Monthly Archives: February 2020

Running Out of Air

Original YT playout date: 25 October 2008
Duration: 4:44

Another video remake of a Jo McCafferty video. Her songs probably qualify as the most underrated in the world, as they are barely known and yet, as you can see, of tremendous quality. Both the music and the poetry will go straight to the spot. Please pass it on and get Jo some of the attention her music deserves!
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Mike Mendoza Show #6 from 28th August 2008 on PlayTwoUK

Original YT playout date: 25 October 2008
Duration: 3:59:55

“Which is what it says on the tin.

Mike Mendoza is growing on me, I have to admit it.”
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Business Trip to Czarnkow

Original YT playout date: 23 October 2008
Duration: 19:43

Highlights from the road trip. Thanks to Marcin for driving and to him and Janusz for the company.

Showcasing what the Vado can do and you see a bit of rural Poland along with the usual verbal meanderings.
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Amazing Rare Things (Uncle Davey’s Herts Content – S3 E9)


Original YT playout date: 11 October 2008
Duration: 2:122

Another case of where the silly music policy made me lose the entire sound track, and still the royalty free music they gave me to cover it took all the royalties from the film after all.
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Mike Mendoza Show #5 from 27th August 2008 on PlayTwoUK

Original YT playout date: 22 October 2008
Duration: 3:49:43

Another four hour slice of Mike, not often watched here on the channel, but still good quality conversation and a nice listen, if you can hear it, given the number of countries it’s banned in because of having music in it which the station paid to broadcast to a much large rnumber than those who either heard the show live or watched it on this channel.
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Homework for Sophie

Original YT playout date: 21 October 2008
Duration: 11:05

Sophie has to cut short some singing and get on with her school homework – a painting of an old fashioned alarm clock…
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Response to a question on using the GoldList Method for non-language learning

This is actually (according to heartfelt congratulations sent to me by my WordPress robot yesterday, celebrating my 1,000th post with a glass of robot prosecco) the 1,001st post so I should try to make it a good one, and in this cause I am indebted to a reader called Ywan, who left the following question on one of the pages here explaining the GLM:

Dear Mr. James,

I was wondering if the GLM would also be suitable for learning other things like historic dates. Do you have any experience with learning things with the GLM other than vocabulary? How well does it work?

Thank you.

Here’s my response, and I think it will be useful for all my readers, ergo, it is a post in its own right.

Dear Ywan, an excellent question.

I will be writing a section on this at length, to the book that these pages are the precursor to. I will also turn this answer into a full article for today’s blog.

The answer is that it really does work very well. Right now I am actually learning a large set of different topics including even mathematics (I don’t do the exercises from the book only the main worked exemplars and the explanations and instructions. The key here is to keep the headlist nice and loose and include whatever you are going to need in the future in it. This may, for some topics, mean that you even need to reproduce diagrams in the GoldList book. This for me was the biggest mental block until it dawned on me how best to do it. Let us say we are doing biology and the textbook has a nice diagram of the eye of the heart. In the headlist you make a pretty faithful copy, maybe even tracing it from the materials if it will fit, labels and all, and the number of lines that takes, that’s the line number we assume it deserves in the headlist.

When we come to the first distillation, we try to redraw the diagram with all the labels but we allow ourselves some compressions and abbreviations. I do find that a lot of D1 work on the non-language side is about compressing, abbreviating, omitting the repetitions you may have in the text which you didn’t notice to eliminate in the Headlist. The second distillation is usually the time when the labels which are obvious and the words remembered can be dropped out, the diagram more stylised, also made in a manner faster to draw, which can be a boon for examinations. Each time, that diagram will take fewer lines and maybe you can make the lines that it takes each time follow the same 30% reduction pattern that you expect from the non-diagrammatic parts of the GL work.

It’s actually pretty interesting to do. And it does tend to distil very well, because science is all about the a-ha moment, and running through the earlier parts of the text book by distilling what you did earlier before getting into a later section often refreshes all the bits you need to get that next a-ha moment all the more readily.

History dates also can be aha-ish. If you have a very bald list of almost random history dates, then maybe you have to put them over to the headlist like that in order to dispense with the materials. On distillation it is a question of grouping tchem in a more chroinological or thematic order, or finding a-has or other links between them. Sometimes you can imagine links that are purely fictional, for example Columbus sailed to the New World in 1492 which Lucia Pacioli invented double-entry bookkeeping in 1491, a year earlier, so you can imagine Columbus whiling away his time in the vessel trying to get his head around this new skill so that he would have a profession to come back to if there wasn’t a way to India that way after all, assuming he didn’t fall off. This can help us to remember what happened in what order, and also what was new at a time and what wasn’t. We make such a mental image not in a forced way, we merely think about what we are writing, not treating it just like lines set by a prefect for flicking ink at his back, we take an interest in how the events in the dates fit.

When learning history, we take advice from the maxim of Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“there is, properly, no history; only biography”

and concern ourselves with the lives of the characters we encounter there, and the interplay between them, whether they met, who would have been older and by how much, what they though of one another, etc. Then the dates start to come more alive, and this become the stuff of more permanent synapsę building. Learning dates as an ars gratia artis exercise will also work in the GLM, but will be less pleasant and less effective. One should include full dates in the headlist, but one should ask oneself whether, to build a very good panoramic view of history, one really needs the exact date, maybe month or even season of the year is adequate for some matters. If we look at how history is buidling now, we can almost talk about how the Brexit issue looked more decided in the Autumn of the year than in the Spring of 2019, but the key date of this is not clear. Certainly the election which gave Boris Johnson a decisive victory is known, but I already cannot remember which date of December that was, only that it was around the middle of the month and so it probably was with contemporaries of the events you may be studying in your history books.

Hope this helps.

Uncle Davey’s Herts Content S3 E8 – Zhongguo Chen / China town.

Original YT playout date: 16 October 2008
Duration: 2:39

China town in London.
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James Whale Radio Show 26th August 2008 on Playradio UK

Original YT playout date: 16 October 2008
Duration: 3:54:04

One of James’ last shows on PRUK for the time being. James actually does a studio walk out which we took to be staged but which did in fact with hindsight presage his later move into LBC a couple of weeks later…
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Uncle Davey’s Herts Content S3 E7 – 1000 years of Great Britain

Original YT playout date: 12 October 2008
Duration: 1:00:09

Gyles Brandreth, author and former MP, presents his unique perspective on Britain’s past. I ran out of good camera space during this fine address so the last part is with only the back-up camera, but hopefully you will still be able to enjoy that part of this memorable speech from a speaker who has to be heard in the same room to get the full charisma that he has. Try to get him for your event or catch up with him on one of his speaking tours. He is still going strong in 2020.
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