Christopher Hitchens Quotes

It’s funny that I’m writing a post about Christopher Hitchens, an outspoken atheist, after uploading spiritual music. He’s one of the most provocative political commentators I’ve come across. Check out the video below.

[O]wners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/21490

Snowboarding in the Pyrenees

Well.. not exactly. Here’s the story: Elodie and I waited at the Madrid Barajas Airport for about 12 hours because our flight was delayed. We were flying with Easyjet, and there were weather problems in London. Apparently the way that Easyjet works is that a pilot flies to, lets say London, and then another one gets on from there and flies the plane to Munich, and then from there, another pilot flies the plane to Athens, and so on and so forth.

Saint Pierre Bridge over Garonne River
Saint Pierre Bridge over Garonne River

How to Improve Your English Vocabulary

I didn’t understand most of the conversations around me when I was in France for my Christmas break. If I had learned how to read and write and pronounce words in French, I know I would’ve understood more because many French and Spanish words are lexically similar (as opposed to phonetically).

Anyway, to answer the question posed in the title, one of the most rewarding ways to increase your English vocabulary is to learn a Romance language. For example, I heard some SAT vocabulary words flying around in normal conversations in France. Laissez moi, I heard Elodie say. I understood her because of Laissez Faire. I also heard Elodie’s mom say ennui at breakfast, which I learned from Mr. Mell’s English class.

What Makes Me Feel Older

If you have read my last post, you will know that I recently became a year older (just like you).
I remember telling my friends once that I felt older when I realized that I preferred shopping for groceries to clothes. I thought that it would be fun to expand that list..

What Makes Me Feel Older

I now prefer shopping for groceries to clothes.

How Koreans Calculate Age Differently

Happy new years everyone! I was away for awhile because of my long vacation (including Christmas, New Year´s, and Three Kings). If you are Korean, you are now one year older; your Korean age is now probably two years older than your age you are familiar with.

Let me explain:

Pictures from Granada pt. I

Granada is an interesting city.
You will see Goths, tourists, potheads, musicians, and businessmen all walking down the same street.
The architecture there is also diverse and intriguing; it has been influenced by Jews, Christians, and especially the Moors.

The Moorish rule in Granada lasted for seven centuries, and left behind the most beautiful monuments I have seen in my life. I doubt I will ever see such architectural design as I did at the Alhambra and Generalife, in which most of its monuments were built in the 14th century. The following pictures were taken from this Complex.

Granada_Alhambra in the Fall

Incredible Vocals- Korean Folk Song

Click play to watch Kim Young Im Sun Seng Neem sing Jung Sun Arirang. Sun Seng Neem means teacher, and is added to her name to show respect.

Jung Sun Arirang is a famous Korean folk song that expresses han.
There is no direct translation for the word han. Perhaps intense sorrow?

It’s a pity I’ve only seen this performance on YouTube. Try to listen to it with good speakers.

Why Do We Feel So Disconnected from Each Other?

According to scientists, in the very early universe, there were particles, which became hydrogen atoms after protons were developed. (It makes sense, right? Hydrogen in its usual phase has a single proton.) When stars were formed, nuclear fusion caused hydrogen to convert into helium. During the later phases of stars, carbon was also formed from radioactivity. To make it a short story, all materials in this universe- including the things that make up humans- are born from stars.

The substance that we are made up of is actually ancient: they have been through five stars. (In case you didn’t know, stars are constantly being created and destroyed.) I know that perhaps it appears that I’m just repeating what Carl Sagan said, in a much less sophisticated manner, but I swear I thought of this before I knew about Carl Sagan!

The Painting that Gave Me Chills

If there is one thing you have to do while you’re in Madrid, it is to visit the Reina Sofia Museum. I had no idea how huge Guernica was until I saw it for myself. Wikipedia says that it is 3.35 m x 7.75 m. That sounds about right. As soon as I laid my eyes on that painting, I got the chills all over.

Ten Favorite Spanish Words

  1. Manzana: It`s more commonly used to signify “apple,” but Spaniards also use it to signify “block,” as in a street block. Imagine saying “walk two apples, take a left, walk three more apples, and you’ll arrive at the deli.”

  2. Murciélago: The famous Lamborghini sports car is named after the Spanish word for “bat.” *Correction: Most Lamborghini cars are named after Spanish bulls. Murciélago was actually the name of one fighting bull.

Cuenca and Ciudad Encantada

On a lovely, drizzly Sunday afternoon, I went to Cuenca and Ciudad Encantada with Anais, Elodie, and Lee, some of the closest friends I have here in Spain. The two cities are very close to each other, so I recommend going to both if you ever plan on going there.

I felt so European riding in the back of a old, red Peugeot 205, and listening to my two friends talk in French. Two hours later, we arrived at Ciudad Encantada, or the Enchanted City, which has an interesting landscape due to erosion. The Júcar River, which no longer extends to the region, left behind tall rock formations that look like mushrooms.