Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Language Game Inspired by Noam Chomsky's Linguistics

A new smartphone app gives a clever nod to Noam Chomsky while giving players just enough inspiration to create some pretty funny sentences.

A new smartphone app gives a clever nod to famous American linguist Noam Chomsky while giving players just enough inspiration to create some pretty funny sentences. Like endless magnetic fridge poetry, the game Sleep Furiously offers players the chance to create grammatical sentences that are wildly nonsensical.


One mode of the game gives you a defined number of moves to create the highest-scoring (read: longest) sentences. Here are the gems I came up with:

Pride follows the penguin wildly! (Hooray for penguin poetry.)

The healthy awkward ninjas collapsed! (Awkward indeed.)

Demons elevate the furniture inside him! (Probably IKEA furniture.)

Created by brother-and-sister duo Justin and Jen Helms at Playmation Studios, Sleep Furiously explores the concept that a sentence can be simultaneously grammatical, but nonsensical — the name comes from the sentence that Noam Chomsky coined to demonstrate that concept 60 years ago: "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."

There are three modes to the game: one timed feature sure to test your ability to construct nonsensical phrases under pressure; one mode that gives you a certain number of moves to build your sentence; and an infinite mode where you can create grammatically correct phrases until the grammarian inside of you is infinitely content.

All in all, the game is a cheerfully built puppy dream (which is also a decently scoring phrase). Sleep Furiously is available today from Apple, Google, and Amazon for iOS and Android. 

Hulu's original movie "Palm Springs" is the comedy we needed this summer

Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti get stuck in an infinite wedding time loop.

Gear
  • Two wedding guests discover they're trapped in an infinite time loop, waking up in Palm Springs over and over and over.
  • As the reality of their situation sets in, Nyles and Sarah decide to enjoy the repetitive awakenings.
  • The film is perfectly timed for a world sheltering at home during a pandemic.
Keep reading Show less

How the Smiths took over Europe

In more than a dozen countries as far apart as Portugal and Russia, 'Smith' is the most popular occupational surname

Image: Marcin Ciura
Strange Maps
  • 'Smith' is not just the most common surname in many English-speaking countries
  • In local translations, it's also the most common occupational surname in a large part of Europe
  • Ironically, Smiths are so ubiquitous today because smiths were so special a few centuries ago
Keep reading Show less

Dinosaurs suffered from cancer, study confirms

A recent analysis of a 76-million-year-old Centrosaurus apertus fibula confirmed that dinosaurs suffered from cancer, too.

A Centrosaurus reconstruction

Surprising Science
  • The fibula was originally discovered in 1989, though at the time scientists believed the damaged bone had been fractured.
  • After reanalyzing the bone, and comparing it with fibulas from a human and another dinosaur, a team of scientists confirmed that the dinosaur suffered from the bone cancer osteosarcoma.
  • The study shows how modern techniques can help scientists learn about the ancient origins of diseases.
Keep reading Show less

David Epstein: Thinking tools for 'wicked' problems

Join the lauded author of Range in conversation with best-selling author and poker pro Maria Konnikova!

Big Think LIVE

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Malcolm Gladwell was not able to make the live stream due to scheduling issues. Fortunately, David Epstein was able to jump in at a moment's notice. We hope you enjoy this great yet unexpected episode of Big Think Live. Our thanks to David and Maria for helping us deliver a show, it is much appreciated.


Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast