What does “Well” mean? Or, more specifically, what does ‘Well’ mean when it’s used as the first word in response to so-called ‘Wh-questions’ (which, what, who, whom, whose, where, whence, whither, when, why, whynot, wherefore, whatever etc. etc.)? Professor Gene H. Lerner and Professor Emanuel A. Schegloff offer an explanation in the April 2009 issue of the journal Research on Language&Social Interaction.

“We show that these well-prefaces operate as general alerts that indicate nonstraightforwardness in responding …”

In 1987, unthinking, primitive pre-GMO breeders exploited an abandoned shelter cat in Montana, with no one to defend it, for their own nefarious ends when it was discovered that this feline pawn gave birth to a curly-haired kitten. The kitten was then raped by a Persian male and gave birth to a mixture of curly-haired and normal-haired kittens, resulting in a horrible mutation that was now dominant over nature: its presence on even one of the two copies of the gene involved was suddenly sufficient to cause cats to have curly hair. (1)
It's that time of year again - All Hallows Eve - and that means an upsurge in witch sightings which inevitably leads to impromptu witch trials.

As much as we appreciate that the residents of Salem do not passively sit back and wait for our just and benevolent God to find Mercy on the souls of witches, we think some guidelines are in order for the corporeal world so we want to clarify some things about the Court of Oyer and Terminer.

Beware wily seductresses and their demonic incantations!

Some believe in the power of telepathy. Some believe in the power of fMRI. And putting the two together led a team of experimenters from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, and the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India to perform :

“Probably the first fMRI study to analyse the neuroanatomical correlates of telepathy.”

If you had just bought a lottery ticket, would you be willing to swap it? If you’re like most people, the answer would be an emphatic ‘No’. But why? Given that a properly-run lottery is an entirely random affair, mathematical theory dictates that your chances of winning won’t change whether you swap or not.
A recent edition of  ‘M/C – A Journal of Media and Culture’ features one of the very few, perhaps the only, fully blind, peer-reviewed academic papers on sugar pigs. Author Toni Risson, at the University of Queensland, Australia, first defines sugar-pigginess. “Sugar pigs are traditional confections shaped like sugar mice with little legs and no tail.” And then goes on to refine the implications of sugar pig consumption – starting at the beginning :

“As an imagined border between the private world inside the body and the public world outside, the mouth is an unstable limit of selfhood.”

Is karaoke a passing fad? Kevin Brown PhD. Associate Professor of Theatre History, Theory, Criticism, Performance Studies, New Media, Non-Western Theatre, and Popular Culture at the University of Missouri, US. believes not. For his doctoral dissertation, he conducted a two-year ethnographic study of karaoke in America, a portion of which is: ‘Liveness Anxiety: Karaoke and the Performance of Class‘, and is published in Vol. 1, Issue 2, of the academic journal Popular Entertainment Studies.

“It is very tempting to dismiss karaoke as a passing fad.”

explains the professor.

“Considerable work exists to describe the functions of yeah.” explain authors Chad D. Nilep and colleague Tamara Grivičić from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Colorado. And there has also been some academic research investigating the so-called ‘Creaky Voice’. But the team’s study is one of the very first to investigate the two together (i.e. Yeah + Creaky Voice).

For aesthetic reasons, plastic surgeons are sometimes required to re-position male nipples – after dramatic weight-loss for example. In such a case they are presented, in effect, with a substantially blank canvas. But the presently accepted methods for calculating ideal nipple locations are far from straightforward.

“Currently available guidelines create areolas that are too large, place the nipple-areola complex too high and too far medially, and/or require complex abstract mathematical calculations.”

Does subglottal resonance have a significant influence on register transition when singing falsetto? To find out, investigators at the University of Iowa decided on an innovative approach – involving helium. Or, more accurately, Helox (a.k.a. Heliox) a mixture of helium and oxygen [see safety note below].
Because helium is considerably less dense than normal air mixtures, the vocal resonant frequencies of those who breathe it tend to be higher – suggesting a possible application in falsetto research.

Reference: see this video of Lionel Ritchie singing ‘Hello’ (with helium).