics

Individuals are now avoiding crowded places due to COVID-19. Many people try to make fewer trips to supermarkets and grocery stores. One suggestion that experts gave amid this pandemic is for families to grow their food inside their homes. An example of this is through hydroponics.

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What Is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is simply growing plants, particularly healthy fruits and vegetables, without having to use soil. These plants rely on both nutrients and water for their growth. This technique has been the go-to approach of commercial greenhouses to produce edible plants throughout the year. 

What’s good about this is that plants grow in this medium faster and better. It also requires less space, so you don’t have to worry about setting one up in your small condo or cramped apartment. Lastly, the growing process is pretty straightforward because you can control several factors, like water quality, lighting, and air circulation in this technique. 

How Do You Start?

Starting hydroponics will rely on three essential factors: nutrients, carbon dioxide, and sunlight. These are crucial when creating your system.

  • Air Circulation

As mentioned above, hydroponics can be placed anywhere. If you are planning to do this inside your room, ensure that your system still receives ample carbon dioxide. The easiest way to go about this is to make sure that the inside operates on constant airflow. To do this, you may invest in air circulation equipment, such as an electric fan, to improve the airflow.

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This factor is vital to the growth of the plant. Poor air circulation combined with high humidity levels may only lead to microorganisms’ growth and fungal problems.

  • Growing Media

Keep in mind that water alone will not be able to drive and sustain plant growth. Several macronutrients, such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and calcium, and some micronutrients are vital as well. Traditional planting requires soil that serves as a rich source of the said nutrients. However, you don’t have to worry about that when it comes to hydroponics.

Hydroponics is a better alternative system since it ensures that every essential nutrient is found in a single medium. In this set-up, you don’t use soil. Instead, you maximize a growing media to deliver nutrients in the water while you keep the roots oxygenated.

You don’t have to make your own growing media. Instead, there are readily-made ones that you can purchase. You’ll find different forms – either organic or synthetic or dry and liquid.

  • Lighting
Source: flickr.com

In traditional planting, plants rely heavily on photosynthesis to generate their food. They won’t face any problem as long as there is a steady amount of light. Once they receive light, the plant can convert carbon dioxide, water, and minerals to energy-rich organic compounds, particularly oxygen. 

As mentioned, you can set up your system inside your room. The only question is, how will the plants receive ample amounts of sunlight? With hydroponics, you don’t have to worry about this too much since you can replace sunlight with LED lights. This way, it will be easier and more manageable to control the amount of light indoors. 

The perfect lighting for this type of planting approach is a high-intensity discharge light fixture. These include metal halide bulbs or high-pressure sodium. Lastly, it’s better if you also incorporate a timer with your lighting set-up to manage your lighting during the selected times of the day. 

Pros And Cons Of Hydroponics

  • Pros
    • Faster growth
    • Better growth rate
    • More efficient gardening
    • Eco-friendly
    • Needs less space and water
  • Cons
    • Expensive
    • Constant monitoring
    • High chances of plant diseases
    • Complex set-up
Source: pixabay.com

The Emergence Of Hydroponics

With COVID-19 limiting our purchase movement, it is suggested to shift to this new age of gardening. At the same time, you’ll also be able to control what types of food to eat, especially if you are nursing mental health problems amid the global pandemic.

“Food plays a significant role in our physical health, as well as our mental and emotional health. When you are struggling with depression, it can be overwhelming to think about eating the right foods. However, some of these small changes in your diet may help to decrease your symptoms and have a positive effect on your daily life,” shares Jodi Clarke, MS, LPC/MHSP.

So, aside from mastering the ins and outs of hydroponics, make sure to be responsible for your daily menu. This will help you manage your overall health to prepare you to combat COVID-19.

Everything You Should Know About Causation

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I got tickets for the 2019 Metaphysics Event without bothering to look for more information about it. As soon as I read “metaphysics” in the title, my brain already deduced that it would be about space, UFOs, and other out-of-the-ordinary things. I had been into this topic from the young age of 10 as I wondered if everything we experienced were real or not. So, my jaw dropped when I entered the auditorium and realized that the panelists’ focus was on causation.

Since I was already there, I decided to try learning a thing or two about the subject matter. I must admit that hearing those people talk about causation like it was the most curious thing in the world had put me in awe. It seemed so simple at first, but it turned out to have many layers. 

In case causation intrigues you, here’s everything you should know about it.

What Is Causation?

Causation is an abstract idea that states that a situation will not exist if something has not caused it. 

What Makes Causation Stand Out?

The concept seems more advanced than the typical cause-and-effect relationship. When you think of the latter, one cause is equal to one effect—no more, no less. When it comes to causation, though, there can be more than a single impact, depending on the routes that will appear.

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Source: pixabay.com

To give you an example, think of what will happen if you ride a roller coaster multiple times. You may quickly say, “I will undoubtedly puke my guts out.” Still, it may not occur if you have taken pills for motion sickness or pass out before you can even vomit. Other things may happen in between, which may prevent you from puking.

Why Is Causation Often Mistaken As Correlation?

Causation and correlation often get mistaken for each other because it seems like the latter implies the former. Despite that, their differences are visible when you look at it in a statistical view.

Final Thoughts

Causation is merely one of the many things in the world that may always make us think if it exists or not. If you want to know more about this concept, you should look for a related seminar that you can participate in soon. Good luck!

Using Space Technologies In Studying The Effects Of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had everybody on their toes ever since cases have escalated and cities shut down. With almost 200 countries infected and cases amounting to more than four million globally, nations are struggling to flatten the curve in their respective areas.

Governments have actively imposed community quarantine measures, and businesses have been down since then. Only companies with essential products like banking, fast-moving consumer goods like food, agriculture, and pharmacies are allowed to operate.

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In some areas, governments are finding ways of creating lifestyle continuity for their constituents in this new normal. It seems both private and public sectors have taken the responsibility to contribute in appeasing this global unresolve. Individual people, organizations, and non-government units have donated goods or equipment to hospitals, governments, and groups in need.

On the other hand, big companies like Google and Apple have also teamed up to use technology in combating COVID-19. They have designed mobile apps as an innovative means for contact-tracing and alerts and updates.

This time is possibly the most suitable time for maximizing technology for the general well-being of humanity. As people turn to technologies for genuine solutions, we would like to share other examples of helpful techniques in action.

Source: pixabay.com

The World From Space

Several images from space satellites circulate the internet comparing shots of the world from before and during the COVID siege. They have photos of the Disneyland theme park without lines for the rides, or cars in the parking lots.

As people grasp the reality that COVID brings about long term effects, governments urge them to spend for necessities only. We are all left wondering when this pandemic will end. Therefore, as consumers, we must exercise prudence in only bringing home essentials and prioritizing daily needs. Non-essential items are the least of our concerns.

In some households, strictly sticking to daily necessities is the only option. Around 33 million people filed for unemployment in the United States alone. This statistic implicates people are more dependable on government aid.

Highways and freeways are empty as authorities limit mobility as much as possible. Lanes that once filled with numerous lines of cars are sparse. From space satellites, highways look like an unmoving grey strip. Organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) use these aerial shots as data layers.

Since we’d like to limit mobility, this technology enables us to obtain information without actually visiting the area. These images help in determining the number of supplies needed in a field, how to get there, and mapping transmission patterns to prevent disease.

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Probing The Environmental Impacts

In other news, global greenhouse gas emissions are lower according to research from trusted organizations like the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA). Being on the same page with business tycoons are the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), helping with intel and information.

NASA and ESA have been monitoring this whole situation and the bigger picture, literally. With their satellite footage, CREA observed a drastic decline in nitrogen oxide emissions in cities like Italy and China. 

This observation implies how great of an effect the lockdown and travel ban on land and air transportation has on our environment. Environmentalists identify this change to be short-term unless governments and businesses should strictly enforce sustainable business practices.

Data Is Key

Program Manager for Health and Air Quality Applications, John Haynes, MS, shares how their team helps fight the pandemic. “As we continue to collect Earth-observing satellite data on a global scale, we can aid in the understanding of global changes resulting from the pandemic, as well as investigate potential environmental signals that may influence the spread of COVID-19.”

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We’ve all heard before that information is vital. It is power. For instance, NASA’s Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) enables us to understand the environmental effects of COVID; they also have other pertinent tools.

Their datasets from Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) also provide information to power an interactive mapping tool to visualize a population’s spatial data based on age and sex. The information here indicates the spread of the virus among specific demographics.

Aside from those, they also involve themselves with government agencies to share intel on water resources, health, and disasters. These datasets provide findings regarding the environment to make better public health decisions. They also help in collecting information to evaluate crop production to safeguard food supplies in a crisis.

Therefore, space technology like satellites can aid in pooling crucial intel to help the world recover from this pandemic. From providing footage with convenience and monitoring the earth in a bigger picture, we can learn about the pandemic’s effects on-ground while finding solutions toward global recovery.

Beginners’ Guide To Metaphysics

 

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A group of philosophers held the 2017 Metaphysics Conference in our city. As a curious being, of course, I had to get a ticket to that event. It would be mental to pass up an opportunity to hear professionals talk about philosophical matters that I had always been interested in.
Considering this is the first time you hear the term metaphysics, don’t worry. Allow me to answer a few questions around it.
What Is Metaphysics?
Metaphysics is practically the framework of philosophy. It used to have a small part in the works of Aristotle, who named it as “first philosophy.” However, a misinterpretation occurred in Medieval times, and people then believed that metaphysics studied ideas that go beyond the physical level.
What Are The Metaphysics Branches?
• Ontology explores our existence and being. It tries to classify living things based on physical, mental, or psychological aspects. Experts in this field also want to figure out why such matters change and when.
• Theology studies religion and divinity. You may have commonly heard priests and ministers majoring in Theology before moving forward with their vocation. These folks ought to understand the nature of creation and spirituality extensively to be able to spread the word of God effectively.
• Universal Science deals with topics such as the law of noncontradiction. It aims to explain our actions in the real logical sense.

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Is Spirituality Synonymous To Metaphysics?
No, spirituality is profoundly different from metaphysics. The former is based on a person’s beliefs and experiences. Meanwhile, the latter can help you understand why a person believes in certain things.
Final Thoughts
I know that we have not even scratched the surface with such pieces of information above. As a foundation of philosophy, metaphysics is impossible to explain in one sitting. Hopefully, however, this article has made you want to learn more about the topic.

Belief And Faith In The UFO And Extraterrestrial Beings – Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1, it is best to go over it first before reading this since it’s connected. And to continue… When asked if talking with these scientists has made her a believer in the existence of extraterrestrials, Pasulka replies that although she is no longer a nonbeliever, she would also not call herself a firm believer. She does not yet believe in the existence of intelligent life from other planets, but she does admit that strange phenomena that she cannot explain do exist. She also admitted that she was very surprised at the number of scientists researching UFOs and alien life. She had no idea that people from the best universities who were investigating these phenomena existed.

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Belief And Faith In The UFO And Extraterrestrial Beings – Part 1

Diana Pasulka is a faculty member at the University of North Carolina, and she wrote American Cosmic. She states that faith in the existence of Unidentified Flying Objects and intelligent life from other planets is so strong that it’s almost like a religion. Her book is about the widespread belief in UFOs and extraterrestrials and looks at how religions and myths are born and how individuals cope with experiences that they cannot explain.

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A View Of Mental Health Treatment’s Portrayal In Fantasy TV: Aliens And Magic (Part 2)

  This is a continuation of last week’s blog. — A probably much darker variant of the Neurodiversity is Supernatural is the nightmare Bedlam-style asylum, using institutions such as a mental hospital as a penalty for a character who believes in concepts not typically known to the common man. This also extends to the ‘that crazy guy/gal’ treatment most people live with this conflict with the supernatural, which often ends up with them being ostracized. Read more

A View Of Mental Health Treatment’s Portrayal In Fantasy TV: Aliens And Magic (Part 1)

  Mental health and neurodiversity are no easy topics to talk about. In fact, it’s the complete opposite, as a whole can of worms can be opened once the discussion goes on. Treatments and results are a vast and wide variety, and the general society may not be feeling the plight of someone whose chronic illness isn’t immediately visible. You may know someone, ranging from a family member to a friend online, who may have been showing signs of such things like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and many more, and may feel this topic as something genuinely close to home. Read more