Friday, 28 February 2014

On Window Displays

Having an attractive, minimal window display is a crucial element in luring new customers to any shop.

(A bizarre and crowded shoe display in Kuwait)

Thursday, 27 February 2014

On Respect

"Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love."

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky

(A basket vendor in a large Kuwaiti market)

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

On Reputation

People/celebrities with a certain reputation in one part of the world are capable of rebuilding their image abroad.

(Kim Kardashian in a large ad in a Kuwait mall)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

On Kuwait

People in the Americas and "Western" world are not the only ones who publicly display their sense of patriotism.

(Women showing their pride for Kuwait this month)

On Fancy Cars

People with fancier cars feel a sense of entitlement to not only find but hold prime parking spots indefinitely.

(A Corvette parked in the same prime spot for weeks)

Sunday, 23 February 2014

On Powerful Words

Using powerful verbs, adjectives, and adverbs adds new dimensions to the written and spoken word.

(Random words at the Science Museum in London)

Saturday, 22 February 2014

On Ukraine

If people are determined to overthrow a government/dictatorship, cold weather and violence will not stand in their way.

(Snowmen cupcakes at a festival in Montreal, 2010)

Friday, 21 February 2014

On the Olympics

All it takes is one goal to unite millions of people (from that country) around the world. 

(Bear sculpture at Ottawa's Winterlude)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

On Bees

A combination of genetically modified crops, pesticides, radiation, and global warming is contributing to the drastic decline in bees and butterflies worldwide.

(A bee on a flower in a Montreal garden last year)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

On Laziness

Some people would rather leave their Christmas decorations out all year long than take the time to remove them.

(A decorated house in Reykjavik, Iceland in January)

Monday, 17 February 2014

On Immigration

"Nihil humanum a me alienum puto, said the Roman poet Terence: 'Nothing human is alien to me.' The slogan of the old Immigration and Naturalization Service could have been the reverse: To us, no aliens are human."

-Christopher Hitchens

(A large hand sculpture by the sea side in Homigot, South Korea)

Sunday, 16 February 2014

On Pregnancy

Some women can become so worried about being pregnant that they'll prolong the onset of menstruation.

(A pregnant submerged statue in Czech Republic)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

On Valentine's Day

Applying Bloom's Taxonomy to Valentine's day can yield surprising benefits.
  1. Knowledge: Ability to recognize it's the 14th of February.
  2. Comprehension: Understand the difference between this day compared to others.
  3. Application: Apply previous knowledge to know what your partner likes and dislikes.
  4. Analysis: Infer what your partner needs more than anything.
  5. Synthesis: Use previous information in new ways for surprising results.
  6. Evaluation: Decide what would be the smartest choice to make on this particular Valentine's day.
(Strawberries at a wedding in Montreal, Canada)

Friday, 14 February 2014

On Stereotypes

Assumptions associated with each race do not mean that every person from that race fits into a stereotype.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

On Bubble Tea

The tapioca tea-based drink from Taiwan is high in calories and has been frequently linked with carcinogens. 

(A bubble tea selection in London's Chinatown)

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

On Internet Connections

Even people living in fully developed countries are in danger of losing an internet connection for several days in a row.

(A creative book at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath)

Friday, 7 February 2014

On Commonly Misused Phrases

There are a surprising amount of words/phrases in English that are misused by the general public every day.
  1. I seen it / I done it => I saw it / I did it
  2. Supposably => Supposedly
  3. For all intensive purposes => For all intended purposes
  4. Irregardless => Regardless
  5. I could care less => I couldn't care less
  6. Expresso => Espresso
  7. Pacifically => Specifically
  8. Ex cetera => Et cetera
  9. Of upmost importance => Of utmost importance
  10. I need to lay down => I need to lie down
(Sculptures in disbelief at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

On Organic Food

The best way to ensure that part of your diet is organic is to try growing it in your own garden.

(Organic garden in St. Anne de Bellevue, Montreal)

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

On Mobile Phones

Smart mobile phones are becoming so affordable and accessible that in many countries more than 100% of the population have them. 

(My old mobile phone from a thermal camera)

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

On Strength

"It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done."

-Vincent Van Gogh

(Trees along the River Thames in London, England last week)

Monday, 3 February 2014

On Greeting Cards

The decline of regular mail makes receiving a simple greeting card a special occasion.  

(Unique greeting cards from Camden Market, London)

Sunday, 2 February 2014

On the Chinese Zodiac

Also known as Sheng Xiao, it is a 12-week cycle that relates each year* to a different animal.
  • Horse: 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014.
  • Sheep: 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015. 
  • Monkey: 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.
  • Rooster: 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017.
  • Dog: 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018.
  • Pig: 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019.
  • Rat: 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020.
  • Ox: 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021.
  • Tiger: 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022.
  • Rabbit: 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023.
  • Dragon: 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024.
  • Snake: 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025.
*Years begin on varying dates usually at the end of January.
(Lanterns for the Lunar new year celebrations in Central London)

Saturday, 1 February 2014

On Children's Games

Some board games serve no real purpose other than to keep children distracted with sugar and/or chemicals.

(Sour candy maker from a shop in Toronto, Canada)