March 27, 2012

Attractive, fussy, loud, and constantly in everyone's business"

Can't get enough of Downton Abbey? Like dogs? If you answered 'yes' to both questions, you might enjoy the pictures at this link.

March 14, 2012

"Though languages are at their base social connectors, their study, for the most acquisitive, can be isolating."

Read about 16-year old Timothy Doner, who taught himself a dozen languages and has now discovered the power of connecting with like-minded people through YouTube. There's a whole genre of polyglot videos.

So how does one learn a dozen languages? Is it an innate ability? Is it a skill one learns through practice, like playing an instrument?
The answer, neurolinguists are now discovering, is a bit of both, said Loraine Obler, a linguist and a professor at the City University of New York who has studied bilingualism’s effect on the brain. “There are people whose brains are set up to do language learning,” she said, “the same way some people are more talented at drawing.” Also, she added, “The brain’s ability to absorb increases as we know more languages. Having a second language at a young age helps you learn a third, even if they’re unrelated.”
One more reason to start learning a second language early in life.

March 08, 2012

Gail Collins confirms "I’ve made a kind of game of trying to mention Seamus every time I write about Mitt Romney"

This is because the Republican primary campaign has been an extremely long and depressing slog, and we need all the diversion we can get.
Everything you always wanted to know about Seamus-the-Setter, Mitt-the -Candidate, and Gail-the-Commentor: Dogging Mitt Romney.