From selfies to movies

This funny short film was made in two weeks, using only an iPhone and an editing app that costs less than ¥2000. An inspiration for something creative to do during your summer vacation?

From Open Culture, with a title suggesting we should be using our smart phones for more than selfies, and including some constructive criticism in the comments section.

Love what you do

About very talented and very determined young boxer and her father:

My favorite lines:

Jesselyn Silva:

“I want to help him, and I want to help myself get better.”

and

“I never ever ever ever ever — maybe like a hundred evers — think that anything is too difficult for me.”

Her father:

“Regardless of how it turns out in the future, you’ve got to do something that you love to do. And you master it.

 

But I also really get his occasional apprehensive looks when she’s talking.

Silva mentions Claressa Shields towards the end of the video, when she’s talking about her long-term goals. Here’s an article from NPR about Shields, with audio and a transcript: “After Second Gold, Boxer Claressa Shields Looks Ahead To What’s Next” (from August 2016)

Four years of trash in a Mason jar

It’s an idea for a 30 Day Challenge. See how little trash you can produce in one month and how many of the changes you make to your daily life are sustainable for you.

It’s also a good research project theme: how much trash and food waste do Japanese businesses produce, and how easy would it be to change policy in ways to encourage them to produce less waste? A lot of supermarkets now charge ¥2 or ¥5 or ¥10 for plastic bags, but convenience stores don’t. Should they?

Try something new for 10 days

Highbrow

Highbrow can help you learn something new — in just 5 minutes — every day.

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First, browse the courses, and then sign up. It’s free but you do need an email address. Every morning, you’ll get an e-mail with something new to learn. You can only sign up for one course at a time. They want you to focus and to stick to just 5 minutes every day, because they know that small, everyday goals lead to success.

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Here’s the one I started with, last year: “Ideas that change the world” (which unfortunately is now a “premium” course. But here’s a similar one that’s still free: “Most Important Historical Events Of The 20th Century”.

Ideas that changed the world

I continued for the full 10 days, and while I can’t say I really learned anything (my fault for choosing this course), it was satisfying to accomplish that daily 5 minute ritual for 10 days (plus an additional few minutes for note-taking). Many of these courses would be excellent for EFL students. The content they probably already know in Japanese, so it’ll be good practice for reading in English.

I’m not sure if this is true for all the courses, but this one has a collection of quotes at the end of each episode.

Here’s what I did (using Evernote) and will encourage students to do, to practice note-taking skills:

Right now there are 127 courses, some of which are not free. To access these courses, you need to sign up for premium access, which costs $7 per month or $28 per year.