Sixteen Things for Sixteen Years

Did you know that Montenegro (tied with Serbia) is the world's third most recent sovereign nation? Montenegro split off by a referendum in which 55.5 percent of people voted for independence. The threshold to approve was 55 percent. As you might imagine, people still hold many strong feelings about this decision on both sides of … Continue reading Sixteen Things for Sixteen Years

Cards and Tests and Masks, Oh Yes!

Since the saying is "thank god for...", it's tempting to start this post with "thank god for vaccines." But "thank science for vaccines" is the more logical statement, even though it doesn't roll off the tongue naturally. In any case, yay, vaccines! Thanks to science, I recently took my first international holiday since the start … Continue reading Cards and Tests and Masks, Oh Yes!

AirBnB: The First B is for Beautiful

My dad gets really excited when when modern, gig/sharing-economy type organizations come to Buffalo, which is my hometown and where he still lives. Years ago, when Buffalo got food trucks, he called right away to let me know. Around the same time, the city was redoing the harbor to make it a place for festivals … Continue reading AirBnB: The First B is for Beautiful

But They Do it in Europe!

I am not a fan of the "they do it in Europe" argument. I frequently hear people say this regarding free higher education and universal healthcare, among other issues. When pressed for implementation details, these people tend to be clueless about the bureaucratic, and, just as importantly, the cultural factors at play. I could go … Continue reading But They Do it in Europe!

Say What? Edition 4: Thoughts From Italy

A collection of random linguistically-related thoughts that popped into my head while in Italy four weeks ago. ******************** Language can provide anonymity in a crowd. One of my biggest linguistic pleasures when in Europe is hearing half a dozen languages spoken around me at any one time. I enjoy it partly because you feel a … Continue reading Say What? Edition 4: Thoughts From Italy

Say What? Edition 3: Thoughts From Switzerland

A collection of random, linguistically-related thoughts that popped into my head while in Switzerland five weeks ago. ******************** Going abroad makes you realize that your language skills aren't nearly as good as they should be.¬†How did I used to be fluent in German but a few weeks ago I couldn't even understand what the Swiss … Continue reading Say What? Edition 3: Thoughts From Switzerland

Who Are You When You Travel?

When I was growing up, I lived on a small street in a rural area where having friends over to sit in the garage and drink was the main Saturday attraction. In all houses, that is, except mine. My parents didn't drink and they weren't particularly social, at least not in the kind of way … Continue reading Who Are You When You Travel?