Whether it’s the rhythmic tapping of a spoon on a plate, the clicking of a car’s turn signal, or the drips of a leaking faucet, humans find a beat wherever we go. But why is it that we are so susceptible to a single note that is repeated over and over again?
How many times have you downloaded Duolingo, fired up to learn Portuguese or Korean, only to give up after losing your 40-day streak? Even after 40 days, you think, I still only know how to say “Hi, how are you?” It’s easy to get discouraged, but if it’s any solace, our struggles with learning new languages are mostly biological.
What’s your go-to move when you’re trying to flirt with someone? Are you the type that likes to make them laugh? Maybe you prefer the calm and collected approach, or maybe you go the direct route — no matter which you prefer, these all have one thing in common: the desire to impress. You might think that this is something that is unique to humans; however, there is one species that shares our desire to impress and takes it to the extremes: birds-of-paradise.
You’re at a party. It’s pretty relaxed, people are chatting and you’re sitting in the living room with a friend. All of a sudden, “Last Friday Night” booms through the speakers. In a second, everyone is on the dance floor. “Yeah, we danced on tabletops, and we took too many shots / Think we kissed but I forgot / Last Friday night” Throwback after throwback plays, and by the end of the night your throat hurts from singing and you’re giddy from laughing with your friends. But what makes just one song capable of completely shifting the mood of so many people for an entire night? That’s a great question — it all has to do with the effect of nostalgia!