Monday, October 22, 2012

A few talking critters and other stuff

Talking critters. Animals who mimic human speech cadence and sound.

Auditory Neuroscience


Mishka the talking dog. I love you.

Mishka, 12 words. Aww, that Obama is said so delicately.


Hoover, the talking seal (this is the better link), who sounds uncannily like the fisherman, who adopted him.


Beluga whale mimics human speech



So interesting to see words being spoken.

Fascinating this. The McGurk EffectThe "McGurk Effect" illustrates that what our eyes see can influence what we hear.

Saw this in person and experienced it a little too, when I had 4 subarachnoid bleeds 6 years ago, which the doctor told me was a stroke. Broca's aphasia. Accessing the word files gets blocked. Some words come through and other words are unavailable and, oddly, sometimes the wrong words - like bizarrely inappropriate or even the opposite meaning words -  came in the place of the one I want to say. This has healed pretty much totally in 6 years although my writing skills are not what they used to be, lots of typos and less ability. Being online, reading a LOT online, writing a lot - even badly written comments - has really helped my brain heal.

So poignant to see/hear Wernicke's Aphasia

Reading about The role of Pitch in Speech, the example used is Bush saying "I know that human being and fish can coexist peacefully." Wondering if he actually said this ( he did, not surprisingly), down the internet rabbit hole I plummeted.

This collection of Bushisms as a poem and the back story behind each incredible flub gave me a number of really good bellylaughs and giggles. The pit bull on the pantleg of opportunity, brings tears of laughter, even after repeated readings.
This following poem is composed entirely of actual quotes from George W. Bush.
Make the Pie Higher
I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen
And uncertainty
And potential mental losses.
Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the internet
Become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish
Can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope
Where our wings take dream.
Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher!
Make the pie higher!
Source: Richard Thompson
So interesting the origin of the term spam, meaning junk email.


Who knew there was a term for thwacking the dang electrical gizmo to see if that works?
Percussive maintenance.

Famous examples of percussive maintenance in history

  • In 1969 during the Apollo 12 mission, Pete Conrad was working on a piece of equipment called the ALSEP. He was trying to remove its power source from its case so that he could insert it into the device but was having difficulty. Alan Bean suggested he hit it with a hammer. Conrad resisted at first but eventually gave it a tap. It worked, leading Bean to quip, "Don't come to the moon without a hammer."
  • In December 2006, NASA astronauts Robert "Beamer" Curbeam and Sunita "Suni" Williams spent a generous amount of time shaking and pushing a stubborn solar panel into its case so they could move it to a different location on the International Space Station.
Whoa. Important to keep an open mind, even on topics about which one feels passionately.


How facts backfire

Researchers discover a surprising threat to democracy: our brains


"Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger."

Taking music to the hospital? La Traviata may help the healing process.
La Traviata. Full opera, with RenĂ©e Fleming, who I adore. Such a brilliant thinker as well as marvelous voice. About La Traviata.

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