Getting Babies to Stop Crying and Not Die May Have Made Humans Smarter

With sleepless nights and puzzling crying spells, caring for a newborn may seem like a mind numbing endeavor. But the mental abilities needed to keep a helpless, fussy infant alive may actually be the source of our smarts.

Source: Getting babies to stop crying and not die may have made humans smarter

Huh, I’ve often said while raising young children “I’m not sure how the human race survived for so long when children clearly aren’t concerned with their own survival”… 😉
I’m more curious about the fact that I see screaming kids and my brain says “that looks unpleasant, I don’t want that, no kids for me”. Intelligence seems like it should be a barrier to reproduction. Yet, as a species, we keep having them…
Those are other people’s babies. To a certain extent, when it’s your baby, you are hardwired to love it, emphasize with it, feel sad, and try to help it. You also get the really nice stuff of watching your baby develop into a child and start maturing, and the bright spots really help compensate for the occasional issues.  That’s until they become teens – then it’s war!

Don’t Feed Babies a Ton of Rice Cereal, Says FDA

It’s a cereal killer. 🙂

Rice cereal is a popular first food for babies. It’s also kind of high in arsenic, says the Food and Drug Administration, so if your kid gets a steady rice cereal diet, it’s time to diversify.

Source: Don’t Feed Babies a Ton of Rice Cereal, Says FDA

Boiling it and discarding the water (like how you make pasta) reduces the arsenic content, so that might help. The FDA’s fact sheet has some more info.  I’ve covered arsenic in rice in the past.

How a Human Scream Uniquely Activates the Fear Response in Your Brain

We know human screams are jarring. They’re loud, occasionally shrill, and tend to make us feel stressed, or even fearful. What’s unclear is why they elicit anxiety. But a new study suggests this response may have something to do with the acoustic quality of human screams, and how they trigger the brain’s fear response.

Source: How a Human Scream Uniquely Activates the Fear Response in Your Brain

It’s a sound/frequency we do not experience in normal, everyday settings.

I remember a friend remarking about knowing the difference when her kids would scream, to tell when things were really bad or they were faking.  Another instance I remember was someone telling me about knowing when they were hearing a “death rattle”, in rural areas where a given animal got injured bad enough.  We communicate a lot through sound – say one thing, but our tone infers another.