Vocablet of the Day: Quantitative

Environmental impact can be hard to measure, but the new Ocean Health Index might make things a bit simpler.

Start studying ‘quantitative‘ right now in VocabNetwork’s The Health of the Ocean studylist.

How clean are the coasts in YOUR country?

There’s a new way for countries to measure how they treat the ocean — not just as “good” or “bad,” but expressible as a value.

The Ocean Health Index’s quantitative measure will give countries a numerical score of how they treat the ocean.  It is hoped that quantitative, comparable scores will encourage — or shame — low-scoring countries into cleaning up their oceanic act.

The quantitative-Ocean Health Index Vocablet highlights the new way that countries can see how well they treat their coasts, and see how much they need to improve.

Do you think that having a quantitative measurement will inspire nations to treat the oceans better?  How well do you think your country would score?  (I live in the United States, and we would probably score pretty low, sadly.)

Start studying ‘quantitative‘!
Add the quantitative-Ocean Health Index Vocablet to a studylist, or get to studying NOW with VocabNetwork’s The Health of the Ocean studylist.

Vocablet of the Day: Convene

This year, the Olympic Games fall during the month of Ramadan, when many Muslims fast during the day.  What does this mean for Muslim athletes?

Study ‘convene‘ now in VocabNetwork’s Ramadan studylist.

With athletes of all cultures and beliefs participating in the Olympics, the issue of Ramadan coinciding with the Games is important enough to call together a committee specifically to discuss it.

I have to wonder why the International Olympics Committee didn’t convene a council about  this problem in the months before the Games began.  Still, it’s good that a group was convened to talk about this important problem.

The convene-Muslim Athletes Vocablet highlights the unfortunate scheduling problem of Ramadan and the Olympics occurring at the same time, and what is being done about it.

How do you think Olympic officials should handle this?  Is convening a committee enough?

Study ‘convene‘!
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Vocablet of the Day: Oblivion

When you’re walking down the street, smartphone in hand and earbuds in your ears, how much are you aware of what’s going on around you?

Study ‘oblivion‘ right now in VN’s Downsides of Too Much Tech studylist.

Smartphones, iPods, PDAs… all of today’s hand-held technologies are so fascinating that they can actually put us into a state of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening.

It’s okay to slip into oblivion when sitting safely at home with your iPhone, but that trance-like state can be dangerous on the street.  Pedestrians who fall into “iPod oblivion” might not notice sidewalk hazards, traffic, or other pedestrians, putting themselves at risk

The oblivion-iPod Danger Vocablet highlights the problem of focusing too much on technology instead of paying attention to your surroundings.

Have you ever experienced iPod oblivion?  How do you think you can avoid it?

Get to studying ‘oblivion‘!
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Vocablet of the Day: Spur

Soon, cigarette packs in the United States will boast large warnings and graphic images, like a pair of cancer-ridden lungs.  But will these methods get smokers to quit?

Start studying ‘spur‘ at VocabNetwork NOW in VN’s Cigarette Dangers studylist.

The Food and Drug Administration in the United States is about to begin a new campaign to give an incentive or encouragement to smokers to quit.

Soon, cigarette packs in the U.S. will have warnings like these from the UK.

Starting in October, cigarette packages will be labeled with warnings about the dangers of smoking in an attempt to spur smokers to quit.  Hopefully, these highly visible warnings will  be more effective in spurring smokers to quit than other methods that are more easily ignored.

The spur-Cigarette Dangers Vocablet highlights a public health step that is overdue for the United States — placing strong warnings about cancer and other health risks on cigarette packages.

Do you think this kind of tactic will help spur smokers to quit?  Or will smokers simply ignore these warnings?

Get to studying ‘spur‘!
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Vocablet of the Day: Commute

Many people already spend hours driving to and from work each day, but money problems and broken-down roads might make the problem worse.

Start studying commute right away in VocabNetwork’s Driving studylist.

With more and more time spent in traffic, Americans are understandably wary of anything that might lengthen their regular journey to and from their place of work.

Unfortunately, many Americans might have to find a new route for their daily commute.  Many cities are debating demolishing old freeways that would cost too much to repair, forcing workers to find other streets for their commute to work.

The commute-U.S. Freeways Vocablet highlights the financial problems of many U.S. cities, leaving them with no options but to destroy their main traffic thoroughfares.

How long is your commute?  Do you use a freeway or smaller roads?

Get commute in your collection!
Add the commute-U.S. Freeways Vocablet to a studylist, or start studying now with VocabNetwork’s Driving studylist.

Vocablet of the Day: Discrepancy

In the Occupy movement, the protesters claim to be the 99% of average workers protesting against the 1% of the hugely wealthy.  Why?

Start studying discrepancy right now in VocabNetwork’s Protest studylist.

One of the biggest issues for the Occupy movement is the difference or inconsistency in earnings between corporate executives and the average worker.

The huge discrepancy in wages means that the small number of people who are already wealthy (the 1 percent) grow richer while a much larger majority of people (the 99 percent) struggle to make ends meet.  The growing discrepancy also threatens to eliminate the middle class, leaving only the very poor and the very rich.

The discrepancy-Wage Gap Vocablet highlights the unjust distribution of money in the United States, where the amount of pay is not equal to the amount of work.

Have you noticed this wage discrepancy in your own life?  How might it affect you?

Can’t wait to get discrepancy in your collection?
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Studylist of the Week: Google Projects

Nowadays, many people don’t “search” for information online, they “google” something.  The word has become synonymous with searching for all kinds of information, from basic web searches to scholarly research to mapping directions from here to there.

Google’s efforts have connected people and information in new and changing ways.  However, having control over much of the Internet’s information is a big job, and not every project goes smoothly.

VocabNetwork’s Google Projects studylist highlights some of Google’s innovative efforts and technological missteps.


The future is now: Google’s autonomous (able to make decisions free from outside control) cars actually drive themselves!

It sounds like something out of science fiction, but these cars have already driven themselves over 140,000 miles.



It seemed like a great idea at first: digitize every book ever published and make them freely available online.

Unfortunately, Google’s attempt to free literature was derailed (brought to a sudden stop) by copyright laws and a huge legal settlement.



Google caused some controversy when it picked up more than just images with its Street View cameras.

The cars accidentally collected wi-fi data from hotspots in Canada, contravening (going against) the country’s privacy laws.



Never one to back down from a challenge, Google has taken on a task that literature experts have been struggling with for centuries.

Researchers are working on a computer that can understand and translate (make sense of a language) poetry.


What do you think of Google’s attempts to free all information?  Are they doing good work or are they infringing too far on people’s right to privacy?

Vocablet of the Day: Contravene

Today’s Vocablet flashcard involves the drawbacks of gathering huge amounts of information for the Internet — not all information is public.

The contravene-Privacy snippet highlights an embarrassing — and illegal — slip up by the information superpower Google.  While driving around cities and towns in Canada collecting information for Google Street View, the company accidentally picked up data from wi-fi routers in homes, an action that goes against the country’s privacy laws.

This isn’t Google’s only clash with wi-fi and privacy laws.   To avoid breaking European privacy laws, Google recently introduced an option to allow wi-fi users to opt-out of Google’s location services.

Is this “contravene” Vocablet in your collection?
See it in VocabNetwork’s Google Projects studylist.

Many users criticize Facebook for its irresponsible treatment of people’s information and lack of concern for privacy issues.  How else do websites contravene privacy laws?