1.12.2015

What Does English Sound Like To A Non-English Speaker?

Do you ever wonder how (American) English sounds to a non-native? Does it sound romantic? Harsh? Awkward? Does it have a natural flow?

As a person who understands the language, it's hard to separate the language sounds from the meaning of the words being said. So the second you try to just hear to the sounds, it's easy to get distracted and start listening.

Maybe these videos will help shed some light on this mystery?

In 1972, an Italian singer, Adriano Celentano, wrote a song full of gibberish (in any language), but has enough American-sounding syllables to pass as an "English" song. It's called "Prisencolinensinainciusol":

I've only listened to it once and it's already in my head.

Similarly, a pair of London filmmakers, brian & karl, made a short film called "Skwerl" in 2011, where a couple has some pretty convincing English conversations... all while not really saying anything:


And then there is this, where a Finnish woman imitates all sorts of accents (via huffingtonpost):

(American English at 1:12)

Feeling like your ears can relate more to our international friends'? Eh illy cope to dew!

5.17.2014

Test AA Batteries Without Equipment!

This is great - I tried it and it worked!

You can watch the video for more details, but here are the basics of the method:

1. Take the battery and hold it about an inch over a hard surface with the negative (-) end down.

2. Drop it.

3. If it bounces, it's bad. If it lands on edge or falls flat, it's good.



4.03.2014

How Do You Pronounce "Worcestershire Sauce"?

Just as I thought: you definitely have to ignore a couple of letters to pronounce this correctly. :)

She does a better pronouncing it, but for those on a time crunch, it's approximately:

"wus-ste-shure"


3.05.2014

Get Rid Of Sticky Labels!


My friend told me recently that anytime she needs to peel up something sticky (in that case, she was removing a peel-and-stick tile floor), she blasts it with a hairdryer first.

Today, I tried it with some product labels that have been stuck to my garbage cans for months and it worked! Easy peasy. Chemical- and liquid-free!

Works on stickers, too (in case someone in your household likes putting them everywhere...). :)

This was confirmed by apartmenttherapy.com. For their article: click here!


1.09.2014

What Does A Dog's Tail Wag Mean?


As more scientists study dog behavior, the more they find that a wagging tail means more to a dog than "I'm happy". The dog's tail can provide a lot of insight into the dog's emotional state, both positive and negative.

Dogs in general are more sensitive to movement than they are to colors or shapes, so they communicate with each other mainly with body movement. Many dogs have distinct tails - whether bushy, white-tipped, or very long - and this may be for the purpose of having their tails more visible to other dogs. Research shows most dogs don't wag their tails when alone because there's no need.

Of course, there are different dog "dialects" based on tail shape, natural tail height, and breed, but here are some general tail meanings:

*

What Does The Tail's Position Mean?

Straight & Horizontal: Attentive & Alert
Angled Upwards: Dominant & Threatening
Middle: Relaxed
Lowered: Submissive, Worried, or Sick
Tucked Under Body: Scared

*

What Does The Wagging Type Mean?

Speed: The faster the tail wags, the more excited the dog is
Width of Wag/Sweep: The wider the wag, the more positive the dog is

Wag With A Right*-Bias: Relaxed
Wag With A Left*-Bias: Anxious
*Right & Left from the dog's perspective

Narrow, Slow Wag: Tentative, Curious
Broad Wag: Friendly, Pleased
Medium-Height, Slow Wag: Insecure
Quick "Vibrating" Wag: Ready To Act/Attack/Run
Circular Wag: Extremely Excited

Of course, there are many more combinations, but hopefully this has shed some light on your dog's behavior. If you see a dog moving its tail and are still unsure of whether s/he is excited by you or threatened by you, look for other body clues, such as a tense torso or relaxed ears to get a clue into what the dog may be feeling.

[Sources: Psychology Today, QuickandDirtyTips.com, Animal Planet]