Ever since a pair of psychologists found that by age 3, poor children heard 30 million fewer words than affluent children, parents and educators have been obsessed with the “word gap.” Now a study has found that the quality of interactions, not the quantity of words, is what matters when it comes to teaching kids language. The findings don’t completely contradict the original “word gap” work, but they should help put it in perspective.
There was a time when 13-year-old girls would just ask their parents or friends if they were pretty. Now, thanks to the miracle of YouTube, they can ask the whole ugly Internet. Not surprisingly the Internet is pretty dickish in return.
There is a field of study known as archeoacoustics that tries to look at history through sound. As you can imagine, it’s pretty limited. But one thing these guys have managed to figure out is that some of the rocks used to build Stonehenge were “ringing rocks,” stones that are known for producing loud, clangy noises. Was the whole thing just one big instrument? They make an interesting case.