Saturday, February 28, 2015

Struggling is Normal when Learning Languages

A video encourages language learners not to be bamboozled by Internet polyglot success stories. YouTube is full of them. People that create videos showing how they can easily flow between languages and offer to sell you a product that will help you do the same. But this fellow reminds us that just because learning a language seems easy for some people, it doesn't mean those people haven't gone through a struggle.

Don't Boil Your iPhone 6 in Coca-Cola!

This guy can't have Apple's permission to do this kind of stupidity? They'd condone him releasing toxic fumes into the environment without a HazMat team to protect him and others? Thank goodness for Obamacare. We can all foot the bill for his lung cancer treatment.

Russian Names for Boys

Some Russian names for boys ... in Russian. Common names for men. The first name is given name followed by diminutive versions.

Александр, Саша, Санек, Санька, Саня
Алексей, Алёша ,Лёша
Андрей, Андрюша
Валентин, Валя
Василий, Вася
Владимир, Володя
Георгий, Гоша, Жора
Григорий, Гриша
Данила, Даня
Дмитрий, Дима, Митя
Иван, Ваня
Евгений, Женя
Ниуита, Ника
Николай, Коля
Матвей, Матюша
Михаил, Миша
Олег, Олежка
Павел, Павлик, Паша
Пётр, Петр, Петруша
Фёдор, Федя
Сергей, Серёжа
Станислав, Стас

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Газонокосилка (Lawn Mower)

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Газонокосилка (8 серия) - Сегодня наши друзья оказались на настоящей испанской корриде.Today our silly friends from outer space get caught up in a bullfight with an angry lawn mower.

I Loved You - A Poem by Pushkin

I ran across a poem by Alexander Pushkin (Александр Пушкин) on Russian Wikipedia this morning. At the source there is some more information about the dedication of the poem being to a woman Pushkin had loved from afar. Poor guy! Can truly feel the pain of his experience of unrequited love. Below is original Russian text and an informal English version from online translator. UPDATE: Here is a professional translation, the original text in Russian, along with a sound file where the poem is read by a native speaker.

Я вас любил: любовь ещё, быть может (Пушкин)

Я вас любил: любовь ещё, быть может,
В душе моей угасла не совсем;
Но пусть она вас больше не тревожит;
Я не хочу печалить вас ничем.
Я вас любил безмолвно, безнадежно,
То робостью, то ревностью томим;
Я вас любил так искренно, так нежно,
Как дай вам Бог любимой быть другим.


I loved you: love more, perhaps,
In my heart is not extinguished;
But let it not bother you anymore;
I do not want to sadden you.
I loved you silently, hopelessly,
Shyness and jealousy was stressed;
I loved you so sincerely, so tenderly,
As God forbid you to be loved.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Green Polka Dot St. Patrick's Day Fabrics

Below you'll find a coordinating selection of green, bright lime green, and white polka dot patterns designed for a St. Patrick's Day quilting project in my online shop. You can find more polka dot fabric at Zazzle.

Green Polka Dots
Green Polka Dots Quilt Fabric by annaleeblysse
Browse more St Patrick's Day Fabrics at Zazzle
Green Polka Dot
Green Polka Dot Fabric by annaleeblysse
Browse for more Fabric at Zazzle
Bright Lime Green and White Polka Dot
Bright Lime Green and White Polka Dot Fabric by annaleeblysse
View St Patrick's Day Fabrics online at zazzle

Create Your Own Solid Color Fabrics at Zazzle

Quilters can create their own fabrics at These three samples are shades of green and plain white created for a St. Patrick's Day quilting project in my online shop. The beauty of Zazzle's customizable tools on their site is that you can choose your favorite color. You're not stuck with one of these shades. You can create your own fat quarter to match a quilting project that you are working on.

St. Patrick's Day Green
St. Patrick's Day Green Cotton Fabric by annaleeblysse
Browse more St Patrick's day Fabrics at Zazzle

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Viber Video Calls

"Did you know you can now keep in touch with friends and family face to face, directly from your Android or iPhone?" An app that I'm curious about as it seems to answer the question ... how to make FaceTime or video calls between Android and iPhones.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Learn Russian Audiobook from Peace Corps

Live Lingua posted the audio and materials for the Peace Corp Russian course. I have been looking for it on the government site to see if there is more, but so far haven't found it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Learning With Texts

A free software package similiar to LingQ. I like the format for LingQ, and how it appears they've worked at speeding up the process of creating "lingqs" from this free Learning with Texts software. I also like that I can use the lessons I've uploaded on my iPhone. But for people that aren't interested in the $10 a month fee at LingQ, this is an option to look into further.

Lady Gaga Tweeted about Glenn Beck

Nice to see Lady Gaga appreciated a nice review even though it was by Glenn Beck! The truth is that I didn't see the event because I'm pretty tired of Hollywood. I've got way more important things to do with my time than watch rich people that are a $100K gift bag just for being alive waste my time to tell me I'm not making enough money.

6 Reasons We’ll Pay You To Teach Us vs. Learn It Free Online

For people with books, videos, or other how-to programs for sale online, this video is a positive reminder about not worrying about free videos on YouTube and information on the Internet.

I'm going to compare this to my search for information on learning languages...

First of all, I do buy resources to learn languages. But almost every thing I buy isn't quite good enough.

Pimsleur is great for repetition and pronunciation and getting us talking. But, the entire program is entirely too expensive considering that the literacy component is completely missing. In an online world with worldwide social networks and a global economy, we Pimsleur still wants nearly $1000 course without any written component is beyond me. I don't mean this to be a negative review. I've been learning from Pimsleur too. But, only because I take the time to figure out what the words are and look for more information on grammar and such. By the way, wanting to save money I borrowed the Pimsleur CDs from my local library. People that don't need to worry about being thrifty can find Pimsleur products on Amazon.

LingQ is a great site because you can gain access plenty of podcasts and bring in the literacy component into the picture. As you listen to a podcast by a native speaker of one of several languages, you can read along in the language. But, this also isn't enough. Since we aren't babies that have years with a patient adult that will correct our grammar mistakes before we get into the "real world", adults need to think through the grammar of a language they want to acquire. Though there are individuals that bring grammar into their podcasts at LingQ, it is a challenge to get it all in a sequence that is relevant.

Though I've been using both Pimsleur and LingQ, I've been using many free sites and videos to fill in the holes of both programs. I've been posting the most helpful resources here on my blog. The posts might make sense to me because I can remember how to find them, but in effect by adding links to freebies (халява) to help others learn languages online for free, I realized I was adding to the random mess that is online. Tags can help you find some information, but provide no sequence. To help fix this, I've started an outline about Learning Russian Online that gives a little more structure.

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Танец Деда Мороза (Dance of Santa Claus)

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Танец Деда Мороза (Dance of Santa Claus)

"Сегодня наши друзья станцуют свой сумасшедший танец с Дедом Морозом." Today, our friends will dance their crazy dance with Santa Claus

The little Alien Monkey's run across a dancing Santa Christmas decoration and get into a silly dance with the little guy trying to get his bottle back.

Дед Мороз - Santa Claus

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Муха (Fly)

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Муха (Fly)

A dance routine on the space ship today for our Alien Monkeys as they chase around flies (мухи). Now we can see how they thought the Amazon River was in Africa a few episodes back.

муха - fly
мухи - flies

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Ванная комната (Bathroom)

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Ванная комната (Bathroom)

Our crazy Alien Monkeys make a pit stop in a public restroom. I can imagine my sister-in-law finding a little less humor in this bathroom humor than my nephews. It's a silly episode in the series.

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Цикада (Cicada)

If you've made it to the fourth episode of Alien Monkeys (Обезьянки из космоса) you've likely figured out that whoever is typing in descriptions at YouTube for the Russian Get Movies channel isn't spending a lot of time checking their copy against contents of the video. But, they're kinda cute. If you're talking about Russian vocabulary with your kid while watching these correct that the video the title is Cicada (Цикада) rather than Grasshopper (кузнечик). In this episode our little monkey friends from outer space create a cute Japanese style song while chasing around a Цикада in Japan (Японии).

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Каток (Ice Rink)

In this episode our fearless space traveling alien moneys end up in Canada (Канаде) in an ice ballet (балет) on a skating rink (каток) with a bear (медведем) that they've annoyed.

канадский медведь - Canadian bear
ледовый каток - icy skating rink

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Крокодилы (Crocodiles)

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Крокодилы (2 серия)

In the second episode of Alien Monkeys, our word travelers wind up in the jungles of Африке (Africa), на реке Амазонке (on the Amazon River). No wonder our monkeys from outer space are always getting lost and into a crazy predicament! The map on their flying saucer is faulty. In this episode their antics with the крокодилы (crocodiles) is classic cartoon fun.

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Металлолом (Scrap Metal)

Обезьянки из космоса (Alien Monkeys) - Металлолом (1 серия) 

Monkeys from Space (Alien Monkeys) - Scrap Metal (1 series)

A Russian cartoon for kids. Alien monkeys Taki and Oka arrived on Earth to explore the Earth and have fun. With each episode they get in trouble with what they find and the theme is they start a playful song trying to get out of their predicament. In this episode they get in trouble with scrap metal (металлолом) in a junkyard (свалка).

This series is aimed at little kids. Watching them can help your kids learn Russian vocabulary a few words at a time. Run the episode's title and description through Google Translate or Yandex Translate. These cartoon characters aren't vocal, but their antics will provide a visual memory for words.


Pink Neon Beijing 北京 T Shirts

Create your own custom or customized tee with Chinese characters. This fancy font style that reminds me of neon lights will not accept all characters. There are other font styles in Zazzle's system with more capabilities.

Russian Grammar Lesson 9: Russian Names

Russian names for girls, Russian Names For Boys and some Russian names and nicknames are three pages from Master Russian with information that is helpful. Here you will find some more information on diminutive names for  Russian girls nicknames and Russian boys nicknames.

Jordan's Petra

Al Khazneh or The Treasury at Petra - Храм-мавзолей Эль-Хазне

I watched a special on the ancient city of Petra this evening. Being a fan of the Indiana Jones movies, I'd heard a little bit about The Treasury at Petra over the years, but I didn't remember how many tombs had been carved into the canyons or how large the city was.

Here is some information adapted from Wikipedia: Another name for Petra is the Rose City due to the color of the sandstone in the canyon. Established around 312 BC, Petra was the capital city of the Nabataeans. These days it is Jordan's most-visited tourist attraction and has been a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and has been chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the "28 Places to See Before You Die".

Петра (араб. البتراء‎‎) — древний город, столица Идумеи (Едома), позже столица Набатейского царства. Расположен на территории современной Иордании, на высоте более 900 м над уровнем моря и 660 м над окружающей местностью, долиной Аравы, в узком каньоне Сик (англ.).

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Colors of the Wind"- Latin Spanish W/ Subs. and Trans.

Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas in Spanish with lyrics to sing along. Pretty song and nice reminder of this old favorite Disney movie.

French Self-Taught (FULL Audiobook)

Teach yourself French with a vintage book. This video comes from a LibriVox recording and is read in both French and English. The text of this book is available at For me this post is functioning kind of a like a TBR pile.

French Self-Taught audiobook
Franz J. L. THIMM (1820 - 1899)

Christmas Bells - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow FULL AUDIO BOOK ENGLISH

"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is a Christmas carol based on the 1863 poem "Christmas Bells" by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. More information on Wikipedia.

I was keeping this video so I can find the Great Audio Books account against. They've uploaded songs the LibriVox public domain library onto YouTube. Several accounts have done this.

Look for this poem as a Christmas Carol by artists such as Elvis Presley and the Jordonaires or the Carpenters available via Amazon's digital store: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. You will find several free versions for Amazon Prime members to listen to.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,

and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;

"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

Libre soy - Frozen Letra (Carmen Sarahí)

Disney's Frozen "Let It Go" Spanish version "Libre Soy" con letras (with lyrics). Definitely a pretty song in many languages.

Este vídeo está hecho sin fines de lucro. Es para diversión nada más.
Canción: Libre soy.
Película: Frozen, una aventura congelada

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Democricide | Why Democracy Always Fails

An interesting look at the magic money machine. I definitely saw people using the #obamalovesamerica tag defending their voting choice on Twitter the last few days falling back on those .... oh, but those Republicans hate the poor, the environment and Obama loves the little poor kids and our planet.

Fractal Art Animation to Music

Fractal Art Animation - Psychedelic hippie art and colorful kaleidoscope art created by Pixie Copley. Below are three colorful mouse pads featuring her funky fractal art.

Learn How to Say "Good Morning" in Chinese

Some more Chinese greetings ... this video including "Good morning" and "good evening".

When I learned how to say "good morning" in Chinese I recognized the "shang" character from 上海, which is the Chinese word or characters for the very famous city of Shanghai. Shang means "on".

wǒ hěn hǎo nǐ ne 
I'm good, and you?

wǒ yě hǎo 
I'm good too. 

zǎo shang hǎo 
Good morning. 

wǎn shang hǎo
Good evening.