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niedziela, 23 sierpnia 2015

Just a little reminder!

Hello guys! I noticed many of you are still visiting the blog here, so I just wanted to remind you, about https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com as all new posts will be available there. So far, I've posted one about education, and you can read it here:
https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/power-of-education/
Many more are coming this upcoming week, including a new "thinking ouside the box" post, and a book review. Stay tuned and stay awesome! Thank you for all your support, you rock!

Have a lovely day,
Jessie

niedziela, 16 sierpnia 2015

Changes, changes are coming!

Hello guys! I have news for you: things are changing! I've decided to join the Wordpress family and leave Blogger. It has been amazing two months with Blogger, and I own it a lot, but I feel like it's time for changes. I hope you will continue to support me, and I would be honored to keep blogging with  you and for you. My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/
Hopefully... see you!
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Have a lovely day,
Jessie

czwartek, 13 sierpnia 2015

When You and I had tails

Hello! You might not remember it, actually you stand no chance of remembering it, but once upon a time you had a tail. So did I.  (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )

source:tumblr

Not like this, though. Sadly! Nevertheless, that's a real info, and it takes us back to evolution. Actually everything takes us back to evolution. What kind of a queen/king of everything! As Theodosius Dobzhansky, a well known evolutionary biologist titled his essay: "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of Evolution". Now you might ask - when did you become interested in biology and why are you writing about this? Well, I'll give you my answer: my anthropology course on Open2study (I'm definitely going to write a post about this website soon!) covers a lot of evolutionary material, and the second thing: it's fascinating. I hope you will find it fascinating too. Let's get back to the title, though. We all used to have tails. Evidence? You still have a tail bone - coccyx. Before coccyx, near the base of your spine you had five vertebrae, which later on fused into a bone. It all happened when you were just an embryo.

source: www.biotate.com/

What is its function? Well, it's kind of useless - though some scientists disagree - but it's a kind reminder that: your ancestors did have tails. Had you been a different breed, you would also have it now, but humans changed and they don't need it anymore. So what did happen to your tail? Well, when the DNA, which controlled the process of your development figured out you didn't really need the tail, so it was absorbed by your immune system. Once in a while, a child is born with a tiny tail, but professionally we call it "a caudal appendage" (you can google it for pictures!) . It happens, when the instructions saying "Get rid of it" become a bit illogical, and the tail isn't reabsorbed. There have been over 100 documented cases like that. Fascinating, isn't it? Well, the world's first name should be fascinating. To end with a poem would be nice, so here we come, Mr Bukowski.

Oh Yes - Poem by Charles Bukowski

there are worse things than
being alone
but it often takes decades
to realize this
and most often 
when you do
it's too late
and there's nothing worse
than 
too late. 


So if you need to stay home alone tonight, and you're missing so much fun, just remember you could learn something new and fascinating and that's cool too. Explore, dream, discover.

Would you like to have a tail? Let me know!


Have a lovely day,
Jessie




niedziela, 9 sierpnia 2015

Malala: one book and one pen can change the world

Hi guys! It's a Sunday evening in Poland, and the sky is filled with little stars, smiling at me. As their fading light is already a memory when it reaches our Earth, it's like the past encouraging us to keep on going. Little miracles of everyday can also be beautiful. Another of the little miracles is that you can read that text. (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ ) No, by no means I imply it's awesome. What's awesome, though, is the fact you were given an opportunity to learn how to read. It might seem quite normal, but millions of people were never able to go to school, and education helps fight too many problems for this not to be a big issue. Malala Yousafzai is a girl, who decided to stood up for the fundamental right of every human - the access to education. As the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, she became a symbol of fight against terrorism and violation of human rights. Born in Pakistan, she had to leave her beloved home country after she was shot on her way home from school. Malala, being only 18 year old, lives in England now, and in 2013 she published a book - "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban".


source: meetup.com



After having read that book, I would love to share my thoughts about it with you, so let's call it a mini-review. Malala's story is set in Pakistan, and page by page we follow her daily life - from school fights with her best friends to financial struggles of her family, and we witness the process in which Malala became so passionate about human, especially girls', rights. The book tells not only a story of one girl, but of the entire community. It educates us on Pakistani history, and is abundant in life wisdom. The book, created by both Malala and Christina Lamb, is written in a pleasant, simple, yet convincing manner. The Nobel Prize laureate portrays herself as a regular girl with dreams to change the world. She fights with her friend, and can be moody, but never does she give up on her dreams to guarantee everyone an access to education. I believe her book holds a great message, and can inspire us to be kind. It is surely worth-reading and I would definitely recommend you to give Malala some of your time. It would be nice to end with a quote, so I will.


source: lifepopper.com



P.S:

Now you can follow Papercoffeestore on Instagram and like it on Facebook. I would be very honored and incredibly thankful if you could do it. 




Have you ever heard about Malala? Who are your role models? Let me know!



Have a lovely day,
Jessie

czwartek, 6 sierpnia 2015

God, bless the tech: Duolingo & Memrise

Hello guys! How are you? I need to tell you one thing: little miracles can happen. After two months of being gone, my dog was found. We literally had no hope, and thought he would never come back, but today life surprised us in a very positive way. Never underestimate the unpredictability of life!
Anyway, today is the day, when I start my new series: God, bless the tech. (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )



It will be all about my favorite apps, websites, and online things. The first post will be all about Duolingo and Memrise, as I believe education could be the panaceum for almost everything. Both Duolingo and Memrise are apps designed to help you with learning, but despite many similarites, they also differ quite a lot. I'm going to discuss both of them to highlight their essence.


source: pulsosocial.com/

1. Duolingo -  Perfect tool for learning languages. Courses are targeted at users of many languages, not only English, but the greatest variety of languages is offered to people, who ca n speak English. They can choose from Spanish, French, German and Portuegese to Dutch, Swedish, Italian or Turkish. They are many more courses to come, including Polish, Hindi and Hungarian ones, but they haven't been finished yet. When it comes to non-English users, they have less options, sometimes only English. Those, who are fluent in Spanish can't also complain though, because they're offered 6 courses. Myself, I have been using Duolingo for awhile, and I'm content with its form and functionality. It definitely helped me to get down to Spanish and recall what I learnt during German lessons in high school. What needs to be said is that you both learn how to say something and write it, so I would call it a rather effective approach, plus it has a nice motivation mechanisms - you're sent e-mails to remind you about your daily learning time. There are daily goals, so you can feel as if you accomplished something big, after 20 minutes of quality time with Duolingo. Plus, you can also use Duolingo as a website: https://www.duolingo.com

The only two cons I can think of is that there aren't too many languages to choose from, even if you're willing to learn everything in English (I wanted to go for Arabic, but it wasn't possible), plus it's for languages only, so it can't be your multifunctional learning tool. The greatest advantage, aside from amazing content, would be its price - 0. It's complately free, so don't hesitate to give it a try!


source: www.mustseeon.net/

2. Memrise - if I say "universal", Memrise could pop up in my head, because it's truly like that.  It is based on popular mechanism of so called "flashcards", which help you memorise almost everything. Memrise seems to be all about Aristotle's quote "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.".  Unlike Duolingo, it offers courses on variety of subjects ranging from arts, literature, history and languages, to maths, science, geography and the natural world. It can also help you to prepare for standardized tests, such as college admissions, SAT, driving license, CAE or IELTS. It can be easily accessed via computer, because it also functions as a website, aside from being an app. Thanks to Memrise, I was able to start learning Arabic online,  but anyone interested in Japanese, country mapping, Morse Code, anatomy and many other subjects, should be satisfied after having chosen Memrise. Obvious advantages are price (again, it's FREE), and the variety of available courses. The cons, on the other hand, can be its flashcards' mechanism, as it's boring for many people. 


To sum up, I would say both of these websites/apps are wonderful in their own ways, and can definitely improve the quality of your online learning. Speaking from personal experience, combining both of them, helps me a lot to stay on the right track and improves my language skills. I would definitely recommend you to see if they can work for you. It costs nothing, and who knows how many little miracles could a little learning bring? You will never know if you never try.

Have you ever used Duolingo and/or Memrise? If so, what's your experience with them? Do you study online? What language would you like to master? Let me know!


Have a lovely day,
Jessie




sobota, 1 sierpnia 2015

You'll go to paper towns and never come back...

Hello guys! How are you doing? The first thing that needs to be said is: THANK YOU! You have visited my blog over 1000 times, and I couldn't be more grateful. Each view makes me happy, and reaching this first milestone means a lot to me. Every view, comment, and like is something amazing. You all are truly inspiring, and you've helped me to become a friend of words once again. THANK YOU! Do you know who's also awesome and inspiring, aside from you? Ladies and gentlemen - John Green! Some of you might have heard of him, as his books are bestsellers and there's no way to escape them in a bookshop, plus he's quite a force on Youtube with his educational videos. What I will be talking about today is the movie based on his novel "Paper towns". Yesterday the movie was officially premiered in Poland, and as a Green fan I just had to go. (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )


source: msmagazine.com/


The story tells a story of a young man - Q - who goes on a road trip with his friends in hopes of finding a missing next-door girl - mysterious Margo Roth Spiegelman, who suddenly disappears after their night escapade.  I don't want to spill too much, especially if you didn't read the book, so let's just say that their journey is full of funny moments, universal truths, and important questions. What is love? Friendship? Life? Q wanted to know too.  The trailer will explain a lot, so take a look, please!





The movie was directed by Jake Schreier, and main roles were played by Nat Wolff as Q, and Cara Delevingne as Margo. I foundthe cast's acting nice, yet not impressive. Before watching a movie, I wasn't sure if Cara could pull Margo off, given she was mainly a model, not an actress, but she did okay. To be honest, I believe she didn't capture all of Margo's magic, but she didn't do a terrible job either. In my humble opinion,  she was amazing at times, but quite average in general, and that's it.

source: tumblr


The script was quite in line with the book, despite few modifications, which deprived the movie of some of the book's depth.  My example? Some of very smart, and crucial to the book words.

source: tumblr


Anyway, the music was well chosen, especially Vance Joy with his song "Great summer", as its summer vibe was on point. To sum up, I'm happy they didn't turn one of my favorite books into a terrible movie, but I somehow feel it could have been much better. I would totally recommend it to anyone, who didn't read Green's book, and when it comes to those, who did read it - well, there's a great chance you're far less likely to be blown away, but you will probably be able todeal with what you will see. At least... I could.  To end with a quote would be nice, so here we go. Well, I need to say one last thing - the internet said the quote was written by John Green, but it turned  out to be said by a young blogger. It's still incredibly nice, though. Here we go... again.


source: weheartit

Do you like Green? Have you watched "The paper towns"?  If so, did you enjoy it? Let me know in comments!

Have a lovely day,
Jessie



środa, 29 lipca 2015

Stay out, Nina


Hello guys! What are you up to these days? Myself, I've been reading a lot, but there's something I've been doing way more often and that would be listening to music. Today's coffee break is going to be all about music, and to be precise, about one particular musician - Nina Nesbitt. She's a Scottish sensation, who stole hearts of thousands of Brits, plus mine. Born in 1994, she managed to release few EPs and one full album - Peroxide, which has been on shops' shelves since February 2014. I found out about her from my friend Adam - big thanks to him, because I like my evenings better now with Nina's music. Anyway, Nesbitt comes from Scottish Edinburgh, which takes pride from its vivid artistic scene. Rightfully so, it seems. Five points for Edinburgh! (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )

source: www.mtv.com/

Nina's most known for her song "Stay out", which I shared with you in previous post. The song peaked at number 21 on the UK Singles Chart, what's pretty great  for a newcomer. Below I'll post 5 of my favorite Nina's songs, and reasons behind my choices.


1) Selfies

As its title says, it's all about self-photographs! It's a fun song with a cute video, but the message is actually deeper than it initially seems.  Look closer at these five lines:

"Taking pictures of myself, self, self
I guess I'm reaching out to be a assured 
All I wanted was to be adored

Now you're telling me I'm vain, vain, vain
Yeah, but you don't feel my pain, pain, pain"

Sometimes we judge people, who post everything online, but actually so many people are insecure, and facebook likes help them accept, what God gave them. At least until likes don't stop.




2) Stay out


There's so much to explore, and as one Hobbit once said "you step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to". Just remember that:

"All these boys and girls are people
Looking for someone to be
All these boys and girls are people
Waiting for their hearts to beat"



3) No interest

A three minute way to communicate someone you're tired of their nonsense, and they should back off. Politely said.



4)  The Apple Tree

The cute accent thing is everything, plus lyrics are so on point. Sometimes we end up just like Adam and Eve, but there's no  apple tree to blame.



5) Statues

A beautiful ballad, perfect for thinking about people, who you used to know. "You're just a statue of the boy I used to know" - well said, Nina.




These are only few of Nina's songs, and I would definitely recommend you to listen to the rest of her songs, especially "Mr C", "Some you win", "Boy" and "Way in the world" to name some.

P.s: did you know that Ed Sheeran's song "Nina" is about Nina Nesbitt? They used to date.


What about you? What are your favorite songs and musicians?



Have a lovely day,
Jessie

niedziela, 26 lipca 2015

P.S: Beautiful things don't ask for attention

Hello guys! How are you doing? Myself, I just turned my blogging playlist on and decided to write a post about something I loved. Lately I haven't felt much love towards people, because some of them let me down once again, but there are things in life, which can make me love the life and people again. To begin with, big thanks for everyone who helped in a process of creating "The secret life of Walter Mitty", because you managed to create something brilliant. Anyway, I should introduce the movie properly, shouldn't it? I promise I will! "The secret life of Walter Mitty" was released in 2013, and I believe it could be classified as a comedy, adventure and drama, but no labels can describe it well enough. It was directed by Steve Conrad, and Ben Stiller plays the main role. (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )

danielmcinerny.com/

 The movie itself tells the story of Walter Mitty, who happens to be a hopeless dreamer. He works in archives, and he seems to spend half of his life in his own thoughts,  imagining himself as an adventurer. When his and his co-worker's job is threatened, he takes action and experiences a real-life adventure. While trying to save the day, he travels across the world and discovers more about the world he has ever hoped for. How does his story end? You should find out yourself! What needs to be written, though, is that this is more than your regular adventure movie. It's a beautiful  movie journey, which is full of witty dialogues, funny situations, stunning views and universal wisdom.

www.kinogallery.com/

The post's title refers to words said by one of the characters - "beautiful things don't ask for attention", and they don't, do they? The sun rises everyday with or without our attention, and flowers keep growing, whether we notice them or not. I would love to add one more quote, and this time it will be in a picture.


source: pinterest

To sum up "The secret life of Walter Mitty" is the great movie for a rainy day, when everything seems so pointless, and you keep doing the same mistakes. It inspires, amuses and teaches. Below I'll post a trailer, so you could have a taste of what's in store for you.




There's so much to explore, if we only stay out.

What's your favorite movie? Do you often find yourself daydreaming?

Have a lovely day,
Jessie





niedziela, 19 lipca 2015

How to hack life

Hello guys! How are you doing? Today, exactly on 19th July 2015, I'm going to talk about something I've been thinking about for quite awhile now, and it would be... hacking life. See, myself I've always easily lost motivation and got lost in circles of procrastination, but it took me nowhere, and it will never help my dreams come true. I've always known it, and from time to time I fought against it, only to give up one more time. Now I'm a bit wiser, and I know failure, indeed, does support success, so I decided to start again, and if necessary again and again, until I get it right. What motivates me to strive for improvement is Lifehack. You've might heard about it, and if not, I would totally recommend you to check it out. (http://www.lifehack.org/ -- here you are.) It's the online temple for anyone  interested in self-improvement, and learning ways to make life a bit easier. Articles, which are published there cover lots of subjects but main categories are called: communication, lifestyle, money, productivity, tech and work. Each one includes subcategories, so you can read an article almost about everything. Thousands of new ideas and tips are what you will surely get everytime you decide to give Lifehack some of your time. (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )



Anyway, lifehack inspired me to get back on the right track, and reminded me about a TED video I watched many days ago. Its message was simple - try doing (or not doing) something for 30 days, and watch your life change. You might be wondering: what can I change in 30 days? Well, this approach is praised for its simplicity for a reason. Imagine that it's the  first of January and you're writing your goals for next 12 months. Let's say you've just written 12 of them down, and you're looking at them with pride as you're determined to accomplish them all. After a month, though, you've most probably (at least it's the case with many, many of us) given up, because it was just too much to handle. Now let's change your approach - you change one thing per month. As the year ends, it's possible you've accomplished all of your 12 goals, because you took your time and focused on one thing for a certain period of time ( 30 days). This is what I'm going to do. Some articles suggest 21- day challenges as well, so you could also do it this way. They're so many ideas for challenges, and you know the best what you need, but in my mind I sorted them into three basic categories: the ones which include not doing something (e.g: refraining from eating sweets for 30 days), the ones which are all about small things, which usually don't require much time or effort (e.g: reading one poem  everday for 30 days) and finally the ones which require quite a lot time or/and effort (e.g long walks everyday, learning a new language). I believe it could be the way to hack life for people, who have as little strong will or self-discipline as I do. Below you can watch the TED video I've mentioned before. 






What about you? Do you also have problems with self-discipline? Have you ever tried 30- day challenges? Let me know in comments!


Have a lovely day,
Jessie

czwartek, 16 lipca 2015

Surprise them with kindness!

Hello guys! How are you doing? Today's post is going to be all about kindness. Everything, what led me to writing this post, started on Tuesday, when I headed to the big city I'll call my temporary home after October knocks in.  Waiting for the bus, I was sitting on the desk near ticket machines. They're quite a new thing in the capital of my region, and before they actually became reality, people used to buy tickets in shops. They work a bit like Tablets with their touchscreens, and many of elderly people, who aren't really familiar with technology, have no idea how to use them. I believe we should help people, if we only can, provided they aren't too rude, so when somebody asks me for help politely, I will help, because it feels right. Now let me describe a situation to you: there's a man in his early 50's, dressed in shabby clothes, and with incredibly tired eyes. Isn't it a sad picture? For me, it was. The man had no idea how to use a ticket machine, and as he needed tickets, he asked me for help. I couldn't refuse and in a matter of 30 seconds he had the bus ticket in his hands. Might seem like a regular situation, but then his eyes got a little bit teary, as he started thanking me for my small act of kindness. You see, for me it wasn't a big of deal, but for him it was. He wanted to buy me a chocolate in a store next to ticket machines, saying I was extraordinarly nice ( I refused). It did seem weird to me that he thought so until he added that he was working in the train industry 12 hours per day, and people were rarely nice, but very often exteremely rude. He was a handworker, suffering from a illness, whose name I can't remember, and he was surprised somebody would show him some kindness. That's sad to think about. So many people choose to be rude without any reasons that acting nicely stopped being something obvious. In which direction are we, as mankind, going if hostility becomes the popular answer? Let's not allow it to become a trend. Surprise the world with kindness!
Maybe someday your good energy will come back to you, when you need it the most. Nothing feels better than a thought you might have brighten  somebody's crappy day up, believe me. (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )

wabikes.org/



Human Family - Poem by Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I've sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I've seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I've not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England's moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we're the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike. 


Ending with some wise words from Maya, I would like to thank you for reading my posts, it means a lot to me. You are awesome!


Do you believe in kindness? Have you lately been in a similiar situation as I was? Let me know in comments below!


Have a lovely day,
Jessie





sobota, 11 lipca 2015

The longest ride... called life

Hello guys! How are you doing? Myself, I believe I learnt an important life lesson today. It is very simple, yet quite difficult to remember: every decision you've ever taken had a reason behind it, and taken you to the place you are in, so stop asking "what if", because you can't know. See, yesterday the dream I had been building for quite awhile crashed hard, and I spent hours crying to deal with my emotions. Everything I planned seemed to become just an empty vision. After spending  a day with swollen, red eyes something hit me, though. The dream I had was supposed to help me to bring my other, infinitely bigger dreams to life. I built the dream out of the dream! Sounds familiar? It might, as I know I'm not the only one caught in such a trap. I came clean as I understood my second option wouldn't hurt my lifetime plans. I still could make a great life out of what I was given. Remember: there always could be a new opportunity. Not everything is bound to go the way you want it to, but in a long term it might turn out as amazing as you would always want it to be. Today's topic is quite connected to my little intro. It is called "The longest ride", and I bet that many of you may have already heard about it, but in Poland it premiered few weeks ago, so it's still a bit fresh.  The movie based on Nicholas Spark's novel tells a story of a young couple, whose lives change the moment they rescue the elderly man from his burning car. The man reflects back on his love, and narrates the story of his life, which  accompanied by the love story of his rescuers, creates a tale about infinite hope, love and tough choices. (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )



I know what some of you are likely to be thinking now: that's Sparks - true. He uses the same storyline patterns all over again - might be true (according to some people), and that's just another tearjerker - might be true, but let's look at this movie differently. It's surely not going to get an Oscar, and there have been many better movies in 2015, but it's a nice thing to watch on Friday and carries some message. See, the main female character has her own life plan and doesn't intend to add extra elements to it. She knows what she wants, and ignores everything else, and then something happens. She meets THIS guy and boom, she is full of emotions she's never felt before. Typical? Maybe, but the message is clear: sometimes unplanned can be what makes your life awesome. The longest ride, your life, is no German highway, but most likely a Saharan road. It doesn't make it any less special or beautiful.
To end with a quote from Sparks' novel, and the movie trailer would be nice, so shall it be this way.

"I know I'm not going to be able to change the world, but I think it's important to try to make a difference". I will do my best to try, and I hope many other people will too. Change begins when you let it begin. Enjoy your longest ride!





Have you seen "The longest ride"? Do you like Nicholas Sparks? Have you lost something just to experience something better? Let me know in comments below!


Have a lovely day,
Jessie

niedziela, 5 lipca 2015

Australia's secrets on the radar!

Hello guys! It's a hot, summer day in Poland, and as we tend to desire what we don't have, I cool myself down with some Portugal music. It's called Fado, and it's absolutely lovely. It has some romantic vibe about it, and makes me feel so nice, so If I were you, I would give it a try! Anyway, what I'm going to talk about today is Australia. Again. Sorry, I can't just let it go! My love runs deep like a chevy, and always takes my heart straight to Australia! Today is perfect for revealing some of Australia's secrets, because if you haven't fallen in love with Australia yet, it's high time you changed it! At least I hope you will, because we could create our own Australia lovers club! Anyway, the truth is about to be spilled: Kata Tjuta does exist.  You may ask: and what? What's even that? Well, Uluru is insanely famous, and Kata Tjuta isn't, but its charm is something you should be aware of, so I'm elated to introduce you another Australian highlight! Kata Tjuta are a group of large domed rock formations set within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which are also known as "The Olgas". Kata Tjuta actually means "many heads" in traditional Aboriginal language, and I can easily see where that one came from, seeing this Central Australian beauty queen! (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )

michaelseebeck.com/

I read that Kata Tjuta we can see today are the remains of erosion that began around 500 million years ago. That's quite an old beauty, I must admit. What's more, the tallest dome of Kata Tjuta rises 1,066 metres above sea level and that's basically the same size as the One World Trade Centre in NY. Good luck for human kind in winning this game, Kata Tjuta remains unbothered.
It is approximately 30 kilometres away from Uluru in Australia's Red Centre, and it stays a bit off the radar, because it's a sacred place for men in the Anangu Aboriginal culture, who don't allow tourists to profanate Kata Tjuta. The tribesmen believe that great snake king Wanambi lives on the summit of Mount Olga and only comes down during the dry season. Less of touristic traffic makes it even a more breathtaking experience to visit The Olgas, and helps preserve its unique sacred atmosphere. I hope to see it on my own one day. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please!

What about you? Have you ever  heard about Kata Tjuta before? Are you in love with Australia? What countries would you like to visit? Let me know in comments!


Have a lovely day,
Jessie

sobota, 27 czerwca 2015

Thinking outside the box: Iran

Hi guys! Today is a perfect day to write a post. I bet you wonder what's so special about Saturday. Well, many things - it's like a gate between crazy Friday and calming Sunday, and still quite far from Monday, but that's not excatly my reason. Mine is different. We can't wait for perfect conditions, because they rarely do come, so it's way better to take everything in our hands, and make it happen somehow. Such a small thing to write a post, but I did make it happen. Points for me and for progress! I believe it turns out to be a very beneficial attitude, so give it a try if you're looking for a change. Anyway, coming straight to the point - today's topic is Iran. It's a country in Western Asia. Its capital is called Tehran, and its population is estimated at 78 millions. The official religion is Islam, but Iranians are proud descendants of powerful Persia Empire. Iran seems to be one of less known countries out there, and what's unknown becomes more dangerous in our eyes than it really is. That's probably what helped the cavemen survive, but that stage of evolution is behind us, so it's time we thought  outside the box. Countries are more than their governments, and even though their uniqueness has many elements I assume the most important one is the people. As a Polish girl from a small town I don't have many chances of meeting foreigners, but sometimes it does happen. Thanks God! I believe every time we encounter a new way of thinking, we become enriched ourselves, so I was happy to have met Mahsa, when she was in Poland. Due to her natural kindness I had a pleasure to talk with her about differences between Iran and Poland and also about her homecountry itself. When asked about what is particularly contrasting between these two countries she pointed out "the weather, the language, the religion, and freedom in the way of dressing". Poland is rainy, Christian and quite Western regarding outfits' norms, while Iran's sunny, rarely rainy, Islamic and conservative when it comes to the way people, especially women, dress. What were the other questions I asked her? Find out below! (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )

Me: What was the funniest situation that happened to you in Poland?
Mahsa: When I first went to the classroom I thought it looked more like a party, since the students were wearing short skirts and had so much make up on. It was kinda funny to me.
Me: Ach, I can see what you mean. What do you consider the greatest Iranian and Polish absurds?
Mahsa:  There are so many of this absurd rules in Iran. For example, even if you aren't a muslim, you should wear hijab (headscarf) in Iran. Women cannot go to stadium to watch a volleyball match etc. There are so many of them that I cannot even count them, we don't know the reasons either, please don't ask me, ask the people in charge. In Poland, I didn't encounter that many unpleasant behaviors, just a few. For example, once I gave a kind of sweet to someone as a souvenir and said my goodbyes to go to the other city, but she called me an hour later (even if her English wasn't good and she couldn't talk to me, so I passed my phone to my Polish friend) and said there was something in it that she didn't like and was allergic to it. In my culture it isn't nice to do so and we never talk about it. Another thing that I found absurd was that  due to the sanctions against Iran and as an Iranian, I couldn't open a bank account or use a credit card.
Me: I guess people in charge are hard to understand almost everywhere. Anyway, what would you like people to know about Iran?
Mahsa: So many things, I want to talk hours about the reality of Iran and how it differs from what you see in TV.  I invite everyone to come to Iran one day, Iran is one of the most ancient countries in the world with a culture which is thousands of years old.  Just like in the photo of  the city Persepolis made by Darius the First.

http://www.wondermondo.com/

Me: What three words would describe Iran, and Poland?
Mahsa: Iran - mysterious, kind/welcoming, Mine.   Poland - relaxation, eastern and western ( I mean - the culture is something between East and West), pierogi!
Me: That's nice! How do you think travelling affected you?
Mahsa: Traveling had a great impact on me, I matured during my trips. I'm a stronger and braver person now. I also made lots of friends from different countries and that's the most precious outcome of my travelings.
Me: And how would you describe Iran society, especially women?
Mahsa: Iranian women are doing great these days, I think. Maryam Mirzakhani, for example, became both the first woman and the first Iranian honored with the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics. They are educated, hard working and eager to improve but there are so many obstacles in front of them. However, I'm sure they will make it and will overcome all these obstacles and limitations.


Maryam Mirzakhani // www.theguardian.com

Me: The next one is hard, so feel free not to answer, if you don't wish to. If you were to be born in any country, would you choose your home country?
Mahsa: I love my country, but if I would born again I would prefer somewhere else, in a country where people have more freedom and it's easier to live there as a woman.

That was my interview with a very brave and kind woman, who is truly my role model. Mahsa, you're one of the most inspiring women I've ever met and I'm deeply thankful to have met you and interviewed you. The message for today is simple: let's not judge people by their culture, or birthplace, because caught inside the box we're missing out a lot.

What about you guys? Have you been to Iran? Have you encountered many cultural differences? Let me know in comments!

Have a lovely day,
Jessie



poniedziałek, 22 czerwca 2015

Reasons why I heart Coursera!

Hi guys! As I am working towards my Monday productivity once again, I decided to post something and brighten up my day. My favorite Spotify's "Pop chillout" is playing, and Ed Sheeran is singing to me "you look so beautiful", so how couldn't I feel inspired? No better way to get the girl, Ed!
Anyway, what I will be talking about today  can  also make you feel like you are on the top of the world, boost your confidence, push you towards improvement, and costs less than Ed's album. Sorry Ed! What am I talking about? Let me introduce you to Coursera! It's an ultimate tool for all who wish to upgrade themselves and feed the brain with knowledge FOR FREE. I know what you are thinking - there must be something tricky about it. Maybe you're checking your calendar to see if it's first April.  I must disappoint you - I have blown more jokes in my life than chances of actually getting a date, so I'm absolutely serious. (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )



Coursera is a web place, where many amazing universities offer free courses on almost every possible subject. Interested in studying Chinese? No problem! Desperate to get down to some marketing, but also fond of social psychology? You might have as well won the lottery, because you can do both on Coursera!  As well as many other courses! It's an amazing way to teach yourself something new without spending lots of money, because all you need is some time and internet connection.  Myself, I am currently studying marketing and productivity, and I must say Coursera is helping me  more than I thought it would.  It is easier for me to plan my day and actually do something than it was before. Thank Coursera! There are courses which are set to start and end on certain dates, but that's not always the case. Some of them offer you something more attractive: learning at your own pace. As you see, no excuses are valid, Coursera can work out even for the busiest of us. If you wish to expand your knowledge, join Coursera! Personally I think joining this website was one of the smartest things I've done during two past years. One of few actually. Another one would be creating a Deviantart account. I would love to end today's  post with some works of my friends - Josh & Paco. They're truly awesome  - supportive and kind, and God knows it's rare nowadays.

Paconidas - Only one day


A wish
To a genie
To the stars
And to the Gods
The only wish I want
Is not gold
Not fame
Or the eternal
Life
I only want
Even if there was only for a day
Is return to childhood
Is return to the innocence
Return to the long days
To the unlimited dreams
Only for a day
I want to be young again
I´m tired
Of the "adult life"
I´m tired of the responsabilities
I want to play with toys
I want to see cartoons
And I want to lose the worries

Only for a day

You can check out his other works here: http://paconidas.deviantart.com/


I also long to be small again. I bet we all do sometimes, but we have to carry on and that's fine. We art pieces of art in progress. I'm excited to see what we eventually become! What I fear, though, is that we'll become disconnected from nature whose beauty can't be copied or replaced. If you take a look at Josh's work you will agree with me. At least I hope so. By the way, Josh's deviantart account is fond of visitors, so feel free to enter: http://cjmottley.deviantart.com/




Photo by: Josh Mottley


What about guys: have you ever tried Coursera? Are you interested in any particular subject? Looking for other learning tools?  Let me know in comments!


Have a lovely day,
Jessie

poniedziałek, 15 czerwca 2015

They say dreams and I reply: Australia!

Hello! It's Monday, and as I stopped blaming Mondays for my lack of productivity some time ago, I decided to write a post. Life is what we let it be, isn't it? Anyway, drinking my favorite, incredibly bitter black coffee and listening to John Mayer, I decided to let myself dream a bit today, and guess where it led me? Straight to Australia! In my mind, of course, because now I'm more kilometres away from Australian kangaroos than a number of poems I've ever written and that says a lot. Considering I have never been to Australia you might ask: why are you so fond of Australia? Are you into deadly spiders, crocodiles and octopuses? Well, as much as I'm open for new relationships, that's not exactly a reason. It's more about a lifestyle. I know few Australians and from what I've observed they seem to radiate optimism. If we could somehow produce optimism, Australia could be one of top players in such an industry. Real talk here. As I believe that positive thinking does wonders for me, I would love to live in Australia. That's one of the reasons, but not the only one. Below I'll post my favorite things about the land of kangooros and koalas. Did you know the population of Australian kangaroos is twice as big as of Australian people's? We know who's the real boss here! (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )

1. Outback roads.
Let's imagine there's nothing but a tarmac road in front of us. No houses, no people, no concrete walls, but empty space in all shades of orange and red. Sky is full of stars, just like in that Coldplay song, because city lights don't compete with stars. Honestly I don't see a better way to figure your life out. Outback covers about 90% of Australia, but only up to 10% of its population lives there, so naturally you need to be well prepared to remain safe during a trip there, but so many people call Outback somehow magical that it's surely worth the try. Who wants to teleport there now? I do!

goforfun.com.au/



2. Queensland
The second largest state in Australia, but it's not what makes it so special for me. I mean, quite nice, but... Great Barrier Reef wins this battle! The largest coral reef system on the planet - it says everything. Seeking for a little magic? Australia has it all! Not to mention that Queensland has Brisbane -  a very lovely city, so it's a full package.

www.50shadesofage.com/

3. Sydney
As a culture lover I fancy Sydney's iconic Opera House. Even though I've heard from many people that the city itself  is terribly overrated and Melbourne has an edge over it, I don't mind. There are places you need to visit on your own, no matter how cliche it may be. Sydney is one of them for me.


wikimedia.org/



4. Vance Joy
Vance Joy is an Australian singer most known for his song "Riptide". Somehow every time I hear his songs I feel as if I was in Australia. My head is filled with sunshine, and joy of life, even when it's raining cats and dogs and I can't find my way home. He's my australian love.




There are 99 more reasons why I love Australia so much, but I'll post them on another occasion. 
My desire is to end with a poem and a song, so I'm elated to inform you that Charles Bukowski will help me with that, accompanied by Lily Hates  Roses. 


I met a genius - Charles Bukowski


 I met a genius on the train
today
about 6 years old,
he sat beside me
and as the train 
ran down along the coast
we came to the ocean
and then he looked at me
and said,
it's not pretty.


it was the first time I'd 
realized 
that.

Have a lovely day,
Jessie





niedziela, 7 czerwca 2015

"Aye, Sassenach" - the story of how I fell in love

Hi guys! It's a Sunday afternoon and Spotify's "pop chillout" playlist is on, so there's no better time to write a new post. This time there will be lots of love, adoration and admiration, because I'm going to introduce you something I absolutely love. As a big fan of fiction I would always spend hours reading or watching TV shows and movies. It would make me joyful for hours, even when life seemed to be a pointless drama show with a terribly awful script. However, due to a continuous pressure I stopped enjoying activities, which defined me. It was terrifying, and made me realize how precious it was to spend time in front of books. Checking facebook every hour or laying on the floor doing nothing - that was a real waste of time, not doing what I loved. The damage was already done, so I was afraid I would forever remain a loveless, passionless ex-bookworm. Only God knows how suffocating that fear was! When I was almost over the fact that I lost that part of me forever... a miracle happened! I came across a TV show called "Outlander". Bingo! This is how I entered a land of happy fiction geeks again,  proud to be back! Now I will tell you everything you need to know about "Outlander" to fall in love forever.(P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )



The first episode was aired last August, so it's a newbie in a TV world. The story itself, however, is much older. It's an adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's novels, which have been available on book shops' shelves for over 20 years. The show follows a story of Claire Randall, who finds herself transported to Scotland of 1743, when she encounters mysterious stones of Craigh na Dun in Scottish Highlands. Having been accustomed to life in 1945, Claire experiences a shock upon discovering she has to live in a seventeenth century's society full of superstitions, brutal violence and wars. During her journey through Scotland she is accompanied by a brave Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser, and caught between two worlds and battles, which are not even her to fight. It is a tale of love, infinite hope and unpredictability of tomorrow. Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies, who play the show's main characters  excel at their work, managing to capture plausible portraits of complicated human beings. To give justice, when it is needed, the entire cast was choosen wisely. A well written, often brutal, yet also funny and adorable script makes the show a bit outstanding. "Outlander" is no violence free, but such scenes are required as they are in line with a historical reality. All in all,  if you were to try something new, I would recommend you checking if "Outlander" is for you. If so, maybe you'll have the best time you could be given in front of a TV screen.  If you never try, you'll never know. Aye? Aye! Below you can see the show's official trailer.




To end with a poem would be poetically nice, so enjoy! This time it's something mine.



The aquarium was my home,
and you looked like a sea,
I longed to get lost in your waves
and your arms friendly welcomed me. 

I thought I belonged there, 
under your starry stare. 
I guess it was just a stop by, 
so we both learnt to be less shy. 

I still like the way you smile - 
you were beautifully worthwhile, 
but as our paths reverse - 
farewell, my favorite old universe.




Have  a lovely day,
Jessie 

poniedziałek, 1 czerwca 2015

Coming home

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Hello! I have a pleasure to make it the first post ever published here. It should be special enough to deserve being called "a beginning". Most likely it won't be special though, but that's absolutely fine, because starts aren't always fantastic. We worship them like gods, but we forget  the middle and the end also make a journey. Maybe even more, as it requires a lot of determination to carry on.
Anyway, what I decided to talk about today is poetry. Not only does it seem to fade away in our culture, but to make matters worse... it vanishes in us, people. What was the last time you read a poem? If recently -  thumbs up for you, if not - don't feel too ashamed, because most of us have been there. Not everyone enjoys poetry and it's perfectly fine, but some people just haven't tasted its lyrical texture, so they cannot judge it. Below I'll share with you one of my favorite poems. Let me hope you will give it a chance, even the slightest one. Poets may be dead, but if they're watching from above, maybe they will gift you with the sunniest and loveliest day you've ever had, if you read one of their works.(P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )



THE TOWER OF BABEL - Wisława Szymborska


"What time is it?" "Oh yes, I'm so happy;

all I need is a little bell round my neck

to jingle over you while you're asleep."

"Didn't you hear the storm? The north wind shook
the walls; the tower gate, like a lion's maw,
yawned on its creaking hinges." "How could you
forget? I had on that plain gray dress
that fastens on the shoulder." "At that moment,
myriad exploswns shook the sky." "How could I
come in? You weren't alone, affer all." "I glimpsed
colors older than sight itself" "Too bad
you can't promise me." "You're right, it must have been
a dream." "Why all these lies; why do you call me
by her name; do you still love her?" "Of course,
I want you to stay with me." "I can't
complain. I should have guessed myself."
"Do you still think about him?" "But I'm not crying."
"That's all there is?" "No one but you."
"At least you're honest." "Don't worry,
I'm leaving town." "Don't worry,
I'm going." "You have such beautiful hands."
"That's ancient historv; the blade went through,
but missed the bone." "Never mind, darling,
never mind." "I don't know
what time it is, and I don't care."



Translated by Stanisław Barańczak and Clare Cavanagh



The final thought: words are what makes us human, but it also can make us monsters. Let's use it wisely. After all even marmaids want to be human...

Have a lovely day,
Jessie