Five Good Things for 11/11/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

I know I’ve been sparse with the regular content this week, but I hope to have a few things up later. Work’s been crazy but at least I’m off today so I can stop writing boring technical papers and start writing fun blog posts. Man, I need to find something to do that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a computer.

Women_Vets_Served1) Today is Veteran’s Day, which is why I’m not at work. For most of us, it’s just a day off work (if that), but I think it’s important to at least take a sec to remember the people who fought in wars on our behalf and who keep us safe in peacetime. However you feel about the military or about any particular war, I think we can all agree that those who have served deserve respect and help they don’t often get. I’d like to bring attention to our woman veterans, particularly, who face unique challenges and often don’t have support services tailored to their needs. There have always been woman veterans but today there are more women than ever who are dealing with the aftermath of combat. A great program that help woman veterans is Final Salute, and I encourage you to visit their website, learn about the issues woman veterans face, and donate.

popova2) In the same vein, I learned recently about the Night Witches, a Soviet all-women’s aviation squad that ran missions against the Germans under cover of darkness. It’s a pretty cool story, and these women were serious heroes. You can learn about them here or in the book “Night Witches: The Amazing Story of Russia’s Women Pilots in WWII“.

3) If you are stuck at work today, here are some super cute and excited Scotty puppies to make you smile!

bb8-droid-star-wars-3d-fx-960x8184) I’ve been flirting with the idea of learning to code. Code.org is a great site that makes coding more accessible, and now they’ve come out with a Star Wars-themed coding game to help you learn! It has BB-8 and Rey and I love it. Use the Force to code.

5) Nautilus Magazine’s “Identity” issue has a fantastic article on why the loss of a first language impacts us so profoundly. It’s a compelling, personal story with a good dose of science as well. The perfect long read for a hopefully leisurely day!

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