Journey/ Journal

What Would You Ask Elie Wiesel?

I had a few opportunities to watch Elie Wiesel speak. If you do not know who he is, he is a holocaust survivor probably best known for his book, Night, which I highly recommend- it is a short but intense and profound book about his experience in two concentration camps.

What Spanish Street Signs Reveal About Spaniards

Street sign in Madrid

Spaniards care less about functionality than the Americans do

American street signs, in general, are out in the streets, where it is easy for both pedestrians and drivers to see, and all of them are completely uniform within the area: same height above the ground, same font, same color, etc. Spanish street signs are attached to the buildings at different heights, and have different fonts, pictures, and styles. Apparently, they care more about aesthetics and tradition rather than efficiency.

Below, you will see the standard American street sign, taken in Boston and New York. It is very simple, written in sans serif, and evokes the image of letters written with chalk on a blackboard. Some may not think it is attractive, but it is certainly legible.

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

Just – Radiohead

Thom Yorke said that this song was “a competition between [himself] and Jonny to get as many chords as possible into a song.”

You do it to yourself, you do
and that’s what really hurts
You do it to yourself, just you
you and no one else

Lotus Flower – Radiohead

Radiohead, one of my all-time favorite bands, has just released its new album, the King of Limbs.
Here is the new music video for Lotus Flower:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfOa1a8hYP8]

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

  1. 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