My Bilingual Doubletalk In Mexico

by Kevin Burton    My career as an English as a Second Language teacher came to an abrupt early end one night under the streetlights outside a small taco shop in Puebla.    To tell you how and why that happened, I first turn to BBC writer Nicole Chang, who recently wrote about what speaking …

The Bell Tolls For Olivia And For Me

by Kevin Burton    There is a picture of Olivia Newton-John that haunts me.    The picture is of her at the end of “Grease,” her character Sandy riding in the car with Danny, John Travolta’s character.  She turns around and waves at the camera as they ride off into the high school and movie …

Cats’ Purring Says More Than We Think

by Kevin Burton    Apparently the purring our cats do isn’t all good vibrations.      These are cats after all, I should have known. It just had to be more complicated than we thought.    “We think we know what a cat’s purr means,” writes Stephen Dowling of the BBC.  “It is arguably the most recognizable sign …

My Phone’s Not Dumb, You’re Dumb

by Kevin Burton    One last petulant blast. That’s all this is, I fear.    BBC business reporter Suzanne Bearne did a story on the return of the “dumbphone.” I hadn’t heard that anything not a smartphone is considered a dumbphone, but it doesn’t surprise me.    Neither am I surprised that flip phones like …

Thoughts Behind NBBA Code Of Conduct

by Kevin Burton    Last Friday on Page 7 we had some fun with the National Beep Baseball Association’s code of conduct policy.    I turned the clock back to a time even before my playing days and talked about brawls among Chicago teams.  But the incidents weren’t limited to the Windy City.    Former …