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Music Review: Journey of a Feather by Ancelin

Year: 2010
Genre: Instrumental, Downtempo, Trip-Hop
Online: Jamendo

  1. The Journey of a Feather
  2. Walk on Air
  3. Apocalypse
  4. Fall in Jazz
  5. The Truth
  6. Happy End
  7. Childbearing
  8. Apolo 11
  9. Storm
  10. Go Up
  11. Eveux
  12. Une pensée
  13. Dance’s child
  14. Jungle of blues
  15. Un rêve
  16. Bubble
  17. Nanotechnologie
  18. Le_nouveau_né

I first came across French artist Ancelin on Jamendo a few years ago. The album Urban Cross was a pretty good album and lead to me downloading Journey of a Feather as well. It is one of the lengthier albums in my music collection as well but it is totally worth it.

Ancelin does a terrific job of evoking the sense of the modern cityscape in both albums. However, in Journey of a Feather there are a few more instrumental tracks instead of the entire album being Downtempo and Trip-Hop non-vocal tracks. However, all of the tracks seamlessly fit together under that wonderful theme.
The compositions are simply gorgeous and I find myself returning to both albums regularly. The songs offer that feeling of progression in time and space, bringing up repeatedly back to that idea of following something or someone. That continuity of theme also gives us a great starting point for creatives looking for some prompts.
Do I have any favourite songs on this album? If I had to choose, I would pick Dance’s Child. The song is an odd mix of world music with downtempo that makes it the obvious choice. Why? Because it evokes the sense of the multicultural city.

In conclusion, really enjoyed this album. I highly recommend this album to creatives looking to get in specific moods for creating their “shinies” and to people that are looking for some music to help them relax. Even if this doesn’t apply to you, it doesn’t hurt to head on over to Jamendo and stream the album.

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Sunday Playlist 08/13/2017

Hello again! I have another playlist for you again this week. This time around, the theme is “sweet love”. I know that I have made a few playlists with this theme but I think that now more than ever we need something positive to push through all of the negativity in the world. This one is a bit more varied, with a few more instrumental tracks than usual.

  1. Love Isn’t Wasted | David Krystal | She Sings to Me [AUS]
  2. Oiseaux | Gabriele Bochicchio [ITA]
  3. Stock in the Stars | George Woods | Heartbeat [USA]
  4. The River | Ben Drake | I Don’t Live Here [USA]
  5. Winter Love Song (instrumental) | Vitne | Winter Love Song (single) [NOR]
  6. Come Home | Now Endeavor | Lost in Translation [USA]
  7. You’ll Come Too | Barefoot McCoy | Bye Bye Bluebird [USA]
  8. Soul Kiss | Entheos | Entheos [USA]
  9. #sweetsixteen | Grace Valhalla | Fomo [FRA]
  10. Morena | Haroldo Torrechilha | Muito Prazer [BRA]

You can find the playlist here.

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Course Review: Google Calendar Essential Training

Teacher: Jess Stratton
Length: 1h 42m (course link)

In the course Google Calendar Essential Training, Jess Stratton gives comprehensive training in Google Calendar, both the free and paid business option. Google Calendar is one of the big three calendar services in the west in modern time. It is also one of the numerous apps available with a Google account.
I have been a member of Google for many years and have made some use of Google Calendar during that time. This offered some familiarity with the free version going into the course. I did, however, learn a few new things over the span of the different modules.

The course material is targetted at newcomers to the product yet builds on the complexity over time until the student has a comprehensive understanding of Google Calendar and Google Calendar for Business. Jess Stratton never lingers on a subject for too long, giving just enough time for each topic. She also delivers the material in a conversational and friendly manner.
Though I was aware of the sharing functions, I had never used them before. After doing the course, I have considered ways in which I can make use of this function in order to share information with loved ones. I also found myself thinking of ways to use Google Calendar more effectively.

In conclusion, this course is a must for anyone looking to use Google Calendar for planning and organisation. If you have a google account and want to get more organised, then Google Calendar Essential Training is a great way to become familiar with the features that you’ll be using.


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Course Review: Improving Your Focus

Teacher: Dave Crenshaw
Length: 53m (course link)

Improving Your Focus is the fourth and final course in the Improve Your Organizational Skills learning pathway. It is a chopped down version of Dave Crenshaw’s Time Management Fundamentals but also touches on personal growth.
Given the huge crossover in the two courses, folks might prefer to enrol solely in Time Management Fundamentals. However, it is a decent overview of the material covered in Time Management Fundamentals later on down the track. You could, however, use it as an introduction to the subject matter.

In conclusion, this course is a great introduction to the subject matter but you’ll see more of the concepts explained in greater detail in Time Management Fundamentals. It could, however, be used as an abridged version of the longer course later down the track should you get a bit rusty. I recommend this course to anyone looking for an introduction of the material or a quick revision of the longer course.

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Course Review: Managing To-do Lists

Teacher: Suzanna Kaye
Length: 43m (course link)

In this third course in the Improve Your Organizational Skills learning pathway, Suzanna Kaye offers some great tips and advice regarding how to organise your life better using to-do lists. She covers both paper and digital systems, including online and software-based offerings. This is all brought together in a fast-paced but manageable forty-three minutes.

I was mildly familiar with some to-do list apps going into this course, but it seems that there is a wide variety of both paper and digital systems available. The idea of breaking larger tasks into small steps is not a new concept. However, many of us fall back into poor habits that often lead to decreased productivity and effectiveness in achieving our goals. This is why building in the habit of maintaining and applying a to-do list is so important.
This course helps with deciding which system to use. Suzanna discusses numerous paper systems in some detail, allowing us an overview of what we need to begin. This might be a journal or ring binder that uses index cards. It is likely the most expensive system as well. We then get an overview of several apps on Apple and Android devices as well as online options. The focus is on apps that sync over multiple devices as this reduces the chance of having all of those tasks destroyed in the event that a mishap occurs. I ended up installing one of the suggested apps on my Windows 10 PC.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to organise their life more. If you anything close to my level of chaos, it will likely lead to a few decisions on your part. In any case, you are likely to learn something of value in this course.

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Video of the Week #020

The video for this week returns to the subject of language. Human beings communicate in a variety of ways. This is not just spoken methods but written, drawn and expressed in the likes of rope tying. Languages also vary in the concepts being conveyed as well. In the case of the Hopi, we see how different the concept of time is addressed.

I have decided to give you some activities again this week in order to demonstrate the concept of time. This is in the form of questions.

  • What is time?
  • What methods do you use to track time?
  • How does the passage of time affect how you perceive and interact with the world?
  • Consider how time is conveyed in any of the languages that you are familiar with. How do they compare to the few examples given in the Hopi consideration of time?
  • Grab an ice-cube from the freezer and place it in a clear receptacle. Observe and time the process using the method of your choice, documenting factors such as temperature, humidity and wind chill factor. Be mindful of how you felt at different points: 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 melt. How long did it take to completely melt? How did you feel at the various stages of the melting process? Was there a point where it felt like it was dragging out significantly longer than you would like? What other emotions did you feel about the process? Now explain it in 200 words, being sure to indicate your state of mind going into the experiment. Now repeat this experiment under three more different conditions: A strong taste in your mouth, Mozart playing in the background, play footage of a sport that you enjoy in sight. Compare the four conditions.

You can find the NativLang channel here.

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Course Review: Outlook 2016 Time Management with Calendar and Tasks

Teacher: Gini von Courter
Length: 2h 54m (course link)

As mentioned yesterday, I started a learning pathway on LYNDA. Outlook 2016 Time Management with Calendar and Tasks is the second part of the Improve Your Organizational Skills learning pathway. The previous course encouraged the use of calendar software that syncs across various devices, which is where Outlook 2016 comes into play.
As a small caveat before I continue, I haven’t used a version of Outlook for many years. To be honest, I am more familiar with versions of Mozilla Thunderbird from at least five years ago. Whilst I can see a purpose for this sort of software, I find it easier to use a browser for managing my emails. However, I do use the app One Calendar which is connected with my Google account.

Gini von Courter gives a comprehensive look at the features of this product. As with David Rivers, she uses the fictional business of Landon Hotel to base her lessons on. Over time, the basics covered in the beginning are built upon giving students a good working knowledge of the features.
Whilst students will get a good working knowledge of the software, the longer lessons might be unappealing to some. The materials were well-organised, to be sure, but they tended to drag on longer than needed to get the material across for me personally. If you don’t mind taking a bit longer, this will be less of an issue.

In conclusion, this course did a great job of making me familiar with the features of Outlook 2016. Whilst I doubt that I will change to it anytime soon, I highly suspect that the course will be a great help to anyone using Outlook 2016 in a work environment where they will coordinate with numerous people. I’d also recommend to anyone considering purchasing the software.