Alternate reality: 12 landmarks as they could have been
People who learn two languages early in life can switch back and forth between separate sound codes for each language.
While “pa” and “ba” sounds exist in both English and Spanish, how those sounds are produced and perceived in the two languages varies subtly. In the case of “ba”, for example, English speakers typically begin to vibrate their vocal chords the moment they open their lips, while Spanish speakers begin vocal chord vibration slightly before they open their lips and produce “pa” in a manner similar to English “ba.”
As a result of those subtle differences, English-only speakers might, in some cases, confuse the “ba” and “pa” sounds they hear in Spanish.
“When most people think about differences between languages, they think they use different words and they have different grammars, but at their base, languages use different sounds,” explains Andrew Lotto, associate professor of speech, language and hearing sciences and the study’s co-author.
Full story at Futurity.
More research news from top universities.
Photo credit: Sean Davis/Flickr
Women who consume 1,000 mg of calcium a day—regardless if consumed in food or supplements—may live longer, new research suggests.
“We found that daily use of calcium supplements in women was associated with a lower risk of death, irrespective of cause,” says the study’s lead author, David Goltzman, director of the Calcium Research Laboratory at McGill University. “The benefit was seen for women who took doses of up to 1,000 mg per day, regardless of whether the supplement contained vitamin D.”
The longitudinal study of participants living in or near 9 cities across Canada monitored the health of 9,033 Canadians between 1995 and 2007. During that period, 1,160 participants died. Although the data showed women who took calcium supplements had a lower mortality risk, there was no statistical benefit for men. The study found no conclusive evidence that vitamin D had an effect on mortality.
Full story at Futurity.
More research news from top universities.
Photo credit: Alex Valli/Flickr
Alan Kennedy, along with his son Thomas, has written a book called: The Alpha Strategies. Not only for corporations, but also for public agencies and marketing firms, he wrote this because he saw a need for a book on developing corporate strategies after years of experience as a deal-maker for some major corporations in Canada. He was frustrated with the, as he says, “hazy and unfocused” boardroom discussions about strategy. He also noticed that the business leaders often couldn’t even communicate strategy effectively. And so he compiled his list of 8 elements for corporate strategists to consider.
1. Business definition
2. Financial management
5. Organizational management
8. Service delivery
For details about each point, see the full article here: Globe and Mail.
More stories about business.
Photo credit: DOC RABE Media – Fotolia.comAuthor on Google+
Geoffrey Goetz, writing at Gigaom, has come up with a list of must-have (iOS) apps and guides if you’re headed to negotiate the throngs at Disney(World) anytime soon. He says that he writes from personal experience and if you’ve been to DisneyWorld, you know what that is! Here’s how to make it easier:
- See if your library has any up-to-date ebooks you can borrow.
- Check out iTunes and Amazon for ebooks. He writes that his favourite was The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World ($9.99 Kindle, $9.99 iTunes).
- Guidebooks are better as apps
Beyond electronic books you will also find some great informational guides in the App Store. One provider in particular, TimeStream Software, has a couple of iPhone apps published under the title of Notescast that you will find have the same insightful information as the best-selling books. The difference is that the apps are much easier for navigating and finding what you are looking for when you are in a hurry inside the various parks. In particular their Walt Disney World Secrets ($1.99 iPhone) is a great supplement to any ebook you may already have in your library.
- Searchable maps of nearby attractions. Specialty maps will have information on wait times and interactive pins noting nearby attractions:
VersaEdge’s Disney World Magic Guide ($4.99 Universal) does exactly this by including the wait times alongside the location. Seeing the wait times on the map may change where you are headed in the first place. The app also comes with a database with details about the attraction as well schedule for your dinner reservations. This is something that neither Google nor Apple has in their maps.
- Avoid waiting in line
There are two things you will want to keep track of when visiting Disney’s attractions: wait times and FastPass times. While VersaEdge’s Disney World Magic Guide will show you the wait times on a map, what it does not do is show you are the times that the next FastPass is available…
Disney’s own My Disney Experience – Walt Disney World (Free, Universal) proved to have the most accurate and up-to-date FastPass information in each park. Disney’s app also has the current wait times, maps and database of attractions. While it did not have FastPass information, I did find that VersaEdge’s Disney World Magic Guide was more responsive while looking up nearby park information.
- Have some fun too
Not every app is about managing your time and keeping track of where you need to be next. One of the fun apps will help you find the Hidden Mickeys ($7.99, Universal) all around the resort. You may have seen the book of the same title in various bookstores for about the same price, but the app is much better than the book. Unlike the book, the app will show you how close you are to each hidden Mickey when you are in the park using the device’s GPS.
- And did you know that there’s a sort-of Disney Walk of Fame? I didn’t, but there’s an app for that:
And finally, there is another great Notescast app that focuses on one specific historical Disney feature. While shopping on the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street be sure to check out the Main Street Windows (Free, iPhone). All along Main Street each window has a business title, which is a tribute to various Disney employees and major contributors to various Disney productions over the years. It is sort of like Disney’s own version of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
For way, way more, see: GigaOm.
More stories about Disney.
Photo credit: Walt Disney World – WikiCommonsAuthor on Google+
Check out photos of the architecture of 9 classic American breweries.
From the Pabst building in Milwaukee (no longer in use) to the Spoetzel brewery in Texas, these are wonderful snapshots of US history. Several buildings are now used in other capacities – shopping, pubs – and many were built by German immigrants. There’s Coors in Colorado and America Brewery in Baltimore. A real diverse set of buildings.
See the photos and read the descriptions here: Gizmodo.
Heart beer? So do some of us. Well, I do. See more stories at beer.
Photo credit: industrieblick – Fotolia.comAuthor on Google+
Here are 3 of the 5 (US) college myths that Yahoo! Finance goes on to debunk. It seems that the average American institution can cost as much as $50k per year, housing included.
Jeff Selingo, editor at large of The Chronicle of Higher Education, and author of College Unbound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students, says America’s higher education system is broken because the enormous costs don’t justify the results. He appeared on The Daily Ticker special “Generation I.O.U.” event and shared his the biggest myths surrounding college:
Myth #1: American Colleges are the Best in the World.
The US now ranks ranked 14th in the world for higher education.
Myth #2: You Get What You Pay For.
Not true, says Selingo. In his book he cites a study comparing the annual cost to attend the University of Pennsylvania ($43,738) to the annual cost for Penn State ($16,444) and concludes: “While there were some differences in the average starting salaries and mid-career salaries, there is virtually no significant difference between the lifetime earnings of each group of graduates.”
Myth #3: Most Students Graduate in Four Years.Fewer than 40% of students graduate within four years, according to The Chronicle of Education, and 58% of students graduate in six years.
For more detailed explanations, and his other 2 points, please see: Yahoo! Finance.
More stories about education.
Photo credit: Kadmy – Fotolia.comAuthor on Google+
A surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain’s unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. A new study shows that individuals whose brains are better at automatically suppressing background motion perform better on standard measures of intelligence.
“Because intelligence is such a broad construct, you can’t really track it back to one part of the brain,” says Duje Tadin, a senior author on the study and an assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. “But since this task is so simple and so closely linked to IQ, it may give us clues about what makes a brain more efficient, and, consequently, more intelligent.”
Full story and IQ video at Futurity.
More research news from top universities.
Photo credit: J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester
Iconic buildings can make a city instantly recognizable, such as The Sydney Opera House or Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, so WebUrbanist’s look at what could have been is particularly fascinating, especially when you think a giant elephant could have been topping the Champs Élysées. Ooh la la!
Triumphal Elephant in Place of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe (above)
In place of one of Paris’ most famous monuments, the Arc de Triomphe, could have been a three-story elephant monument with a spiral staircase in the underbelly leading to the pinnacle. 18th century architect Charles Ribart offered this monument for the Champs Élysées, complete with a cross-sectional drawing showing the intricate rooms within, but was turned down by the French government…
Unbuilt Design for the Golden Gate Bridge
Now 76 years old, the Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic symbol of San Francisco, coated in literally millions of gallons of orange paint. The Art Deco-style bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, beating many experts’ predictions that it wouldn’t last against gale-force winds in the straight where the San Francisco Bay opens to the Pacific Ocean. But this wasn’t engineer Joseph Strauss’ first design. The original proposal is markedly different, with a heavier look combining cantilevered and suspension designs. It was rejected by the planning committee.
Full story at WebUrbanist.
Author on Google+