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Watch These Sisters Create Awesome Spontaneous Pop Songs in ASL

Back in the olden days, my parents gave me and my sister a tape recorder, and for the next couple of years all we did was record ourselves making up commercials, talk shows, and pop songs on that thing. There's something about getting a couple of little sisters in front of a recorder that brings out the best creative performances. And it happens no matter the language.

We've been a fan of Shaylee's American Sign Language performances of Christmas stories for a few years now. She also recently appeared with her family in a Disney commercial. But this video of Shaylee just sitting on the bed making up songs with her little sister Ivy shows the joyful, spontaneous side of language play that anyone with little girls will recognize. Even though it's in a signed language, it's instantly recognizable as music. The rhythm, the lyrical repetition, and the message, which ranges from the inspirational ("Shine like a star"), to the political ("Ya know the world is shaking"), to the personal ("I love my sister forever"), to the situational ("This is exhausting. Just go to sleep") makes it a perfect bedtime pop riff.

You can see more of Shaylee and Ivy and learn some ASL from them at ASL Nook.

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The Evolution of "Two" in the Indo-European Language Family
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The Indo-European language family includes most of the languages of Europe as well as many languages in Asia. There is a long research tradition that has shown, though careful historical comparison, that languages spanning a huge linguistic and geographical range, from French to Greek to Russian to Hindi to Persian, are all related to each other and sprung from a common source, Proto-Indo-European. One of the techniques for studying the relationship of the different languages to each other is to look at the similarities between individual words and work out the sound changes that led from one language to the next.

This diagram, submitted to Reddit by user IronChestplate1, shows the word for two in various Indo-European languages. (The “proto” versions, marked with an asterisk, are hypothesized forms, built by working backward from historical evidence.) The languages cluster around certain common features, but the words are all strikingly similar, especially when you consider the words for two in languages outside the Indo-European family: iki (Turkish), èjì (Yoruba), ni (Japanese), kaksi (Finnish), etc. There are many possible forms two could take, but in this particular group of languages it is extremely limited. What are the chances of that happening by accident? Once you see it laid out like this, it doesn’t take much to put *dwóh and *dwóh together.

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Beyond Plumbing: 19 Other Jobs on Mario's Resume
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Nintendo made news this week by subtly announcing that Mario is no longer a plumber. In fact, they're really downplaying his whole plumbing career. On the character's Japanese-language bio, the company says, "He also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago."

But Mario has always had plenty of jobs on the side. Here's a look at his resume:

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