The Death Of Creativity – Two Looks At This Idea

Almost all education systems in the world are basically aimed at destroying as much creativity in our kids as possible – and then work carries on this dreary effect.

Sadly for some reason, just about every system for educating (training) our kids seems to be aimed at killing off any creativity or curiosity and originality in them – And then our adult lives (or at least those of the great majority of us) work and society sets about killing any of those qualities that might have survived childhood and our schools.

Here are two looks at this depressing phenomena, one in a moderately serious talk by Sir Kenneth Robinson at TED, and the other takes a different route to give us the same message, this one being a wonderful animated film by  Daniel Martínez Lara & Rafa Cano Méndez.

Both of these differing approaches to the same problem show us both the problem but also give us hope that there might be a way to avoid it, in that they also indicate that it does not have to be like that, it is possible to educate our kids in such a way that they retain their curiosity.   And that it is possible for adults to force their lives onto a different and unexpected track.

But it remains depressing, this attitude so well summed up in the Jesuit saying “Give me your child before he is 7 and he is mine for life”.    It is this sad fact that allows for the continuing existence of religions, political divisions and all the other dreary and negative influences on our lives.

So, here is the Robinson talk to start the ball rolling:-

And now, to see the same problem from a different perspective, here is the superb short film by the two Spanish animators “Alike”.

Well, I hope that one or both of these films got to you and gave you food for thought.

Any thoughts that either of them may have prodded you into thinking, please do share with us here.  Always interesting to hear what people think about things……

Circus? The Most Terrifying Art There Is

We love clowns? No we don’t! We are terrified of them, and for good, if deep reasons too.

We all love a circus – Well actually, this is not true.  A large part of going to a circus is being bored or scared out of our wits by supposedly funny clowns.  I know, there will be animal acts, jugglers and acrobats of various persuasions as well, and occasionally they are enough to make it worth the effort of going to the circus.  But generally (with the exception of the Good Old Cirque du Soleil) most circuses are tatty, boring and amateur.  But one thing that we can always rely upon is that the clowns will scare the hell out of us.

RBBB Clowns jung stevens burnes

Of late there has been a sort of move in the clown profession to clean up their act a bit, and to become less scary – but this is doomed to fail, as actually the whole point of clowns is to be seriously frightening.

The ones in the above photo show exactly what I mean – they are all friendly looking, grinning away at the camera, but can you imagine meeting even one of them late at night when you are alone on the street?   You would run a mile I guarantee it.

I have never really understood why they are so frightening, or even why they should be so…   Surely the idea is to make us happy not scared.

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Looking at the photo above, the little girl’s reaction to that dreadful creature beside her is totally appropriate, and is typical of how kids really react to clowns – adults pretend to find them funny, but actually underneath, they are also scared and appalled by the creature in front of them. Continue reading “Circus? The Most Terrifying Art There Is”

Laughter Track Makes A Show Funny

My attention was drawn to a rather curious fact last evening.   One of my favourite TV shows is The Big Bang Theory, and it has been for quite a few years as well.   I simply find its gentle humour pleasing, and I had always found it very funny as well. However, last evening […]

My attention was drawn to a rather curious fact last evening.   One of my favourite TV shows is The Big Bang Theory, and it has been for quite a few years as well.   I simply find its gentle humour pleasing, and I had always found it very funny as well.

However, last evening a friend told me about the huge number of Big Bang videos on Youtube that have had the laughter track edited out somehow, and he suggested I might find it interesting to watch a few of them.   So I did.

But before I show you any of those “laugh free” videos, here is a short one with laugh track to sort of set the scene and point the way.

Now that I enjoyed, and even laughed at some of their comments.    But unfortunately, having also seen a number of the “no laugh” videos, I found myself listening much more critically, and my enjoyment was markedly less than normal.

So, now for the Moment Of Truth.   Here is a video with that laughter edited out, so it is just the words the cast speak, and no audience reaction to help things along. Continue reading “Laughter Track Makes A Show Funny”

Ereaders Offer Dyslexics A Way Of Reading More Easily

A 2013 study has shown that ereaders can offer help to those suffering from certain forms of dyslexia to read faster and to understand better what it is they have read.

A 2013 study has shown that ereaders can offer help to those suffering from certain forms of dyslexia to read faster and to understand better what it is they have read.

As you may not realise, there are in fact a whole range of reading disabilities that are covered by the somewhat blanket term, Dyslexia, and each form obviously presents its own problems and potential solutions.

dyslexia
Image with thanks to www.interhomeopathy.org

In the case of this experiment, they were concentrating on the form that finds difficulty in separating and comprehending words on a normally laid out book. i.e lots of words in each line of text.

Continue reading “Ereaders Offer Dyslexics A Way Of Reading More Easily”

The Mysterious Stranger, Mark Twain On Satan

As you will know if you are a fan of Mark Twain’s writings, he was very much opposed to the Christian Church and all its works.   And as his life went on, this loathing simply became worse and worse (a view I share with him by the way). His views on the Church and […]

As you will know if you are a fan of Mark Twain’s writings, he was very much opposed to the Christian Church and all its works.   And as his life went on, this loathing simply became worse and worse (a view I share with him by the way).

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His views on the Church and humanity are best summed up in a short book he wrote at the end of his life, and which was not published in the USA until about 1960, as his daughter felt strongly that this book did not really reflect her father’s views, and that it was simply too sacrilegious.

This short book, which I first read in about 1966 is called Letters From Earth, and is supposed to be a series of letters written by Satan to his two good friends, the Archangels Gabriel and Michael.  The idea is that he (Satan) has nipped down to earth to see how we are all getting on, and he is appalled by what he finds.

I shan’t go into the storyline here, as you can read the whole thing for yourself on-line if you follow this link (Letters From Earth).   This short book gives a very good idea of how Twain regarded organised religion and humanity as well.

He wrote a number of other stories which were basically attacks on the Christian Church, and several of these have been turned into very pleasing claymation films, which I will post below for your viewing pleasure.

I feel that these short films speak perfectly well for themselves (the storylines were written by Mark Twain after all), so I shan’t tediously analyse what it is that they are trying to say, as it is totally obvious and clear enough I feel.

So, without more ado, here are the two films that show very well both his feelings about religion, and also his very misanthropic feelings as well.

So, to start with, here is his take on religion’s ideas about the ultimate reward – Heaven.

And now his views on humanity……………………. Continue reading “The Mysterious Stranger, Mark Twain On Satan”

Reversing Roles – Humans And Animals

Last night I was wandering around the internet as one does when nothing better to do presents itself and I came across a collection of rather odd, but intriguing images in which the roles of humans and animals were reversed.   By this I mean for example, one of them shows a miserable, wet and cold human chained up outside in the rain, whilst through the window you can see a dog sitting happily in an armchair, drinking his coffee and being comfortable.

dog in house

So, that more or less sets the tone of these images, I just wish I knew who had created them, there were no credits where I found them, so I have to apologise to the superb souls who created them and ask them to contact me, so I can give them the credit they are more than due.

The next one is a bit gory, as it shows the dreadful and stupid business of cutting off Rhino horns for their supposed medicinal benefits – the next time someone goes on about the amazing benefits of traditional Chinese medicine at you, simply say “Rhino horns” to them…   Says it all.

Continue reading “Reversing Roles – Humans And Animals”

Philippino Life – Odd And Corrupt

Some years ago, we lived in Cebu, one of the many islands that make up the Philippines.  On the face of it an idyllic place to live – warm, but not too hot, all sorts of delicious fruits to eat at extremely affordable prices, some of the best scuba diving in the world (also very affordable), physically a very beautiful place as well – all the swaying palm trees and other tropical paradise stuff you could wish for.

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However, as always, there is another side to this paradise, an altogether less attractive aspect of life in the Philippines.  And here I am not talking about the normal third world problems – rubbish strewn streets, rotting buildings, almost non-existent infra-structure and such aspects of poverty stricken Asian countries.

Apart from the two things I want to talk about here, there are also guns – lots and lots of guns. It is the only place I have ever seen the following sign on the doors of banks:-

Continue reading “Philippino Life – Odd And Corrupt”