Anki/ Dictionary


Recomendo: issue no. 36

Anki is a free flashcard program that uses the Spaced Repetition System (SRS) to present words or facts you have trouble remembering more frequently than ones you can recall easily. I’m using Anki based on the advice in the book Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It, which I highly recommend. — MF

Travel booking tip:
I travel in other countries a lot, often in remote places, and when I do I prefer smaller hotels, hostels, guesthouses, homestays, inns and Airbnb. Over the past decade I’ve used many apps and sites for booking smaller places in Asia, Latin America and Europe, but in the last 3 years I’ve settled on as my go-to. It has a unified interface to 1.1 million hotels and guesthouses worldwide, with the widest coverage and selection, accurate prices and info, high reliability (if they say you have a reservation, you do), and they make it very easy to change or cancel. If I can, I will always book through rather than the hotel direct. — KK

Pasta Recipe:
I grew up eating Prego sauce spaghetti and as an adult had a hard time enjoying less sugary alternatives. This America’s Test Kitchen Skillet Lasagna recipe (free on is my new favorite. I substitute the meatloaf mix with ground beef and lasagna noodles for spaghetti broken in half to fit into the skillet. Also, my husband doesn’t like ricotta, so I’ve been subbing with white cheddar. — CD

Dirt Cheap Transcription:
VoiceBase takes audio recordings and turns them into text. It also analyzes the text to identify subjects and keywords, and can play back the audio as it highlights the text. It’s not as good as a human transcriber, but it does a decent job and is much cheaper (2 cents a minute compared to $1 a minute for a human).You get $60 in free credit to try it out, too. — MF

The Sideways Dictionary project uses analogies to explain technology. You can contribute your own, upvote those you like or downvote those you don’t find helpful. Here’s one to describe API: “It’s like a LEGO brick. An application without an API is like a LEGO brick without nodules (are they called nodules?) – it’s not much fun and you can’t build anything new with it.” — by Nick Asbury. I can feel my mind expanding. — CD

I really loved the science fiction movie Arrival (pictured above). It is one of those very rare movies that is better than the short story it is based on. In the movie they make the science clearer, and at its heart, despite the science, it’s a sentimental drama. I’m not giving much away to tell you that the central notion of the film is that language rewires your brain to think differently, and that if aliens could give you a language that was structured without linear time, you could predict the future. Enjoy! — KK

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-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 04/2/17

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