If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others. African Proverb
No. The belief that people are suited to speak particular languages by biology is widespread—but wrong.
Psychological essentialism is the notion that particular groups of people are different because of some real, meaningful underlying essence that is present deep in their nature, and often biological in origin. So if you think that French speakers are fundamentally different from English speakers because of something about their essential nature or the biology they were born with—rather than the situational or cultural variable of having lived and been exposed to French rather than English—you are using essentialist reasoning. This common but misleading mental habit shapes our thinking in many domains.
Read the entire article here: Scientific American
Thee BBC is big into these types of demographical thingies. : The world’s population is expected to hit seven billion in the next few weeks. After growing very slowly for most of human history, the number of people on Earth has more than doubled in the last 50 years. Where do you fit into this story of human life? Fill in your date of birth below to find out. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-15391515
Following the end of the World War Two, the BBC began a series of special radio appeals on behalf of a group of children who had survived the Holocaust but were now stranded as orphans in post-war Europe. A recording of one of these moving broadcasts still exists in the BBC archives. Seventy years on, Alex Last set out to find out what had happened to the 12 children named in this recording. They had been in many camps, including Auschwitz, Muhldorf, Kauferng, Theresienstadt, Belsen, and Dachau, and the modern-day search took him to Germany, Israel and the United States.
Five of the Holocaust survivors are still alive today, and four of them were well enough to speak to Alex, who was able to piece together their stories of courage and humanity. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02qh7v5
Interesting article about pets and how humans react/respond to them. From the abstract:
Neural substrates underlying the human-pet relationship are largely unknown. We examined fMRI brain activation patterns as mothers viewed images of their own child and dog and an unfamiliar child and dog. There was a common network of brain regions involved in emotion, reward, affiliation, visual processing and social cognition when mothers viewed images of both their child and dog. Viewing images of their child resulted in brain activity in the midbrain (ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra involved in reward/affiliation), while a more posterior cortical brain activation pattern involving fusiform gyrus (visual processing of faces and social cognition) characterized a mother’s response to her dog. Mothers also rated images of their child and dog as eliciting similar levels of excitement (arousal) and pleasantness (valence), although the difference in the own vs. unfamiliar child comparison was larger than the own vs. unfamiliar dog comparison for arousal. Valence ratings of their dog were also positively correlated with ratings of the attachment to their dog. Although there are similarities in the perceived emotional experience and brain function associated with the mother-child and mother-dog bond, there are also key differences that may reflect variance in the evolutionary course and function of these relationships.
Stoeckel LE, Palley LS, Gollub RL, Niemi SM, Evins AE (2014) Patterns of Brain Activation when Mothers View Their Own Child and Dog: An fMRI Study. PLoS ONE 9(10): e107205. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107205