Highlights of the year 2014

Here’s some of the cooler things that happened to me in the past year:

  1. Rollo finally got deported to the armpit of Africa.
  2. Y’all bought me a computer named Orville, whom I love and cherish.
  3. I learned how to braid hair.
  4. I began studying the Dutch language, using the really handy Duolingo app on my phone. I highly recommend Duolingo; it’s free and you can also learn Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Irish Gaelic, Danish and Swedish. (Why did I choose Dutch? Simple: it’s supposed to be the easiest language for English speakers to learn.)
  5. I donated dozens of books and one DVD to the library.
  6. I had 25 entries run on Executed Today.
  7. I read 185 books, slightly fewer than last year. That’s about one book every two days. I suppose that seems like a lot, but I read fewer books every year and am more than a little disturbed by this fact. There was a lot of true crime and history this year and comparatively little YA fiction or Holocaust stories.
  8. I added 215 books to my “to read” list (not counting the books I added and then subsequently removed after I read them.) The list is currently 1,060 books long. Why do I get the feeling I will never catch up?

14 thoughts on “Highlights of the year 2014

  1. M86 January 1, 2015 / 1:34 am

    Happy New Year to you! I love Duolingo, although I don’t keep up with my progress as I should. I should try Dutch. I was doing Spanish… I did Spanish in high school and some of it stuck.
    Super happy about Rollo and Orville too!

    • M86 January 1, 2015 / 1:51 am

      I wanted to add, I’m so glad you added Catherine Tornquist and Rachel Cryiacks. I thought with Rachel that her husband was talked to by authorities. You’re entry made it sound like he’s being sought. I could be totally wrong… but that husband did it.

      • Meaghan January 1, 2015 / 6:14 pm

        I didn’t find anything about her husband talking to the cops, but I’ll look again.

  2. Mion January 1, 2015 / 4:33 am

    Happy new year!! I hope 2015 is even better for you.

    I highly suggest downloading Anki, which is a flashcard program that’s amazing for learning foreign vocabulary. It uses a spaced-repetition system that works like this:

    It’ll show you the ‘question’ side of the flashcard. You try your best to answer the flashcard (whether it’s mentally or you type it in). When you do, it will flip over to show the answer and ask you to score yourself on how difficult it was to correctly answer it.

    I can’t 100% remember the scoring system Anki uses. But I’m pretty sure it ranges from 1 (very easy, instant recall) to 5 (no recall, unable to answer).

    The cool thing is that the system will make it so that the easiest cards have wider spacing (meaning they’ll take a lot longer to show up again) and the more difficult ones will be spaced shorter, thus putting more emphasis on those difficult cards. Seriously, it’s almost like magic how fast you can memorize words with this system.

    Anki is free and already has a ton of decks made publicly available by other users. If you get Anki, I highly suggest looking for (or making) a deck of the 1,000 most common words in Dutch. I remember reading that the 1,000 most common words in English make up 89% of everyday writing – I imagine it’s similar for Dutch too.

    • Meaghan January 1, 2015 / 6:09 pm

      I’ll have to check that out. I had never heard of Anki before.

  3. Orla January 1, 2015 / 7:16 am

    Share your to read list?

    Or even just the true crime section of the list….love the idea of having a to do list for books.

    Reading Andrew Solomon’s far from the tree atm and have nothing lined up. Excellent read.

  4. michael January 1, 2015 / 1:42 pm

    Happy New Year everyone!

    I feel that it would be beneficial if someone would start a forum to discuss cases. I have a lot to add: additional information on cases, additional photos of those on CP, even additional cases. What do y’all think about this? My true crime t.v. show collection is quite extensive – possibly the most extensive on Planet Earth!

  5. B January 1, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    I would recommend checking out websleuths, if you haven’t already. Some of the discussions are really informative, especially on older, “colder” cases, where it’s hard to find information.

    • michael January 1, 2015 / 11:25 pm

      Websleuths is a TERRIBLE site. It’s nearly impossible to register from what I heard, much of the discussion, while coming from well-meaning people, isn’t informative at all, instead much of it is the “I wish they would be found” type comments, the endless “blah-blah thanks you for this post” clogs up half the site. Not to mention the Nazi-like admins who frequently ban people for the slightest, perceived faults.

  6. Richard January 1, 2015 / 8:12 pm

    Beste Meaghan,

    Ik wens je, in het Nederlands, een heel gelukkig nieuwjaar met veel mooie momenten en een goede gezondheid!!!!

    Dutch greetings, Richard

  7. Alana Willans January 5, 2015 / 2:19 am

    Duolingo is awesome! I’m using it to learn German, which I find quite easy.

  8. William January 5, 2015 / 1:01 pm

    Happy New Year Meaghan! Thank you again for everything you do. I hope 2015 is your best year ever!


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