Book Corner: The Yale Book of Quotations

Yale University Press puts out damn good books. You probably know this already as I'm sure some of you are the proud owners of Eugene O'Neill's, Long Day's Journey into Night, or Nicholas Murray's fresh biography of Kafka, or The Yale Pelican History of Art.

Well, they've gone and done it again with The Yale Book of Quotations, edited by Fred R. Shapiro. With more than 12,000 well-known quotations, this 1000-page tome is a snappy, welcome addition to any trivia-buff's collection. Not only do you get the classics, like "God does not play dice with the universe," but Shapiro provides the full context of the quote. In this case, Einstein's letter to Max Born actually read, "The theory yields much, but it hardly brings us closer to the Old One's secrets. I, in any case, am convinced that He does not play dice."

Plus, for those of us who grew up on the Internet, Shapiro adds a handy 150-page Keyword Index. So if you look up "Dice," you get not only Einstein's, but Mallarme's "A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance." There are also pop culture quotes, sports quotes, advertising slogans and TV catchphrases.

My copy of the book came with a few fun quote quizzes, which YUP has kindly given me permission to reproduce for you all. Answers for the first (along with another matching quiz), found after the jump. [This just in! -- For future editions of the book, submit your own favorite famous quotations at]





Bone Broth 101

Whether you drink it on its own or use it as stock, bone broth is the perfect recipe to master this winter. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education

Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?

If you've ever seen a pirate movie (or had the privilege of listening to this avian-fronted metal band), you're aware that parrots have the gift of human-sounding gab. Their brains—not their beaks—might be behind the birds' ability to produce mock-human voices, the Sci Show's latest video explains below.

While parrots do have articulate tongues, they also appear to be hardwired to mimic other species, and to create new vocalizations. The only other birds that are capable of vocal learning are hummingbirds and songbirds. While examining the brains of these avians, researchers noted that their brains contain clusters of neurons, which they've dubbed song nuclei. Since other birds don't possess song nuclei, they think that these structures probably play a key role in vocal learning.

Parrots might be better at mimicry than hummingbirds and songbirds thanks to a variation in these neurons: a special shell layer that surrounds each one. Birds with larger shell regions appear to be better at imitating other creatures, although it's still unclear why.

Learn more about parrot speech below (after you're done jamming out to Hatebeak).


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