Student - May 16, 2013

Ice age

Twenty three Dutch words go back to the Ice Age, say British scientists in the PNAS. The words are still used with their original meanings in modern language families, including the Indo-German one.

If that is the case the following sentences should be decipherable to speakers of Spanish, English, Russian and Hindi: ik spuug niet, moeder. Oude man, geef dit vuur. Ik hoor de zwarte worm spugen. [Just in case: I spit not, mother. Old man, give this fire. I hear the black worm spit. Not far off, is it?]
Past it
The male Micaria sociabilis spider is choosy about his mates. If he meets an old female he eats her, only mating with spiders his own age. This has been discovered by Czech researchers. The spider's cannibalism is the reverse of that of the black widow, which eats the male after mating. Risky for a Micaria female to be past her sell-by date.
The antibiotic minocycline protects men against 'dangerous women'. Japanese research shows that men who take this drug are less easily seduced by pretty women. It enhances their powers of judgement. A kind of anti-femme fatale drug then. Ban it, I say. Life is dull enough already.
Asian students like to take a nap. In the university library, for instance. The facebook page on this subject quickly had 5000 likes. The UK, Groningen university's newspaper, asked Chinese students for a response. Alice said, 'We study really hard and it would be a waste of time to go home, sleep there and then go back to the UB to study. Besides, when you sleep, you don't bother anyone, so why not take a nap in the library?'