Douwe Osinga's Blog: November 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I just claimed my blog at technorati. I did it a long time ago, but something had gone wrong back then and now I saw that they had something new that allows you to just post the claim code. Looks a little uggly of course in the rss stream, but what the hell.

Anyway, I now have a profile at It claims I have the 27th most popular blog in their index, which considering that they track 60 million different ones, sounds quite impressive I think. To be honest, they also claim that my last post was 475 days ago - I don't blog as frequent as I used to do, but still, it is better than that.

My brother pointed me to which shows you how much your blog is worth, based on link popularity and blogs that have been sold. $3,760,965.48 is the right number. I like it how they calculates values up to the cent.

Of course my link popularity is mostly based on visited countries, a little project I wrote a few years ago. People just like to show off in how many countries they've been. Of course if anybody is in the market for a well linked blog, drop me a line. I could give you a nice discount.

Please ignore

Technorati Profile

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Learning languages 4 at a time

I wrote a program that scrapes a database of languages to calculate how many you need to learn to be able to speak with most people. Depending on the assumptions it is at least two hundred. Way too much to be practical. Of course to be able to speak a language a little bit and be able to look at a newspaper article and to know what the article is about, you need a lot less. This seems like the sort of level that I think I could attain in Italian or Spanish quite easily. I suppose a lot of people starting to learn a new language should realistically shoot for that level, rather than fluency.

But it got me thinking, why settle for one Roman language? Wouldn't it be cool if you could learn the basic words in like 5 different Romananic languages at the same time? It would probably not be that much harder than learning one and it would be quite interesting because you'd learn all the differences and similarities. After that you could learn basic Slavic and basic Germanic and have a rather good grip on at least the EU.

Learn to speak 5 languages in 3 weeks. Badly.