Books, Technology, Writing

H is Happy: H is for Heidi, Hir a thoddaid, Hypothesis

My theme: something about books, something about poetry, and something about tech – QA in specific. H is Happy: H is for Heidi, Hir a thoddaid, Hypothesis.

An Update on the comments issue: It is resolved! I still need to check on a couple of other things and am playing catch up on my posts due to that. So will be adding images (have not checked yet if I can add – the one that is there is copied over from previous post) and other media soon; for now, your comments and my replies will start showing up (yay!) 


In times like these, it is helpful to remember that
there have always been times like these.
– Will Harvey

Entertainment Corner

H is Happy: H is for Heidi

To be honest, H was supposed to be Holes or Hidden Figures. I did not want to go with Harry Potter, because that was kind of the obvious choice for H for a book vs movie poll with the obvious winner being the books. I read all the Harry Potter books as an adult; and watched all the movies without fail. The first movie was especially an experience I will not forget – a special pre-screening where the entrance and other areas of the theater were setup to look like places from the book; and everyone got a Harry Potter themed goody bag – granted, it was just a prettily packed bag of jelly beans, but still!

For Holes, I was waiting on my kids’ perspective on the book and the movie, as I did not read the book or watch the movie fully; and am still waiting :-). For Hidden Figures, I did not read the book yet, though I plan to.

So finally I settled on Heidi (which I initially avoided as I read this when I was, well, don’t recall – it was that long ago – so I skimmed through the book to be able to write more about it; and while I watched the Shirley Temple version as an adult, it was also (long) ago!)

The Book:

Heidi by Johanna Spyri- Heidi and Peter’s friendship for me is nothing short of adorable! And Heidi herself is such a delightful person – no wonder she worms (too small a word, actually for Heidi) her way into everyone’s heart with ease.

I recall that I wanted a grandfather like Heidi’s (not that my granddads were not most wonderful themselves!) when I first read this book, and then the other times I read it as well earlier. I wanted to live where she lived – with her grandfather. And loved the love that was there all around her.

With this re-read, I find it still a delight to read. Sweet, heartwarming, and simply full of goodness – just like Heidi herself.

Note: while this book does have some religious over(under)tones, I did not find it preachy at all.

Quotes from the book:

This is how Heidi’s aunt Dete describes her to Fraulein Rottenmeier to assure her that Heidi is perfect as a companion to Clara: ‘a child unlike all other children, and I could find no other to suit, for the greater number I know are not peculiar, but one very much the same as the other, and I thought this child seemed as if made for the place. ‘ and so apt a description it is!

When Heidi misses the mountains, she says: ‘I can never see how the sun says good-night to the mountains’

On guilt ‘the little watchman has a small goad in his hand, And when he wakes up he keeps on pricking us with it, so that we have not a moment’s peace. And the watchman torments us still further, for he keeps on calling out, ‘Now you will be found out! Now they will drag you off to punishment!’ And so we pass our life in fear and trouble, and never know a moment’s happiness or peace. ‘

The Movie:

I can’t recall when I watched the movie but when I saw it at the local library – a video cassette (so you have an idea how long ago) – I knew I wanted to watch it. And Shirley Temple sure was an amazing Heidi.

Note: I do want to watch the 2015 adaptation of Heidi (and learned of it as I wrote this post) sometime soon as well as the anime version of it.

The Question: Book or Movie

While the movie I watched (among the many Heidi movie/TV adaptations present) had it’s redeeming qualities, in the cast and the locations, the book is better.

What about you, dear reader? Have you read the book, and/or watched any of the TV/movies based on it? Which one did you like better if h? Vote below:

[yop_poll id="8"]

Poetry Corner

H is Happy: H is for Hir a thoddaid

I first saw the Hir a thoddaid poetic form in the wonderful resource for writers – the Writers Digest. On further research, I found a few different versions of it, with differences in the number of syllables in the lines as well as the rhyming scheme of the thoddaid (or the couplet at the end). 

What is the Hir a thoddaid?

The Hir a thoddaid (a long stanza and a thoddaid) is one of 24 official codified Welsh meters, the 22nd one! It consists of a quatrain (the longer stanza or the ‘hir’) followed by a couplet (the toddaid). Ideally, all these Welsh poetic forms should have some cynghanedd (harmony in sound) in them by means of alliteration or consonant patterns in every line.

Interestingly, the word ‘bard’ comes from the Welsh word ‘bardd’(poet) dating back to 100 B.C.

How to write the Hir a thoddaid?

Like I mentioned earlier, I found a few different versions and I will point out the differences after describing the form I ended up using in today’s example poem from me.

It is a syllabic sestet where all lines have ten syllables. All lines except the fifth are monorhymed (ie rhyme!). The fifth line cross-rhymes with both the quatrain and the last line – one of it’s syllables in the second half (7th, 8th, or the 9th) rhymes with the quatrain; and it’s last syllable rhymes with a syllable in the middle of the last line. If I confused you, here it is below – where each letter is a syllable denoted by x, and the rhymes are denoted by a and b.

5-xxxxxxxaxb  (–> the a in this can shift a little)
6-xxbxxxxxxa  (–> the b in this can shift a little)

The other versions:

Some sources mention that all lines except the 5th have nine syllables, while others have only the 6th with nine syllables (other lines in both cases have ten syllables). Some versions also rhyme differently in the couplet.

My example Hir-a-thoddaid:

Untitled as of now

That cute wee girl in a flowery dress
The sweet little boy who always said ‘Yes’
Looks like they have found another address
Now the not-wee girl dresses to express
The boy grown now says his yays less, (k)no(w)s more
Yet forevermore, they are -‘happiness’.
-Vidya Tiru(LadyInRead)


QA Corner

H is Happy: H is for Hypothesis (Driven) Testing

What is a hypothesis? A hypothesis comes from the Greek word hupothesis which means ‘to put under’ or ‘to suppose’. So hypothesis is a supposition, a theory. And for any hypothesis to be a scientific one (in this case, a technical one), the scientific method requires that this theory/supposition is testable.

In this informative article, Barry Reilly states that ‘Hypothesis-Driven Development(HDD) is a great opportunity to test what you think the problem is, before you work on the solution.’ Jeffrey Taylor, in his brilliant article on HDD, quotes John Johnson  “First, solve the problem. Then, write the code.” And Taylor further adds that we also need to remember to solve the correct problem, then solve the problem correctly 🙂

When we formulate a hypothesis, we ‘suppose’/theorize that doing some action will lead to a particular result. And we test this hypothesis in a controlled environment and measure it’s success (hypothesis proved) or failure (disproved) by the actual result. Using this process means that developers will be figuring out what features they need to build to ‘test’ their hypothesis, and what is their expected result of that supposition, and how can they measure the success of their hypothesis. And to make it really testable (which is as required by the scientific method as pointed out earlier), it is better when the code is written in a manner where it is easy to test and monitor, thus helping with the whole process. This also gels well with the concept of Continuous Delivery of software.

There is so much more reading and learning that one can do in each of these testing/software development; I mention a couple of the links inline in my post. As of now, this is what I got from the reading I did on testing based on hypothesis.

Experiment, learn, improve, repeat.  

Wrapping up the H post

‘Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.’ – Bernard Meltzer

I am hoping to get to the point where I either speak a truth, bring a smile, inspire you to act upon something, or teach you something new – be it a fact or more. I do not think (I know) I am not there yet. But hope is helpful, hope is powerful, so I will hope and work smarter.  

What are your comments or questions about the H post? I would love to hear from you. Check out previous posts in this challenge using the links below.

Day 0 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 

Day 8

Linking up to BlogChatter A to Z, A to Z Blogging Challenge, and the Ultimate Blogging Challenge

5 thoughts on “H is Happy: H is for Heidi, Hir a thoddaid, Hypothesis

  1. Shirley Temple was something else, wasn’t she? I have great memories of all the women and girls in our family, long ago, watching a Shirley Temple movie while we watched the Super Bowl. Today, my girls watch the game with me!

    Glad to have found you through the A to Z Challenge.

  2. Perhaps to my shame, I haven’t read Heidi – or seen the movie, although I know it’s a classic. Both my girls have read it many times over and enjoyed it.
    I have, however, read all the Harry Potter books and seen all the movies. And watching Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the theatre here in London was one of the most amazing experiences I can think of! I was completely blown away by the special effects – in a live theatre setting! I still don’t know how they did it!
    I love how you broke down the format of that type of Welsh poem. Very insightful!

  3. I love watching Shirley Temple movies. They are great and fun to watch. Love your poem by the way. I wish I could write a poem like this. You are gifted with awesome talent.

  4. This is a fun theme to go with! I am not familiar with any of these. I don’t think I have ever seen the old Heidi movie, but there is a newer adaptation that I watched with the kids.

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