Monday Mashup: Big Brains and The Best School
Every week, we scour the web to bring you interesting bits and pieces from around the world. Enjoy!
Buying Bigger Brains
Money may not be able to buy you love, but it can get you a bigger brain, finds new research from The Saban Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Columbia Medical Center. Scientists studied brains of 1,099 kids against their socioeconomic conditions, and determined that poverty directly affects physical development. Strikingly, among the poorest families, relatively small differences in income correlated with big disparities in development.
Building A Kid-Centric School
Watch architect Takaharu Tezuka talk about the best kindergarten in the world and see photos of student life. In Tokyo, he built a school that incorporates trees, climbing ropes, and jungle gyms into its structure. It’s an incredible example of design that puts the needs and uses of people (in this case, kids) first.
Plots in Pictures
Literature lovers will revel in this infographic, which takes a master thesis by Kurt Vonnegut fans (Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions, Cat’s Cradle) and depicts all the different varieties of story plots the author identifies. It’s fascinating, but one thing is clear: Vonnegut never saw a Bollywood movie.
Someone Needed A Holiday
Props to Susanne Kerns, who recently discovered a six-page list of instructions she wrote eight years ago for her in-laws as they cared for her baby while she took a (much-needed) holiday. She annotated it with her present day thoughts that are self-deprecating enough to make the craziness of the instructions funny, rather than terrifying.
This Q&A with reading and early childhood development expert Daniel T. Willingham is delightful. He moderates the pressure so many parents feel to teach their child everything and early. Our big takeaway? Teaching your child to read early is great, but it doesn’t necessarily increase their comprehension, which is the main point of reading.
Pregnant Indian Women Underweight
The topic of this New York Times report is depressing, but probably isn’t news to many of us here. What is surprising is the comparisons to the rest of the world: “…the average woman in India weighs less at the end of her pregnancy than the average woman in sub-Saharan Africa did at the beginning.” It makes us here at The Swaddle more determined than ever in our mission to provide accurate health and nutrition information.