There were several stories over the weekend that piqued my interest, some of which turned out to be not as interesting as hoped, but some were gems. This one, for example, reports an exciting discovery about the origin of language. Along the same vein, a BBC article described how linguists using methods similar to Gregor Mendel’s pea plant experiments were able to theorize that culture, not cognitive constraints, is responsible for language development. The latter article especially is of use to me as I continue to work on the language and thought issue initially brought up in my Second Languages, le premier part post of January 2010. (Part Deux, the sequel, coming to a computer near you, Summer 2011!)
There was, however, something else that was much more important: Continue reading
Zelda would like to tell you something.
Actually, that’s a bit presumptuous on my part. She may very well be telling me to go away or asking me for a little head scratch. I really don’t know. It’s hard to tell with cats, you know. It’s not like they can speak.
Or can they…?
I’ve heard countless claims from various people over the years that their pet – dog, cat, iguana – can understand exactly what is being said, and though they can’t form the actual words (with the exception of a few elite examples), the pet can “talk back” to their owner. Of course, I generally look at them askance and wonder what they’re on and if they’re really hearing voices talking back to them. If that’s the case, my friend, it surely isn’t the dog. David Berkowitz anyone? Continue reading
Ladies and Gents, I present to you Zelda…
and Mrs. Parker…
They are both living up to their names. Zelda was named after the inimitable Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of F.Scott Fitzgerald. Zelda was a wild creature, but fiercely loyal and loving when she wasn’t fall-down drunk. Her claws came out when faced with a threat (*cough cough* Hemingway *cough cough*). She was an elegant, striking beauty in her time and did not like being trapped. She always looked for an escape and was very curious about new adventures. Though certifiably crazy, she settled into a quieter existence after being institutionalized and outlived her famous drunkard of a husband.
Mrs.Parker is called so because it was what writer Dorothy Parker preferred to be called. She was famous for being a key member of the boisterous Algonquin Round Table, though she was a quieter presence than many would suspect given her current reputation. She would sit at the table during lunch, relatively quiet and demure, and when asked, she would deliver one of her brief but deadly invectives in her soft, affected and uniquely accented voice. Her bite was, in fact, as devastatingly bad as her bark. She was lively enough when she, like Zelda, was fall-down drunk (which was much of the time for both of them). She spent her last days in the company of poodles and terriers.