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!

Why Do You Hate The Word Moist? Science.

Okay, a lot of people hate the word “moist”. It just sounds gross, but why does it repulse us? A new study published in the journal PLOS One may have some insight into why certain words make us cringe.

Source: Why Do You Hate The Word Moist? Science.

Looking at the demographic results, it’s a Millenial thing? Younger people and specifically younger females were the ones who don’t like the word “moist”…

Why the Speech Center of Your Brain Shuts Down When You Talk

On the left side of your brain there’s a special region called Broca’s Area, also known as the speech center of the brain. Now a group of neuroscientists have discovered something strange about it. Even though this brain region supposedly controls speech, it shuts down when you are speaking.

A paper out today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tells an interesting story about this widely-studied part of the brain. New York University neuroscience researcher Adeen Flinker and his colleagues wanted to find out more about the region, so they used a special device to record people’s brain activity directly from their cerebral cortex while they were speaking. What they found was very surprising. They expected to see Broca’s Area crackling with electrical activity from neurons while the test subjects talked. But instead, the region seemed to shut down.

Source: Why the Speech Center of Your Brain Shuts Down When You Talk

I had something intelligent to say…


Social media peeps – ever wonder where your beloved hashtag came from?  As a bonus, you’ll find out why the abbreviation for pounds is “lb”.

For those who haven’t had to scan text programmatically to isolate keywords – a means to identify keywords is greatly appreciated.  And when you start, you learn that you desperately want to use something that doesn’t naturally occur in language or you get false positives.  The tilde (~) was my goto…

Orange You Glad to Know: Etymology of the word “orange”

…when we say orange in English, we can either mean the fruit or the color. What laziness led to the use of the exact same word for the fruit and its color? Why don’t we call carrots or pumpkins oranges instead? Or why don’t we call the color pumpkin or carrot? Which came first anyway: the orange, or orange?

Source: Orange You Glad to Know: The Secret of the Laziest Fruit in English

Color words are actually remarkably hard to track back beyond a point. They aren’t mentioned as often in poetry as we would expect, and at least a few people have posited that prior to the Middle Ages people were color-blind because there aren’t as many color words used in texts from before the Middle Ages.

…but does anything rhyme with orange?