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Recommendations: what they're REALLY saying about you

A few years back, California cartoonist Jesse Reklaw published Applicant, one of the best one-off 'zines I've run across. Its source material was gathered entirely from a recycling bin near an Ivy League university's biology department, where he had been scavenging for gently-used magazines to read. Instead, he struck the mother lode of hilarious, heart-rending, 'zine-worthy finds: hundreds of confidential Ph.D. applicant files from the sixties and seventies, complete with photographs and some very strange, telling and often unflattering remarks written by the students' former professors and employers.

Having had similar applications of my own pass through many a university department, I've always been curious as to what was really said or written about me; this delicious peek into the guts of the Ivory Tower -- available in its entirety here -- helps satisfy that masochistic urge, at least vicariously.

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Bone Broth 101
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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

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Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?
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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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