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5 Things You Should Know – Part 121

Written by Thomas

Here are 5 things you should know.

1. You don’t have to worry about your pets looking at the sun during the eclipse.

If you have chickens they might put themselves to bed though. There is no reason to panic. Animals won’t stare into the sun. Animals have lived millions of years without anyone putting them indoors during an eclipse. Chickens will often put themselves back in their coops to roost. Please don’t spread pet panic!

2. How to speak to someone with poor English language skills.

Language is something we all do unconsciously and in nearly all cases we speak with other native speakers, so when speaking with a person with poor English skills keep this in mind:

  1. Speak each word distinctly and slowly, and put a pause between phrases.
  2. Use basic English.
  3. Speak only about things in the present moment. Keep the conversation about things that you can point to or things that are currently happening. If you start talking about something abstract it becomes way harder for the other person to understand. So say “That thing is cool” don’t say “What do you think about the civil war in Syria?”
  4. Don’t ask the other person questions. When someone asks you a question in a language you don’t speak it is a terrifying and stressful situation where you will most likely make an idiot of yourself. You will put the other person so much more at ease if you just talk about yourself, and don’t force the other person to speak. Let them jump into the conversation when they want to, if you put them on the spot it is very stressful for the other person.
  5. If you do ask them a question, answer your own question first, then direct the question to them. You want to give the other person as many hints as to what you are talking about as possible. When you ask someone a blunt question, they have no clues as to what you are talking about. So rather than “What was your major in College?” say “When I was in College I majored in Economics. What did you major in?”
  6. If the other person says “I am sorry, I don’t understand” it does not mean the conversation is over. Even if they didn’t understand what you just said, you can continue talking about something else. Also, don’t feel the need to repeat something endlessly unless it is actually important. You can always just say “Ah, never mind” and start talking about something else.
  7. If you include them in whatever you are doing, don’t treat them as a revered guest, just treat them as a normal person. If you put the spotlight on your new friend it will be extremely stressful for them to try and deal with all the attention when they don’t speak the language It is much better to just say “Come with us, we are going to eat.” Then let them be in the background while you talk normally with your other friends. Just let the other person chill in the background where they can relax, don’t put them on the spot by asking them a bunch of questions in front of a group of people.

Speaking a second language is an interesting thing. Some days you have better language skills than others. And with your friends, you can understand so much more than you can with a stranger. So if you become friends with a non-native speaker, give them time to open up. After a few meetings, and once you are familiar with the other person, they will probably be able to speak to you much more easily than they could on your first meeting. And remember, the other is a person is just as smart as you, even if they can’t speak your language so don’t treat them like an idiot!

3. The difference in reliability between types of sources, and how necessary it is to verify those sources.

Knowing this can help you differentiate between evidence that is useful, and evidence that isn’t.

Depth of Sources

First-hand information (primary source)

This is when you are directly involved in the event. There is no one between you and the actual event; you were there. This is the most desirable source of information.

Some primary sources

  • If you weren’t actually there, you can sometimes get film footage or sound recordings of an actual event; this could count as a primary source (though there are still things that might be missed, as recording devices have their limitations).
  • Surveys can be first-hand information since you are the first person to ask people their opinions on the issues you are researching.

You need to consider the reliability of first-hand information – while your source may tell you what he/she thinks is the truth, it is possible for your source to be incorrect. You should always try to verify first-hand information with other sources.

Second-hand information (secondary source)

This is when someone else, who was directly involved in the event, tells you about it. There is one person between you and the actual event; this means that person is giving you his or her interpretation of the event; they might not see or hear everything, or they might explain it to you in such a way that your understanding of the event is different than what actually happened. This is the second-best source of information. You need to consider the reliability of second-hand sources carefully; it is always good to gather information from more than one source to make sure they all match.

Some secondary sources

  • Autobiographies
  • Some newspaper and magazine articles (when the author was there and is writing about it)
  • Interviews with primary sources

Types of Sources

Print source

A source of information that was originally published and made available to the public by being printed on paper. This would include books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, journals, letters anything that was originally made available to the public through an ink-on-paper medium.

Electronic source

A source of information that was originally made available to the public through electronic means. This would include web pages on the Internet, CD-ROMs, and similar sources; basically, anything you need a computer in order to view.

Audio sources

A source of information that is a sound recording. This would include MP3’s, CD’s, records, audio cassettes, and any other sound media.

Video sources

A source of information that presents moving pictures. This would include TV shows, movies, DVD’s, video cassettes, and any other video media.

Don’t be afraid to use a Human Source!

Interviews and surveys are great ways to get information. Write up your list of questions (for surveys, they should usually be multiple choice; for interviews, they should usually be more in-depth or long-answer), then go find some people to ask.


The condition is called phytophotodermatitis (or the more fitting name “Margarita burn”), always remember to rinse your hands after handling lime juice, especially if you are outside in the sun. The lime juice will react with the UV rays and cause rashes and blisters. The same substance can be found in carrots, parsnips, dill, and parsley.

5. NASA is holding a live webcast of the Solar Eclipse if you’re interested.




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