Miscellaneous

Charles and Pam Ogletree

Photo taken from the Boston Globe article referred below

I’ve always been a fan of long-form journalism (especially print) but finding the time to enjoy good pieces is often difficult to find. It’s too easy in the modern day and era to be distracted by the next buzz on our phones or the changing colours of the world around us.

Thankfully, I was able to find a pocket of time recently to finish the Boston Globe’s heart-warming profile of Charles and Pam Ogletree.

Well worth a read.

Pam lives for those extraordinary, unexpected moments. When he allows her to hug him, or smiles, it feels like a gift. One night this fall, he turned to her abruptly. “Are you all right?” he asked with concern. “I just want to make sure you’re all right.”

“You’re a tough woman,” he told her another day, in a tone that was clearly complimentary.

She copies his infrequent words down in her journal, sustenance to nourish her in the silences. Sometimes, the notes have an ominous quality, as when he noticed a cemetery one day. “Dead people are over there,” he said. Then he hugged his wife. “You’ll be all right,” he told her.

The small things

It’s the small things that matter, and its these things we’re least likely to remember or realise. Not sure how one can make sure they always remember these little things, that’s probably an ask too much, but at least we can be understanding and more conscious of these.

I was sat there in a cafe having my chicken fillet and rice when an elderly lady on the table behind me loudly complained to one of the staff.

– Has the spaghetti been cooked?
– Yes, it’s meant to be ‘bounce teeth’ (think this means al dente in English)
– NO! You haven’t cooked it at all, it’s still raw!

It was a pretty innocuous, maybe 20 second, exchange. But I think it stuck in part because I had a similar situation on a recent trip to an Italian restaurant while on holiday with the grands.

Although I gave the same resolution to make sure the pasta is boiled more soft next time… I’m honestly not sure I would even remember before hand. So I guess understanding and in the moment cognisance is all we can ask for.

Speedy Mass Transit Railway

I really like this video, and I think it’s a reasonably accurate reflection of how efficient the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) can be. Essentially it’s someone trying to see if they can get from one station to another faster on foot than via the MTR. In short, they don’t beat the MTR, but even then only by the sink of their teeth.

There’s a UK version of it for the tube, which has the result going the other way.

Obviously both are a bit contrived, but still a fun experiment, not that I’d want to do the running myself anytime soon.

Hong Kong’s Tiger Tutors

Lots of people have probably heard me joking about the asian stereotype of studying all the time. If you’ve got some free time, then I’d encourage you to watch this documentary.

Admittedly it is somewhat exaggerated and of course this sort of experience isn’t universal (so don’t go around talking to everyone from HK as if they did go through all those), but certainly it’s representative of the experience of lots of people. It also gives you an idea why I dislike the tutorial system in general. It’s not that it doesn’t help people, but rather that it should be a necessary component of the education system.

All that said, having not been through this system myself, my own experiences are only peripheral.

WSDC 2013 – ESL Tab [RESULTS] [UPDATED]

Top 20 English as a Second Language speakers following the 8 preliminary rounds.

Note that this is different both to those announced at the Grand Finalas well as the subsequent list posted earlier. This is becaues a number of issues arose in the calculations of the scores and the CAP have had to continiously update this list as this information becomes integrated. This post is accurate only as of the time it was udpated {4pm 14/2/2013}

Position. Name (Country) Debates – Average
1. Diego Cepeda (Mexico) 7 – 72.667
2. Siddarth Shrikanth (India) 8 – 72.521
3. Jose de los Heros (Peru) 6 – 72.417
4. Aaron Luke (Malaysia) 6 – 72.222
5. Ariel de la Garza (Mexico) 5 – 72.000
6. Dhruva Bhat (India) 8 – 71.979
7. Shriya Suriyanarayanan (India) 4 – 71.917
8. Kaan Ülgen (Turkey) 6 – 71.722
9. Luis Enrique Zela-Koort (Peru) 7 – 71.619
10. Yerin Yang (South Korea) 6 – 71.611
(more…)

WSDC 2013 – EFL Tab [RESULTS] [UPDATED]

Top 20 English as a Foreign Language speakers following the 8 preliminary rounds.

Note that this is different both to those announced at the Grand Finalas well as the subsequent list posted earlier. This is becaues a number of issues arose in the calculations of the scores and the CAP have had to continiously update this list as this information becomes integrated. This post is accurate only as of the time it was udpated {4pm 14/2/2013}

Position. Name (Country) Debates – Average
1. Joris Broeders (Netherlands) 7 – 71.667
2. Roel Becker (Netherlands) 8 – 71.146
3. JunHyub Lee (South Korea) 4 – 70.917
4. Carrisa Tehputri (Indonesia) 8 – 70.875
5. Simonas Bartulis (Lithuania) 7 – 70.833
6. Ziva Antolin (Slovenia) 7 – 70.750
7. Jonathan Shvartz (Israel) 7 – 70.667
8. Ida Ayu Pradnya Paramita (Indonesia) 8 – 70.604
9. Bogdan Andrei Morosanu (Romania) 8 – 70.333
10. Egle Kavaliunaite (Lithuania) 6 – 70.167
10. Atakan Paksoy (Turkey) 4 – 70.167
(more…)