Hey there and welcome to the BigAppleSchool podcast! My name is Sam.
Oooh, Brian today! And today we are asking what’s the craic about…
I can even use an American intonation.
Oh in Northern Ireland we love intonation.
Yeah. But what if in Northern Ireland we didn’t love intonation? So we’re gonna ask today lots of different hypothetical situations, ‘what if’ questions, which means that on the notes to the listeners we’ll be using lots of grammar called conditionals. We won’t talk about whether they’re first conditionals, second or third or anything like that – we don’t care.
We’re language users and we don’t care about that.
At least not at this moment. So, we’re gonna ask lots of different like ‘what if everyone was a vegetarian?’, ‘what if we never grew up?’, ‘what if we all spoke the same language?’, ‘what if dinosaurs still roamed the earth?’, all kinds of questions like that. Shall we jump in?
Hypothetically speaking I am.
What would the world be like if we never grew up?
If we never grew up? Well, here’s the question about your question: physically, emotionally, all like – what are we talking about, grown?
But specifically, like, we’re still, let’s say, ten years old…
And there’s nothing wrong with that. So, what would that world be…
So ten-year-old mentality, ten-year-old’s emotional state…
Exactly. What would the world be like? What would…
…it be like if you walked down the street?
Well first of all, I don’t want a 10-year-old driving, so…
And what 10-year-old is going to invent a car?
Maybe we would have bumper cars?
Maybe, but who invents that? A 10-year-old? See? Exactly.
There are some very smart 10-year-olds.
There are some smart 10-year-olds. Hypothetically speaking we didn’t grow up and all the things that existed now still exist by some miracle.
Well, I don’t know, this is the question. I mean, would the world still…
How far does that hypothetical question go?
We have to have smaller cars, because we’re gonna be short – most 10-year-olds are not as tall as adults, right?
So we’re gonna have to have smaller cars…
And I reckon, I’m thinking bumper cars.
I think that’s a good idea – I do like bumper cars, they’re fun.
So you come to a junction, and everyone’s just like… There won’t be any light, cause 10-year-olds…
No, they don’t use lights, sure.
Right. So, I mean, 10-year-olds will just be like in bumper cars… We’ll slow down a bit maybe. But we’ll just keep going.
And, you know, if we forget the school… Actually, if everyone is 10 years old, will there be school?
No. Who’s teaching? Who’s teaching?
It would go like ‘we hate school, we’re 10 years old.
We’re all just gonna… you know what? You know what? They’d still learn. I have faith in humanity.
Do you? It’s very optimistic.
I think… I think there’ll be a lot of experiments
Or sport… I mean, being… the clicks where… these are the sport crowd…
And I’m already developing… this could be science-fiction.
Any writers out there? I’m giving you lots of material today, or at least, Brian and I are.
I cut you out. But I’m thinking – right, so they don’t have school, but there are lots of… There’s… here’s the sports ground, they all have basketball, football, any kind of sport, whatever it is, skateboarding…
Skateboarders won’t mix with the footballers, but that’s alright. And then there’ll be the science nerds. See, when I was a boy…
When I was a boy, I’ll tell ya I loved that chicken. I used to mix, and my mom probably loved this, right, I used to mix everything I could find in the bathroom – you know, all the different liquids…
There you go. Breaking Bad.
I didn’t make anything useful.
I never made anything useful, but I did enjoy it. So I’m thinking 10-year-olds would do that.
I think there’s that; I think also everyone would be fat, because everyone is a 10-year-old. Their diets are not exactly ideal,
And who’s gonna tell you different.
Your parents were 10 years old too?
They were talking about 10-year-olds having kids – I don’t really want to get into that, so…
To survive, that has to happen. That’s dark. That’s a dark area. Let’s move on.
No no, but with the food that’ll be interesting, because I think that a diet of a 10-year-old would consist mostly of ice cream, candy, you know, fast food kind of stuff
I don’t know many 10-year-olds willing…
Yes, coca cola. …who would choose a healthy diet, which brings us to – what would the world be like if everyone was a vegetarian?
Yeah. Well, they wouldn’t eat meat.
Which would mean less predatation, if that’s the right verb, on cows. There would be.. I think there would be a lot more cows.
Unless there’ll be a lot more tigers, which would eat the cows.
Well, but also, you know, cows are bred for the purpose of eating and milking them.
Dairy cows and beef cows are bred for meat.
So I guess the cows bred for meat would not be bred – they’d just be free. So you’ve seen these wild cows around the… maybe going down the street past Горожанка here?
Be less messy, cause there’s no cows.
Would we use the cows in a different way then? You know, the cows we don’t milk…
I don’t know… Maybe there’ll be more production of leather? You know, because that comes from…
Uh-huh, we’d still want to kill animals?
Because I guess not every vegetarian is a vegetarian for the kindness of it all.
Not always. I don’t think…
I think there is that, but also…
How many chickens would there be?
I don’t know, because to be honest, chickens in the first world countries are so common now that they’re replacing beef, because they’re much lower in fat content, higher in protein. You know, so…
Actually… Not that I live in a first world country, but… Hang on, I do!
But what I mean is – I eat a lot more chicken anyway myself, so I guess… I wanna say I enjoy it more, I love a good steak. You could tell I’m not a vegetarian, right?
But I’ll eat chicken and turkey more often… Maybe sausages, but actually more often than beef. My wife and I don’t eat beef so often. Maybe the chickens will take over the world?
Maybe. In the US beef is a staple, like you’re going to eat beef, even though chicken is more popular than it used to be, beef is still… especially in the places where you’re in the south in the United States – beef is just always going to be a part of the diet. And so, you know, I couldn’t imagine southern parts of the United states being only vegetarian because the cuisine is based around meat.
Like you don’t have meat – what are you? You know… And for me, a thing keeping me from a vegetarian is bacon. I love bacon. If bacon were a vegetable, I might consider being a vegetarian, but…
Don’t think pigs will agree with that.
No, you’re right. Is there anything keeping you from a vegetarian? Like your food? Like ‘I just can’t bear to give that?’
Honestly? Everything meat.
I just can’t bear the idea of having a dinner without having meat in it – it just seems like I’m not eating a full meal.
I do love… The only thing is I mean I do love beans, so…
They’re good for your heart.
So I really love beans, beans of every kind more or less, so I guess I could survive as a vegetarian, but I would still miss the meat.
No, I understand, I would miss the meat, but I think if it came down to it, and I was given a choice – be a vegetarian or, you know, never eat again..
Right. The chicken would take over.
It would. It really would.
If you could only drink one drink for the rest of your life, what would it be?
So, there is a drink that comes from Mexico, Central and South America and it’s called melon, which just means cantaloupe. And agua de melon is literally water of a cantaloupe, and so it’s cantaloupe juice, but it’s just de-li-cious. And when it’s made correctly…
I thought you guys say divine.
It could be divine, it really could be… I don’t know, it’s really really good. So, if I could drink one drink for the rest of my life… I do enjoy coffee, water, tea, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy other drinks, but that would be something that I could drink legitimately for the rest of my life.
It’s just so good and refreshing. And it uses natural sugars, so… it’s not necessarily healthy, although you wouldn’t wanna just chug it, because it does still have the carbs and that kinda stuff.
It is delicious, I don’t know.
It is really tasty, you should try it.
No idea what it tastes like but it sounds good. You make it sound good.
I… You know, I love coffee. And I really love coffee, I soul off coffee. I mean…
I mean, I wake up in the morning for coffee.
There you go. Not for your wife, for coffee. I understand.
It’s my reason. You’re gonna get me in trouble.
It’s my reason to get out of bed – is to drink coffee.
There you go. Joke, it’s a joke.
It’s a joke. Well, that’s a joke, I mean… But I do really enjoy my morning coffee.
But… If I’m speaking practically, I like to be pragmatic or a practical person – I would say water.
Maybe, maybe with some diluted orange, a little touch of diluted orange to add a bit of flavor. But honestly, I can drink water all day, I have no problem at all with nice clean water. I don’t have a problem with… I don’t get bored with it or anything. And it’s much better for me, for my body. So I’m gonna be pragmatic and say water.
It’s a boring answer, but it’s true.
If everyone spoke the same language, how would the world be different?
Umm, I don’t know, honestly. I think there’s so many…
Well maybe we don’t have to specify.
Yeah, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t wanna go that far because, you know, we’re obviously in Russia, so, you know, maybe we speak Russian or maybe it’s some Indo-European language, I don’t know. But..
Afrikaans? Ryno would say Afrikaans.
I think… I think that a lot of the problems in the world, and I don’t wanna get dark or anything, but a lot of things come down to miscommunication and a lot of miscommunication comes because languages are so different. And the meanings, and annotations, and the things that you say can be interpreted based on a culture, and the background in the language of a person who’s listening…
got a lot of idioms and all kinds of things…
Right. So even if you master English, it’s hard to get inside the mindsets of a native speaker of any language, so to have one common language would bridge many of the gaps and misunderstanding, and people just having more of a shared culture than we do now. So, what do you think?
I agree with you. My first thought is ‘we would understand each other so much better’. But then again, there’s… I mean, there’s more to, I think you’ve mentioned, touched on this – like there’s more to a language than just vocabulary. It’s all… It’s about your history and about your entire life as well. I mean, how you communicate and what you really mean is… it carries all the history of your life as well. All the associations you have with words…
…you bring with you when you start to open your mouth and speak.
So it might… I don’t know, I mean it certainly would help people better understand each other, but maybe it would also be a little bit of a divide even at that, because people would still be in different parts of the words, in different places….
They might not completely understand everything. I mean, for example, they could… the differences in the English language, there are different countries. Although I think we have good relationship with each other – like, the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, et cetera – all those places… I think, there are still differences.
So, yeah. It would certainly make a big difference, I think. Okay. If the internet… Hold on to your hats, everybody, hold on to your butts. Why have I said that? Where do I get that?
If the internet was never invented, how would life be different? Calm down, I said ‘if’.
Don’t turn the podcast off yet. If the internet was never invented… Well, I mean, because the internet is such an integral part now of our lives and everything is built around expanding usage of the Internet, and, you know, … and all these things…
I don’t honestly know how life would be different without just saying it would be like it was in, you know, the 1980s, where there was still landlines and, you know, everyone is still writing or using a typewriter…
You know, I got two typewriters, both to me and my parents. I don’t know how I ended up with two, but I had two. And I really enjoyed them, but also didn’t use them that much.
I liked the idea of it, the gimmick of it.
Right. I don’t know, I think everything would be slower, obviously, because communications…
No. Yeah, so there still would be fax people, I guess.
I do, I do. I never had one, but yeah.
It doesn’t mean that we don’t have mobile phones though. It is internet. We don’t have mobile phones with Internet, but we might have mobile phones, you know, with the signal that we can call each other.
True. But still, you’re not texting…
Well, no, we could text! I mean, you don’t need the internet to text, you do it… You can’t WhatsApp text, so we could still communicate in that way. I will not restrict that.
Let’s say no Wi-Fi, no dial up internet.
Well, the spreading of knowledge would not be as fast, because we’re talking about, you know…
… there’s so much access now, it’s like having a library, every library ever available at all times, you know, so…
Yeah. Three seconds to check it.
Yeah. Young people nowadays don’t know the hardships we had…
No, they really don’t, they really don’t.
Well, I mean, I remember I had… I got my first computer when I was 16, my parents bought it. And it was amazing, it was like Christmas, but it wasn’t even Christmas, and I was like ‘Wow! Mom and dad, thanks so much!’ And it was great. I set it up – I had an older brother, but I took responsibility and set it up.
Which now, maybe.. I had a big learning curve and now I don’t know how to use computers.
I was brilliant, maybe – at least I felt it.
But yeah, I set it up and, you know, the Internet that went like
And I had that kind of the Internet – and it was fantastic. And you could… We had an encyclopedia…
There was no… I don’t think there was even a Wikipedia at that time.
And, I mean, there wasn’t Google, there was ‘Ask Jeeves’, do you remember him?
And, I mean, it was fantastic, but it took ages to dial up and it was slow. But, well, my point is there were encyclopedias. Even if I hadn’t the Internet, I would maybe have an encyclopedia or something. And we… I had to, for school, to get information for school.. Although I didn’t have to search rims and rims or anything, but I might’ve had to look up a book or two. It is terrible, right?
I might’ve had to search on an encyclopedia. Electronically, which isn’t terrible, but it’s not like Google.
It was a little bit tedious.
It was a little bit tedious, so I think the old people nowadays… They’ve a lot to be thankful for…. It’s a very different world I think.
It’s amazing how things change… Anyway…
Sounded like an old person. Will you ask the next ‘What if?’
What would the life be like, if everyone was a professional sportsperson?
Mmm, well, I think you’ve got it by now that I’m not a big sports fan. I wouldn’t say I’m not a big sports fan – I enjoy… I appreciate - I feel good after a good exercise. And I enjoy team sports. But I don’t often do it.
I would… I mean, if I had more of a.. a kind of group that were doing sport every day, I would probably do it, you know. Maybe once or twice a week. But… But it’s not me. I mean, it’s not fundamentally who I am. But I do enjoy it. I guess, I could answer that by saying what sport I would do. I think I would probably, I don’t know… My most successful sport was hockey. Grass hockey, not ice hockey.
And we just call it hockey in the UK cause we haven’t got ice.
Not proper ice. So, I loved playing hockey and I feel I was quite good, but my career stopped short when I hit someone. I nearly… I don’t know, broke something. And I think the school decided that maybe I should take a little break from hockey. But I.. I don’t know, I felt like I was doing very well.
And so maybe I would be in that, I would be that kind of sportsperson. I don’t think I would be super successful, I mean, I’d have so much competition if everyone was a sportsperson, right? So I would just be white noise, I would be playing away in my hockey and enjoying life and probably keeping healthy and stuff doing that.
How would you be? What would you be like?
Well, if everyone was a professional sportsperson then it’d be hard to find a job, you know, I think.
Professional – you’d be being paid.
And then who’s going to film?
Half of the time we’re watching sport, and the other half we’re playing it professionally.
You only play one sports.
Or entire world revolves around sport.
Okay, I would… I always wanted to play American football – my parents never let me. So I would like to play it if I was a professional sportsperson – that’s what I would play. Profession American football. I do enjoy most sports – I do enjoy watching or playing them. But if I had to pick one, it would be that, I just think it’s a good competition, and….
I like the ruggedness, if I can use the word, about rugby. I can’t… It’s the closest thing, I can’t compare it to American football. And I like the ruggedness of it.
I mean… The force required in it, it can… I don’t know, you get into it and you start to go ‘Aaaaaaah!’ and you know, push people around – not in the nasty way as part of the sport. And we learned a little bit in school and I… I must say it appealed to me much… I don’t know, much more than football but maybe a little bit more than football, so… I understand.
And people sometimes, very occasionally, ask me am I a rugby player. Maybe because I’m eat too many… Eat too much maybe…
And I look like I have the weight for a rugby player I guess..
Maybe. Then they hear your accent and they’re like ‘No, he must be somewhere that plays rugby’.
Right. I’ll take that as a compliment.
If dinosaurs were still around roaming the earth, they didn’t die, whenever different people have different views about when they died, but they didn’t die, they’re still around, I mean, they’re here in Siberia, they’re in the UK, they’re in America, they’re everywhere.
In every.. Well, let’s say there are a few there.
What would our daily life be like?
Scary. That’s all I could say – scary.
Going to the shop would be…
I’m going to the shop, I love you
Yeah, I don’t even know how we would survive, if there were dinosaurs because they were the ultimate predators, I mean…
Do you think we would be bigger?
We would be bigger? I think we’d be… living in holes still, because…
There is a theory and I don’t know if there’s any truth in it, but earlier in the earth’s age, earlier in the earth’s… early in the past, the earth had a lot more oxygen. This is a theory and it’s got some logic to it. But, because there was more oxygen, there were bigger animals. And there is a theory that maybe humans were bigger because of that. I don’t know if it’s… It may be science fiction…
Interesting. But I’ve also heard that the mass amounts of oxygen can be damaging and detrimental to your health.
And so that someone who’s … on pure oxygen, is actually harming themselves in the process.
I’ll try not to survive on pure oxygen
So, I mean, my point is maybe, maybe we would be more fit to cope with these evil creatures.
And maybe the tyrannosaurus Rex, for example, would be too busy chumping on brontosaurus, you know…
They don’t seem like they’re picky. They eat what they can.
If they see a big big meal, they think ‘I don’t wanna eat Brian, I’ve a big brachiosaurus is going down Krasny Prospekt’.
So I guess everyone would be breeding brachiosaurus to a, you know, trying to protect…
Sort of expect… you would expect a 10% loss because you have to keep an eye on the population next door, next field – there are some tyrannosaurus… I wonder what life would be like – I think, I think we would all… I don’t know if we would be living in cities…
Or maybe we would, we would be in all these cities really strongly protected, rather than in countrysides.
Right. Everything’s still walled.
Yes, maybe, maybe. Big castles type of thing, or a modern version of that.
Maybe fewer wars between people and more about protecting ourselves
We’ll be focusing on… Don’t know if that’s a better thing…
It’s still be a lot of people dying. KFC could do a…
DFC! Dinosaur Fried Chicken!
Right. Tyrannosaurus would be like a big special
They would be. You could feed everyone with that.
That’s Flinstone right there.
Maybe the Flinstones is a perfect example.
That’s exactly what it would be like. Wow. My mind is blown.
It is, it is blown. You see that, right?
No, your mind is literally seeping everywhere. Here we go. How would the world be different if we all loved each other? Like best friends.
I think there’ll be a lot more hugs. I-I don’t know. I mean, … I know I would hug my best friends. Handshake?
Or hugs. Not that you handshake anywhere, I mean.
But the only thing, I think we would be willing to accept the little things that annoy us, probably we would accept a lot more. And there would be a lot more… a lot less, pardon me, disagreements and arguments.
Christmas or New Year will be different, right?
Bigger celebrations. Maybe there would be more people together, yeah, right.
More camaraderie, more, you know, sharing and partnerships and I think, you know, I think it will be better.
It would be good. Even better than the version where we speak the same language.
I think it would be the best option.
It would be, it would be.
Okay, let’s do it. Best bud.
How would art be different if we were all color-blind?
Maybe black and white or monochrome or something.
Right. I would think, that the artists, really, they would have an interesting task. Because how do you paint something you can’t really see?
You know, I mean, you are talking about everything is now abstract, I think it’ll be … a little? You know.
And, of course, art is always…
in shades? We could have shades.
In my opinion, art, you have, you know, what the artist is showing and what the audience is interpreting.
And so we really depend, is the artist monochrome? And the audience sees…
Everyone is… Everyone is equal. We all see…
We all see black and white or variations of grey.
Okay, that’s as far as it goes.
That’s it, it’s sorta monochrome. I think art would still be around. I think it would be a big thing, as bigger thing as now, but it will be more about shapes and form and it will be more about shades of grey and black in there.
And it wouldn’t necessary be worse. Actually I think it will be very interesting.
And maybe, if any artists listening – they can try a project. It’s just an idea, an inspiration if they need it. To do solely black and white on project for something. I mean, I think it would make a bold statement.
It would. But I enjoy colors.
It sounds very simple. I love green. I so much love green. I would miss it. If I couldn’t…
You are Irish, you kinda have to.
I know, I know. Or Northern Irish, to be specific. But, yeah, I do love green. So much.
If you could change the behavior of one person in your life, now or in the past, who would it be and why?
I was thinking about this question a lot. And to be honest, I would change my own behavior, because I, you know, I’m kind of… I’ve come to a realization that you can’t control anything really in life outside of yourself. And, you know, so I would change my behavior in the past. Or even now, just to be more of where I want to be. To be the best that I can be.
That’s such a good answer. I‘ve never thought of that.
I think that if I was to say … you know, my parents, or friends of mine in the past or, some historical figure… No, I mean, I think, those things, Hitler…
Right, yeah. You know, I think, that if everybody approached it like that – changing your own behavior, you know, it’s kinda come back to our thing earlier.
It’s a really good principle indeed. Do you know the paraphrase, like, look into your own eye. Take the moat out of your own eye before you look.
Well, yeah, the plank out of your own eye before you look at the speck in your brother’s eye or whatever. It’s a really good… You know, I just thought of my parents, I will say they are the best parents. I couldn’t change anything about them and how I was brought up. Fantastic. And I don’t wanna change my brothers either.
Although, we are not always the same, we are a little bit different in some ways, but I wouldn’t change… I was just thinking, maybe a bully or two in school? But not like I would want them to be completely different and not themselves. But just maybe lay off a little bit… off the younger Sam.
But, I mean, your idea… I kinda want to choose that.
To change myself in the past.
You sure can’t. You can’t take that.
I mean imperfect as I am. I don’t have a lot of regrets maybe. And if you could be any character, from any film, or book, or TV show, who would it be? You could become him. Or her. If you want.
I enjoy good films, books, TV shows. I would say one of my favorite series ever was “Lord of the Rings”. And I would enjoy being Gandalf. He was the wizard, like he had so many adventures, and, you know, he had wisdom, and he, you know, he was just a man.
And I think that it would be fun to be that kind of person who kind of guides people and, you know, is there as a helper and just someone who can, I don’t know, be a mentor, a teacher, and all that kind of stuff. And he gets to go around the world, you know, in that sense, the world of Tolkien, so you know. What about yourself, who would you choose?
Batman. I would choose Batman. I am Batman.
Honestly, I mean, I would choose Batman, my favorite characters, if we talk about superheroes, my favorite characters are: Daredevil, not from the film, TV show, Batman, and I love Wolverine.
But all of those are tragic stories, like all of them had really tough life.
And hard times. So why would I choose to be that? I mean, really, I mean, So I would be, maybe, Alfred. So I can, like, support Batman.
And help him. And be a mentor to him. And not have any other problems.
Right, although, getting to be on the outside is much different than being in the midst of pain and tragedy. And being Batman, or Daredevil, and growing, all that kind of stuff, so I don’t know.
You know what? It’s a hard question to answer.
I have some really, I mean, lots of great characters in books and films, but Batman’s mine, right.
There you go. He’s yours.
But… Alfred? I think, Alfred.
So that was the craic about hypothetical situations. We asked lots of “What if…?” question: what the world would be if we never grew up? what about dinosaurs all being vegetarians? And what film, TV or book character we would like to be.