Today's Mighty Oak

There’s a couple things I try to do every day: a quick meditation, rolling or stretching my legs, and getting back on track with tracking my calories.  One thing that I was doing daily, for about 10 months or so, was using Duolingo to ‘learn’ French.

My plan had been to attend the Gay Games, which were held in Paris in August.  I ultimately didn’t go, but even after I knew that was going to be the case, I kept with my French practice until my birthday this week.

I learned two things.  One, Duolingo teaches foreign languages in a way that’s not all that compatible with how I learn.  And that’s okay.  I have two friends who are foreign language teachers.  One uses Duolingo as homework for her students to do each week.  The other doesn’t use it, since it’s only based on memorization, not actually learning the grammar rules.  What I learned about myself is that I need to understand the grammar rules, just memorizing vocab and matching up nouns with the right verb form wasn’t helpful.

And two, French is a silly language.  Granted, English is even worse, and I’m sure it was augmented by Duolingo’s format, but there were so many weird quirks that made no sense (and were never explained) that it was frustrating.

So I stuck it out until my birthday, and then with the new year (to me), I decided to drop French.  I was never going to be fluent in it, although I did enjoy picking up a few things, and I hoped that I would have at least been able to not be completely lost while in Paris.

Quick update for everyone, let’s see what I have today for you.

First up, an amazing flash mob.  I was impressed when I saw the bassoon, then I saw the horns!

Paris is going to be offering rest areas around the city that include benches, interactive maps and WiFi hotspots.  Add an outlet and you would never have to leave!

Buzzfeed has 18 strange bus stops from the Soviet Union.  PAT should stick with what they have.

Wondering how fireworks work?  MaddowBlog has you covered:

PittGirl’s new column over at Pittsburgh Magazine takes on the Post-Gazette’s new policy on not using the word Jaggoff.

The Nerdist covers the demolition of The Igloo:

The Guardian interviews the dog from Text from Dog.

It’s a few days late, but it’s patriotic.  ‘MERICA:

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back with more soon, have a great one!

Well, let’s see what I have today for you, still going through a lot of my archives, but some pretty awesome stuff in here.

First up, Ellen performs the audio book of 50 Shades of Grey:

The Carnegie should take their cues from this NYC museum.

Presumably the call to action is over, but look at how cute the penguins are!

One of the designers of The Guild shows the building process for some of the props for the character costumes.  Pretty awesome.

Science makes a big leap forward in time cloaking…or something like that.

The Apple store in Paris is all kinds of awesome:


Wow, Mario can die in all kinds of ways.

So very, very true:

And lastly, what could have been a really bad situation turns into awesome:


One more thing I wanted to add, check out this amazing concept for new airships:

And I’m back, sorry for the time lapse between posts, work keeps me busy.  But in the meantime, I hope you enjoy:

If I had an iPad, I would download this app, it arranges your music like space!

Nerve has a great list of what the internet does best: summing up the killing of Osama bin Laden in gif format.  Check it out.  Also cool, his death made the NYT stop the presses.  That never happens, contrary to popular belief!

My friend Steve’s girlfriend, Mallory (who I did not know had a blog, but now I’m going to subscribe to it), has a fantastic post entitled “The Death of One.”  It’s worth a read, please check it out.

Apparently this is a urinal in Germany, specially coated with a thermochromatic paint.  The weirdest thing I think is the person taking the photo of two men peeing:

Go Nintendo has an awesome article up about the new Zelda game, Skyward Sword.  Watch the video, and then listen to the music, which has been extracted and then played backwards.  Absolutely amazing!

The streets of Paris are having their potholes filled in with yarn!  How awesome:

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back soon with more!

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