28 January 2014

Inking GS dice

In the past, I’d found that extra fine Sharpie paint pens worked better than markers for me when inking Gamescience dice. Recently, however, I gave the Sharpie extra fine markers another try, and they worked great. Less messy than the paint pens, and the paint pens seem to dry out very quickly when stored after first use.

22 January 2014


Every Google product I’ve used has at some point started getting worse rather than better, if not simply canceled. From search to docs to notebooks to reader to YouTube to gmail, etc. My problem with all the G+ integration with other products not for any privacy concerns but because the result is worse than what it was before.

So, the reason I won’t be buying a Nest or Protect now is not because I’m afraid of Google spying on me. It is because my expectation is that being part of Google will make these products worse.

08 January 2014

Not why English is hard to learn

While such idiosyncrasies are what makes languages interesting, this has nothing to do with the difficulty of learning English. Why?

  • Oxes
  • Gooses
  • Mouses
  • Mans
  • Foots
  • Tooths
  • Brothers

A new English speaker is unlikely to say “methren”. These are the mistakes they are likely to make. In context, you are going to understand these “incorrect” plurals. (And “brothers” isn’t even incorrect.) Mastering these irregular plurals is one of the least important aspects of learning English.

Pronouns tend to be irregular in any language. That’s because they’re used a lot. Which also means that they are the irregular words that students will most quickly master.

Compare this to the inflections of the Romance languages or the two syllabaries plus Kanji used to write Japanese. Although, I have found that the difficulties of different languages don’t matter much in the end. If, in addition to study, you use the language everyday, you will learn it. If you don’t use the language regularly, you will struggle no matter how “easy to learn” it may be.

07 January 2014

Unblind faith

Not all faith is blind faith.