Communication can be very easy. It could be sharing an iPod to listen to music together or just smiling at someone. We also communicate with one another face to face. We write letters and emails and use telephone or mobile phones. What is so easy for us today was not an easy task earlier. Messages were sent via messengers or riders through smoke signals or drums. Today we can send robots to other planets and control them from the Earth. We can film anything and the pictures come to our living room through satellite. It is incredible that all these developments took place only in the last hundred years.
WAYS OF COMMUNICATION
There are a lot of ways to communicate: speaking, singing, clapping, hooting etc. Even animals communicate with one another in ways different from humans. Only humans can express their thoughts and feelings in words because of our superior brain. Both humans and animals also communicate through body language. Sometimes we don’t use words but make gestures like traffic signs or simple movements of the hand in order to communicate.
WHY CAN HUMANS SPEAK BUT NOT ANIMALS
A lot of organs such as lungs, larynx, mouth, pharynx, tongue, teeth and brain participate in the speaking process. Although animals possess all these organs, their structure is different from that in humans. For speaking, it is important to properly control the processes involved, mainly breathing. This is done for us by our brain. First we hear and then it is in the head and then deviates through the larynx from the lungs. When the air passes through the stretched elastic vocal folds it causes them to vibrate producing sound. the teeth, gums and lips then from the words.
HOW DO OUR HANDS COMMUNICATE WITH THE BRAIN
The hands are connected to the brain through nerve paths. If it becomes very cold for the nerve endings in the skin of the hand signals are transmitted to the brain. In the brain a process is initiated that leads to commands: rough hands put the hands in the armpits to warn them to wear gloves. The brain sends these commands back to the hands through the nerves and the hands then execute them. In case of an accident like a fall we react much faster and try to prevent the fall by using our hands. how fast we react depends on whether we have already experienced such situations before.
WHAT IS BODY LANGUAGE
Both humans and animals communicate a lot through their body postures. A cat when angry humps it’s back and it’s skin ruffles up so that it appears bigger and more dangerous. In this way it warns its opponent not to come near. Humans frown when in doubt and smile when happy. We use the thumbs up thumbs down signs as common gestures of approval or disapproval by extending the thumb upward or downward. You also make use of universal sign language: we know what an index finger on the lips or a waving hand is trying to tell us. But watch out: signs do not mean the same all over the world-if you make an “O” with the index finger and the thumb, it means ok in the USA but in other places it is an insult.
- Fin whales the nearest relatives of the giant blue whales are the loudest animals in the world and their calls are even louder than starting noise of a jet plane
- The brain of a b is smaller than a pinhead
- Many people believe that parrots also understand what they speak. But zoologists don’t or just assume that the brain of a parrot is not developed enough to express its own thoughts and only imitate the sounds they hear.
HOW DOES ONE CONVEY MESSAGES QUICKLY OVER LONG DISTANCES
Earlier information to someone who was out of visual and hearing range was sent with the help of signals using smoke, Jungle drums etc. Now we can send messages to people across the world through email and many other digital electronic media. The North American Indians communicated with smoke signals in the vast expanse of the prairie and the inhabitants of the African forest used Jungle drums. But the range of sending messages was restricted for this method. In the 19th century electricity was used successfully to transfer messages initially through morse code than through telephone and today with the help of computers.
HOW CAN ONE TRANSMIT MESSAGES WITH SMOKE
Smoke is formed if one throws wet twigs in the fire. The smoke gets concentrated if it is covered. Smoke clouds start rising in the sky when this cover is removed. The longer the fire is kept covered the bigger the smoke cloud. The colour of the smoke clouds can be changed by burning certain types of wood. All the smoke science big and small short and long white and black and their sequences had meaning for the American Indians. But this method was only capable of converting very limited or prearranged messages.
WHAT IS MORSE CODE?
It is the method of transmitting electrical signals that are a combination of long and short sounds, flashes of light or electrical pulses like a torch that flicks on and off. To understand the message the code must be known as the morse alphabet. Samuel Morse, an American, invented it in 1833. The alphabets consist of dots and dashes. dot stands for a short signal, a dash for a long one.
HOW DOES TELEPHONE WORK?
Like all sounds, speech also consists of sound waves. The mouthpiece of the telephone has a microphone which converts the spoken sounds into electrical current. The transmission of electric current is done through wires. In the ear piece the electric current is converted back to sound waves. Earlier, the wires were made of copper but today telephonic conversations are transmitted through glass fibre cable or even through satellite connections. Telephone calls over long distances were earlier possible only through telephone operators. since 1970 however we can make overseas calls directly. the telephone was invented by Graham Bell who applied for its patent in 1876.