Fight preposterosity. Make up a word!

Lately, when I read about hate-driven, bigoted and utterly stupid political acts by tiny-minded cretins with venom sacs for brains, I immediately feel like writing a blog post. Then I remind myself: not enough hours in the day.

Preposterosity: so many good, fake National Geo covers, so little time.

Preposterosity: So many good fake National Geographic covers, so little time. Click link to see more!

I can’t write about every hate-driven, bigoted and utterly stupid idea that drives cretinous imaginations, so I’m laying off the specific legislation that inspired this post.  While there’s something cathartic about putting my opinion out there, it doesn’t take long to realize that the old saw “pick your battles” does encourage me to leave time to grade papers, hike in the woods, brush teeth, and scan the position descriptions on both HigherEdJobs.com and non-academic sites.

Nevertheless, I’m a true believer that both actions and words can make a difference, and any individual can use both of those to spur change.  It’s really the intersection of those ideas that this post is about.

Want to change something?  Change the language.  Make up a word, then go out and use it.

We do it all the time.  Among the Oxford English Dictionary’s list of hundreds of new words for June 2015 is “carnapping.”  In use for some time, the word is now official — along with the like of “e-cig,” “eliminationism,” and “wuss,” to name just a few.

Continue reading

MAPS.ME: A very handy offline map for travelers

If you’re one of those rare souls who aren’t connected all the time but have yearned for a good electronic atlas, MAPS.ME may be the next best thing.

Maps.ME gives wonderful detail and has a useful search function.

MAPS.ME gives wonderful detail and has a useful search function. (Sorry for the dark image — used another new app, Mobizen, for capturing the screen image but haven’t quite mastered the details.)

I’m one of the few who have yet to adopt a smartphone, but I do rely on my Nexus 10 tablet for a few things during travel.  The offline atlas that I’ve wished for may be here in its closest form with this Android app.

MAPS.ME is available for free in the Google Play store.  I also found it in Amazon’s Andoid App Store, but not the iTunes Store.

I’ve always been a hard-copy map guy.  The size and detail of an atlas or a laminated foldup map appeal to me far more than the miniature, highly focused capsules of the world given to us in a standard GPS screen, and I’ve seen too many folks who are slaves to their GPS while being completely unaware of their surroundings. Continue reading