05/30/14
Source: pjmedia.com

HE’s 50 Life Secrets and Tips

Playlist: anything on sound cloud’s “deep house” station

This list (and website) are pretty fantastic. I am a big believer in sharing tips for success in life. I am SO grateful to everyone I have learned from in my life, which makes me especially excited to teach, encourage and inspire others.

I think that people are sometimes afraid to share their secrets to happiness or success because they think doing so will make them lose their advantage over others….as if life is just one big competition….which is unfortunate, because when it comes down to it, we’re all in this together. Don’t you ultimately want this world to be filled with happy, successful people? I do.

If you are doing something that makes you happy and/or successful, share it! (in the comments, if you like :) )

I refer back to the list often, and I suggest you incorporate some of these tips into your life if you haven’t already! They’ve improved my quality of life.

-Nirel xx

05/25/14
research definition

Fun Language-Learning Tools!

Looking for a summer project? Learn a new language! It’s amazing to think you’ll be able to form connections with people you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to communicate with… Here are some tools to get you started:

ielanguages (comprehensive vocab lists w/ flashcards & audio)

duolingo (there’s an app for this language-learning game and it’s SO fun!!)

kypros (specifically Greek vocab lists)

Good luck, don’t give up and have fun!! :)

-Nirel

Edit: Just discovered this awesome podcast — another awesome tool!!

coffee break (great for Spanish, French & German)

08/12/13
rewind button

FYF : Concerts – Alt-J @ The Commodore Ballroom

Playlist: Alt-J – Fitzpleasure

Much like The Black Keys’s Brothers was the soundtrack of my 11th grade year, I listened to Alt-J’s debut album, An Awesome Wave, on repeat throughout my first year of university. That album just resonated with me — I blogged about their KEXP performance and even recorded a drum cover of the song “Breezeblocks”. Needless to say, I was stoked to see they were coming to Vancouver and bought pre-sale tickets to see them several months in advance. My friend, Kett, and I scored second-row spots and the show was fantastic. Also, The Commodore Ballroom is gorgeous.

alt-j concert april 2013

alt-j concert april 2013 2alt-j concert april 2013 3nirel and kett at alt-j

-N

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing about my first year at UBC, upon reflection. Check out the First Year Flashbacks category or look for the “FYF” image beside each post to read more.

08/10/13
rewind button

FYF : Concerts – AMS Block Party @ MacInnes Field, UBC

Playlist: Mord Fustang – Lick The Rainbow, Good For Grapes – London Fog

Like I said, AMS knows how to put on a kick-ass outdoor concert. Maybe it was the fact that I came earlier and saw all the bands play, or the pouring rain, or the four cups of hard cider now that I’d turned 19, but I liked this end-of-the-school-year show even better than its beginning-of-the-year equivalent. Line-up included Mord Fustang, Dillon Francis, K’Naan, Good For Grapes and Anxiojam. After that, I’m excited to see what AMS has in store for Welcome Back BBQ 2013! (Minus MacInnes field, which unfortunately has been ousted to make room for the new Aquatic Centre.)

Looks like Dan has his hands full…

Anxiojam!

UBC AMS block party 2013

-N

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing about my first year at UBC, upon reflection. Check out the First Year Flashbacks category or look for the “FYF” image beside each post to read more.

08/6/13
rewind button

FYF : Concerts – Idan Raichel Project @ The Vogue Theatre

Playlist: Idan Raichel Project – Mi’ma’amakim

My Mama was my valentine this year when she came up from Seattle to visit and see this show with me on February 14th. My friend saved us front-row seats in this intimate venue, so we were actually able to tell Idan Raichel “good job” (in Hebrew) and he answered us, “thanks”! Having my mom and friends at this show, which showcased fantastic musical talent, made it a total blast. Also, check the IRP out if you are into foreign music at all — Idan Raichel is an Israeli artist who collaborates with musicians from all over the world to create masterpieces in various languages.

My beautiful mother & me….just an arm’s length away from Idan Raichel!

the vogue theatre idan raichel project

-N <3

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing about my first year at UBC, upon reflection. Check out the First Year Flashbacks category or look for the “FYF” image beside each post to read more.

08/4/13
rewind button

FYF : Concerts – Bassnectar @ Thunderbird Stadium, UBC

Playlist: Bassnectar – Bass Head

Timestretch was the first dubstep album I ever listened to. Since then, I’ve managed to find a place for the genre in my heart: blasting it during workouts and raging at the occasional concert/music festival. Going to this show made me realize that I am by no means a “raver” — the music was way too loud (yes, I am aware I sound like your grandma) and Bassnectar is not as upbeat as the Skrillex-esque dubstep I’ve been listening to lately. However, I still managed to have some fun, thanks to the friends I was with. Remember, kids — friends are important. Especially at a rave that you went to not knowing it was going to be a rave. Oops.

fyf bassnectar 2012

fyf piglets at bassnectar 2012

My Haida First Floor Piglets!

-N

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing about my first year at UBC, upon reflection. Check out the First Year Flashbacks category or look for the “FYF” image beside each post to read more.

08/2/13
rewind button

First Year Flashbacks : Concerts – Welcome Back BBQ @ MacInnes Field, UBC

Playlist: Morgan Page – In The Air

I’ve always been an avid concert-goer, and my first year at UBC was no exception. A huge part of the reason I chose to attend UBC in the first place is because Vancouver is a beautiful city with so much going on — and if an artist is going on tour, it is likely they’ll play here.

AMS knows how to put on a sick outdoor concert. I definitely felt “welcome” after this show, featuring: Hey Ocean!, Morgan Page, Starfucker, Minxy Jones & DJ She. Partied it up with my new Jumpstart buddies. (:

fyf ubc welcome back bbq 2012

nirel at ubc welcome back bbq 2012

Broken foot? What broken foot? I’m here to dance (safely, of course – don’t want to break the other one…).

fyf ubc welcome back bbq on grass

-N

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing about my first year at UBC, upon reflection. Check out the First Year Flashbacks category or look for the “FYF” image beside each post to read more.

08/2/13
taglit birthright israel logo

Taglit – Birthright Israel : An Introduction

Playlist: Enya, Buena Vista Social Club

If you are Jewish and between the ages of 18-26 (or if you just enjoy reading travel blog posts), read on.

I have been incredibly lucky this summer to have gone on so many fun and exciting adventures. One I feel especially grateful for is the trip bestowed upon me by Taglit-Birthright Israel, an organization that sends Jewish young adults on a 10-day excursion to Israel…for FREE.

Yes, I’m serious.

The qualifications are as follows. You must: Have at least one Jewish parent, identify as Jewish, be between the ages of 18-26 and never have been to Israel on an organized trip or lived there past the age of 12. That’s it!

I don’t understand why anyone would not want to go on an all-expenses-paid trip to a beautiful country with a group of amazing people. Taglit offers trips throughout the summer and winter and if you meet the requirements, you have nothing to lose by applying.

This post is the first in a series I’ll write, highlighting my favorite experiences from the trip. I will also write a follow-up series about places I visited during the 3 1/2 weeks I spent in Israel post-Taglit (yep, you can extend your stay and they will still pay for your return ticket!).

Disclaimer: These posts are not sponsored (unless you count my Birthright-Israel trip as compensation, but I’m still writing them just because I want to share my experiences with those considering going on the trip and others who want to read about them).

Hope you’ve also had a fantastic summer so far,

-Nirel

Nirel Marofsky in Masada, Israel

That’s me in Masada, excited to tell you about my adventures.

 

07/17/13
Israeli flag

Israel: Modern Hebrew Slang and Other Common Expressions

I grew up speaking Hebrew with my mother, and spending 5 weeks in Israel this summer has definitely given me the opportunity to practice and improve my fluency, as well as pick up on modern slang (I was pretty out-of-the-loop until now). I thought I’d put together a list of slang and other words / expressions I’ve noticed people here use frequently. This was compiled with my brother in mind, who has recently begun teaching himself the language (woo!).

Notes: The “i”s are pronounced “ee”

The “ch” sounds like this.

The italicized syllable is the one you stress when you say the word.

Phonetic spelling:                                         Translation (more or less)

Achla……………………………………………….Awesome (borrowed from Arabic)

Al hakefak…………………………………………No problem/you’re welcome (borrowed from Arabic)

Al hapanim………………………………………..Terrible/a disaster (literally “on the face”)

Baktana……………………………………………Not a big deal

Ben/bat zona……………………………………..Son/daughter of a bitch

Chatich/chaticha………………………………..Good-looking guy/girl

Chaval al hazman……………………………….It’s worth it/it’s a great time (can be said about a place, experience or even person; literally “a waste of time”)

Esh………………………………………………….Awesome (literally “fire”)

Magniv……………………………………………..Awesome/cool

Noo??………………………………………………….And?? (used when you’re listening to someone tell a story and you want to hear what happened next, or if you are waiting on someone to do something; it’s a word whose sole purpose is to expresses impatience — how Israeli..)

Sababa……………………………………………..Cool/sweet/okay (can be used to say something is cool or as an affirmation; really common)

Sagoor………………………………………………Solid/okay/done deal

Yeshhhh……………………………………………Yesssss

Yala…………………………………………………Come on/let’s go/hurry up (usually precedes or follows “noo??”)

 

Terms of Endearment:

Achi………………………………………………..Bro (usually among boys/men age ~14 and up)

Chooki……………………………………………..Honey/Sweetie (usually directed at a girlfriend, boyfriend or dog; the “ch” is pronounced like it is in the name “Charlie” in English)

Mami……………………………………………...Honey/Sweetie (directed at a significant other, a close friend – among girls, or a child)

Motek………………………………………………Sweetie (literally means “sweetie”)

 

Informal Greetings:

Maamatzav?………………………………………What’s up? (literally “what’s the situation?”)

Ma kore?…………………………………………..What’s happening?

 

Do you know any slang I didn’t include? If so, post phrases in the comments below. Special thanks to Tal and Niv for adding to the list!

Much love from Israel,

Nirel

 

06/12/13
Source: pjmedia.com

Mural.ly: A Creative Platform for Visual People

Playlist: Cuban music station on Pandora (for those of you in Canada over the summer, I’m sure you can find a similar station on 8tracks or last.fm)

Creative Intelligence Mind Map

Sample Mind Map; Source: Google Images

ATTENTION ALL VISUAL LEARNERS OUT THERE:

Allow me to introduce you to your new best friend.

I’ve just discovered Mural.ly, a brilliant web-based platform that allows users to create mind maps and vision boards of all sorts and work on them solo or collaborate with others. I don’t know about you guys, but this is one of the most exciting moments of my life. That may sound hyperbolic, but I do love my mind maps — I wrote my university application essay on them and ended up going to a preeeeetty sweet school, soo…

In all seriousness, though, I added it for free as a Google Chrome application earlier tonight and have been fooling around on it non-stop since. Check out some of the demo murals on their website for ideas and go from there. A mural can be as simple as a sticky-note-filled cork board and as complex as a giant diagram you have to zoom in and out from to view the various components and finally the big picture.

So far I’ve made a bulletin board of what I have to do before I leave for NYC in two days (eep! Excited.) and started working on a giant map of my short- and long-term goals. I know once school starts again in the fall I’ll be aggregating my class notes into big, beautiful mind maps. What will you do with your own web-based creative space?

More exciting things to come,

Nirel