Everybody in the World Talks the Same Way to Babies

Anthropologists Show That We Are All Suckers for Baby Talk       It happens every time we meet a baby, anyone’s baby. Suddenly our brains are taken over by some other person with a different voice, one that goes up a few octaves and comes out in a sing-song lilt to produce some of the silliest sentences on earth: “Waaadda a cuuttee liddle baby! Aren’t youuuu the sweeeetest thingy in the world? Are you the sweeetest little booy in the world? Is this the cutest little girrrl ever?” And how many…

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All Roads Lead to Venice

Newly Discovered Roman Road Found on the Floor of the Venetian Lagoon     Last week, archaeologists announced the discovery of an old Roman road, remnants of docks, and indications of large buildings, sitting on the bottom of the Venetian lagoon. Romans left the Veneto, the Province which includes the lagoon and the contemporary city of Venice by 475 A.D. as their Empire fell apart, so this road is important because it is concrete evidence of stable and active life in the lagoon before that time. Beyond taking in the idea that human artifacts can…

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Is the Pandemic Over?

History, and Data, Show That It Is Not   Francesco Valma@wikimediacommons On November 21, 2019, I walked over a temporary bridge set across the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, and bought some long white candles with pictures of the Blessed Virgin imprinted on the wax. I then joined the long line of believers entering the church Santa Maria Della Salute. Inside, the crowd squished up to metal platforms where young people, working at a fevered pace, added them to a rack with hundreds of others, lit the whole bunch at once then…

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It’s Food, Not Inactivity, That Makes Kids Fat

Anthropologists Show That What Kids Eat Matters More than What They Do     Over 13 million American children and teens are now classified as obese, and many others are overweight. During the past year, we have seen how obesity puts a body at risk for severe disease and death; starting on that path young makes for an extremely unhealthy outlook.   Sociologists, nutritionists, pediatricians, and child educators have done many studies trying to figure out why so many kids end up fat when childhood has normally been a time of high-energy…

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