Lifestyle: Halloween reflections, 2018

Self-tutoring about Halloween and holidays: the tutor examines special occasions such as Halloween.

Halloween examines the dead and the supernatural – what might lurk beyond what we can see. It stimulates the imagination. The decorations and costumes are appealing and exciting, but why?

Likely, most people don’t believe in witches, ghosts, etc – or if they do, they don’t fear them. I love Halloween, but sometimes I wonder why we are all willing to get caught up in its theme, only to abandon it the next day, and for the rest of the year.

Perhaps Halloween helps people learn more about those around them. For instance, suppose you work with George, who’s okay at the job. However, at Halloween, he really amazes you with his costume.

People can do that – they can seem ordinary, yet show surprising inspiration and creativity at occasions such as Halloween. When you see them do it, you realize they have hidden talents. Next, I’m left wondering what other qualities people have that I just don’t notice.

Looking at people’s jack-o-lanterns and decorated houses, you get the privilege of seeing something they’ve taken time and effort to show. In day-to-day life, people don’t often try to be spectacular, even if they can be. At Halloween, they might put in that bit extra to reveal their artistic, creative side that they probably think nobody will appreciate any other time.

Happy Halloween:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: what does rankle mean?

Tutoring English, vocabulary is always interesting. The tutor mentions rankle.

rankle (verb):

to irritate or cause resentment, perhaps continually.

Her older sister’s privileges rankled her.

Source:

Mish, Frederick C. (editor). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Barber, Katherine et al. (editors). The Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Gilmour, Lorna (editor). Collins Essential Canadian English Dictionary and Thesaurus. Glasgow: HarperCollins, 2006.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Yard work: October reflections

Self-tutoring about yard work: the tutor follows a family tradition.

Although I’m trying to reform, I haven’t done much yard work these past few years. Perhaps absurdly, I did much more ten years ago, when we didn’t even have a garden. Now we have one, yet I do much less.

When you’re not involved with something every day, you can lose your place, so have trouble knowing where to start. Today I mowed the back yard first, then looked at the leaves out front, under both ours and the neighbours’ oak trees.

I’ve beheld those fallen oak leaves for many days; we haven’t had a powerful south wind that would blow them away. I decided to rake them, then till them into the garden patches in the back yard.

Collecting the leaves into the wheelbarrow, then walking them to the back yard, next digging them in, took about two hours. While doing so, I reflected about my father doing the same in our family garden back in the Annapolis Valley in the early ’80s (see my post here). There, we had maple and oak trees, and others: autumn leaves were plentiful. Much as I did today, Dad would collect them, then till them into the soil. There’s one main difference: he used a rototiller, whereas I use a shovel.

Dad observed next fall, when he dug the soil to bury that year’s leaves, the buried leaves from the previous fall were gone. He even recalled that, when planting in the spring, the buried leaves had been noticeably reduced. During the winter, organisms in the soil, including earthworms, perhaps, consumed much of them. He acknowledged the idea to be surprising, since we were in the Annapolis Valley, where winter is typically cold for a few months, and very cold for a few weeks. Somehow, while the soil seemed locked in frost, decomposition continued. He mused that perhaps, under the soil’s surface, the decomposition of the leaves produced enough heat to be self-sustaining through winter.

Like any gardener, I patiently await the soil’s development this winter:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Music: The Stars and Stripes Forever

Self-tutoring about music: the tutor shares a couple of finds about the famous Stars and Stripes Forever.

Since I was a kid, I’ve known The Stars and Stripes Fovever to be one of America’s best loved band compositions. Just to clarify: I’m Canadian, yet still familiar with it. The Stars and Stripes Fovever was written by John Philip Sousa in 1896. It’s America’s official march, by act of Congress, 1987.

Interestingly, in show business, The Stars and Stripes Fovever is known as a “disaster march,” meaning it is played, all of a sudden, to signal an emergency to management without panicking the spectators (who, presumably, aren’t aware of its significance). The Stars and Stripes Fovever served that function in 1944, in Hartford, Connecticut, when a fire broke out during a live circus. Merle Evans led the band.

Source:

www.awesomestories.com

wikipedia

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English, repeating sound patterns

Tutoring English, the way words sound is important. The tutor mentions a pattern he’s noticed.

Lately repeating sounds, but with different meanings, have caught my attention, such as the following:

She walked along a long building.

Here’s another example:

The knights sat around a round table.

In each pattern, the first time the sounds mean a preposition; the second, an article and adjective. One could stretch for another example:

He saw past the door, which was ajar, a jar.

Neat, eh?

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Geography: leopards in Europe

Self-tutoring about geography: the tutor mentions the fact that leopards live in Europe.

In yesterday’s post I mention that the Republic of Georgia’s northern border is often described as the border between Europe and Asia, yet even so, Georgia considers itself to be European. Whichever is the case, southern Russia, alongside Georgia, must be European.

Persian leopards inhabit the Caucasus, including the Russian Caucasus along the Georgian border. Therefore, leopards do indeed live in Europe.

Source:

www.animalspot.net

www.arkive.org

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Geography: the border between Europe and Asia, part 0: the Caucasus Region

Self-tutoring about geography: the tutor researches the Euro-Asian border.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Georgia is in Asia, yet identifies as European.

Some define the Euro-Asian border, in fact, as Georgia’s northern border, in the Caucasus Mountains. From that point of view, Georgia and south is in Asia.

Yet, some geographers refer to a “border region” in the Caucasus, rather than a border, between Europe and Asia. They conceive it to include Armenia and Azerbaijan as well.

Interestingly, the EU describes the definition of Europe as cultural as well as geographical.

Source:

www.worldatlas.com

www.worldatlas.com

www.worldatlas.com

www.worldatlas.com

www.cia.gov

Stanford, Quentin H. (editor). Canadian Oxford School Atlas, 6th ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: what does vaunt mean?

Tutoring English, uncommon words – especially short ones – are of particular interest. The tutor mentions vaunt.

vaunt (verb):
to praise or brag about

He vaunts his chili.

Source:

Mish, Frederick C. (editor). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Barber, Katherine et al (editors). Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Serotonin: why someone might crave carbohydrates

Self-tutoring about health, diet and mood: the tutor finds a connection between eating carbohydrates and mood.

Of course, some people eat because it makes them feel happy rather than because they are hungry. (I am one such person;) Is there an easy connection between eating and mood elevation?

Perhaps yes: serotonin. Serotonin is believed to reduce depression and perhaps promote contentment. Its release is augmented by eating carbohydrates but not by eating protein.

Interesting, eh?

Source:

nih.gov

healthline.com

nih.gov

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Home electronics: help from live chat

Self-tutoring about home electronics: the tutor shares.

Using a Smart TV today, I couldn’t get the web browser to work, even though the TV itself reported being connected to the internet. I read the instructions in the support screen about the company’s website. Helpfully, it included the model number and software version.

I went online, to the company website, and found Live Chat as an option, which I clicked. After entering a few details about my particular case, I waited, but not long. I’d say within two minutes an operator contacted me: his name was Charles.

Charles navigated me through unfamiliar territory, helping me access a software update, then guiding me through other twists and turns…miraculously, the web browser indeed ended up working. I’m very pleased.

I am a believer in online chat when I get into problems with electronics. Today reinforced my optimism about it:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.