Today I feel.

via Daily Prompt: Finite

Today I feel finite. With a start; an end; and squishy bits in the middle, Some straight, some curved, some parts in darkness perturbed.

Just a speck on the vast infinite universe. A blessing or a curse? Finite with infinite possibilities.

Today I feel finite.


The problem of concept mapping.

I’ve been fascinated by Concept maps/ Mind maps or whatever people are calling them these days since I first heard about them several years ago and always intended to use them in some guise in teaching. As most often happens these ideas fall by the wayside or get lost among the general shrubbery of daily routine. My plan today was to publish a Concept map simply for some examples of phrasal verbs with “Get”, which as all language teachers and learners know can be a little on the tricky side to understand and indeed explain occasionally. I’m sure many teachers have at some point thought they had found a foolproof way to explain a word or phrase to their students only to be completely dumbfounded when  a student asks about a line they heard in a film or T.V. series. This is generally where you discover an unhitherto unknown use for a word you imagined was easy to use. It’s true that many words have now changed their meanings or been given new meanings because of current usage and so old timers like myself who went to and old school school (Insert wry smile here) are sometimes flummoxed by the English spoken today.

Why with “Get” ? You may ask. Well simply because it is perhaps the most used and least understood, I’m sure anyone who reads this is going to correct me on that.

There are many examples on the internet and probably lying around in classrooms and folders. Some just printed off to look pretty others with the earnest intention of helping someone understand. Many will be overlooked or simply handed out without explanation of what this (Oftentimes) colourful spaghetti-like drawing is and how it should be interpreted.  This is perhaps the first and foremost problem with mind maps. I’ve met many people who have never heard of them and cannot make head nor tail out of them, even though there is clearly a good use for them in their particular line of work.

The second problem perhaps is layout. Alongside this maybe also “Target audience” not forgetting that too much information can detract from the amount assimilated. Many mind maps do tend to be quite confusing to look at and so a little extra time explaining them upon first sight is not just necessary but also a future time saver in the long run.

Thirdly, Is it really going to help? Sometimes or in all probability quite a lot of the time we forget that not everybody thinks like ourselves. We take for granted that what we say or do may be perceived or understood differently to our own take on things. While our “Map” might make perfect sense to us it could well be unintelligible to others. Obviously we must take time to understand how to use this useful tool, plan the layout, the information necessary to convey the point and more importantly that it is fit for the intended purpose.

Now while pondering the great question of phrasal verbs I’ve always tried to consider the general “sense” or “feeling” of the verb which in many cases can be seen in many of them “Keep” for example has a sense of continuing, however, it doesn’t apply to all and to compound the problem we then have prepositions. These pesky words have no true meaning on their own but only when used with another and of course no set meaning can be assigned.

No doubt if you got this far you are expecting an incredible representation of the phrasal verbs with “Get”. Sadly there is no such thing as of yet but just some food for thought. The clouds represent the general feeling hopefully to provoke some thought about what you yourself might put.




Opening the box while tentatively holding their breath still couldn’t have prepared them for the sight that met their eyes. Inside, Sandra saw huddled in a corner the result of their experiment.

Months of painstaking searching, extracting and combining of the rarest elements had finally come to an end.

John looked up at Sandra briefly, eyes wide with awe, smiled and looked back into the box at the creature they would now have to name and classify and present to the Scientific Council in the following months.

Not only had they proven that a paradox can have a physical representation in the real world but they had created one.

Sandra wrote something indecipherable in her notebook and triggered the mechanism that closed the box once more so they could write their observations.

Gareth who until now had been sitting on the other side of the room sauntered over. “So what did you see?” he asked. They both looked at him scornfully. “Aww, come on I was joking” he said with a big cheeky grin on his face.“ I’ll have my turn soon enough, in the meantime I’ll make a drink.”

“Ooh I’d love a coffee Gareth. How about you John?”

John muttered his agreement as he typed his journal entry of the experiment.

On the table a slight whirring sound could be heard coming from the containment box.

Perhaps the initial nourishment was being delivered or some other necessary task being carried out by the fully automated box.

It was due to reopen for a second “external observation” at a random time within 24 hours from the first opening.

Gareth would be paged 4 hours before this time to ensure he is present for the observation.

The next opening would be in front of the Science council and would again be at a predetermined yet random time approximately 3 weeks from first opening.

The electronics in the box would  have already notified the council members of the date to convene in the laboratory. The team would only be notified much closer to the date to avoid tampering with the experiment in some unexpected manner.

All was quiet in the lab when Gareth arrived. Not even a sound from the box which was due to open  sometime within the next thirty seven minutes. He was anxious to see how the experiment was doing but of course had to remain objective for the observation. Making himself a coffee at the table opposite and keeping an eye on the notification light he pondered the implications of the experiment.

Finally after what seemed like hours the notification light turned red and the box mechanism came to life. Gareth walked over to the box and looked down through the observation hole a look of bemusement forming on his face. The other two had looked happy that everything was going well. Had they been playing a trick on him? He wondered briefly. No of course not came his immediate reply to himself. The box closed. He wrote his observation and went home to bed.

In the remaining weeks all three had written up their notes based on their observation and the measurements provided by the multitude of instruments connected to the box and now the day of truth. The council arrived and positioned themselves ready for the event. This time the box would fold down all four sides so that the experiment could be viewed from all sides.

A screen on the wall was set to show what each team member had seen on their initial viewing at the moment the box opened.The light on the box turned red and the sides dropped down.

The entity in the box looked out into the lab and with a tut of dismay wrote on his notepad INCONCLUSIVE!

Looking around the room it noticed the screen with the words Schrodinger’s Cat, Dragon, Nothing.

Saint Whoseday?

It’s that time of year when everyone goes mad for something Red, Rose or Heart-shaped with loving words or poetry etched, inscribed, frosted or penned on it.

Yes it’s Saint Valentine’s day of course. But, and this is the biggie, what is it? why is it? Here’s the part where your expecting me to give you a little history lesson. Sadly not the case. I have to profess that I am as ignorant as most when it comes to these things. An interesting fact however, is that in 1969 his name was removed from the General Roman Calendar by the Catholic Church because so little is known about him.

Today is a special day for me because it marks my nine year anniversary of arriving here in Zaragoza, tired, bewildered and totally oblivious to what day it was. It was actually a Thursday and sometime around 3 p.m.

It also marks a potential turning point in that it’s a return to writing again after a long spell of, well let’s just leave it at that. Hopefully I’ll complete my short story which I’ll then revise and tidy up. You can find it at

All that remains to say is happy Valentine’s day however you celebrate it.

Time Crystals?

Yes that’s right, Time Crystals!

Some bright spark theorized them in 2012. A man named Frank Wilczek (Nobel laureate at MIT) for the curious amongst you. A quick Google search will give more information than I or any other mortal can understand.

Now two independent teams of scientists have created them in the laboratory.

I don’t pretend to understand the mechanics of it but essentially they are a new form of matter that could theoretically withstand the blast of heat from the ending of the universe, A reverse Big Bang if you like. So potentially if you could surround yourself with said time crystal you could survive the end of the universe. How cool is that?

Hmmm… well perhaps not very. Did you pack any reading material? Lunch? Spare pants or a few million bottles of wine to help you while away the Very empty hours?

Doesn’t sound quite so cool now does it? However, let’s imagine that they protected you for long enough that you saw the recreation of a new universe. Now that would be something, right?

Of course this is all conjecture but how do you envisage the new universe?

What’s Up? And other unanswered questions.

All messages now redirected to…

Psyops Division 8 for assessment and response assignment (Please note that due to the complexities of language processing and certain “ahem” inconsistencies in the human psyche certain frivolous messages may receive a higher priority than those of higher importance, requests for help,information,more details etc…..Many apologies for this.)

If you have not received a response to your message you may like to consider the following points.

1.Did you press send?

2.Did you use a language appropriate for the recipients?

3.Did you pay your phone bill?

4.Were you Inebriated when you wrote the message (commonly people do not answer obscene drunken texts at 4 a.m.)

5.Is there any disruption to Telecommunications Services? Electrical storms, Alien invasion, Festivals, Elections (Local and National.) Also see point 3. above.

In the event that all of the above have been verified as not to be the cause of non-receipt please check the reference book for acceptable time limits (Booklet 666X page 94 paragraph 42 subsection Zeta). Additionally reading the books entitled “What is time and how does it correspond to the human condition?” , “Who needs time” and the bestseller “ What time is it anyway?”

will help with some of the terminology used when talking about time and its subsequent measurement. It should also be mentioned that “My cat and how it escaped an uncertain death” is the definitive guide on unraveling time terminology but is considered too heavy to carry and therefore best only for library studies.

After carefully checking that you definitely should have received some kind of response by this time (whenever that may be) then the following should also be considered.

Are you….

a. Alive?(See additional leaflets “Death and what it means to me” and “Definitions of life” By A.Corn.

b. In the correct relative solar system or paranormal domain to send and receive messages?

c. In a cognitive enough state of mind to recognise you haven’t received one?

Please note.

There may be other reasons why you have not received a response, however, we are unable to give information on this unless you have procured and completed Request Form 9delta C18 X 4 Blue.

Which must be stamped in triplicate by the ruling deity for your place of origin.

Failing this a note from your birth mother may be accepted on account that she is younger than you at the time of signing.


Completed request forms to be received no later than 3 Earth lunar cycles before the non reciept of your response is expected.

Future Now

Writing this on my tablet just because I can has brought it home to me just how far we have come in my lifetime. Way back when I was a bright eyed little boy jumping with glee at the thought of what Christmas would bring. Even with my overactive imagination, I could never have imagined the things which seem commonplace to the children of today. Technology has without a doubt shrunk the world into a tiny bubble where we can speak to someone thousands of miles away, we can see their faces as we do so. We can write an electronic message that to all intents and purpose is an instant letter, we can even do it in a language we don’t speak, notwithstanding certain errors we can be understood all over the world. Many people these days spend their time talking this way perhaps to people who they will see in just a few hours or less. We are ‘connected’. In reality though what does it mean? We speak, we pass on information, we send our opinion out into the ‘wild’ as it were, but does anyone notice?

I’m sure anyone reading this will recognise the theme as it’s voiced by many people much of the time and many of us say it’s “progress”, but is it really?

Surely progress is when everyone lives peacefully together, where no one is forced to beg or steal to live, where we work to help each other and not to make a fast buck. Yes it’s idealistic. Is it possible? Why don’t our governments work towards this ideal?

The point of what of I’ve written?

To point out the obvious and say Happy New Year!