Monday 11/12/12

Human Interest News   —   Posted on November 12, 2012

Elephant learns to speak Korean

An Asian elephant named Koshik can imitate human speech by placing his trunk in his mouth.

In the video below, Koshik can be heard saying “choah” which means “good” in Korean. The word can be readily understood by those who know the language.

Reasearchers for Current Biology have found that Koshik’s vocabulary consists of exactly five words. He can also say “annyong” (“hello”), “anja” (“sit down”), “nuo” (“lie down”) and “aniya” (“no”).

Scientists hope that Koshik’s language skills may provide important insights into the biology of human speech and music.

There have been some earlier reports of vocal mimicry in both African and Asian elephants. African elephants have been known to imitate the sound of truck engines, and a male Asian elephant living in a zoo in Kazakhstan was said to produce utterances in both Russian and Kazakh, but that case was never scientifically investigated.


Montana man napping in field run over by combine, survives

A man napping in a Montana cornfield was startled out of his snooze when he was run over by a large harvesting machine — and Yellowstone County deputies say he’s lucky to be alive.

Sheriff’s Lt. Kent O’Donnell says the 57-year-old man had been traveling the country by bus and decided to take a rest three rows deep in a field on the outskirts of Billings, the state’s largest city.

A farmer harvesting Wednesday felt his combine hit something. When he turned the machine off, he heard screaming.

Emergency responders found the man’s clothing had been sucked into the cutter, ensnaring him in the blades.

O’Donnell says the man, whose name was not released, suffered cuts requiring stitches and may need skin grafts, but given the circumstances is “incredibly lucky.”

A stupid but awesome new invention to help you save on baggage fees

Almost every airline charges fees now if you check bags. Spirit Airlines takes it even further, and charges you a fee to put a carry-on in the overhead compartment. And every trend suggests that more of these fees are coming.

Which is why [Texas radio station Lonestar 102.3] loves this new product created by a 57-year-old engineer in Belgium named John Power. It’s a suitcase that transforms into a bulky jacket. It’s called the JakToGo.

So you pack it like a bag, and when you’re walking through the airport, you carry it like a bag. But before you board the flight, you convert it into a jacket and wear it.


From London’s Daily Telegraph and