August 2009

Pushing Daisies was described as a “forensic fairy tale”. The story revolves around the main guy, Ned, who is a pie-maker, but who also has the ability to bring people back from the dead at a touch. It’s incredibly quirky but fun.

I watched a few episodes of Pushing Daisies on TV when it first came out, but then for some reason missed an episode and then got completely lost.

However! I have now got Pushing Daisies series 1 & 2, so I shall be watching them all again.

Apparently, there won’t be a third series, as ABC cancelled it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Readers: Did you see Pushing Daisies? What did you think of it?

I finally have some patent shoes! Here they are in their gorgeousness:

I also bought some other shoes yesterday but they’re not on the website of where I bought them… Anyway, they’re flat, quilted, mary-jane type shoes and REALLY soft and comfortable. I’m very pleased.

My nan gave me some money to get shoes because I had holes in the soles of all my other shoes… Haha ๐Ÿ˜€

I am now the owner of six pairs of high-heeled shoes…And a pair of small wedges :3

Readers: What sort of shoes do you absolutely covet? Do you have lots of shoes?

Recently, I decided on a path for my future.

Throughout my life, I’ve wanted to be a dancer, a veterinary surgeon, a writer… But now I’ve finally decided what I’d like to do after I finish University (either after my BA or after doing an MA):

I’m going to teach English to people in Japan!

So, in order to get by and survive in Japan, I must learn the language before I get there. I have started teaching myself from a textbook, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Conversational Japanese.

It did come with an audio CD, but I lost it. Anyhow, I know exactly how to pronounce the language, so I don’t mind. I’ve always been very good at pronunciation when I learnt Spanish. French however, evaded me…that’s another story.

Eventually, I’ll start learning how to read and write Kana/Kanji.

So far, I’ve learnt particles and sentence structure; Affirmative Present, Affirmative Past, Negative Present and Negative Past tenses for verbs, adjectives and nouns; and the TE-form (-ing verbs).

I’ve learnt to say: “That’s my book” – Kore-wa watashi-no hoN-desu. “There’s pizza in the freezer” – Piza-wa furiizaa-ni ari-masu.

I haven’t really bothered to learn much else by heart yet. I’m going to go over everything I’ve learnt so far for a brush up and to test myself.

Readers: Are you learning a new language? What do you find easy or difficult about learning the language?

iMais is May, 22 from Qatar. May is a ‘digital painter’.

Her colours make me happy ๐Ÿ™‚

Visit her gallery here.

Recently, to keep myself occupied during this moneyless Summer, I have been making animals out of a special clay called FIMO which you bake in the oven, and it becomes hard.

I thought it may be interesting to share my creations with you. Some inspiration came from existing models I found on Google Images.

jevigar is ร–mer Volkan from Turkey. ร–mer specialises in animal photography, particularly the stray cats of Turkey.

His gallery can be viewed here.

From the Opinon: Letters section of New Scientist magazine.

From Nancy Blake

Helen Pitcher highlights the strength of the nocebo effect, in which negative expectations can produce harmful effects (16 May, p30). A study of the language used in the Milton model of hypnosis could help doctors who wonder how to inform patients of potential side effects without suggesting that they acquire them.

If I ask you not to think of a purple cow, you first have to visualise it, and the image then stays in your mind as you try not to think of it. If you are subsequently asked to visualise a brown cow in some detail, the image of the purple cow disappears.

Similarly, saying to a piano student, ‘This is the hard part of the piece’ will produce negative expectations, raising the student’s anxiety level. Saying instead, ‘This part isn’t easy, yet’ will cause the unconscious, which doesn’t deal well with a negative, to respond to the word ‘easy’.

These quirks of the unconscious mind can be exploited in medical treatment. When prescribing a drug, the doctor could say that in most cases, the patient can expect it to produce a particular improvement, and that they have every reason to believe the patient will respond in that way. The doctor could then go on to explain that occasionally something different might occur, but in such a case it is just a matter of discontinuing the medication and contacting the doctor so that the situation can be sorted out. The emphasis here should be on the process of ‘sorting it out’.

This sets up an expectation of specific improvements: the placebo effect. It builds in a sense of confidence, as the patient knows the doctor is aware that the situation might change and will be able to handle changes accordingly. This should minimise anxiety even if side effects occur, reassuring the patient that things still can go well.

Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, UK”

(New Scientist, 6 June 2009, p26)