Celebrating a year of daily blog-posts!

It was today exactly one year ago, or perhaps I should say 365 days ago, in blog terms, that I made a blog post about the inaugural Fascination of Plants Day.

This rather inconspicuous event in the blogging universe, on the arbitrary date of 18 May 2012, was the kick-off of an idea I had to do a daily blog featuring some interesting fact (preferably with a science angle) related to the specific day, and illustrating it with one of my own photos. And here we are – 365 posts later, back to the 18th of May. 🙂

Jumping for joy at having achieved my goal of a year of daily science and photography blog-posts  (© All Rights Reserved)
Jumping for joy at having achieved my goal of a year of daily science and photography blog-posts
(© All Rights Reserved)

I don’t think I quite realised what I let myself in for – trying to find something interesting for each day proved quite a challenge, especially given the extra requirement of illustrating it with an original photograph of my own. This immediately took things like space travel, innovations at the atomic level, heart transplants etc out of the equation, sometimes leaving me blogging about some rather absurd esoteric topics like Yellow Pig Day and World Coconut Day. I discovered many interesting facts and stories I never knew – the story of Farkas Bolyai and his mathematical obsessions, Stanley Miller’s primordial soup experiments, how bubble wrap was invented, and the fact that there’s even such a thing as World Toilet Day, to name but a few.

I even learned how to make a needle float on water.

My original aim was to keep up the daily blog for a year. With that done, the question is whereto now. While I’m reluctant to commit to another year of the same level of blogging dedication, I have to admit I’ve been enjoying where the blog took me, so I don’t quite feel like calling it a day.

What I’ve decided for the moment (I may change my mind, who knows) is to commit to at least a weekly post on a subject related to the day (or week – there appears to be more than enough ‘International Week of…’ initiatives out there worth sharing a blog post about).

In between I may mix things up a bit with more blog posts related to what I do in real life, that is, being a science photographer. Posts about interesting events and developments in the fields of photography, visual science communication, science art collaborations, and more. Even some personal ramblings, who knows.

My sincere thanks to everyone following this blog, to all the likes, comments and support over the past year. I hope you will continue to share my journey.

Cheers to the next year.
Gerry

May the Fourth be with you!

The story goes that in 2005, when Star Wars creator George Lucas appeared in a German news interview, he was asked to recite the famous line from the movie, “May the Force be with you.” The German interpreter, however, misinterpreted the line as “We shall be with you on May 4th”.

The above has given further prominence to the already popular pun “May the Fourth be with you”, and as a result May 4th has come to be celebrated as Star Wars Day.

It is well known that fans of the Star Wars movies are some of the most dedicated and committed among movie fans (as parodied regularly in the popular TV series Big Bang Theory, for example), so it doesn’t take much to convince them to dedicate a day to celebrating and honouring the films. Around the world, fans get together for special screenings, or simply to enjoy an opportunity to dress in their favourite Star Wars outfits and spend some time with fellow devotees. You can even get recipes for themed party snacks (Death Star popcorn balls or Wookie Cookies, anyone?) on StarWars.com, and don’t forget the blue milk!

It doesn't take a lot of convincing to get Star Wars fans dressed up in their favourite outfits from the movies. Some are, however, a touch more committed than others - not content to wear his Star Trooper outfit to Star Wars parties only, this fan opted to run 42km on a warm, sunny day in the Auckland Marathon in New Zealand.  (© All Rights Reserved)
It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to get Star Wars fans dressed up in their favourite outfits from the movies. Some are, however, a touch more committed than others – not content to wear his Star Trooper outfit to Star Wars parties only, this fan opted to run 42km on a warm, sunny day in the Auckland Marathon in New Zealand.
(© All Rights Reserved)

Besides the May 4th pun, May is a special month for Star Wars fans. The 6 movies of the series debuted in May, starting with the original Star Wars being released on 25 May 1977. ‘Return of the Jedi’ was released on 25 May 1983, making this year the 30th anniversary of its release. May is also the birthday month for George Lucas (born 14 May 1944), and it’s the traditional starting month for the Star Wars Weekends at the Walt Disney World Resort.

And of course 2013 is an exciting year for all die-hard Star Wars fans, as there is a new trilogy of movies due for release, starting with ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’, coming soon to a theatre near you.

If you want to join in on the action in cyberspace, your key is the hashtag #MayThe4thBeWithYou. Or you can get connected with events, blogs, fan groups and more on StarWars.com Connect.

Check it out – there may just be an intergalactic bash happening near you!

About life, personal challenges and celebrations

22 January is Celebration of Life Day. Where the day originated, or what exactly it’s original intent was, I am not sure, but I have no problem with the sentiment of it – the opportunity to be part of this roller-coaster ride called life certainly is something worth celebrating.

Of course how you choose to celebrate life is up to you – perhaps a party with loved ones, perhaps some personal quiet-time. I personally believe the best way is to do something that pushes the boundaries of your comfort zone, something that scares you, that makes life real and immediate again.

Nothing beats the feeling of setting - and achieving - a personal challenge.(© All Rights Reserved)
Nothing beats the feeling of setting – and achieving – a personal challenge.
(© All Rights Reserved)

It can be a physical challenge – climb a mountain; run further than you’ve ever run before; take up a new sport. Think Ranulph Fiennes – now there’s a guy whose entire life reads like a celebration of living.

Or perhaps you prefer a mental challenge – tackle a long-standing phobia head-on (like fellow blogger Metan’s son facing his fear of spiders); pull the plug on your safe office job and start your own business; enroll for a degree or diploma; learn a new skill. It’s all about moving out of your comfort zone, getting away from that state of comfortably numbness where you live, but you’re hardly alive.

And when you conquer that fear, reach that challenge, achieve that success, celebrate it. Celebrate life.

Start today. And put a bubbly on the ice in anticipation.