A study about kissing

This article from Sapiens (“Is romantic kissing a human universal?) explains that kissing (romantic kisssing rather than the kind of kiss a parent gives a child) is surprisingly uncommon around the world. You’d never know it if you went by most movies (see, for example, “Most iconic movie kisses of all time” from InStyle, or tons of YouTube movie clip collections titled “Best movie kisses of all time”).

Iconic movie kiss #6: from “The Lady and the Tramp” (Japanese title: 「わんわん物語」

A few excerpts from the Sapiens article:

“In Melanesia, the Trobriand Islanders regarded kissing as ‘a rather silly and insipid form of amusement’

“even chimpanzees and bonbobos kiss”

“In fact … less than half of the (168) cultures we sampled engage in the romantic kiss.”

“Societies with distinct social classes are usually kissers; societies with fewer or no social classes, like hunter-gatherer communities, are usually not.”

And there are two theories about how romantic kissing originated. Try skimming the the article to find them.


Nothing’s boring if you’re Batman

School supplies = notebooks and pens, tablets and smartphones, and Batman costumes.

“New research finds that kids aged 4-6 perform better during boring tasks when dressed as Batman” (from the World Economic Forum)

I’d be willing to bet it works for older students, and is not limited to Batman. Time to stock up on Doraemon and Anpanman costumes?

Contagious laughter

“The Picture Book With No Pictures” is making kids in Japan laugh, according to the Japan Times. If one video is proof, then they’re right:

The girl in the bottom row on the left isn’t having any of it though (not until the end, when she relents). I’d like to do an experiment: how much would kids laugh if they were alone? How much of the laughter is contagious laughter? And how much depends on the way the book is read (a lot).

This would be a good language noticing activity for translators, especially with all the sounds and onomatopoeia the book seems to contain.

images from Amazon Japan (Japanese/English)

Here’s the English version, read by the author:


A day in the life

The California Sunday Magazine has a whole issue about teenagers this month. Because:

“We wanted to see how they’re living right now in the world adults made for them and how they’re beginning to change it — and maybe get a glimpse of where we’re all headed together.”

Here’s the cover photo:

Stories include:

Life advice from teen experts — how to meet new people, how to get people to care about something, how to say no, how to throw a good dance party (and more)

The two hour commute — see how three teenagers commute, with illustrations

How they do lunch

A conversation about social media and politics

Hanging out

This is a great model for a cross-cultural comparison or a research project about teenagers or university students in Japan: Find people to survey, ask good questions, analyze their answers, add photos and illustrations.