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science

Maybe they'll like kale chips?

Lovers of babies and haters of kale, have we got a fun and fascinating science-based story for you.

A new study posted in Psychological Science shows rare up-close-and-personal photos of babies in the womb making different facial reactions to different food their mothers eat. Previous studies with infants and breastmilk have shown that flavors carry from mother to child through amniotic fluid, but this is the first time unborn babies have been examined.

One hundred pregnant women from the U.K. were given powder with either carrot or kale flavoring or neither flavor. After 20 minutes, 4D ultrasound scans revealed undeniably different—and kind of hilarious—facial reactions. It was very telling which flavor was smile inducing and which one wasn’t.


As the picture below shows, the carrot flavor induced a smiling “laugh face,” as the study called it.

This look of pleasure could be as a result of a preference for sweetness, which newborns are known to gravitate to as a basic biological drive.
breastfeeding

My face when I eat a donut.

APS

As the study suggests, it could be that this natural instinct develops long before infancy. And for some of us (me) that sweet tooth never really goes away.

Meanwhile, babes who experienced the kale flavoring made disgusted grimaces, or “cry faces.”

Kale wasn’t just a hard sell to the fetuses—one of the other reasons why researchers used capsules instead of raw kale or kale juice was because the mothers couldn’t stand the taste, and had such a negative disposition toward it that scientists feared it would influence their babies.

"I had a number of people in the lab, and I tried to give them a kale juice to drink, and you should have seen the expressions," Nadja Reissland, co-author of the study and head of the Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab at Durham University, said according to NBC News.
babies

We feel you, bitter baby face.

APS

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, I’d say this one just says “yuck” over and over and over.

To be fair, those scowls "might be just the muscle movements which are reacting to a bitter flavor," Reissland noted, rather than any real showing of emotion, adding that expressions became more complex over time during gestation.

The major takeaway from this study (other than a wholesome giggle) is seeing how early humans can be influenced by flavors. If they are exposed to certain foods early on during pregnancy, they might embrace them and instill better eating habits once they're born.

"If we can actually get [children] to like green vegetables and to perhaps not like sweets that much, it might help with regard to their weight gain and their weight balance," Reissland said.

Nearly everyone has at least one vegetable that they absolutely love. However those tend to lean toward the sweeter side like carrots and corn. Rarely do kids—or adults for that matter—go ga-ga for bitter-tasting ones. Brussels sprouts alone are the target of much hate.

brussels sprouts

Sprouts get a bad rap.

Giphy

If we could learn to welcome a wider variety of veggies into our palette from an early age (in this case, a very early age), maybe as adults we wouldn’t grimace over greens.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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gerlalt/Canva

James Earl Jones helped "Sesame Street" prove its pedagogical model for teaching kids the alphabet.

James Earl Jones has one of the most recognizable voices in the entertainment industry and has for decades. Most of us probably heard that deep, resonant voice first as Darth Vader in "Star Wars," or perhaps Mufasa in "The Lion King," but just one or two words are enough to say, "Oh, that's definitely James Earl Jones."

Jones has been acting on stage and in film since the 1960s. He also has the distinction of being the first celebrity guest to be invited to "Sesame Street" during the show's debut season in 1969.

According to Muppet Wiki, clips of Jones counting to 10 and reciting the alphabet were included in unbroadcast pilot episodes and also included in one of the first official television episodes. Funnily enough, Jones originally didn't think the show would last, as he thought kids would be terrified of the muppets. Clearly, that turned out not to be the case.

Jones' alphabet recitation served as a test for the "Sesame Street" pedagogical model, which was meant to inspire interaction from kids rather than just passive absorption. Though to the untrained eye, Jones' slow recitation of the ABCs may seem either plodding or bizarrely hypnotic, there's a purpose to the way it's presented.

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via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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