The Winners & Runners up of The Game Awards 2017 (Spoilers: Breath of the Wild Won “Game of the Year”)

Miketendo64! By Gamers, For Gamers

In case you missed it, or just live in a rock, last night was The Game Awards 2017 and among a few reveals of new games and more, there were also a lot of awards given out, so here is a list of every game that won, which games they beat and in which category:

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Yarok Feed Your Ends Conditioner Review

Conscious Living: Mind, Body, and Heart

Although I hope to someday be at the point where all I’ll need is a shampoo bar and apple cider vinegar rinse to be happy with my hair, for now I still feel like it needs a conditioner or some variety. I’ve been using the John Master’s Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler (review) for the last little while, but I was hoping to find something that wouldn’t be quite as expensive. It works wonders, don’t get me wrong, but at $22 CAD for an 8oz bottle, the price is a little steep. Especially when you have to spend more than $60 to get free shipping! But I digress…

While perusing my favourite natural beauty products website, EcoDivaBeauty, I came across a product by Yarok called Feed Your Ends. It’s a leave-in conditioner and heat protectant that is 100% natural and certified vegan. Can’t get much better than…

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Why Britain Made a Change to Vertical Handwriting

Dilemmas of an Expat Tutor

Examining older samples of British writing (1800s, and much of the pre-WWII writing), the British handwriting of that time was slanted to the right (as were cursive scripts in most European countries).  Now, most British writing is vertical.  How and when did this change come about?

Reading this 1925 letter written by A. N. Palmer, developer of the Palmer Method of handwriting, the actual preferred slant used to be a very precise 52°.  Mention of the precise 52° angle is also made in this 1893 article (see p. 87 at this link)  which argues for an introduction of vertical, unslanted writing.  Today, an ideal slant is considered to be between 60° and 75°.

In Britain, in the early 1890’s, Professor John Jackson introduced vertical writing, which he felt had superior legibility, and was easier for students to learn.  Examiners began to require it in all branches of…

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Statistics: re-perceived and re-comprehended.

Hello all,

Statistics are difficult to comprehend, to trust, to contextualise sometimes. In fact, accurately, some feel that they are almost counter-intuitive  disillusioned: they are based on data-sets that are then twisted for agendas because we are human.

The link (in ‘statistics’ above) is to a TED TALK video helping ‘fix’ the unreliability, uncertainty and incomprehension of them and their sources, which is brilliant.


ALSO there is another TED TALK on statistics which is somewhat funny; another helper for the perspective! 🙂 The preconceived ideas the lecturer is speaking of (when speaking about students) are called schemas’ in psychology (a package of ideas and images linked with one word/label/idea – e.g. pirates. You probably have a set of ideas and images about what pirates should or could look like, their ship, the outside and inside, that they have a ship, their character, clothes, language, ethnicity even gender – a set of preconceived ideas associated with one word. We do this with everything, which can be helpful and helps us semantically encode information, long term and perceive the world. But, the downside potentially, is that these perspectives can be wrong or out-dated. This can lead to or be, bias).

Really, really, brief update/notice

Hi all/Journal,


SO. It has been quite a long while. The longest I’ve gone since starting this blog properly, not posting. Well, there are lots of things I want to post. Now, I just need to get typing and work out a schedule/rough idea of what I want to write, when.

A lot has happened.

I think that is a big big understatement. Politically; worldwide (World War…One and Two, anyone remember them?), economically (can anyone say ‘Brexit’?), socially – on a personal level, things have gotten crazy in a different way, I am beginning to conceptualise that being busy is always going to be busy and I know it’s about ‘making time’, I know that. I do. What happened to me was…busy on an internal scale, you know? So that has been…It’s been hard. I’m still working through it – but it’s like trying to catch fog with my bare hands (almost a quote to Harry Potter).

Dear US

Dear US,

-And whomever else is concerned,

With What Now?

Don’t panic. Don’t be scared. Trump’s in – and that may not be okay. No, it’s not. You’re right. But you know what? All you have got to do is… weather this storm. Hold out, set up camp, keep calm and carry on; keep a weather-eye (ergo keep watch, pay attention) but keep going and living. He’ll be out in five years- just don’t re-elect him.

Or any of his buddies, colleges, friends, sympathisers. That’s all you’ve got to do, on a ‘big scale’.

Five years, will feel maybe like a long, long time- depending on how harsh and ‘active’ he will be, depending on how many prejudiced policies he makes and manages to get through/is helped by e.g the Senate- but the point is, it’s really, really not. Long term. Heck, lifetime- wise, it’s not. By prejudiced policies, of course, I mean exactly that: the stuff aimed at minorities, the hate-crime/hate-group type of attitude that’s intolerant,  like it’s a parent trying to make the misbehaving child be disciplined…which it’s not, because it’s not a parent it’s more of a… fed-up random other-person commuter trying to vent at and/or on you, another person they don’t know and don’t want to understand because well they don’t feel like it. 

But another point is this: he’s one man. with a campaign, backers, and some parts of a team and money. But that’s all. What you’ve got to remember is he’s still the establishment, he’s still the authority – and you are the people; don’t let him split you apart from e.g. a friend or neighbour, instantly, because one voted him and another didn’t. Maybe they regret it. Maybe they don’t. Maybe they did it because, well, they were angry and didn’t want Clinton/the establishment. WELL, well done. It’s done now, it’s over- my point here is, two-fold: ceasing to communicate with either faction will stop people who could move over from their side to yours from doing so because you’ve closed all the doors on them and locked them. On the other hand, some people may be ignorant racists. But you’ll never find out if you don’t let them speak- and listen- and then talk back and tell them e.g. how it was rash and more harmful to let a maniac egoist patriarchal misogynistic borderline-psychopathic racist elitist have the country because they didn’t like Clinton who lies (don’t most politicians- one way or another?).

Maybe get their media influence awareness up/their critical thinking skill set up, or empathy and mindfulness ones (too) to combat the (arguably) inherent negativity predisposition people have, which may be why so much anger/hate stirring worked ultimately for why some people voted Trump(1) – But this sentence is not the point. As I’m sure you’ll know.

As I’m sure you’ll know.

My second point, if you’re still wondering,  that is, is – actually after this one as I added this post thought: don’t give up. By no means am I saying begin crazy/scary anti-Trump rioting which will give way to looting violence and ultimately death and maybe civil war with people vs police enforcement and mass-migration . Not yet. If it gets really bad action may be the last resort. But I mean that you should, all of you, keep your eyes open, sit up and pay attention, because it’s not over yet, my dears. I am sorry to say. It’s also -to add to this- very important for you all to remember. If there is absolutely nothing else you will do, remember. Remember how you felt post-vote-results, the feelings of fear, disbelief, shock, being scared, your concerns; remember their context -and that they were with context, they mattered and were situationally accurate or aware- and that Trump made his campaign promises, not as ‘figures of speech’ but as real, true, word-for-word promises. They were/are/remain his thoughts, feelings and stances on various issues.

Why am I asking such a hard thing of you? How dare I; perhaps. But it’s of great import, so I must, at least, try and ask.

Because in the following months, perhaps years, Trump will be President. Now, there’s no denying that yes? So there’s no denying his power that comes with the role – and people of America who work for the papers and the online news blogs, other media shows and advertisements, for the posters and billboards, will perhaps, for one reason or another, attempt to encourage a pro-trump/’we have it so we should make him work’ (2)/ ‘it’s not as bad as you think’…general feel and the common feelings may well move from extreme anti-trump towards tolerance. Which would be the same as those original voters of the opposition that you so sincerely swear against! Or worse, because whilst some of them believe in these things, to some of you, it may no longer be a Big Deal. And that matters.


Be aware of what concessions -mental, internal and vocally- you make, dears. Please. It’s propoganda in the ‘nicest’ format: they may just want everyone to get along/not be afraid. See? The shift would not necessarily be so great if you aren’t aware of yourself moving down it. So, pay attention.

Finally – the notorious second point. Look out for each other: neighbours, classmates, friends-of-friends, family members (especially the weird ones or the odd=ones, now), the people who you ‘don’t really know’ but who seem nice if only you would talk to them…the grocer down the street or the guy who owns that fast-food restaurant that you all like to hang out in  afterschool. Help them, be friendly, kind- even a small kindness helps someone whose world just got a lot harder (see ‘white privilege tests on internet’ and your results if it helps not all caucasian people score highly; other’s do too, and I think it should just be…to ‘check your privilege’) Most of all, pay attention to those who waver- towards intolerance, hard-arse attitudes, who attempt to be ‘strict’ or overly professional; prejudice is a slippery slope to fall down as a lot of negative, vicious cycles wont to do…are. Give them a nudge. Make sure they’re aware how many people will potentially exclude from their lives for reasons that just don’t add up/aren’t worth it.

Don’t be scared, I hope you feel calmer now.

This letter is to all of you, in an attempt to if not be positive, then to encourage it- be positive assertive, be kind, be careful and aware – be safe and be good.

It matters.

With Love from a friend,


A UK citizen.


Sources that- I- bothered-referencing/citing/whichever:

(1)  Suggestion that some voted ‘anti-establishment’ – which was Trump: Trump v Sanders, Telegraph

(2) We should make him work out our way – or in other words- “What we owe our country is to be receptive & to try to help him be the best president he can be”- National Review, Andrew McCarthy

And someone said to that: You can’t help someone who doesn’t want it. Who is not listening; is inflexible, strong-stanced, prejudiced and proud.

Fabulous Find – Free NaNoWriMo Workbook Downloads for Elementary, Middle, and High School!

I changed computer and forgot what this workbook was called; could not find it anywhere! thankfully Good Intentions posted about it :D!

Good Intentions, Bad Follow-Through

I’ve been eating, sleeping, and breathing NaNoWriMo right now. Okay, not really, but I am doing a bunch to prepare my novel for July. I have a solid outline–possibly the sturdiest I’ve ever had going into a writing project. I have a timeline going, which is a first for me.  I have also read and watched tons and tons of articles and videos on NaNo, writing techniques, writing snacks, and…well, you get the point.

NaNoWriMo’s Young Writer’s Workbooks. Free Download!

In my various travels through NaNoWorld, I found these free writing workbook downloads at the Young Writer’s Program website. I browsed through them, and they are pretty awesome. The homeschool mom part of me, though enjoying summer vacation, was thrilled!

There’s three different levels: elementary, middle school, and high school.  Each one has the same basic information, but it’s tailored a little differently for each grade. The elementary workbook is…

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Nervous for later today…

Or: Tips on Donating Blood.


Later today (it is currently 2:07 AM), I am donating blood for the first time. It has been on my bucket LEAF list and I have wanted to do it. I’ve never done so before, obviously, and I find myself nervous. So, I got online and looked up some tips and research. Another fancy thing is you can find out your blood type too!

Eligibility etc:

Who can give blood? Here is a list of factors.

If you are anemic can you give blood? Here’s your answer (according to NHS Choices) and on this link explains a bit more about the process, helpfully; but also be aware increasingly centres are turning away anemic’s or people who would become so from donating (source: Google – automated answers).

If you have decided it is safe for you to donate(If you have decided it is safe for you to donate(both ways; for yourself and the patient/s):

Before Donating: 

  • Drink an extra 16oz of water or non-alcoholic fluids before the donation
  • Try and get a good nights sleep
  • Longer term: try to make sure (if you’re not already) to eat iron rich foods – red veggies like beetroot, red cabbage, cranberry juice, pomegranates, red meats, fish, chicken, beans, leafy greens like spinach and iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
  • Eat a good meal before your donation

During Your Donation

  • Be practical – wear clothing that allows access to your elbows.
  • Communicate- let them know if you have a preferred arm.

Personally, I do not like having blood taken from my arm; so I will ask if they could do so from my hands. Will get back to you on that. 

  • Be prepared
  • …to Relax- If this means bring headphones and music, a book, your phone, talking to other donors, feel free.
  • Recieve- There should be a refreshments area, so enjoy a snack and drink immediately after- will help you.
  • And just prepared: (I’m not sure where this only applies; will amend later if it’s not applicable to the UK) bring your donor card, driver’s licence, and two other forms of ID.


[Copied from RedCrossBlood dot org]

  • “Drink an extra four (8 ounce) glasses of liquids and avoid alcohol over the next 24 hours.
  • Remove the wrap bandage (if you had one put on your arm) within the next hour.
  • Keep the strip bandage on for the next several hours.
  • To avoid a skin rash, clean the area around the strip bandage with soap and water.
  • Do not do any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for the rest of the day.
  • If the needle site starts to bleed, apply pressure to it and raise your arm straight up for about 5-10 minutes or until bleeding stops.
  • If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness after donation, stop what you are doing and sit down or lie down until you feel better. Avoid performing any activity where fainting may lead to injury for at least 24 hours.”

There is a cool video (at least for the UK- sorry, not assuming it’s the same process/procedure anywhere else) on the Journey of the donation.


NHS Blood and Transplant

American Red Cross


Things We Should Talk About

Or: Postmodern Society Issues

This post has been a long time coming. Let me begin with that. 

As a person attempting to gain a wider perspective, I obviously began with my own, new experiences, relevant to my question, and then thought on experiences exposed in snippets of conversation from family and friends, and then searched the internet with more questions.

Still interested?

All right, then. My question – began with thoughts on whether or not it was a clever idea to collectively not teach or perhaps better worded: decide, to collectively not teach, people about religion. As in the ‘main five’ religions/faiths. Now, don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with not being of a religion. In fact I should say the main ‘seven’ faiths(atheism and agnosticism included); because my learnt definition of a religion is that which affects a person’s morals, belief-system/main belief, what they think about the world and their place in it. That is their faith; their religion; their body(School?)-of-thought. In fact, being honest- I am Hindu, but I am also a believer of Science, of rationality, of psychology (not Scientology though)…

Back on-point: was it smart? Why would a society choose to do this? What was gained? What was lost? To me, as a person, I felt that this was dangerous and disagreed for a number of reasons. To deny a person knowledge means they can’t make informed decisions, yes? To have knowledge is not a bad thing. It is a good thing- an example being that people by nature/habit, seem to be afraid of things we know nothing/rumours about, right? Fear of the unknown, for example, was something played upon a lot in the Gothic genre, and made it quite the hit – even now, because some of those societal fears of the unknown, still are. 

Another thing that happens when people are scared/unknowing, is that they feel like they can’t empathise, or sympathise; looking at it that way, tell me how that wouldn’t alienate (which has been observed in children, in adults, in workplaces, in society – historically, there was a progression something like this in England, for example: gender -women could not work, they were objects in the household, the weaker sex, seen and not heard-, age -children and the old-, race – one by one as people came over- and then sexual orientation – gay, lesbian, bisexual, and then gender identity – and none of them have completely gone away). So, can you honestly consider the merits and demerits of education -this time religious/faith-based and therefore somewhat cultural ignorance, not causing alienation or a rise in anxiety and tensions in a multi-cultural society when there are issues from a specific label elsewhere in the world?

As opposed to societies that have taught and explained these things, that can then squabble and debate and talk about what they think without everyone getting up-in-arms about it. Yes, sometimes when talking you have to be considerate and careful not to be crass, or harsh – unless the latter you mean- but that’s because you can be harmful otherwise. We can still talk about problems elsewhere and not be defensive, or break into labels-of-origin. I do not look at a problem in the news, turn to my flat mates for example and think ‘oh, that one is Made in China’ or ‘India’ or ‘Dubai’ and think I can not ask – can not bring up this issue, these questions because I will be faced with nationalism/fascism/self-righteous anger/beliefs. No, I honestly do not have these worries. Because we are a step away from these scenarios; this is our home, our people are here – and yes, the people over there are ours too, in a sense, but why be angry someone is curious, seeking out knowledge, to learn, to self-educate? This is encouraged.


Do you see why I find such an inverse of culture so horrendous? It’s potential for self harm – in the face of a world that encourages increasingly, education, how can ignorance help? Think: if this was about sex education, would you encourage that not knowing about sex would act as a deterrent for sex? Or sexual diseases? No. So why is the same reasoning applied in America (And wherever else – parts of the UK, seem to think it’s not important to teach about other religions). How can you understand other people, or feel comfortable in other countries if you have no basis for how to treat them respectfully and vice versa? In my perception, all this is achieving in (my opinion again- correct me if you know better, suggest for other ideas) attempting to fight religious extremism, is making people more susceptible to it – or vulnerable to scaremongering/hate/prejudice.

To give you an example, I had a friend whom honestly had no idea about any religion other than Christianity -she wanted to know what the others were like, because she was aware how unaware, how lacking, she was- and how unable to cope with or behave with other people, and she felt awkward. So I explained as best I could – starting with basic information on how to generally not insult anyone, and we eventually worked our way up to other aspects of other religions, because she was so fascinated. But that did not change her beliefs; it helped her understand others. How can understanding be bad?

There are so many more arguments I can make for why it makes sense to educate – or offer education on these subjects- and on how uneasy the idea makes me; I can make allusions to communism, and selective-teaching, and how this could be an attempt on socially engineering society, but I think this would go on too long as a post.

I had more thoughts and questions on this topic, but I feel this is a good place to stop. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment/share!

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