Weekly Reading List (Feb 2-7th)

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It’s that time of the week again, btw i was thinking, if anyone out there is reading this list, interested in an email instead? My interests include business, books, museums, arts, history. If you think that’ll be cool comment please!

Museums

26 weird museums to visit for the ultimate American road trip

Motivational

4 steps to changing your life in 66 days

Business

Doing good work matters more than your personal brand

10 of the most controversial productivity tips that actually work

How to clean up your social media during a job search

Interview

11 tech free tips for a stress-free video interview

Science

How to Make Your Willpower Stronger — According to Science

Travel

52 places to go in 2015

 

Weekly Reading List (Jan 19-25th)

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I’ve decided to come up with a weekly reading list to save the articles I come across each week, actually I come across a ton of articles each day and sometimes there’s just no time to read it all, so this is a list of articles I’ve found really interesting this week. Lemme know if any of these are interesting to you and if i should make this a set weekly thing.

Malaysia
10 English words that have been completely bastardised by Malaysians

Tech

Which programming language should i learn first?
How Intel gave Stephen Hawking a voice

Business

How I built a startup while travelling 20 cities

Social Media
An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social Media

 

Introverted Leaders and Bravery

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Recently i visited springfield illinois where Abraham Lincoln lived (before he became president) and also where he is buried. I have to say, it was a really powerful experience, walking in the house that he lived in, imagining what he must be thinking. One thought ran across my mind as i was taking in everything, “what made him so different? What was it that made him act on the nagging feeling that slavery wasn’t right?” I’m sure you don’t just wake up one day and decide you want to change the world. I believe it is something gradual, shaky and quiet in the beginning but it becomes louder as time goes by. I’m sure many people felt that slavery was not right, but it was him, Abraham Lincoln that used his position to make such an impactful change. I just think it’s so amazing. It makes me want to know more about the man, what did he know, what shaped him, what motivated him, what gave him courage? so many questions. And yet, i feel this connection to him. I was reading this article, an open letter from introverts to the world, and below there was a list of famous people who were introverts and Abraham Lincoln was one of them. Somehow this was not surprising to me, I just had this feeling that he was one. And i think that’s one more amazing thing about him, he was an introvert, and he still did what he did! As an introvert myself, i know how tough it is to come out of your safe, quiet place and step up to do what you know to be right. I also think that he knew that he was an introvert and used it to his advantage, which is beautiful because it shows that he really had confidence in who he was. I know many times when I wished so hard that i was an extrovert, that i could socialize with people and not get tired, that i would be able to come up with conversation topics to no end. It was only later that i realized that i was quiet not because i was boring or couldn’t think of things to say, it was just that the conversations that i was engaged in was not what i was either

a. not interested in [I’m just being honest here]

b. inadequately informed on

c. gossip.

I wish i could get into conversation easily with others about their ideas about the world, about change, what they wish they could do. Yes, the weather is a nice topic, but there will be an end to that eventually. I guess what i’m trying to say is, introverts can be leaders, they can talk, but they also are who they are and there should be more respect for that.

Colorado Ski Trip

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This winter, I was invited to go for a ski trip with my uni friends and her family. I had never skied before and never thought about trying it at all, but it sounded fun and i always loved to learn new things. Plus, the cost for the trip was really cheap, just 325USD for 4 days. Please note that we cut lots of corners to get such a price and even i don’t know how her parents managed to do so. But anyway, i digress.

We skied at ski cooper located in leadville, colorado. We had lots of snow, at least 4 inches of fresh snow each day which was a good and bad thing. The temperature was cold, -25 degrees C. I really don’t know how we survived the weather and managed to ski in it too, but my only advice was to layer up!

As a first time skier, i just observed what others were doing and listened carefully to the tips my friend gave. I’m proud to say that i picked it up at my second try. What i noticed was that the ski’s were a lot like ice skates, and i used the techniques from ice skating and applied it to skiing, apparently it worked because by the last day i got to do a black (the level of difficulty goes from green, to blue, to black). Also, the pizza shape (using your ski’s to make a front triangular shape) is the secret to slowing yourself down. This was personally tricky because i had this impression that it would help you stop immediately, which it didn’t. It used simple logic, if your ski’s are facing the bottom and straight then you’ll have the highest amount of gravitational pull, but if you’re skiing sideways and your ski’s aren’t vertical then you create friction and reduced the gravitational pull. After awhile i learnt how to put pressure on whichever side i wanted to turn towards, allowing myself to make left and right turns, effectively slowing myself down too and not wiping out (crashing). I have to say, I know some people like to go fast but i like to take it slow and easy, enjoying the scenery and mapping out my path down the hill. People don’t tell you this, but in order not to wipe out all the time, you’ve got to map out your path down the hill, consider all the bumps and natural curves of the hill and taking into account your skill level or ability to control your movement. I was a beginner so i knew i had to do lots of tight bends to slow myself down and make sure i don’t hurt myself. I knew i didn’t know how to control fast speeds (nor did i want to) so this was the strategy i took. I took some time to come down the hill but i did it in the way i was comfortable with. Also, some people were complaining that it was too powdery, but i liked it, and used it to my advantage to slow myself down. It’s probably not the best for snowboarders thought. Here’s my piece of advice, do what you’re comfortable with, don’t be pressured into doing something that you know is way out of your comfort zone, ex. going super fast when you’ve just started or doing a black on your first day. Also, remember, skiing is a sport, so accidents happen, it’s also you against the elements, it’s not an x-box game where you can reset everything or wipe out and not feel a thing. You will fall, you may hurt yourself, so remember that, but don’t let that bring fear to you because fear will act as a barrier to learning. Finally, unlike other sports, you can ski for hours and not notice at all, so remember to rest, hydrate and know your limits. 

These are just a few pictures i managed to take. The final day was beautiful but super cold. There was some sun, but thankfully no wind and snow like we had the past two days. The first two days we saw lots of wind and snow which was one of the reasons i crashed so much because it got into my eyes and i didn’t have googles (dumb!). It also made visibility limited and you had to go slower so that you didn’t accidentally crash into someone. On that note, buy good googles if you’re planning to get into skiing or snowboarding, it’s worth it, there are the anti-fog googles that my friend had and i wish i had them because my googles fogged up as i went down a black! Talk about bad timing. There are also googles with lenses meant for certain conditions like snowy/sunny, etc or the all purpose ones which are more expensive. So whatever is in your budget, skill level, just make sure to do your research before you buy anything. Also, ski boots, i rented some, and oh my, they bit into my skin and on my bone, it was so painful, but so fun to ski at the same time that i just tried to ignore the pain. I must be crazy, but it was worth it.

Final thoughts:

I love skiing, it’s grown onto me. Wished i had my own boots though, i think that would help, and there’s so much more to learn, i used the powder to my advantage but i’ve got to learn how to ski on icy grounds. I’ve been watching the winter olympic clips and i think i’m on the brink of obsession. Whether or not i’ll get another change to ski again is uncertain, but i’ll definitely want to do so again.

Not Dead, Just Resting

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I used to think that winter was the saddest season because the trees were bald, there were no flowers and the general mood was gloomy (even the snow and Christmas couldn’t change my mind about the season). It wasn’t till i saw the trees and flowers blooming that i realized that winter was such a necessary season. It was a season of rest and rejuvenation. The trees and flowers weren’t dead, if they were, they wouldn’t be able to bloom in spring. They looked dead, but underneath, nature was doing its work, regenerating what had been used for 9 months and preparing the tree for a new year. In a way, people need that too. After working for so long, we feel worn out, sapped of our energy. As an introvert, i find taking moments of rest extremely important. After socializing with people, i’ll retreat and take a break. But looking at the past semester, i think the three month break thing would be a great idea though i’ll only get one, which i’ll use well thank you very much. I think God has put these examples in nature to remind us humans to take a rest. These days, the world just requires us humans to be on our game every second, if you’re not, you loose out, miss an opportunity, etc. I think that’s crazy and a terrible idea, plus, there’s so many people so why don’t we just take turns? I think that we need to learn from nature, learn how to take a rest, most importantly, Jesus offers us rest, he offers to take our burdens and i would love to take up that offer.

The evolution of London

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I took a ‘History of England’ class last semester and newsflash, although London is the capital of the UK today, it wasn’t a major city during the Roman or even the Anglo-Saxon times. It was only later that London slowly grew and became an important city. i found this incredible video that details the evolution of London from Roman times when it was known as Londonia to today. It’s a little slow but very informative.


 

gonna visit this wonderful city in three weeks! can’t wait to see it again, no matter how many times i visit London, there’s never a way to ‘cover’ everything. There’s always something new in this vibrant and historical city. 

 

The World of Downton Abbey -Thoughts and cool stuff from the book

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Recently i got to borrow this book from the library and it was a very good read especially when it comes to giving you little facts about the era and also filming that you didn’t know. I felt that some of the information at the beginning of the book was pretty standard and that you could probably find it online but it all has to do with Downton and what the characters lives involve. The book is divided into nine chapters that cover more of the life of an Edwardian person than a guide to the filming of the series, it is only at the very end that they dedicate the last chapter to filming. For me, i wanted to learn more about filming and costume (costume got a chapter too but related to how the characters would have worn them not about the production of costumes), that is why i said that it provides little tit bits here and there because my aim was different if you know what i mean. So what i’ve done here is just typed out some interesting parts of the book that i liked and i think that this book is useful if you want to learn about the Edwardian society and the time period that Downton Abbey is set in, if you want filming stuff, i’m pretty sure there is another book that just came out. I will also put in some things about costume in the Edwardian era because i’m interested in that.

The Bell board- The names of all the upstairs rooms are on the bell board in the servants hall; the bedrooms- Portico, Arundel, Queen Caroline, Mercia, East Anglia, Grantham, Stanhope, York, Ripon, Wetherby- as well as the dining room, morning room, library, small library, saloon, front door, back door, study, drawing room and west room. Ok, this is cool because i’ve always wanted to know all the rooms that were on the infamous bell board. I also read earlier in the book that this board made the lives of the servants much easier because they didn’t need to have someone always straining their ears to hear if the master was calling. So yay technology.

I found this information quite true because i did do a scene where there was eating (in a short play) and it was difficult because you were trying to talk and project your voice at the same time, although this is not the same but it’s good to know. “A dining scene may last only a few minutes but it can take between 10 to 12 hours to film. This is because the director needs to shoot each actor and that can mean three or four takes per person. Dan Steven says he quickly learned not to eat during these scenes: ‘If youdecided you’re going to eat, say five mouthfuls of chicken, then by the end of the day you’ve had about 70 and it’s cold and congealed.'”

The kitchen- ‘When it came to kitchen scenes, the stand-by art director philippa Broadhurst used detailed notes she had taken from various references, including the 1912 Edinburgh Cookbook for Smart Houses, to get ideas for background activities.

Hair- ‘All the wigs are tailormade for the actresses, but Maggie Smith has her own wigmaker, Peter Owen who is the best out there and has previously worked with Maggie.’

Alastair Bruce is the historical advisor on the set, hey i want your job too! How do i get it?

Make up-they need to make it look as natural as possible because at that time women who wore too much make up were whores which is not surprising really.

Penny Dyer a dialogue coach for Downton Abbey states that ‘The real difference in speech with a period piece is not so much the pronunciation of the words but that the height of the ceilings and the size of the rooms affect the voice, Fo example those who work below stairs probably grew up with large families in a cramped household, scrabbling for space beneath low ceilings, so their sound is pushed sideways.’ This would mean those above stairs would naturally project their voices to fill larger rooms.

John Lunn is the music composer for the series and i absolutely agree with what he has to say about music and shows, “You need the music to take you through the scenes so the timing is very important. I’m a big advocate of using music to do something that’s not on the screen or dialogue.” This is literally how i feel when i choose the music for my videos, yes i am not able to compose my own music, which i would love to because as good as some songs are you can never get the perfect or right feel for a scene without composing it specifically for the scene itself.

The cost of fashionable entertainment- Consuelo Vanderbilt, the American heiress who married the Duke of Malborough described a shooting weekend in 1896 which was in itself unexceptional aside from the fact that they had the Prince and Princess of Wales staying. At the time the duchess was a young bride of 19 who found the whole experience exhausting, not just because she was in charge of all the pleasures of her guests (there were 30, which meant 100 people were in the house including servants) but because of the munificence of clothes that went with it: The number of changes in costume was itself a waste of precious time. To begin with, even breakfast, which was served at 9.30 in the dining room demanded an elegant costume of velvet or silk. Having seen the men off to their sport the ladies spent the morning round the fire reading the papers and gossiping. We next changed into tweeds to join the guns (men) for luncheon which was served int he high lodge or in a tent. Afterwards, we usually accompanied the guns and watched a drive or two before returning home. An elaborate tea gown was donned for tea, after which we played cards or listened to a Viennese band or to the organ until time to dress for dinner, when again we adorned ourselves in satin, or brocade, with a great display of jewels. All these changes necessitated a tremendous outlay, since one was not supposed to wear the same gown twice. That meant 16 dresses for 4 days.’ This is crazy, i mean dresses are awesome and all, but to be forced to wear one because etiquette said so, is in a modern person’s mind crazy to say the least. But hey, back then they thought it was fine so that’s how it was.

In this era, the House of Worth was the top fashion place to get your clothes, it’s the place to get the latest looks and yeah spend $20 000 and half of that to ship it back.

Note: These are all taken out of the book, some may be paraphrased but overall these do not belong to me, the only part that was in my own words was the review and introduction.

The Aeneid and Zedd’s Clarity

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Last semester i took a Roman literature class and one of the books we read was Virgil’s epic Aeneid because, well come on, it’s Virgil’s Aeneid. Anyway, one of the major subplots of the story was the love story between Dido and Aeneas and i think it’s such a tragic story. Dido, thanks to cupid’s influence falls in love with Aeneas and they both reciprocate the love, Dido even considers herself married to Aeneas. Suddenly, the gods remind Aeneas of his fate to found Rome and off he goes WITHOUT Dido. The heartbroken Dido then decides that she has to kill herself, piles up all of Aeneas stuff to burn (good move) and throws herself in the fire (bad move).

If you ask me, this just defines tragic. And the song, it talks about how, if their love is a tragedy how come you are my remedy and it just sums up this whole relationship in a way because their love was always meant to be a tragedy because carthage would be the enemy of the new city Aeneas was about to start.Also, Dido was very independent, even founding the city on her own but i always felt that she was very hurt by what happened to her late husband and with Aeneas appearance, it feels like she suddenly saw a bright life in her existence. So although they could never be together, he brings in this spark to her life. Yeah, that’s the connection i made between this song and the epic, it just happened that i was listening to the song while reading. Life heh?

The Random thoughts of a soon to be 2X year old girl-Day 2

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Stars. I love stargazing, i have google sky as an app, i just love looking at the stars and think about how small i am and how big my God is and how blessed i am that He loves me and cares for me. Everytime i look up i stand in awe of His creation, that there are billions and kezillions of stars and He knows where each and everyone of them are placed, so if He knows that then i am assured that He’s looking out for me too.

I also love this quote from calvin and hobbes:

Calvin: If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.

Hobbes: How so?

Calvin: Well, when you look into infinity, you realize that there are more important things than what people do all day.

Sometimes we just get too caught up with life and forget to live it. Homework, problems, friends, they’re all good but i feel that we get so caught up in it that it becomes a chore, something we do because it’s part of the daily routine, part of what we must do. And i don’t think that should be the case. That’s why just looking at the stars remind me that there are far more important things in life and we should never forget what they are.