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The Absurd Reason Why America Circumcises Baby Boys

The key is to not let faulty reasoning and a bunch of 19th century prudes be the motivating factor.

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FACT CHECK TIME. Here's what our fact checkers found:

  • America didn't adopt the practice of circumcision until the sex-phobic days of the 19th century, when puritanical doctors promoted it as a way to stop kids from masturbating. Psychology Today (Sept. 2011)
  • Cleanliness is no longer an issue thanks to modern hygienic standards. Psychology Today (Sept. 2011)
  • Circumcision has been found to significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission but provides only "partial protection and should be considered as only one of several other prevention measures," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The foreskin is a natural lubricant, contains millions of nerve endings, and prevents desensitization. Psychology Today (Sept. 2011)

UPDATE 1/12/15: The CDC's stance on circumcision recently changed. The CDC originally said that circumcision only "marginally" reduces the risk of HIV transmission, but it now recommends the procedure, saying that the benefits outweigh the risks.


We still like this video's history lesson on circumcision in America and its call to understand why we choose to circumcise babies or not. But we updated the post to reflect that there are tangible health benefits to the procedure.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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Saving the life of one small animal among the billions upon billions of living things on Earth may not seem significant in the big picture, but when that one small animal's life is in your hands, it means the world.

Yassin Elmahgoub is a medical student from Egypt who recently shared the journey of a tiny baby parrot he rescued. The parrot, who he named Mumble, was born with birth defects and wasn't able to stand or walk. With the help of a parrot behavior consultant, Elmahgoub hand-fed Mumble, nursed him to good health and helped him develop mobility.

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