Today, I learned that:
At this time of the year, it becomes ever more evident that life on the northern and southern hemispheres are going in different directions until Christmas time. The photo below shows a beautiful fall photo taken by my friend Barbara, who once more is eager to share with us the beauties of Mother Nature. This photo was taken by her from the stairs of Nääs Castle in Sweden towards Lake Sävelången. My warmest thanks, Barbara!
As you already might know, besides technology, my other main interest is languages. So here are some interesting language information I have gathered since my latest blog post:
Sound of words is no coincidence
Particular sounds are preferred or avoided in non-related languages far more often than previously assumed. An international research team, led by scientists from the Max Planck Institutes for Mathematics in the Sciences and the Science of Human History, and including scientists from Germany, the USA, Sweden, Denmark and other countries have carried out a comprehensive analysis. The scientists used data for the study from over 4 000 of the more than 6 000 languages spoken throughout the world.
N as in nose – an association that probably did not arise by chance. The sound n is found in the word for the olfactory organ more frequently than in other words, some examples being English: nose, German: Nase, French: nez, Spanish/Portuguese: nariz, Swedish: näsa, Danish: næse, Norwegian: nese, Finnish: nenä, Russian: нос, etc.
Other examples are that the respective words for ‘sand’ often contain the sound of ‘s’, ‘stone’ normally includes the sound of ‘t’, etc.
Damián E. Blasi, a scientist from the Max Planck Institute, a main contributor to the study says that “In view of the enormous possibilities that exist for variations in the world’s languages, the result is astonishing and alters our understanding of the boundary conditions under which people communicate.” See also reference #1 below.
Smiling faces in photos
Of course, any photographer who takes portraits of people would like that their objects seem to be happy on the photo. There are different buzz words for that, “cheese”, “omelett”, and “pizza” are some of those used to convince them to smile. According to Radio Sweden’s language program “Språket”, a study made some years ago by the Japanese camera maker Nikon, a photo model was asked to pronounce typical words used in different languages. 5 high speed photos were taken of her in every language, and the most beautiful facial expression of those was chosen. Then, the photos from the different languages were compared, and the study resulted in that the French word “ouistiti” (meaning the South American monkey marmoset) yielded the best result, voilà! More on this fascinating topic can be found in references #2, 3, and 4 (the latter containing also the winning photo!) below.
Help the world – dispollute the air making booze
In a sensational discovery, researchers in the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have been able to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol in a one-step process. Is this the solution to avoid global warming, getting drunk with the bill gracefully paid by Mother Earth? Let us wait and see! In the meantime, get prepared in references #5 and 6 below.
… That’s what I learned in school !
3: Say cheese