Hope for the world

Happy New Year!

It’s quite refreshing to start of this year with an article like this one. Among all the news about missing planes, mass genocide, Ebola, abusive athletes, etc. ( you get the point), it’s pretty easy to start looking at the state of the world as being in shambles. But as this articles says, to really judge the state of the world you need to look at the trend lines, not the headlines. I like how this piece broke it down and went into each reason why we believe the world to be in a sorry state. It talks about the trends of each of these topics, such as mass killings, violence against women and children, the inevitable fall of democracy, etc. and how while we may perceive these things to be at an all time high due to the way they are portrayed by the media, in reality most of these calamities have been steadily declining over the last few decades.So really then the things that have been on the rise are the ubiquity of news (thanks to social media) and the dramatic way in which news is portrayed.

>> The world is not falling apart <<

-Monisha

Power and Pronouns

Have you heard that the frequent use of ‘I’ indicates narcissism?  It’s a common misconception rebuffed in recent studies conducted at the University of Texas at Austin by James W. Pennebaker.  Pennebaker found through behavioral experiments and Twitter analysis that the use of ‘I’ can denote duplicity and a sense of inferiority.  Those who used ‘we’ more often in the experiments tended to have the power in the relationships.

>> What Saying ‘I’ Says About You <<

 

– Sandra

Post-College SAT

My thoughts after reading this article went something like this:

1. This is insanity

2. Thank goodness I’m old

3. This makes a lot of sense…or does it?

I think most of my fellow college grads would agree that this topic is a double edged sword. While it’s plain to see that GPA’s are not the best measure of an individual’s ability to succeed in the workplace, having a standardized test measure that may also not be the greatest measure. After all, many who have taken the SAT’s can agree that they are a better measure of  how good someone is at taking a standardized test than of that person’s ability to success in a college environment. On the other hand with the rise of problems like cheating on college exams and having curved exams some may like the idea of having a standard measure across schools with which to display their ability to succeed.

>> Are You Ready for the Post-College SAT <<

-Monisha

Young Women… Linguistic Pioneers?

Young women are known to gravitate towards several things: clothes, shoes, gossip, frivolity in general… One lesser known – but arguably more groundbreaking – penchant is, believe it or not, determining new linguistic patterns!

From end-of-sentence vocal inflections to “creaky voice”, college-aged women have been and are changing the way the rest of society talks!

>> Young Women Often Trendsetters in Vocal Patterns <<

>> Vocal Fry or Creaky Voice <<

 

– Sandra

The Case of the Ex(es)

Living on the other side of the world from an ex makes things easier, right?  Right?!  Wrong.  In this New York Magazine article, Maureen O’Connor talks about the change in the dating landscape effected by social media and smartphones.  And her conclusions are scarily on point.

>> All My Exes Live in Texts : Why the Social Media Generation Never Really Breaks Up <<

So have you ever de-friended an ex who kept popping up on your Facebook newsfeed with pictures of his new squeeze?  Blocked him on Gchat?  Boycotted social media for a month to detox?  You’re not alone.  Apparently, we’re all doing it.  And it’s seriously ruining our lives.

– Sandra

What’s in a name? Political leanings?

>> Most Popular Baby Names By State <<

Check out this map of the US and the most popular baby names by state!  Apparently Mason is the new John.  And for girls, the states are pretty evenly split between Emma and Sophia… and the divide curiously mirrors the political leanings of said states.  Coincidence?

– Sandra