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Friday, February 28, 2014

Cool stuff: dogs CAN understand you, mini-skirts are illegal in Uganda, and people been eating popcorn for 4,000 years. Plus a happy video.

Hi friends.  Some cool articles from the week, and a happy video that will make you cry in case you’re in the mood to get out some emotion: 

First, the happy video.  Nothing like strangers helping needy kids to pull at the heartstrings:

Now the articles:

It’s no surprise to dog owners, but this is cool nonetheless: research indicates that your dog may understand the emotions in your voice, leading to a greater understanding of what you’re saying:

You’re not allowed to wear miniskirts in Uganda:

Bye now. Happy weekend. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

What's the science behind our love of chocolate? And how good is your English vocabulary?

Hi!  No time to write a substantial blog post this week, but here's a cool video about the science behind why we love chocolate:

And here's a cool website that tests your knowledge of English vocabulary.  Seems like a lotta smart people aren't getting above about 81%!

You are all cute.  xo

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Um, how did I not know that there should be ONE space after a period instead of TWO?

So it turns out that all my self-righteous grammar rants have been riddled with syntactical errors. I've just learned that I'm supposed to use ONE space after a period instead of TWO. Somewhere along the way I was taught to use two spaces after a period and I stuck to that, but, oopsie, it's all wrong.

Here's an overview of this subject from an expert:
Chicago Manual of Style: "The view at CMOS is that there is no reason for two spaces after a period in published work. Some people, however—my colleagues included—prefer it, relegating this preference to their personal correspondence and notes. I’ve noticed in old American books printed in the few decades before and after the turn of the last century (ca. 1870–1930 at least) that there seemed to be a trend in publishing to use extra space (sometimes quite a bit of it) after periods. And many people were taught to use that extra space in typing class (I was). But introducing two spaces after the period causes problems: (1) it is inefficient, requiring an extra keystroke for every sentence; (2) even if a program is set to automatically put an extra space after a period, such automation is never foolproof; (3) there is no proof that an extra space actually improves readability—as your comment suggests, it’s probably just a matter of familiarity (Who knows? perhaps it’s actually more efficient to read with less regard for sentences as individual units of thought—many centuries ago, for example in ancient Greece, there were no spaces even between words, and no punctuation); (4) two spaces are harder to control for than one in electronic documents (I find that the earmark of a document that imposes a two-space rule is a smattering of instances of both three spaces and one space after a period, and two spaces in the middle of sentences); and (5) two spaces can cause problems with line breaks in certain programs."

And this article lays out opinions from various other experts:
"Every modern typographer agrees on the one-space rule." 

I am so married to the post-period two-space that I absentmindedly used two spaces after every period in this very blog post. I had to go back and edit them down. My head is exploding.