Thursday, April 1, 2010

Finally: Translate animal lanugage

Curious what your dog or cat says about you? Google England is offering an app for your mobile phone that translates animal language into human.

The translate app is free and comes with warnings and tips. The following is a quote from the website:

Note: It is not Google’s responsibility if you are offended or disappointed by what your chosen animal may say. Also please note, we do not guarantee stimulating conversation.

Pro Tip: As a general rule the higher up in the food chain an animal is, the better a communicator it will be. So if you are after quick witted banter it’s best to select cats and dogs rather than rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs.

Well - that's Google's contribution to April Fools Day!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bilinguals: do they switch off one language?

Recently it happened again: in the middle of a lecture about the history of psychology, I used a German expression. I didn't even notice it at first, only the puzzled look of my students told me that something was wrong.

As I'm even thinking now more and more in English, it surprises me that occasionally German words would unconsiously sneak in when I'm speaking English. A group of Dutch psychologists now found an explanation:

Bilinguals Are Unable To 'Turn Off' A Language Completely, Study Shows

ScienceDaily (2009-08-19) -- With a vast majority of the world speaking more than one language, it is no wonder that psychologists are interested in its effect on cognitive functioning. For instance, how does the human brain switch between languages? Are we able to seamlessly activate one language and disregard knowledge of other languages completely? ... > read full article

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bay of Fundy, Canada

Back from summer vacation. In the past two weeks we visited New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Our first stop was at the Hopewell Rocks of the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.

"The Hopewell Rocks, also called the Flowerpot Rocks, are rock formations caused by tidal erosion in The Rocks Provincial Park in New Brunswick.

They are located on the shores of the upper reaches of the Bay of Fundy at Hopewell Cape near Moncton, New Brunswick. Due to the extreme tidal range of the Bay of Fundy, the base of the formations are covered in water twice a day. However, it is possible to view the formations from ground level at low tide."

We were lucky and arrived at the Flowerpots at low tide.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wet Start to the Summer

After spending most of this rainy Sunday inside, I finally ventured out for half an hour in raincoat and boots. I also took my camera for a few snapshots about the wet first day of the summer 2009:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Charles Riverfest

This weekend, we went again to the annual Charles Riverfest in Cambridge.

I love this time of the year when many towns and groups in Massachusetts organize festivals and Town days. Last weekend, we have been to the Greek festival here in our town, Arlington. The Greek community celebrates every year for two days with music, dance groups and ethnic food. Everyone is invited as the money raised during this event is for the Greek church in our town.

This weekend, it was the Charles Riverfest. Music, dance, food and beautiful weather - what do you want more? We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Junior Prom

OMG - time is flying. It seems like yesterday that my oldest son had his first day in kindergarten, and now it's already time for Junior prom.

For us, this is all new terrain. There was a learning curve, which involved trying to find a Tuxedo 5 days before the event and remembering to buy a wrist corsage on the big day - without having it pre-ordered, of course. But we were lucky, and everything worked out perfectly.