Month: March 2019
The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle 📚 BOOK REVIEW
I read a paperback version of The Black Cloud.
Genre: Science fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.
Originally published: 1957
Pages: 209 (paperback)
Audiobook length: 8 Hours 23 Minutes
Blurb by the publisher:
Astronomers in England and America have made a terrifying discovery: an ominous black cloud the size of Jupiter is travelling straight towards our solar system. If their calculations are correct, the cloud’s path will bring it between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out the Sun’s rays and threatening unimaginable consequences for our planet. With the fate of every living thing on Earth in the balance, world leaders assemble a team of brilliant scientists to figure out a way to stop the cloud. But when they uncover the truth behind its origins, they will be forced to reconsider everything they think they know about the nature of life in the universe . . .
I found The Black Cloud on a recommended table in a Waterstones in London, and was intrigued by the Richard Dawkins quote printed on the cover that said;
“One of the greatest works of science fiction ever written.”
That’s a pretty bold statement! So, let’s see if I agree with Dawkins…
The Black Cloud paints a pretty scary picture of something unknown and feared to become a reality. I loved the fact that Hoyle is an astronomer, and that the actual storyline and happenings of the book actually might be quite realistic according to Dawkins. That made it even more interesting, and scarier at the same time.
This book has a good collection of interesting (and some not so likable) characters, that we briefly get to know. I would have loved to have gotten to know them a little bit more, but I also really appreciated that the book was quite short.
Some of the science in the book did pass over my head a little, but not so much that I lost interest in the story or got bored.
The politics that comes to play in The Black Cloud seem just as relevant today as it was in the times that it was written, and might be even scarier than the idea of the actual black cloud.
I found The Black Cloud to be a quick and interesting read that I really enjoyed. The greatest work of science fiction ever written? Not sure I agree with that, although I will say that Hoyle wrote a story that is very entertaining and thought-provoking.
If you are a fan of science fiction and haven’t read this one yet, I highly recommend you do so. If you’re new to the genre, this book might not be the best place to start.
Click on the Bookdepository link below to get your own copy with free shipping, and let me know what you think of the book!
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About Growing Old
When you think about your own future, do you think you will grow old?
I asked a couple of my girlfriends this question out of curiosity, and because I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years.
Because in my mind I have a tiny voice that constantly tells me that I won’t get very old. I have no idea where this is coming from. My family in both sides have grown quite old, there’s been minimal to no terminal diseases and I live a pretty healthy lifestyle. Still, this tiny voice constantly reminds me of the fact that I should enjoy the time right now because I might not have that much time left.
It could be a result of the world we live in, where we see the environment rapidly falling to pieces because we fail when it comes to taking care of it, or maybe my body and mind already knows something that I am not aware of yet.
I have no idea.
But this is a fear and a constant reminder that I’m living with. Maybe it’s totally irrational (and I do hope that it is), or maybe it will make perfect sense. The point is that none of us know, and that’s the reason why we should always try to live our lives to the fullest ❤️
Sometimes Friendships End In Breakups
Friendship is a funny thing. Some last for years and years, while others for only a shorter period of time. Sometimes those who start out as acquaintances turn into friends, but other times it goes the other way around. Friends are so important to us all, but we also live out our own separate lives outside of the friendships that we have, and the time we spend with our friends will vary depending on how much time and energy we have on our hand.
Sometimes we will spend more time with certain friends than with our own family. Sometimes our friends become our family. Other times we are so wrapped up in work, kids, projects and such that we don’t get to see our friends nearly as much as we’d like to. There are even times when we don’t have what it takes to see them. When the state of our mental health is at a place where social interaction with even the people that we love the most feel like a struggle. And all of this is completely okay. It might be hard to deal with as the friend on the other side at times, just as much as the friend who’s struggling.
One thing that I find to be really hard is when I can’t really tell if a friend wants to stay a friend, or they want to move on. Just as romantic relationships sometimes come to an end, so do friendships at times.
But telling the difference between having a friend that’s just super busy, and a friend that maybe wants to move on without you, it can be hard. Maybe it’s mostly hard because it’s hard to let go. Especially when there’s a friendship that’s taken years to build. It’s hard to come to terms with all of that just going up into smoke.
Even so, there are times when the only right thing is to do exactly that; to let go.
It doesn’t mean that you would never let that friend back in, but when you’ve tried and tried again to keep the connection alive, there comes a time when you have to say;
“Look, I love you, but it feels like you’re not that interested in staying in touch at the moment and I don’t want to have to feel like I’m the only one trying. So now the ball is in your court. I will be here if you ever feel like doing something, but you’ll have to let me know if and when you want to.”
It might feel like a breakup. It might even be a breakup. But your life is short, and your time and energy is so, so valuable! Make sure you do not waste it. Set boundaries, and be honest while still being kind, not only to others, but to yourself as well❤️
Why I Deleted My Dating Apps
So, it’s been three years since I had my last long term relationship. Three years of self-discovery, dating, heartbreaks, experiences, new friends, lost lovers and dating apps.
But over a month ago, I deleted the dating apps on my phone, and today I’m going to tell you why.
But first, let’s talk about dating apps in general.
Did you know that a university in Texas did research on dating apps and mental health? And what they found was that a steadily increasing number of users experienced feeling less satisfied with their face and their bodies after using dating apps!
Dating apps have also been linked to depression and increased levels of anxiety.
And the worst part about all of this is that I’m not even a little bit surprised.
I’ve had an on and off, love/hate relationship with Tinder for the last three years. I’ve lost count of how many times I have deleted the app, just to end up reinstalling it a week later after a couple of glasses of wine and then finding myself swiping my way to sleep.
Now I’m not going to say that Tinder is all bad. I’ve met some amazing people through the app and had some incredible adventures. I also learned a lot about myself and what I’m actually looking for.
But the increasing dissatisfaction and lowered self-esteem, I felt that too.
After several let downs by people who claimed to be looking for something serious and later admitting to not be ready for something serious (which is a bullshit excuse to try to let someone down easy instead of being honest), ghosting, and downright weirdness, I was starting to feel my self-confidence drifting away.
I found myself feeling lonely and down more often. Going on first dates no longer felt exciting for a possible good outcome, but more of a complicated track to a potential letdown. My positivity to love and dating almost disappeared completely. And when I found myself not having a natural skepticism to new people, but having the expectations of them going to hurt me in one way or the other, that was the time when I knew I had to make some changes.
To be completely honest with you guys, the night I deleted my Tinder, I sat on my kitchen counter eating peanut butter straight out of the jar and crying my eyes out because I felt lonely. I poured myself a glass of my favorite whisky, started writing down a list of things I wanted to focus and use my energy on, and then I found my phone and deleted Tinder and Happn. I felt so relieved!
And because that was a low, lower than one I had ever reached because of dating, there was a feeling of that choice being more permanent than any of the other times I deleted the apps.
So, what happened after that night?
Firstly, I haven’t been tempted to reinstall it once!
Secondly, I felt my confidence and happiness levels slowly and steadily rising again.
And thirdly, my creativity flourished!
I found myself focusing more on the things that I truly love. And without the mood swings and hours wasted on trying to search for connections, I got so much more work done than I had in a long time.
To stop pursuing dating was the best decision I have made in a really long time!
Now I’m not saying that I will never date again, but I’m not spending my time searching for that next first date, the next potential connection. I’m done with dating being a way to pass time by swiping left and right. Life simply is too short for that!
So instead of spending time on dates that goes nowhere, I’ve traveled more, written more, and met some freaking amazing people! I’ve started taking myself on me-dates again like I used to do. I’ve found my confidence back, and I find myself smiling for no reason so much more often, just like I used to. I feel like I’ve found my way back to the me that I love, and to the creativity that I’m so passionate about.
I know a lot of people find their partners through Tinder and other dating apps, and I think that’s absolutely fantastic! The world needs more love!
But I have found that my life is better without dating apps in it❤️
How About We Don’t Give Terrorism a Face?
The last few days have been painted in sadness by the horrible attacks in New Zealand and the Netherlands. There is no way to really wrap my mind around the evil and hatred behind these acts, and my thoughts go out to all the victims and their families❤️
You can help by donating here:
United for Christchurch Mosque Shootings
In this writing moment, I couldn’t find a donations page for the victims of the Utrecht attack, but I will update the post with a link to it as soon as one is created.
We now live in an age where terrorist attacks, unfortunately, has become a sort of new and horrible normal. We still get that uneasy feeling and the fear for our own safety of living our day to day lives whenever a new terrorist attack happens. We still morn all the ones who are hurt, passes away, and all the people who are left behind without their loved ones. We still get baffled and confused by the anger and cruelty of these actions.
I hope that this will never change. I hope that most people will continue to unite through love when faced when hatred and senseless acts of violence.
The best thing would be for the terrorism to stop altogether, but I am not optimistic enough about that ever happening.
But there is one thing that I wish would stop.
I wish we didn’t give terrorism a face in the media. I wish we didn’t give them the opportunity to have a platform to spread their hate.
By giving the attacks a known face we make it hard for people to disconnect the horrible acts of one or several people from the fear of people that might look similar. We give hate fame and a growing following, and they don’t deserve to have that wish come true.
I love news outlets like Philip DeFranco’s YouTube channel for making the conscious choice to not share these people’s faces on his news show!
I think it’s important for us to learn from vicious acts so that we can try to prevent them from happening. It’s important to know what is suspicious behavior, not to recognize a certain kind of face as a suspicious kind of feature. We already live in a world where it’s harder and harder to not judge too fast.
And I know the news media fights over getting the most clicks and read articles, so hoping for a change like this is not very likely, but I still hold on to that wish, and I refuse to let go!
Soarin’ Made Me Cry
Disneyland is filled with rides and adventures. Some are sweet, some get your heart rate up and others (apparently) will make you cry!
Or they will make me cry at least.
One ride that I did not take the last time I was here was Soarin’. I had never even heard of it until this time around, and I didn’t really know what to expect to be honest.
You wait in line and then you have a “pilot” giving you the flight instructions for your ride. As soon as we got in, you get strapped to a row of seats that are hanging from the ceiling, and then you’re off! Your feet leave the floor and you are facing a giant screen.
All of the sudden you’re flying up in the skies with the wind in your hair, and then you’re traveling all over the world in a matter of seconds without ever really going anywhere.
Now I’m a very visual person, and I get moved so easily. One of the things that I’ve found after I started traveling a lot, was just how emotional I get out of complete awe of what the world has to offer. The different sights, smells and sounds. By going on this ride my mind ended up getting somewhat of an overload I guess. I was “flying” over an African desert filled with elephants and I just started crying. Even I was a bit surprised.
It was something about the smells that they add to the ride, and the wind effects that made it feel so real, even though I knew it wasn’t. It just got to me. I felt so incredibly lucky to be in the position that I’m in where I get to travel as much as I do. Something about all the wonders that this world has to offer, and maybe more than anything else, it got to me exactly how reckless we are when it comes to taking care of it.
So many takes it for granted way too often, and it’s easy to do when we live inside of our own bubbles for too long. I think that’s why I love to travel as much as I do. It puts everything into perspective, and it reminds me of all the beauty we’re surrounded by, and how important it is to take care of it all.
So this is why Soarin’ made my cry, and why I think it’s the best and most spectacular ride that Disneyland has to offer!
If you ever get the chance to go on it, I would highly recommend that you give it a try!
Where Are You at 3am?
Usually I’m far gone into the land of dreams at 3am, but tonight I’m spending my night at a place that feels somewhat familiar to me, although I’ve never spent the night here or anywhere like it before.
I’m spending my night at Oslo Airport Gardermoen.
It sounds all kinds of dramatic, but it isn’t. I have a super early flight, so early so that there weren’t any morning buses or trains that would get me here in time, and I didn’t want to spend a ridiculously amount of money to book myself into an airport hotel for a just a few hours.
That left me with the choice of taking the last train to the airport that would arrive at around 1am, and that would give me a good five hours at the airport before my plane will take me up, up, up and away!
I was curious to see how spending a night at a place like this would actually be like, and I found it to be way more comfortable and interesting than I expected.
I definitely wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to waste money on a hotel. There are quite a lot of people here. You can see them sleeping or reading, talking with friends, or doing some late night working. Maybe they are writing too!
While being surrounded by all of these travelers, I found myself lost in one of my favorite activities; people watching.
My eyes drifted from traveler to traveler, and I started thinking about where they were from, where they were going, and what kind of stories they would be able to tell.
The travelers come in all different shapes, ages, and colors, and I find myself very calm and relaxed even though I’m surrounded by bright lights and sounds of maintenance workers. It’s so different to be here in a place that I’m used to seeing crammed with people and loud with voice, suddenly being a place of rest and stillness.
I even managed to sleep for an hour on one of the benches.
Now I’m not saying that I would prefer to sleep at airports. I love the softness of a good bed way too much, but this was a way more pleasant experience than I expected it to be. I still have about 2,5 hours left before I’m starting a 16 hour long journey, but even though I’m tired, it’s off to a good start!
I’m guessing most of you are sleeping, or you are in time zones that takes you far away from 3am at this writing moment, but wherever you are, I hope you’re smiling!
And if you find yourself other places than home at 3am, I hope you make the most of it❤️
One of my absolute favorite things to do when I travel is to listen to music, just start walking in some random direction (without the help of a map), and just see where that takes me. I love to get lost in new cities!
We live in an age where we usually have our phones ready to help us out if we struggle to find our ways back to wherever we need to be later on, so why not use that. Why not leave the maps and the apps, and just go on a new adventure, and then technology (or a good old map) can help us out when the exploring is done?
Some of the most interesting places I’ve found when traveling has been while I’m just allowing myself to walk around with no set destination. And those locations are usually the sources to some of my most interesting pictures as well.
Most places have so much more to offer than just the typical tourist attractions, and just stumbling upon them is like finding a hidden treasure that you didn’t even know you were looking for! And sometimes you even get to see the places that you know so well from a whole different angle, and that can be just as special!
I dare you to get lost more often! You don’t even have to travel to do so or to do it alone. Just start walking around where you live. Take a different path than you normally would. Jump on a random bus, and see where you end up!
It might be nowhere special, or it might end up being an amazing adventure❤️If you don’t try then you’ll never know!
All the Good Vibes!
September last year I eagerly bought a concert ticket. Jason Mraz was going on a new European tour, not visiting Norway, so I had to choose between a few other cities in Europe.
Another excuse to travel. Oh no, how sad 😜
I was torn between Amsterdam, Vienna, and Copenhagen. At a moment I caught myself thinking “What if I just go to all of them?!”, but luckily I talked myself out of that pretty quickly. Amsterdam quickly sold out, and traveling to Vienna was quite expensive, so my final decision landed on Copenhagen.
I paid for the ticket, printed it out and had it in my office corner at home so that I could see it, and then the waiting began. Five months of waiting.
I’ve talked about how much Jason Mraz’s music has meant to me over the years. I have so many memories and emotions connected to his songs, so going to one of his concerts is like taking an emotional journey into the past. That’s why I always end up crying a little bit (Maybe not so little), and also because his voice is just so beautiful! One of the very few artists that I find better live than recorded.
I’ve now been lucky enough to have seen him twice in Oslo, once in Royal Albert Hall in London, and now at K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen. It has been all the good vibes, all the way!
Seeing him live again on the Good Vibes tour was just as wonderful as I had imagined, and then some! If you ever get the chance to go to a Jason Mraz concert, I highly recommend you do so! You can thank me later 😜