Friday, August 30, 2019

Learning Dispatch - August 30th, 2019 - Mid Year Learning Update

Hi,
Why the dispatch? - I want to understand how I can make my learning more social. I love having interesting conversations with friends and colleagues about new things I learned. So these dispatches are part of an effort to get those conversations started. I am also very curious to know more about what you have been learning in return for sharing some of the learning highlights of my week/month/year.
Personal Update
There have been a considerable number of changes in my life. I have started a Bachelor of Education Intermediate/Senior Program for the subjects of English and Social Studies at Western University. I moved to Canada on 19th August 2019 to begin this course. I am now based in London, Ontario. The course will begin on 3rd September 2019. There is some information about this course at this link.
Book Review
I got to listen to Simon Sebag Montefiore discuss his book, 'The Romanovs' at the Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2019. I was hooked. The book chronicled the rise and fall of the House of Romanov which was the reigning royal house of Russia from 1613 to 1917. I was on the backfoot about purchasing the book as it was intense history and 784 pages long. But I took the plunge and co-purchased the book with a close friend. Looking back that was one of the better decisions I took this year. It took me over 2-3 months to finish the book. But I enjoyed every single moment of it. I'm not good with reviews. But here is an attempt in a few lines.
'What brought me to the book was this story of how a single-family ruled over Russia for 300 years. It gives you an in-depth understanding of monarchy and the ideology that sustains it. A good Romanov ruler had two objectives 1) Expand the country 2) Create a new heir to continue to dynasty. These two objectives were on the mind of every Romanov ruler throughout their 300 year reign. Montefiore is a skilled historical narrator but an even better biographer. As a monarch there is intense magnified focus on your personality. This is a book of diverse personalities. Some were eccentric and some were driven but they all were powerful. Very powerful. And power can change you for the better or worse. What this book also leaves you with is an appreciation of Russia as a country. Someday I'd like to visit Russia now to see the sights and stories that Montefiore described with such detail come to life in front of me. But I'd give the book a 4.5/5. I would highly recommend it.'

Alexander II and the royal family (1914)

Business Ideas - Shark Tank/How I Built This
I've always been fascinated by the idea of Business. My understanding of a business is for a person/group of people to create a product or service to add value by fulfilling a specific need. If you are able to fulfill the need you are remunerated. The person remunerated is the Entrepreneur. There are several aspects to implement your business successfully like marketing, accounting, finance, operations, business development and the power of idea. My interest in Business was fueled through binge-watching the television show 'Shark Tank' and binge-listening the NPR podcast 'How I Built This'. Some really cool business ideas I made a note of are listed below here:
- Frywall keeps your stovetop spotless no matter the meal, providing better protection than splatter screens while keeping your pan completely accessible throughout the cooking process.
- The Rocketbook Wave provides the freedom of a traditional pen and paper notebook, while instantly blasting your notes into the cloud using your smartphone. And when you use Pilot FriXion pens with the Wave notebook, you can erase your notes using your microwave oven and reuse your notebook.
- Potato Parcel is an American company and website for delivering potatoes with personalized messages, which are limited to 140 characters or one picture.
- Whole Foods Market Inc. is an American multinational supermarket chain headquartered in Austin, Texas, which exclusively sells products free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
- Lärabar is a brand of energy bar produced by General Mills. The bars come in a variety of flavors such as Apple Pie, Carrot Cake, and Mint Chip Brownie. 
Recommendations
- Made in Heaven directed by Zoya Akhtar, Prashant Nair, Nitya Mehra and Alankrita Srivastava is a television show that tells us the story of two wedding planners in Delhi, where tradition jostles with modern aspirations against the backdrop of big fat Indian weddings revealing many secrets and lies. Watch out for a brilliant performance by Arjun Mathur and Sobhita Dhuilpalia in the lead roles. Looking forward to Season 2.
- Cake directed by Asim Abbasi is a Pakistani film that tells you the story of estranged family members who begrudgingly reconnect in an effort to deal with the care of their aging parents. Great acting by Sanam Saeed and Syed Mohammed Ahmed. This film will get you excited about South Asian cinema.
Seen and Unseen is a podcast by Amit Varma that tackles subjects such as economics, neuroscience and behavioural psychology, and examine both public policy and private action. Each show features guests who are experts in the subject under discussion: economists, legal experts, scientists and media commentators. My favorite episode were Number 108 on the Importance of Cities and Number 97 on the Evolution of Cricket linked here.
I'd like to apologise for the long gap between the current post and my last post. I will try to post more regularly henceforth. If you have any feedback or thoughts about these posts, please feel free to reach out to me at abhishekshetty26993@gmail.com or on Twitter @AbhishekShetty_
Abhishek
January 12th, 2019

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