INDY Adventure Map updates

Over the weekend I made some adjustments to the map appearing on the main page of the Adventure section (http://www.indy.cc/adventure/). In addition, I updated the location which allows INDY members to indicate the places they've visited around the world. (Members can now mark places they've visited, even if those places no longer exist on a map. e.g. the USSR, Yugoslavia, etc.)

The map, viewable to all, is an implementation of a Flash product created by Antanas (www.ammap.com). This weekend I created a new world map for the Adventure section which uses a Fuller projection [wikipedia: Dymaxion Map] to display the continents with nearly accurate surface areas.

I think the Fuller projection is a much nicer 2D presentation of our planet as there is little distortion -- such as the distortion which makes Greenland look larger than Africa on many maps. Additionally, the viewer is able to see all of the continents laid out on a single plain (including Antarctica).


INDY Poll: What's your favorite music genre?


INDY Nostalgia

I've become nostalgic about the site design of INDY.CC before the 2007 redesign. In remembrance of the original layout, over the course of the next 10 days I will be adjusting the site's appearance. The commutation of this effort will come on February 21st, six and a half years after INDY.CC was revealed in 2004 on August 21st.


INDY Poll: What do you fear?

On Wednesday, you read how to begin overcoming your fear(s) in the "Groundhog Day 2011" post. Along that same line, this INDY Poll asks, "What do you fear?"

List items inspired by "10 Common Phobias" - About.com

I'm trying out a new method of handling the INDY Polls by using BlogPolls.com. Hopefully, this will allow me to automate and simplify the release of the polls and better manage the results.


Groundhog Day 2011

It's hard to agree that Spring has arrived when the temperature is currently -20°C (4°F) in my town of Fort Collins, Colorado, but today both fact and tradition say it is so. Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow today which confirms the fact that today is a cross-quarter day1 and therefore the start of Spring.

This year, I encourage you to shed the burden of your fears and journey forward toward your goals in the adventure of Life. We often weigh ourselves down with trepidation about the decisions we make. Today, challenge the root of those fears, whether they are minor doubts or massive phobias.

Don't expect yourself to overcome fear with one thought or intention; recognize the challenge that you must face every time you feel the angst set in. Slowly, every time you "face your demon", the fear will dissipate.

Now, let me offer you some tools with which to defy your misgivings:
- Introspection: Identify the root fear(s). The root fear is the one on which you should focus your attention.
Is it truly a fear of heights (vertigo) or the fear of falling? What, specifically, does and doesn't scare you about spiders? What causes the nervousness you feel in front of "crowds"?

- Acceptance: Once you identify the root fear, teach yourself to accept and acknowledge that you currently have this fear. Do not give power to the fear by pretending it doesn't exist. We all have fears, true strength will come from owning yours.

- Understanding: Delve into the root fear. During (or after) an experience causing fear, feel the symptoms of the fear on your mind. Understand what happens to you when your fear takes hold. (e.g. tightness of the chest, dizziness, weak knees, sweaty palms, blurred vision, etc.)

- Treat the symptoms: Begin by counter-acting the symptoms. For example: take a deep breath when you feel your chest tighten (recognize you can breathe); steady yourself on a stationary object (get your balance); bend your knees slightly and straighten your spine (acknowledge your posture); dry your hands with a cloth or chalk; close your eyes briefly and think of the next object you will look at.

- Knowledge: Learn all you can about your fear; study the facts, determine the reality. Knowing the truth will completely eliminate in fears based on false or misunderstood concerns.

- Anticipate: Take steps to prevent any cause of the root fear; "safety first". For example, if you fear falling, secure your footing, grip, or attach yourself to safety rigging (harness, ropes, etc.). Double check your prevention, to put your mind at ease; show yourself that "it works".

- Trust: Have faith in the steps you have taken to protect yourself from your fear. (Self-doubt is sometimes attributed to "[c]hildhood experiences, these traditions maintain, [and] can plant doubt about one's abilities and even about one's very identity." ["Doubt" - Wikipedia].)

- Engage: Actively address your fear when you experience it. Using all that you have learned and the precautions you have taken, directly challenge your fear. Mentally process and counter any thoughts with the facts you have learned. Treat any symptoms and assure yourself of your safety.
It is natural to feel fear, but some fears are unnatural. Set your goals, challenge your world-view, but respect your limits.

1 Reference "Cross-quarter day" [wikipedia], previously discussed on "Groundhog Day 2008" [INDY Blog].