Life is dizzying as it whizzes past our ears and punches us in the guts, and whirls around before our eyes and over our heads. It’s never just one thing at a time now, is it? So how to group these clusters of wonder and horror and angst and awe? Like this, maybe… A wisdom of chin hairs - So learned, are we. So distinguished. Sometimes they’re grey. Which is fine. A flamboyance of hormones -We’re hot, we’re cold. We’re fat, we’re thin. We’re spotty, flaky, angry, hungry. It’s all day, every day. Who even are we? And what the hell is hormonally going on? A scold of sales purchases - Shoes two sizes too small. Challenging knitwear (now there’s an oxymoron). A feathered cape (Annabel). A white puffball skirt (Emilie). We could be rich, we tell you. RICH. Instead, every morning, we are greeted by our Wardrobes of Shame. Capsule? CAPSULE? If you’re talking pills then we’re with you all the way. A … [Read more...] about A wisdom of chin hairs: 12 collective nouns every midlifer should know
Nouns slow down our speech because we unconsciously pause and tend to use sounds like “uhm” or “uh” before them, scientists have found. The researchers from Amsterdam and Zurich analysed recordings from several languages including English and Dutch as well as dialects from the Amazon rainforest, Siberia, the Himalayas and the Kalahari desert.They found a tendency for people to slow down their speech ahead of nouns when compared to verbs. The team believe their discovery could have “important implications” in neuroscience and the understanding of how the human brain processes language.To find out how such slowdown effects work, the researchers measured the speed of utterance in sounds per second in both nouns and verbs and noted whether speakers made short pauses.Professor Balthasar Bickel, of the University of Zurich, said: “We discovered that in this diverse sample of languages, there is a robust tendency for slowdown effects before nouns as … [Read more...] about Nouns slow down our speech, an analysis of nine languages reveals
AS we mark the 20th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement, which was finalised on Good Friday 1998, we need to first celebrate the fact that Northern Ireland is a much more peaceful place than it was in preceding decades.We must never lose sight of this, nor ever take it for granted. We also want to celebrate the key principles which were enshrined in the Agreement.In particular the principles of consent and of mutual respect for the identities and history of the various traditions in Northern Ireland.We further want to celebrate the courage, hope and commitment to reconciliation that was displayed by many people 20 years ago.Nevertheless, without losing sight of all that there is to celebrate, we also must recognise that for many the overriding feelings at present are those of hopelessness and powerlessness.We also must admit that respect is not always shown to each other in our society.Indeed, it could be said that there is in fact less active engagement towards reconciliation at … [Read more...] about ‘Stop using reconciliation as a noun and live it as a verb’
Hungary is heading to the polls on Sunday but aside from its politics -- and its goulash, of course -- many may not know that the country is home to the man who discovered Vitamin C and a type of pig that looks like a sheep. Here are five things to know about the central European country. - The good old days - Nostalgia is everywhere in Hungary, whether it be harking back to the glorious exploits of the Magical Magyars football team under captain Ferenc Puskas, to the days of Greater Hungary, when the country was three times its current size, or even to the era of communist dictator Janos Kadar. The rich past that fills Hungarians with pride sometimes also colours political life. Hungarian leaders, in particular Prime Minister Viktor Orban, like to paint themselves as the "defenders of Europe", an allusion to interminable clashes with Ottoman forces such as the siege of Nandorfehervar (modern-day Belgrade) in 1456. Janos Hunyadi's victory in that battle still resonates in Hungary … [Read more...] about Nostalgia, Rubik’s Cube and woolly pigs: Five things to know about Hungary
PASSOVER began on Friday March 30 this year, and will last until Saturday April 7. After the festival has ended, the second Passover, Pesach Sheni, comes on Saturday April 28, ending the next day. Here's the lowdown... What is Passover? Passover is an annual spring festival that Jews celebrate to remember the Israelites being freed from slavery in Egypt. It is celebrated with friends and family who eat ceremonial meals such as Seders and cook traditional foods. There is also a focus on helping the needy, with many communal Seders being held in public halls or synagogues. Some Jews opt to take holidays during Passover, and some Jewish businesses may close or have reduced service during the period. When does Passover end? The festival is celebrated in early spring, during the Hebrew month of Nissan. In 2018, the celebration ends in the evening of Saturday April 7. This means it lasts for eight days, although it goes on for seven among Reform Jewish groups. What is the Jewish spring … [Read more...] about When is Passover 2018, what is the Jewish festival about and what date is Pesach Sheni celebrated?