Monolingual Neanderthals

This post, is, of course, not particularly serious, even though the premise might be an interesting one to see better stats on. It all centers on this article out of the Telegraph last month. Go ahead — read it. It’s short. But if you don’t want to, the basic gist is that the UK made language classes optional, and British school children don’t seem to really be all that interested in taking foreign language classes if they’re not required. Enrollments have dropped almost by half in the past 10 years to the point where the average number of languages spoken by Brits today is: 1.0. Since I assume few Brits speak fewer than one languages, this means the entire country is almost exactingly monolingual.  What’s doubly interesting to me is that most of Europe isn’t much better. The continental average: 1.4. Now, I’m going to take a wild, wild leap here, and wonder about the possible connection to other phenomena.

Continue reading “Monolingual Neanderthals”

Cooking with Aspirin

Sure, there’s the chance of gastrointestinal ulcers and stomach bleeding, but part of me wonders why aspirin doesn’t appear to be used in any foods. In fact a search for cooking with aspirin reveals no recipes whatsoever. This is fairly surprising to me. After all, acetylsalicilyc acid has a light sour taste that is not unpleasant, and would go nicely in certain types of sweet foods, particularly in something like these.

Now, I should reiterate — I’m not a physician, so please keep that in mind; but think of the application of pain reliever as an ingredient! Continue reading “Cooking with Aspirin”

Phantom Lunch

Heinlein - The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Waffles. At every turn.

Over the past few days, I’ve been reading Robert A. Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. In my opinion, it’s a somewhat overrated book, but I’ll admit that it makes for adequate bus reading. The plot of the book I won’t give away, but I will mention that the main characters of the book are frequently eating waffles. Now, I maintain that the waffle is a fine food — Continue reading “Phantom Lunch”

The Science of Sleep?

I’m currently on a little jaunt to visit friends and family in the days surrounding the wedding of my college roommate.  Yesterday I drove from New York to Chicago — a 13 hour drive, once you account for the rain, the construction, and the Chicago rush hour traffic.  The drive was fairly gruelling, but what I find amusing, however, is that while dreaming yesterday night and into this morning (probably mostly the latter, since those are the dreams we’re most likely to remember), I dreamed about — guess what… — driving from New York to Chicago.  The reason I find this amusing is that Continue reading “The Science of Sleep?”