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Talk with the animals?

A surprisingly dramatic world of lawsuits, mass resignations, and dysfunctional relationships between humans and apes. From Koko and Kanzi to Chantek and Nim Chimpsky, research into human-ape communications used to be all the rage. Nowadays, not so much. What happened?
posted by gottabefunky on Aug 21, 2014 - 33 comments

10 Words Every Girl Should Learn

10 Words Every Girl Should Learn "Stop interrupting me." "I just said that." "No explanation needed." [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Jul 6, 2014 - 72 comments

About That Hate Crime I Committed at University of Chicago

Dan Savage, the University of Chicago, free speech, and LGBT slurs.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 12, 2014 - 354 comments

What a fucking opening! What a fucking opening!

Behind the scenes of Cuba Gooding's 1996 Oscar acceptance speech As the director calls the shots from inside the TV truck, Cuba corpses. Cue music. And then...
posted by sweet mister on Mar 9, 2014 - 59 comments

Alaa Abd El-Fattah, et al. via the EFF

Alaa Abd El-Fattah (wp, manalaa.net) is among the many Egyptian activists, organizers, and bloggers being held under the military government's law against protests. The EFF's Bloggers Under Fire section highlights bloggers detained for their online speech and provides advice for bloggers at risk.
posted by jeffburdges on Jan 24, 2014 - 5 comments

Whoops...The correct answer was Double Dutch

How many languages can you recognise?
posted by fix on Sep 4, 2013 - 46 comments

I got rhythm

Henry Hey did it to Bush and Palin. Drewsif Stalin did it to the "Have you ever had a dream?" kid. And now Dan Weiss has done it to auctioneer Ty Thompson. There's music in people's words.
posted by creeky on Sep 3, 2013 - 2 comments

Don't talk about anything and don't not talk about nothing

"Avoid flattery. A delicate compliment is permissible in conversation, but flattery is broad, coarse, and to sensible people, disgusting. If you flatter your superiors, they will distrust you, thinking you have some selfish end; if you flatter ladies, they will despise you, thinking you have no other conversation." - 37 Conversation Rules for Gentlemen from 1875
posted by The Whelk on Sep 2, 2013 - 53 comments

If it's controversial, announce it on Friday evening

Managing Editor Jimmy Soni appeared on CNN Friday to explain The Huffington Post's latest effort to fight trolls: as of next month, commenters won't be allowed to post anonymously on the site. "We're looking to promote civil discourse on our site," Soni said. "We want to do what we've always done: promote a positive, healthy community at our global news website." "We feel like it reflects the maturing internet and our maturing website," he added. Video here.
posted by Benny Andajetz on Aug 23, 2013 - 87 comments

The Misremembering of ‘I Have a Dream’

Fifty years after the March on Washington, Dr. King’s most famous speech, like his own political legacy, is widely misunderstood.
posted by brundlefly on Aug 23, 2013 - 51 comments

Queen Elizabeth's nuclear war speech, and other undelivered speeches

"It would have been the Queen’s Speech to end them all. At midday on Friday 4 March 1983, the monarch was due to address the nation to announce that Britain was at war and – due to the “deadly power of abused technology” – a nuclear conflict was at hand." But it was only part of Wintex-Cimex 83, a large-scale annual NATO war game. This is just one example of speeches that were written in case of the worst, but never given. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 1, 2013 - 31 comments

"They didn't know what they were doing, so they tried everything"

"The Future of Programming" by Bret Victor, July 9, 1973.
posted by mrgrimm on Jul 31, 2013 - 28 comments

...never believing the people who think they have you figured out.

"It's his charm. It's his gift. It's his political liability, and it's part of an American conundrum. We beg for authenticity, and then when we get it, oh man, it's hilarious. [Vice President Joe] Biden can be fantastic when he's on his game. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, his speech got higher Nielsen ratings than either Bill Clinton's or Obama's. He killed the debate against Ryan, pumped air back into a campaign deflated after Obama's miserable first performance against Romney. Watching those performances, it's almost impossible to see him as a person once crippled by speech."
posted by zarq on Jul 18, 2013 - 75 comments

"How Not To Be Alone"

"How Not To Be Alone" Author Jonathan Safran Foer touches on loneliness and empathy in an era of "iDistractions" during his commencement address at Middlebury College. (SLNYT)
posted by raihan_ on Jun 9, 2013 - 40 comments

Here comes a tall, thin, yellow human!

After more than 25 years of studying the calls of prairie dog in the field, one researcher managed to decode just what these animals are saying. And the results show that prairie dogs aren't only extremely effective communicators, they also pay close attention to detail.
posted by cthuljew on Jun 2, 2013 - 33 comments

More inspirational than Bill Cosby

Joss Whedon speaks at Wesleyan commencement
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 29, 2013 - 41 comments

Harvey Weinstein. The most thanked person through the years.

I'd like to thank the Academy — "More than 200 Oscar speeches were pulled from the Margaret Herrick Library database and surveyed." Find out who has done the two-hand clutch, who thanked their male partner - all with linked YouTube goodness. You can even roll-your-own and find out who it most matches.
posted by unliteral on Mar 21, 2013 - 6 comments

Just In Time For The Equinox

About a week ago a series of tweets began to appear promoting a new TEDx conference taking place with all the normal social media bluster and back-patting - but was it? The event's isolated location should've set off warning bells (previously) when the tweets from "TedxSummerisle" because increasingly worrisome as the conference tumblr began posting videos with titles like "Our Friends the Bees, and Nanotech" and "The Secret Science of the Ancients". (via)
posted by The Whelk on Mar 21, 2013 - 28 comments

It’s adorably charming, but only because you’re British actor Hugh Grant

Focus on one person in the middle of the crowd throughout your speech. Afterward, trail him home. Knock on his door. Offer an introduction like, "Hi. I’m from the speech. Earlier." He’ll reply with something along the lines of, "I know. Um…what are you doing here?" "I thought"—you’ll stammer, searching for the right words—"I just thought we could hang out, maybe, and be friends." "I have friends," he’ll probably say. "And I’m with my family now." Blurt out, too quickly, "I’m not trying to replace your family!" He’ll close the door in your face, gently, more out of pity than fear. Don’t use him as a crowd-focusing person for the next speech, because it would be weird.
Tips for Public Speaking, from Teddy Wayne in the New York Times.
posted by davidjmcgee on Feb 24, 2013 - 15 comments

Get your hi-hat on.

Real-time MRI study of human beatboxing, with lots of videos. See what snares, kick drum effects, cymbals and more look and sound like as they happen inside the head. Here's a BBC radio segment on the project.
posted by iamkimiam on Feb 15, 2013 - 7 comments

Today Indian Country Is Strong. I could not always ... tell you that"

Only about 36 hours after the State Of the Union Address, National Congress Of American Indians president Jefferson Keel gave today the 2013 State Of The Indian Nations address before the NCAI. The address was followed by a response from Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who was recently appointed the new Chairwoman for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. The entire program runs for 1h13m. Text of the speech. NCAI's Securing Our Futures report [pdf]. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Feb 14, 2013 - 23 comments

Academic freedom under attack in NYC

The Political Science Department at Brooklyn College is co-sponsoring a panel discussion about the BDS Movement (boycott, divestment, sanctions) against Israel this Thursday Feburary 7th. The event features Omar Barghouti, BDS co-founder and Judith Butler, prominent philosopher. The college has come under widespread attack for its hosting of the event, with a coalition of New York City councillors threatening to defund the school. [more inside]
posted by mek on Feb 3, 2013 - 142 comments

Annyong, anja, nuo, aniya, choah, very choah

We document a male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) that imitates human speech, matching Korean formants and fundamental frequency in such detail that Korean native speakers can readily understand and transcribe the imitations. (full text, PDF, video and sound files) (Previously: the belugas NOC and Lagosi, Hoover the talking seal, unfortunately paywalled) (via Homunculus)
posted by elgilito on Nov 2, 2012 - 33 comments

"I began to believe voices in my head -- that I was a freak, that I am broken, that there is something wrong with me, that I will never be lovable."

"I am here because when I was young, I wanted very badly to be a writer, I wanted to be a filmmaker, but I couldn’t find anyone like me in the world and it felt like my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others."
On Saturday, Lana Wachowski (co-director of the "Matrix" franchise and "Cloud Atlas") received a "Visibility Award" from the Human Rights Campaign for her recent decision to publicly come out as transgender. In a powerful 25-minute acceptance speech, Lana spoke about the pain she went through growing up and how she developed self-acceptance. Video. Transcript. Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter.
posted by zarq on Oct 24, 2012 - 76 comments

Parrots of the Sea

Researchers think that the late beluga whale named NOC had been trying to speak with a human accent – or at least talk to its keepers. Current Biology has more (PDF link).
posted by barnacles on Oct 22, 2012 - 49 comments

No Homo, No Mo

Sadly, despite the growing acceptance of variable sexuality in western culture, there's still widespread acceptance of casual homophobia. NoHomophobes.com seeks to shine a bright light on this, in the hopes of rendering this speech as socially unacceptable as racist slurs.
posted by ChrisR on Sep 29, 2012 - 61 comments

FWIW

What your crutch word says about you
posted by morganannie on Sep 12, 2012 - 178 comments

Vice President Biden on 9/11

Joe Biden commemorates 9/11 - tear-inducing
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 11, 2012 - 55 comments

Bill Clinton's remarkable skill

What are the secrets of former American President Bill Clinton noted oratory? Is it the writing, the body language or his unique human touch? Whatever it is, his gift for speeches was on full display at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 6, 2012 - 1187 comments

Whitey on the moon

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney just took his case to the NAACP. This satirical look at Mitt's prep session.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 11, 2012 - 447 comments

Don't Eat Fortune's Cookie

"My case illustrates how success is always rationalized. People really don’t like to hear success explained away as luck—especially successful people. As they age, and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don’t want to acknowledge the role played by accident in their lives. There is a reason for this: the world does not want to acknowledge it either." Michael Lewis's address to the Princeton Class of 2012.
posted by vidur on Jun 4, 2012 - 58 comments

Your Congressperson Is So Dumb, He Speaks at a Ninth-Grade Level

The Sunlight Foundation, an organization dedicated to transparency in government, has analyzed 17 years of Congressional speech (per the Congressional Record) and found that the Flesch-Kincaid grade level of speech on the floor of the House and Senate has dropped by nearly a full year in the last decade. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on May 21, 2012 - 39 comments

"Take risks, dare to fail, remember the first person through the wall always gets hurt."

"Don't ever forget that you're a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spirit, things that are easy, things that are free, things that you can do every day. Civility, respect, kindness, character. You're too good for schadenfreude, you're too good for gossip and snark, you're too good for intolerance—and since you're walking into the middle of a presidential election, it's worth mentioning that you're too good to think people who disagree with you are your enemy.... Don't ever forget that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world. It's the only thing that ever has."
On May 13th, Aaron Sorkin gave the commencement address to the graduating class at Syracuse University, a speech that has been mildly criticized for recycling some lines from his shows West Wing and Sports Night. Video. (Via.)
posted by zarq on May 19, 2012 - 50 comments

Career Implies I Had A Career Plan

Novelist Neil Gaiman tells the graduating 2012 class of the University Of The Arts everything he wishes he knew starting out and all the best advice he failed to follow. (Vimeo 19:55)
posted by The Whelk on May 18, 2012 - 20 comments

Like it or not

Is liking a post on Facebook protected by the First Amendment? A US District Court says no. [more inside]
posted by notme on May 6, 2012 - 61 comments

A patent on speech

Dana Nieder explains how an ACC patent fight may substantially delay her daughter learning to speak. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Mar 26, 2012 - 125 comments

Holder Explains Some Of It For You

... it was notable for the nation’s top law enforcement official to declare that it is constitutional for the government to kill citizens without any judicial review under certain circumstances. ... “Some have argued that the president is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or associated forces,” Mr. Holder said. “This is simply not accurate. ‘Due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.” [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 6, 2012 - 224 comments

Anatomy of a Stump Speech

Anatomy of a Stump Speech. The NY Times has been killing it of late with interactive features. This one is particularly good -- an annotated breakdown of the text and video of Republican stump speeches by four candidates. "Revisionist history alert: Mr. Gingrich is recasting his tempestuous tenure as House speaker..."
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Jan 3, 2012 - 26 comments

MIC CHECK!

Scott Walker, Michele Bachmann, Robin Vos, Karl Rove, Joe Moore, Ron Paul, Scott Serota, Newt Gingrich, Rahm Emanuel, Eric Cantor, and, today, Barack Obama
posted by finite on Nov 22, 2011 - 195 comments

How Leonard Cohen got his song.

Leonard Cohen's speech from his acceptance of the Prince Of Asturias Award for Letters, whereby he details a moving yet previously untold story about where he received his inspiration. [transcript]
posted by myopicman on Oct 26, 2011 - 11 comments

"Not if anything to say about it I have."

Speak like Yoda, did you? May have we. [HuffPo] "New research published in the the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the "proto-human languages" of 50,000 years ago resembled the speaking patterns of a certain wise, green Star Wars character."
posted by Fizz on Oct 20, 2011 - 41 comments

Speaking of the Dead

"STANDING THERE on the dais, consider the world as a series of concentric rings of loyalty. The people in the nearest ring, those in the front row, are owed the most. You should speak first to them. And then, in the next measure, to the room itself, which is the next ring, and only then to the physical world outside, the neighborhood, the town, the place, and then, just maybe, to the machinations of life-muffling institutions." from How to Give a Eulogy. [more inside]
posted by storybored on Sep 7, 2011 - 19 comments

Save Our Snark!

William Lawrence Cassidy has been indicted for a series of threatening tweets directed towards Alyce Zeoli, aka Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, the leader of a Buddhist organization known as Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) to which Cassidy had belonged. There is however a small problem that federal prosecutors are employing a vague anti-stalking law that makes 'intentional infliction of emotional distress' through the use of 'any interactive computer service' a felony, rather than focussing more narrowly upon the outright threats. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Aug 1, 2011 - 34 comments

"God is just what happens when humanity is connected"

The Internet Is My ReligionJim Gilliam gives a moving ten-minute speech at the Personal Democracy Forum on surviving cancer, faith, activism, interconnectedness and the internet. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jun 8, 2011 - 11 comments

And there were moments of symbolism.

It is a strange, dubious and totally unaccepted moral purpose which holds the whole of the world to ransom.
On 1 March 1985, New Zealand Prime Minister Rt Hon David Lange (Previously) addressed the Oxford Union in support of the proposition that "Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible". That speech is online at publicaddress.net (audio, transcript, highlights) and still resonates today. [more inside]
posted by doublehappy on May 23, 2011 - 30 comments

"There are some people, who don’t wait."

On May 7th, Robert Krulwich (of WNYC's RadioLab and accompanying NPR blog Krulwich Wonders) gave the commencement speech to Berkeley Journalism School’s Class of 2011 on the future of journalism. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 13, 2011 - 22 comments

Unspoken Truths

"For me, to remember friendship is to recall those conversations that it seemed a sin to break off: the ones that made the sacrifice of the following day a trivial one." -Christopher Hitchens tries to come to terms with the loss of his voice. [more inside]
posted by beisny on May 10, 2011 - 28 comments

There's a vicious rumor going around that Mitt Romney passed Universal Health Care

Mahalo! What A Week: US President Barack Obama at the recent White House Correspondence Dinner (SLYTP - 19 Min)
posted by The Whelk on May 1, 2011 - 250 comments

Worrying is praying for what you don't want

I asked what he had in mind, and he explained that he was taking a friend and embarking on a round-the-world trip, from the jungles of Africa to the streets of New York by way of India and Australasia, and planning to record any musicians he could find on the way into his Apple Powerbook, using it as a fully fledged multitrack recording studio. His intention thereby, he claimed, was to create a CD, DVD, and documentary film, all three of which would provide a snapshot of mankind at the turn of the new Millennium, and form a vast multimedia project designed to, as he put it, "celebrate the unity and the diversity of humanity". [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Apr 30, 2011 - 5 comments

Spontaneous Speech Cannot be Faked

Achievement Metrics claims that a player's speech can predict how he'll perform in the NFL.
posted by beisny on Apr 28, 2011 - 37 comments

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