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  1. Fact of the Day - OTAKU The Akihabara neighborhood of Tokyo, a popular gathering site for otaku Did you know... that Otaku is a Japanese word that describes people with consuming interests, particularly in anime and manga. Its contemporary use originated with a 1983 essay by Akio Nakamori in Manga Burikko. Otaku may be used as a pejorative; its negativity stemming from a stereotypical view of otaku as social outcasts and the media's reporting on Tsutomu Miyazaki, "The Otaku Murderer", in 1989. According to studies published in 2013, the term has become less negative, and an increasing number of people now identify themselves as otaku, both in Japan and elsewhere. Out of 137,734 teens surveyed in Japan in 2013, 42.2% self-identified as a type of otaku. Things To Know About The Otaku Culture In Japan By Trevor Jones | October 28, 2020 What does “otaku” mean? In high school, there was an afterschool club that one could join called the “Otaku Club.” I later learned that it was for people who were fans of Japanese media, typically in the form of manga and anime. Upon moving to Japan, I learned that the term was multi-faceted. In America it tends to have a negative connotation, and is similar to “nerd” or “geek.” In Japan, I learned that it could have a negative connotation, but it is not always negative. I discovered that “otaku” came in all different varieties. There are, of course, “otaku” that are interested in manga and anime. But there are other “otaku” that are interested in idol groups, trains, and even bird-watching. Anybody who is very passionate about a hobby of theirs can be dubbed an “otaku.” Here are some important things to know about “otaku” culture and a brief summary on why these features are important. Anime Many people’s first introduction to “otaku” culture is through anime. As a child, Dragon Ball Z was incredibly popular with my peers and then the Pokémon craze exploded in America. Because of the popularity of these two shows, I learned that Japan had a very unique style of animation that included large eyes and intense sound effects. In the 80’s and 90’s Japan was churning out these animated television shows at an unbelievable rate. Upon export to Western audiences, some Japanese anime series were cut in a way that created different story lines and they were dubbed into English to be more accessible. Ghibli One of the most popular anime studios in Japan is Studio Ghibli, founded be Hayao Miyazaki. Ghibli is responsible for such classic films as “My Neighbor Totoro,” and the award winning “Spirited Away.” Ghibli characters can be seen all over Japan. They are on lunch boxes, t-shirts, bags and countless other items. Studio Ghibli is considered Japan’s Disney Studios. The films and stories are known by most Japanese, whether young or old. Manga Manga is an integral part of “otaku” culture. Many anime series were born as manga before being adapted for the screen. Manga has a long history in Japan and they are incredibly similar to Western comic books. It is thought that one of the first manga was created by the famous Japanese artist Hokusai. Manga is so popular in Japan that many people read manga on their daily commute. “Manga kissa,” or manga cafes are places where one can buy a beverage and peruse the extensive manga library available at the café and read to their heart’s content. Osamu Tezuka Known as the godfather of manga, Osamu Tezuka is known for “AstroBoy,” “Kimba the White Lion” and others. He is also a descendant of the famous ninja Hattori Hanzo. Tezuka was originally from the Osaka area, and moved to Tokyo as his popularity grew. After the success of his first work, “The New Treasure Island” he opened his own production company, Mushi Productions in Tokyo. Mushi was rivaled at the time by Toei Animation. Many of Tezuka’s stories were adapted from Western literature, but given a unique Japanese twist. The characteristic large eyes in manga and anime today were a signature of Tezuka, and he is credited as originator of this style. The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum is located in Takarazuka in Hyogo, Tezuka’s hometown. Dragon Ball Dragon Ball is an incredibly popular franchise based on a manga and adapted into many animated incarnations. It was created in 1984 by Akira Toriyama. Dragon Ball originally appeared in a serialized format in Weekly Shōnen Jump and has gone on to become one of the most successful manga and anime series of all time. In addition to the manga and show, the Dragon Ball franchise includes games, films and countless merchandising in the form of figures, apparel and toys. Dragon Ball has gone on to become a pop culture again all over the world. Video Games Once Nintendo made the pivot to home-gaming, the world was changed forever. Sony is a well-known Japanese electronics brand that has also entered the video game market with their PlayStation gaming consoles. Both companies are now synonymous with the video game industry. Idols Idols usually start their career at a very young age, in their pre-teens, and when they reach adulthood, they “graduate” out of the group. The idol phenomenon attracts armies of fans. Office workers come to see shows performed by their favorite idols and feel a connection to them. Some fans border on obsessive in their collection of memorabilia from their favorite idols. AKB48 AKB48 is the most famous idol group in Japan. Assembled in the otaku mecca of Akihabara, this group includes 48 girls who sing, act and dance. The group has been around for decades, and when the girls reach the maximum age, they “graduate” and new recruits are voted in to carry on the AKB legacy. AKB48 have a performance venue and café in Akihabara. The merchandizing for AKB48 is very lucrative, with fans collecting everything from photos to ticket stubs and more. Tsutomu Miyazaki Tsutomu Miyazaki is the inspiration for the negative connotation of the term “otaku” in modern society. Also known as the “vampire killer” or “otaku murderer,” Miyazaki was convicted of murdering numerous young girls in Tokyo during the early 90’s. A police search of his apartment exposed numerous VHS tapes containing anime as well as manga comics. The photograph of his apartment was widely published and described as a typical “otaku” apartment. Hikikomori Hikikomori: Behind Japan’s modern hermits “Hikikomori” is a Japanese word used to describe members of society who do not go outside and are “shut-ins.” These individuals may venture outside for food or necessities, but they tend to prefer staying in their rooms. The term was coined by psychologist Tamaki Saitō, and it is estimated that there are somewhere between 500,000 to 1 million “hikikomori” today. In today’s internet age it is much easier to seclude oneself and it’s an ongoing issue and discussion topic of policymakers. Doujinshi The term “doujinshi” indicates a self-published work. It could be a magazine, manga, novel, etc. Many times these works extract characters or themes from popular works. “Doujinshi” is very similar to fan-fiction. There have been some copyright issues in the past, but for the most part, “doujinshi” is permitted as it is seen as honoring the root story that it borrows from. These items can be found and sometimes sold at conventions, the most well-known being Comiket. Click the link below to know more about Otaku Culture in Japan. Source: Facts About Otaku Culture in Japan | Wikipedia - Otaku
  2. What's the Word? - RURITANIAN pronunciation: [rə-rə-TAY-nyən] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, Late 1890s Meaning: 1. Relating to or characteristic of the imaginary kingdom of Ruritania from the novels of Anthony Hope, especially with reference to romantic adventure and intrigue Example: "David planned a Ruritanian trip to several exotic locales." "My daydreams can become quite Ruritanian." About Ruritanian Ruritanian hails from Latin rus, meaning "rural," and the Latinate ending -itania. British author Anthony Hope helped create the term in one of his novels. Did You Know? British author Anthony Hope published his mythical novel, The Prisoner of Zenda, in 1894. It quickly grew in popularity, capturing readers’ imaginations with its sense of adventure, courtly romances, heroes, and sword fights. Shortly after the book’s release, George Bernard Shaw used the story’s fictional locale, Ruritania, as an adjective when he said, “Our common sense ... must immediately put a summary stop to the somewhat silly Ruritanian gambols of our imagination.” It's an obscure term for fanciful places and attitudes, but perhaps it deserves to be brought back?
  3. Fact of the Day - ATTACK ON TITAN Cover art for the first volume of the manga series Attack on Titan. Did you know... that Attack on Titan is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. It is set in a world where humanity lives inside cities surrounded by three enormous walls that protect them from the gigantic man-eating humanoids referred to as Titans; the story follows Eren Yeager, who vows to exterminate the Titans after a Titan brings about the destruction of his hometown and the death of his mother. Attack on Titan was serialized in Kodansha's monthly Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine from September 2009 to April 2021, with its chapters collected in 34 tankōbon volumes. An anime television series was produced by Wit Studio (seasons 1–3) and MAPPA (season 4). A 25-episode first season was broadcast from April to September 2013, followed by a 12-episode second season broadcast from April to June 2017. A 22-episode third season was broadcast in two parts, with the first 12 episodes airing from July to October 2018 and the last 10 episodes airing from April to July 2019. A fourth and final season premiered in December 2020, airing 16 episodes in its first part, with the remainder announced to air in early 2022. Attack on Titan has become a critical and commercial success. As of December 2019, the manga has over 100 million tankōbon copies in print worldwide, making it one of the best-selling manga series of all time. It has won several awards, including the Kodansha Manga Award, the Attilio Micheluzzi Award, and Harvey Award. (Wikipedia) Attack on Titan: 10 Crazy Facts You Didn't Know About Armin Armin is one of Attack On Titan's greatest heroes, though he may not seem like it at first, but what else are fans missing? BY WINSTON WALLACE | PUBLISHED SEP 29, 2020 The hit series Attack on Titan is the pinnacle of Shonen storytelling. Series creator, Hajime Isayama, is a genius when it comes to story, world-building, and characters. Speaking of characters, AoT has some of the most iconic characters of all time. The characters feel like actual people. That’s not prevalent in most anime, so it’s imperative to give credit where credit is due. Armin Arlert is one of the most underrated characters in the series. He has done so much for the scouts. Sure, he’s not one of the strongest fighters, but he is helpful in other areas. He’s extremely intelligent, levelheaded, and a loyal friend. There are also some interesting facts about his character that many fans might not be aware of. Seeing that the final season has not yet aired, this article will only cover events about Armin and the plot up to season 3. Voice Actors Both voice actors of Armin, Sub and Dub, have a long catalog of voice roles. Japanese voice actress Marina Inoue, for example, has voiced Yoko from the infamous Gurren Laggann, Eve from Baccano!, Maiko Ogure form Kill la Kill, Momo, of My Hero, and Ikeda Aasemon from Gintama. American voice actor, Josh Grelle, has voiced William Vangeance from Black Clover, Mark Ibaraki from 7 Seeds, and Hughes from Fairy Tale. Both voice actors are well-versed with voice roles. He Killed A Human Before He Actually Killed A Titan Armin still hasn’t technically killed a Titan, but he has gotten blood on his hands. In season 3 of episode 2 Armin shoots one of Kenny Ackerman's cronies. Armin is so traumatized by what he has done, he constantly vomits. At the time, Armin only believed he would be killing Titans, which, again, he hasn’t technically done yet. So, it does make sense that this would be a little traumatizing for him. This also took many fans by surprise. No one ever thought Armin would kill someone. Eren killing another human isn't surprising. We've seen him do it. Armin, however, is another story. He Ranked 10 In Popularity Poll Despite being a main character in the series, Armin isn't that popular amongst the fans. The first popularity poll that was released, he ranked 10th. Since then, he's gone up in ranking, though, not by much. In the second character popularity poll, he ranked 6th. In the third, he ranked 8th. Perhaps in the final season, he'll move up in the ranking? The Reason For His His Name There’s an interesting reason why Isayama chose the full name Armin Arlert as the character's name. He claims it sounds like the word “aluminum”. Writers often have a comical reason why they give the characters they create certain names. And, as it seems, mangaka's are no different. He also proclaims he chose this full name for Armin seeing that its easier to remember. His Birthday Armin’s birthday, November 3rd is Culture Day in Japan. This holiday centers around all thing's academics, fine arts, and culture. Writers also tend to give characters birthdays around events. Monkey D. Luffy of One Piece, for instance, birthday is May 5th, which is Children's Day in Japan. Since Luffy has a childlike sense of wonder, this does make sense. Armin’s Interest In The Outside World Ever wondered how Armin and Eren knew about the beach, despite being cut off from the outside world? Armin’s grandfather gave him a book when he was young, detailing what was beyond the walls. This is the sole reason why Armin and Eren have such a strong bond. They both possess the same dream of seeing the world. Eren and Armin constantly looked at it, with aspirations of going beyond the walls. This book is considered illegal for someone to have their possession. How did Armin’s grandfather get his hands on this book? Never Made It Into The Top Ten Of His Graduating Class Despite his high intelligence and resourcefulness, Armin surprisingly didn’t graduate at the top of his class, from the training corps. To be fair, this ranking is mainly based on combat performance. In fact, he’s the only scout in Levi's squad, currently, that’s not in the top ten of his graduating class. It’s still jarring though because Eren’s in the top 5 of the graduating class, and he’s not that much better than Armin when it comes to combat. He’s In The Top Five In Academics Seeing that Armin’s, the guy that devises some of the most brilliant plans, it’s not surprising he graduated top five from the 104th Training Corps in academics. It’s true he’s not the strongest fighter, but he is a great strategist. It’s was his idea to use Eren’s Titan form to use the bolder to cover up Wall Rose. By doing this, it will prohibit any more Titans from entering the city. He also figured out Annie was the Female Titan. Moreover, he orchestrates the plan to trap her. His Name Has Multiple Meanings The name Armin is a German name with many meanings such as, “whole”, “ universal”, “warrior” and “soldier”. Given the fact Armin is indeed a soldier, the writer may have picked this name, for that very reason. In a previous entry, it’s discussed that Isayama had another reason why he chose Armin Arlert as his full name. Clearly, a lot of thought went into his name. How His Parent’s Died In the series, Armin divulges that his parents died in a recovery mission to take back Wall Maria. As of now, this information has been retconned. According to the Attack on Titan Encyclopedia, it is revealed that Armin's parents were executed, after attempting to leave the walls via air balloon. As a matter of fact, this information gets lightly touched on in the anime. In episode 2 of season 3, their killer, Djel Sannes, admits to killing a couple trying leave, by using an air balloon. Source: Wikipedia - Attack On Titan | Attack On Titan Facts
  4. What's the Word? - CADUCOUS pronunciation: [kə-DYOO-kəs] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, late 17th century Meaning: 1. (of an organ or part) easily detached and shed at an early stage Example: "The protective layer of a poppy can be caducous, falling off to reveal the bright petals." "Jane slid the bulky fur coat off her body in a caducous manner." About Caducous Caducous is a botany term that derives from the Latin caducus, meaning “liable to fall,” and -ous, meaning “characterized by.” Did You Know? It would be easy to think that “caducous” and “deciduous” are synonyms because they both refer to plants shedding parts of themselves. But a closer look at their definitions proves otherwise. Caducous refers to something on a plant or creature that is easily shed at an early stage of development; deciduous describes a tree or shrub that sheds its leaves annually.
  5. Fact of the Day - SCIENCE-FICTION The alien invasion featured in H. G. Wells' 1897 novel The War of the Worlds Did you know... that science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. It has been called the "literature of ideas", and often explores the potential consequences of scientific, social, and technological innovations. (Wikipedia) Fun Facts about Science Fiction By Kristine Tucker | Updated April 24, 2017 Science fiction might not appeal to every reader or viewer, but public interest in the genre has increased. In 2008, 41.4 million TV watchers claimed to watch science fiction shows. In 2013, 47.58 million people tuned in to watch sci-fi episodes, according to Statista. The genre encompasses short stories and books, movies, television -- and sometimes even a place where science fiction intersects with science facts. Scary Themes Science fiction stories have common themes, such as space travel, scientific progress, catastrophic events, supernatural powers, alien invaders, robots and the dangers of machines. For example, in Douglas Adams' novel "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," the protagonist and his alien friend navigate outer space and defeat evil Vogons who plan to destroy Earth. In the blockbuster hit "The Matrix," a human computer hacker defeats a race of machines that feed off human energy and erase human minds. Sci-fi themes often have underlying social or political messages that address human interactions on a global level. Universal Robots The term "robot" wasn't invented by scientists or alien life forms. Karel Čapek, a Czechoslovakian author, wrote a play in 1920 called "R.U.R. -- Rossum’s Universal Robots." Capek derived the word "robot" from a term in the Czech language that means forced labor. In his play, humans are threatened with extinction when robots try to take over the world. Authors and producers often strive to make robots seem as human as possible. In the 1968 novel "The Iron Man" by Ted Hughes, later made into a 1999 animated film entitled "The Iron Giant," a huge, three-story metal robot survives by consuming old metal parts on a family farm turned junkyard. Eventually, the robot sacrifices its life for a boy it befriends. Beam Me Up Teleportation isn't just a bizarre and crazy travel method used by characters in sci-fi books and movies such as "Star Trek." According to NASA, the "basic premise of teleportation is sound." Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, successfully teleported individual atoms using the principle of quantum entanglement. Some technology experts believe teleportation could eventually lead to the production of lightning fast quantum computers. However, there's no evidence to show that scientists will ever be able to teleport human beings -- that concept is purely science fiction. Subgenres Galore Science fiction contains a wide range of categories and attributes. There are over 36 subgenres of science fiction, according to SciFiLists.com. Subgenres include space opera, steampunk, space Western, retrofuturism, nanopunk, gothic science fiction, slipstream and pulp science fiction. Better-known subgenres include hard science fiction, alien invasion, robot fiction, superhero fiction, apocalyptic science fiction, zombie fiction and time travel. Superhero Powers Honorable, heroic characters contribute to the popularity of science fiction. For example, Superman has super powers, but his moral code doesn't allow him to kill anyone, according to StarPulse.com. As a result, he must use his supernatural abilities, such as X-ray vision, to protect himself, defend others and solve crimes. Superman isn't the only one who can see through walls with his X-ray vision. In 2013, students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a way to see through walls -- a method they call "Wi-Vi." Wi-Vi tracks movements through walls using an inexpensive wireless system that could potentially be installed in smart phones or small hand-held devices. This could help rescuers search for victims trapped in rubble or aid law enforcement agents in their quest to defeat crime. The best part -- you don't have to wear blue tights and a red cape to use Wi-Vi. Epic Sci-Fi Thriller Big-screen movies elevated science fiction to a new level. One of the most critically acclaimed science fiction movies -- George Lucas' "Star Wars" -- is the second highest grossing movie of all time when you adjust sales for inflation, according to Celebrity Networth. Box Office Mojo reports that the gross income, including adjustments for ticket price inflation, exceeded $1.4 billion as of 2014. That's not bad considering Lucas produced the film on an $11 million budget and agreed to a $150,000 salary plus merchandising rights. Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 will forever remain science-fiction legacies, and "Star Wars" will always be remembered as a gigantic box office hit. Source: Wikipedia - Science Fiction | Science Fiction Facts
  6. What's the Word? - FRUITION pronunciation: [froo-ISH-ən] Part of speech: noun Origin: Old French and Latin, early 15th century Meaning: 1. The point at which a plan or project is realized 2. The state or action of producing fruit Example: "Everything started falling into place as her plan came to fruition." "The chemist’s lab research came to fruition." About Fruition Fruition originates from the Latin verb frui, meaning “to enjoy.” Did You Know? Even though “fruition” and “fruit” both come from the Latin verb frui, they were developed independent of each other. In fact, when “fruition” was first used in the 1400s, it simply meant “pleasurable use or possession.” It wasn’t until the 1800s that the word developed its modern-day definition: “the state of bearing fruit.” This newer definition might be a simple case of mistaken etymology; regardless, the meaning has clearly expanded into metaphorical language.
  7. Fact of the Day - LAKES Peyto Lake, Alberta, Canada Did you know... that a lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land, apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake. Lakes lie on land and are not part of the ocean, although like the much larger oceans, they form part of earth's water cycle. Lakes are distinct from lagoons which are generally coastal parts of the ocean. They are generally larger and deeper than ponds, which also lie on land, though there are no official or scientific definitions. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams, which are usually flowing in a channel on land. Most lakes are fed and drained by rivers and streams. Natural lakes are generally found in mountainous areas, rift zones, and areas with ongoing glaciation. Other lakes are found in endorheic basins or along the courses of mature rivers, where a river channel has widened into a basin. In some parts of the world there are many lakes because of chaotic drainage patterns left over from the last Ice Age. All lakes are temporary over geologic time scales, as they will slowly fill in with sediments or spill out of the basin containing them. Many lakes are artificial and are constructed for industrial or agricultural use, for hydro-electric power generation or domestic water supply, or for aesthetic, recreational purposes, or other activities. (Wikipedia) Interesting Facts About Lakes by Admin | 2017 Lake Bled seen from Little Osojnica Hill A lake is a body of water that is surrounded by land. There are millions of lakes in the world. They are found on every continent and in every kind of environment—in mountains and deserts, on plains, and near seashores. Lakes vary greatly in size. Some measure only a few square meters and are often referred to as ponds while others are so big that they are called seas. The majority of lakes on Earth are fresh water, and most lie in the Northern Hemisphere at higher latitudes. Banff National Park, Canada Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources gives an official count of 2,747,997 lakes in Russia. 98% of these lakes, the ministry says, are less than 1 square kilometer (0.38 miles), and less than 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) deep. Canada has an estimated 31,752 lakes larger than 3 square kilometers (1.2 sq mi) and an unknown total number of lakes, but is estimated to be at least 2 million. Possibly Banff National Park, Canada Finland has 187,888 official lakes that each have an area of over 500 square meters (5,380 square feet). Approximately 56,000 of these lakes have an area of over 10,000 square meters (107,640 square feet). Finland has one of the highest densities of lakes and is often referred to as the land of the thousand lakes. The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world’s largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It sprawls for 1,030 kilometers (640 miles) from north to south, although its average width is only 320 kilometers (200 miles). The sea has a surface area of 371,000 square kilometers (143,200 square miles). This is a view from orbit of the Caspian Sea as imaged by the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite. Lake Superior is the largest of North America’s Great Lakes. It is generally considered the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. The surface area of Lake Superior is 82,170 square kilometers (31,700 square miles). That is 10% of all the earth’s fresh surface water. Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario Lake Baikal located in southern Siberia is is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, containing 22–23% of the world’s fresh surface water. With 23,615.39 cubic kilometers (5,670 cu mi) of fresh water, it contains more water than the North American Great Lakes combined. Lake Baikal is also the deepest lake in the world. It is 1,642 meters (5,387 ft) at its deepest point. It is considered among the world’s clearest lakes and is considered the world’s oldest lake — at 25 million years. Lake Baikal in mid July The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It is the world’s lowest lake at 418 meters (1,371 ft) below sea level. Although its name implies otherwise, the Dead Sea isn’t actually a sea at all. It’s really a lake. In fact, it’s a hypersaline lake, which means it’s a landlocked body of water with a high concentration of sodium chloride and other mineral salts. Dead Sea Lake Titicaca located on the border of Bolivia and Peru at an altitude of 3,812 meters (12,507 feet), is the highest commercially navigable body of water in the world. By volume of water and by surface area, it is the largest lake in South America. Raft of totora on Lake Titicaca in the island of the Sun (Bolivia). Click the link below to read more facts about lakes. Source: Facts About Lakes | Wikipedia - Lake
  8. What's the Word? - ZONK pronunciation: [zoNGk] Part of speech: verb Origin: of imitative/echoic origin, mid-20th century Meaning: 1. Fall or cause to fall suddenly and heavily asleep or lose consciousness 2. Hit or strike. Example: "Nothing makes me zonk out quite as quickly as NyQuil." "The bowl zonked Cheryl when she tried to grab it from the top shelf." About Zonk Zonk is a slang, onomatopoeic term from the mid-20th century with unknown origin. Did You Know? Zonk has its own unofficial meaning within the Army. A commanding officer will usually use it during physical training formations as a fun way to dismiss his or her unit from duty. Once the word is shouted out, the entire unit can run off while shouting with glee.
  9. Fact of the Day - OTTER Did you know.... that otters are carnivorous mammals in the subfamily Lutrinae. The 13 extant otter species are all semiaquatic, aquatic or marine, with diets based on fish and invertebrates. Lutrinae is a branch of the Mustelidae family, which also includes weasels, badgers, mink, and wolverines, among other animals. (Wikipedia) Playful Facts About Otters BY HANNAH KEYSER | JUNE 2018 1. THERE ARE 13 SPECIES OF OTTERS, AND JUST ABOUT ALL OF THEM ARE DECREASING. Only one otter species seems to be thriving, and that's the North American River Otter. The other 12 otter species were recently identified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as having decreasing populations, and five otter species are already on the endangered list. Among the endangered are the sea otters along the Californian to Alaskan coasts, which are threatened by "environmental pollutants and disease agents." Others, like the Marine Otters of South America, have had their numbers reduced because of poaching, as well as environmental concerns. 2. ZOROASTRIANS THOUGHT THE OTTERS TO BE NEARLY SACRED CREATURES. This ancient religion considered otters to be the dogs of the river or sea and had strict rules forbidding the killing of otters. It was thought that otters helped keep water purified by eating already dead creatures that might contaminate the water source if they were allowed to rot. Zoroastrians would also hold ceremonies for otters found dead in the wild. 3. OTTERS HAVE VERY DISTINCTIVE POOP, AND THAT SCAT HAS ITS OWN NAME. Otters use their dung—known as spraint—to communicate with other otters. The mammals like to keep things organized within their communities and will designate certain areas to be used as latrines. Spraint scents can vary, but often are (relatively) pleasant—one expert described them as not "dissimilar to jasmine tea." Spraint composition is unique to each otter, and the creatures can identify each other by the smells. Scientists suspect otters may even be able to determine the sex, age, and reproductive status of the spraint dropper just from a quick whiff. And since otters have superb metabolisms and can easily eat up to 15 percent of their body weight each day, there's a lot of spraint to go around. 4. OTTER MOMS ARE TOTALLY GAME FOR ADOPTION. In 2001, a female otter at the Monterey Bay Aquarium gave birth to a stillborn pup on the same day a stranded pup was discovered in the wild nearby. The aquarium staff had previously tried raising pups themselves but found that hand-raised otters became too attached to humans to be released back into the wild. So instead, they dropped the pup in with the female otter, and she immediately went into mom mode. The aquarium has since devised a system of hand-rearing pups for the first six to eight weeks—mostly for bottle feeding purposes—before handing the pups off to female otters for raising. At six months, the pups are released back into the wild with generally strong results. 5. THEY HAVE THE THICKEST FUR OF ANY MAMMAL IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM. Otters can have up to one million hairs per square inch. There are two layers of fur—an undercoat and then longer hairs that we can see. The layers manage to trap air next to the otter's skin, which keeps the otters dry and warm and also helps with buoyancy. Otter pups have so much air trapped in there, they actually can’t dive under water, even if they want to. 6. AN OTTER IS SOMETIMES ONLY AS GOOD AS HIS TOOLS. Otters love to eat shelled animals, like clams, but they aren't equipped with the strength to open their food without some help. Therefore, they are big on tools and will often use rocks to help crack into dinner. While they hunt for food underwater, they’ll often store a rock in the skin under their arms for later use. 7. OTTERS ARE POPULAR IN NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURES, BUT FOR VARYING REASONS. Some tribes consider the otter to be a lucky animal and a symbol of "loyalty and honesty." But some, particularly in present-day Canada and Alaska, viewed the river otter "with awe and dread" and associated the creatures with the undead and drowning. Some cultures even forbid eating the creatures and were offended when colonial Europeans began hunting the river otters and selling their furs. 8. GIANT OTTERS ARE SUPER CHATTY. In 2014, a study of giant otters found that the river-dwellers have 22 distinct noises they make for different situations. On top of that, pups have 11 of their own calls that they intersperse with "infant babbling." Among the most notable calls: a "hum gradation" used to tell otters to change directions and a "Hah!" shout when a threat is nearby. 9. OTTERS AND HUMANS CAN COLLABORATE. In Bangladesh, otters help fisherman maximize their haul. For centuries, fisherman have been training otters to act as herders and chase large schools of fish into the nets. 10. DRONES MAY HELP SCIENTISTS BETTER STUDY OTTERS IN THE WILD. Keeping an eye on otters in the wild is a tricky task. In the past, observers have usually set up telescopes on shore to try and monitor otters at sea. Otters won't act naturally with humans nearby, and using a telescope on a boat can get tricky in the rollicking ocean. But now, scientists are using unmanned drones with cameras to get an aerial look at otters in their element, making it easier to monitor the creatures as they dive for food and go about their day. Click the link below to read the last 6 facts about Otters. Source: Facts About Otters | Wikipedia - Otter
  10. What's the Word? - OSCULATE pronunciation: [AHS-kyoo-leyt] Part of speech: verb Origin: Latin, mid 17th century Meaning: 1. (formal or humorous) kiss. Example: "The ocean and sky were so blue that it was difficult to discern where they osculated on the horizon." "Many cultures greet each other by osculating their companions’ cheeks." About Osculate This word originated from the Latin word “osculat” (kissed), which was derived from the verb “osculari” and the word “osculum” (little mouth or kiss). Did You Know? While a romantic kiss between the happily married couple is often considered the highlight of a wedding ceremony, Ancient Romans viewed the practice very differently. Ancient Roman couples would osculate as a symbol of their mutual agreement to the marriage. Since literacy was not as widespread during this time, historians speculate that this was a way of sealing an agreement — and that this action is likely what led to the development of the phrase “sealed with a kiss.”
  11. Fact of the Day - PUN Punch cartoon from 1913 whose title "KLEPTOROUMANIA" is a pun on kleptomania. Did you know.... that the pun, also known as paronomasia, is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. These ambiguities can arise from the intentional use of homophonic, homographic, metonymic, or figurative language. A pun differs from a malapropism in that a malapropism is an incorrect variation on a correct expression, while a pun involves expressions with multiple (correct or fairly reasonable) interpretations. Puns may be regarded as in-jokes or idiomatic constructions, especially as their usage and meaning are usually specific to a particular language or its culture. Puns have a long history in human writing. For example, the Roman playwright Plautus was famous for his puns and word games. (Wikipedia) Pun-derful Facts About Puns BY SHAUNACY FERRO | AUGUST 2017 (UPDATED: MARCH 2021) Puns can be divisive: Some find them irresistible, some find them groan-worthy. And while newspaper readers may appreciate clever wordplay in a headline—say, “Big Rig Carrying Fruit Crashes on 210 Freeway, Creates Jam,” or one of The New York Post’s Anthony Weiner puns—most people don’t drop puns in everyday conversation. But for others, punning is a way of life. Pun competitions challenge wordsmiths to come up with as many great puns as they can on the fly in front of an audience. And they aren’t for the faint of heart, as author Joe Berkowitz found out over the course of writing Away With Words, his book about the world of competitive punning. Here are ten facts we learned from the book about puns and the art of wielding them competitively. 1. PUNNING IS ANCIENT. Making puns “crosses all major languages and cultures in history,” John Pollack, an international punning champion and the author of a historical look at the phenomenon, The Pun Also Rises, told Berkowitz. In San Juan Chamula, Mexico, a tradition of verbal duels called k’ehel k’op, which often revolves around puns, dates back to Mayan times. Traditional Palestinian weddings have featured pun-heavy oral poetry duels for centuries. 2. THE WORLD’S FOREMOST PUN COMPETITION IS NAMED AFTER O. HENRY, AN AUTHOR WHO DIDN’T PUN. The largest and most prestigious pun competition is the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships, held annually in Austin, Texas. You’d think the reference to the famous short story writer would nod to his affinity for puns, but in fact, there’s not a lot of evidence he liked them at all. “Although he did name one of his stories ‘A Midsummer Knight’s Dream,’ the author’s work is largely pun-free,” Berkowitz writes. During the course of writing the book, he visited the O. Henry Museum in Austin, where the Pun-Off is held, and was informed that the connection between puns and the author O. Henry is quite tenuous. “Between you and me, he was not a huge punner,” a tour guide told him. “That connection was made between the museum and the Pun-Off early on because it was held here, and it just stuck.” 3. THERE ARE FOUR DIFFERENT KINDS OF PUNS. There’s the homophonic pun, in which two words sound the same but mean something different. (Czech and check, for instance.) Then there’s the homographic pun, in which two words sound different but are spelled the same. (Like a bass player versus a bass fish.) There are also homonymic puns, in which the words both sound and are spelled the same. (Berkowitz’s example: “I felt unsettled inside so I had an evening out.”) And last, there’s the portmanteau, a combination of two other words. (Like brunch.) 4. AT THE O. HENRY PUN-OFF, THE RULES ARE SERIOUS BUSINESS. The O. Henry Pun-Off—a competition Berkowitz calls “the Olympics of pun competitions”—has strict rules. Only honest-to-goodness puns are accepted. You can’t just throw in a phrase related to a topic if it doesn’t have the necessary wordplay to qualify as one of the four types of pun. “If the topic is railroads, we will not accept anything like, ‘I hope we stay on track,’” Pun-Off organizer Gary Hallock told Berkowitz by way of explanation. There are two competitions wrapped into the O. Henry Pun-Off: "Punniest of Show" and "Punslingers." In the former, competitors perform their own two-minute routine on any topic they want, cramming in as many puns as possible. These monologues are judged by a panel on originality, performance, and wit. "Punslingers," meanwhile, is a rapid-fire, head-to-head tournament in which punners exchange wordplay on randomly chosen topics as fast as possible. Each competitor gets a maximum of five seconds to think of their next pun, and whoever runs out or gets three strikes (attempted puns the judges deem invalid) first loses. The longest this particular event has ever lasted was a grueling 48 minutes of puns relating to numerical phrases like “three’s a crowd.” 5. ENGLISH IS A GREAT LANGUAGE FOR PUNS. English speakers already have a leg up when it comes to puns. For one thing, it’s got a whole lot of words. The Oxford English Dictionary estimates that there are around a quarter of a million distinct words in the English language. English has borrowed words from so many languages that there are a wide variety of potential puns that wouldn’t otherwise be available, like “soirees” and “sore eyes.” English also doesn’t have declensions, so the endings of words don’t change based on what part of the sentence they’re in. “The apple” stays the same whether it’s a direct object or the subject of a sentence, in other words, which is not the case for languages like German or Russian. (English uses word order to convey the difference instead.) So saw can be both a verb or a noun, no matter where in the sentence it falls. As in, “The blind carpenter picked up his hammer and saw.” 6. SHAKESPEARE LOVED POOP PUNS. If anyone knew how great English can be for puns, it was Shakespeare. “Never mistake the Bard for someone above poop and fart jokes,” Berkowitz writes. “When Thersites of Troilus and Cressida says, ‘But yet you look not well upon him; for, whomsoever you take him to be, he is Ajax,’ it’s not just because a character is named ‘Ajax,’ but because ‘a jakes’ meant a public toilet back then.” The greatest writer in the English language, indeed. 7. FOX’S BOB’S BURGERS HAS A PUN QUOTA. The writers of the animated series Bob’s Burgers regularly go through their own kind of mini pun competition in order to craft a series that’s unusually dedicated to puns. That's because there are at least three points in each episode that involve puns. In the title sequence, there is always a rotating series of stores located next to the show’s titular family restaurant. These plausible companies always have punny names like I’d Hit That (a boxing gym) or That’s Improv-able Improv Theater. Later in the credits, an exterminator van always pulls up in front of the restaurant bearing a punny name like Last of the Mousehicans. And then there’s the ever-popular Burger of the Day feature, which has spawned an entire cookbook full of recipes for burgers with pun names like “Shoot-Out at the OK-ra Corral Burger (comes with Fried Okra).” To populate each episode with these running gags, the show’s writers have to include three or four pun options for each when putting together a script. Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard then hand-picks his favorites for each episode. 8. IF YOU WANT TO BE A PUN CHAMPION, TRY IMPROV. All of the winners of the O. Henry Pun-Off in the past decade have had one thing in common: a background in improv. Improv performers are used to coming up with ideas on the fly in front of an audience, and in the training process, they get extremely comfortable failing spectacularly. They’re comfortable opening their mouths without having a good idea of what’s going to come out. As one improv-trained punster told Berkowitz, “if you get an improviser up there, they’ll be, like, ‘Well, I can just start talking and I don’t know what I’m gonna say but I’ll get there.’” 9. FOR THE BRAIN, PUNNING IS LIKE TANGLING CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. What’s going on in your head when you’re thinking up a pun? Salvatore Attardo, an expert on the linguistics of humor, described it this way: "A good way of representing what’s in the brain is to think of it as strings of lights on a Christmas tree. So you have one string that’s white, and those lights are all the associations of meaning. If you have ‘dog,’ you have ‘puppy’ and ‘b**ch’ and all the words that are related to dogs. So that’s one string, but then you’re going to have another string that’s red and it’s ‘fog,’ ‘bog,’ ‘log’—all the associations on the sound and all the sounds that begin the same way. What is happening when you make a pun is that you’re kind of crossing the strings of lights." So even if a certain pun feels like low-hanging conversational fruit, it's actually a pretty complicated neurological process. 10. IT’S REALLY HARD TO TEACH A COMPUTER TO PUN. A computer won’t be entering the O. Henry anytime soon. Software engineer Max Parke attempted to overcome this challenge by building the Punerator, a computer program designed to replicate the very human act of punning. Parke fed the program a rhyming dictionary and a data set of synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, and phrases, hoping to one day be able to get the machine to reverse engineer the pun “Iran so far away.” The process of combining words to make longer words, to turn verbs into nouns, to use words in ways that are counter to their intended meaning, was just too complicated for the algorithm. Even the best artificial intelligence is no match for a competitive punner, or even a totally average one. It’s a skill that—for now—is uniquely human. Source: Wikipedia - Pun | Facts About Puns
  12. What's the Word? - EFFACE pronunciation: [ə-FAYS] Part of speech: verb Origin: French, late 15th century Meaning: 1. Erase (a mark) from a surface. 2. (efface oneself) Make oneself appear insignificant or inconspicuous. Example: "The babysitter was relieved to find that the spilled juice was easy to efface from the carpet." "Once Julia ceased trying to efface herself in front of the other contestants, she truly began to shine." About Harbinger This word developed from the French word “effacer,” made of a combination of the Latin word “ex” (away from) + face. Did You Know? Many people are familiar with the opposite of the word “efface” — the verb “deface,” the act of spoiling the surface or appearance of something by drawing or writing on it. For a long period of time, graffiti (painted images and words on surfaces in urban landscapes) was thought to deface buildings, bridges, and other urban landmarks. While graffiti is still illegal to apply to both public and private buildings, it is also recognized as an art form; approved graffiti and commissioned murals are now popularly used to efface unapproved graffiti, and even become landmarks and tourist attractions on their own.
  13. Fact of the Day - STARFISH Did you know.... that starfish or sea stars are star-shaped echinoderms belonging to the class Asteroidea. Common usage frequently finds these names being also applied to ophiuroids, which are correctly referred to as brittle stars or basket stars. Starfish are also known as Asteroids due to being in the class Asteroidea. About 1,500 species of starfish occur on the seabed in all the world's oceans, from the tropics to frigid polar waters. They are found from the intertidal zone down to abyssal depths, 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the surface. Starfish are marine invertebrates. They typically have a central disc and usually five arms, though some species have a larger number of arms. The aboral or upper surface may be smooth, granular or spiny, and is covered with overlapping plates. Many species are brightly coloured in various shades of red or orange, while others are blue, grey or brown. Starfish have tube feet operated by a hydraulic system and a mouth at the centre of the oral or lower surface. They are opportunistic feeders and are mostly predators on benthic invertebrates. Several species have specialized feeding behaviours including eversion of their stomachs and suspension feeding. They have complex life cycles and can reproduce both sexually and asexually. Most can regenerate damaged parts or lost arms and they can shed arms as a means of defense. The Asteroidea occupy several significant ecological roles. Starfish, such as the ochre sea star (Pisaster ochraceus) and the reef sea star (Stichaster australis), have become widely known as examples of the keystone species concept in ecology. The tropical crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) is a voracious predator of coral throughout the Indo-Pacific region, and the northern Pacific sea star is considered to be one of the world's 100 worst invasive species. (Wikipedia) Facts About Sea Stars That Are Out of This World How much do you know about the stars of the sea? by Katie Hogge | JANUARY 2019 Sea stars are possibly one of the most recognizable and iconic of all marine wildlife species, and a coastal classic when it comes to shoreline visits. Yet, there’s so much more than meets the eye when it comes to these seemingly simple creatures. From thousands of hidden feet to the ability to grow back lost limbs, these seven facts about sea stars just might make your jaw drop in disbelief! They aren’t fish Sea stars lack a number of fishy anatomical features, including gills, scales or fins. Categorized in the phylum Echinodermata, they’re invertebrates, and are related to sand dollars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and sea lilies. Since they aren’t fish, scientists tend to get a little irked when people call them “starfish,” so “sea stars” is a more appropriate term. The biggest fact to illuminate this difference? They don’t have fins, so they can’t swim around like fish can! However, that doesn’t mean they can’t move around. These stars were made for walkin’ If you thought sea stars remained stagnant their entire lives, staying motionless in one place or floating with the tides, think again. On each of a sea star’s five arms, the bottom side of the limb presents a peculiar yet extraordinary feature. Each arm contains up to 15,000 tiny little ‘tube feet,’ which are able to orchestrate movements that ‘walk’ the sea star along…often quite efficiently! Recent research has discovered something even more astounding about these little feet, too: apparently, they contain a potent glue-like substance, which can secure the sea star to objects like rocks so that they don’t fall off or get washed away with the tide. Their feet will even secrete a solvent once the sea star needs to move somewhere else, dissolving the gluey-substance when the creature is ready. They have two stomachs…and the way they eat might make your skin crawl The anatomy of a sea star’s digestive system is quite alarming, and has an incredibly unique two-part stomach system. Here’s what happens during the digestive process: first, a sea star moves its entire body on top of its prey, so that its mouth is centered on the organism of choice. It will then use its sac-like cardiac stomach to ooze digestive enzymes onto their prey. Once the flesh of the prey is broken down enough, the second stomach portion (known as the pyloric stomach) engulfs the prey to complete digestion internally. Yes, you read that correctly: the first part of digestion occurs outside of the sea star’s body, where the animal essentially ‘throws up’ one of its organs, eventually completing the process by sucking everything back into itself. Nature is wild, and sometimes, a bit graphic. But hey, we’re not judging. They’re extremely aggressive predators, and can sometimes be cannibalistic While your first instinct may be to consider sea stars as harmlessly docile grazers, most are actually insatiable carnivores. While they normally feed on organisms like coral, sponges, shellfish and algae, some will eat whatever they can manage to get their stomachs onto, and that includes—you guessed it—other sea stars, even of the same species. The chocolate chip sea star (Protoreaster nodosus) is just one sea star that has been documented to behave in this manner, but it’s said to be more of a chance mishap than a purposeful act of attacking the same species. Not all sea stars have five arms While the characteristic sea star figure that we tend to visualize in our minds has a total of five arms, these organisms refuse to be limited by our assumptions when it comes to their number of limbs. With more than 2,000 species of sea stars in our ocean today, there are individuals that present with 10, 20 or even 50 arms. One excellent example is the sun sea star, a hefty species known to grow many arms and weigh more than 10 pounds, showcasing arms that are configured in more of a solar ray-like arrangement than a classic star shape. They can regrow their body parts The ability to regrow body parts might sound like a bit of a fictional superpower, but for sea stars, it’s all just a part of their reality. Don’t let the fact that their arms are all coordinated around a center point fool you; the majority of sea star’s vital organs are actually housed in their arms. While some species require the core of their body to be in one piece in order for limb regeneration to occur, others have been known to grow an entirely new body from just one detached arm! This mechanism allows sea stars to prove themselves awfully resilient, living for up to 35 years in the wild. They don’t have eyes like ours, but they can still ‘see’ While sea stars don’t exactly see like we do, they definitely aren’t blind. Instead of eyeballs, sea stars have tiny eye ‘spots’ embedded beneath the skin of each arm. While they’re certainly small, these spots are actually visible if you look very closely at the end of each limb. Usually appearing as a dot that is either black or reddish in coloration, these spots are photosensitive, enabling sea stars to recognize shapes as they navigate over the seafloor and around both peers and prey. Sea stars are iconic creatures and are far more unique than they appear at first sight. And they aren’t the only marine wildlife with little-known astounding features! With our Wildlife Fact Sheets, you can learn new information about all your favorite ocean species. What new ocean trivia will you discover today? Source: Wikipedia - Starfish | Facts About Sea Stars
  14. What's the Word? - PERVIOUS pronunciation: [PER-vee-əs] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, early 17th century Meaning: 1. (of a substance) allowing water to pass through; permeable. Example: "Despite extensive repairs, the boat’s hull was still pervious in choppier waves." "Rather than have his driveway paved, David decided to use a pervious layer of gravel." About Harbinger This word originated from the Latin word “pervius,” which means “having a passage through.” Did You Know? Pervious membranes are crucial to most organic, living things — humans would not exist without the permeable cells that make up our systems. However, these cells are still extremely picky about what enters and leaves at any given time. The cell membrane is selectively pervious, which means that it regulates which materials and substances are allowed to enter and leave with water and other bodily fluids.
  15. Fact of the Day - HUMOUR / LAUGHTER Did you know... that humour or humor is the tendency of experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. The term derives from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body, known as humours, controlled human health and emotion. (Wikipedia) Facts About Laughing That Are Sure to Make You Smile By Beth Dreher, RD.com | Updated: Mar. 11, 2020 You’ll get a chuckle from this trivia about one of our most ancient forms of expression and communication. Humans laughed before they spoke Some scientists believe that laughter was used as a way for humans to relate to one another millions of years before they developed the lung strength for language. The mechanism of laughter is so ingrained in our brains that babies as young as 17 days old have been observed doing it. In fact, children born blind and deaf still have the ability to laugh. Laughter is actually rarely tied to humour In his book, Laughing: A Scientific Investigation, Robert R. Provine, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, describes an intriguing study about laughter—and it didn’t take place at a comedy club. Provine and some graduate students listened in on normal conversations at local malls. They found that out of 1,200 “laugh episodes,” only about 10 per cent were generated by a joke. “Laughter really has a bonding function between individuals in a group,” says Provine. Speaking of bonding, these jokes about marriage are perfect for a wedding! Rats and monkeys laugh It may sound strange, but several scientists have elicited “tickle-induced vocalizations” from primates. Penny Patterson, president of the Gorilla Foundation says that Koko, the gorilla famous for her sign language abilities, even had a special “ho, ho,” for visitors she liked. And rats apparently have very ticklish necks. When Bowling Green State University scientist Jaak Panksepp and his graduate students tickled baby rats’ napes, the rodents emitted high-frequency chirps that Panksepp interpreted as laughter. Surprise—you’ve got these animal “facts” all wrong. Couples who laugh together, stay together Robert Levenson, psychology professor at the University of California Berkeley, invited couples into his lab and asked each partner to discuss something that irritated him or her about the other partner. The couples who tackled the stressful situation with laughter not only felt better in the moment, but had higher levels of relationship satisfaction and stayed together longer than couples who didn’t crack a smile. Here’s what you should tell you spouse every day for a happier marriage. Laughter controls our brains When you see people laughing, you just can’t help but smile, right? That’s because your brain makes it nearly impossible not it. This fact about laughing is the result of research from the lab of Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist at University College London. When she monitored subjects’ brains while she played laughing sounds, she found that the premotor cortical region of the brain, which prepares the muscles in the face to move, was activated. Need a good laugh? Check out the best Reader’s Digest jokes of all time. Laughing burns more calories than you may think This funny fact about laughing is no joke! Just 10 to 15 minutes of laughing a day can burn up to 40 calories, according to a Vanderbilt University study. Researchers determined that the increase in heart rate and oxygen consumption during these funny moments boosted the burn. Nashville is a really funny place At 8:04 p.m. on April 15, 2015, a crew of comedians put Nashville in the record books. Funny folks including Hannibal Buress, Rory Shovel, and Ahmed Ahmed riffed on stage to help set a new record for the longest continuous stand-up comedy show by multiple comedians: 208 hours, 16 minutes. Looking for some homegrown humour? Check out 50 up-and-coming Canadian comedians—and their best jokes! Laughter really is the best medicine Study after study has pointed to the health benefits of laughter: Research from Loma Linda University showed that laughing improved the memory of adults in their 60s and 70s; University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers found that hilarious movies improved the function of blood vessels and increased blood flow in a group of 20 thirty-somethings. And other research has shown that laughing can improve immunity, help regulate blood sugar levels, and improve sleep. Want to hone your talent for humour? Check out these pro tips on how to be funny. Your sense of humour might be genetic In a Northwestern University study of more than 300 people, those with the short version, or allele, of gene 5-HTTLPR are quicker to laugh at cartoons or funny movie clips than those with the long version of the gene. That particular gene has long been associated with the study of depression, but this is the first study to look at its connection to positive emotions. “People with short alleles may flourish in a positive environment and suffer in a negative one,” said study co-auothor Claudia M. Haase. “While people with long alleles are less sensitive to environmental conditions.” Now that you’ve learned these funny facts about laughing, find out the fascinating origins of some of your favourite jokes. Source: Wikipedia - Humour | Facts About Laughing
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