Random Images 23: hairsoap #random #randomimages @9gag #9gag

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Project Polyglot Parry V: September 2016 Update @irishpolyglot #newyearsresolution @resolutions @duolingo #duoling

 

I’m learning two main languages, Spanish and Swedish. I’ve been using Duolingo to learn them of late (in fact, I’m more-or-less relying on Duolingo at the moment, which isn’t good; you should use more than one resource to give you good variation). I’ve been doing around 30 minutes a day for each language, which is the bare minimum you should do.

If you know how Duolingo works, I’ve just managed to fully regild my completed Spanish tree. Which is great news. Next steps:

  1. Keep the tree gold.
  2. Work on and complete the “reverse tree”; that is, the English for Spanish speakers course (which is a learnsome challenge). Then keep that gold.
  3. Start the online virtual Spanish classroom from the Cervantes Institute, probably at B1 level.
  4. Go and sit a B1 level DELE.

This will make me firmly intermediate in level. I should have started step 3 by Summer 2017, and maybe completed step 4 by the following summer. When Finish step 4, I’ll work out the best way to keep that level and build on it. The ultimate goal is to be C2, of course.

I was stuck on Swedish for a long time. I kept mucking up infinitives and this sapped my energy. But I’ve been powering on lately. Moving onto new topics has got me pretty excited. In particular, I have loved getting to grips with the kommer att future form and the håller på present continuous. There’s a lesson for you: don’t get bogged down on troublesome topics, as it will kill it for you. Just keep moving.

I hope to have finished the tree by 30th November. So my middle-term plan is thus:

  1. Finish and keep the Swedish for English speakers tree golden.
  2. There is no English for Swedish speakers course, so I need to start a distance / online / self-learning course at B1 level (I am, more-or-less A2 right now).

2016 actually marks ten years of learning Swedish(!) I’m pretty sure I should be fluent right now. Cambridge recommends 1000-1200 hours to be fluent (C2); so, studying an hour a day, I should have been at C2 level by 2010. But more on that next time!

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

Poem: The Swan

I wrote this in 2006, I believe.

The Swan

It was early in the morning,
Not long after sunrise,
That I was trudging to my workplace,
Crusty sleep in eyes;

My sagging head was lowly hung,
My face was bleak and wan,
And then at once bold in my path
Was stood a snow-white swan.

A mother warding her dear child
Destroyed my pensive mood
(The swanling doddled ‘tween her legs
Canal bank grass for food).

Her breast was out, her neck was stiff,
Her eyes that shone were keen,
Her form was strong, unmoving
Save her eyes that had me seen;

And nearer by a couple glid
So calm, and peaceful, free,
With pink mouths ope and trumpeting
Their happy song to me,

And there!
My gloomy wallow was forgot
As joy and bliss and truth begot.

© 2006 – 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Swan.spreads.wings.arp.jpg

Poem: The Bluebells

Bluebell Wood

I wrote this in around 2004-2005. Walking around parkland, I rounded a corner near the Thames, and all-of-a-sudden I saw this field of bluebells. A transcendent feeling overtook me wholly. I was a firmly committed atheist by that point, had been for years.  None-the-less, the pantheistic language of this poem I felt appropriately captured the way I felt in that sublime moment when I felt like I was gifted this field of bluebells.

The Bluebells

I thank the lord my God I’m blessed
To see nature resplendent dressed,
All clad in richest purple hue,
The grass become a sea of blue;
And look what gently flutters by,
A wing that flashes golden eye,
As I amidst the long grass be,
Whilst golden sun shines down on me.
The heavens harken up above
To birds whose breasts resound with love,
A cool breeze makes the bluebells nod
To witness majesty of God.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.cotonmanor.co.uk/images/bluebells/bluebell_wood-coton_manor.jpg

New Zealand Flag Referendum 2 #nzflag @noflagnz

Flag_of_New_Zealand_svg

DISCLAIMER: this post is a little late, but it got lost in my drafts!

New Zealand has voted to keep its current flag. The good news is that when they have a vote on this again in around twenty years, my NZL flag designs might stand a chance of getting picked!

I think anti-British opinion or a let’s-forget-the-past mindset are more prevalent in Australia than in New Zealand. Therefore, Australian might well change their flag first — and so NZL and Australia’s flag will no longer be similar, as this was one reason people gave for changing the NZL flag.[1]

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

[1] http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11353071

featured image https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Flag_of_New_Zealand.svg

 

Random Images 22: fag #RandomImages #Random

haveafag

Random Images 21: love is… #RandomImages #Random #Euthanasia

love2

Fatty Parry 12: Reboot 2 @ww_uk @weightwatchers

imageLast time I rebooted my efforts to get fit. On the 5th of July I had a weigh-in for a medical. I was officially 16st 7lb (231lb). For the record, I’m 31 years old and 6’2″ tall. Around the chest at the nipple), I am around 45″, and around the belly at the navel I am around 44″.

I then had my wisdom teeth out. A liquid, yoghurt, and ice cream diet for several weeks has meant I am now 15st 12lbs (222lb). So that’s a whole stone (14lb) lost since 2nd June(!) So the magic way to lose weight? Have your teeth out!

I also joined the gym a few days ago; the first time I’ve had a gym membership since 21st December 2015. I hope to be back in the gym the following week.

I’ll keep you updated!

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

The Greatest Frustration Duolingo Can Give… @duolingo #duolingo

… is when you get a sentence wrong because you idiotically made a mistake on the ENGLISH!!😀

DuolingoFail

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

Football World Cup and Olympics Host Nation Idea

Putin

The 2016 Rio Olympics are a shambles. The stadiums aren’t ready, people are dying. It’s a joke. Sounds eerily familiar, though, doesn’t it? Step forward, Qatar 2022! There have even been rumblings that Qatar could be stripped of the World Cup (although that won’t happen, of course). Now Russia has been banned from the 2016 Olympics for endemic, state-sponsored doping — yet Russia will host the next football world cup in 2018!

1280px-Kallimarmaron_stadium

The ancient Panathenaic Stadium in Greece.

It’s clear that the two biggest sporting events in the world, the Olympics and the Football World Cup, have become a joke. Given the cultural, political, and economic importance of these two events, things need to be fundamentally addressed. The whole bidding process was always open to corruption. After all, if one side has something (the event) that the other side desperately wants to host, then the risk of corruption is ever-present. But now the bribes and cheating have gone well beyond having lunch and a selfie with Wills and Becks.

So how can we fix the in-built risk of corruption involved in the host nation bidding systems? Here’s a suggestion.

  1. Let any nation put forward a bid, but only those nations that already have adequate infrastructure at the time of placing their bid will be considered. If that means every other World Cup or Olympic Games is held in England, France, or Germany, so be it.
  2. Do away with bidding altogether: the nations that put their name forward (above) are put into a hat; the name pulled out of the hat hosts the tournament. The only proviso: nations cannot go into the hat if they hosted the last games (So no London 2012, London 2016, London 2020, and so on).

Or we could just go back to the original idea of the Modern Olympics: host every single Olympic Games in Greece, in the Panathenaic Stadium. Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics; England, the birthplace of football: you know who should host every World Cup!

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://vipmedia.globalnews.ca/2014/03/putin-sochi-march-8.jpg?w=672&h=448&crop=1

image of the Panathenaic Stadium from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panathenaic_Stadium