Children of various ages, from newborns to toddlers, are seen in various states of undress, including unobscured views of both male and female genitals.
This was filed under Violence/Gore:
An infant’s bare buttocks are seen with what appears to be fecal matter; a woman lifts up the child and in the process gets fecal matter on her leg, which she wipes off with a corncob. A stream of urine is seen coming from a baby and landing on a table.
A new study concludes that babies and dogs do not have an advanced ability to read social cues, but that wolves do. Using a hiding-and-finding game, scientists at University of Iowa and Indiana University have concluded that babies and dogs are distracted by social cues such as adults’ facial expressions and vocal interactions, and that they don’t have a unique or enhanced ability to recall where an object is hidden simply based on social cues alone. Wolves, and older babies, performed better in the study, and were more capable of remembering where the object was hidden. Professor John Spencer, who was at the helm of the research, understands that this could be a difficult fact for parents and pet owners to accept.
“In our view, this is something to celebrate — that we can bring social cognition together with basic cognitive processes. The downside, of course, is that infants, and by analogy dogs, don’t have a special mind-reading ability. For some people, that’s an unpleasant pill to swallow.”
The study was in direct response to one from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences last year, which had found that babies were quite apt at object recall based when the experimenters interacted with them. The oppositional findings raise an interesting question when it comes to our newest arrivals’ cleverness. It remains to be seen how good wolves are at Memory.
A farmer in China has grown pears in the shape of babies. Using fiberglass and plastic moulds, Hao Xianzhang has been able to cultivate fruit in the shape of newborns. The popularity likely extends beyond those who catch the literary reference: in the Chinese novel Journey to the West a mythical fruit in the shape of an infant bestows immortality to all who consume it. Xianzhang’s pears cost $7 (50 yuan) each, not too pricey for a piece of the eternal. For those who aren’t inclined to snack on athanasia, the farmer plans on growing fruit in the shape of other figures, including comedy icon Charlie Chaplin.
Update: Turns out that some sources are calling these “Buddha shaped pears,” not baby shaped. Chewing on a deity or consuming your young, either way, it’s some peculiar produce.
Gopnik argues that, in many respects, babies are more conscious than adults. She compares the experience of being a baby with that of watching a riveting movie, or being a tourist in a foreign city, where even the most mundane activities seem new and exciting. “For a baby, every day is like going to Paris for the first time,” Gopnik says. “Just go for a walk with a 2-year-old. You’ll quickly realize that they’re seeing things you don’t even notice.”
Several folks on Twitter are talking about post-election sex and Obama babies (children conceived on election night…mark your calendars for late July 2009). The consensus seems to be that Barack got laid in a big way last night.
‘They like toys more that are associated with someone who has spoken their language. They prefer to eat foods offered to them by a native speaker compared to a speaker of a foreign language. And older children say that they want to be friends with someone who speaks in their native accent.’ Accents and vernacular, far more than race, seem to influence the people we like. ‘Children would rather be friends with someone who is from a different race and speaks with a native accent versus somebody who is their own race but speaks with a foreign accent.’
The researchers found 56% of women with the highest energy intake around the time of conception had boys, compared to just 45% among women with the lowest energy intake. The average calorie intake for women who had sons was 2,413 a day, compared to 2,283 calories a day for women who had girls. Women who had sons were also more likely to have eaten a higher quantity and wider range of nutrients, including potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12. They were also more likely to have eaten breakfast cereals.
The evolutionary guess is that when times are lean, a daughter will more consistently yield descendants than a son. (thx, meg)
Gaspar Noé is an Argentinian-born French filmmaker whose films are notable for their frank depictions of violence and rape, as in 2002’s Irréversible, which features a nine-minute uncut scene of Monica Bellucci’s character being raped and beaten.
Eva Herzigova is a Czech supermodel and actress. She’s appeared on too many magazine covers to count and is fluent in five languages.
No one knows what became of the kitten.
Eva’s son George was born in Italy in the summer of 2007.
Update: Of course the second video is no longer available on YouTube because it showed Eva breastfeeding or is copyrighted or both.
In the Kottke/Hourihan household, much of the past 4 weeks has been spent determining which has the most sensitive built-in accelerometer: an iPhone, a Nintendo Wiimote, or our newborn son.
The iPhone was eliminated fairly quickly…the portrait-to-landscape flip is easy to circumvent if you do it slow enough or at an odd angle. The Wiimote might be the winner; it registers small, slow movements with ease, as when executing a drop shot in tennis or tapping in a putt in golf.
Newborns, however, are born with something called the Moro reflex. When infants feel themselves fall backwards, they startle and throw their arms out to the sides, as illustrated in this video. Even fast asleep they will do this, often waking up in the process. So while the Wiimote’s accelerometer may be more sensitive, the psychological pressure exerted on the parent while lowering a sleeping baby slowly and smoothly enough so as not to wake them with the Moro reflex and thereby squandering 40 minutes of walking-the-baby-to-sleep time is beyond intense and so much greater than any stress one might feel serving for the match in tennis or getting that final strike in bowling.