learning how to learn languages

Every so often – maybe when I’m feeling like I need a bit of inspiration, or I’m just feeling bored and listless – I watch TED Talks. Usually these are TEDx Talks but they’re more or less the same thing. Usually I watch talks about psychology and human relationships, or about behaviour and the way the brain works; but a couple of weeks ago, YouTube was suggesting some talks about learning languages.

As you may or may not know, I’m currently in the process of learning Persian (AKA Farsi) and also kind of re-learning Mandarin, so when I saw videos like “How to learn any language easily” pop up, I figured “why not”. I used to be quite wary of these talks because I thought they would just tell me to spend three months in whatever country speaks the language I’m learning, and I’d miraculously master it (obviously I can’t just pack up and move to Iran or China for three months); but I had spare time that day, and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to watch one talk, and see if it offered anything worthwhile.  Continue reading

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the recap that wasn’t

I’ve been considering doing a sort of recap post about things I’ve blogged about this year. I thought about writing something to highlight various posts that have meant a lot to me, or that I felt were important, or that were just quite popular. But then I thought that that sort of post seemed kind of pointless, since my archives are easily searchable, and I’m not really sure which posts to include anyway. (And who would read a whole post about other posts?)

When I did a quick browse through before, I pulled up a few candidates perhaps worth re-blogging, perhaps worth a mention, but I think the one post that I’m most glad about writing was a simple sound.

That post didn’t have the greatest number of views, comments or likes, but, for me, it was one of the more significant things I wrote this year. In addition to all my Meditations posts, that post captures the sort of mentality I want to keep with me in the coming year. But not just for New Year – I want to carry it into tomorrow, the next day, and so forth.

take one, pass it on

I have a Twitter account that I don’t use very often, but I happened to be browsing Twitter last night, and saw that Post Secret had retweeted something from “The Compliment Project”.

Intrigued, as I was lying in bed this morning, trying to decide if I want to get out of bed yet or just lie there for a bit longer, I searched up what this “Compliment Project” was. (Yeah, I could have looked it up last night when I saw it but I was too tired to be bothered (but not tired enough to not be randomly browsing Twitter…?) Anyway, I still thought of it this morning.)

Turns out, it was started by artist Anna Sergeeva (in California?) Ok, to be honest, I didn’t read that much into it; I read enough to know what it’s about i.e. spreading compliments and hence kindness and positivity and love and all the rest of it.

Anyway, despite my lack of detailed research into this (to be fair, it was Sunday morning, and I’d just woken up), I totally think this is a great idea. I’m going to put some up tomorrow, and help spread The Compliment Project to Australia.

You can download the official posters from the website: https://www.thecomplimentproject.org/

it starts with 1

The other day, a friend of mine shared a photo of a large-scale sculpture of a couple of fish made mostly from plastic bottles. The sculptures are displayed on a beach (I think in Brazil somewhere) and were intended to draw attention to the amount of litter found on beaches and in oceans.

However, scrolling through the comments attached to the photo, I found out that the bottles were only glued on (with an apparently flimsy glue) and, over time, have begun falling off the sculpture. Kind of ironic, but I suppose the message was still getting through.

The photo was initially shared on FB by an organisation called “1 Million Women“, and came with the harrowing prediction that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. After browsing their FB page briefly, I followed the link to their official website, and actually ended up spending about an hour just reading articles there.

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rethinking alcohol

For some time now (over the last few months? this year? since last year? not really sure…) I’ve been pondering about the drinking culture in Australia, and reflecting on people’s relationships with alcohol (including my own). You don’t have to be an expert in public health to know that alcohol contributes to a lot of health problems (long- and short-term), and can lead to death. For some time, I’ve been thinking of writing a post about all this, but just kept putting it off. But when I read this post by George at The Off Key of Life, I thought I’d lend my support and do my bit (and basically add my two cents’ worth).

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Thursday Doors – Launceston

I’ve been following the blog Joeyfully Stated for quite some time now. I don’t remember how I found it, but when I did, hitting the “follow” button was kind of a no-brainer because Joey is just really funny and really honest, and I suppose there’s something weirdly fascinating about the life of a stranger on the other side of the world.

Joey also participates in this blogging feature/event called Thursday Doors, which is hosted/run by Norm 2.0. From what I gather, Thursday Doors is exactly what it sounds like: every Thursday, people publish posts/photos about interesting doors. Yes, it’s apparently that simple.

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