Kerbal Space Program teams up with NASA on educational asteroid game

Kerbal Space Program is a physics rocket science game with an educational component.
Kerbal Space Program is a physics rocket science game with an educational component.

By Stephan Bazzocchi

Sometimes writing can be difficult. For example, having to write an article in the present tense so that it will be read in the future, even though it’s actually written in the past. Mix that with how quickly the gaming industry moves, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Well, not exactly disaster. If disaster were a baked good, it would be a 20-year-old Christmas fruitcake. Writing gaming articles in this method is more like a plain doughnut. Always the last one left in the box, and by the time someone actually decides to eat it, it’s splattered with a bit of glaze, leftover chocolate, maybe some powdered sugar, and some Boston creme if you are lucky. Underneath, the doughnut is still dry, and probably a little stale.
Sometimes, you just have to throw that last one out and go get some fresh doughnuts. Crullers, fresh ones. They remind you of everything that little plain doughnut could have been.
For this month, we are not going to eat plain doughnuts; we are going to ingest the honey goodness of some recent developments and some golden Timbits of the past.
Kerbal Space Program
Firstly, Kerbal Space Program (KSP). Shortly after I wrote my inaugural article, the Kerbal crew made some pretty astounding announcements. They were releasing an educational version of the game and they were partnering with NASA for an upcoming update.
For those unfamiliar, KSP is a physics rocket science game: you help these little green guys called Kerbals get a space program going. You build, you launch, you crash. It uses real-world physics, which makes it a great teaching tool.
With NASA, Kerbal made an Asteroid Redirection Mission pack. You get some new parts, you build a ship, and you lasso that pesky little rock flying around. If only it were that easy.
In the past while, other Kerbal updates include a science research update with labs, modules and antenna to conduct a wide array of science in space and in the atmosphere.
In the last seven months, this game has grown a lot. It’s still on Steam, it’s still cheap, and it’s still awesome. Get it.
DayZ
Now onto DayZ. With the current update, they are laying the groundwork for a cooking system. The days of scarfing canned beans will soon be over. That is, if you can find fresh vegetables.
The last time I dove into the Russian landscape of sociopaths and zombies, I began to notice an abundance of spawned green bell peppers and bacon rations. Those propane cook stoves that you can collect will finally have a use.
Don’t be fooled though – sure food is now easier to come by, but the highly aggressive players who will snipe you for your cans of bacon are still there.
To add more difficulty, the zombies are more plentiful. The re-spawn rate on them has been turned up. Fire your weapons around one and a mob of them come running. Stealth is now even more key than it was before.
Goat Simulator
No article is complete without some Goats. I know the Goats-travaganza was a very recent article, but the development team behind that one is on the cusp of releasing Goat Simulator 1.1. It’s nice to have a group that is active in bringing new content.
Soon you will be able to take your little goat on a bike ride around town, through a whole new map, with your goat buddies. Yes, Goat Simulator is apparently getting multiplayer. Let the glitch screenshots pour forth. It should be magical.

Community involvement and your social profile

Being photographed while advocating for a cause is one way social media works in your favour.
Being photographed while advocating for a cause is one way social media works in your favour.

By Jon Waldman

The arrival of spring in Winnipeg means that we’re finally emerging from our winter hibernations, and for many of us that means getting involved in our communities.
More than any time of year, the months of May and June are the most socially-conscious months. We lay down big dollars for gala fundraisers and walk, run, bike or do other activities in marathon formats to support our favourite charitable causes.
It’s also a time that many of us will not just engage in an event as a participant but also put in volunteer hours. Either as a group of friends, family members or staff, there are more opportunities in this period, before everyone breaks for summer vacation, to show your support for those around you.
In the corporate world, there is a movement afoot. Referred to in social media circles as #RCS, Real Company Stuff is where an organization will dedicate itself to charitable causes either in the form of sponsorship or going out as a team of employees to work on a project or participate in a not-for-profit’s event.
Part of the reason this is done, of course, is the humanitarian nature of wanting to help fellow man, but there is a marketing strategy that ties in. The reality is we’re more likely to want to shop at a store or hire a contractor who shows they care about their community.
Think about it – are you more likely to want to do business with someone who is like-minded and cares about the causes you do? Chances are that community tie does help in your decision-making.
Employment strategy
The same, therefore, could be part of your own strategy for employment.
Often we will be shy about what we do. Whether we’re simply helping out at the community centre, delivering groceries as part of Meals on Wheels, or sitting on the planning committee for a local event, we don’t often think about the benefits that this has for us.
Yes, there are some who will purposely volunteer just for the sake of having that line on their resume, but for those of us who are genuine to the cause, you may at times find yourself referencing that as a challenge you faced during heated interview questions. This is where #RCS can help you.
LinkedIn
Platforms like LinkedIn already encourage their members to list their community engagement. Under the Volunteer Experience and Causes section, you can list information such as organizations you dedicate yourself to, opportunities you’re seeking, causes you care about and organizations you support.
Further, it’s becoming more common for prospects to list their volunteer experience within the body of their work experience. This allows another individual within the organization – perhaps a volunteer board member or an employee – to give you a reference, something that can’t be done under the Volunteer Experience and Causes heading.
Facebook & Twitter
Also, don’t be afraid of the dreaded photo tag. We’ve all become somewhat gun-shy of being published on Facebook or Twitter doing anything for fear of what will result. Here’s a case where you want to be pictured.
Whether you were handing out drinks along the track of a walkathon or helping put up the side of a home, any publicity – in this case – is good publicity.
The bottom line for you is it is time to stop being a Timid Timmy or Shy Sharla – be proud of the work you do for your community and causes. Not only does it make all the difference in the world to your organization, it can do the same for your career.

No doubt: learning the difference between ego and intuition

Survival-based fear is helpful; it's the kind that is ignited by a frightening episode. Ego-based fear is more like you getting in your own way.
Survival-based fear is helpful; it’s the kind that’s ignited by a frightening episode. Ego-based fear is more like you getting in your own way.
Note to Self - Faye Armstrong
Note to Self – Faye Armstrong

I was recently chatting with a young woman who asked, “How do I know what’s my gut feeling and what’s just me doubting myself?”
We’ve all heard this gem of wisdom before: “Go with your gut.” There’s a lot to be said for paying attention to what your body is telling you. But, in order to tune into our divine selves, we sometimes have to clear through that filter known as the ego, and it can be tricky to differentiate between the two.
When you feel resistance, is it fear, or intuition? In order to properly explore that question, let’s look at a couple types of fear.
The first is survival-based. This is the innate, fight or flight, bear-chasing-you-in-the-woods kind of fear. Survival-based fear is instinctual and necessary to keep us safe. This type of fear is important, but it’s not the kind of fear I’m talking about here.
What I want to talk about is ego-based fear. This is the fear that we create based on past experiences and the stories that we tell ourselves based on our perceptions.
You know that nagging voice in your head that takes the worst-case scenario, regardless of how unlikely, and plays it over and over in your mind? That’s ego-fear – and it’s also the type of fear that can be confused with intuition.
Imagine you’ve been asked out on a date (you sexy thing, you). Assuming that your suitor has piqued your interest and shows no obvious signs of being a complete psychopath, you consider the offer. But then, a familiar feeling shows up. Are you nervous, or is it something more?
Examine the evidence
One way to tell is by looking at the nature of the resistance you are getting. Intuitive guidance is usually abrupt, subtle (unless you are in immediate danger) and happens right away. Did you get that “hmm, something seems off” feeling the moment McHottie started putting on the moves? Chances are it’s your intuition. But if the feelings crept in gradually and sounded more like, “My hair totally doesn’t even look cute today/all relationships just end badly anyway…” this is most likely self-limiting doubt stemming from ego-based fear.
Ask yourself
Here’s another scenario: you’ve just been offered a job (score!), but instead of being psyched, you’re having second thoughts. You think, “Am I qualified? Am I setting myself up for failure?”
Consider this: when you think about the opportunity, how do you feel? Did you have a negative physical reaction? Are you hesitant to share the news with your besties in your normally tell-all Facebook message feed? If so, your intuition may be telling you to think twice. Take some time to evaluate before making a decision.
On the flip side: while you’re nervous about making a change, are you still super pumped to update your LinkedIn profile and take on a new challenge? If so, it could just be jitters causing you to doubt your talented self.
Talk it out
Still not sure? Take a trusted friend for coffee, put any “what ifs” aside, and talk about the thing you’re questioning. Ask your buddy to evaluate your tone of voice and body language. Did you speak passionately? Did you get animated and seem excited?
Or, did you shut down physically, crossing your arms and lowering your voice? Try this in the mirror if you’re feeling shy or if your pals aren’t around. You can also try meditating, focusing on the question and quieting the other dialogue going on in your mind.
Our intuition is a powerful, valuable tool which can keep us from dangerous or undesirable situations and keep us on the right path. When it comes to what’s best for us, we usually know the answer deep down. Try these strategies and really dig deep, trusting that you have the power within yourself to choose your best path.

Spending on health is a smart investment

Food co-ops are one of the many ways that can make healthy living affordable.
Food co-ops are just one of the many ways that can make healthy living affordable.
Young Money - Vanessa Kunderman
Young Money – Vanessa Kunderman

I’m as passionate about health as I am about finances. Being healthy doesn’t need to be expensive.
One of the biggest struggles for young millennials is finding a healthy balance in our personal and work lives. Many of us can become so stressed that we make ourselves sick. We work full-time and part-time jobs and are still trying to make ends meet. Our finances are often one of the biggest contributors to our stress levels.
When we’re stressed, our bodies need extra care. So why do we skimp on our groceries instead of our cell phone bills? We’ll buy a box of Pop-Tarts on sale instead of fresh organic apples because the Pop-Tarts are cheaper and, hey, I can get four breakfasts from one box!
Why do we second-guess what we put inside our bodies, while those 99-cent apps go down incredibly easy?
Paying $300 per month for a personal fitness trainer seems atrocious but our $150 car insurance, $300 car payment and however many hundreds we spend on gas each month are no-brainers.
Look, I know you’re locked into your cable plan or car loan or even your pricey apartment, but being healthy can be astonishingly affordable.
In fact, it can be as inexpensive as you need it to be.
Moksha Yoga’s karma classes only cost $5 — you can get your fitness in with leftover pocket change. If you can’t justify that, Moksha also has an energy exchange program whereby people in the program help out at the studio for four hours each week in exchange for free yoga. Brilliant.
And our bellies can benefit by getting involved with Winnipeg Food Share Co-op. This organization delivers healthy local food via small, medium and large food boxes at $8, $15 and $20 respectively. Boxes are delivered bi-weekly.
A recent $15 medium box contained apples, bananas, broccoli, cilantro, cucumbers, garlic, mushrooms, onions, oranges, peppers, potatoes and yams. The food is different each time, using in-season fruits and veggies.
You could spend that $15 on Pop-Tarts, eat them until you’re blue in the face – and await your next cold or flu.
Our weary, stressed minds can be soothed at the Sanctuary at the St. Norbert Arts Centre via its healing and meditation community. Each week, the Sanctuary hosts an array of events (with Thursday evenings dedicated to meditation) including drumming circles, reiki, crystal bowls and much more all for a small donation.
I know we can be a bit impatient and want all the cool gadgets, expensive clothes and restaurant dates — but don’t forget about your health. Getting sick costs a lot of money and if you can’t afford your gym membership, you definitely can’t afford to lose your health.
Vanessa Kunderman is a financial security advisor in Winnipeg. She writes every month on money issues facing millennials. Email her at: hello@vanessakunderman.com.

If the Industrial Age is dead, how will Manitoba adapt?

3-D printing is likely to change the job market drastically, potentially killing thousands of manufacturing jobs.
3-D printing is likely to change the job market drastically, potentially killing thousands of manufacturing jobs.
Dorothy Dobbie - Bold Idea
Dorothy Dobbie – Bold Idea

“Secrecy and propriety used to define our cultural and professional lives. We kept trade secrets, held closed-door meetings, had whispered conversations and kept the details of our comings-and-goings to ourselves. That’s no longer the case. We have entered a new era – one characterized by openness – in which our world and our relationships have become increasingly interconnected.”
– Don Tapscott, co-author, “Radical Openness, Four Unexpected Principles for Success.”

The world is changing so fast that the skills you learned in your first year of university are already obsolete by your fourth year (so says Don Tapscott, broadcaster and author).
He goes even further on his CBC broadcast, ReCivilization, proclaiming: “The Industrial Age is over.”
He bases his comments on the fact that the world of digitization is revolutionizing how we make and consume products. In an economy where we can 3-D print almost anything, from meat, to wing spars for commercial aircraft, to hearts, livers, joints and bones; where Bitcoin is in the process of making banks obsolete; where the old model of protection for intellectual property has broken down; the way we live and do business is being profoundly changed.
Consider this: within a few short years, 3-D printing could replace thousands of jobs in the manufacturing sector. Need a new pair of shoes? Go to the Internet, download a design, fill your printer with a powdered poly substance and press a button. And it is not just shoes. Whole buildings can be readily printed, component by component, and assembled by a very small crew of people.
This is not science fiction; it is not a hundred years away. It is almost now.
Are we ready? The answer is a resounding: no! We still think in the old-mind mode. Worse, so do governments, which continue to apply old thinking to new and emerging problems. Consider the ridiculous anti-spam legislation that attempts to prevent businesses from using emails that are publicly available through directories on the Internet.
This antediluvian legislation comes in to force July 1, but I would bet a very large sum that it will be virtually unenforceable.
At the educational level, schools and universities are still applying a several-thousand-year-old model to passing on knowledge, while the kids they are supposed to be teaching have already bounded ahead of the professor, consuming information relevant to their personal needs faster and more efficiently than it can be generated through textbooks and lectures – and hungrily racing ahead to find applications for all this knowledge.
Keeping up
In our little Manitoba world, we will need to be nimble to keep up. But how? Through collaboration and open minds. As Tapscott points out, open source information or networked intelligence is the pathway to the new world. This approach can be applied at very fundamental levels to solve practical problems.
Original thinking has always been a hallmark of Manitobans. And we have always been pretty good at getting together to make things happen. Let’s take these advantages one step forward and make the Chamber’s BOLD model work even more effectively by focusing on making change happen.
A simple but practical place to start is with the dreadful state of the streets in Winnipeg, beginning with the route from the airport to downtown.
The local city councillor, Scott Fielding, could call a meeting of interested stakeholders: local businesses, residents, and civil servants from Public Works, Parks and any other department that might have an interest.
The purpose of the meeting would be to achieve general agreement (note, I don’t say consensus – a utopian idea), strike a plan of action, and share the responsibility for beautifying the route, fixing the roads and looking at new ways to prevent winter deterioration – including electrification and the use of newer technologies and products.
Think it won’t work? Why not try. The answers are out there; we just need to bring people together with an open mind to find the solutions. And then apply them.
Flush with this success, we can move on to bigger problems. And change our world ahead of the curve.