Category Archives: Culture

UK vs US spelling

Back in 2005, I wrote up my study of US and UK spelling differences and published a comprehensive* list. Over the next 8 years, it’s by far the article that I’ve had the most feedback on, most of it noting one or two spellings that I missed. I eventually stopped updating the page, but since I continue to get notes, I’ve decided to do a full update and present this as a central repository for the list in an easier-to-read format.


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European vacation, part 2

At the Acropolis.



I’ve now uploaded the second part of my European vacation photos to my Fotki site.

The second half of the Greek cruise was the best. The nightly shows were better. Piraeus allows us to take a bus tour to Athens, where we toured the ruins of the Acropolis. And Katakolon allowed us to take a bus tour to Olympia, site of the ancient Olympic games. After the Greek cruise, I stayed overnight Saturday, July 10.

European vacation, part 1

Lounging by the pool
Lounging by the pool




I just ended a cruise vacation in Europe. I say “Ended” instead of “Came back from” because I’m still in Europe at this moment, continuing to do some work in the Netherlands. I’ve uploaded the first part of my trip photos now to my Fotki site.

I traveled from Amsterdam in the Netherlands (where I’d worked for the week) to Venice, where I spent Friday night. Saturday morning, I boarded the Splendour of the Seas with my sister’s family and their friends (we were a party of 12) for a cruise around Greece. Our first ports of call were Split, in Croatia—where we toured the remains of the Palace of Constantine—and the Greek island of Corfu.

Clean energy on a smart grid

Advancements in clean energy—particularly wind and solar energy—are quickly approaching a tipping point. It won’t be long before wind and solar will be able to compete directly with traditional forms of power generation without the need for subsidies. And when that happens, there will be a sweeping change in Western culture.

As soon as clean energy is economically competitive with (not cheaper; just competitive with) traditional energy, it just won’t make sense anymore to use coal power on anywhere near the scale we do today. To make coal more palatable, government and industry will combine to clean up coal power plant emissions somewhat to continue to provide a solid base load of electricity. But this will, naturally, raise the cost of coal power and narrow the cost gap even further with cleaner energy forms—particularly natural gas.
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Qui-Gon Jinn vs Abraham Lincoln

Quick: name two of the tallest and most influential people in history/fiction who were forced to confront slavery and the threat of the destruction of their civilization and who had beards. You thought of Abraham Lincoln and Qui-Gon Jinn, didn’t you? I knew it! Both of them certainly had an enormous influence on the world around them and the posterity of their respective cultures. But which of them is the more important, the more influential, and the more all-around awesome?
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