Somehow I missed this for years. Huntsville was rated #9 worldwide on a smartest cities list back in 2009. The criteria included infrastructure, livability and economic fundamentals. Singapore and Hong Kong were 1 and 2 respectively. Heady company. Unfortunately, that was then and the economic fundamentals (defense) that kept Huntsville flying high for years is crumbling as we speak. A government job or a government contracting job is something to be wary of these days as you could get your job axed by a whim of congress.
- If you’re a single guy looking for a girl, you might prefer to live in an area where there are lots of single girls relative to single guys. If so, then according to this chart, you’d probably like to live in Massachusetts where the ratio is around 51% of guys to girls. Only Delaware is lower and just slightly at that. The chart is also interesting because it shows only 5 states in the US with the ratio trending upwards with more men. The reason the majority of states are trending lower is that so many single women are delaying marriage.
- A new study reports that hetero guys are signaling strength when they dance. The same researchers had previously reported that girls preferred the dance moves of males who were more symmetric (an indication of gene quality). The new study indicates that dance also signals strength to other guys who see them dance.
Researchers at Northumbria University filmed 30 males, aged 19-37, as they danced to a basic drum rhythm. Participants also completed a fitness test and assessments of upper and lower body strength. The dance clips were converted into virtual humanoid characters (avatars) and rated by women and men on perceived dance and physical qualities. The ratings were then correlated with various biomechanical indices.
The results showed that both sexes found significant positive associations between an individual’s hand grip strength and their perceived dance quality, these qualities were picked up by the size and vigour of the movements of the upper body and arms.
I’m slightly skeptical of their results from seeing how they conducted their previous study, but it’s at least plausible. I’ve certainly been impressed at how much strength and control certain bboy moves require.
Kiplinger’s has ratings for cities for every life stage. Mid-career professionals should head to DC, Durham, Huntsville, Anchorage and Fayetteville.
Google has a new project whose aim is to catalog the world’s endangered languages before they’re extinguished. The stated purpose is to keep cultures and ideas from disappearing for good, and it’s a noble one. But despite how interesting any particular endangered culture might be, any original ideas they had were either co-opted by larger society or were simply unimportant in the larger scheme of things. Memes go through a Darwinist selection process to stay relevant and spread, and if they’re not better than the next meme, they’re discarded. It’s regrettable when oral/cultural histories are lost, but generally there’s no loss in quality of life for the general population. Indeed, those unlucky enough to still speak only these dying languages are probably condemned to a subpar quality of life because of the isolation it forces upon them. Another way to look at it is that these languages are dying precisely because they’re unimportant and possibly even detrimental to the speaker.
Despite the above issues, the project is still interesting in that is shows how diverse humanity is and where that diversity lies. Ethnically homogeneous East Asia has few endangered languages, but the geographically isolated areas of the Himalayas have an abundance of languages near extinction.
Sigh… another good reason to live in Huntsville. In terms of salary value, Huntsville ranks #2 in the nation behind New London, Conn and ahead of Baltimore. The “interestingness” of the city leaves a great deal to be desired, but at least there’s a silver lining. Hyuck hyuck.