Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Clearing a few things up - with humour

Like anyone else, I sometimes make typos when I write. It happens to the best of us when we don’t have enough time to properly proofread. Some people, however, constantly make the same mistakes because they don’t really understand what it is they are writing (like confusing “effect” and “affect”, “accept” and “except”, or “it’s” and “its”). The Oatmeal has some funny posters integrating great mnemonic devices to help people avoid 10 common spelling mistakes and to help them tame apostrophes.

On a similar note, here’s a list of common misconceptions that are worth clearing up (like how the reason Christopher Columbus had so much trouble drumming up support for his expedition wasn’t because Europeans thought the Earth was flat, and the Great Wall of China is not visible from space).

I also want to share a link to a very interesting video of all the nuclear explosions (tests and otherwise) that happened between 1945 and 1998: there were 2,053 (!) and they are time-scaled over the course of 15 minutes, with different shades according to which country is responsible. It’s really scary stuff (even though only 2 explosions have been detonated offensively). I didn’t realize there had been so many – it all seems incredibly reckless on the part of these various governments. And it doesn’t include the recent North Korean tests, of course...

Finally, here’s an interesting read: Erica Goldson’s graduating speech as valedictorian, in which she deconstructs the logic of the educational system as we know it in North America. It’s making the rounds mostly because it’s unexpected – after all, valedictorians usually thank the system for getting them where they are, while Ms. Goldson now realizes that this system is flawed and that perhaps she regrets strict memorizing versus actual learning. I’d have to say that I agree with her on that point.

1 comment:

Amélie said...

I just had to post this link I found a fewm inutes ago: a guy who went across the country correcting typos in signs. I love it!