Perseids meteor shower is almost here!

Shooting or falling stars have always been mysterious to human kind. Maybe that is one of the reasons behind making a wish when you see a meteor passing in the night sky. Just in a couple of weeks we all will have the opportunity of making 50 wishes per hour, as the Perseids meteor shower is going to light up our dark skies.

A meteor shower occurs when a stream of cosmic debris called meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds. These particles are usually smaller than a grain of sand, so almost all of them never reach Earth’s surface.

When you look up in the night sky, because of perspective, you would think these meteors are coming all from one point. The constellation in which this point is falling, usually is the rooth of the name of each shower. Obviously for Perseids shower, this point is in Perseus constellation (The Hero). Although all these meteors seem to be coming from one point, they impact the Earth’s atmosphere in parallel. The Perseids are known to be fast and bright meteors with persistent trains. The peak of this shower can reach 50 or more meteors per hour in a dark enough sky. Also, meteors are typically best after midnight, producing the most number of meteors in the hours before dawn, though this year, the rise of moon after midnight will decrease the number of the meteors visible to us. The moon is going to be a waning crescent moon, which would have a little effect on the shower visibility. Venus and Jupiter will be visible near the moon as well, which makes a spectacular scene of its own.

This year it is suggested to observe this meteor shower in the predawn of August 11, 12, and 13. To have a better observation conditions, try to get out of cities, to be away from the glow of the city light and their pollution.

Picture from http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/earthskys-meteor-shower-guide

Reference: http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/earthskys-meteor-shower-guide

                  http://www.spacedex.com/perseids/

Lenium

Almost 10 years ago, when I started my own blog, I chose LENIUM as my nickname. It is kinda Lena, used as a chemical compound of the Mandaliof periodic table. I used to joke and say that the atomic number of Lenium is 777, because 7 was my favorite number!

What’s going on now? If you google Lenium, you will  find it as a name for an actual chemical compound …. There is also this DJ Lenium that is all over the place …. THEY STOLE MY NAME! …. I want to emphasis here that I am the CREATOR of LENIUM!

Passionate for what?!

When I graduated from my master of science and started to work, I faced one of the biggest problems of my life; too many available options when it comes to making a choice. My educational life in Iran was all about following a path that was defined in advance as a norm in the society. Yes .. I did study Math and physics in high school, then I attended the entrance exam of the university, based on my grade, I chose a top engineering program in a top engineering university in Tehran. To be honest, I did focus more on the selection of the university, because I surely knew I want to move to Canada for my graduate studies. I needed the name of the university, to make this dream come true. I was never madly in love with Chemical Engineering. I liked some parts, but not the others. At that point, there was not much possibility to change my program. If there was any, it would result in a huge waste of time. Therefore, I decided to focus on my discipline, and try to find an interesting specialization in this trade. That’s how I decided to study Process Control for my master degree. Two years and a half of Process Control was Ok. I was not passionate about it, it was just something that I could do. At the time of graduation, I felt like a bird escaping from the cage. I knew I never want to go for a Phd anymore.

When I started working for Suncor, I didn’t know my field of work is going to be very much different from my field of study. I was an Automation Engineer, which surprisingly had nothing to do with all the crap I learnt in the university! I loved the process of learning something new … but is it or was it something that I’m passionate about? I am negative on that.

Living in Canada and earning money more than the amount required for surviving gave me the opportunity of exploring. I started to experience. Anything that you could think of. Different arts, different sports, different activities … I am drowning in the sea of options … desperately looking for something that I’m passionate about, while I have no idea how to distinguish my passion from ordinary activities. When I was a teenager, I used to love doing things that I am good at! The secret point was that I had enough spare time to spend on my hobbies, so I was the best at them. My musical instrument, Turkish Tar, which I never loved … I was performing on the stage with it. I was teaching Astronomy (which surprisingly I did love), etc .. but at the age of 27, with the work schedule that I have, I can pick one or two hobbies and focus on them to improve … but the sea of options is there … how am I going to know what to choose? I want to get back to music, so I’m learning flute, but then sometimes I think of trying a different instrument, I want to learn French, while I was learning Spanish while ago, I still think maybe I should learn C++, to be able to move to more software programming, etc.

I sometimes think, if I keep experiencing I may find the love of my life. On the other hand, I also think I do not stick to one thing enough, to enjoy being good at it. I find myself distracted with lack of focus on what I’m doing … jumping from one activity to another …

So the question is, how do you find your passion in life? Does it really matter to work on what you are passionate about or should you become passionate about what you are doing? How do you maintain your focus on what you are doing? How do you stay persistence?

Canada day in Ottawa

The decision of spending the Canada day in Ottawa was one of the smartest decisions I have ever made. Especially because this year’s Canada day was also a day to celebrate 200 years of peace after the war of 1812.

We had a wonderful ride to Ottawa through Greyhound. We could have made it to the raising of the flag ceremony, if we were a little bit faster in finding our way to the Parliament Hill; but the beauty of Ottawa slowed us down. After spending days in Montreal, and hearing French all the time, hearing people speaking English here and there was joyful! … I ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY SAY!

The very first thing we visited was the change of guards ceremony. We saw the very first time that the officers came to the tomb of the “Unknown Soldier”, paid their respect, and left two guardians. These two RCMPs in their official suite, were very serious, and did not talk or smile for one second during the whole ceremony. People did try to make them talk … they were not successful! This reminded me of “Due South” movie and the main character who was called “Fraser”. Through the day, the guards were changed through the same process, and finally at the end of the day, the guards left the tomb.

There were lots of performances all over the city. African dances, guitar performances, street shows, etc. Also at one point parachuters performed a unique show, jumping out of a military aircraft, holding hands, waving the Canadian flags, and releasing colorful smokes!

The morning show in the parlement hill included the marching of the RCMP forces. The O’Canada song with the show-off of Phantom Airplanes, the speech of Steven Harper, etc.

The evening show included the performance of “Simple Plan”, “Mrs Barbara” (Which I didn’t really like), Roch Voisine, etc.

2012 Canada day in Ottawa was a unique experience. Will I re-do this trip for the 1st of July 2013? I would say, there is a great chance …

A trip to the land of maple leaves …

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A week is passed from our stay in Montreal. I certainly can say that I’m in love with this city. Its warm weather reminds me of my home town … but that’s not the only thing that makes me feel like home! The way people pass the streets, and how they do not care if the pedestrians’ light is red … the horrible streets for driving … The huge number of beggars in downtown area, and even sometimes some familiar words from French … They all make me have flashbacks to my beautiful city of Tehran.

This city is ALIVE .. There is always something going on at one corner of it. Right now, downtown area is the host of the annual jazz festival, which is really not just about Jazz music. Different performers from all over the world travel to this city for this period of time … some of these performances are so crowded that you have to stand meters away from the stage to be able to see something. What really impresses me is how people walk on the Sainte Catherine street till mid night … This city is alive at night, unlike most of the other cities in Canada.

When it comes to dining in Montreal, you have a variety of cuisines and restaurants to choose from. For somebody coming from Fort McMurray … This is a HUGE positive point! Ofcourse food is more expensive here, but what you see here is more REAL food rather than fast food. It’s more healthy, and more delicious. There are lots of Arabic and Indian restaurants around, which makes it very easy to find something suitable for my mum’s taste. Also, Turkish, Greek, French, etc … All nationalities have presented their art of cooking here!  Speaking of food, I should talk about the 24-hour bagel bakeries here … It reminds me of our bakeries back home. The smell of floor and fresh bread in the air, as you step in, is a unique experience. The taste of these freshly baked bagels is another concept which you need to experience yourself … It’s hardly possible to put it into words.

French Crepe, was another “Must try” for me … I liked the ones I had in West Edmonton Mall, better …. hmmmm …

We visited Notre Dame church, Old Montreal, and the old Port, Royal Mount, and passed by Saint Joseph Church. The old European style buildings are adorable.

When it comes to people, it is really easy to notice that they care much more about their appearance compared to the people in the west coast. Women are mostly fit. You rarely see people who are extremely fat. Also, they walk on the streets dressed up, usually in high-heels. Their lifestyle is to be happy.  Enjoy the weather, enjoy good food, and enjoy being pretty! I believe McDonald definitely has a smaller market here! One more note on the appearance of people,  French Canadians are mainly Brunette (to my observation), usually with colorful eyes.

Montreal like any other big city has some down sides too. Here, people don’t seem to be as polite as people in the west of Canada.  Garbage removal is certainly an issue. Clean streets of the West are hard to see here in Montreal. Also people will break the rules if they get the chance to … looks like a must in their lifestyle. Drivers are not as good and patient as drivers in Edmonton or Calgary. You do hear them honking at each other or even at pedestrians.  Pedestrians also pass the red lights and jay walk, almost all the time.

All in all, Montreal is beautiful. Good Food, good weather, variety of activities, lifestyle of a modern city, and being in the land of Francophones make me wonder if I should move to this city one day to live? Should I learn French in advance or should I move in here first? … Will I be able to find an awesome job, like the one I already have, in Montreal? These are all questions which will be answered through time … For now, where should I go to have an awesome FRENCH CANADIAN POUTINE?!