Monthly Archives: March 2016

Social Security…for all?

FDR’s plan for Social Security had to be implemented with a variety of legislators with different agendas. One of the groups needed for passage was southern white Democrats. In order to appease this group exemptions for domestic servants and farm hands were included in the final bill. This was specifically intended to discriminate against the black population.

(Book – The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope)

You’ll never think of OIL the same again.

Sounds of letters often have ‘allophones’ which are slight variations on the same sound. The ‘p’ in ‘pot’ and ‘spot’ are slightly different. The ‘l”s in ‘lateral’ are also slightly different. The letters can actually sometimes sound like other sounds associated with different letters. What happens when you say the word ‘oil’ and then play it back backwards? it sounds like OIL! YEP…it really does, the word does sound slightly different but if you just heard it you would say that the person is speaking the word OIL.

(The Great Courses – Understanding Linguistics: The Science of Language)

Memorize this

Researchers have shown that infants have full memorization capability but it is very rare for someone to have memories in the first few years of their lives. Current theories are that an infant is still trying to become aware of what is ‘normal’ so they don’t focus and remember one time events.

(The Great Courses – How We Learn)

Only for medicinal purposes of course

The Eighteenth Amendment started Prohibition in 1918 and was aimed at curbing hard liquor. Provisions in the amendment did allow legislation of beverages with less alcohol. Within weeks after Franklin Roosevelt was sworn in as President in 1933 he asked Congress to legalize 3.2 beer which it did and by the end of his first month as President beer parties were being held. This was part of FDR’s plan to change the psyche of the country in the mist of the Depression. The Eighteenth Amendment was repealed by the end of the year.

(Book – The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope)

The Letter ‘X’ does not have a sound associated with it

There are only 26 letters in the English language but there are 44 different sounds. One example of a sound without a letter is the ‘ng’ sound as in the word ‘singer’. This sound is designated by a special symbol that is called engma. French, German and many other languages have additional sounds in languages that English does not use and each sound has a special symbol (unless it is associated with a specific English letter) used by linguists.

(The Great Courses – Understanding Linguistics: The Science of Language)

East meets West

Only one major battle was fought between Chinese and Western armies in ancient times. This was the Battle of the Talas river in 751 CE which was between the forces of the Tang Dynasty and the Arabic army. This area is around the current country of Uzbekistan. The Chinese force was finally defeated and they never attempted any further western expansion. The Arabic forces continued to India and the conversion of many of the people to Islam is the start of the Islam and Hindu tensions in that area which continue to this day.

(The Great Courses – The Decisive Battles of World History)