Flawless Recall: Memorizing Spanish Days Of The Week, For Students And Teachers by Alexander Van Berg
Flawless Recall: Memorizing Spanish Days Of The Week, For Students And Teachers has just been published, and this book is interesting. The paperback version is short, it’s $10, and it’s full color. It’s roughly 38 pages and mostly pictures, so you could almost call it a “picture book”, but it’s for all ages. In my opinion, it’s the sort of thing that’s perfect as a small gift for new students of Spanish – for Christmas or any other gift-giving occasion.
The book description probably has the best summary:
Flawless Recall: Memorizing Spanish Days Of The Week is a refreshing and highly effective take on a very old subject: English speakers memorizing the days of the week in Spanish.
Part educational and part mnemonic insight, part riddle and part whodunnit, part comical and part cautionary tale, part celestial and part sinister, and part quixotic and part horrifying, you will never look at Monday morning the same way again! Most importantly, once and for all, you will remember the days of the week in Spanish!
As a minor rest stop in theFlawless Recall series on the Spanish language, you will analyze the same simple story, forwards and back, several times over. Afterwards, your mind will thank you as it sinks its teeth into the extremely tractable content.
Memorization is involuntary once you read this short, easy, breezy, and unforgettableFlawless Recallbook! You are now one step closer to conversational Spanish!
Right now the book is working its way to the different marketplaces.
Flawless Recall Expansion Book: Memorize Irregular Conjugations Of QUERER, For Students And Teachers by Alexander Van Berg
Flawless Recall Expansion Book: Memorize Irregular Conjugations Of QUERER, For Students And Teachers has been published, and in a fitting tribute to the Spanish verb querer, the book will be available for FREE, or as close to FREE as each individual marketplace will allow!
A very motivated student could learn the foundational system in the original book, read this expansion book for free, and then start writing memorization content for any irregular verb that he’s interested in.
The book is currently working its way to the different marketplaces.
Spanish demonstrative pronouns (e.g. este, esta, esto, etc.) and demonstrative determiners have always been too easy to get confused and too asymmetrical for my mind. I drew up a pretty good chart that really helps with that, and I found that it’s surprisingly easy to take something as small as a couple of visual charts and offer it for sale.
Flawless Recall Expansion Book: Memorize Irregular Conjugations Of SER, For Students And Teachers by Alexander Van Berg
My third book is currently being published. My first follow-up book covered the Spanish verb estar, and this second follow-up book covers the Spanish verb ser. Both of these expansion books utilize and extend the foundational system in the original book.
Considering estar and ser are loosely related, conflated, and easily confused, I figured it made sense to publish distinctive works on this pair of frequently used verbs. And so in a way, these two expansion books are worth more than the sum of their parts.
In my opinion, this book has some of the best mnemonics and visualizations yet.
One of the strong selling points of this series of Flawless Recall books is it provides enough instruction so that you can eventually generate your own custom expansion content for any irregular verb that you like. And for the ambitious student or teacher, they could possibly take the entire system, and look at adapting it to a completely different language.
The book is currently working its way to the different marketplaces.
The Claim (2000), Extremely Underrated And Much More
I was very impressed the first time I saw The Claim, which wasn’t that long ago. I had never heard of this film, and at 6.3 on IMDb, this has to be one of the most underrated films on the site, after filtering out more minor works. I’d have to rate it at least 9.0 out of 10, and I don’t say that lightly.
The Claim is various complex stories wrapped up in a very simple story. The simple story being an old, cruel America finally being replaced by a more effective and newer, old, cruel America. (And of course, all of these iterations of America would finally get us to the relatively advanced America we live in today.)
Although American politicians and the United States military demarcated America’s boundaries, all of that land would only become America through the confluence of various inviolable determinations, and this is captured brilliantly in The Claim.
There were always two manifest destinies, or at least two facets to the ill-defined term. The simple story in The Claim is a haunting story. The original victors of the geographical manifest destiny are rendered extinct by ushers of the chronological manifest destiny.
I’m not sure why, but this film has not received the attention that it deserves. I believe it should be inducted into the US National Film Registry as important and compelling Americana. And all of this is made just slightly more strange by the fact that it was a co-production between Canada and Britain.
I purchased the DVD and I watched it for a second time with Spanish audio. It transferred very well with Spanish audio, although some of the Spanish translations do not do justice to the original English lines. The film definitely holds up over time, and my guess is that it delivers in any language.
Given that irregular Spanish verbs tend to be even more jagged and chaotic than regular Spanish verbs, a good memorization system really makes sense.
The common teaching style in schools tends to revolve around rote memorization, and the analogy here would be traveling in Japan from Tokyo to Kyoto. Rote memorization is like crawling there with a heavy ball and chain shackled to your ankle, while a good mnemonic system is like taking the bullet train. Yes, the bullet train still takes time to get there, but it gets there alot faster than crawling, and more importantly, it’s also reliable.
I’ve had to literally run for my life twice in 6 years from killer bees. They’re just a fact of life in this part of the country, and no one anywhere is immune from the threat.
I got away without even minor illness, so I guess my luck with killer bees hasn’t run out yet, but I will say this – the previous time was easier to digest mentally, because they were at least living in a common type of bee shelter that I had disturbed without thinking.
But the race I had recently is harder to forget. I was walking along a clear path, disturbing nothing, and a lawnmower was mowing grass maybe 40 yards away. Without any warning, and out of nowhere, I realized several extremely angry bees were up at my head trying to sting me, and probably stinging me already. I started my sprint out of there without actually having seen a single bee. (In fact, I ended up never seeing any of the bees – only hearing and feeling them, and finding some stingers that were left behind.)
I got a really good jump on the rest of the hive, wherever they were; I was sprinting away in probably less than a second. What’s actually scary though is later I found small bee stings (with no or very little injected venom) on my torso – meaning additional bees were still hounding me even as I had created some very good separation in such a short period of time!
I supposed your mileage might vary, but I ended up taking the longer path to my house, because the shorter path had some obstructions, and I didn’t want to risk tripping and falling. The longer path also afforded me the luxury of thinking less.
In the end, there’s really only one good explanation for what happened. The bees had probably become angry due to the lawnmower noise, and then they happened to find me by accident. I’m going to have to find the hive later (using a bee suit), but the truth is I have no idea where the bees came from (and if they’re even living on my property), and considering I was doing nothing where I’d expect a bee attack, this was pretty memorable.
In a surprise killer bee attack, humans basically have no advantage, but I’m a believer that getting a good jump is important, and a difference of a few seconds can mean quite a lot. I’ve figured that if you create enough separation fast enough, it can buy you a tangible amount of extra time to get inside (or in water), and reduce the number of stings, and can also magnify the consequences of any errors that the bees are making.
One thing I would recommend to everyone is that if you have a bunch of keys on your keychain, you should probably mark the key or keys that get you inside your house. I have a strip of green duct tape around the base of the key that opens my home’s outer door. It didn’t save my life this time, but in a scenario where I’m not as lucky, it could certainly make a big difference.
In a panic situation, all your fine motor skills will go away, and so you’re probably going to fumble around with your keys trying to find the right one.
The other thing that helped me in this case was the clothing I was wearing. There are no guarantees, but when bees sting through your clothing, they usually don’t inject as much venom. So that’s another thing to keep in mind.
And afterwards, I would run all the clothing through the washing machine immediately, take a shower, and not go back outside for a good period of time. You want to get the bees’ alarm pheromone off of you and off of your clothes, and also let the alarm pheromone that was released into the air dissipate.
Flawless Recall: Universal Memorization Method For Conjugating Regular Spanish Verbs, For Students And Teachers by Alexander Van Berg
Well, I finally broke down and wrote a book. These days the process is seductively simple. You can write any book you want, in a Word document if you want, and then publish it pretty much everywhere through a service like Draft2Digital, for free.
An eBook and a print book are making their way to all the marketplaces right now. Amazon takes a little bit longer due to their gating procedures, but right now the book is actually available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B9Q9S6GS, minor eBook outlets, and also intermittently at Barnes & Noble:
This book provides a reliable way to finally memorize regular Spanish verb conjugations across 18 tenses. (In this book, the subjunctive and imperative “moods” are called tenses just for simplicity).
I would highly, highly recommend this book to anyone who’s wanted to accomplish that goal, but has struggled to do so. If that sounds like you, keep an eye out for this book at your favorite marketplace!
Before I designed this system, I had spotty recall on maybe just a few tenses. I’m now able to write out the entire 18-tense conjugation chart purely from memory, and I also have a better understanding of what the tenses actually are. (If you’re counting, that chart has upwards of 200 or more facts, and those facts are not conveniently packaged.)
Academically speaking, this represents a canonical and accessible implementation of a relatively difficult goal: State-of-the-art mnemonics properly fitted to language learning. I would characterize this book as a seminal publication.
The print book will soon be available (through standard vendors) for physical bookstores, libraries, schools, and universities to order, so if your local book centers would benefit from this type of book, be sure to suggest it to them.
1. The Safdie Brothers are quietly rejuvenating, re-imagining, and I would even say completely re-inventing the thriller genre, which is no small feat. At the current pace, that will most likely be how their recent films are described in future.
2. Mosul (2019; the one directed by Matthew Carnahan) is definitely underrated at its current 7.1 rating on IMDb. It looks at one part of the Iraq War, and also one that doesn’t directly involve Americans, and for that alone it’s already a different type of film.
3. I recently found out a prequel to Predator (1987) will be released this year, and it’s titled Prey. The plot involves the Predator hunting a Comanche tribe roughly 300 years ago.
I’m a fan of the original film, but I don’t think I’ve been excited for another iteration of this franchise in quite a while! I think the producers picked a great idea to run with, and I hope they pull it off.
I’m very interested to see where they go with this.
Just my two cents on what I would do with it, or what I’d like to see them put together, I would have the Comanche tribe slowly lose a war of attrition to the Predator, and when the tribe has completely lost hope, the elder chief (who’s perhaps on his death bed) pulls out on old relic that had been passed down to him (and that he had until now not understood), and the old relic is actually the severed hand of an even older Predator with the tactical nuclear device still attached. This leads to an abrupt but memorable ending where, somehow, the female warrior divines what it’s for, rides off into a suicide mission against the Predator somewhere perhaps in an open field (with the tactical nuclear weapon counting down in the alien script), and, with a final display of bravado, takes out the Predator, saving the remainder of the tribe.
Then, another prequel is released where we find out how that Predator hand came to be severed. The sequel would be much further back in time – perhaps as far back as the “cave man times”. I really like this idea because we tend to figure the cave men were idiots, but it would be interesting to see how a group of cave men might be especially wily and somehow overcome a single Predator.
That’s how I would run with the franchise.
But no matter what, the female protagonist in Prey absolutely needs to bring back the line, “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” I’m going to be very disappointed if they didn’t think to do that.
I actually liked the last iteration of the franchise – Predators (2010). I’ll give my take on it also, which involves a few spoilers.
I would have shaved maybe 20 seconds off the end of the film. The entire film was pretty bleak, and I don’t see why they can’t just be stranded on the alien planet at that point – without any hope of further human contact.
But what I would have really liked to do is completely change the surprise mole character.
I would have liked to see a twist on the “don’t judge a book by its cover” proverb. I would have liked the group to identify the Japanese warrior as a Yakuza member by the volume and nature of his tattoos, but I think it would have been a great twist if they didn’t look closely enough. In my opinion, the Yakuza member should have had one additional tattoo unrelated to organized crime – one for Aum Shinrikyo, the infamous Japanese death/doomsday cult mostly remembered for their sarin gas terrorist attacks in Japan.
So the idea is that his organized crime involvement, while congruent with his radical views, is maybe just like a day job for him, and what makes him the most notable is his involvement in that infamous cult.
The idea would be that the Predator clan handpicked him to be the mole in the human group due to his obsession with doomsday and human death, and so, ultimately, he’s essentially working with the Predators against the humans – most likely eagerly so, as he possibly perceives this whole thing as a sort of grand religious consummation.
Perhaps after this is finally revealed, we also see something like a telepathic link between the Predators and the death cult member, which would be a memorable first in the franchise.
Most of all, maybe the Yakuza member was handpicked by the Predator clan as a particularly twisted or poetic element in their competition – an element that would also be a rare demonstration of the Predators’ higher sentience and intelligence. The idea would be that this was a distinct challenge for the other humans – would any of these clever criminals, intelligence agents, and elite soldiers be astute enough to see past the “noise” of the Yakuza tattoos?
1.)In the technology world, the strength of security is often quoted quantitatively in terms of combinatorial complexity (e.g. an 8-character password with all normal keys available has a combinatorial complexity of 94^8), and qualitatively as if there is only one attack vector and the context for that attack vector is full access over the technology in question, with no significant time constraints, by a malicious actor.
That attack vector is more or less equivalent to scientists in a laboratory trying to attack some piece of technology you have.
That’s pretty much the worst case scenario, and so it makes sense to judge security by this standard prominently. But the world isn’t perfect – not even for malicious actors. There are many other attack scenarios that don’t resemble this full-control-with-no-time-constraints setup.
What seems to be missing in security analysis are metrics that are relevant to many other imperfect attack vectors that are liable to exist.
One metric, for example, might be coined time-pressure-complexity, and it would measure how long it would take an intruder to attack some piece of technology if the intruder also wanted to not remove the technology from its current setting.
And imagining a similar setup, another metric might be how much dexterity-complexity an intruder would face when attacking a piece of technology. This metric is not specific to passwords, but just as a simple example, let’s say one created a very long password that was easy for the owner to remember and type, but that would just naturally take longer for an intruder to enter. We can take that further and imagine the password not utilizing common typing patterns (e.g. languages) the intruder is used to. Even if the intruder knew the password letter for letter, he might fail to enter it correctly when under time pressure, which could lead to panic and a further degradation in that entire attack vector.
In a panic situation you tend to lose your fine motor skills, and a high dexterity-complexity would attempt to attack that weakness.
Although these are secondary metrics to consider, they’re still extremely relevant to the real world, and so it would make sense to have a proper accounting of them in many types of security analysis.
2.) Security analysis for multi-factor authentication often describes three separate notions: something you know, something you have, and something you are.
But I believe there’s actually slightly more to this security space than what the current model is describing.
I believe there’s another distinct notion: something you inherently own
Perhaps it would be a subset of something you have.
The difference is that if a malicious actor takes your metal key (something you have), it is now something that the malicious actorhas.
But, for example, if a malicious actor steals a phone with a SIM card tied to your phone number (perhaps utilized for 2FA), you will, generally speaking, have the ability to get that SIM card invalidated by the carrier and have your phone number re-associated with a new SIM card.
To a significant degree, you inherently own that phone number – it’s not just something you happen to have.
Although that was an overly simple example, it demonstrates an additional security notion and a meaningful difference between it and its closest relative.
3.) Major mainstream technology providers (e.g. email providers) offer a sizable amount of security options, ranging from rustic passwords to biometric technology. But I believe the not-so-state-of-the-art communication space therein is serious cause for concern.
Currently, the consumer/user is not provided clear guidance on what’s going on with their security options.
There are generally three different times an email provider will bring those extra security options (e.g. phone text message, biometric) into play:
account recovery (can’t log in to your account)
trying to change security settings for the account
The technology providers allow the user to define their additional security options, but they do not provide any guidance at all regarding what will happen in each of those three different scenarios, and if I’m not mistaken, there are differences.
What will specifically happen in each scenario should be communicated clearly to the user, but currently the system is unclear, ambiguous, confusing, and opaque; you set up your security options and then find out later exactly how they’re employed in each individual scenario.
In my opinion, three visual diagrams should be shown to the user – side-by-side if possible – depicting what will occur.
Knowing how those options are actually employed in those three different scenarios can definitely affect the user’s decision making, and it’s just generally a good practice. But unfortunately the providers are not living up to their affirmed security and corporate responsibility principles when it comes to this.
As a final quiz, imagine a user who has set up a mainstream email account (of your choosing) with a password and a garden-variety authenticator app. The user forgets the password, and also, his phone is completely destroyed. (In this example, it sure is especially clear the authenticator app is something he had, not something he inherently owned.) How do those three security scenarios play out? Don’t know, do you? But shouldn’t you? Additionally, if a phone number was also required to set up the account, perhaps to save the user in this situation, would that or would that not contradict the theory that authenticator apps are superior to text messages for account security? Whatever your answer is, it should serve to further articulate the distinction between something you have and something you inherently own.