Monthly Archives: April 2012

Things I Love Thursday – Space Edition

Story time. Brace yourself.

This week I was inspired to tell you all about one of my new favorite things, outer space. Most universities require you to take two science courses to graduate, I’m working on finishing up the my second right now. My first was Astronomy: The Solar System, last semester, and this semester is Astronomy: Stars and Universe. Both of these classes have been a lot of fun, at least for me, mostly because I’ve had really great professors. I can’t imagine how awful these classes would be if the professor was horrible.

I’ve always liked stars, but these classes have made me come to love them! Part of the labs for the class have us in the school planetarium (first thing going in my house if I ever hit it rich someday) learning and memorizing a ton of constellations and other things in the sky. It’s just been so cool to be able to go outside at night and look up and know stuff like that. Instead of a bunch of random stars, my mind catches the patterns and says things like, “Ooo, there’s Orion!”

Learning about how the universe works (from a slightly less God-centered point of view than I’d like, but it’s still incredible) and all the different things that are out there has turned every class session into a whole new worship experience! As we learned about different nebula one day, I actually teared up first at the sheer beauty, and then at the fact that the God that created those far away things knit me together (Ps 139:13), has numbered every hair on my head (Luke 12:7), and planned every second of my life for His glory and my good. Doesn’t that thought just give you chills??




So the cool thing I want to tell you about today is a website they let us play with in our astronomy lab called Zooniverse.

There are tons of telescopes on earth that have gathered so much data and taken so many pictures that it takes a group of astronomers years to sort through it all to give the world any new info about what’s happening out in space. So years ago these groups started putting all the raw data online and asked ordinary people to help them sort through it. The first test of this, they’re calling it “civilian science”, was of a whole bunch of pictures of galaxies. They asked people to help narrow them down into three or four categories based on their shape, really easy for people to do and it doesn’t require a PhD in astrophysics. They expected it to take about a year for people to get through all the pictures, but it only ended up taking two weeks. So lots of different groups are now asking civilians to help them with their data, and that’s what Zooniverse is all about. You can choose any project that interests you, and they tell you exactly what you need to do and how to do it. Neat, right??

From one nerd to another,



Things I Love Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone!

ONE. Jonas Peterson is one of the photographers that I constantly stalk. I love his work and everything about the way he shoots. He’s based in Brisbane, Australia and is aparently very well known because he does weddings in places like Bali, Sweden, New Zealand, and all over the US. There’s not a huge story behind this one like almost all the others things I tell you about, but trust me, this guy is golden.

TWO. As a lot of you know, Picnik is going offline on the 19th. And if you had a Picnik account they probably sent you an email sometime this week reminding you. Since I’m a horrible person and don’t read emails that often, my sister had to be the one to tell me about this new place in a Facebook message yesterday. It’s called PicMonkey (they got REAL creative with the name didn’t they?). The great thing about PicMonkey is that everything is free, unlike Picnik where you needed a premium account to use the coolest features. PicMonkey is pretty much the exact same software as Picnik, so there’s nothing really new to learn. There’s also another website,, that you could use too.

I thought I’d share this with you all because a lot of people have been freaking out about Picnik going offline. For those of us who are too poor to afford Photoshop, these online editing sites are something of a life saver.

Stay Creative!


March Instagrams

March was the busiest month I’ve had in a long time. It was definitely the most traveling I’ve done in that short of a time. In 30 days I went from New York City to Florida, back to Commerce, College Station, Austin and then San Antonio. It’s been crazy, but I’ve loved every second of it.



Things I Love Thursday – I’m alive

This has been a crazy week.

We had some storms come through on Monday, and then Tuesday an even worse batch came through. I’m sure you saw it on the news (it even made national news!). The tornadoes started west of Dallas, and just kept on coming. By the end of it I think they said 6-12 tornadoes actually touched down in the DFW area.

Commerce is about 50 minutes east of Dallas, and as I watched the news and radar it was clear the worst of it was headed straight for us. When the first line came through I was in the music building practicing for a piano lesson. As I played, people just started coming in my practice room saying our department head was telling everyone to get in the practice rooms to take shelter. I had no idea the weather had even gotten that bad because the rooms that I use are in the center of the building and are mostly sound-proof. We sat in the practice rooms for about an hour as the storm passed and then they let us leave, but with a warning that another group of storms would be in town in an hour. So I got my things (my piano lesson was cancelled, thank goodness!) and drove back to my dorm. I walked in my door with my mind racing, trying to figure out a plan in case a tornado really did come. And the chances for one coming seemed to climb higher and higher as I watched the news. They were reporting on all these funnel clouds that were cropping up in almost every city from Dallas to Commerce. Not good.

I finally decided that if I heard the tornado sirens that I was going to grab my purse, laptop, chargers, a pillow and blanket, and my camera bag (couldn’t let it get sucked out to Oz) and go get in a shower. And about twenty minutes after I’d made that decision I heard sirens. Such an eerie feeling.

It was raining so hard that I couldn’t see out my window if there had been a tornado out there, so I grabbed my things and headed for the community shower room (yep. gotta love dorm life) down the hall. It’s central, all tile, and no windows. Just about the best place I could think of. My WiFi reached down the hall, so I snuggled up in a shower stall and waited it out with about twenty other Smith Hall residents. We couldn’t hear anything that was going on; all we could do was wait, and it was pretty scary. I kept the radar going on my laptop which pretty much appointed me chief meteorologist of our bathroom club. So once the massive pink blob had passed and only green spots hovered over Commerce I let everyone know that we could leave. I have officially survived my first tornado scare. Booyah.

There was never a real tornado in Commerce, though I have heard rumors that there was a funnel cloud by one of the dorms. Still, it was a pretty epic day.

Now, on to the fun stuff!

ONE. I got a text from my best friend last week that went a little something like this:

“You HAVE to go look at!!”

And, well, I did! If your best friend tells you to check something out, you do it. They have such cute clothes! If you like Anthropologie, then this is your store. It’s like Anthro, but a lot less expensive. Cheap clothes?? Yes please!!

TWO. People of Earth, I’d like to introduce you to the coolest app ever. It’s called SoundHound, annnnd you’re welcome.

It’s like Shazam, but a whole lot better. This app lets you sing to it or hum the tune of a song and it will tell you what it is! With Shazam, you need the actual artist’s recording, and need lyrics for it to work. But with SoundHound you only need a tune! It’s free too which is a huge plus.

Now whenever you’ve got a tune in your head and can’t remember who sings it or what song it is, this app will be there to save the day!

Stay Creative