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Origins of Japan may have come from Korea

Bayesian phylogenetic analysis supports an agricultural origin of Japonic languages.

In agreement with the scenario, our results indicate that Japonic languages descended from a common ancestor approximately 2182 years ago. Together with archaeological and biological evidence, our results suggest that the first farmers of Japan had a profound impact on the origins of both people and languages. On a broader level, our results are consistent with a theory that agricultural expansion is the principal factor for shaping global linguistic diversity.

Researchers studying the various dialects of Japanese have concluded that all are descended from a founding language taken to the Japanese islands about 2,200 years ago. The finding sheds new light on the origin of the Japanese people, suggesting that their language is descended from that of the rice-growing farmers who arrived in Japan from the Korean Peninsula, and not from the hunter-gatherers who first inhabited the islands some 30,000 years ago.

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The Thrill of Flying the SR-71 Blackbird

The Thrill of Flying the SR-71 Blackbird.

The SR-71 was an expensive aircraft to operate. The most significant cost was tanker support, and in 1990, confronted with budget cutbacks, the Air Force retired the SR-71.The Blackbird had outrun nearly 4,000 missiles, not once taking a scratch from enemy fire.

On her final flight, the Blackbird, destined for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum , sped from Los Angeles to Washington in 64 minutes, averaging 2,145 mph and setting four speed records.

Gotta love how the Blackbird outran attempted missiles.

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Viagra could double risk of hearing loss

Viagra could double risk of hearing loss
| Reuters

A new US study suggests men who take Pfizer’s Viagra (sildenafil) or similar drugs for erectile dysfunction may double their chances of hearing impairment, bolstering a Food and Drug Administration warning from 2007 about this side effect.

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Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us

Awesome video!

What’s so great about this video is it doesn’t use any voice so it’s a great presentation for people who are deaf like me.

And since I can hear a bit, great music as well. :-)

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MTV network calling for a real life deaf cast

True Life: I’m Deaf

Do you have severe or total deafness? Are you a deaf student, about to graduate and go out into the world on your own for the very first time? Or are you currently attending a school for the deaf but about to transition to a mainstream school? Perhaps you’re trying to find a job but experiencing difficulty because you are deaf? Are you hoping to get a cochlear implant or to be fitted for a hearing aid to significantly improve your ability to hear? Are you a member of an advocacy group, fighting to gain more rights or assistance for deaf people?

If you fit any of these descriptions, MTV and Gigantic! Productions want to hear your story.

MTV’s True Life is a long-running, award-winning documentary series where young people share their stories in their own words. We hope that, by allowing people to tell their stories and communicate directly with their peers, we can impact the way people interact and engage with the world they live in.

If you appear to be between the ages of 16-28, and would like to share your story, please email us at and be sure to include your name, location, phone number and a photo.
Since 2001, Gigantic! Productions, a New York City-based production company, has been producing hard-hitting, award-winning documentary programming for networks such as MTV and CMT. Please visit our website:

That’s cool they’re looking for a deaf person to be in their documentary. I know a few who would be a good fit for this.

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Deaf Porn Gives Viewers an Eye-Opener

Deaf Porn Gives Viewers an Eye-Opener

WN: You use deaf performers to create adult entertainment for an audience that includes deaf, hard of hearing (HH) and hearing people. What is unique about the performers’ interaction that viewers won’t find in mainstream porn?

Capone: Deaf Bunny uses deaf and HH actors and actresses primarily to connect with the majority of the viewers, who are deaf and HH. ASL is the common thread of the deaf community and the social behaviors — such as eye contact, body language, facial expressions and vocals (deaf people are loud!) — are unique to our culture. You won’t find that in mainstream adult movies.

Ha, I find it very funny. The guy sure knows how to give good answers to the questions she asked.

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Obama visits Iowa School for the Deaf!

Crowd turns out for late Obama rally

“Hope” and “Change” is how Democrat Barack Obama described his path to the White House, and he urged the estimated 1,050 people who saw him Tuesday night at Iowa School for the Deaf to join him and bring a friend to Thursday’s caucuses.

It’s important to do so, he added.

“We are in a defining moment in our history,” Obama said.

He has my vote and my endorsement. :-)

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Work partners grow special bond with language

Good story.

By Christina Salerno / The Modesto Bee

Lots of people make friends with their co-workers. Few go so far as to learn a second language to communicate with them.

That’s the story of Timothy Lopez and Brandon Bearce.

The duo have been hauling away piles of discarded furniture, yard debris and other materials for three years as employees of 1-800-GOT- JUNK?, a junk removal service with a branch in Stanislaus County.

The first time they met, Bearce was “a little skeptical” about working with Lopez, his randomly assigned partner on a junk removal truck.

Lopez, 25, was born deaf and has limited speech because of his disability.

Bearce’s doubts were erased when he saw Lopez in action.

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Everyone in Jodee Mundy’s family is deaf – except for her

Known as a child of deaf family (CODA), Jodee shared her experience as the only hearing in her family.

from Guardian Unlimited interview:

Jodee Mundy is the only person in her immediate family who can hear. Her mother and father are both deaf. Her two elder brothers, Shane and Gavin, are deaf. So too are her two sisters-in-law (one of who comes from a family with three generations of deafness) and her her two nieces and nephew (one other nephew, Oskar, can hear). Cast the net wider and Jodee’s family includes a deaf aunt, uncle, two great-great-aunts and a succession of deaf cats.

“The fact that most people think talking is the only way to communicate is so narrow-minded because hearing people are the ones who can’t communicate when they are on a bus and there is someone outside waving goodbye. They are the ones who can’t communicate under water if they are scuba diving. They are the ones that can’t communicate across the street or in a loud nightclub. It’s deaf people who can. I wish people would see the richness and the wealth of the deaf world.”

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Students find sign language skills useful

Cool. :-)

MONTVILLE, Conn.—American Sign Language is, by some estimations, the third-most spoken language in the United States. And students in Montville High School’s ASL classes have found multiple opportunities to use their skills.

The Board of Education formally approved the ASL program at Montville High in 2004. Now about 70 students take three levels of ASL there, including six students who either are deaf or hard of hearing.

The ASL 4 students also have conducted a mock trial in sign language, learned holiday-related signs and studied the signs of other countries. Last year, Bell said, students created an “ideal room” for someone who is deaf.

The cultural aspects of the deaf community extend beyond theater or art. People who are deaf or hard of hearing, for example, have more in-depth conversations about each other when meeting for the first time, Perkins said.

“You could walk away from the person knowing their history without knowing their first name,” Perkins said.

But the deaf culture has no food specific to it. So when the world language department had its ethnic food night, Bell said, the ASL students found themselves in a bind for a cultural dish.

But they found a way to take part in the event.

“We made finger foods,” Bell said.

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Ashleigh Kedge, born deaf, scores 49 out of 50 in study exam

BANKSIA Secondary College student Ashleigh Kedge is one of her school’s greatest success stories. And that was before she found out yesterday she had earned a study score of 49 out of 50 for one of her subjects.

Ashleigh’s feats are especially remarkable because she was born deaf.

Her dedication has taken her to the top of the state in VCE Auslan (sign language).

Ashleigh, who taught herself to lip read and speak as a child, said she was shocked by her study score of 49 in Auslan.


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Washoe, the first non-human to learn sign language, died on Oct. 30th, 2007

Saw this from that Washoe, the first non-human to learn sign language, has died.

Washoe was the first non-human animal to acquire a human language and her adopted son Loulis is the first to acquire a human language from another chimpanzee.

Her name sign is formed with the fingers of a “W” hand flicking the ear on the same side. She was named for Washoe county Nevada where she lived with Drs. Allen and Beatrix Gardner until age five.

Washoe was adopted on June 21, 1966. She was cross-fostered; that is, she was raised in the Gardners’ home as if she were a deaf human child.

She was 42 years old, a long life for a female chimpanzee. Most females in captivity live an average of 33.5 years.

I’ve always known that chimpanzees were capable of learning sign language but never thought about who was the first non-human to learn sign language. This sounds like something that should go into Guinness’ World Records.

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“Dorm of the Deaf” comic strip

by Jan-Karl, as told to Dustin Glick – the artist

Click on the pic to see the full comic strip.

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‘ISD sees enrollment boom’, 63 new students

My alma mater, Illinois School for the Deaf, got published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier about how ISD is seeing an increase in enrollment numbers. I think it’s got to do with the technology and more information available through the web.

ISD sees enrollment boom by Darrin Burn.

Rachel Sweigart heard the wrong words at the wrong time. Or maybe it was simply one word too many.

There wasn’t one particular incident at her high school in Somonauk, said her mother, Arliss. But one day, the normally stoic 15-year-old came home in tears and Arliss and Scott Sweigart knew it was time for a change.

Rachel will soon attend the Illinois School for the Deaf, and she will be one of 46 new high school students there this year. There are 63 new students overall.

“Deafness is a low-incidence disability, if you want to call it a disability,” said ISD Superintendent Mary Beth Lauderdale. “Very few people have it. Fifty-three percent of deaf students are the only deaf kid in their school. They are looking for other kids like them.”

The Sweigarts recently visited ISD and Rachel was impressed, but told her parents she’d think about it. By the time they got back to their town about 30 miles south of Dekalb, she’d decided to go.

The Sweigarts did not know about ISD. Public schools are supposed to inform parents of deaf or hard-of-hearing students of all the options for their children, but Ms. Lauderdale said it sometimes doesn’t happen.

“The dad got on the Internet and typed in ‘deaf school’ and found us,” she said.

ISD is allowed by law to passively market itself — brochures in audiologists’ offices, for instance — but it cannot recruit.

The school is more than equipped to handle the influx of 63 students, said Director of Student Life Randy Shearburn. Thirty years ago, the school had close to 500 students. With the new arrivals, it now has 252. ISD is searching for a new algebra teacher, Ms. Lauderdale said.

So, if it wasn’t for the Internet, the Sweigarts wouldn’t have found out about ISD. The web is the way to go.

I wrote a blog about my experience at ISD. You can read it here.

Illinois School for the Deaf is one of the five semi-finalists with a chance to win $25,000 classroom makeover and it needs your help!

Got this email from a friend. My alma mater, ISD, is one of the semi-finalists that could win $25,000 dollars from Expo, the maker of dry board markers. The one that has the most votes will win, so it needs every of your vote.

Click here to vote!

Hello Everyone!

The Junior High science room needs your help and it won’t cost you a thing- just a few minutes of your time! The science room is a finalist to win a $25,000 classroom makeover from Expo markers!!! How do we win? With your votes! There are five finalists from across the country- the classroom with the most votes will win the classroom makeover.

That’s how you can help! Please go to the link below and place your vote for my classroom. In addition- you can forward this to your home email and also use that email address(es) to vote. (One vote per email address). And also important is to send this on to your co-workers, friends, family, every one you know and ask them to vote also!

If you have students- please encourage and permit them to vote also!

(I’ll put something in the announcement papers).

Thanks for your assistance- your vote could make the difference!!!!

— Sherry Humphries

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