Monthly Archives: October 2013

Stay Curious Despite the Shutdown: Try edX

“We’re looking for the international space station,” my elderly neighbors said as they looked up at the night sky.

“What does it look like?”  I asked.

The night sky on Oct. 13, 2013 in Austin, Texas.  That's Jupiter above the tree. Courtesy Night Sky Network.

The night sky on Oct. 13, 2013 in Austin, Texas. That’s Jupiter above the tree. Courtesy Night Sky Network.

“We’re not sure, but it’s supposed to be out here someplace.”

We spend a lot of our time looking for things without knowing exactly what we’re looking for.   Ideally, there’s a sense of wonder, but also frustration and alas, impatience.

Whether it’s a job, a new client or partner.  We know they’re out there, somewhere.  But where?

The trick is to stay curious, so curious we keep trying.

To keep my curiosity in tune, I’m trying our edX, specifically Dr. Micheal Webber’s Energy 101 MOOC.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

The content is terrific, especially the widgets.  I find myself sliding over maps of Europe, Africa, India and South America to get a sense of our world — in constant flux.  Want to see fracking in action?  Stephen Rountree’s 3D infographic is one of the best I’ve seen.

But it’s the sheer scope of the effort that sparks my imagination.  Comments and introductions from people all over the world – Iran, Palestine, Iceland.

It’s like the night sky; makes you think anything is possible.  (Even this photo, taken by intrepid volunteers on Astronomy Day 2013 by the Night Sky Network, despite the federal shutdown)