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I Think, Um, Maybe

The key to this is an idea called linguistic co-ordination, in which speakers naturally copy the style of their interlocutors. Human behaviour experts have long studied the way individuals can copy the body language or tone of voice of their peers, some have even studied how this effect reveals the power differences between members of the group.

Now Kleinberg and so say the same thing happens with language style. They focus on the way that interlocutors copy each other’s use of certain types of words in sentences. In particular, they look at functional words that provide a grammatical framework for sentences but lack much meaning in themselves (the bold words in this sentence, for example). Functional words fall into categories such as articles, auxiliary verbs, conjunctions, high-frequency adverbs and so on.

The question that Kleinberg and co ask is this: given that one person uses a certain type of functional word in a sentence, what is the chance that the responder also uses it?

From Algorithm Measures Human Pecking Order. Continue reading I Think, Um, Maybe

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Music: Snow Tha Product

Found her here, and then saw this:

Now that she has relocated to Fort Worth, started her own label, and released five CDs and mixtapes, Snow may have left those guys in the dust. She is currently tweaking her style to accommodate both her girly side and her central issue with life in America: the hot topic of illegal immigration.

Granted, she had me at femcee.


Fair warning: if you work in a office you may want to put some headphones in.

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CliffsNotes: Tattoo Etiquette 101

A few days ago, I read Alli Thresher’s article in xoJane on “Tattoo Etiquette 101 – How to Appreciate My Body Art Without Making Me Hate You.” After sharing it into the Twitterverse, a few people asked me, “Wait, really?”

I’ve had strangers pull up my shirt sleeve, touch my hair, even grab me by the collar to get a “peek” at the hint of a drawing they think they see. […] When they’re visible (and they’re usually not), my tattoos are not an invitation. They are not on my body for anyone’s enjoyment other than my own.

Yes.

To be completely honest, I usually enjoy the fact that my tattoos can be a conversation starter. I like to meet new people and tend to be relatively quiet by nature. If my body art pulls someone in for an interesting discussion, I’m glad.

Continue reading CliffsNotes: Tattoo Etiquette 101

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The Cloisters

I went to the Cloisters for the first time a few days ago. It’s been a while since I had some fun at a museum and I’m not really a huge fan of medieval art. However, I am a fan of Fort Tryon park and have heard that the museum is really beautiful.

And it certainly was. I could hardly believe that I was still in New York when I walked into this place. Continue reading The Cloisters

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Hometown

“Knowledge of places is closely linked to knowledge of the self, to grasping one’s position in the larger scheme of things, including one’s own community, and to securing a confident sense of who one is as a person.”  Keith Basso, Wisdom Sits in Places

I’m lucky: I have my family, and I have friends who are like family. For Thanksgiving, I went to a one such friend’s house for dinner in my hometown. For the most part, I moved away from South Jersey when I was 18. I rebelled, with an appropriately dramatic teenage flair, against where I grew up. Not one for the quiet life, I was drawn to the stimulating toughness of the city.

Continue reading Hometown

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Anthony Braxton at the Roulette

My very good friend talked me into going with him to see Anthony Braxton at the Roulette this weekend. And, oh my, it was amazing!

There was a four-day series of Braxton’s work going on where, in many of the performances, he played in numerous acts throughout the night. We went to the last show, a performance of Trillium J (Acts I & III), which was basically his take on a free jazz opera. Perhaps, a “free opera”? Continue reading Anthony Braxton at the Roulette

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Automa-what?

It’s official — I’m a full-fledged member of the amazing team at Automattic, the folks who run WordPress.com. As a Happiness Engineer, I get to work with WordPress.com bloggers to help answer any questions they may have about using our services.

I’m really, really excited about this bit of news! I left my job at the adoption agency as a “leap of faith” while on trial as a Happiness Engineer. (All employees at Automattic have a trial period, to make sure the job is a good fit for both the company and the employee — neat, right?) I couldn’t think of a better fit. I love the flexibility of working from home, spending my days chatting with my talented coworkers from around the world, and watching the bloggers I’m lucky enough to correspond with learn and perfect their understanding of WordPress.com — as well as giving us feedback to keep us on top of our game.

For those of you reading this who have found me via the forums or while looking for assistance with a WordPress question (which can be answered here, by the way), I can’t wait to meet you!

Cheers to new adventures!

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Natural Beauty

I love art/videos/messages like this.

This one happens to be really similar to the work of an artist I met recently, Jessica Lagunas.

In “Para besarte mejor,” “Para acariciarte mejor,” and “Para verte mejor,” Lagunas puts on lipstick, nailpolish, and mascara respectively for an hour. The end result is an horrific-looking satire of beauty standards.

She also has some other really cool work, especially relating to the status of women in Guatemala, that is totally worth checking out.

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“When did friend become a verb?”

I recently had an article on the Boricua College exhibit “When Did Friend Become a Verb?” published in both The Manhattan Times and the Uptown Collective. I’m super excited to have something on the Uptown Collective‘s blog – such a great group!

Ever felt the sting of being “de-friended”?

Have you “friended” someone you barely knew?

Spent more time talking to someone online than in person?

The first exhibition from the New York chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Arts examines these modern phenomena in “When Did ‘Friend’ Become a Verb?” The show, which opened Thursday, May 19, is on view at La Galleria at Boricua College on Broadway at W. 155th Street and includes 21 works of art by 18 New York-based women artists.

Check the full article out here.