So I saw a friend talking about how Spirit Halloween will be making a set of Kingdom Hearts costumes
So I decided to check them out, knowing they probably weren’t going to be high quality cosplay costumes or anything.
“Huh, okay, that actually doesn’t look too bad.”
But when I got to Sora, the costume isn’t what made me lose it
I wasn’t sure why i just lost it. I don’t know it if it was the wig, his forced smile that looks like he’s getting so close to just losing his shit, or his scruffy beard for some reason. It wasn’t the costume I swear
I snorted and laughed for a good 20 minutes because this was the first thing that popped up into my head
♪ Let’s search for and gather the shards of dreams. Even if we’re sad, we can probably still find them now. Changing the shape of the brightly turning tomorrow. Even if we’re sad, let’s feel the sure present. ♪
Is this more of an app review or a book review? Today I bring you a review of Beelinguapp, an audiobooks app for language learners.
Sometimes studying can be a boring drag and you just want to do something a little less tedious than drilling grammar or a ton of vocab flashcards. Maybe you want to get into reading books in your language of choice, but you’re worried that it might be too hard to just pick up a book written in your chosen language and read it without guidance. In that case, I could recommend this app to you!
As I already said, this is an audiobook app. There are free stories and paid ones both available to choose from. There are stories of all different types and difficulties, including classics and even sciency stuff, as you can see in the above image! The cool thing is that when you choose a story, you can also choose which languages to download it in! So far, I’ve downloaded all of my stories in English, Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese. When you go to listen to a story, you can choose what you want your learning language to be and what your reference language is. When you listen to the book, it will be read and displayed to you in the learning language, and you can do split screen so the learning language is on top and the reference language is on bottom. You can mix and match languages, so you could even have two learning languages up at once!
There are a lot of things you can play with as you read. As I already mentioned, there’s the split screen option, and there is a night mode, text magnifier, voice speed control, and text highlight that follows the reader. The text highlight sometimes isn’t timed correctly, however, and of course if the languages you have set as your learning and reference have different word order or other major grammatical differences, you won’t be able to really use the highlight to, for example, match words you don’t know. Still, the highlight does make it easier to follow where the speaker is in the text with your eyes even if the timing is a little off.
As for the actual audio quality, I’ve found it to be passable in all the stories and different languages I’ve tested so far, though some aren’t the absolute best quality. That isn’t to say the audio is bad, just that you can expect to hear some noise in some recordings. I’m assuming that the audio quality will be better with stories that you have to pay to download, but I’m too cheap so I haven’t tried any of those yet :B Anyway, in all of the stories I’ve listened to so far, the narrators speak at reasonable storytelling speeds, and if you aren’t super picky about audio quality, there should be no big problem.
The major downfall of this app is, in my opinion, the lack of a dictionary function. You can long-press words to add them to your own dictionary in the app… but then you have to add a meaning for the word yourself, which is obviously not too helpful at all if you don’t already know what the word means! Sure, maybe you could take a look at the reference language text to see what the word means, but these stories aren’t translated word-for-word and sometimes matching up words between different versions of the same text could be hard. What I think this app really needs is an easy-access dictionary that, if you long-press a word, it pulls up a dictionary entry for that word. Of course, since there are so many stories in so many languages on this app, providing dictionaries for all of them might be hard…
Ultimately, I think this is a pretty good app with a few flaws that, if fixed, would make this a really excellent language-learning tool!
Multiple languages available
Can read along as you listen to the story
Can choose your display languages so you can even study more than one new language at once
Lots of little options to play with to optimize your experience
Do you think I sit around doing nothing? I haven’t had a chance to sit around and do nothing since the day I arrived in Camelot! I’m too busy running around after Arthur! Do this, Merlin! Do that, Merlin! And when I’m not running around after Arthur, I’m doing chores for you! And if I’m not doing that, I’m fulfilling my destiny! Do you know how many times I’ve saved Arthur’s life? I’ve lost count. Do I get any thanks? No. I have fought: Griffins, witches, bandits, I have been punched, poisoned, pelted with fruit, and all the while I have to hide who I really am, because if anyone finds out, Uther will have me executed! Sometimes I feel like I’m being pulled in so many directions, I don’t know which way to turn!
FiNaLLy gOt tO POST iT!!!!!! :’)))) since I’m not dying as much today…sorry if the quality looks bad…I couldn’t do anything about that for some reason :’’’-( bUt heY!! I got it uP! That’s wHaT maTTers riGht??
Just as the title of this post says, I’m thinking of re-upload the first full episodes of Underverse again.
Why is it a remake or something? Not actually. For so many months I haven’t been so happy about….my english. Yeah. Mostly of you know that my first language is Spanish, not english. And since the beggining, my english level was SO bad. I think this affected my work, which, it makes me feel so uncomfortable since my animations’ quality is..good?.
Or maybe I’m being too perfectionist…
Many people helped me to improve my english and fix the grammar of the scripts before I started to work, but it always happened that in middle of animating I decided to change or add something…and ended by screwing everything up.
This sometimes really frustates me, because I’m actually pretty good in Spanish grammar (Ironically). And (Trying to not put this into personal stuff but…damn) I feel so stupid for some reason when I can’t express myself fluently in this language, and I’d just like to have no voice so I would never say something stupid or something with nosense.
The second reason I don’t want to see my Youtube Channel, is because of that. I’m okay with animation mistakes, but never with the main thing that matters in a story that is writting.
So…taking the point of this post, I’m probably going to reupload the first episodes on Underverse with their respective parts in one video. (And maybe fixing other things like sfx and music before I had Stereohead and Nyx’s help…Oh! And the blog’s previous name, too).
When that happens, the current videos will be set as “hidden” Because I don’t really want to saturate my channel with the same thing. This may make life easier for people who don’t get used to watching an episode with so many parts.
That’s the idea but I think I have to think more about it…I’m rambling here. Just wanted to let you know in case you have some advices or if someday you will ask why did I do this.
Hi! I was wondering how you feel about non-AZA accredited zoos. The Pittsburgh Zoo lost their accreditation a few years ago (because of an issue with one of their programs I think) but I still think it's an excellent zoo. Do zoos have to be AZA accredited to be good zoos?
Congratulations, you have pinpointed one of the largest cans of worms in the animal care industry! The response I’m about to give you is absolutely, definitely controversial - because honestly, there’s no one answer that everyone will agree with.
I do not believe that lack of AZA accreditation should automatically condemn a zoo. (They will probably be very unhappy with me for stating this, since they’ve been advocating since at least the 1970′s for the government to recognize them as the only accrediting authority and shut down every facility they don’t accredit). As far as animal care, education, and conservation work goes AZA accreditation is the best reliable indicator of quality for public - but there’s a lot of reasons a zoo might choose not to be accredited in the first place, or might lose accreditation, or might choose not to be re-accredited. So no, not all “good zoos” must be AZA - but the public needs to be much more critical consumers in order to determine which non-AZA facilities are good zoos.
One of the biggest reasons a zoo may not be AZA accredited is functional. AZA accreditation is designed to support and accredit primarily large urban zoos with a lot of funding. It really isn’t a good fit for smaller suburban or rural zoos: those that do decide to go for AZA accreditation spend years and a huge amount of money trying to meet AZA’s standards, and even after all that work not every non-urban zoo decides to stay accredited because the priorities of AZA doesn’t necessarily line up with what the organization needs to do to survive or what the community that supports it wants to see at their local zoo. This could be, for instance, that the type of education and conservation messaging AZA wants to see from its facilities isn’t appropriate for a rural setting or that the internal structure of the organization that AZA requires just isn’t functional at a smaller zoo. Mill Mountain Zoo, in Roanoke, Virginia, recently mutually split from AZA because it just wasn’t a good fit - but their animal care programs are still the same, and AZA thinks highly enough of them that they’re still allowed to participate in highly prestigious SSPs such as snow leopards, pallas cats, and red wolves.
Another reason a zoo may not be accredited is because of differences in agreements over animal care requirements. Lack of accreditation due to these types of issues can’t really be qualified as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ reasons because each case is so individual. Sometimes facilities choose not apply for AZA accreditation in the first place because of a known conflict with their requirements. To pick a controversial example - and this is only a hypothetical - a facility like Myrtle Beach Safari would probably choose not to apply for AZA accreditation because their facility breeds color morph tigers, which AZA standards prohibit. The facility’s entire philosophy around tiger breeding and exhibition would have to shift drastically in order for them to make the changes AZA would require. Other times, facilities choose to leave AZA and/or purposefully lose their accreditation because of a disagreement over new rules. That’s what happened with Pittsburgh. Management at Pittsburgh didn’t agree with the requirement that all AZA zoos transfer over to working their elephants in protected contact, and eventually chose to lose the zoo’s AZA accreditation - and all the grants and federal exemptions that go along with it - in order to continue working with their elephants in the manner they believed was best for their specific animals.
It’s also worth noting that some facilities may choose not to be part of AZA because of political reasons. AZA is notoriously condemnatory to any facility they don’t accredit. I’ve heard a lot of AZA staffers and surrogates, including directors or upper management at AZA facilities, say really nasty things about rural or smaller zoos with incredible frequency. They call them
“roadside zoos” and though there’s no actual definition of the term, the official AZA usage appears to denote “anyone AZA doesn’t accredit.” (I wrote more about that here, if you’re interested in that specific political rabbit hole.) AZA as an organization itself appears to have partnered with HSUS in the fight to shut down all “roadside zoos” - including an officially sanctioned panel addressing it at the 2016 national conference - and the CEO of HSUS has been indicating in his messaging that AZA is now helping them police the rest of the zoo industry. This treatment doesn’t necessarily get better when a zoo starts working towards accreditation - I know someone whose facility was referred to as a “roadside zoo” literally as they were being congratulated for having been accredited. The official AZA messaging is that it has a cordial and professional relationship with other accrediting bodies like the ZAA - but they consistently publish documents that denigrate ZAA’s credibility as a professional organization and urge lawyers and lawmakers to not only ignore their input but even help regulate them out of existence. With that sort of blatant political enmity, it’s understandable that zoos external to AZA might be utterly uninterested in working to join the group that constantly publicly attacks their existence and professionalism and instead go it alone or join a different accrediting group.
I would also hazard a guess that
more organizations may choose not to associate with AZA given their apparent inclination to partner closely with animal rights organizations like HSUS. Smaller zoos get harassed endlessly by the animal rights organizations, regardless of their actual quality, and would absolutely have no interest in working to gain membership in a trade group that appears to be in bed with their long-time antagonists.
Tl;dr: Accreditation and who has what why is really complicated. It’s not as simple as the “good vs bad” messaging AZA has been promoting. It’s very tied into industry politics, animal care philosophies, and the practical realities of running zoos. As discussed above, there are all sorts of reasons a zoo might choose to not get or to forfeit AZA accreditation. Some are reasonable, some are not, and it ends up being something consumers have to study in depth for each non-AZA facility they’re interested in to figure out if they want to support it.