Jackass Penguins

What did that jackass just say to me?! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. African penguins have been nicknamed “JACKASS” penguins thanks to their donkey-like braying calls. But does their language have anything in common with OUR language? A scientific team led by David Reby

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Ultimate Language

Bonjour! Guten tag! Buenos dias! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with The Loh Down on Science, saying… Learning a second language is daunting! All those new words, new rules… Grr! What if there was a language EVERYONE could understand? Samuel Mehr from Harvard University wondered – could MUSIC be that

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PUN-derstanding

Did you hear the one about the guy who lost his left arm? He’s all RIGHT now! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, and on, yes, puns. Researchers Seana Coulson and Els Severens wondered, which side of the brain enjoys a good pun? They recorded

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Singing Mouseketeers

Mousey in conversations? You’re not alone! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Some conversations just flow naturally. Others…not so much! Imagine small talk with the in-laws! Ugh! You have to tiptoe around sensitive topics, AND coordinate a hundred different mouth muscles! How does your brain

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Loosened Lips

Does my margarita make me MORE articulate? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down Science. Alcohol affects how our brain works and remembers. Many bilingual speakers claim their foreign language skills IMPROVE after a drink. But is it just liquid courage? Fritz Renner at Maastricht University in the

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Tangled Tongues

Polyglot your tongue? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Many people think they are too old to learn a new language. Supposedly, young kids pick up languages faster because their brains are still developing. But is any of that really true? Joshua Hartshorne, Joshua Tenenbaum

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Still Lost in Translation

Is “Don’t worry, be happy!” an effective strategy for life? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying: That may be a question for positive psychology. While traditional psychology focuses on dysfunction, positive psychology studies how people thrive. But critics say the field depends on a

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Universal Language

Don’t speak the language? Just keep smiling! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Many gestures are universal. A warm smile is innately understood all around the world. A thumbs up, however? That’s learned and doesn’t translate across cultures. But where did all of these gestures

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Curse You, Cloak Stealer!

Archaeologists dig deep and find jawbones, soup spoons, a curse??? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Yes, that is exactly what archaeologist Richard Buckley of the University of Leicester in England found, after excavating an important Roman settlement from about three hundred AD. In addition

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Tonal Talk

Climate influences language. True or false? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying: True, suggests a new study. Think about trying to talk when your throat is dry. It’s harder, right? Well, researchers in Germany and the Netherlands say: That’s exactly why certain languages arose

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