Time Zones, Huh? And More Football
By Jim Schuh
There’s so much information floating around these days that it’s impossible to absorb even a small fraction of it. You can usually count on me to find some of the more obscure stuff as pass it along.
A University of Connecticut scientist says that if you live in the western part of a U.S. time zone, it appears you’re more prone to breast cancer, obesity, diabetes or heart disease.
Thank goodness, we live close to the eastern edge of the Central Time Zone, which begins in the center of Lake Michigan and runs all the way to the central and western portions of North and South Dakota. Keep in mind the sun sets about an hour later at the western edge than it does at the eastern boundary.
Two scientists have found that living close to the western edge disrupts our circadian rhythms which follow the sun. Consider that someone who rises with the sun in Sturgeon Bay gets up about an hour earlier than someone who does so in Minot, North Dakota, even though both live in the Central Time Zone. The time at which we begin our daily activities (work, school) or even when we watch TV can desynchronize our social activities from our biological time. The scientists said there’s mounting evidence that chronic circadian disruption leads to several serious diseases, including depression and mood disorders.
There are remedies – we don’t have to forego our modern way of life. The researchers said, “the more we learn about circadian rhythm, the better we can blunt its impact” with things like altered start times for work and school and “the general recognition that we need both sleep and dark at the appropriate times of the solar cycle for optimum health.”
(Opponents of Daylight Saving Time may use the scientists’ arguments to argue their case, saying the twice-yearly disruption of standard time messes up our sleep.)
Then there’s “Huh?”
That’s a word we all use when we want someone to repeat what he or she just said.
The American Scientist reports “Huh?” is an almost universal word (the same in every language) – along with perhaps 60 other human utterances. The report cites people who speak various languages using the sound to ask a speaker to repeat something.
The linguists explained that when they say Huh? is universal,”…we mean that in all the languages we’ve investigated or heard about so far, there is a word that sounds like Huh? and means the same thing. We can be proven wrong. But we are confident that the word is universal because the languages we sampled come from a broad range of different language families.”
They said, “Huh? has a similar form across languages because the same set of conditions leads in all languages to something like the Huh? word being produced,” explaining further that “in conversation…there is only a short window in which to signal a comprehension problem. In that situation, one needs a syllable that is fast and easy to pronounce. Huh? does the job. The particular vowels that Huh? is restricted to in all languages happen to be the vowels that are most easily pronounced when a person’s tongue is in a relaxed position.”
There you have it – you can say “Huh?” and people who speak most any other language will understand you want them to repeat what they’ve just said. It’s a start, but now all you have to figure out is how to understand the rest of their language.
You say you aren’t getting enough football on TV? Rest easy – a revitalized league plans to begin a ten-week schedule just a week after the next Super Bowl.
Pro-wrestling magnate Vince McMahon is resurrecting the XFL and looks to have a good chance of success because he’s gotten commitments from several TV networks – ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, Fox, FS1 and FS2 – to broadcast the games.
McMahon’s XFL will have teams from Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Washington D.C., and the league will play a 10-week schedule of games, wrapping up with a championship battle on April 26.
That means basketball, hockey and baseball will now be competing with football in the late winter and early spring.
To some, “smart devices” are all the rage. But it appears not everyone is enamored of them.
A recent report says that many people who have new smart TV sets (that connect to the internet) haven’t used that capability. They seem to be satisfied with what they’re getting over the air and on cable or satellite.
Another report from Ipsos says that about two-thirds of the people surveyed world-wide find smart devices “creepy.” They don’t trust them because of how they gather personal data about them. 85 percent of Americans think that smart device producers should make products that protect their privacy and security.
Back to cable and satellite TV – customers continue dropping those services – last month, the figure approached five percent. People are “cutting the cord” for various reasons – the high cost of cable and satellite service and paying for so many channels they never watch.
Many of the cord-cutters are opting for cheaper internet services featuring specific programming they prefer or watching on their phones.
We’re amid another technological revolution – one that threatens both cable and satellite TV delivery in favor of internet delivery.