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Failure is the key to success

Thursday, 18 October, 2007

How we learn

brain We went to a talk at the school earlier tonight about Individual Learning Profiles. Simon Olding from MovementInMind came into the school to talk to parents and staff about the software that the school has been trialling. He had already been working with the school with great results with the BrainGym over the past few years.

He explained that we all favour a dominant hand, eye, ear, foot and brain hemisphere. The combinations of these dominances affects the ways in which we are best able to learn. For example some people may visualise, others may be more hands on and others may need to take notes for information to be absorbed.

By using a series of tests or questions it is possible to identify fairly accurately the dominant side in each of the cases and then by entering the results into the software an Individual Learning Profile is produced for the person. All of the children at Watling are being assessed and their results entered to provide a profile for each child and also one for each class summarising the class characteristics and suggesting teaching techniques that will work best for the types of learners and best seating locations for learning. Sample reports are available on the Individual Learning Profiles section of MovementInMind.

It was an engaging talk with participation from parents as we did some of the simple tests. Simon puts a lot of importance in not just identifying the hurdles to learning but providing exercises to help improve whole brain learning and reducing stress. For one example of this, I was a volunteer. Simon had asked for people who were not overly flexible and had difficulty touching their toes. Now, although I trained in aikido for several years, I have never been flexible, so I was an ideal candidate. First he had us try to touch our toes as a benchmark, then we did a stress reduction exercise which involved massaging our ears to increase blood flow. After we had done this exercise he asked us to try touching our toes again. I was surprised, I actually stretched a further 2-3 inches. This was after a simple exercise that lasted maybe a couple of minutes.

This looks to be a very interesting approach which will allow parents to understand how their children best learn and what exercises can be done to help improve their learning capability.

Saturday, 13 October, 2007

Buying tyres online

flat tyre I had hoped today to be able to talk about my experiances of buying car tyres online. I can, but the story's not over yet.

Last Sunday evening, my neighbour knocked to let me know that I had a flat tyre. I went out to change it quickly before the light went, but I should have known it wouldn't be as easy as that. Although I could undo the wheel bolts, the alloy had stuck to the hub. I didn't have anthing suitable for hitting it with, so I called out the AA. They estimated that they would be with me within 2 hours and actually arrived after about 35 minutes. It only took him a minute or so to tap off the alloy with a hide hammer (I must get one for the car). He fitted the spare while he was here and that was it.

Talking at work on Monday, I had a few recommendations for where to get tyres at a good price and so Monday night I started ringing around. I wanted to get the same make, UniRoyal Rallye 540, that I had previously had on the car. They had proved very good in the wet and had lasted fairly well, over 2 years. The front were getting low anyway and were nearing replacement, the back tyres almost look new.

uniroyal rallye 540 Anyway, after ringing around and getting quotes from about £70 to £105 for the same tyre, I came across the website of BestBuyTyres. The tyres were the cheapest by a few pounds and you select which of their independant fitting depots you have the tyres fitted at. I selected the location in town to have them fitted this afternoon. Shortly after buying the tyres online, I had an email confirming the details and the fitting for this afternoon.

I drove down at about quarter to two this afternoon to find that the depot shuts at 12:30 on Saturdays. I double-checked the website which shows 17:30 closing on Saturday and then found that you can only ring BestBuyTyres Monday to Friday. I have emailed them asking them to ring me on Monday and hopefully we can sort this out. Probably be next weekend now.

Saturday, 06 October, 2007

Cre8Buzz going public

cre8buzz Tomorrow, Cre8Buzz changes to Public Beta which means that it is visible to non-members. You still need to be a member to post or comment and have to be invited by a member to join.

I was invited at the beginning of August and have found it a really great, vibrant community. Unlike some other social networks, where everyone is out to build their own little (or big) empire, everyone at Cre8Buzz is helpful and are growing and adding to the whole community. You can customise your profile page and this works really well, clean and not too gaudy.

There are somewhere around 700 members at the moment, some are friends from other social networks, like Carol who invited me, some are new like Pari, Finland_in_Eaton and Novembrance.

Some of the members have shared their experiances on the Cre8Buzz blog. It's difficult to put my finger on exactly why it works, but it just does.

So, please take to time tomorrow to pop over and have a look. My Cre8Buzz profile is here. If you want an invite, you can let me know through my contact me page and I'll send one over.

Wednesday, 03 October, 2007

Blade Runner 25th Anniversary

blade runner OK, I'm a bit slow off the mark here, but I was reading tonight that Ridley Scott's cult film Blade Runner has been restored and is being re-released for the 25th anniversary of its original release. 'For the new director's cut, the special-effects footage was digitally scanned at 8,000 lines per frame, four times the resolution of most restorations, and then meticulously retouched. The results look almost 3-D.'

I love this film and have lost track of the number of times I have seen it. I much prefer the earlier Director's cut released in 1992 to the original version with Harrison Ford's voiceover.

The film is based on Philip K. Dick's novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' and is set in Los Angeles in 2019. Harrison Ford plays a cop named Deckard who comes out of retirement to hunt down and eliminate four androids who have escaped from off planet colonies and have travelled to Earth to confront their designer.

Amazon have the new version available for pre-order as either a 2-disc version with some extras or the 5 disc ultimate collectors' edition. The 5 disc version contains all of the previous versions of the film. Both are due for release on 3rd December. My copy of the 5 disc set is on order.

Friday, 21 September, 2007

Successful hunting

family tree I was looking at the passenger lists on FindMyPast and found that they had put the next decade 1930-1939 online.

I first searched for my father and found both him (aged 1.5) and my grandmother on MV Apapa travelling 1st class to Lagos 28th April 1937

I also found my grandfather travelling every 2 years to Lagos, Nigeria.

Unfortunately, only the outbound passenger lists are available, so I don't have details of the return trips. This means I don't know how long he was away at a time.

I haven't been able to find an outbound trip to Sierra Leone where he died in 1939. I'm guessing he may have travelled back from Lagos, Nigeria to Freetown, Sierra Leone some time during 1939.

Wednesday, 19 September, 2007

Arrr! Shiver me timbers

pirate `Tis official. Today be International Talk Like a Swashbuckler tide.

Th' photos be at th' International Talk Like A Swashbuckler Tide gallery on Flickr

Th' Howto section has basic an' advanced gentleman o' fortune lingo coverin' such terms as avast! an' arrr!


It's official. Today is International Talk Like a Pirate day.

The photos are at the International Talk Like A Pirate Day gallery on Flickr

The Howto section has basic and advanced pirate lingo covering such terms as avast! and arrr!

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-name: Ian Hedges
-age: 39
-location: UK
-reading: Shogun by James Clavell

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