On 2 November 2020 I decided to depart the corporate career path (energy engineer) for the rest of my life. My knee-jerk solution was to learn to sail and make sailing my occupation somehow. Regardless of what I do, I made the decision because of a fundamental idea: I am convinced that true progress in the next several decades will not be in new technologies, but in learning to use the existing technologies in a more wholesome way. As I went down the list of categories on my blog, I realized my decision affects almost every category.
The featured photo above is a professional selfie at Big Ben (under construction). For one billion better pictures of Big Ben, see the internet.
Just returned from an awesome trip to London. Thanks Graeme, Rosangela, Ludy Miller 😉 (Ludmila), and Henrique! and Erik and Nikita! Special mention to Henrique and Kevin. Here’s what we did:
When I arrived at Heathrow, the Philadelphia Eagles team arrived while I was waiting in the passport line. Eagles fans in line were cheering. We saw the fans at tourist sites that weekend throughout London.
Tower of London: awesome, get the Yeoman / “Beefeater” tour.
At Covent Garden, we saw Sergio the Covent Garden Magician. He was hilarious.
We went to Arsenal’s stadium during an away game. That was less than exciting.
The next day, we saw the Tottentham Hotspurs play Manchester City at Wembley Stadium. The NFL logo was still on the field from the Eagles game the day prior. Wembley is the site where England won its only World Cup in 1966. Tottentham lost 1-0.
Rented a car and drove to:
Stonehenge, saw the ancient pile of rocks from the modern highway.
Norman church in the countryside. There are countless of these that are about 1,000 years old.
Roman bath in Bath. This was a highlight. I did not realize just how much the Roman Empire reached Great Britain.
The Eastern Eye in Bath, excellent Curry and drinks.
Stratford on Avon, saw the birthplace of Shakespeare,
The Rosetta Stone is a must see of course.
Hoxne Hoard, I also liked, which is by the Sutton Hoo ship burial. It is a collection of five bags that was buried around the collapse of the Roman Empire.
The Enlightenment Gallery, formerly called the King’s Library, was like a museum of the museum itself. Very cool.
There were pottery exhibits from Japan, Korea, and China. They were incredible.
Check out the coin shop across the street from the British Museum. I bought a Roman coin there, and a 2018 silver £2 coin.
The National Gallery: I would skip this if you’re not into art.
Harrod’s Department Store, did a little Christmas shopping.
Went to Greenwich where the Prime Meridian was set in 1884. I just missed the Maritime Museum there. This was the top thing that I failed to see! COOL watches:
The H4, made by John Harrison. The very first watch that kept time well enough to know that the sun was early or late on a voyage, thus enabling longitude calculation. It won the longitude prize. K1 and K2 below were copies of this watch:
Churchill War Rooms. Definitely a highlight. Churchill is a hero of the 20th century.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, I went to a Sunday morning service there and it was incredible. Huge. The music resonates for 4-5 seconds throughout the church. Note: it is the Church of England.
Westminster, walked around the area, saw it from the outside.
Soho, walked around a little bit.
Bond Street, walked around a little bit. The most expensive item at Tiffany’s was a necklace costing £750,000.
Went to “quiz night” with friends of my friend Aaron. Turns out, they live one block, yes ONE BLOCK in all of London, from where I was staying with my London friends. Bassein Park Road!
There were fireworks for the 5th of November celebrations. I felt only slightly threatened as a Catholic.
I explored the London night life and on the final night discovered the fabled seven-layer club. Like Captain Cook, I accurately chart it here: It is called TigerTiger and it is near Piccadilly Circus Station. I counted the layers, there were seven, and it was impressive, but it was full of dudes, so I left.
Finished with a Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet, not at the Globe! We saw it at the Barbican Theatre. It was put on by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the high quality showed. Highlight of the trip.
Hello and welcome to English Lesson 10. I’m going to start by answering some questions from last week. I’m wearing a zipper-up hoodie. It has a zipper. The zipper can go up down up. So zipper-up, and it has a hood. So zipper-up hoodie.
Second question, how to use a shovel. This is a snow shovel. I can clear snow with a sh- snow shovel. I can clean snow with a snow shovel, and I can shovel snow with a snow shovel, and it all means the same thing. It all means to remove snow with a snow shovel.
I ran out of time this week. So I’m gonna recommend another video. It’s called Papa English and it’s 8 Spoken Contractions. The link to the video is below. And, I know everybody likes the subtitles and it might look like he does not have subtitles, but I’m going to show you a YouTube trick. Go to the bottom right corner of the video, click on CC and select subtitles, and you’ll get the subtitles on a lot of videos they’re available there, down there at the bottom.
Learning language is not about information. It is about lack of information. Your brain has to want to learn. You are training your brain. Your brain has to be hungry for the knowledge.
Watch television and movies you do not understand, and try to understand using only English. Use English subtitles, not your native language.
Find English music you like and watch the lyrics videos on YouTube.
Read books in English.
Use an English-only dictionary.
Your notebook should be English-only. No translation allowed. Find a way! Draw pictures, write words next to each other, or write entire English phrases to remember the definitions of words you are writing. It is easier to remember five words together than one by itself.
Speak with friends. Who do you know who alsowants to learn English? Watch the same movies, listen to the same songs, read the same books, and talk about them in English.
We hear that babies learn languages rapidly. We assume it is easy for a baby to learn his language. It’s not easy even for a baby! The baby has to be hungry, he cries, he’s lonely for company, he’s embarrassed sometimes and frustrated… and therefore the baby’s brain finds a way to learn the language! Challenge your brain, and it will learn for you.
Great English Sources
www.ted.com – has hundreds of interesting short speeches, all in English, with the transcripts and subtitles in many many languages including English.