Why Do You Dance?

I found this interesting little article written by Dr. Peter Lovatt on the Psychology Today website:


Dr. Lovatt asks the question “Why do you dance?” and reflects on the many different types of answers he receives. The responses provoked by a question like that vary widely but all seem to reflect an emotional state or, often, a compulsion from the music – a sort of transcending connection. That connection may be experienced alone or as a shared experience between dancers. Dr. Lovatt quotes one of his responders as saying,

“I love the additional sense of connection to the music that I get from dancing close with another person. There’s a real sense of being able to hear the music the way that other person hears it – and to share how I hear the music with them.”

My summary:

Some people dance alone.

Some people dance with a partner.

We all dance for different reasons, but mostly, the music.

If you dance, why do you dance?




The Gibberish Mirror

“What American English sounds like to non-English speakers”

I am a native English speaker. From time to time I wonder what I sound like when I speak to someone who does not know any English – someone who only hears the sounds I am making and the tone of my voice without any attempt at comprehension. I have heard many other languages that I do not understand and each of them seems to have a distinct natural shape that is difficult to describe but most evident to someone who doesn’t understand the language at all. One day, via the wonders of the internet, I came close to experiencing this sensation about my own native language. This song, called “Prisecolinensinenciousol,” imposes the role of a non-English speaker listening incomprehensibly to English lyrics on its listener. It was written by Italian songwriter Adriano Celentano and is entirely composed of American-English sounding gibberish. The beauty of this video is that as you (I assume you understand some level of English if you are reading this) listen your mind picks out pieces that sound familiar and clings to them to try to sort out some sort of meaning. Repeated failures force you to abandon that pursuit of the specific and focus on the abstract shape of the language. You are forced to step back and observe your own perfectly understandable language in what I call the “gibberish mirror.”

Questions to think about:

  • What makes English “sound like” English? Or ___________ “sound like” ___________ ?
  • How are we able to create “gibberish” that sounds like other languages to us?
  • What is the purpose of gibberish?
  • Does being conscious of gibberish affect the way you speak and/or communicate?

Leave a reply below!



“Bulbous Bouffant”

Fun with funny words. If you’re ever waiting for the bus…

Some of the most puzzling people…

I would like to kick off this blog by paying tribute to one of my hero puzzlers… Will Shortz!

Will Shortz is the editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, producing and/or editing a crossword puzzle every day of the year. That is 365 puzzles a year. Quite a demanding job! A large part of his work is editing clues. Crossword puzzles by nature recycle a large number of convenient words and it is up to the editors to be sure that the clues stay challenging and fresh. Shortz is well known for his ability to take an over-used word and use clever word play to keep his audience guessing.

A Blank Crossword Puzzle

Here’s a link if you’re interested in learning a little about him: http://jaydixit.com/will-shortz-crossword-puzzle-genius/

In case you missed that: Did you know that a crossword puzzle Shortz ran once accurately and infallibly predicted who would win a presidential election? No, really. Go back and click on that link to read about it.

A little more about crosswords:

On December 21 of 2013, Google changed their logo into an interactive crossword puzzle to celebrate the anniversary of the first published crossword puzzle. What was the first word in the first crossword puzzle ever published? “FUN” – an apt word, indeed.

You can see it here: http://www.google.com/doodles/100th-anniversary-of-the-crossword-puzzle

Questions to think about:

  • What role do puzzles play in our society?
  • When can crossword puzzles stir up controversy?
  • What are some stereotypes about people who solve crossword puzzles? Are they accurate?

Leave a reply below!


And as an added bonus:

From: https://i1.wp.com/www.trekcore.com/specials/albums/rare/article27/nukirk_pb01.jpg

“One thing that I do find really sexy is a girl who’s good at crossword puzzles.”*

-Chris Pine (AKA the new Captain Kirk) 

As if you had any doubt that crossword puzzles were the right choice for you!