21 thoughts on “Friday felid: cat interrupts weather report, gets minute of fame

    1. Yeah, I found it on YouTube (everything winds up there!), but noted that reader lizwinfreyventura posted it below. To avoid duplication, I’ve cut out the clip from her post and put the video above.

      1. Until the copyright monsters come and eat that video up… at least it wasn’t on Fox News, they’re VERY good about making sure none of their content is on youtube on other peoples’ accounts for some reason.

  1. Slightly off-topic: Not a Spanish speaker, but I do OK in French. Why does Spanish seem to spoken so fast? Every time I hear it, it seems rushed and it is hard to discern individual words.
    I once heard an airport announcement in Portugese, and it was even worse.

    1. Can’t tell you why but spanish is generally spoken very fast indeed, though to be honest the guy in this video is pretty understandable. I’m brazilian and as much as I speak (portuguese) fast as hell (to the point of having friends asking me to slow down), I don’t believe portuguese compares to spanish in that way. Even ourselves, with portuguese being quite similar to spanish, have a hard time understanding it. Airport announcements are all another language on their own, it’s amazing. I crack up everytime I listen to brazilian stewardesses giving flight instructions in english – I swear they just make up words up as they go.

    2. A good and timely question. Recently scientists found out that it is a generic observation on languages, likely a consequence of brain function:

      “Last year, in an issue of the journal Language, François Pel­legrino and his colleagues at the Univer­sity of Lyon in France published their analysis of the speech of 59 people read­ing the same 20 texts aloud in seven languages. They found Japanese and Spanish, often described as “fast lan­guages,” clocked the greatest number of syllables per second. The “slowest” language in the set was Mandarin, followed closely by German.

      But the story does not end there. The researchers also calculated the infor­mation density for the syllables of each language by comparing them with an eighth language, Vietnamese, which served as an arbitrary reference. They found that an average Spanish syllable conveys only a small quantity of infor­mation, contributing just a fragment to the overall meaning of a sentence. In contrast, an individual Mandarin sylla­ble contains a much larger quantity of information, possibly because Mandarin syllables in­clude tones. The upshot is that Spanish and Mandarin actually convey information to listeners at about the same rate.

      The correlation between speech rate and information density held for five out of seven of the lan­guages studied, and the researchers conjectured that, despite the diversity of languages in the world, over time they all deliver a constant rate of information, possibly tuned to the human perceptual system.”

      So Spanish speakers can gobble de gook [said in appreciation, mind] faster and make up for its lousy efficiency. It suggests to me there is a language comfort zone, adapted to perception rate.

      1. Come to think of it, I _think_ someone made a followup on sign languages and they fell on the same, possibly universal, information rate.

        But don’t cite me on it, and I feel to lazy trying to capture that with googling.

  2. Have you seen this yet? WEIT is featured in today’s strip @ Tom the Dancing Bug (sorry; you’ll have to highlight & Google).

  3. Speaking of furry critters, have you seen Cecil’s Straight Dope today on why we humans are (mostly) hairless?
    Care to comment?

  4. I was so distracted by someone speaking Spanish but giving temps in Fahrenheit that I might notta otherwise noticed the felid.

  5. Guy’s too professional! I would’ve picked it up and ended the segment by stroking the kitteh and doing a Blofeld impression.

  6. In Florida all the stations have felines on their weather reporting staff, but they’re supposed to only be used during hurricanes: Cat 1, Cat 2, etc.

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