Most Shared

Do these 3 kitten photos help you focus? That's what a 2012 study says.

Could looking at pictures of kittens really increase your productivity?Actually...

Do these 3 kitten photos help you focus? That's what a 2012 study says.

Here's a trick: Next time you find yourself unable to focus, come back to this post.

Just look into my cute kitten eyes and all will be well. Image via Thinkstock.

Don't read it, though — you only need to do that once, and really, you don't even need to do that. (But you should read this anyway.) Instead, look at the picture of the kitten above. Or at the one below. Or both! It may help.


The cuuuuuuuuuuuuute. Image via Thinkstock.

Simply taking a look at these kittens may help — at least, that's what a 2012 paper from Hiroshima University concluded.

That study, available here, is from a team of researchers led by Dr. Hiroshi Nittono, a professor of cognitive psychophysiology at the university. Dr. Nittono and the team gathered 48 people — 24 men and 24 women — to be their test subjects.

Each of the students was given a series of three different tests. In one of the tests, an example of which can be seen below, the students were given a random matrix of digits. The students were then asked to count the instances of the bold digit within the matrix, without using their fingers to guide them.

To use the top matrix below as an example, a student presented with that set would have to count the number of 8s in the matrix. (There are two.) In the second image, the student would be asked to count the 0s. (There are three.)

Image from Nittono, Fukushima, Yano, & Moriya, and PLOS ONE.

The researchers recorded the students' success rate. Then, the students were shown an image — either a baby animal, a grown-up animal, or some sort of "pleasant food."

After viewing the image, each of the students was shown another matrix — also randomly generated — and again, the scores were recorded. Each group's results were compared to their pre-viewing results.

The students who looked at images of baby animals between tasks improved the most.

Just take a look at the chart below.

Image from Nittono, Fukushima, Yano, & Moriya, and PLOS ONE.

According to the Washington Post, the research team believed that the baby animals' cuteness triggered a careful, deliberate attitude that carried over to the tasks: "One idea is that it has to do with how we talk to puppies and kittens, generally in a slower voice."

The research team believed that the baby animals' cuteness triggered a careful, deliberate attitude that carried over to the tasks.

Further, per the study,"caring for babies (nurturance) not only involves tender treatments but also requires careful attention to the targets' physical and mental states as well as vigilance against possible threats to the targets. If viewing cute things makes the viewer more attentive, the performance of a non-motor perceptual task would also be improved."

In other words, seeing cute animals may kick in our parental instincts, and we may end up caring more about whatever else we're asked to do afterward.

So next time you can't seem to get yourself to be productive, maybe watch some cat videos first. Just make sure they're baby cats.

You will now be verrrryyyy productive. Image via Thinkstock.

Dan Lewis runs the popular daily newsletter Now I Know ("Learn Something New Every Day, By Email"). To subscribe to his daily email, click here.

True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

Sometimes it seems like social media is too full of trolls and misinformation to justify its continued existence, but then something comes along that makes it all worth it.

Apparently, a song many of us have never heard of shot to the top of the charts in Italy in 1972 for the most intriguing reason. The song, written and performed by Adriano Celentano and is called "Prisencolinensinainciusol" which means...well, nothing. It's gibberish. In fact, the entire song is nonsense lyrics made to sound like English, and oddly, it does.

Occasionally, you can hear what sounds like a real word or phrase here and there—"eyes" and "color balls died" and "alright" a few times, for example—but it mostly just sounds like English without actually being English. It's like an auditory illusion and it does some super trippy things to your brain to listen to it.

Plus the video someone shared to go with it is fantastic. It's gone crazy viral because how could it not.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

Keep Reading Show less
via Nick Hodge / Twitter and Jlhervas / Flickr

President-elect Joe Biden has sweeping plans for expanding LGBTQ rights when he takes office in January 2021. Among them, a plan to reverse Donald Trump's near ban on allowing transgender people to serve in the military.

In 2016, President Obama allowed transgender individuals to serve openly in the U.S. military and have access to gender-affirming psychological and medical care.

However, the Trump administration reversed course in 2017, when Trump dropped a surprise tweet saying the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."

Keep Reading Show less