Tag Archives: film

My 2 Role Models

Felicia Day (Actress)


This gorgeous girl is not only a brilliant scriptwriter and a great actress but also a total maths nerd and video game geek. She holds two university degrees: mathematics and music performance.

Similarly to what I said about Captain Kirk from Star Trek, she proves that you can be smart, beautiful and creative at the same time. But she also is a girl, so she inspires me even more.

What I like about her is that she is an actress who starts projects of her own. She inspired me to write a play, and guess what? We represented it this year in my school. And that was the day I discovered I loved to be on stage.

She proves to be a great singer in Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which I highly recommend you watch. She is also the writer and main actress of the web series The Guild, which is about a group of MMO (Massive multiplayer online role-playing games) players.

I highly enjoy all of her performances and I want to grow up to be more like her.

Bertrand Piccard (Psychiatrist and Balloonist)


Piccard was, along with Brian Jones, the first to complete a non-stop balloon flight around the world. This amazed me because what people do mostly is to beat previous records. Few people are “firsts” these days, specially in something as old as ballooning!

He wants to repeat the adventure, but this time on solar-powered plane designed and constructed by his team. He says that this is to prove that we can rely on solar power for everything. That if we can fly one man around the world today, it’s just a matter of time to fly two hundred. And no one could ever say again that it is impossible to get rid of our dependency on fossil fuels.

The project is called Solar Impulse and dubbed “a great human adventure”. On the Solar Impulse website, you can read a fantastic Jules Verne quote: “All that is impossible remains to be achieved”.

It deeply inspires me that there are people like Bertrand Piccard in the world, innovating and pushing the human race forward. I sincerely hope he and his team succeed and prove their plane can work day and night on solar power.

Honouring the name of this blog, I’ve purchased their set of badges, or the “adventurer” package on their website (you can also personalize a solar cell or write your name on the plane). They’re awesome!

Check out his incredible talk on TED.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Actually, I’m getting a small craft pilot licence as soon as I’m old enough to do so.

But what’s the lesson you can learn from both? They do what they love. Unless you do what you love, you have zero chances of success. At least, of this kind of success: the kind that leaves a mark and inspires others to do the same.

If you are a parent, I encourage you to present this kind of people to your children as role models instead of what they usually get from TV: Hanna Montana, Lady Gaga, etc. It really makes a difference.

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Best Things I’ve Done: Learning A New Language.

Update! For an in-depth guide on getting started with languages, check out How To Become A Polyglot.

I first started learning English in school at the age of 6 and French at the age of 12, but I never became fluent in any of those languages until I finally understood the real benefits of speaking those languages.

The moment I realised I really wanted to become fluent in English was when I was watching Blade Runner in said language with Spanish subtitles and I understood one line they said, then read the subtitle line and said “but it’s not the same thing he said!”. In that moment I noticed that there are certain thoughts and messages that can only be expressed in one language. Every time I watch now a film in English with subtitles (when I watch it with someone else) I can see the subs say the same thing the characters say, but it’s not quite the same thing. Many deep levels of film lines are lost in translation.

But then it hit me even harder: “Wait. What about books? All my favourite books are in English!”. Now I really, really had to learn English.

The same thing happened to me with French. I wanted to read Jules Verne and many other writers as they originally intended their thoughts and words. I don’t want to risk missing anything. I don’t believe in translations any more. Lately, I’ve been thinking how great it would be to read Solaris in Polish. It’s one of my favourite novels so it might be worth it.

But there’s one more wonderful thing about foreign languages. It’s the moment you realize you can actually think in a different language. You have to experience that (it sounds like Also Sprach Zarathustra and it feels like awesome). no more translating word-by-word in your head before speaking. Now you are expressing yourself with a whole new set of words and even different rules. Along the lines of the previous idea, you are thinking differently. Such a great brain exercise, isn’t it? You may even be able to express ideas you couldn’t express before. The more languages you speak, the better you understand yourself. It’s like learning new vocabulary, but in a whole new level: learning new syntaxes.

Also, you feel like you understand something you previously didn’t. When you translate in a language word-by-word, you don’t quite think of it as anything more than a different set of words, but when you use it in your head, to think, it’s an eureka moment. That set of strange words and rules finally make sense.

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My Essential iPhone Apps

DoIt (Tomorrow) Free

I just love how simple and well-designed this app is. I’ve tried 2Do and Awesome Note and they were great, but I ended up not using them because of their complexity: it took me to long to do anything.

Here there’s no calendar, only today and tomorrow. As I write my appointments on the iPhone calendar anyway, that’s all I need. You can write your tasks for today and your tasks for tomorrow, and if you don’t want to do something today, you can easily procrastinate it by tapping the cute arrow on it’s right.

iBooks Free

I’m in love with the design of this app. Since I got iBooks I have read a book a week and haven’t paid a cent for it. There are thousands of free classics in there. Some of the books I’ve read are Great Expectations, Vanity Fair, The Mysterious Affair at Styles and Siddhartha.

It has an extensive dictionary so you can look up any word just by tapping it twice, and you can easily highlight and annotate passages in several colours (the highlighted sentence in the image is there to illustrate the point. Note that I do not consider the clerk opening the door of deep philosophical meaning or anything ;)).

GoalBook $1.99

Another app I love because of it’s simplicity. You write the goal, you cross it off when you achieve it. Allows you to set your motto at the app home screen. Mine is a Jules Verne quote: “All that is impossible remains to be achieved”.

It has many other functions like geo-tagging your goals, sharing them or adding pictures, but I don’t use any of them. I just add and delete when finished.

These are my goals: Two 30-day challenges, one long-term goal and the short-term future for my blog (about that one, a subscription would be much appreciated ;))

Amazon UK Free

It is from Amazon that all my films and film memorabilia come, so it’s great to have a quick access for when I want something.

I love it very much the way Amazon tells you to buy their stuff. A message can be seen when the shopping basket is empty that reads: “Your shopping basket lives to serve. Give it a purpose by filling it with books, DVDs, electronics and more”.

By the way, Amazon always nails it with the recommendations. Oh, Amazon, you are my favourite mega-store. I feel almost guilty for buying my eBooks from Apple.

There is a USA version too.

Advanced English Dictionary Free

Dictionary + thesaurus. Handy for non-native speakers like me. I like to discover new words and synonyms when I’m on the bus, train or waiting in a line.

It gives a definition, uses of the word in a sentence, antonyms, synonyms and related words. Tons of each.

I’ve found it better than many of it’s paid (and all it’s free) counterparts.

🙂

🙂

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🙂 (don’t forget to be happy and smile!)

European Union Factbook Free

I’m an European Union lover and as with English, I use this app when I’m waiting in a line and such to discover new facts and figures about the EU countries.

It tells you about everything there is to know about a country: history, flag, borders, capitals, landmarks, climate, coastline, renewable water resources, natural hazards, population, birth rate, life expectancy, and hundreds of other things.

It also has a quiz.

You may say I’m weird but I like learning random obscure country trivia in my spare time 🙂

MyNetDiary Free

This app is amazing! It has every food on it’s database, even obscure Spanish food I thought nobody outside my city would know about! With MyNetDiary I’ve discovered that I used to eat way more than I should, and now I’m eating less and healthier. I’ve already lost 0.3 kilos in three days.

This app has many many functions (and many many more in the Pro version) but I only use it to input my weight, meals and exercise time. It tells me how much I should be eating and it reviews my daily intake of sodium, calcium and that stuff so I don’t overdo my diet and risk my health.

Tetris $2.99

This is my favourite iPhone game. The only downside is that it takes you through way too many menus before getting to play, but it takes less than 10 seconds anyway (I’m just a bit too impatient).

You can play the classical way or with variations, such as the one shown in the image, where you can collect and use several bonuses. You can start the game at any level, too.

Controlling the pieces is very easy, just move them around with your finger and tap to rotate them. The graphics are sleek and colourful.

IMDB Free

I’m a film geek and this app is my best companion. Helps me calm my mind when I can’t remember if Martin Landau was or wasn’t in that film.

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5 Lessons From 5 Great Film Characters

Cosmo Brown (Singin’ in the Rain)

Now you could study Shakespeare and be quite an elite, and you could charm the critics and have nothing to eat, just slip on a banana peel the world’s at your feet! Make ’em laugh, make ’em laugh, make ’em laugh!

“Make ’em laugh” is effectively what I learnt from this character. I’ve discovered that a witty line can make a point, and a funny story can win an audience.

Maria (The Sound of Music)

Now children, Do Re Mi Fa So and so on are only the tools you use to build a song. Once you have these notes in your heads you can sing a million different tunes by mixing them up.

From Maria I learnt that there was much more to music that I previously thought. After watching this film, I listen to music in a completely different way. I appreciate music much more now, to the point of taking singing and piano lessons.

Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother)

“Okay, pep talk! You can do this, but to be more accurate, you probably can’t. You’re way out of practice and she’s way too hot for you. So, remember, it’s not about scoring. It’s about believing you can do it, even though you probably can’t. Go get ’em, tiger!”

I love this quote because it reflects exactly how hard it is to explain to someone the power of confidence and positive thinking. It sounds like you are deluding yourself with a confidence overload, and in fact you are, but that’s the only way to unleash the power. If I had to pick only one thing to be successful, it’s this one. Believe in yourself.

Trip Tucker (Star Trek: Enterprise)

[about flying an alien vessel] How difficult can it be? Up, down, forward, reverse. I’ll figure it out.


Nothing is that complicated. This character made me change the way I look at things. You don’t have to focus on the problem and try to eliminate it, you have to focus on the purpose and find a way there. This may not look like it, but it was a major shift in my thinking triggered by an Enterprise episode when I was twelve.

Captain Kirk (Star Trek)

The prejudices people feel about each other disappear when they get to know each other.

The quote above has nothing to do with the lesson, but I like it. What I learnt from Captain Kirk (although it’s displayed by almost every character in the Star Trek franchise) is that you can be smart, athletic and many other things at the same time and it’s not only OK but preferred. I consider myself lucky to have learnt the importance of being well-rounded at an early age (I watched Star Trek for the first time when I was about eight) because I was able to break free from my maths nerd stereotype an enrich my life enormously.

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Adventure Jobs: Archaeologist: Fact or Fiction?

Not a quite real depiction of the job.

Indiana Jones makes this one sound like the most awesome job on Earth. Other fictional archaeologists include Charlotte Lewis from LOST or Lara Croft from the Tomb Rider franchise.

Why is archaeology so awesome?

If you are a Hollywood archaeologist, you should expect to get a whip, a battered hat and at least one gun. You are also very hot, smart and brave. You go to exotic locations and instead of sunbathing like a tourist would do in your place, you get into the jungle, the abandoned temple or the whatever, no matter how dangerous, and discover stuff no one else had before. You may also go to places nobody has been to for the last ten or twenty centuries!

No wonder this  job is associated with adventure. It has all the elements. But how much of it is actually real?

But how awesome archaeology really is?

The look:

Nobody will stop you from getting the Indiana Jones or Lara Croft look. You can get the clothes easily, and a couple hours a week on the gym would also help. You can also have a gun if you wish so, but you don’t want to shoot everyone who gets between you and your discovery because that is, well, murder.

Although maybe not as much as Indy or Lara, a job that involves so much physical activity will get you in shape.

The character:

“Brave and smart” are two core characteristics of adventurers in any profession.

Real experiences:

My mother used to be an archaeologist  until I was born, so I asked her about the fieldwork. She said you get to go to the exotic locations. You get to face dangerous animals, you get the exciting adventures. You get to cross rivers without the use of a bridge, and you get to explore a lot. And you’re an expert on it.

Of course, there is also the science part: using the scientific method, you determine where you should look for the bones and ancient artefacts. Later, you reconstruct the past based on what you found: how people used to live, what technologies they had, how the societies were structured… how cool is that?

My history teacher used to be an archaeologist until she got married(see a pattern here?), and her depiction of the profession doesn’t differ much from the above. You get adventures and cool discoveries. However, discoveries do not always come in the shape of a golden statue resting inside a temple. You will have to pick a shovel and dig, dig, dig.

I recommend reading this great article for more information on the subject.

Fact or Fiction job for adventurers?

FACT. Not as exciting as depicted in films and books, but comes as close as it’s possible in real life.

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