Another of my long-time interests, along with time and how we view it, is linguistics. Linguistics, the science of language which answers questions about how languages are alike and how they are different, gives us insights into how the mind works.
Pieter Bruegel's (1563) Tower of Babel
The inaugural of the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad, funded by the National Science Foundation, will be held later this week at several Eastern U.S. locations-- Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Ithaca, N.Y. --and on the Internet, allowing people to solve puzzles that test analytic skills and demonstrate the diversity of languages. That diversity is shrinking. During the past 200 years, the number of languages spoken on Earth has shrunk from 15,000 to 6,000.
For more information about the Olympiad, check out their website here.