Thinking out Loud – (In English)

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I had a funny thought today whilst travelling home from the office. I heard two people having a conversation in a different language, possibly Italian. I was thinking how I am impressed at those people who can speak a number of different languages, and some so fluently.

It must take some amount of time and dedication to learn  new language, one that you have not been brought up with, one that breaks the rules of the language you know.

It got me thinking. The Italian couple I over heard on my commute, hear each other in Italian, the same as I do. But they also think in Italian, assuming this is their native language. I think in English, I can so some basic thinking in French, but my mind automatically translates this.

If there is anyone reading this who is fluent in a few different languages, please share.. Do you think in the language of you native tongue? or do you sometimes think in a foreign language ?. What decides which language you think in? .. If you are having a conversation with someone in a foreign language, do you think in your own and translate before you speak.

Thinking about this (in English), is what lead me to my final thought on language with thought. One I cannot get my head around. If I speak to my dog, he recognises certain words, only because he associates them with a certain behaviour. But .. when he hears me say something and he follows the behaviour or action I have commented.. how does he think?

If animals do not speak, and do not communicate verbally, how do they think?. If they do not have a spoken language, then what language do they think in? Do they not have conscience ? Do they not think but only do or do not?.

What do you think ?

Blo88er

Undo

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Undo.”

If I could take a trip back in time, straight to the moment something was invented, and stop the person who was creating it, and ensure that it was never completed, I know what I would choose.

It makes me feel ill, even when I look at it. Some enjoy it, and will not understand the reasons I have for totally and utterly detesting it.

Its smell makes my stomach turn, and I get that feeling in my through and gut, that If I don’t take a step way, I may just vomit.

I don’t know who invented it, or what they were thinking. But coleslaw is the thing i would choose.

What a horrific invention indeed.

Blo88er

Cash Control

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Think Global, Act Local.”

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One thing that has always fascinated me is that the whole world is controlled by money. They estimate there is around $60 Trillion in the world, which is as we all know, not split anywhere near fairly across the globe.

Many countries struggle through poverty, unable to feed its people, never mind provide them with homes and health care. Even in some of the worlds wealthier countries there are still people who live in a level of poverty, unable to keep up with the rest of societies income, meaning they struggle to have any standard of life or support their families.

There does have to be a hierarchy, that I can understand. In order for currency to work, not everyone can have an even share, or there would be no point in it. However, what I can’t comprehend is how this hierarchy is structured.

I work with extremely hard working people everyday. People that the our business relies on. I see the stress of their day to day roles, all to pay a few bills and afford to eat. They basically break even every month.

Then you have sports stars, whom I have no doubt train hard, and many of which are wonderfully talented. However, some of the people I work with also play those sports, and after a long shift in work spend hours training hard. But we pay these stars, small fortunes, every week. The average Barclays Premier League footballer earns £30,000. Thats per week.

On average an NBA player makes $5.15million per year.

The part of this I cannot understand is that in the modern day world, we have new medications, we have an almost unlimited source of food, yet there are people in some developed countries who still struggle to afford these most basic of resources.

As many of us are aware that there are about 1 billion children in the world living in poverty.

If you walked down your local high street today, and you seen a young child lying on the side of the road, cold and hungry, to the extent that they were clinging on to life, would you just walk past and leave them sitting, even though you are in a perfect position to help them ?.

I don’t think many people would.

Let change the scenario. A friend has just arrived at your house and tells you, “apparently there is a young child out there, cold, hungry and in a very bad way”. Would you just close the door behind them and forget about this.

I don’t think many people would.

But we do. We all do. Every single day. We all know the kid exists. The only difference is that they are not sitting on a street near our homes.

The world has food, it has medication, but it refuses to provide this because of money, because of worth. We have replaced the worth of human life, with our own place in the hierarchy. We have the medication to help so many of these people, but we don’t. We have put ourselves in this position, one which is so very difficult to get out of.

im not going to tell you to go and give lots of money to charity. I’m as guilty as anyone for buying something I don’t really need instead of giving that money to make a real difference. But think about this. We simply refuse to help. That tells us something very important about our society.

Blo88er

Recent Watch – “What We Did On Our Holiday”

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I had never heard of this one. Never seen and advert, never heard it mentioned, then one night whilst trailing through Sky Movies, looking for something to watch we decided to take a gamble. We found a little pot of gold ..

In this family film, David Tennant plays Doug, a Scottish born father of three, living with his family in England. Having recently learned that their father Gordie, (Billy Connolly) has been diagnosed with Cancer and doesn’t have long to live, Doug and his brother Gavin (Ben Miller), arrange an evening with Gordie’s family and friends, to celebrate his life.

However, Doug and his family have something to hide and when Gordie takes the kids to the beach to allow the grown ups to set up for the party, chaos ensues.

The three children put in wonderful performances, and at times you question whether their ramblings are part of a script, or just the genuine observations a rambling child. Make sure you listen closely, as there is so many little remarks you could miss!

This a wonderful family movie, with lots of laughs, a little bit of craziness, with a few tears. It is sad to see wonderful and talented Billy Connelly, starting to show effects of his illness, however,  as always, he delivers a truly heartwarming performance, and reminds everyone of that special bond between a child and their grandparents.

What we did on our holidays is currently available on Sky Movies, to buy and Rent.

Give this one a go..

Blo88er

Burning Down the House

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burning Down the House.”

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You are house is burning down, but you have time to save five items, which five items do you choose ..

I think the first item I would grab would be my phone. I like the majority of people fortunate enough to live in a place where we can so easily access technology, rely very much on my phone. I have an iPhone, its with me every single moment of every single day, besides when playing sport etc. It my main method of communication with the world. It is a worrying thought how quickly I react when I feel a weightless pocket, where my phone should be, and how quickly my heart begins to beat in the worry that my phone may be lost. Its sad .. I can admit that.. its more than that.. its kind of pathetic.

Secondly, sticking to the theme of technology, I would grab my MacBook. I often refer to it as “the best thing I have ever Purchased”, which may be a bit dramatic, but its a luxury that i have come to enjoy.

I would also grab my acoustic Guitar. Again, another Luxury, but one of the things that gives me the most joy. Playing music, whether it be to myself or to friends and family, its something I love.

It is likely this next item would already be on my person but if not, I would ensure to take my favourite watch. The watch was a gift from someone very special. Not only is it a cool ass watch, but there is a lot of meaning behind it and its one of the symbols of that relationship.

Lastly I think I would grab my car keys. Mostly because it would allow me to get to my parents or a friends.

All of the things I have picked are replaceable to an extent. You can get a new phone, or Laptop. You can buy a new guitar, maybe even one with a better sound. The next watch I buy will tell the time the same way that my old one had. However, each and every item (maybe except the car keys), has a personal meaning to it.

The phone because there are so many memories stored on it. Pictures and videos from time with friends and family, pictures that may not be recoverable if not on the phone ( I’m not a frequent user of I Cloud). The laptop, because it was the first expensive purchase I made entirely on my own, without any support, and now on a full earning wage. I was something I had always wanted. The guitar because it was my first “Real Guitar”. The first guitar I really made music on, and the first guitar that my family finally believed that our family wasn’t cursed when it comes to musical instruments. The watch speaks for itself.. it has great sentimental value.

There are probably far more efficient or exciting things I could have chosen.. but these are the items that come to mind ..

What would you choose ? …

Blo88er

Give up tomorrow – “Paco Larranaga” – Netflix

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I have an interest in documentaries, usually I will watch those in the crime genre, and within this, those that explore serial killers, murders and the court trials that follow. I just finished watching “Give up Tomorrow” on Netflix, a documentary that explores the prosecution of Juan “Paco” Larranaga, of murdering the Choing sisters on the 16th July 1997. He was convicted alongside seven others, however the film focuses mostly around Paco’s story.

I don’t have time this morning to go into all of the details within the film itself,and the arguments it proposes, you can watch the documentary for that, but what I can take time to say it convinced me… I strongly believe the innocence of the accused, and think the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of his story.

There seems to be so many suspicious circumstances , from the behaves of the judge ( given that his closing statement opens by quoting how the media referred to the case, which would have had him thrown out of court here in the UK for being influenced by the media), to the character of Davidson Rusia, who confessed to the murder, and placing the others at the crime scene and guilty of the crime, who then walked free, only to have an unusual relationship with the deceased girls family, in particular the mother

The mother herself is an unusual character, Thelma Choing, who apart from the unusual sympathy she had for Rusia, has many other unconvincing traits and moments throughout the film.

The story is one of mass corruption, which is so plain to see to anyone watching the events, but we never see real justice being served. Why when everyone can see that Paco is innocent, has nothing really been done. This one opened my eyes to how remarkable corruption can be, that even when we know the level and outcome this led to, that no-one will stand up and doing anything about it.

Then again maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my mind has been corrupted by the documentary itself, maybe the director behind it needed a story and left out the concrete evidence. I don’t think so, not in this case. There is too much that supports Paco’s innocence.  But its an important consideration to make, as it is always possible. Never juts believe because the source appears to be reliable.

Either way.. I think he is innocent, and if that is the case, what a horrible and terrible crime. Pack will be 61 when he is due for release, he was 19 when convicted. He will have lost so many years of his life for nothing. How many other are there, that have either lost their lives or have not been allowed to live freely, for something they had no involvement in? .. its a frightening thought.

Have a watch, let me know what you think ..

Blo88er

Serial – The podcast that got me hooked

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I usually read when I travel to work… but I go through phases when it comes to reading. For about a month I can go through multiple books, then the next month I loose interest.

At the start of this month I was having one of those can’t be bothered reading moments. So I had a think about an alternative. I remembered having listened to one or two episodes of “The Ricky Gervais Show”, a podcast where him and two of his friends sit and talk about the world and their views on it.

I then found a easy listening sports podcast called “Fighting talk”, basically a snippet of a radio show on BBC radio.

But I wanted something a bit different, something that stimulates some thought. So i downloaded a load of the “Top Rated” podcasts hoping something would pop up.

I found myself listening to the firs episode of a podcast called “Serial”. Originally I thought this was just a fictional audiobook, written by some crime novelist, also available in book stores… but it was much more.

Basically Sarah Koenig, a american radio personality hosts this series, which is an investigation into the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, in Baltimore, Maryland. The series explores the evidence, defence and prosecution of Adnan Syed, who was convicted for the murder.

Sarah explores all of the storylines, interviewing Adnan and many of those involved or around on the day of the killing, and the podcast itself bring serious questions about the truth in the case.

I am about half way through the series just now, but would urge everyone to give this a listen. I will no doubt blog some more about my own thoughts on the case and the podcast itself, but want to reach the end before I do so, to ensure I’ve heard the lot.

One day I believe Adnan is innocent, the next I don’t buy his story.

Give it a listen..

Blo88er

Recent Watch – “The Interview”

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Its one of the most controversial movies of all time, certainly in more recent years. So far that North Korea requested the movie be cancelled and never released, in a much less polite manner, I may add. I decided that I had to see what all the fuss is about, having seen a few “Rogen and Franco flicks”, I know these can be somewhat outrageous,.. yes “This is the End” i’m talking about you.

I initially felt robbed, the way the movie introduced the North Korean leader caught me by surprise, and he was depicted as a man just hugely misunderstood. I wondered what all of the fuss was about.. It didn’t last. He soon became the eccentric and power hungry leader that we see in the news, and I can see why he was slightly pissed about the way the film portrayed him, as well as the way in which they killed him off.

The film has some good laughs and Franco plays a slightly self obsessed, and eccentric chat show host, which  delivers some of the most memorable lines from the movie.

I didn’t laugh just as hard as I expected though, which was the feeling shared by the company I was in. However, about a week later, the movie came up in conversation, and we started to rhyme off some of the lines from the movie, which did lead to much laughter and more discussion.

This is the kind of film it is, one of the movies you watch, you enjoy, but you feel guilty and not enjoying s much as you felt you should have. This is solely down to the hype of others who viewed it before you, and the huge influence the media has had over its release.

Nevertheless, I do think back to it now, and can appreciate some of the classic lines that the movie delivered. Its worth it for that.

For me the film is far from the level of Superbad and the first time I watched The Hangover, but it does have a few of those lines that just get you every time.

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A round of applause – Hugh Laurie

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I just finished a quick review on the film “Her” starring Joaquin Phoenix, in which I mentioned the actors ability to connect with his audience on a real and emotional level.

I have also recently become hooked to the first season of TV series “House”, starring Hugh Laurie. the huge success of this series, with 8 seasons in total, owes very much of its praise to the man behind Gregory House. Laurie is exceptional at portraying the damage and disabled, diagnostician, who’s best known for his quick but insulting wit. He is hugely sarcastic and extremely smart, and is perceived initially as somewhat of an arrogant, uninterested skiver.

As we get to know House, we start to realise there is much more to the man than initially thought, and that his intentions are indeed selfless. There are so many layers to the man, and I believe it is the Character Hugh Laurie was made to play. The sympathy we feel for a man who is nothing but insulting most of the time, is a difficult connection for an actor to achieve, but no matter how horrible he is, you can’t help but love him and share his pain.

The writers are also worthy of an applause, given the type of series house is, it is commendable that the writers have managed to keep producing story lines for house and the gang, considering the amount of research that must be involved.

This is a terrific series, and everyone should give it a go at some point, even if this is only for the brief few minutes per episode that we see house have to suffer his “clinic hours”, which brings about some of the most witty humour the small screen has ever seen.

All 8 seasons currently available on Netflix.

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Recent watch – “Her”

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Have you ever watched a film starring an actor who plays a part so well that, for 90 minutes you start to believe is real, and you genuinely believe the joy and heartache that the character experiences in that short time ?

Director Spike Jonze released “Her”, a futuristic love story, in December 2013. He cast Joaquin Phoenix as “Theodore” a somewhat lonely writer, who discovers a new world upon purchasing a newly released operating system, that, after a few quick questions, designs itself to be your perfect OS.

Imagine apples ‘Siri”, but sometime into the future, and you have Samantha, Theodore’s perfect matching OS. The story line is good, although many question whether the performance of the OS is actually realistic, the movie certainly delivers entertainment on a plot that I myself questioned would hold my attention.

The movie proves that relationships rely on so much more than physical aspects and shows the audience a full example of the ups and downs of a relationship. The script is good, but the cast is the best part ..

Scarlett Johansson provides the vocals of the OS, and to be honest, she sounds like every mans perfect woman. Joaquin Phoenix portrays that damaged, lonely character so well, you can’t help but ooze sympathy for him, share his happiness in those joyful moments. You want things to work out for him.

Once a film connects with you at that level, you know its going to be a winner.

If your looking for something a bit different, and can cope with a minute or two of extreme awkwardness, give this one a go. But please, approach with an open mind.

Blo88er