March 1, 2021

Overcast, Obama, and Oreos


Episode 16 of Thank The Week included:

  • Lockdown lifting and vaccine sharing
  • Holiday resort sporting events
  • A foldable stunner
  • An offer you might not be able to refuse
  • Clever cats and dogs
  • And "I'm listening!"

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Harper

Ideas

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Transcript
Craig Williamson:

Coming up this week, it's March and the sun is shining. We have lockdown lifting and vaccine sharing, a holiday resort sporting event, a foldable stunner with an offer you might not be able to refuse. We have clever cats and clever dogs. And I'm listening. It's Thank The Week.

Announcer:

Thank The Week. Learning to be thankful for last week and excited for this week with your host, Craig Williamson.

Craig Williamson:

Welcome to Episode 16 of thank the week for the week of the first of March 2021. Happy March, everyone. This is the podcast where we embrace positivity with an upbeat view of news, sports, tech, entertainment, and my own daily life. There's been a lot of great things to celebrate about last week, and we've got so much to look forward to this week. So let's get to it.

Announcer:

News

Craig Williamson:

It has been a bumper week of positive COVID News, I've got three things to share with you. Firstly in England, we have a roadmap out of our lockdown, there was an announcement on Monday, so eighth of March schools are going to reopen EU on the 29th of March, we can allow six people together and outdoor sports can recommend such as kids football. Other dates are dependent on the data. But at the earliest, on the 12th of April, all non essential shops will be able to open in England, and beer gardens would be open as well as indoor gyms and pools. And then from the 17th of may up to 30 people could gather outdoors. And then indoor pubs and restaurants could reopen. And we could have fans back at sports stadiums. And then the final date, at the earliest of 21st of June, everything can open including nightclubs, which is quite a while since I've been to a nightclub. I'm sure very many people will be excited about that. And all the legal limits on social contact will be removed here in England. So really positive news and it also links to the aim to get everyone in the UK all adults at least one dose of the vaccine by the 31st of July. So we have some optimism now in the country. Talking about vaccines there is the COVAX vaccine sharing initiative which has shared its first doses with other countries. So Ghana was the first recipient of 600,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. And these are given out through the World Health Organisation who've put together this vaccine sharing initiative to make sure that vaccines are spread equitably across the world. So that's really positive news that vaccines are getting out wider. And the third item we have another world leader with a needle in his arm on live TV. This was Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison received his first job last week. By all accounts he took it very well we still had no high profile fences. So the the winning streak continues. But this is really good news as it was a start of all the vaccinations taking place in Australia which began last week. Just briefly, I talked last week about the perseverance rover landing on Mars and some incredible new footage came out last week. So this is video footage of the rover as it was touching down on the surface. If you can have a look at that, I really recommend it. I'll put a link in the show notes at thank the week.com slash 16

Announcer:

Sport

Craig Williamson:

Just over a week ago we had the climax of the Australian Open tennis and Novak Djokovic won the men's title with Naomi Osaka winning the Women's Singles. In darts. We have a tournament to look forward to this week. Now I did talk about the NBA Finals last year. This is the basketball tournament in the US and they took place in Disney World you know you pick a nice big fancy resort for these sporting events. Well, we can rival that here in the UK. Because Friday to Sunday. We have the 2021 Ladbrokes UK open das tournament and that's taking place at Butlins Minehead resort in Somerset. Now, I have actually been to many Butlins and spent many happy holidays there, both with our own children but also when I was a child as well. And actually I've been to the mynet resorts so something to look forward to, if you're into your darts this week. In cricket this week on Thursday, we have the start of the fourth and final test match between England and India. That series is now poised with England to one down going into the final test. And finally football we have a full round of premier league fixtures in midweek this week between Monday and Thursday. The pick of those for me is Liverpool against Chelsea which is on Thursday night and then this weekend we have another full round of premier league fixtures. The pick of those is the Manchester Derby on Sunday. It is Manchester City against Manchester United

Announcer:

Tech

Craig Williamson:

I previewed this last week and it did happen last Monday. Huawei launched their mate x two foldable phone and it's a stunner. I'm really impressed with this. It looks so nice. It is only available in China and it probably will never make it out of China. And it is horrendously expensive. Looking at the Chinese cost that translates to $2,800, or 2000 pounds, that is a lot of money. But what do you get for that money? Well, imagine a phone with a 6.45 inch screen. But what happens is you can unfold that phone and inside is this huge eight inch 2480 by 2200 pixel display. So it's nearly a square display, eight inches diagonal, and it just looks incredibly stunning. And the little videos I've seen of it, it just looks really impressive. If you got to thank the week.com slash 16. I'll put a link to a little hands on video where someone is actually opening and closing this thing. It looks Oh, nice. It has 8 gig of RAM. There are four cameras as well. So it's got all the trimmings that a normal smartphone would have. It's got wide angle lens and optical zoom up to 10 times. But yeah, it just looks so nice. And I really think this is the future. There's a lot of times, obviously we use our phones during the day, I have a larger tablet Pixel Slate that I use for reading the news and doing a bit of web browsing. But if I could have one device that would have everything, and I could have this nice small device to do for unrelated things. And then when I want that bigger screen, I can just open it up that is just so appealing to me. But as I said, this may never make it out of China. But I have an offer for you... Samsung have the Galaxy Z fold two, or let's say the galaxy z fold two. And that is their equivalent of this Huawei Mate x two, perhaps not quite as sexy, the display is only a little bit smaller. Actually, I think he's just under eight inches went up. And but it is a pretty special device. And why am I telling you about this. So this has been out for quite a while now. But there is a new programme available in the US where you can try it for 100 days. That's right, you can have this thing in your hand in your pocket for 100 days. And then if you don't get on with it, just send it back and get your money back. And actually, Samsung are encouraging people to try it out. So a Samsung spokesperson said and I quote, this new initiative will help consumers try and see if a foldable device is right for them as part of Samsung's commitment to making foldable devices more accessible for everyone. So it's not like you're taking advantage of them. It's not like you're buying it with an intention to immediately sell it back. Samsung have specifically said they want you to try this thing out. So why would you not do that. So as I said, this is Samsung's buy and try programme, it's only available in the US. So you can buy directly from Samsung, and you get 100 days to play with it. Now, I must stress obviously, you are responsible for it during that 100 days. So you do have to be fairly careful with it because you wouldn't be able to send it back with any damage on it. So with that having been said, You also need to stump up the money up front because you need to actually pretend like you're buying this thing, and then have a little play with it and probably send it back because it might be difficult to justify current costs in the US this phone is $2,000. In the UK, we can get it for 1800 pounds. And if you're in the UK, all is not lost because Samsung has a standard returns policy of 28 days. So if you do want to try out in the UK, you can still buy direct from Samsung, and you've got 28 days. Yes, it's not quite as nice as 100 days. But still, it's a good way to give it a go. So if you're as excited about foldable tech as me, it might be worth trying the galaxy Z fold 2 Finally some podcast player news. The iOS podcast player Overcast has released a massive update to its Apple Watch app. So if you do use Overcast and you have an Apple Watch, it might be worth putting the new overcast app on that watch. Apparently, it's got a much more intuitive interface. And it's now got the ability to keep in sync with the app on your phone as well. Also from the watch, you can use it to skip chapters. Now if you're not familiar with chapters, some podcasts have chapters that you can skip through to different sections. So you'll know my podcast is very well structured with lots of different areas. And actually, if one doesn't float your book, if you don't like sports, for example, you can just skip ahead to the next chapter and miss out the sport. So might be of interest to you if you use the Overcast app. That's the new Apple Watch app for Overcast out this week.

Announcer:

Entertainment

Craig Williamson:

I'm listening. If you wondered what I was saying in my opening Well, I'm listening is a very famous quote from Dr Frasier Crane. He was a character in Cheers and then he had a spinoff series called Frasier, which ran for many many years over 250 episodes. Well, great news this week for Frasier fans because there is a revival in the works for us streaming channel called Paramount plus, and I'm really excited about this. I did actually watch all 264 episodes of Frasier not that long ago. It was before my lockdown binge started, but I did manage to get hold of all of those previous episodes and watch them and it is just really great comedy. It doesn't age and it managed to maintain such a high standard through so many seasons. So really excited to see that coming forward. They haven't announced yet which other cast members will be joining but Dr. Frasier crane will be there. That's something for us all to look forward to this year. In podcasting news, we had the Harry and Megan podcast that Spotify probably paid an obscene amount of money for, will have Spotify have done it again. And this is a bit of an unusual pairing. If I was to ask you which two people do you think would be making a podcast for Spotify? I can imagine the combination of former US President Barack Obama, and the boss, Bruce Springsteen, would be one of the least likely combinations on your list. But yes, Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are co hosting a Spotify exclusive podcast, it is called renegades born in the USA, I see what they've done there. And apparently, they're going to discuss risk fatherhood, marriage, and the State of America. So the first two episodes are already out there available for free for everyone through Spotify. And apparently, there are eight episodes planned in total for that first season. So that's Obama and Springsteen's renegades born in the USA podcast

Announcer:

Life

Craig Williamson:

Week 8 of lockdown is under our belts. And it has been so nice to have the announcement this week, that gives us something to look forward to. So certainly in the Williamson household, we are excited for Monday, coming up Monday, the eighth of March when schools go back. So Henry and Harper will both be back at school next week, which we're very excited about. And actually, they're both very excited about two. And I think the other thing we're looking forward to is the 29th of March, because that allows outdoor sporting activities to take place. Now Henry plays for a couple of football teams. So that will be fantastic. He can start to practice with them again, and hopefully have some matches. And also, it allows me to go out again with the Stonehenge striders, the local running club that I enjoy going out with as well. So I think there's some real optimism for us all this week. I think it really helps that the weather has been improving a lot as well. We had lots of sunshine last week, it got up to about 13 degrees Celsius, which is probably mid 50s Fahrenheit, although I think elsewhere in the UK did get up to 18 degrees Celsius, which is over 60 degrees, which is very unusual for this time of year. But yeah, we've had a lot of sunshine, had a lovely run out on Thursday had a nice run in the sunshine. It was cool, but it's just so bright. And just so refreshing to get out there. And it reminds us that spring is nearly here, something to look forward to is that the clocks are changing soon. So I know in just a couple of weeks, I think it's 14th of March in the US, then the clocks move forward in our in the UK, it's a bit late is two weeks later on the 28th of March. But that's going to make such a difference when it's lighter later at night. And I think we can all be optimistic going into the spring and looking forward to the summer two. Another thing I wanted to mention this week was I was featured in an article on the podcast host website. This was following up from the let's talk 2021 competition that you very kindly helped me to finish runner up in. And there was an article about my podcasting journey on there. So if you're interested in how I got into podcasting, and some of the tools that are used, you can have a look at that article. I've put a short link to it if you got to thanktheweek.com/letstalk that will forward you to the article. That's thanktheweek.com/letstalk. And I'll talk about my inspiring podcasters, Kevin Tofel and Matthew Miller, who were the ones who got me interested in podcasting through their mobile tech roundup podcast that I enjoyed for many, many years, at least, I think, almost 500 episodes, which is pretty remarkable. does help that Kevin Tofel is a Liverpool fan as well. So obviously, a bit of a connection there. But yeah, so I talk about my inspirations and I talk about some of the tools and techniques, I use some of the tools being Buzzsprout, which is my podcast host, Hindenburg Pro, which is the audio editor, I use PodPage, which I use for my website, and also Otter, who I've talked about before that use for transcriptions as well. So if you're into podcasting, and you want to know a bit more about what I do and how this podcast comes together, then you can check out that article. thanktheweek.com/letstalk

Announcer:

Harper

Harper Williamson:

So this week, I would like to talk about World Book Day. And World Book Day takes place on the fourth of March, every year. The website says, World Book Day changes lives through a love of books and shared reading. Our mission is to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. And on World Book Day, all children, whether it's from school, or you might just find one in a magazine, they give out one pound book vouchers and there are short stories, short books that you can get and they're always one pound and you can see that they are for World Book Day because they have the little banner on them. And you can either Spend your one pound voucher on that. Or you can get a book that is just a regular book, and you get one pound off the price. And to find out more, you can go to World Book day.com. Now I'm going to talk about five books that I have recently read. My first book is called Rumble Star. And it's by an author called Abby Elphinstone, a little bit of the blurb his adventures happen to people who need them, whether they want them or not, is entirely beside the point. And my next book is called The Boy Who Made The World Disappear by Ben Miller. And one of my friends actually has this book. And on one of our school calls, we had to show a book that we recommended, and she shared that one. So obviously, it's not just me that recommends this book. And the first paragraph of the blurb is an out of this world adventure about time travel, twists of fate and troublesome black holes. third book is by Amy Wilson, and it's called Shadows of Winter Spell. I have three of her books, and they all link up together in some way. The ones that I have are Shadows of Winter Spell, Snow Globe, and The Girl Called Owl, which I'm quite far through reading right now actually, the first paragraph of the blurb is the edge of the forest is a bright moonlit line hung with the charms and chatters of spells. And to my fourth book, it's called The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl. And it's by Stacy McAnulty. And the first paragraph of the blurb is if you can survive a bolt of lightning, you can survive Middle School, right? My last book is quite a famous one. I am just about to start reading actually a borrowed the book from one of my friends. And it's The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Rauf. And it was the winner of the Blue Peter best story award 2019. The first paragraph is they used to be an empty chair at the back of my class. But now a new boy called a mat is sitting in it. Now, I have decided to do my book of the month. So I'm going to start that up. So my book of the month for March is The Miscalculations of Lightning. I just enjoyed it the most because there were so many twists and turns. And for this one, I'll read the whole of the blurb. So Lucy callaham was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it. But the zap gave her genius level math skills. And she's been homeschooled ever since. Now she's technically ready for college, she just has to pass one more test, middle school, Lucy's grandma insists go to middle school for one year, make one friend join one activity and read one book. Lucy is not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in seventh grade. She has everything she needs at home where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines, or her super powered brain. The equation of Lucy's life has already been solved unless there's been a miscalculation. So I really do suggest this book for you to read in March.

Announcer:

Ideas

Craig Williamson:

Books are so important for everyone but particularly for our children. So I have a book related idea for you this week. Now previously, I've talked about our little library. So this is a little cupboard that we have outside our house that we have books in we have adult books, we have children's books. And the idea is that anyone in the neighbourhood can stop by if they see something that they fancy, they can pick it up and take it away and read it. And maybe they'll drop that book back or maybe they'll put a different book in its place. And it's just a really nice community resource that people enjoy finding new books and certainly the children in our neighbourhood really enjoy going in there and discovering a new book. So the organisation little free library has a scavenger hunt going on this week in the US and this is linked to the National Day of unplugging which you A period that promotes not looking at technology at all, in the first weekend in March might be a bit difficult. For many people out there, myself included. But as part of that, the National Day of unplugging have linked with little free library to arrange this scavenger hunt. Now it's available in particular towns in the US, if you go to the website, you'll be able to find that out. And I've put a quick link to that app, thanktheweek.com/books. That's thanktheweek.com/books that will take you to the National Day of unplugging website and give you information on where this scavenger hunt is taking place. But it's essentially in towns in the US where there are lots of little libraries and you can go to each one, pick up different clues, try and solve problems, and find some great books while you're at it. So that's going to take place from the fifth to the sixth of March. And what I would say is, if you're not in the US, or if there isn't one of those scavenger hunts going on near you, then have a look at the little free library website and find out where your closest little free libraries and check it out, go and have a look. Maybe take a book along with you to swap in there. And if there isn't one near you, why not consider setting one up yourself. There's lots of information to help you if you go to littlefreelibrary.org that's littlefreelibrary.org they've got tonnes of information and resources to help you set up your own little free library. And of course, there's a really active community as well. And everyone's very happy to help myself included and my wife who is really passionate about that as well. So get in touch with us get in touch with a littlefreelibrary.org and perhaps think about setting one up for yourselves.

Announcer:

Random

Craig Williamson:

You've had World Book Day, that's the serious days over with. Now let's get into the random days. Monday. The first of March is National peanut butter lovers day, not to be confused with national peanut butters day, which was on the 24th of January. What's the distinction? I'm not too sure. National peanut butter lovers day. It could be for people who love peanut butter. But could it be for lovers who like peanut butter, it's really not clear to me that they really need to be clear with these titles anyway, just to share a little insight. Peanut butter is one of my fairly recent discoveries, probably the last five to 10 years. And it started with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, which you couldn't use to get in England. But now you can find them pretty much everywhere. But yeah, I really, really enjoy those. And it's grown from there. And actually my guilty pleasure at the moment is Ben and Jerry's, Netflix and chilled ice cream, which is a little bit of peanut butter mixed in there. And I think some pretzel pieces as well. The best thing about peanut butter related snacks for me is that nobody else in the house likes peanut butter. So if I get any sweets, any chocolates any ice cream with peanut butter in it is fantastic because I know I'm safe. I don't have to rush to eat it. And I can eat it at my leisure. So that's national peanut butter lovers day on Monday, the first. Okay, we shared some weird ones over the last few weeks. Now this is possibly at the top of that list on Wednesday, the third of March. It is what if cats and dogs had opposable thumbs day? Yes, it's about thinking how different our lives would be if cats and dogs could actually have opposable thumbs, and then maybe start opening their own food. And this celebration was created by a guy who'd had cats and dogs in his house for many years, and suddenly realised actually the main reason these pets need humans is actually for food. So he thought, well, I wonder how things would turn out if they didn't need humans to open those tins of food. So that's Wednesday. The third of March is what if cats and dogs had opposable thumbs day And I'm going to finish up with a slew of special days on Saturday, the sixth of March, you can start off with the US National white chocolate cheesecake there. It's a bit specific, but you know, that's okay. Just to share another revelation you're really learning a lot about me this week, like peanut butter, I'm a bit of a late comer to cheesecake so I had many cheesecake last years in my life and discovered them again similar to peanut butter, maybe five to 10 years ago and actually really enjoyed cheesecake. So national white chocolate cheesecake there. This does remind me of a restaurant in the US called the Cheesecake Factory, which hopefully many of you have had a chance to frequent at some point. I might get in trouble for sharing this story but hopefully not but the first time I took my wife dawn to the Cheesecake Factory, she was really disappointed. And it was because she literally thought we would go into a cheesecake factory so so when we opened the door and it was a restaurant, she was like well, what where's all the cheesecake she thought that it was literally we were gonna look around a factory that made cheesecake. But it all turned out well. We love cheesecake. Dawn had a lovely meal that night and did enjoy some cheesecake at the end of it. thing about the Cheesecake Factory is the cheesecakes so huge. You can never finish the whole thing in one sitting so you've always got cheesecake to take home for the next day as well. Anyway, that was my little cheesecake story. Hopefully I'm not in Trouble with dawn. And that is Saturday. So you've got your national white chocolate cheesecake there. Also on Saturday, it is National Oreo cookie day. So you've had your cheesecake, you've had your Oreos, what else do you need? Well, you can finish off again on Saturday, the sixth of March with national dentists day. Thank you so much for listening. Links to all the stories as ever in the show notes at thanktheweek.com/16. I would love to be able to grow the Thank The Week podcast so if you could please please tell a friend who likes podcasts all about Thank The Week and point them to our show. That would be fantastic. And hopefully they can join us next week. I will see you all then. Until next week, goodbye!

Announcer:

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