January 30, 2007

An adventure begins

A student of mine, a young man of 20, left Japan yesterday for the first time in his life, on the first leg of his journey to Britain where he plans to stay for about 2 months. On my suggestion, he created a blog for his trip. Why don't you visit and leave a comment? He writes in both English and Japanese.

January 24, 2007

Blogging is such fun!

I normally don't bring up politics on this blog, but this is just irresistibly hilarious. The original blog post is less than memorable, but the comments are priceless. Plus I think it's a good example (if a trifle overdone, but that's really the fault of the original blogger) of the self-corrective nature of "the blogosphere". As one commenter explains,

If you don't get things right, we will not tire of reminding you. Pay
heed. We are smarter than you. You have not had a thought we haven't
thought first.

What's your favourite? Here's mine:

I see you still haven't gotten the hang of this "blogging" thing.

Aline Crumb in the South of France

A propos of nothing in particular, or rather too many things to put into just one blog post without boring the pants off all my loyal readers (ok, I have just two, but that counts as plural), ("One word will do - procrastination!" Ed.) here is an audio slideshow with Aline Crumb. Whozzat? Well, she's wife of Robert Crumb, famous cartoonist, and they both live in the South of France, a place to which I have more than one attachment (ok, two - my parents). Plus, I've always loved cartoons, ever since my godmother gave me a year's subscription to Tintin (the mag, not the books). That love got a boost thanks to a fascinating book/comic called Understanding Comics. And I like Aline's girly outfits, and her outlook on life and her honesty, and her eyes in that photo of a young her and Robert in Winters, California, reminded me of Frida, a movie that scared the bejeesus out of me, but that's another story.

PS I got the link from a blog I recently subscribed to Children's Illustration

January 21, 2007

Pictures of Tibet

My wife's been to Tibet, and best friend at my wedding visited Nepal long ago and came back full of stories about the place. He brought a small gift for me and my daughter, which we have read over and over to all our four children: Romira's Dream So when I saw this I clicked, and was not disappointed.
From the BBC website.
A British Army Officer has received an MBE for charity work on behalf of Gurkha veterans in Nepal. Lt Col Ade Clewlow sold his photos of Nepal to raise money for children in India.

January 20, 2007

Jungle child

Kipling's The Jungle Book was one of my favourite stories when I was a child, and I've been fascinated by similar stories ever since, like this one, and the Enigma of Kasper Hauser.

Altho the girl found in Cambodia does not speak any intelligible language, the fact that she disappeared at the age of eight (i.e. after language has been learned) suggests that she did once speak a human language and can probably be rehabilitated to speak it (or another one) again.

January 07, 2007

No proof organic food is better!

According to the BBC,
David Miliband, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said organic food was more of a "lifestyle choice that people can make".

Miliband was interviewed by the Sunday Times, and he also spoke at the Oxford Farming Conference.

Another straw man, and only a couple of tiny paragraphs at the end of the article (quoting the Soil Association) question or put in context Miliband's statement. There are two primary reasons for consumers to choose organic food products over others: one is they use no (or almost no) pesticides and herbicides or additives, which, apart from the concern about their longterm impact on human health, get passed into the food chain and have seriously damaged the environment, and the other is they are usually grown by small, independent growers who offer an alternative to the food conglomerates.

January 06, 2007

Out of order

Googling "out of order signs", I came across this bit of fun. Then I read Borderland's piece on serendipity, aka commonplace books, so I thought I'd blog it.

January 03, 2007

My life@work

From a BBC website: Not only can you find out about some interesting yet not necessarily glamorous jobs, but the whole idea of creating a "photo diary" of your working day sounds like something that could be easily adapted to teaching, even to EFL. Check it out.
Go on, admit it: you're thinking of changing job.

Plenty of people are: something like one-quarter of British workers are thinking of taking the plunge this year alone.

So as a service to readers, BBC News is planning to profile people at work in a vast range of careers, letting them show in their own words and pictures just what their job entails.

We're looking for people to give us the inside scoop on what their working lives are all about. Get in touch, and we will help you put together a photo diary of a typical day

January 01, 2007

New Year's Greeting

Click the link to see the earthly, Googly message. (Hat-tip to The Fischbowl for the link).