Archive for January, 2007

Top English Mistakes by non native speakers who are quite good at English

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

In 7 years of working with non native english speakers I’ve noticed some recurring themes (the first thing is always the mistake, the second how it should be)

  • Shortly instead of Breifly
  • Actually meaning currently (French and German speakers)
  • participate to instead participate in
  • interested to instead of interested in
  • Use of conditional instead of imperfect/pluperfect in counterfactuals (“if you would come to my house, I would give you a killer whale”) – esp German and Flemish Speakers
  • Control instead of check.
  • (Flemish speakers) helut instead of health
  • (German Speakers) use of own as a normal adjective without “your own”,”my own” etc… e.g. “Do you have have an own web site?”
  • (All) use of infinitive instead of participle: e.g. “it

Why contraception is important for world peace and prosperity

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

Increased use of contraception (or some other way of having less children) would help with SO many things other than pensions (which it wouldn’t help with):

  • Global warming – less cars, less consumers, less people needing housing.
  • Starvation – if a species have more than 2 children surviving to sexual maturity per couple for a sustained period then eventually it will lead to a catastrophe. It’s basic maths. So as well as giving people food in countries where people are starving and also having 6 children if they can, we should try to change this.
  • Other resources – less competition for resources generally.
  • Pollution
  • Quality of life – less people in the rat-race, more open spaces, less noise…
  • Species loss
  • Deforestation

So we might have a bit of a pension gap for a few years, but personally I think it would be worth it. Population growth, like economic growth is just not continuously sustainable.
I love the bit in the Al Gore movie (an inconvenient truth) where he mocks the marketing image of a pair of scales – the earth on one side and gold on the other. As though you could have gold without the earth. I think the same thing applies to the simplistic way of thinking about population growth in relation to economics.

Narrowboat for sale

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

http://www.gilestv.com/boatforsale.html