Making Light’s Commonplaces

Commonplaces from Making Light. Please read them all. “We are prophets of a future not our own.” (Oscar Romero) “Peace means something different from ‘not fighting’. Those aren’t peace advocates, they’re ‘stop fighting’ advocates. Peace is an active and complex thing and sometimes fighting is part of what it takes to get it.” (Jo Walton) […]

This French

English journalist Craig McGinty blogs about life in France at This French Life. Ironically, I found This French Life not while looking up travel information. No, it came up while while looking for advice on septic tank maintenance, and how nice that he’s posted information about caring for them in France, complete with local product […]

What not to do in France

Behave, baby. Wikipedia’s list of French faux pas. Here’s one: “Like in many languages featuring a T-V distinction, addressing people with the familiar “tu” (like in Middle English thou) when they should be addressed with “vous” (_you_) is seen as derogatory, insulting, or even aggressive. Conversely, addressing familiars with “vous” is considered snobbish and introduces […]

Tom Waits on his cherished albums of all time

This is an old link I should have posted ages ago, from the UK’s Observer Monthy Music (“OMM”): Tom Waits on his cherished albums of all time: ‘It’s perfect madness’ In the first of an occasional series in which the greatest recording artists reveal their favourite records, Tom Waits writes about his 20 most cherished […]

FSI Language Courses

Nice find, this: Language Courses from the U.S. Foreign Service, including text and audio files free for the download; apparently in the public domain, having been produced with American taxpayer dollars.


First in this category, and first of the new year, of words to avoid: somewhat. After reading around the web, looking for guides to implement a GTD system, I kept finding this word, and realized it’s indistinct, overly cautious, and a sign of authors backing off their own opinions. I also realized I’ve used it […]