Apr 15, 2014

15.4.14

It is Tuesday again which means a new Reviewsday Tuesday. This week: DuoLingo

Many people already know about DuoLingo, but if you don't…DuoLingo is a website and app designed to help learn languages. For English speakers we can currently learn French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese. They are working on Dutch, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Irish, Hungarian, and Romanian. 

I've been using it to get back into my French, as I finished my two year requirement and decided that was enough (my teacher wasn't the greatest). But, I do still like the language and France in general so why not continue a basic learning?

It does currently only have languages using the Latin alphabet (A, B,C, D etc.) and nothing like Chinese or Korean which require different keyboards and figures. There is also the lack of total understanding in the language as you aren't taught how to conjugate verbs on the site. Though this does make it feel more like how a native speaker would learn the language, like how English speakers aren't really taught how to conjugate we just do it. 

I was reintroduced to DuoLingo from a master post on tumblr entitled: How to be an Adult. There are a bunch of different categories all with links beneath them of different tips and tricks to help go into adult life.

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Also, I want to do and this to happen when I die
 and this to my hair (from The Beauty Department


Ariel

Apr 8, 2014

8.4.14

A few weeks ago Hank Green, half of the vlogbothers, came up with a fantastic idea: ReviewsdayTuesday. In which people review things (mostly books) on Tuesdays. I'll start mine reviewing a book: Native Tongue

I was given this book by my Theory of Knowledge teacher (don't ask what the class is because no one knows). She recommended it based on my interest in language and it's importance in cultures. 

*minimal spoilers*

The story is set in 2205 but jumps around in the years leading up to then. There are three main focuses in the novel, the first is on Nazareth a woman of the Lines with an amazing ability to understand languages, even in the standards of the linguists. The Lines are families of linguists, there are 13 in the world and 10 of which in America. The linguists are in charge of learning languages both spoken on Earth and other alien planets and communicate for the government. Nazareth's role in all this, along with her vast amount of languages, is her creation of numerous words to help create the woman's language. She started as a child and worked towards it over the years until she was able to retire to Barren house where the woman who are no longer useful to the men go. 

I say "useful" because in these many years ahead women's roles have changed and are once again treated as slaves and property. One woman, who is the second focus of the novel, is Michaela. She was a woman of lower class than the lines and was bought as a wife. Angry at the world she began to kill off all those who she believe did her wrong. She eventually becomes a bedside nurse in the home of the Lines where she befriends the women of Barren house and Nazareth.

The people Michaela believed had done her wrong are this who had any help in offering her baby to Government Work. This is the third focus of Native Tongue, and the most disturbing. Those who work in G.W. are trying to acquire the language of a non-huminoid alien. These are aliens that have little to no resemblance to humans both physically and mentally, which makes it almost impossible to learn their language and culture. The children they try to teach go through terrible difficulties and the whole operation is very gruesome.  

I intended that to be a brief summary but I guess that didn't go as planed. It is a very dense book, but in a good way. There is a lot of feminist hurrah, but not so much you choke on it. I think this book is fantastic and though it does have sci-fi pieces to it, the majority of it is realistic. I would highly recommend it, though it does take time to get through it and to understand exactly what is going on. 

Each chapter starts with a expert of both real and made up poems, manuals, hand books etc. This one from chapter 20 was my favorite:

Ariel

Apr 5, 2014

5.4.14

This last week was my Spring Break and I went to Vancouver, Canada. It was absolutely gorgeous and amazing and everything I want from a city. I also went out to University British Columbia to see if I would like and I did. I so did. I feel in love, walking around the campus just felt so right. UBC has definitely moved to the top of my school list. 

The next day we were just going to walk around downtown Vancouver and head up to the aquarium. We made our way over to Gastown, which is a neighborhood of the city, to get some lunch. This turned out to be one of the coolest places. For those who know Seattle it was like a mix of Pike Place and Capital Hill. We never made it to the aquarium and just stayed in Gastown until it was time to get to the train. We ate at this wonderful place called Brioche which was Italian and has the greatest food ever. We then made our way to this shoe store that had the most beautifully hand made shoes from France, Portugal, Spain etc. Sadly they were really expensive so we couldn't buy any. There were tons of other shops to visit from high end fashion to antiques and so many coffee shops (and not all of them were Starbucks). At around 3 we made it back to the train station in time to watch them film a scene for the show Arrow which was awesome. 

I really loved Vancouver and UBC and felt so right being there. One thing I found was that unless you're going really far away or over a bridge it's fairly easy to just walk around. And there are buses everywhere that (aside from a 45 min wait for the 44 at UBC) where on time, and could get you just about any where you want, much unlike Seattle buses *cough cough* RapidRide *cough cough*.
 
***

While on the trip I finished my latest book Native Tongue (why is tongue such a weird word?) and I'll post something about it soon. I'm now onto reading Night Circus. You can follow up on my books at goodreads if you would like. 

Ariel  

Apr 1, 2014

1.4.14 Monthstagram: March


It's April so that means it's time for a review of March through Instagram.
*descriptions from left to right*


~ My friend and I at Santa Clara University ~ My puppy being super cute in the morning walking around with a blankie ~ My roommate and I sporting Hawks gear down in San Francisco ~ Throwback to Halloween with the roomie ~ Dandelion nail art ~ First day I could wear sunglasses in 2014 ~ Galaxy nails ~ New knot knuckle ring I got in SanFran ~ My grandmother and I ~ Maroon nails with gold tape, made me think of chocolate in a wrapper ~ Macaroons from pike place and the guy who served us' tattoo ~ Just some Starbucks ~ Some new books my grandmother bought for me ~ 

Four of these pictures (The tape nails, Starbucks, my grandmother, and the books) are the first four days of my #100HappyDays challenge. You simply have to take a picture for 100 days of something that makes you happy and in the end you can get a booklet of your #100HappyDays. 

You should join me on the #100HappyDays and follow me on Instagram: @arielharris_

Ariel

Mar 27, 2014

27.3.14

Last post I mentioned two videos: 5 Book You May Not Have Read and 18 Great Books You Probably Haven't Read. I wanted to make a post like this, but with movies instead of books. So…
Movies you may not have seen and should:

in no particular order:
*all of them are available on Netflix streaming*

About a highschooler who discovers it's best to be a jerk rather than a nice guy.  But, he of course falls for the only girl in school who won't fall for the bad boy act. It sounds like it would be really dumb, but I promise it's not. It also has some pretty good songs and Josh Henderson plays lead character Adam Dynes so that's a plus. 



A college graduate decides to abandon the upper middle class life that surrounds him and run off into the wild… He travels around the states down into Mexico and eventually makes it up to Alaska to be one with the wilderness. It's a long movie, but worth it.

The story of Jeff, the grown man who lives at home, and how running an errand for his mother helps him find his destiny. Totally not what you would expect from the movie, but really great. 


I'm not totally into sappy movies, but I love this one. It's got Anton Yelchin of Star Trek fame (I can do zat!) and Felicity Jones who is absolutely gorgeous. Jones is a senior year college student from England who falls in love with Yelchin and are super cute all the time. 

A magazine decides to write an article on a man who believes he can travel back in time. The man put up a personal add looking for a partner, and they send the intern (played by the amazing Audrey Plaza) to respond. It's funny and weird and fantastic, go watch it. 


This is everyone you would ever want in a comedic space adventure: Martin Freeman (The Hobbit & Sherlock), Zooey Deschanel (New Girl & 500 Days of Summer), Mos Def, and Stephen Fry as narrator. It's a very strange movie that is a must watch. I'm not even going to try and describe it, just watch I promise you'll like it.




So there are a few movies that many people (at lease of my friends) haven't seen and should. And
here are a few I haven't watched and want to: The Joneses, Submarine Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus, It's a Disaster, I'm not a Hipster, Losers Take All and Natural Selection. 

…and that's what I'll be doing over spring break next week. I'm also going up to Vancouver, Canada so I'll probably have something on that later on! 

Ariel

Mar 25, 2014

25.3.14

I've finished 13 Reasons Why and I'm extremely peeved. I liked the book at the beginning, really liked it, but then I really started hating it. *there are gonna be spoilers up the yingyang so yeah* Hannah just blames absolutely everyone for everything bad. Granted people were cruel to her, but not everyone. She expected people to behave a certain way and when they didn't she just left. There were so many times she could have saved herself or done something for herself and she just decided to not. Which was very frustrating for me to read through. Also, the person whose turn it is to get the tapes, Clay, isn't even an important character. He's just sort of there, and it's as if his tape was a second thought by both Hannah and the author, Jay Asher. Also, the ending wasn't very satisfying, it just kind of ended…Anywho that's my 13 Reasons Why rant if you want to read it I would half way recommend it.

I also wanted to share my goodreads with y'all so that if you have one or want to make one you can follow me. If you don't know what goodreads is…it's a site for book lovers to share what they've read or want to read. You can also rate books and write reviews. 
Feel free to follow me/ add me as a friend!

I started using goodreads because of Carrie Hope Fletcher, a YouTuber and actress. She recently uploaded a video called 5 Books You May Not Have Read. Which was actually a response to John Green, of vlogbrothers and The Fault in Our Stars and Look for Alaska and Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines and Will Grayson, Will Grayson…basically he's a great author. Anyways he made a video about 18 Great Books You Probably Haven't Read, of which I've read none and probably should. 

I'd check out the videos and goodreads, you can also find Carrie on goodreads, she has hundreds of books on her page. 

Ariel


Mar 23, 2014

23.3.14

I've put up another mixtape on 8tracks. I know these blogposts aren't very exciting since they're just music, but I love music and think sharing it is fun. There will be something more exciting soon promise! 
This mixtape has a heavy alternative feel to it with The 1975 and Twenty One Pilots, but also has some hip-hop/rap/whatever you want to call it with Kendrick Lamar, D-WHY, and Aer.

Track List:
The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot ~ Brand New
Brass in Pocket ~ The Pretenders
Things That You Do ~ The Struts
Me ~ The 1975
Where Are You Now (acoustic) ~ Union J
House of Gold ~ Twenty One Pilots
Suburban Home ~ Descendants 
New York City Cops ~ The Strokes
Kingdom Come - Jon Bellion
Say She Loves Me ~ Aer
m.A.A.d city ft Eiht ~ Kendrick Lamar
Hesher ~ Wallpaper. 
Hawii ~ D-WHY
Diamonds ~ Times New Roman
Nasty ~ Pixie Lott

Ariel