27 October 2014

The Furball Diaries : Leo

Hello again everyone, this week let us introduce Leo, Roumi's lovely cat.

"This is Leo Panski. He met us at the South LA pound 10 years ago - he was a tiny 2-month-old kitten then - and insisted we take him home. He is strong-willed, curious yet also cautious, affectionate, playful, and friendly with people, especially small ones, but a menace to other cats. He loves being outside, and always complains when he has to come home at night. When he was younger, he loved to climb trees and chase squirrels, but now he is more mellow. He still loves hiding in boxes."



14 October 2014

On Leave

A number of our esteemed faculty are taking a break from the rigors of teaching and administration so they can focus on their work. In this post, we highlight the goings-on of Hajime Hoji and Khalil Iskarous.

Hajime Hoji

Hajime was at Yokohama, Japan, in September, where he participated in a small workshop on Language Faculty Science. He also gave a talk titled "Language Faculty Science as an Exact Science: An Illustration based on Experimental Considerations" at Kanagawa University, on the 11th of that month.

In February-May of 2015, he will be visiting Kyoto University, Japan, to disseminate the idea of Language Faculty Science in Japan.

In the meantime, his book "Language Faculty Science" is closer and closer to being fully cooked and taken out of the oven for everyone to enjoy! He also intends to write "Introduction to Language Faculty Science" as an experimental follow-up for the former book. If anyone is interested in the content of his book, the "Remarks" board under "Discussion" at his homepage (http://www.gges.org/hoji/) contains some info about it.

Khalil Iskarous

Khalil is taking the traditional fourth-year leave that comes in the middle of the USC's six-year tenure process. The point of this leave is to prepare the dossier for tenure; for Khalil, this neatly coincides with the third year of his NSF grant, which is the year when most writing gets done.

This summer, Khalil and his team took a cinematic trip to Japan, where they collected video footage of octopodes. Khalil hopes that the movement of octopus tentacles (and other octopus behavior) will give us insight about the reciprocal relationship between biomechanics and phonological tasks--and so far, the results are quite promising.

Email Khalil if you'd like to hear more about his work. Ask to see an octopus video; those little guys are incredible.

The Furball Diaries: Caeser and Maia

Welcome back to our ongoing series featuring the pets of USC Linguistics students, faculty and staff. This week we greet the cats of Rachel's household.

"This is Maia. Maia is a rescue cat, adopted about one year ago. She is hard to capture on film, because she is always on the move, except when she’s sleepy. Maia is super-petite, an aerialist, and loves to play with cherry tomatoes. She has no fear, and takes on her big brother, Caesar, without hesitation."


"This is Caesar. Caesar and Maia are rescue siblings (not related, but reared together). He is just over a year old, but a giant among cats. Caesar is usually mellow, but occasionally a wild streak comes out in him.  He is a master of string play and hide and seek. He is very smart, and good at learning new games. He has a special talent for jumps where he bounces sideways off the wall."

07 October 2014

The Furball Diaries: Pearl, Shadow and Grey

This week, we will get to know Afton's feathered friends.


"Pictured are Pearl, Shadow, and Grey, and not pictured are the other four members of their little flock (Pippin, Noodle, Beetle, and Lucky). They enjoy singing, talking, hiding in my hair, stealing shiny objects, and attempting to communicate with the crows that live outside. We've been friends for over 15 years now, and I've seen many of them grow up from egg to adult."

30 September 2014

The Furball Diaries : Pip and Max

Welcome to the first installment of USCLing Pets, the photo series! A proud pet parent from the USC Linguistics department will have their furry loved one featured each week.

Today we will feature Samantha Gordon's four-legged friends, Pip and Max. Sam describes the pictured interaction as either an instance of Pipsqueak using Maxine as a pillow or of Max using Pip as a blanket. We'll let you make up your mind on that one.
"Pipsqueak and Maxine are my cats. They're part of a larger multi-cat household involving a lot of big personalities, but they hold their own. I adopted Pip when she was just a tiny 2-month-old kitten that my friend found under a house. Pip's favorite activities are snuggling in weird positions, chasing the reflection of polished surfaces on walls, getting cat hair on clean laundry, and catching bugs. She got her name because she really does squeak! Max is Pip's younger sister from a different litter. She is the fluffiest cat of the house and she is often mistaken for a show cat because of her good looks. We thought Max was a boy for the first few months we had her because she was too fluffy to tell. Max loves eating yogurt and helps me with my reading by sitting on my book and meowing to get petted. They are both integral figures in my life, and they're always there for me to help me through tough times."