Sunday, February 22, 2009

The James-Lange Theory

The James-Lange Theory proposes that emotions occur as a result of physiological reactions to events. According to the theory, you see an external stimulus that leads to a physiological reaction. Your emotional reaction is dependent upon how you interpret those physical reactions.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lost in Translation

Madonna was in Budapest a while ago, filming some scenes for the movie "Evita", and the newspaper "Blikk" interviewed her. The questions were posed in Hungarian, then translated into English for her; her replies were then translated back into Hungarian. "USA Today" then asked for a copy...... so the Hungarian translation was then retranslated into English. This is the translation that was sent from Hungary:

Blikk: Madonna, Budapest says hello with arms that are spread-eagled. Did you have a visit here that was agreeable? Are you in good odor? You are the biggest fan of our young people who hear your musical productions and like to move their bodies in response.

Madonna: Thank you for saying these compliments [holds up hands]. Please stop with taking sensationalist photographs until I have removed my garments for all to see [laughs]. This is a joke I have made.

Blikk: Madonna, let’s cut toward the hunt: Are you a bold hussy-woman that feasts on men who are tops?

Madonna: Yes, yes, this is certainly something that brings to the surface my longings. In America it is not considered to be mentally ill when a woman advances on her prey in a discothèque setting with hardy cocktails present. And there is a more normal attitude toward leather play-toys that also makes my day.

Blikk: Is this how you met Carlos, your love-servant who is reputed? Did you know he was heaven-sent right off the stick? Or were you dating many other people in your bed at the same time?

Madonna: No, he was the only one I was dating in my bed then, so it is a scientific fact that the baby was made in my womb us­ing him. But as regards these questions, enough! I am a woman and not a test-mouse! Carlos is an everyday person who is in the orbit of a star who is being muscle-trained by him, not a sex machine.

Blikk: May we talk about your other “baby”, your movie, then? Please do not be denying that the similarities between you and the real Evita are grounded in basis. Power, money, tasty food, Grammys – all these elements are afoot.

Madonna: What is up in the air with you? Evita never was winning a Grammy!

Blikk: Perhaps not. But as to your film, in trying to bring your reputation along a rocky road, can you make people forget the bad explosions of Who’s That Girl? and Shanghai Surprise?

Madonna: I am a tip-top starlet. That is my job that I am paid to do.

Blikk: O.K., here’s a question from left space: What was your book Slut about?

Madonna: It was called Sex, my book.

Blikk: Not in Hungary. Here it was called Slut. How did it come to publish? Were you lovemaking with a man-about-town printer? Do you prefer making suggestive literature to fast-selling CDs?

Madonna: These are different facets to my career highway. I am preferring only to become respected all over the map as a 100% artist.

Blikk: There is much interest in you from this geographic region, so I must ask this final questions: How many Hungarian men have you dated in bed? Are they No. 1? How are they comparing to Argentine men, who are famous for being tip-top as well?

Madonna: Well, to avoid aggravating global tension, I would say it’s a tie [laughs]. No, no, I am serious now. See here, I am working like a canine all the way around the clock! I have been too busy even to try the goulash that makes your country one for the record books.

Blikk: Thank you for your candid chitchat.

Madonna: No problem, friend who is a girl.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Incorrect use of the English Language

In this Youtube clip, Irish comedian Ed Byrne illustrates that the singer Alanis Morissette doesn't understand the meaning of the word "irony":

And here is Alanis singing the song (in case you hadn't heard it before):

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Persuasive speaking

This speech was originally delivered by Sir Winston Churchill to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 18 June 1940. It was given shortly after he took over as Prime Minister of Britain on 10 May, in the first year of World War II. The US had not yet entered the War, and at the time it looked doubtful that they would. The Germans had by then occupied most of Western Europe, and Churchill knew that he had to prepare the British people for an eventual invasion.

It is interesting to note Churchill's references to the idea that the British Empire might last a thousand years (Hitler had the same idea about the Third Reich). This illustrates Churchill's extreme attachment and faith in the Empire — its gradual dissolution in the subsequent decades was a source of great distress for Churchill. It followed from Britain's bancruptcy following the War.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tips on persuasive speaking

I found this presentation on Youtube. It might be helpful when you give talks in TOK:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


By Lewis Carroll (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought
-So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Taylor Mali

A totally, like, cool poem about ... whatever

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Auditory Illusions

These were originally published by New Scientist. You need good headphones and/or good speakers to do them justice:

In my Language

Amanda Baggs is a young woman with autism and she's created a powerful and articulate video in which she compares her world of environmental interaction to the typical form of speech and perception.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fry's English Delight

In a short series of programmes for BBC Radio 4, presenter and comedian Stephen Fry looked at the origin of certain phrases in the English language. Please click the link below to go to his website and listen to the last broadcast:

Fry's English Delight