Monday, February 28, 2011
has been relocated from
his posh London flat.
"Respected for sure,
but no way we're naming a
building after him."
Ever feel like you
need an extra hand? Your brain
In places, the oil
and dead animals are ten
"M'kay, kids, don't do
drugs, drugs are bad. M'kay, they
make you look like hell."
Eighteen months to plan,
and just hours for art to be
destroyed by wind gusts.
When they know someone
is in trouble, it is in
their nature to help.
Monday, February 21, 2011
International Mother Language Day exists because of a battle over the right to speak a language. It originated as Language Movement Day, which has been commemorated in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) since 1952. During that year, a number of University of Dhaka students were killed by the Pakistani police and military during Bengali Language Movement protests.
The events that led up to that day started on 21 March, 1948, when the Governor General of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, declared Urdu as the only official language for both West and East Pakistan. The mainly Bengali-speaking people of East Pakistan (which is now Bangladesh) protested against it, starting the Bengali Language Movement. On 21 February, 1952, students in the present day capital city of Dhaka called for a provincial strike. The government declared a limited curfew to try and prevent this. Though the protests were tame and the students unarmed, the Pakistani police fired on them anyway, killing at least four. Four more were killed the following day.
The first anniversary on 21 February, 1953, was observed in the country as Martyrs' Day. More than 100,000 people assembled at a public meeting held in Armanitola in Dhaka. West Pakistani politicians exacerbated the situation by declaring anyone who wanted Bengali to become an official language to be an "enemy of the state." February 21st 1954 and 1955 were equally tense and as the movement spread through East Pakistan, the whole province came to a standstill.
The first peaceful observance of Language Movement Day was in 1956. The government had relented during the previous year. On 29 February 1956, Bengali was officially recognized as the second language of Pakistan. The country's constitution was reworded to say "The state language of Pakistan shall be Urdu and Bengali." Language Movement Day is thought to have been the start for the independence movement, which eventually resulted in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.
The observance spread beyond the young nation. International Mother Language Day has been observed worldwide every year since February 21, 2000. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding through multilingualism and multiculturalism. On 16 May, 2009, the General Assembly called upon Member States "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world".
Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing heritage and history that can date back thousands of years. Every action to promote the dissemination of mother tongues encourages linguistic diversity and multilingual education. Their study also helps to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world, inspiring solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Actions truly do speak louder than words. Body language is a form of non-verbal communication through body posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. Humans send and interpret such signals subconsciously. A person can literally be saying one thing, while their body says something else. Knowing how to read the signals people don't even know they're giving can provide you with clues into their personalities and moods, maybe even help you find love.
According to body language expert Patti Wood, we rely on sight, sounds, smell and touch during flirting to decipher availability, gender and approachability.This kind of silent language is universal. Nonverbal signals are somewhat instinctual and invoke more primitive parts of the brain. For example, a man standing with shoulders squared, chest puffed out, and head held high could signal confidence to a woman but could be interpreted by men as a warning to stay away.
"You can send and receive up to 10,000 non-verbal cues in less than one minute of interaction," says Wood, author of Success Signals, adding that since these cues are under less conscious control, they more accurately indicate a person's emotions than what they say.
According to Wood, "one way we show attraction is to move towards what we like. We will point our feet towards a person, lean our upper bodies in, bring our heads forward and symbolically reach towards someone with our gestures."
Want a mini cheat-sheet on how to interpret the silent messages other people are communicating? Here are some positive body language signals worth noting:
- Hands on hips: Ready, confident
- Smoothing clothes, straightening collar: Wants to be noticed
- Fluffing or twirling her hair: Playful
- Prolonged eye-contact, facing you: Interested
- Stroking her throat, neck or upper chest: Sexual interest
- Hands in view on table: Nothing to hide
- Straightening collar: Wants to look good and attract your attention
- Fingers form a church steeple: Confident (Or he's a geriatric millionaire hatching a plot...)
- Touching own lips: Wants to kiss (If it's the pinky, this may actually indicate an evil mastermind)
- Uses hand gestures a lot: High energy
- Hand on chin: Bored
- Foot and Finger Tapping: Stress, impatience, or frustration
- Hands deep in pockets: Secretive
- Chin stroking: Evaluating you
- Increased rate of blinking: Signals anxiety
- Avoiding eye contact: A sign of disinterest
- Crossed arms: A sign of defensive resistance
- Throat covered by hand: Offended physically or emotionally
- Tugging at earlobe: Wants to interrupt and say something
- Picking at nails or cuticles: Angry, stressed
Thursday, February 10, 2011
: opposition to the withdrawal of state support or recognition from an established church, especially the Anglican Church in 19th-century England.
It turns out, I learned later, that at 28 letters, this word isn't the longest in English. Weighing in at a hefty1,185 letters long, the name of a tobacco virus was deemed the longest word. Are you ready? Take a deep breath and say:
: Chemical name for the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), a positive-sense single stranded RNA virus that infects plants, especially tobacco and other members of the family Solanaceae
Then last month I found this article from NPR that explores the longest words in the English language. The usual suspects were included in the debate, mainly the three words already listed in this blog post. Then there, at the end, was a different word that is even longer than the TMV virus' chemical name. Weighing in at a whopping 1,913 characters, enter:
: Full chemical name of tryptophan synthetase A protein, which partners with tryptophan synthetase B protein to create tryptophan, an essential amino acid
While searching to find the official definitions and spellings of these words for this blog post, I found yet another word, and this one takes the cake (and is so long, it won't be printed here). Numbered at a gigantormous 189,819 characters, check out the real longest word in the English language (click the link to see the full name).
: the shortened name for a protein that in humans is encoded by the TTN gene; also known as connectin
But the NPR article made a really good point about whether these words are used or not. Though the full words for tryptophan synthetase A protein and titin are quite long, they haven't been published in usage. The TMV virus name, however, was published in science journals in the 1960s. Since that time, there have been bigger, longer molecules that could be words, but publications don't bother to spell them because it uses up large amounts of space and paper. And really, did anyone reading this blog post even read the words all the way through? I wrote it, and I didn't.
My further research also lead me to wonder about these "longest" words, as even linguists disagree whether they should even exist because of their highly technical nature. There are obviously shorter words that are used much more commonly in references to these nouns. Surely since it is easier to say and requires fewer breaks for breathing than its full name, titin must be thrown around much more often than the methionylthreonylthreonylglutamin-what-a-novel-of-a-word.
Also, some of the "shorter" words that are still exceptionally long are disputed. Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypotrimmatosilphioparaomelitokatakechymenokichlepikossyphophattoperisteralektryonoptekephalliokigklopeleiolagoiosiraiobaphetraganopterygon is a 183 letter word that refers to a fictional dish mentioned in Aristophanes' comedy Assemblywomen, but its an English transliteration of an ancient Greek word that has never appeared in a dictionary. And pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, at 45 letters long, was actually coined specifically to serve as the longest English word and is the longest to ever appear in the dictionary. It's a lung disease that is more commonly called silicosis. But if its coined to be the longest, is that cheating?
So after all of those words are shoved to the side, either because their challenged or coined, what is left? Its 35 letters long and you're never going to guess what it means.
: The fear of long words.
Sara Duane-Gladden is a freelance writer in the Twin Cities area of the great state of Minnesota.
What's The Longest Word In The English Language?
Longest word in English
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
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