Tag: random thursdays

Alan Shepard: American Badass

Start listening with a 30-day Audible trial and your first audiobook plus two Audible Originals for free. Visit http://www.audible.com/joescott or text “joe scott” to 500-500.

Alan Shepard entered the history books by being the first American in space. And while his launch was overshadowed by that of Yuri Gagarin – which beat his by only a few weeks – his career, talent, and legacy are nothing short of legendary.

Alan Shepard was one of the Mercury 7 astronauts along with Deke Slayton, Gus Grissom, Scott Carpenter, John Glenn, Wally Shira, and Gordon Cooper. This was NASA’s first manned space program.

Alan’s mission was given the name Freedom 7 and he went up on a Mercury Redstone rocket. His flight was suborbital and only lasted 15 minutes, but started the US on the course for the moon.

But Alan Shepard’s early career started as a pilot in the Navy, where he ascended to become a test pilot, testing out the newest fighter jets and helping to decide which ones became part of the Navy’s arsenal.

After his Mercury flight, Shepard was grounded on account of Meniere’s Disease, which causes pressure in the inner ear and creates balance and orientation issues. But after corrective surgery, he was reinstated into the space program and served a commander on the Apollo 14 mission.

Buckminster Fuller: The Man Who Saw The Future

Buckminster Fuller wasn’t the massive success that he wanted to be, but he became a defining influence on the engineering, architecture, and design that shapes our world today.

Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion house was designed to be a machine that works around you.

It featured some of the same design elements that made his famous geodesic domes so sturdy, plus it featured smart home features long before smart homes were a thing.

5 Of The Weirdest Languages In The World

From sounds that literally damage your vocal cords to a language that’s entirely whistled, these are 5 of the strangest, quirkiest languages in the world.

The Piraha Language – Brazil This one is controversial because the theory is the language doesn’t have recursion. Recursion is a linguistic property where you can add phrases into phrases, also called Nesting. This is controversial because Noam Chomsky popularized the idea that recursions are a part of what he called “universal grammar” that you find in all languages.

And then Dr. Dan Everett studied the Piraha people of the Amazon rain forest in the 1970, first as a missionary and later just to research their language.

And in a paper in 2005, he claimed that the Piraha people do not use recursion, flying in the face of linguistic doctrine and shaking the very foundations of our knowledge to the ground, making international news.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/boo…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDM8G…

Aymara Language – Andes, South America

The Aymara language isn’t a small, tucked away language in some The reason it’s on this list is due to a little quirk that seems to be unique to the Aymara, which is the way they refer to the past and the future.

Why would they do that? The answer is a simple flip in perception, by saying that events from the past are known, meaning we can see them, they’re in front of us. Whereas the future is unknown, we can’t see it… So it’s behind us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vydhT… 

!Xóõ: Botswana

It’s no secret that there are languages in sub-Saharan Africa that use click sounds along with other consonant sounds, there are several of these but this one is the quintessential one.

It features 5 different click sounds and 17 accompanying ones. Also 4 vowel sounds with four varying tones.

This language is not just difficult to learn, it’s physically straining on a non-speaker because some of these clicks are next to impossible to do without a serious amount of training.

http://www.economist.com/node/15108609

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQpLv…

Guugu Yimithirr: Aboriginal Language, Australia

Guugu Yimithirr is an ancient language, spoken by the aboriginal people of Australia for thousands of years, specifically the Guugu Yimithirr people of Far North Queensland, in fact it was actually the first aboriginal language ever written down by James Cook in 1770 and is where the word Kangaroo comes from.

All their directions used cardinal directions. Cardinal directions being North, South, East, West, and the directions in between. They didn’t have words for left, right, front or back.

What this means is that every speaker must always know what geographic direction they are facing at all times. It’s like the language has layered the geographic directions into the fabric of their culture. You literally can’t convey information without it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/mag…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF9RD…

Silbo Gomero: Spain

La Gomera is an island, specifically the smallest of the Spanish Canary Islands just northwest of Africa. And on that tiny island is a language that’s not spoken anywhere else called Silbo Gomero, and it holds the top spot on this list for one simple reason. It’s spoken with whistles.

It’s literally like a whistled version of Spanish featuring two whistled vowels and four consonants.

10 Famous Human Oddities

There was a time when traveling circuses and freak shows were the preeminent form of entertainment of the day. Some people made a great living as human oddities, showing off their natural (and unnatural) bodies. Here are 10 of the most famous.

US Schools Start WAY Too Early

From lower test scores to depression and even traffic deaths, the evidence is piling up that early school start times are bad for teenagers. So why do schools in the US start so early?

Teens have different physiological needs when it comes to sleep, due to their changing bodies and the energy needs that go along with it. Because of this, multiple health agencies including the Centers for Disease Control, The National Sleep Foundation, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association have pushed for later start times – 8:30am or later.

But for various reasons (usually money) only 1 in 5 schools actually start at the recommended time.