Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

The following is a post I wrote for my previous blog when we were in China adopting our daughter in late 2010. Remembering it makes me laugh – maybe it’ll do the same for you.

When one culture attempts to translate their language into another for the benefit of tourists from a second culture, there will inevitably be some degree of confusion.  In some cases, that confusion can manifest itself into high comedy. (more…)

Tick Tock

Tick Tock

Yesterday I discussed time management, and how it can be useful for more than just keeping track of hourly earnings.

If you use time management software to track your productivity, you probably already know its value – but if you’re new to the topic, which program do you choose?

To be perfectly honest, I can’t really help you choose between two or more programs, because when I went looking for time management software to track my editing projects, I used the first one I tried – and never looked any further.

I’ve been using the free version of (more…)

Noggin Navigation 102: MINDMAP 7

Noggin Navigation 102: MINDMAP 7

My comparison of mind mapping software concludes here with a look at MINDMAP 7, by ConceptDraw.

At first glance, MINDMAP 7 by ConceptDraw is a much more polished product than XMind 2012. That’s not to say that XMind couldn’t be a useful tool – I think it could. The two may be very similar in features, but I suspect the major differences will come down to pricing. ConceptDraw offers a 21 day free trial for MINDMAP 7, while XMind has an unlimited time for its free version. XMind’s freeware, however, is seriously limited in the amount of features it allows, requiring the serious user to purchase the full version to get at most of the more complex tools.

XMind’s full version with all the bells and whistles will set you back (more…)

Alas, Poor Adjective!

I used to play the board game Scattergories at my brother’s house. If you’re not familiar, it involves a 20-sided letter die that is rolled to determine a starting letter. Each player then tries to fill a card with as many answers to specific categories on the card that begin with the letter on the die. For example, if the letter is R, and the category vegetables, you could score with radish and rutabaga. If another player came up with answers that matched yours, both players would have to throw out those answers – so it paid to be original.

The rules allowed the use of generic adjectives, as long as (more…)

Better Off Unsaid

Before we got rid of cable, my wife and I occasionally watched Inside the Actor’s Studio. If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s an interview format where host James Lipton asks famous actors various questions about themselves and their careers, as well as allowing them to answer questions from the audience of theater students.

One of the signature segments of the program is the following list of ten questions (more…)

Hating Hemingway

When I was in high school (about a hundred years ago) I was forced against my will to read many of the “classics” of American literature. Unlike most of my friends at the time, I loved reading, but like most high school students of any era, I hated being required to read books that I never would have picked up on my own. One book that caused me more irritation than most was Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.

I distinctly recall having heated verbal arguments with my English teacher along the following lines: (more…)