Being bilingual opens up new worlds to speakers. It also appears to delay the onset of dementia…
In the Hyderabad region, a language called Telugu is spoken by the majority Hindu group, and another called Dakkhini by the minority Muslim population. Hindi and English are also commonly spoken in formal contexts, including at school. Most people who grow up in the region, then, are bilingual, and routinely exposed to at least three languages.
The patients who contributed data to the study, then, are surrounded by multiple languages in everyday life, not primarily as a result of moving from one location to another. This turns out to be an important factor, as the authors explain:
In contrast to previous studies, the bilingual group was drawn from the same environment as the monolingual one and the results were therefore free from the confounding effects of immigration. The bilingual effect on age at dementia onset was shown independently of other potential confounding factors, such as education, sex, occupation, cardiovascular risk factors, and urban vs rural dwelling, of subjects with dementia.
In other words, thanks in large part to the study’s cultural context, these researchers made great progress zeroing in on bilingualism as the specific reason for the delay in dementia symptoms.
What exactly is it about the ability to speak in two languages that seems to provide this protective effect? Alladi and co-authors explain:
The constant need in a bilingual person to selectively activate one language and suppress the other is thought to lead to a better development of executive functions and attentional tasks with cognitive advantages being best documented in attentional control, inhibition, and conflict resolution.
[carryalaser asks: Was wondering (sorry if it’s been dealt with before) if you had favourite/recommended works of fantasy/historical fiction in regards to positive PoC representation? And thank you a lot for the effort put into this blog, one of the finest. My mother wishes it was around when she was homeschooling my sisters and I.]
OMG, Thank you!!! And your mom sounds awesome.
I’m a pretty hardcore Fantasy/Sci Fi fan and have been since childhood. The unrelenting whiteness of the genre (especially the late 70’s early 80’s stuff I was practically weaned on) really did a number on me, especially as a teen. That’s a lot of why this blog exists, in fact.
The Crown of Stars Series by Kate Elliott
A must for medieval fans! I love the series for the awesome character development, realistic worldbuilding, and instead of “medieval England” going on and on through the entire map, you end up in versions of Hungary, Eurasia, Mesoamerica, Ethiopia and Egypt. Not only that, here’s your protagonist:
For those who are more into Steampunk and Historical Fiction (not me, in other words), I actually DO recommend another Elliott series:
The Spiritwalker Trilogy by Kate Elliott (Cold Magic, Cold Fire, Cold Steel)
The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods)
OMG. YOU NEED THIS.
Seriously if you pick one, pick THIS one. Characters you never knew you couldn’t live without include Oree Shoth, Sieh, Yeine, Nahadoth, and many, many more. Description:
Gods and mortals. Power and love. Death and revenge. In the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, gods dwell among mortals and one powerful, corrupt family rules the earth. Three extraordinary people may be the key to humanity’s salvation.
Dreamblood (The Killing Moon, The Shadowed Sun) by N. K. Jemisin
YOUR MIND WILL BE BLOWN OKAY.
Magic system is really unique, and the characters will feel like your new, weird, difficult best friends who have hero complexes and martyr complexes and so much political intrigue and so much EVERYTHING.
Acacia Trilogy by David Anthony Durham (Acacia, Other Lands, The Sacred Band)
This is a person with a background in Historical Fiction, so to MY taste, it starts a little dry but is meaty and totally worth it. The plot and the politics and the geography are really going to appeal to Historical Fiction buffs. The whole plots hinges around moral quandaries involving power, colonization, slavery, and drugs.
Also, the characters are pretty good. More plot driven than character driven.
The Elemental Logic Series (Fire Logic, Earth Logic, Water Logic, forthcoming Air Logic) by Laurie J. Marks
AMAZING High Fantasy fare. These books read like a good meal. I don’t even have words for it, just….you’ll feel what the characters feel when they’re tested to the breaking point and beyond. You’ll love who they love, and need what they need. GLORIOUS DESTINIES tempered by incredible grittiness, and villains you will hate so much it’ll feel like a toothache. One of my very favorites. (NOTE: The cover of Fire Logic is whitewashed. Zanja is a woman of COLOR. I will post the cover of Earth Logic instead.)
i went into a whole foods and got to hear a woman arguing with a guy at the meat counter because she wanted grass fed organic chicken and he was desperately trying to explain to her that chickens don’t eat grass
Actually, the customer was right… Chickens do eat grass and weeds, gone to seed or not, and also dandelions and clover growing in the grass… (not just the bugs!).
When I used to visit my uncle’s farm, I would gather big handfuls of grass clippings from my uncle’s backyard field (chemical-free of course) and then feed it to his chickens. Whenever I did they would all flock to me and bicker between themselves to snatch it from my hands. :)
That being said, you have to be careful about letting your chickens eat any long fibrous plant because they might stay stuck the chicken’s crop (kind of pouch in the gullet that can hold food to be digested later) and cause all sorts of health problems. Always make sure they get clippings, and not long blades of grass! Otherwise, yeah, they love grass!