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Thursday, December 21, 2017

GUIDE to presenting my little well-structured speech

From mid January to early March are one months for delivering our lovely 5-minute speech on on TEDtalk of our choice,
 Edit your data :  title /author as soon as you have decided!
Example: with the 3 fields:
 Learner  +              Speaker    +  Title  

 TUE 21 _ Aura Planell - Andy Puddicombe -All it takes is 10 mindful minutes
 ThU  23rd ___   Daniela Quercia   on Happy maps!
TUE 28 ___   Miguel A.  

TUE 3rd ___   Ivan _Matamala
THU 5th ___  Dolors F. 
TUE 10th ___     V Andreu
THU 12th ___    Josep  M
 TUE 17th ___     LLUIS   A   on  M. OReilly 
Victor  Glez
THU 19th ___    Albert A - Kevin Briggs - The bridge between suicide and life
 TUE 24rd ___    
 Aina Estrada - Hadyn Parry - Re-engineering mosquitos to fight disease
THU  26th ___  Marc S - Massimo Banzi - How Arduino is open sourcing imagination

TUE  3rd ___  Alejandro C   How to spot a lier 
 ThU  5th ___   
  Josep M  jon_nguyen_        tour_the_solar_system_from_home
 TUE  10th ___ 
Maria T  Stroke insight 
  ThU  12th ___   A E
MartaG - Neil Harbisson: I listen to color 

The power of ignorance_DATA, Rosling and us

 Listen to one of HANS ROSLING TED TALKS. the bestest display of data!
In HIS hands, data sings. Global trends in health and economics come to vivid life.

2.1. WRITE a 275-word summary of the talk you selected.

2.2  Answer his 4-min test and visit his project at
  Bring your printed answer next day. We will compare results.

Global population growth, box by box

by Carles Dueñas  
Hans Rosling presents in this Ted Talk the evolution of world population growth from 1960 and into the future. He uses Ikea boxes to support his speech, based on statistics, where each box represents one billion of people.The researcher mentions that in 1960 there were only 3 billion people in the world, where one billion belonged to the industrialized world, and two billions to the developing world. There was a big gap between the two groups, or in other words, in the industrial world, people were educated, rich, and they had small families, while in the developing countries, people were very poor and had big families. At this time, the aspiration of the people of western society was to buy a car, while in the developing world the aspiration was to have enough food for the day, and if they saved, they would buy a pair of shoes.Nevertheless, currently, this gap between these two groups has disappeared. In the last 50 years, four billions people have been added to the world population filling the gap between the poorest and the richest. Three billions of them are emerging economies which aspiration could be to buy a bike, and the remaining billion of people have even improved that situation, and their aspiration could be buy a car. There has also been an economic growth in the wealthy western population, and now their aspiration is not only to have a car, but to have a holiday and fly to a remote destination.
The speaker makes a forecast for 2050. In his opinion, one billion of the Chinese population will join the richest group. In addition, three billions of people of emerging economies will improve their situation, and now their aspiration will be to buy a car. However, the bad side is that the poorest group will increase to four billions of people, and it only will be possible to stop their growth, if they manage to get out of poverty, and as a consequence of that, they improve child survival, and they get education and family planning.The lecturer shows the evolution of global population in a graph, where every bubble represents a country. The axes of the graph are children per woman and child survival. We can see, as the years pass by, that child survival increase and families decrease as the developing countries improve their economic situation.So, to sum up, the only way of really getting world population to stop is to continue to improve child survival.

WR_rs02_ from Q to A to Essay_The Twelve Labours of Carlos

Why not start at a Reading questionnaire to prepare my writing assignment?

by Carlos Ortega

1. Favorite childhood book?
It was a book about short Greek myths, I don’t know the exact name right now but it was certainly very interesting.   
2. What are you reading right now?
I am reading a book about spies during the Spanish Civil War called “Falcó” by Arturo Pérez Reverte. It is a fantastic book for the ones who like that type of books ,fictions based on historical events.
3. What books do you have on request at the library?
The last book I have requested was “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo, a Crime fiction.
4. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?
I prefer to read one book at the time, because I prefer to enjoy one hundred percent a book instead of starting a new one.
5. Favorite place to read?
My favorite place to read is my bed, because it is comfortable and you can read quietly.  In summer on a bench.
6. What is your policy on book lending?
I don’t usually lend books, but when I do it my policy is just one simple rule: the book must be returned in the same conditions that I lent it.
7. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
No, I rarely do that, but when I do it is for remarking a good phrase of the book

8. What makes you love a book?
The time period where the story is set and the characters
9. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
The personal likes of the person that I want to recommend the book
10. Favorite genre?
I really like historical fictions and crime fiction.
11. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year?
I didn’t read any inspirational books because I prefer novels to self-help books.
12. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I only read critics when I finish a book that I liked 
13. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I feel fine, because I think that giving bad reviews helps the writer to improve his style and make him understand his mistakes.
14. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
I would chose English or German, but more likely English because I personally have a better English level than a German one.
15. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
They are certainly Edgar Alan Poe’s stories because they are creepy and murky. It’s better not to read them before going to bed!
16. Favorite fictional character?
Capitan Alatriste, the main character of the trilogy with his name by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. An obscure but epic character.
17. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
One or two months, because at high school we have to read several books, at least 2 each quarter.
18. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
People chatting around and my mobile phone sound
19. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Unfortunately the adaption of “Capitan Alatriste”, a book that I really like but the film was disappointing because the main character, who was Viggo Mortensen, looked great but his Spanish accent was terrible, personally I think that the director should have dubbed his voice.
20. the most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Maybe 50 € but I don’t usually buy books at bookstores, I usually buy them on Amazon because they are less expensive there.
21. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Yes, I organize them according to their time period, the books that for instance if  their plot takes action in Ancient Times the will be the first and the books based on the present are the last ones.

22. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I prefer to keep them, in order to reread them later.

The Twelve Labours of  Carlos
My growing experience as a grown-up reader
My favorite childhood book was a book about short Greek myths, I don’t know the exact name right now because I gave away it to my little cousin, but it was certainly very interesting and made me feel interested in history and mythology. The majority of the stories were an adaptation of the classical Greek epics, such asJason and the Argonauts”,The Twelve Labours of Heracles” and the one I liked the most:The Odyssey”. The book also contains the Greek god’s stories and ancient myths that tried to explain how the world works.
Nowadays I am reading a book about spies during the Spanish Civil War called “Falcó” by Arturo Pérez Reverte. It is a fantastic book for the ones who like that type of books, I am referring to  fictions based on historical events. Nevertheless I have just read “Crónica de una muerte anunciada” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a non-linear story told by an anonymous narrator who explains   the facts that lead to the assassination of the main character, Santiago Nasar.
 Regarding myself as a reader, I prefer to read one book at the time, because I prefer to enjoy one hundred percent a book instead of starting a new one and mixing the plots. I rarely write in the margins of a book, but when I do it is for remarking good phrases from the book. I organize the books according to their time period, the books that for instance  if their plot takes action in Ancient Times will be the ones that go first and the books based on the present are the last ones. If I could read in a foreign language I would chose English or German, but more likely English because I personally have a better English level than German one. It really annoys me when I am reading and people are chatting around and when my mobile phone sounds. The longest that  I’ve gone without reading is one or two months , because at high  school we have to read several books , at least 2  per quarter, so I consider that I read regularly . I usually buy books on Amazon because they are less expensive than the ones from bookstores
I really like historical fictions and crime fictions, for instance my favorite character Capitan Alatriste, the main character of the trilogy with his name written by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. An epic but obscure character. Unfortunately ,  the adaption of “Capitan Alatriste” was disappointing from my point of view  because the main character , who was played by  Viggo Mortensen, looked great but his Spanish accent was terrible , personally I think that the director should have dubbed his voice. I don’t like creepy stories because I think that too obscure and murky, for instance the most intimidating books I ‘ve ever read are the ones  by Edgar Alan Poe, It’s better not to read them before going to bed ! The last book I have requested at the library was “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo, a Crime fiction, I have watched the film and it became my favorite film since then, so I will be very interested in reading the original book and comparing both.
My favorite place to read is my bed, because it is comfortable and you can read quietly.  But in summer I would rather sit on a bench , under a sun umbrella at my garden than staying at home, but in both cases I love reading while I am listening to music. Moving to sources of inspiration, I only read critics when I finish a book that I liked, and I found that giving constructive reviews is not negative, it helps the writers to improve their style and make them understand his mistakes.
Finally, I want to say that I prefer to keep the books that I read, because I am one of those people that likes rereading the books, but in case I liked a lot a book I recommend it to my friends, not to all but I guide myself according to the personal likes of the person that I want to recommend the book and I only have one reading policy, just one simple rule: the book must be returned in the same conditions that I lent it.

WR__rs06_It all started at Clever and Smart

WR_Myself as a reader  series /06  - by CARLES DUEÑAS 


When I was a child I used to read comics, and my favorite was Mort & Phil, which I enjoyed very much (it's English title: Clever and Smart). This comic series was written and drawn by Francisco Ibañez. It features the adventures of two secret agents, who constantly suffer mishaps, such as falls from heights, explosions, or being crushed by all kinds of heavy objects (pianos, safes, wardrobes, etc...), usually without the consequences lasting more than one panel.

Nevertheless, the first really meaningful book to me was Sinuhe the Egyptian. It really made an impression on me. I would go so far as to say I have acquired a taste for reading thanks to this book. I read it when I was 19, and it opened up my mind to a brand new world. It is a historical fiction novel written by Mika Waltari. The story consists of the biography of Sinuhe, a fictional character, based on a real person in the time of ancient Egypt. In the book, Sinuhe describes his entire life throughout the reign of six pharaohs. In addition, part of the plot is a moving romance between Sinuhe and Nefertiti.

After that, I started reading mainly historic novels and best sellers from authors such as Christian Jacq, Dan Brown, Ken Follet, Noah Gordon, or Katherine Neville, to name but a few. But, I also have enjoyed other genres, such as autobiographies, science-fiction books, classics, or thought-provoking novels. Moreover, I have to confess that I also like reading “self-help books”, and I have read plenty of them. I have read a lot about spirituality, religion, meditation, neuro-linguistic programming, psychology, conspiracy, ufology, mindfulness, Gestalt therapy, transpersonal psychology, Advaita, etc…

As far as language is concerned, I am used to reading English books, and I always try to read in English whenever I can. Furthermore, nowadays it is very easy to buy English written books online. At the moment, I am reading a book titled “How to understand the mind”, written by a Buddhist monk named Kelsang Gyatso.

As for my favorite place to read, I usually read at home, on the couch, and preferably alone.  On the other hand, I usually read while travelling, or waiting, for instance at the doctor’s consultation. By the way, I have the habit to write down in the margins of books. I like writing if I come up with an idea, or if I want to develop something I have learnt. Into the bargain, I like highlighting some phrases that I find valuable or rewarding.

In the end, I would like to tell you, that I like recommending books I have enjoyed, and even sometimes I fancy giving them away to the people I love, basically, because “a book is a gift you can open again and again”.


WR_rs05_ Clouds and Flocks of Sheep in the Sky of Arabian Sea

WR_05_ myself as a reader series 

by Haritha Chalil Savithri
            I lived in a fisherman´s village when I was a child. My parents were teaching in the one and only government school in that narrow ribbon-like strip of land squeezed between the Arabian sea and a back water. I saw the first TV in my life when I was twelve years old. To reach the nearest town, we had to cross the back water in a tiny canoe, to catch a bus which normally came two or three times in a day.

            My classmates always kept a respectful distance to me as I was the daughter of their teachers. I just wanted to be like them. They could play in the sticky, shiny black beach sand and came to school without sandals. When they were enjoying and sharing sumptuous meals with varieties of fish items, I had to go home to eat the boring lunch prepared by my mother in a hurry.

            I spent my childhood in our big land which was full of trees, grass, grasshoppers, butterflies… and books! According to Francis Bacon, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” I lived with books, chewed and digested them.

             We had a small library in our school. Next to the nearest Devi temple, there was another one. I was getting books from both and when my father would go to the next village twice a week to buy provisions, I accompanied him to get more books from the library there too. Yes! We had libraries and still we have, like you have bars in every nook and corner of the smallest villages in Spain.

            We had to walk two kilometres through a narrow kutcha road, surrounded by paddy fields, which was full of different coloured water lilies, pearl spot fishes, lousy green frogs and huge snails. On the way back home, my father would carry big bags of vegetables and groceries, I would carry a small cloth bag with three books in it and dripping long-stemmed water lilies in my hands. 

            When I was in primary school, I liked translations.  I was a fan of Bram Stocker and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. My mother was always complaining about my scary screams at night. She was afraid of the impacts that these kinds of books could cause on my tender brain. Nothing happened, as far as I can tell… I was absorbed in a soothing dreamlike world with the people, life and landscapes that I found in those beautifully translated books.

             By that time, I fell in love with the books published from Moscow by publishers such as Raduga, Mir and Progress. Kerala is the first state in the world where a communist government came into power through democratic election. Naturally, the Soviet Union was interested in spreading communist ideals among the upcoming generation in such a place. It was a legendary process. They invited scholars from Kerala, taught them Russian language and translated books into Malayalam. These books were printed and published in Moscow and distributed in Kerala through Prabhath Book House. 

            We cannot consider it only as a propaganda. Their books included different genres from popular science to children’s literature to classics. Arkady Gaidar, Alexander Raskin, Yuri Olesha, Alexander Kuprin, Nikolai Dubov, Olga Perovstaya and Nikolai Nosov were only few among the favourites of Malayalees. Prabhath Book House had several mobile book vans to sell them in every nook and cranny of the state. Everybody could afford them as these books were the cheapest in the market. So, libraries collected them as much as they could.

            Quality wise, these books were the best available in India. They were strongly bound and beautifully illustrated. Pages where off white in colour and had the most addictive smell I ever experienced. It was the smell of a faraway land and let us wander through vast Russian steppes, mountains filled with oaks and streams. They taught us not to fear the unknown, the value of team spirit, principles of honesty and ethics of integrity in the workplace.

             The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 and the flow of books from Moscow came to an end. We, the Russian heads in Kerala, felt abandoned. The Soviet Union played a great role in forming an international culture among our generation in Kerala. It helped a lonely girl, from a faraway village, to dream about snowy mountains and flocks of sheep when she looked at her white Indian clouds.

WR_rs01_ A faithful correspondent to 18Q

 Nuria P_  Questionnaire about reading: Diamonds on books  

 1. Favourite childhood book?

I don’t remember a specific book that I was really interested in as a child, but when I grew up, although it can sound strange I loved when I read “La plaça del diamant” by Mercè Rodoreda.
I remember I was studying in the school and that fabulous story captivated me.  It was very well written and it showed you some gripping understanding from the war. Also it called some stories that my grandmother had explained to me from the war to mind.

2. What are you reading right now?
Now I read “The girl of the train”.  When some springs ago that book come out I guessed that it was about something fishy, which really captured my interest.  So I eagered to read quickly but it was difficult for me to find the properly moment.
Fortunately, I participate in an English Club in my village and this book was selected for this term.  So, I enjoyed reading that thrilled story that makes you stay alert till the end.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
As I explained before, I am reading “The girl of the train” and also another book from my English course and for now I don’t have any book on request at the library.  We will see in the near future!

4. Bad book habit?
As much as I can I tried to stop my reading at the end of a chapter.   I hated giving up reading in the middle of a text.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Well, in order to change the style, I remember the last books I looked for in the library were about cooking.   I always like trying to cook new dishes, so I consider myself as an adventurous cook.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
I don’t have an e-reader and I must admit that when those devices appeared in the market I thought they wouldn’t be worthwhile for me as I am mad at physical books.     As time goes by, I appreciate more e-readers and I would even like to have one.   
So, now my view has changed a bit, maybe I am more open-minded, and I can see the useful and practical side of having one.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
If I can choose, of course I prefer to read only one book at a time, but if I have to read two at once I can bear out it.

8. Least favourite book you read this year (so far?)
I don’t have the sensation of having read some book I didn’t like it much.    So, I think this it has been a good year in terms of books readings.

9. Favourite book you’ve read this year?
I know it can be difficult to believe in, but it was Matilda.  Really I have never read it before although I had heard many great comment about this novel.  I had an enjoyable time when I was reading it and I truly recommended it to everyone.   It’s funny knowing stories about its lovely main character!

10. What is your reading comfort zone?
I hate science fiction.   A part from that I like novels, self-help books and I love biographical books.
But, as I explained before I am taking part in a book club and I tried to read all the material which is prepared.  I try to adapt as much as I can in order to spend a good time.
Reading is an enriching form of have a general culture in many senses.

11. Can you read on the bus?
If you are asking me if I can read when I am travelling I can tell you that I am.  I have read on planes and on trains and sometimes it is also rewarding, especially if you are traveling alone.

12. Favourite place to read?
I normally read sitting on the sofa or in any kind of chair.  I like to be in a quiet atmosphere and better if I am alone.

13. Do you ever dog-ear books?
It is a thing that it is no usual on me.  I try to keep them in good terms otherwise I would feel awful.

14. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Never I have done.  I try to be very responsible for the books even if they are mine.    I like to keep them in very good conditions, so I avoid writing on them.

15. What is your favourite language to read in?
Well, as a Catalan person who I am, I love reading in my language, but it doesn’t matter reading in Spanish as well.  Also I feel comfortable reading in English if it is a novel.  If it is not the case and I am reading a technical document, I feel tense of being lost with some fulfilling message.
I wish I could read in any other language.  Any language you can read is profitable and beneficial for you.

16. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Well I remember when I was a teenager one summer I started to the “The Parfum” on my own, I mean it was just reading for pleasure as it was summer time.4
I found it boring and too quiet.  I remember long descriptions about the odour of the streets and the descriptions were dense as they separated you from the story.  
In that moment, I couldn’t finish it although I have always thought that I would like to re-start reading again. Maybe now my perception is a little bit different.

17. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
I remember I was surprised with “The curious incident of the dog in the nightime”.  I couldn’t imagine what was about before reading it.  When I started I feel very anxious to read it quickly because I was fascinated to discover which will be the end.   I recognise that the book deals with a topic that was attractive to me and also it helped me to understand better the behaviour of people who suffers that kind of disorder.

18. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
It was “Breakfast in Tiffany’s”.  I really was eager to read it, but I was disappointed as the main character was very strange.  I have never imagined a plot such as it really was.