February Notes

My kid, who lives in Iceland, is moving back to Belgium this summer. This map reminds me how close my kid will be living to WWIII. Brussels, Belgium, is 1288 miles from Kyiv, Ukraine.
This photo shows the size of Ukraine compared to the untied states.

Blitzkrieg ~ [German: from Blitz ‘lightning’ + Krieg ‘war’] a military doctrine in which a surprise attack using a rapid, overwhelming force concentration that may consist of armored and motorized or mechanized infantry formations, together with close air support, has the intent to break through the opponent’s lines of defense, then dislocate the defenders, unbalance the enemy by making it difficult to respond to the continuously changing front, and defeat them in a decisive Vernichtungsschlacht: battle of annihilation.


disinformation vs misinformation ~ The difference is intent. Misinformation is “false information that is spread, regardless of intent to mislead.” If you are spreading around information that is wrong but you don’t know it is wrong, then you are, well, technically, spreading misinformation. Misinformation is first recorded in the late 1500s, and combines information with the prefix mis–, meaning “wrong” or “mistaken.” Disinformation is a relatively new word, first recorded in 1965–70. It’s a translation of the Russian word dezinformátsiya, in turn based on the French désinformer (“to misinform”). In English, the prefix dis- can be used to indicate a reversal or negative instance of the word that follows. Disinformation means “false information, as about a country’s military strength or plans, disseminated by a government or intelligence agency in a hostile act of tactical political subversion.” It is also used to mean “deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda.” Disinformation is knowingly spreading misinformation, is powerful, destructive, and divisive, and is a common tool of espionage and can be understood as “reverse information” or “anti-information” specifically created to deceive and misguide other people.

big lie ~a false statement of outrageous magnitude employed as a propaganda measure in the belief that a lesser falsehood would not be credible. (German: große Lüge) a gross distortion or misrepresentation of the truth, used especially as a propaganda technique. Constant repetition in many different media is necessary for the success of the big lie technique, as is a psychological motivation for the audience to believe the extreme assertions. The Nazis used it to turn long-standing antisemitism in Europe into mass murder. Tump’s “Big Lie”, a verifiably false assertion that he won 2020 presidential election, caused a violent mob to stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Firehose of falsehood, or firehosing, is a propaganda technique in which a large number of messages are broadcast rapidly, repetitively, and continuously over multiple channels (such as news and social media) without regard for truth or consistency.


Pandemic, epidemic, and endemic ~A pandemic is a surge in cases of a particular illness that has spread to multiple parts of the world. An epidemic is a surge in cases that are confined to a smaller area, like a foodborne illness outbreak in a few states. By contrast, an endemic virus is simply one that’s a constant presence in a particular area of the world or in a particular population. The endemic level of a virus is its baseline or the amount of a particular disease that is usually present in a community. It’s not necessarily present at the ideal level, but it’s expected and somewhat predictable.

In a pandemic, there are waves of disease. Whereas when a disease is endemic, it follows, for example, a seasonal pattern like seen with influenza or some cold viruses.


intersectionality ~ the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. Intersectionality is the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression. We must consider everything and anything that can marginalize people – gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc. Intersectionality provides a lens through which we can examine the processes, practices, policies, and structures that increase the risk of students experiencing disadvantage or discrimination because of their intersecting identities.


The Asch Conformity Experiments, exemplify the power a group of people can have over an individual’s decision-making, especially if the desire to be accepted by that group is strong.

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” —Dale Carnegie


“We are more fulfilled when we are involved in something bigger than ourselves.”

– John Glenn


Habits of Mind classified into three domains: FEEL, THINK, DO. FEEL – persist and learn from failure, see themselves as problem solvers. THINK – envision multiple solutions, make evidence-based decisions. DO – communicate effectively, decompose problems, innovate process, methods and designs.


Elements in the Earth’s crust provide all the basic building blocks for mankind.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Frank Herbert, Dune

The writing process reveals something of you to yourself; as the narrative evolves, the writer evolves too.

A tiny percent of a huge number is still a big number.

Make a plan to live a simpler life. Initiate a spending freeze. You can declutter and declutter and declutter, but you’ll never create a clutter-free home if you don’t change the way you’re bringing stuff in. To avoid decluttering again and again, you’ve got to stop allowing unnecessary items into your home from the start. Start to track your expenses. Get rid of monthly expenses that are not needed. Track your time by paying attention to how much time you are spending doing things.

A minimalist mindset involves becoming a more conscious consumer, emphasizing quality over quantity and experiences over things.

Naif ~ “naive” is the more usual spelling. a naive or inexperienced or ingenuous person.

ingenue. (or ingénue), newbie, tenderfoot, virgin.

agitprop ~ political (originally communist) propaganda, especially in art or literature. Agitprop refers to an intentional, vigorous promulgation of ideas.

promulgation ~ to make known or public, to put (as a regulation) into effect. Some common synonyms of promulgate are announce, declare, and proclaim. While all these words mean “to make known publicly,” promulgate implies the proclaiming of a dogma, doctrine, or law.

oeuvre ~ the works of a painter, composer, or author regarded collectively. a work of art, music, or literature. derives from the Latin word opera, which is the plural of opus, meaning “work.”

schmaltzy ~ excessively sentimental.Yiddish original meaning is “rendered chicken fat,” or “melted fat,” first spelled shmalts. It comes from the Old High German smalz, “animal fat.”

smarmy ~ revealing or marked by a smug, ingratiating, or false earnestness

schnick-schnack ~ Schnickschnack m (genitive Schnickschnackes or Schnickschnacks, no plural) (colloquial, chiefly derogatory) bric-a-brac, knick-knack

trampeltier ~ German a clumsy oaf (camel)

The future is “fluctuating, vague and uncertain.” John Maynard Keynes

Nobody can save themselves, certainly not for ever, at the cost of anybody else.

“Sigmund Freud once stated that no one believes in their own death. In the unconscious, there is a blank space where knowledge of this one sure thing about our futures should be. If the pandemic has changed life for ever, it might therefore be because that inability to countenance death – which may seem to be the condition of daily sanity – has been revealed for the delusion it always is. To be human, in modern western cultures at least, is to push the knowledge of death away for as long as we can.”

Trope ~ a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression. Derived from the Greek word tropos, which means, ‘turn, direction, way,’ tropes are figures of speech that move the meaning of the text from literal to figurative. In the arts, a trope is simply a common convention in a particular medium. It refers to anything that gets used often enough to be recognized. … That’s all a trope is: a commonplace, recognizable plot element, theme, or visual cue that conveys something in the arts.

Amperage (or current) is the amount of electricity flowing from the battery to the connected device, while voltage is the amount of potential energy. Multiplying volts by amps gives you wattage, the measure of total power. Pass-through charging lets you charge devices connected to the battery, while the battery itself is also being charged.

snatch the pebble ~ (colloquial, idiomatic) To fully grasp the meaning of a concept or developed a skill to a high degree of proficiency, often that rivals some specific expert.

Metaverse ~ If the internet is two-dimensional—text and images on flat screens—think of the metaverse as three-dimensional and multi-sensory (including touch). The word “metaverse” was coined in Snow Crash, a 1992 novel by Neal Stephenson. The term “metaverse” has been used as a buzzword for promotion, and as a way to generate hype for public relations purposes by making vague claims for future projects.

People who feel appreciated will always do more than expected because appreciation is one of life’s greatest motivators.

I think it was the ability of the theater to communicate ideas and extol virtues that drew me to it. And also I was, and remain, fascinated by the idea of an audience as a community of people who gather willingly to bear witness. A novelist writes a novel and people read it. But reading is a solitary act. While it may elicit a varied and personal response, the communal nature of the audience is like having five hundred people read your novel and respond to it at the same time. I find that thrilling. ~ August Wilson

in medias res ~ into the middle of a narrative; without preamble.

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