Archive for 'Arts and science'

Whistled languages – like ‘local cellular phones’ (study)

Friday, July 21st, 2017

“Whistled languages are a valuable heritage of human culture.” – explained a 2004 paper : ‘Bioacoustics of human whistled languages: an alternative approach to the cognitive processes of language’ (in : An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. vol.76 no.2, June 2004).

It was authored by Dr. Julien Meyer of the Laboratoire de Dynamique du Langage (DDL)-CNRS, Institut des Sciences de l’Homme (ISH), Lyon, France, and described a survey about a new multidisciplinary approach :

“Whistled languages can be regarded as a transposition of a given local language into a repertoire of whistles.“

The survey concluded that :

“ . . . whistled languages are products of human intelligence and not just curiosities or ‘surrogates’ in the pejorative sense. They show a widespread distribution across cultures and have obviously developed quite independently of each other, but mostly related to a particular local environment. They are quite clearly defined and represent an original adaptation of the spoken language, like a ‘local cellular phone’ for the needs of isolated human groups.”

Also do not miss : Les langues sifflées – from the Association de recherche Le Monde Siffle (The World Whistles Research Association) – which hosts audio examples from Mexico, Greece, Turkey, and of course the Canaries – home of ‘Le Silbo’ as pictured above.

The Museum of Menstruation

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

If you are, or ever have been, or ever might be involved with human reproduction, you will probably learn interesting things by visiting the Museum of Menstruation.

The museum currently exists online, and is looking for a physical home in or near New York City, a metropolis in which human reproduction is believed to occur with some frequency.

“God is a Porcupine—Brain, Consciousness and Spacetime Physics” [research study]

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Sometimes the title is enough to give a deep understanding of an entire research paper. Here’s an example, a study called “God is a Porcupine—Brain, Consciousness and Spacetime Physics,” by Walter J. Christensen Jr. of California State University Fullerton, published in the Journal of Modern Physics, July 2017.

Bees also like (paintings of) sunflowers (study)

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

“Flower colours have evolved over 100 million years to address the colour vision of their bee pollinators.” With this in mind, investigators Professor Lars Chittka and Julian Walker of Queen Mary College, University of London, decided to investigate whether bees might also be attracted to paintings of flowers – for example (a copy of) Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

A set of experiments demonstrated that, yes, they are : “[…] when bees were confronted with paintings containing flowers, the majority of landings were indeed recorded on flowers.”

See: Do bees like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers? , L. Chittka, J. Walker / Optics & Laser Technology 38 (2006) 323–328

Note: The photo is from a follow up study by the same team. Chittka, L. & Walker, J. (2007). ‘Insects as art lovers: Bees for Van Gogh.’ Antennae, 2: 37-42.








Biscuits-with-No-Added-Sugar-Containing-Stevia,-Coffee-Fibre-and-Fructooligosaccharides News

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

There’s big news for anyone with a keen interest in biscuits with no added sugar containing stevia, coffee fibre and fructooligosaccharides.

Details are in this new study: “Biscuits with No Added Sugar Containing Stevia, Coffee Fibre and Fructooligosaccharides Modifies α-Glucosidase Activity and the Release of GLP-1 from HuTu-80 Cells and Serotonin from Caco-2 Cells after In Vitro Digestion, ” Nuria Martinez-Saez, Christina Maria Hochkogler, Veronika Somoza, and Maria Dolores del Castillo, Nutrients, 2017, 9(7), 694.

The authors are at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the University of Vienna. Here’s further detail from the study: