Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Science lesson for today: foul language nothing new

All the expletives and !#*!#@ that confront us 24/7 are nothing new, it seems. According to this article in today's New York Times - yup, from the ever-popular Science section - language researchers find that cursing is "human universal," across all time periods and cultures. Forbidden speech is - Egad! - everywhere, all the time. It usually breaks down into two categories: 1) sexual/body function and 2) religious taboos. But it seems it's not all bad - swearing often acts as a stress releaser, allowing the potty-mouth to vent verbally instead of picking up a gun and blowing the head off the nearest moving object.

More? You want more interesting scientific stuff? How about this: science museums are pulling out all the stops educating their docents about evolution in order to counterbalance hostile intelligent-designers who come through ready to pick a fight. It seems silly to have to do this - Lord, didn't we settle this a long time ago (along with civil rights, voting rights for women, and gravity)? - but evidently it must be done. Read about it here.

And in the hot debate over which type of driver is more dangerous - the elderly or the teenager - turns out it's kinda a tie. While teens crash more often, older drivers cause more deadly accidents.

Oh, and a little soy protein/tofu helps prevent bone fractures in post-menopausal women.

And remember the attempted take-over of "March of the Penguins" by conservatives, as reported last week? Read some of the letters concerning that here.

All right, girls and boys. That's your science lesson for the week. Off you go - to curse and drink a little soy milk.

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