Monthly Archives: March 2011

War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

Right-handers unconsciously associate good with the right side of a space and bad with the left side.

Full article here and remember: In English, ‘right’ is also the opposite of wrong. Anyway, the most interesting part of the story:

In their experiments, when people were asked […] which of two alien creatures looks more intelligent, right-handers tended to choose the […] creature they saw on their right, but most left-handers chose the one on their left.

Isn’t the human brain amazing: It analyses which alien looks more intelligent, and comes to the conclusion that it must be more dangerous. Luckily our brain then remembers that we have the weapon in that hand that gives us nice, straight shooting line to kill the beast.

Alles wird gut.


Third arms – coming soon

Brain scientists have long believed that our body image is limited by our innate body plan and that we can only experience having one head, two arms and two legs. However, a team at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet has shown that it is possible to make healthy volunteers experience having three arms at the same time.

Full article

‘It may be possible in the future to offer a stroke patient, who has become paralysed on one side of the body, a prosthetic arm that can be used and experienced as his own, while the paralysed arm remains within the patient’s body image,’ said study leader Henrik Ehrsson. ‘It is also conceivable that people with demanding work situations could benefit of an extra arm, such as firemen during rescue operations, or paramedics in the field.’

I would totally get one of those. Whenever I had to fix my bike, cook, or just read – one arm for the book, one to turn pages, on to hold the cup of tea – a third arm would have been come in handy more than once. Actually, a forth one could be useful as well but I won’t ask for too much. No, I won’t.

Word of the week


  • A pret is a pleasure; ein Vergnügen.
  • pretje is the diminutive
  • binnenpretje is a chuckle about a funny thought

One of those words for which there is no one-word equivalent in another language (I know). Grappig.

Corruption of the mind

Tunesia: The upheavel threatens the economic stability.*
Libya: The revolution increases the oil price.*
Japan: The earthquake and its consequences are a threat to the global economic growth.*

When exactly did the economy become more important than freedom, than democracy, than life?

* Read in regular online news.

Happy Ending?

After watching the video more than once; I can’t help myself thinking that if the hamster has rabies – which would explain its behaviour – then the guy who was bitten is dead by now.

I wonder if there is any way to know how this story ended.

Verbally insane

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Full version of Ode to Plurals

This and the former example should finally prove wrong the wide spread assumption that English is an easy language.