Being a US resident from birth I have asked myself this same question many many many times. Why do we not change over to a simple system that everyone can use and understand. Lets make the change and spend all this great "stimulus" money on changing out road signs for the next 5 years. Make them dual metric/imperial when you change them and then slowly faze them out to just use the metric system in 10 years or something.
Just wanted to point out Lauren Rosenberg, the lady hit by the car is actually from Los Angeles California. She was hit in Utah and thus her lawyers are in Utah.
I have been playing HoN since the early beta began. I never played DOTA or any other game like this before so the learning curve was pretty rough for me. It took about 20 games before I really felt that I had a good grasp of the basics (games take anywhere from 15-45 mins). A few of the pros: 1. fast paced game 2. pretty good graphics 3. quite stable 4. great online play 5. TONS of strategies to use (offensive/defensive counters) 6. Lots of heros to pick from 7. Good friends lists, built in Voice servers etc. for fun times Cons: 1. Some people in the community are jerks just like any other online game 2. It can be hard to find a match to play with all of your friends on your team (people dont like to join games when they are all friends on one side since the scrub pick up groups usually dont know how to play together) Playing with 1-2 friends is pretty easy though, just not a full 5 man team. In rebuttal to those who say the game is not balanced, there are really good balances in place to the game. If you think a character is overpowered, pick your hero late (at the end of the countdown) and wait to see what others pick. If you know the characters, there is a great counter character for everyone in the game. Also playing larger games with more players is easier to counter than a 2v2 or 3v3 game.
Having learned Chinese for a time I found that there are a number of radicals (small portions of the characters) that you can easily memorize and learn. Once you memorize the radicals most characters are built using those small pieces. As for memorizing the words, the characters all came from pictograms. There are tons of books that explain the origins of the pictures, but you can look at them and see images and associate those to the words. i.e. ma - horse has a thing with 4 legs that looks like it is running. men - door looks like an old saloon door etc. Lots of flash cards and memorization is what worked best for me and then practice writing the actual characters over and over. Good luck, its a great language to learn.
I personally use www.SimpleScripts.com for this exact reason. I use a ton of open source software for my websites and it is hard to keep track of all the updates made to them. SimpleScripts emails me every time an update comes out and it provides me a one click upgrade to the latest version for Wordpress, phpBB and Drupal which are the 3 systems I use the most.
I have been using simple scripts on my websites for about a month and I love it. This is a great article that shows why I love it - Version tracking and backups for a one click installer = priceless!