CLOSE
Getty Images
Getty Images

Help Wanted: Freelance Quidditch Referee

Getty Images
Getty Images

We're putting together a company quidditch match this month and need two referees. While previous quidditch referee experience is not required, applicants should have a working knowledge of quidditch, and maybe own a whistle. You should live in or around New York City, since this match will likely take place in Brooklyn. We'll pay you $50 and feed you. 

To Apply: In 100 words, why should we pick you as our quidditch referee? Email your answer to roadtrip@mentalfloss.com.

Most of the staff here started with a stint as a freelance quidditch referee. Great way to get a foot in the door.

Want to come hang out and not preside over the athletic portion? You're more than welcome. Details on location and date to follow. Shoot us an email to that same address if you're interested.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
arrow
video
Bone Broth 101
5669938080001

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

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
science
Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?
iStock
iStock

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).

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios