More questions. More help. Introducing Mastering Table Topics Second Edition.

About that word

Image from Amazon.comPewDiePie is the latest celebrity caught uttering the n-word. Unlike celebrity n-word eruptions in the past, this situation cannot be treated the same way. In the aftermath of Charlottesville, racists are emboldened. More racist material has been appearing, along with more racial violence. The n-word can no longer be dismissed as a casually tossed around lyric in hip-hop music or a primal grunt of an unenlightened past. It’s time we take an honest look at it.

We can start with a man who put that word on his album covers, Richard Pryor.

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When technology fails us

My old Apple Watch heading to repairIn two and a half years, the Apple Watch went from something I didn’t feel I needed, to something I bought, to something I discovered that I couldn’t live without. I didn’t realize how much I depended on it until it needed to be repaired.

But our dependence on technology isn’t just about fancy gadgets. We depend on certain technologies to live.

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You weren’t welcomed either

Anti-Italian cartoon from 1888 (from Wikimedia Commons)

When looking at immigration in general and DACA in particular, there are two things to remember:

  • You are a descendant of immigrants.
  • You weren’t welcomed either.

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“The solution that increases the problem”

I found myself stumped on the new novel I started. I had ideas about where I wanted the story to go, but I couldn’t put the pieces together. That was when I thought of six words that helped me put the plot together and make the story move forward: The solution that increases the problem. Here’s why this works.

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Retiring the Links page

My website header from 1999

Program note: I had to retire a long-time feature of my website, the Links page.

I started this website back in 1996. (You can see a copy of my site from 1999.) Before Google and search engine optimization, we promoted websites by exchanging links. Today, I get most of my visits from searches and social media. Although Links pages have gone the way of the VHS tape, I kept mine to promote sites I found useful and interesting.

In recent months, I received a lot of requests to add links to sites that are not related to public speaking, writing, and other subjects covered on this site. I accommodated those requests for a while, but the list of unrelated sites was becoming larger than those related to this site. I also had to take time to review these links and found I was being asked to promote commercial sites for free. I asked that people only send links to related sites, but I was still getting requests to link to unrelated sites.

So, I decided to retire the Links page. I can use the time I’ve been spending on maintaining the page and dealing with requests to provide you with more content. Thank you for your understanding and for supporting this site.