HEARTBREAKING STORY OF THE WEEK THAT WE REALLY, REALLY HOPE "WEEKEND UPDATE" STAYS THE HELL AWAY FROM THIS WEEKEND

Miss Deaf Texas killed by train
Witness says engineer sounded horn repeatedly before striking 18-year-old

DON'T TELL ANYONE, BUT SMALL FELLOW REALLY LIKES BOOKS ABOUT PUPPIES AND DUCKS, TOO

Emily Bazelon argues in Slate today that you're doing your boys a disservice if you guide them exclusively to "boy" books instead of letting them discover great "girl" books like the classic Little House series, books which may have female protagonists, but also have rich details about frontier life and instructions on such cool topics as how to build stuff and how to load a musket. Fair enough.

DON'T YOU DARE TRY TO BEAT US TO MARKET WITH OUR BOOK AND GAME TIE-INS TO THIS ARTICLE: THE VERY HUNGRY FETUS AND HUNGRY HUNGRY FETUSES

Hungry1 As if pregnancy wasn't freaky enough for all you ladies out there, here's a creepy new wrinkle: Turns out, that fetus inside your tum-tum is no friend of yours. Nope, Cletus will fight you tooth-and-nail for every nutrient you can take in. As Science Times put it today, "a mother and her unborn child engage in an unconscious struggle over the nutrients she will provide it."

According to Harvard's Dr. David Haig, "A fetus does not sit passively in its mother's womb and wait to be fed. Its placenta aggressively sprouts blood vessels that invade its mother's tissues to extract nutrients." When your fetus gets the extreme upper hand, you get pre-eclampsia. Most tragically, Dr. Haig has concluded, after all the struggle in utero, when the fetus turns 18, it will almost completely stop calling you.

This article, which ought to be Topic A in New York-area OB waiting rooms this week, goes on to discuss, in detail we'd have a hard time handling flippantly here, a "conflict" at the genetic level which could have wide-ranging implications for fields like behavioral science:

His theory also explains a baffling feature of developing fetuses: the copies of some genes are shut down, depending on which parent they come from. Dr. Haig has also argued that the same evolutionary conflicts can linger on after birth and even influence the adult brain. New research has offered support to this idea as well. By understanding these hidden struggles, scientists may be able to better understand psychological disorders like depression and autism.

Clear 15 minutes to have your mind blown and read the piece here.

AT LEAST SOMEONE IS USING OUR "PUBLISHED ARTICLES" LINKS

Inevitably, just when we think Fellow is ignoring our house rules, he delivers some reassurance. For example, Friday has always been tuna-fish-sandwich day in Fellow's lunch sack, and he looks forward to it all week. And yet, due to our own lax monitoring of the pantry closet, last Friday morning we found not a single can of the solid-pack good stuff at FD.com headquarters. Apologizing to Fellow for our dereliction of duty, we told him that perhaps he could have tuna both Monday and Friday this week. No, no, he said, "I can only have tuna fish once a week." It's OK, Fellow, we said, you didn't have it this week, so you can have it twice next week. "No," he insisted, closing debate. "I'm only supposed to have it once a week, so that's it."

March 14, 2006 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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