May 3, 2021

Cavers, Cloud 9, and Clothing


Episode 25 of Thank The Week for 03 May 2021
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Entertainment

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Transcript
Announcer:

Thank The Week. With your host, Craig Williamson.

Craig Williamson:

Hello, and welcome to Thank The Week, th positive news podcast. This i Episode 25. for the week of th Third of May 2021. Lots of fu stuff coming up for you. We'v got another big experiment t talk about. We've got som sports, we've got some tech go a movie to recommend and a ne TV series. And this has actuall been one of the most excitin weeks for me over the last fe years. And there's two reason for that. One of them is becaus I've tested for webcams, bu there's another reason as well which I will go into, and w will have a guest appearanc from Mahrukh Imtiaz from th Spicy Chai podcast. So let's ge started

Announcer:

News

Craig Williamson:

We start with news from last week of another big science experiment, you know, like a big science experiment. And this was some French characters who lived underground for 40 days and emerged last week. And this was kind of a an experiment about how people respond when there's no signals for for what time of day it is. So they had no watches, no way of telling the time. And there were a few interesting things that emerged. So they were under there for 40 days, but they actually felt like it was a lot less than that they thought they were about 30 days through when they were told it was over, which is quite interesting. And also, they adjusted to what ended up being a 32 hour clock. So as I said they had no indication of what time it was. So they just let their body clocks dictate how things run. And they ended up getting into a bit of a 32 hour cycle. So quite interesting to see the dynamics there were set different tasks. And that is also interesting, because how do you arrange a meeting or a start time for a task when you don't have a clock as well. So over the next couple of years, they are planning to have some more experiments in different environments, such as the rain forest and the desert as well. So I thought that was just an interesting experiment and an interesting way to see how we live without some of life's modern technologies such as time, A variety of COVID news this week. So in England, we've now opened up vaccinations to everyone over the age of 40. And in the US, every one of 16. And over is now eligible for a vaccine. So I believe the targets we've got going in the UK, we're hoping to have everyone vaccinated by the end of July with at least one dose. And I think in the US July the fourth Independence Day is the target appropriately enough. So yeah, lots of things going on with the vaccination there. There's another study that came out this week showing that actually having just a single dose of the vaccine can harm your chances of transmitting the virus as well, which is more positive news for us getting back to normal, and being able to mingle with other people without fears that we're spreading this thing as well. Also, a little snippet that I found really fascinating was tourism has obviously taken a hit all around the world over the last year or more since COVID. Now Alaska has a really innovative idea to encourage visitors back and especially international visitors from countries where vaccinations are not that commonplace. They are offering from June the first that tourists can have a vaccination. So that's part of the invitation to come to Alaska. Enjoy all that Alaska has to offer. And while you're there, why not get a vaccination too? So yeah, I thought that was a really interesting concept to be offering vaccinations in that way. So yeah, if you fancy your trip to Alaska, and you're in a country where vaccinations are not that widespread, then maybe now's the time to start planning that trip.

Announcer:

Sport

Craig Williamson:

Last week for NFL fans was a bit like Christmas day because it was the NFL Draft. So you get to find out which shiny new player your team is going to have for the new season. And imagine the fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely excited because they had the first pick. And they picked Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with their first overall pick from the draft. So there'll be very excited about that. Other quarterbacks went for the other two first picks. So the second pick was Zach Wilson, who went to the New York Jets. And then Trey Lance was the other quarterback who went third pick to the San Francisco 40 Niners so if you're an NFL fan, really exciting to start to think about the new season and especially if your team did not do so well last season's she was the the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is why they had the first pick then something to get excited about. You've got new players, new hope and new energy for the new NFL season. And talking about new hope and new energy in NBA basketball. Last week, the Phoenix Suns qualified for the playoffs for the first time for 10 years. And that is one of the longest playoff traps in the NBA. So really good news for the Phoenix Suns who are through to the NBA Playoffs which actually start in I think it's about three weeks time so we'll definitely be talking a bit more about that. As it stands only four teams have guaranteed their players but I think some of the others are a bit of a guaranteed shoo in but the ones who've guaranteed their place are the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76 is from the Eastern Conference. And we've got the Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz From the Western Conference In proper football last week was the week of semi finals. And this is the week of semi finals to because it's the second legs, which are always a bit more exciting than the first takes because you know, it's not all lost in the first leg unless you are Roma and you lose six to to Manchester United in the Europa League, in which case it probably is all over for you, but the other ones are really close. And there were some really great games actually to watch last week did manage to see a bit of that Man United game. The Arsenal Villareal game was really exciting as well in the Europa League, which is a bit unusual that the Europa League had some better action than the Champions League. So anyway, coming up this week, Tuesday, fourth of May we have the second leg of Manchester City vs. paraesthesia. Man, Man City winning two one from that first leg. That should be a really exciting finish. On Wednesday, it is Chelsea Real Madrid. This one's really well poised at one all so you can see how that finishes in the Champions League semi final second leg. And then Thursday night we have the second leg of the Europa League semies. So Arsenal against Villareal Arsenal, losing one two at the moment. And then Robert against Manchester United with Manchester United leading six two. We then got a bit more Premier League action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The pick of the games for me is on Saturday about dinnertime, here in the UK, it is Manchester City against Chelsea

Announcer:

Tech

Craig Williamson:

Following up on a couple of tech stories are reported last week, Apple did indeed release iOS 14.5 last week, and watch os 7.4. So this means if you've got an iPhone and an Apple Watch, you can now use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone, which is really important if you're out and about wearing a face mask. Because the face ID will not work, there are quite a few hoops to jump through. Because there are lots of different settings that you need to make sure are set right. In order for this to work. If you're struggling to find out how to do that, I've put a link to a great article from macrumors, which tells you how to make sure you can do this. And you can find that in the show notes. So thank the week.com slash 25. Also, last week, I previewed the Samsung Galaxy event, and they were promising their most powerful galaxy ever. And I had thought this might be laptops, and it did end up being laptops. So they announced their galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy book pro 360 laptops. Now nothing too special about these one standard laptop one that flips around, so you can use it upside down. And the main thing was that they've got oily D screens, so really high contrast screens, which are commonplace on mobile phones, but you don't often find on laptops, the prices of the laptop start about $1,000 there is pen support as well. But disappointingly, there's nowhere to store that pen that just seems like that's going to be trouble, isn't it, you're gonna lose that thing if there's no way just to slide it in. But anyway, if you're interested in that, and Samsung have those new laptops out, they did also announce a gaming laptop. That's the Samsung Galaxy book Odyssey. And that has some very high end graphics card within it. And yeah, I'm sure if you're a gamer, that might be something that interests and excites you. And that's going to be available from August starting at about $1,400. Yes, they were new laptops last week. But the thing that got me excited was talk of CES. This is the Consumer Electronics Show, which is a huge tech event that takes place every year in January in Las Vegas. And due to COVID. It did not happen last year it went virtual. This time they have announced that in January 2022. Ces is going to return as an in person event, there will be a digital component as well. But there is going to be the usual hoopla in Las Vegas where you can go and find out about all the latest gadgets from all the big tech companies. So that's going to be from January 5 to January the eighth. I've always wanted to go to CES ever since I was young. And I was really interested in just having a nice big TV. It always seemed like they released the big new TVs at CES. So that's what had me interested. Now there's just so much wacky technology, but also so much cool consumer technology, whether it's laptops, tablets, mobile phones, that kind of thing. It's still a little ambition. I've got to go to CES. This might not be the time but certainly in the future. I do hope I will get there at some point. So that is ces 2022 coming up in January next year.

Announcer:

Entertainment

Craig Williamson:

We watched a really fun family film last week called yesterday. And this is on Netflix available for everyone in the UK and the US right now just come out this year. I think it is a Netflix original film stars Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramirez as the main characters. And I really recommend this if you've got young children at home, probably even up to teenagers. So probably toddler to teenager, this film will be fun for all the family. We all had some laugh out loud moments. And I think parents can recognise themselves in the parent characters. And kids just enjoy the concept. So the concept yesterday, it's about the fact that parents are always saying no to their children, but we do it for their own good. And perhaps sometimes for our own good as well, whether it's safety, whether it's finances, whatever it might be, we have a lot of reasons for saying no. But the idea of yesterday is that you have one day where you can't say no to your children. So everything has to be a yes, there are some ground rules, but pretty much anything goes. Now, thankfully, the kids never turned around to us and asked for it yesterday, after watching this film. There is that fear in your eyes when you see the concept and you're a bit concerned. But it was a fun, really fun film. Really enjoyed it. lots of laughs in there. So highly recommend you have a watch out for yesterday on Netflix. I did have the opportunity to watch quite a bit of TV this week, which I will tell you about very shortly. But there was a benefit. So there was a new series that has come onto my radar that I've really enjoyed. And I'm well into it now. And it is another binge watch. There are 113 episodes to watch. I got through the entire first season and I'm partway through the second season. This is called superstore and it's an American sitcom. And I believe it's brand on NBC and it's only just finished. So season six was the finale season and that just finished back in March in the US on NBC. It's out here in the UK, I think you can get the first five series on Netflix, and the sixth series is on ITV to at the moment as well. Saw superstore it's to me it's really similar to the office in that it's this really nice workplace comedy, where you can kind of lose yourself in their lives and get wrapped up in what these people are up to. So it's people in a big superstore, it looks like a Walmart, they call it cloud nine, but it pretty much looks like a Walmart, but it's basically the staff from this superstore and it follows their daily lives in this store. And it's just extremely funny. I really am enjoying superstore and looking forward to getting through those next six series over the coming weeks.

Announcer:

Guest

Mahrukh Imtiaz:

Are you someone that's doing the nine to five job and you know that you have this extra knowledge that you want to share with the world but you don't know where to start are worried that you will say something wrong? Or ask herself Who am I to be a content creator? Well, this is the reason why I started Spicy Chai podcast for content creators. So hi, I'm Mahrukh and I am the host of spicy Chai a podcast for content creators. This is a podcast where I interview people who are just a bit ahead of you on the content creation journey. These are people that notice struggle, they're often still in the struggle, and they're here to help you on your own path. So my hope is to inspire you with their inspiring stories. So you can put your own voice out there and start using knowledge that you already have to make an extra income, why not? And now to the questions. So one thing that was extremely great for me last week, and I had a realisation about it then was when I was reading books, and I was reading personal development books and I'm a personal development junkie. And I realised how privileged Am I that I can a read and be I can buy the books or borrow the books that I want to read. That is a huge privilege. And I had this huge moment of gratitude that hey, I can read and be I can read whatever I want. So that was one thing that was extremely great that happened. And then the next thing that I would say that I'm extremely excited about this upcoming week is that I currently live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada yet yeah, Canadians and one thing that I'm really excited about is that Ontario has said that they will have everyone get the first dose of vaccination by end of May 2021. So that is extremely exciting because I'm somewhat really really really COVID burnt out and really hoping to get back to somewhat the norm. So that's what I would say is something I'm extremely excited about. And if you like my vibe and want to chill more with me, then obviously I love you and if you don't then no harsh feelings I love you anyway but if you want to find me You can find me on mahrukhimtiaz.com is my website my social media handles are mahrukh dot m dot imtiaz on Instagram and mahrukh dot imtiaz on tik tok. And then yeah, I have the podcast spicy Chai so yeah, hoping to listen to you will actually not really listen to what it does not make sense. Blue. Okay, back anyway. So basically hoping to hear from you. That makes more sense now. Okay. Yeah, hoping to hear back from you. And thank you and hope you have a great week. Take care, bye.

Announcer:

Life

Craig Williamson:

It is Tuesday, the 27th of April, about 4pm. I'm in my car about to head out. And I am very excited because I'm going for my COVID vaccine. I really didn't expect that this week. But just yesterday, the eligibility opened up to me. So I got straight online, very first thing Monday morning, got bogged down and was shocked to find that there were spaces the very next day. So here I am. I'm in my car ready to go. I'm very excited. I've been really looking forward to getting this done. When you see all your friends and family having it you kind of feel like you're missing out on it. I think it's Just a really important thing for us all to get out there and get the vaccine when we can. So I am extremely excited. As you know, I do have some issues with the with needle. So we'll see how it goes. But actually, it's the first time I've had an injection and I'm genuinely excited, I really am looking forward to getting this. Here in the UK, we've got 12 weeks in between jobs saw my second dose will not be until July. But yeah, really excited. So I'm going to hit the road head into town. And I'm going to the vaccination Centre at the local city hall. And then I will let you know how I get on. I've arrived I'm in the carpark and you can tell them in a good mood because I had a car in front of me in a 60 mile an hour zone driving at 30 miles an hour. But it didn't bother me because I was quite looking forward to getting here. And then even the van behind me that started flashing its lights and getting a bit irritable. That even didn't bother me. And then even when I had chance to overtake this 30 mile an hour car and I pulled out and the van pulled out and tried to squeeze alongside me, that still didn't bother me. And I did get in front of the van. Thankfully, without incident that would have been a bit of a shame on it on the way to my vaccination. And then the van proceeded to sheepishly follow me for the rest of the journey, but kept his distance he was obviously a little sheepish about his move earlier on. But anyway, I'm here and safely, thankfully. So I will go now get my vaccine. And I'll come back and tell you all about it. Hopefully a bit less eventful than my drive down. I'm back in the car safe unwell, and I've had my vaccination, I've had my first dose, I had the AstraZeneca vaccine, and then didn't really feel much just a little a little pinch on the arm. I didn't see any topless people. Again, vaccines, unfortunately, they were doing them all stood up, which I didn't really like the look of but I did declare that I do tend to pass out. So I did get the VIP treatment and got taken to a special little area where I got to lie down. And then I had several people fussing over me for about quarter of an hour after the vaccine as well. So I had to lay down had the vaccine. And then was was told to lay down for another five minutes and then sit up slowly and then then went out to the little waiting area and a volunteer chatted with me there for a little while as well. And she gave me a little sticker. So I've got my own little sticker it's like it's like when used to go to the dentist. So that that made me very happy. It says I've also I've had my COVID vaccination. So I've got little sticker. So everyone knows, I've been brave, although I did lie down, but that's fine. And yeah, just really, really pleased and excited. It's terrific to see all in action runs really smoothly, there wasn't much of a queue once I got there, I think I could have probably been in and out in about a quarter of an hour if it wasn't for my special needs. But yeah, really efficient. And lots of staff, lots of people working lots of people volunteering, and just really grateful for everyone's help and helping us out of this. And really do encourage all of you when you get the chance for that vaccination, just go and take it. So that's my first dose done. I'm braced for perhaps a few little adverse reactions. I've heard a few people not feeling too great maybe the day after. So we'll see how that develops tomorrow. But that's for tomorrow. For now. I'm pleased. I'm excited. I'm happy and really glad to have had the vaccine. So now you know why it was such an exciting week. For me. I was genuinely excited. And I've been really pleased to get the vaccine. I must say I did have a few side effects. I was just knocked out just a little bit for a couple of days. But that gave me time to watch Superstore on TV, so you know it's not all bad. But yeah, I'm feeling good. Now my arm still actually a little bit sore. But yeah, just feel really good to have had that first Doss. And yeah, I really encourage you all once you get the call up, please do go out there and get your vaccine. So it was just a glorious week for me last week because as well as the vaccine, I was testing for different webcams. And I did tease this last week. I did think I'd have a final conclusion to report this week but I'm afraid this is going to have to be part A of my USB webcam Odyssey just because I have not been able to find the right solution. So quick summary of the story. Some of you know some of the background but Logitech C 920 is my current webcam and I've had it for probably a couple years the quality is pretty good. And it's generally regarded as one of the best webcams out there but the issue is the technology is about 10 years old. This thing came out almost 10 years ago and it really frustrates me there should be a far better webcam available right now. So I set out to find that far better webcam, and so far, I've not done very well. So this journey started when I ordered the Poly Studio P5 which is a new webcam by Poly brand new out there talks about having great optics great image quality, I thought right I'm going to try this so 120 pounds I pre ordered should have arrived last week. It hasn't arrived yet still hasn't been launched. No delivery date has been offered. So I'm hoping I will get that shortly. Maybe that will be the answer to my dreams. But in the interim, I got a little edgy and thought, you know what, I should try a few other webcams while I'm waiting for this. So I ordered a few others and had a little play about so I got the Anker Power Conf C300, which is from Anker who were pretty much renowned for making power bricks and cables and that kind of thing, but they do make some really good hardware as well. The thing that caught my eye about this was it's a webcam for 120 pounds, similar to the Poly P5. Now, if you look on Amazon, there are tonnes of webcams of no name, no brand, just random webcams that seem to have a suspiciously high number of positive reviews, and they're all under 50 pounds. There's so many different webcams, you can get. Obviously, this has really kicked off since the pandemic, a lot of people needing webcams. But when you see something for over 100 pounds, you think, Hmm, maybe there's something to this anchor, we're promising. I've got some special processing, and this is going to be a really big step up in webcams. Well, let me tell you, it was not that the image was really soft, the colours were really washed out. It had this AI powered system where it was supposed to follow you around the scene, and it was just this horrible jerky mess. And certainly not as smooth as the portal TV, which I've talked about recently, which was extremely smooth. So yeah, really didn't like the anchor. So that one is going back to Amazon. What else did I buy? Well, the Logitech Brio is generally renowned to be the best webcam you can buy at the moment. It's normally retails for about 180 200 pounds, similar amount in dollars. It's a 4k webcam. And it does have Windows Hello as well, which if you've got a Windows computer is the infrared camera that can detect your face and log you in using your first so that could be quite useful. Now I found a deal on Amazon, it was an open box one for 120 pounds. So I thought well actually, it's a good way to try it out and compare it. Now that was very disappointing to, again, the quality wasn't great, I thought the quality of my C 920 was fairly similar. The Logitech did have the edge in low light, and the Windows Hello feature is very useful. Don't get me wrong. But yeah, it just wasn't a big enough step up. The image wasn't that sharp and the colour balance was not very good either. So that one also will be going back. Next, this one did have me really excited. This is the Cisco WebEx desk camera. And this is by Cisco, big big company. They've been doing video conferencing for many years selling huge systems that go in meeting rooms. So you think they know a thing or two about cameras. So I was really excited for this literally just released, managed to get hold of one of the first ones cost 150 pounds, so a little bit more expensive than the others. It has 4k, like the Braille and it has Windows Hello as well. First impressions, I love this thing. And I thought I'd found my perfect match. The image was sharp, the colour balance was really nice. It was just built really nicely. It's got this little metal case with this little slide over shutter it, it just felt like a really premium product. The problem is two problems. Firstly, it doesn't work with all of my video conferencing software. So I do some online teaching using Adobe Connect. And Adobe Connect would not recognise it as a camera, which was a bit bizarre. And then furthermore, I had other applications like zoom in which it would work perfectly one minute, and then the quality would really drop and it suddenly become really blocky. And there was no way of knowing why that happened. And I did reach out to Cisco for help. But they said because I'm not a corporate customer, they can help me they don't seem to have any kind of consumer division. This is designed for big corporations who roll out 1000s of these things and then have a big support package where Cisco can help them. So I must say maybe it was something about my setup, so may not be the device itself. Otherwise I was reasonably impressed. However, the autofocus was not great. And sometimes it would focus on the wall behind me rather than my face. So that was a little irritating as well. So the Cisco WebEx desk camera, he showed promise but did not deliver. So with the Logitech C 920, which I'm still using and he's in front of me right now. That's four webcams. I've tried in the last week, I've got my fingers crossed the poly p five might come out this week, but to to to scratch my itch I ordered another webcam which is a Logitech stream cam. And I have been a bit down on Logitech because I don't think they're innovating. But the stream cam is a relatively new camera, I think it only came out about a year ago. It is designed for live streaming as the name would imply, which I do not do but it is supposedly quite a good high quality image. I watched a couple of videos on YouTube comparing it to my C 920. And it looked very favourable looked like a nice crisp picture. So that arrives very soon, I'll be testing that and hopefully the poly p five as well. When I've had both of those and been able to test them. I'm going to give you part B of this and hopefully I will have found that webcam that's going to see me through the end at least hopefully At the end of this pandemic, and hopefully a few more years beyond that,

Announcer:

Harper

Harper Williamson:

It's time for my book of the month for May. The book that I have this week is A Pinch of Magic, by Michelle Harrison. I actually started reading this in the first lockdown. But then I, I kind of stopped reading it for a while until school started back up again. And then I brought it into school to read when we did guided reading, which is basically just a time where everyone reads their own book. It was key in the name, which is magic. Everything revolves around magic, but there are three important items and one tower. I'm going to tell you the blurb because I don't know how to talk about it without giving anything away. And blobs always do that pretty well. Three Sisters trapped by an ancient curse, through magical objects with the power to change their fate. Will they be enough to break the curse? Or will they lead the sisters even deeper into danger?

Announcer:

Random

Craig Williamson:

I have a public service announcement day. And then I've got days for two particular people. And you'll see what I'm talking about in a moment. So first, a public service announcement. In the US it is Mother's Day on Sunday. Do not forget Mother's Day, in the US is this Sunday, May the ninth if you're in the UK, we've had Mother's Day Don't stress is over. It's done with but in the US May the ninth is Mother's Day. So go spoil your mum on Mother's day this week. Now, I have two days of particular relevance to my good friend and amateur meteorologist who has been on the show Simon Hammond. It's a really great week for weather people saw on Tuesday, May the fourth it is weather observers there. And I would really class Simon is a very good weather observer. So enjoy Tuesday assignment, that is your day as a weather observer. And you can also geek out on Friday May the seventh because it's Beaufort scale there. Yes, of course Beaufort scale there. This is about Sir Francis Beaufort, who devised a scale to measure wind force in 1806. And that ranges from zero which is calm to 12, which is a hurricane. So if you're into your weather, and I know Simon is but for all of the people who are interested in whether we've got the bar for scale there on Friday, now the next two days for my son, Henry, because these are two things that really ring true with him, but you might enjoy them as well. They're not exclusively for him. Friday, May the seventh is no pants day. It's a day where we're encouraged to lounge around without wearing pants. Now, in the UK pants actually means underpants. But I think I should stress this is talking about trousers, specifically not underpants. So it's not suggesting that you walk around with the bottom half of your body naked is just suggesting that you don't wear any trousers on Friday. So Friday May the seventh no pants there. Henry loves to walk around with our pants. He likes to walk around the house gets home from school first he does trousers off, and then he strolling around in his underwear for the rest of the day. So I'm sure he will enjoy Friday, May the seventh no pants day, and then he will also enjoy Saturday May the eighth, it is no socks there. And that's the other thing he likes to do so, so he'll wander around the house with his pants off, or with his trousers off, I should say. And then as soon as he sits down on the sofa to watch TV, the first thing he does is he rolls down his socks takes them off and just throws them on the floor. And you know what, when he goes back upstairs, of course he forgets them. So we're just left with a pile of Henry sweaty socks laying in the lounge, which does get a little bit frustrating. But Henry loves having his socks off. So again, Henry enjoy. Saturday May the eighth is no socks there. And to round off the clothing theme. We have a sombre day, Sunday May the ninth is last sock Memorial there. So it's a time to pause and reflect on all those socks that you've lost over the years, and maybe look back at their partners and think about how they used to be when they were together in your sock drawer. That's Sunday, May the ninth last sock Memorial Day. Thank you so much for listening this week. Links to all the stories are in the show notes at thank the week.com slash 25. please do leave me a review in Apple podcasts. You can either write some nice words or just click on the stars and give me a star rating. That would be much appreciated. You don't even have to listen on Apple podcasts. You can just go in there, search for thank the week and leave me a review that would be much appreciated. Well have a fantastic week and I look forward to seeing you all again next week. Goodbye.

Announcer:

Thank The Week. Discovering positivity and excitement in every week of the year.