Monday, 14 December 2015

Rainy Day

A few years ago I was part of the team that created the Rainy Day animation. What started out as a stop motion project for the sheer hell of it, become something a little more detailed.

Recently the other person in the team sent me the chair and man from the animation and I become quiet nostalgic.


To see some more of the production photos head to Pixelmonkey

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Music and Memory

I watched Alive Inside: A story of music and memory today and my mind is BLOWN! I ended up rather emotional at the end of it as the concept of what was being discussed in the documentary resonated with me.

I had seen a very small part of the story a few weeks back when researching Dr Oliver Sacks. After Dr Sacks' death in August 2015 I decided to actually listen to one of many of his books, which lead me to listen to more of his books. Dr Sacks discusses why there is this response with elderly with dementia and listening to music that they would have listened to in their younger years.

The ever so talented Bobby McFerrin was interviewed as part of the story with a clip that astounded me. The clip was from a conference called Notes and Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus held at the World Science Festival held in 2009.

Before I was even finished watching Alive Inside I was looking for this stage discussion. Thankfully due to the internet and the desire for information to be shared and spread I found the whole discussion. Now this isn't a stage show, but it does open with Bobby demonstrating his amazing talent and then going into scientific discussion. The discussion might get a little boring for some but as I have a fascination with neurology it was quite fascinating for myself.

Highly recommend watching Alive Inside: a Story of Music and Memory and also watching the Notes and Neurons: In Search of a Common Chorus talk.

Monday, 7 December 2015


I have been sitting on my couch for 5 weeks as of Friday on doctors orders after injuring my right knee at a hot rod show of all places. The hardest part of all of this isn't the sore knee and not being able to get around to well on my own or you know go out during the days. The hardest part is this injury came at the end of 3 months medical leave for depression. A depression that got very dark and rather debilitating. In a way the injury almost felt like the universe telling me, "well if you want some thing to be sad about how about this". Which is exactly how I felt the first week of the injured knee.

Over the last 4 weeks though, with exception of one day when I slid back in to depression, I have worked hard on keeping my mind engaged and distracted as best as I could with arts & crafts, entertainment and also documentaries. I signed up for Netflix and also went through many TED talks and pretty much anything that I could get in to.

I came across Jane McGonigal's TED talks this week. Now there was a double wami with Jane's talks. Firstly she was talking about playing computer gaming as part of non medication alternative to treatment of depression and anxiety. Secondly she discussed SuperBetter, which oh my god I think if a great invention for depression management for mental health and well being ever.

So the first thing about the gaming is important for me. I love playing computer games, but I am picky at what types of games I play. However, I have a small issue with guilt gaming. See I was brought I to believe that you were wasting your time if you played games rather than learning or doing some thing constructive. Science has disprove this idea through studies. What is even better is the study Jane cites in her talk about gaming helping those who suffer from anxiety and depression.  The last visit with my psychologist my guilt gaming was brought up, a strategy for reprogramming my association with gaming has been developed and will be put in to action this coming week.

Now one to SuperBetter. I think this is ingenious. I found out there was an app for my smart phone for the "game" for getting better that Jane created while healing from a brain concussion. I have been using it and have found it helpful on days that I feel like I have achieved nothing. Most of the time on those days I have actually achieved something and I just haven't realized this yet. Head to your app store whether it is Android or Apple and check out SuperBetter.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Start of Sharing

Welcome reader.

For many years I have watched documentaries and researched various topics. In fact this has been since I was as young as around 10 years old. This was well before the internet was around, especially in South Africa. As you can imagine the method of research and quantity of information was very different from what I am able to achieve in today's technological advancements.

Also, I am dyslexic, which for many can make life a bit different when trying to learn in school environment. Although school was not easy for me, I was able to find independent topics outside of school and methods of learning the information I was finding. Most of the information for topics was acquisition from libraries in my younger years. Today the quantity of information comes from books, websites, videos, interviews, documentaries, blogs, etc. Which is wondrous for me. I am hungry for information and knowledge.

I get told a lot that I should go and study if I like learning so much. What people don't realize is, much of the information I discover through my research is not delivered in learning institutions like college and universities.

The purpose this blog, is to share what I discover through the various topics with other people. From time to time I meet people and through discussion I start explaining some thing of a topics that they thought that knew everything about, and they come to find that there is more to this topic.

As I mentioned I am dyslexic. In the simplest terms it means I don't read to well. I can read and write rather well, however I spell things very wrong or I use the wrong word some times in the wrong place when writing. When I am reading I do not decode that I am reading very well. Academic information has no visual context for me, I can not create a picture in my mind that I am able to when reading fiction. Just because I am dyslexic though does not stop me from wanting to find out how 'things' work. For much of the academic non-fiction information I use a reading program that reads the content out to me, which helps me acquire all the content rather that just bits and pieces that would otherwise happen if I sight read the information.  The BEST content I have found is engaging documentaries.

It is hard for me to explain what a good engaging documentary is as I usually have to watch a documentary. If after watching I do further research on the topic delivered, this means that I found it engaging.

I will be sharing various topics and I hope you find something of interest.