Friday, April 17, 2015

What can you do for your brain?


Very few of us have been taught how to keep our brains healthy. 
We know too many sweets are bad for our weight. It's easy to remember too little sleep will affect our mood. Every child knows that a Band-Aid is the answer for a scrape or cut. But what about our brains? What are we supposed to do when our minds won't stop spinning? What do we do when we feel stressed all the time? 
Each of these nine behaviors will not only make your brain healthier, they are free and everyone can learn how to practice them.
Which one do you like best and why? Which one is more appealing to you?

1. Talk to strangers

2. Go away

3. Reframe everything negative

4. Reappraise everything painful

5. Meditate in a way you look forward to

6. Transfer blame

7. Find the mindfulness that works for you

8. Leave the crazy people

9. Forgive everyone

The Kite Runner

1. Fact File

Title:              The Kite Runner
Year:               2007
Duration:       122 minutes
Director:        Marc Foster
Script:            David Benioff
Soundtrack:   Alberto Iglesias
Photography: Roberto Schaefer
Novel:             Khaled Hosseini
Stars:              Khalid Abdalla. Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada, Zekeria Ebrahimi, Saïd Taghmaoui, Atossa leoni, Homayon Ershadi.

2. Synopsis

Translate from Catalan into English
Història de dos pares i dos fills, de la seva amistat i de com aquesta relació es pot veure afectada pel destí. Amir és el fill de Baba, qui mai està satisfet amb ell. Amir intent tota l’estona demostrar al seu pare que ja és un home.  Hassan és el fill del servent d’Amir, i tot i que és de classe inferior, és el seu millor amic de la infantesa. Amir es proposa guanyar la carrera anual d’estels perquè el seu pare es senti orgullós d’ell… I aquí comença la història.

3. Do you know that…

1. Due to Afghan mores concerning male rape, Paramount Vantage agreed to relocate the young actors out of the country to the United Arab Emirates and arrange visas, housing and schooling for the young actors and jobs for their guardians. Paramount Vantage accepts responsibility for the living expenses until they reach adulthood, a cost some estimated at up to $500,000.

2. Author Khalad Hosseini describes the filming (in Kashgar, China) of the Kabul kite tournament scenes: "There weren't actually any kites in the sky. We were just kind of looking up at these strings going up to these cables and hanging from the other side there were water bottles to give the string a sense of tension." To which director  Mark Foster adds "Yes, because we had no wind." CG kites were added in post-production.

3. Screenwriter David Benioff mentions on the DVD commentary that what Uncle Saifo the kite seller says in Dari is completely different from what is shown in the English subtitles. Director Mark Foster adds that the improvisation technique was common among the Afghan actors, many of whom weren't really actors.

4. In the book the servant boy, Hassan, was a harelip (cleft upper lip), but that was left out of the film because it would have required two hours of makeup every day, it would have been difficult for the boy to act in the makeup, Director Mark Foster didn't want to put the boy through it, and it wasn't essential to the script.

5. Director Mark Foster mentions in the DVD commentary that his passion to make the film as authentic as possible was responsible for his insistence on filming Afghanistani characters speaking in Dari (with English subtitles). Author  Khaled Hosseini says "Iran and Afghanistan share a language - they call it Farsi in Iran and we call it Dari in Afghanistan - it's essentially the same language, but the accent is very different." He mentions that the speaker at the soccer game is speaking in Pashdu, the other main language of Afghanistan.

6. The scenes ostensibly taking place in Afghanistan were mainly shot in the cities of Kashgar and Tashkurgan in the Xinjiang region of China (officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region). The DVD commentary mentions that scenes shot in Kashgar include the kite tournament, the mosque where Amir prays, and Rahim Khan's apartment in Peshawar, Pakistan. Scenes shot in Tashkurgan include the opening scenes of a kite duel and the boys running the kite, the Pomegranate tree, and the Taliban compound where Amir meets Sohrab. Scenes shot in or outside of Beijing include the wedding and the soccer match. The San Francisco bar scene was also shot in China.

7. Author Khaled Hosseini mentions in the commentary that the name on the door "Dr. Amani" is his homage to his medical school roommate. He mentions in the documentary "Words from the Kite Runner" also on the DVD that he, himself, was a practicing physician for eight and a half years before choosing to concentrate on writing after 'The Kite Runner' book became successful.

8. Assef's character is white with blond hair in the book, but he is brown with black hair in the movie.

9. Release prints were delivered to theaters with the fake title 'Playground Bully'.

10. 80 millions  books were sold.

11. The film sound track was composed by Alberto Iglesias, a Spanish  composer and he was the first to be nominated for  the Academy Award

4. Answer these questions:

1.    How does the real Assaf look like?
2.    Where is the mosque where Amir prays?
3.    Which language do Iran end Afghanistan share?
4.    Who was a harelip in the book, but he wasn’t in the film? Why?
5.    Where were the two young actors relocated and why?
6.    Why were water bottles used in the kite tournament scene?
7.    Who composed the sound track?
8.    Look for a map of Afghanistan. Find out which is its capital and which are the bordering countries?
9.    In the film you can see that at the end of the 70s the Russian army was in the country, why?

10. How many books did they sell in the last 8 years?
11. Who are the Taliban?
12. What is the Sharia?
13. What is the political situation of Afghanistan at present?
14. Write a short description of Amir Jan and Hassan.
15. Find out the meaning of these words: Mulas, Pashtunes, Hazara, Kebab,
Saur Revolution.
     16. Was there a theatre version of the novel?

5. Personal opinion:

1.    Which character do you like best and why?
2.    What do you think of the relationship of Amir and his father?
3.    The kites in the film have an important meaning. What do you think it is?
4.    Which is your opinion on how women and children are treated in the Afghanistan society?

10th December 1948 -  Paris

Here below you can read some of the Human Rights articles. Can you remember any scenes in the film in which these rights are not respected. 

Article 1.
            All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 3.
            Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 4.
            No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 13.
            (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
            (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Article 18.
            Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religión.
Article 19.
            Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Article 26.

             Everyone has the right to education.

Alice in the Wonderland

Check out these thirty interesting facts you should know about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; one of the world’s most influential novels.
The novel was written by Lewis Carroll. This was a pseudo name; his      real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
Carroll had many jobs including; novelist, mathematician, clergyman, photographer and artist.
It was first published on 26th November in 1865.
It was published by Macmillan Publishers.
It has been classed as one of the world’s most influential novels.
The novel is full of nonsensical rhymes.
There are twelve chapters in the novel.
A sequel, Through the Looking-Glass was an equal success.
Carroll’s other successful works include The Hunting of the Snark and Jabberwocky.
The novel features many characters. The most recognised are: Alice, the White Rabbit, the Dormouse, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Caterpillar, the Chesire Cat, the March Hare, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts.
Dinah (Alice’s cat) has become a popular literary cat.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat and How Doth the Little Crocodile  are mimicked in the novel.
The Walrus and the Carpenter has also become a successful and well-known poem.
The idea for the novel came when Carroll went rowing up the Isis with three young girls; Lorina, Edith and Alice.
Plot development occurred on further boating trips in Oxford.
Many critics claim that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was based on realistic people and locations.
The title for the original novel was Alice’s Adventures Under Ground.
The original novel was illustrated by Carroll.
Alice, the heroine, is not a blonde as illustrated. The original Alice was a brunette.
When the novel was released, it gained little attention.
Queen Victoria was a known fan.
The novels were banned in China in 1931, on the grounds that ‘animals should not use human language’.
There have been many adaptations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, including two Disney films; one fully animated, and the other by Tim Burton
Kathryn Beaumont voices Alice in the Disney animated film. She also voices Wendy Darling in Peter Pan.
It has been depicted on the stage for adults and children alike.
Many comic adaptations have been created, such as Alice in Sunderland by Bryan Talbot.
American McGee’s Alice and Alice: Madness Returns have been successful third person games.
Horror filmmakers have used the idea of Alice for films, such as 2010’s Alice in Murderland.
Alice-in-Wonderland syndrome, which is also known as Todd’s syndrome, is a disorientating neurological condition. It is associated with brain tumours, drugs and migraines.
There have been many drug references within Alice, such as an ‘Eat Me’ cakes which makes you grow, a ‘Drink Me’ bottle which makes you shrink, and a multi-sided mushroom to make you grow and shrink.

Make 10 questions for your classmate to answer.

This is a game you can play in your computer:

1.     Though today Disney’s AIW is a cult-classic, when it was released in 1951, it was considered a complete failure. It wasn’t until the 1960s that AIW became more widely appreciated and treasured.
2.     Disney’s version of AIW is a combination of two books written by Lewis Carroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. For example, the Queen of Hearts in the Disney film was inspired by characters from both books – the Queen of Hearts (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) and the Red Queen (Through the Looking Glass). However, the two characters are quite different.
3.     Though AIW was said to be written by Lewis Carroll, that is actually a fictitious name. The author’s real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and one may consider him a “Renaissance Man.” He was not only a successful author, but also a mathematician, photographer, and philosopher.
4.     For those who have read the original Alice books, you may recall the illustrations throughout the story. However, Disney opted against using those illustrations and instead hired Mary Blair as the concept artist. Mary Blair was a very successful artist famous for her work in both WDW films and parks. Her art can also be seen in the moviesPeter Pan and Cinderella, and the ride “It’s a Small World”. (PS: I love Mary Blair! I have several booksfeaturing her drawings.)
5.     The only character that was not from the books, but was included in the movie, was the Doorknob.
6.     The voice of Alice in Disney’s version was played by Kathryn Beaumont. She also played the role of Wendy in Disney’s Peter Pan. More recently, her voice was used again in the video game Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
7.     As with many Disney films, AIW features several hidden mickeys. Be sure to look out for one in the smoke from the Dodo bird’s pipe and another in the tea party scene.
8.     Speaking of the Dodo bird, many believe that this character was actually inspired by the author of AIW. Apparently, Charles frequently stuttered and had difficulty pronouncing his last name. Instead of saying it in its entirety, he would simply call himself “The Dodo.”
9.     A famous character from AIW is the White Rabbit, who always carries a clock and claims he is “late.” Each time his clock is seen, the time is set at 12:25.

10.  All of Disney’s parks include AIW inspired attractions. The most famous is the Mad Tea Party ride, which is featured at every Disney park. In California, Disneyland has ride simply called AIW and it depicts the scene of Alice following the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. At Disneyland Paris there is Alice’s Curious Labrynth, and in Tokyo there is a Queen of Hearts themed restaurant. Alice and the rest of the gang are frequent additions to many of the parades and character meet-and-greets.