The Weekly Wrap-Up

| April 4, 2016

Image: nationalpostcom

Words by Ryan Grice

Your face is the reason your friends hate you, Trump talk, No Indo for Leo, Kitty talk, and Do you fucking hate the weather as much as these people?

Though it has not been officially confirmed as such, it seems that scientists at the Ohio State University have discovered a new micro expression: the “not face”. Their experiment was carried out in a number of different languages (including American Sign Language), with various questions and scenarios, and the expression was unanimous across all. Published in the journal Cognition, the article explains how the usage of the “not face” relates to disgust, contempt, and anger. What it surprisingly does not allude to is how much it resembles the existing anger micro expression, or the perpetual expression worn by the beloved Grumpy Cat.


Even more astounding is that sociolinguist Jennifer Sclafani has deciphered Donald J. Trump’s speech patterns and worked out why so many Americans love and loathe the political billionaire. It’s not his fault, and it’s not your fault; Trump’s verbal madness can at least partially be attributed to people’s interpretations and reactions to “discourse markers”, for example: “well,” “so,” “you know.” Discourse markers are often indicative of digression, like when not answering questions properly, but are also necessary for speech to be emotional and relatable on a human level. The problem: Trump sucks at both.


Leonardo DiCaprio may never be allowed to return to Indonesia again after exercising a little activism on his Instagram. The model-dating, island-owning, philanthropic actor recently travelled on a day-trip to Mount Leuser National Park in Sumatra and posted a number of photos with the local flora, fauna, and park rangers, with comments condemning palm oil plantations for destroying the forest and elephant migration routes. “We support his concern to save the Leuser ecosystem. But we can blacklist him from returning to Indonesia at any time if he keeps posting incitement or provocative statements in his social media,” said spokesman for the Directorate General for Immigration at the Law and Human Rights Ministry, Heru Santoso.


Swedish researcher Susanne Schötz is determined to find out what cats are saying, and if they sound like Lisbeth Salander when they say it. Schötz, who owns three cats herself, has been recruiting cats(and their owners) from different parts of the country that are known for their dialectic variations and comparing their vocalisations for commonalties and anomalies. Using the melodies of purrs, meows, and chirrs, Schötz will attempt to find out if humans really know exactly what their cats want. “If most cats use similar melodies to say, ‘I’m slightly hungry, I would like a snack now,’ and they also use similar melodies to say, ‘I’m really hungry, I’m starving,’ we can begin to try to understand what they’re saying,” said Schötz.


Defining art is no easy task(depending on who you ask), and Australian artist Angela Garrick’s curious new body of work is no exception. Garrick took out classified ads in various local publications offering a professional weather venting service in which customers could call a dedicated number and vent their frustrations about the weather. The results were a wonderful mash-up of human expression from all walks of life. Garrick, who’s installation was part of the SafARI exhibition in the Cross Arts Gallery in Sydney said of her responses: “I would say that the younger people seem to be more performative whereas the older respondents are more, definitely more succinct but maybe angrier.”

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Category: FEATURED, Serious Section, Uncategorized

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