This is basically what the Internet was made for:
This is basically what the Internet was made for:
You probably wouldn’t know what the graph for sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5 looks like, unless you had already seen it.
If you can visualise it, you might find yourself hummming the soundtrack to ‘A Beautiful Mind’ a lot…and you either need help or have a really big contract with Google or NASA.
Anyway, the graph looks like this:
Yes, I know. The world would be a better place, if the sign above actually meant what you think it does. The basic concept that there is a middle point of a fart is one that makes me happy. Of course, then we need to figure out whether we’re talking in regards to time, amount of air released or perhaps odour level….and it’s all a mote point, seeing as the sign above actually means ‘middle speed’.
OK, that’s still a weird name for a city, but people living in Great Britain should be very careful of pointing fingers. This is, after all, the home of the village named Beeswing….
That being said, Danes have a range of words that English natives think mean something completely different.
Take ‘knob’ for example – in Denmark that is the speed of a boat and not a….erhmm….
‘Killing’ means kitten. And while we’re on the subject, The Killing TV-series is called ‘Forbrydelsen’ which means The Crime.
Staying with changing stuff, Danes seem to have bastardised the gallant ‘fuck’ into something which is pronounced more like ‘fork’. Fork, on the other hand, is called ‘gaffel’.
If you ever find yourself in Denmark and what to have a bit of fun, wait till the Danes get a bit drunk (they always do), spell a word like Leicester and ask them to pronounce it. Some will get it right, but others will get it oh so wrong in the best way possible.
Plump is another sound that is sort of interesting. In Danish it’s a sound word for something falling into the water, like a rock, for example.
Another word is ‘slik’ which means either candy or lick.
Staying with that, the word ‘kok’ means chef and not…..:-)
A few oddities, touching moments and forcefully touching moment found over the last couple of weeks.
Weird Al Yankovic found a winning formula by simultaneously releasing an entire album’s worth of new material on a selected series of websites – and then publishing the album. The result has been the harmonica man’s first number one. Ever. Here’s one of the new songs – a word themed version of Robin Thicke’s…ah, you know the song already:
Next up a couple of videos that you will hopefully find touching. First a story of a boy and his dog. Just watch the first three minutes and tell me that you don’t feel like you’re in a room full of people chopping onions:
Secondly, a mini concert with Daniel Lanois and Trixie Whitley:
Next up, a video about our planet:
And finally, to end on a lighter note, a video with waaayyy too much touching of the groin. Heavy handed touching at that:
Sometimes, you will come across stories that will grow more and more inspiring and special as they are unfolded. Sometimes, these stories are just that – great stories. Sometimes, they are a little bit more. They might somehow strike a chord with us, or they might be extra special due to the fact that they are actually true, that this actually happened to the human begin sitting in front of you, telling the story.
Personally, I’ve been fortunate enough to hear a number of true stories like that, but few of them rival the story of Reginald Matthews. What started as a 30 minute interview that was supposed to be about him winning his first award at 90 turned into 2½ hours about the Second World War, Religion, the South West, Asia and why he’s never retired. What was supposed to be 700 word piece on an award and a teaching experience in China turned into 2500 words about…well, for want of a better description, I would call it a life well lived. A story about a 90-year-old man whose fascination with airplanes somehow ended with him sailing the seas until the tender age of 79, and going to China to volunteer and an English teacher at the age of 89.
Luckily, the editor at the local newspaper who had originally committed the cardinal sin of telling me to write the ‘long version’ of Reg’s story (and knowing me, he should have known better) was able to edit my meandering tale down to a newspaper-friendly length. That version – which I would say is by far the superior one-sitting-story – can be found here.
The version found here is the original, unabridged script that I sent to the editor, and perhaps a chance to learn a bit more about Reg and his inspirational life.
Any attempt to sum up a life in words – even 2500 of them – will invariably fall short. I’ve chosen to focus on three main parts of Reg’s life, and split the story up into four separate posts. I hope this also makes it a little bit easier to read.
Now over to Reg.
China and never retiring
During my time in the Far East, I had med many interesting people, and one of them suggested that I should go to Japan to teach English. I had never considered it before, and eventually the trip fell through, but it got me interested. Soon after, I was offered a chance to go to China to teach, and said yes straight away. I ended up in Shangdong Province Where I helped out for the next year.
Since then I have spent several years teaching in China, and I also found out about Open Doors Language School here in Plymouth. They teach immigrants and refugees, and I decided that it would be a great place to volunteer. I help out in classes, which is incredibly rewarding, and in return I get so much from both the students and teachers. They even let me follow a English Teaching course in 2012, which is usually very expensive.
I think that some people might think it strange that I still do volunteer work here at Open Doors at the age of 90, and that I travel to China to teach English. The truth is that I have never considered retiring. Partly, I do not think that there is a danger of slowing down too much if you do not have something that gives you purpose and keeps you going, but mostly it has to do with my beliefs.
I have read the scriptures from end to end and there is nowhere in there that I have found anything about retiring. In fact, there are many stories of people doing the Lord’s work when they are very old.
I feel that I have been called to serve something much larger than myself and that is one of the main reasons why I do not think of retiring. My motivation does not come from a ‘must’ but from a desire to serve the purpose of God in my generation.
The other is the people that I get to work with. Here at Open Doors, I help one teacher who has a rule that if anyone is late, they have to show the other students a dance from their own country.
To add to the fun, I dance with them, which usually goes pretty well. I have to admit that some of the dances are difficult. For example, the teacher is Iranian and once showed us how to belly dance. It looks amazing but I am afraid I just cannot get my hips to wriggle like she can – but the experiences that I share with people both here in Plymouth and in China are so rewarding. It involves helping other people, and I am absolutely sure that they, and the dancing are part of what helps keep me ‘young’.