More young men in California rise in pitch at the end of their sentences when talking, new research shows. This process is known as "uptalk" or "valleygirl speak" and has in the past been associated with young females, typically from California or Australia. It grates on people. Some people think it sounds really ditzy or insecure. People who speak uptalk are often thought to be slightly dim. "One possibility is that this is an extension of a pitch pattern that we actually find in most varieties of English which is used when you're making a statement but you're [also] asking indirectly for the interlocutor to confirm if they are with you," said researcher Amalia Arvanati. "It grates on people, some people think it sounds really ditzy or insecure. This does not accurately come across like that to the native speakers." read more
When singing songs by Umm Kalthoum, the legendary Egyptian diva, Jennifer Grout can easily deceive even the best-trained ears. She's an American with no Arab roots, who speaks only a few words of Arabic, and yet her singing barely betrays her identity. To make the challenge even harder, Jennifer has also performed on stage while playing the oud, a stringed instrument similar to the lute. Grout masters the vocals and the lyrics of sophisticated Arabic songs with such ease that she has made it to the finals of Arabs Got Talent in Beirut on Saturday.
British Prime Minister David Cameron faced demands for the return of priceless artifacts looted from Beijing in the 19th century on Wednesday, the last day of his visit to China.
There are 23,000 items in the British Museum that were looted by British soldier after they put down the Boxer Rebellion back in the late 19th Century. read more
A pill that provides a safe, effective and reversible method of contraception for men has been brought a step closer by scientists.
Researchers identified two proteins that can be blocked to prevent the launch of sperm cells from the testes during ejaculation.
Medicines for prostate enlargement and high blood pressure already exist that blocks one of the proteins.
The United States Air Force reportedly has created a "secret system" of informants at its academy in Colorado Springs to snitch on fellow cadets who break the rules, in an attempt to curb drug abuse and combat sexual assault. read more