Chimpanzee pant-hooting, termiting, and gesture

Sentence first

Here are a few items of linguistic interest from In the Shadow of Man, Jane Goodall’s account of her pioneering study of chimpanzee behaviour in Tanzania in the 1960s. I featured In the Shadow of Man in a bookmash a couple of years ago, but that was before I had read it.

Jane van Lawick Goodall - in the shadow of man - book coverTo describe chimpanzees’ practice of fishing for termites (with a twig, vine, grass stem, straw, or finger), Goodall uses various conventional phrases, such as fishing for termites and termite-fishing, which seems the default. But she also verbs termite itself, just as we’ve long done with fish:

As the termite season wore on there could be no doubt that Flo’s older offspring were kidnaping Flint with the deliberate intent of getting their mother to stop, at least for the time being, her endless termiting. […]

Fifi, on the other hand, was a keen termite fisher, and…

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How to Write Standing Up and Why You Should Do It

boy with a hat

Ernest Hemingway Writing Standing Up Ernest Hemingway Writing Standing Up

Did you know that sitting for more than four hours every day increases your risk of suffering from a chronic disease and reduces your life expectancy*? Now that’s alarming considering how glued we are to our desks and computers, to restaurants, cafes, and pubs, to cars and buses and couches. Writers are especially at risk of sitting too much. Whether we type or handwrite, we usually work at a desk or table, and whether we create or revise, we can lose the notion of time for hours on end. I certainly do. Now, getting up every once in a while and doing some stretching, some bouncing, or at least some moving about the house does help, but what is even more healthy and effective is writing standing up, if not every day, then at least several times a week.

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A room of my own

Butterfly Mind

I’ve written ad nauseam about how I’d one day like to have a room of my own. A room where I can write, where I can work, where I can think.

With our new house, it has finally happened. In our first week at the new place, I took a week off of work to help unpack, and to rennovate my brand new office: a room of my own.

Before:

After:

Home office with treadmill desk by Andrea Badgley on Butterfly Mind Home office with treadmill desk

Home office with sit-stand desk lowered by Andrea Badgley on Butterfly Mind For when my legs get tired and I need to sit

officeafter_window Home office window

I can’t tell you how happy this room makes me 🙂

Specs:
The office is a utility room in the finished basement. I share the space with a window, a water heater, the furnace, and the fuse boxes. Which are handy, since I have plugged in a heavy duty treadmill so I can walk while I work.

YEAH BOYEEZ!

My…

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And the Name of the Drug That Might End Dwarfism Is Vosoritide

Painting On Scars

Medicine 3(Image by Marosh used under CC licensevia)

Pharmaceuticals company BioMarin announced last week the first results of their clinical trials for the drug BMN-111, now named vosoritide by the World Health Organization. Researchers have been developing vosoritide in hopes of one day curing achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism. Vice-President Dr. Wolfgang Dummer reported:

In children receiving the highest dose of 15 micrograms per kilogram daily, we observed a 50% increase in mean annualized growth velocity compared to their own natural history control growth velocity. This increase in growth velocity, if maintained, could allow children with achondroplasia to resume a normalized growth rate. More importantly, vosoritide was well tolerated in all dose cohorts and we have observed no major safety concerns to date.

Whether or not vosoritide could reduce an achondroplastic person’s increased risk for chronic joint pain, bowed legs, spinal stenosis, sleep apnea, or hydrocephalus remains…

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