AotM #9: Babies!

It’s been a long time since the last Articles of the Moment (there’s a reason I call these Articles of the “Moment” instead of Day, Week, or Month). So to start things back up, what could be more appropriate than a Babies theme?


  1. Infant pain can have a number of repercussions on adults. And here’s some additional, older research in the same vein. Kinda puts an additional twist to the circumcision “debate” (which, FYI, I don’t see as a debate at all—circumcision is a version of male genital mutilation that’s completely unnecessary in any modern culture that has access to running water and education).
  2. Children who are spanked have a lower IQ. It makes perfect sense that additional stress hormones in youth can impact our long-term health. Thankfully physical punishment of children is down, worldwide.
  3. Breast milk should be drunk fresh, not stored for later use, since compounds in it are tailor made for the moment. It’s especially useful for regulating infant sleep cycles.
  4. Another reason why children’s imaginations need to be encouraged and developed, not smothered with modern media: imagination (through guided visualization) has a significant impact on perception of pain.
  5. Even just a sip of water can help to reduce pain response and anxiety in children and adults. Chocolate and sweets work too, but not as well as simple water. It’s because we evolved to take advantage of the resources in front of us while we can (like drinking water or calories). Unfortunately this response probably also contributes to our obesity problem.

AotM #5: Let’s get a little more controversy going

Although I generally avoid specifically political or religious topics here (to each their own), I am a strongly opinionated person who enjoys rationally presented evidence, pushing people’s buttons, and exploring boundaries and assumptions. Forewarned is forearmed!


  1. Physical warmth makes for “warmer” interpersonal interactions. So, next time you throw a party, hand everyone a hot cup of tea, coffee, or cider as they come through the door. Or, even better, make them hot toddies or Irish coffees, since….
  2. …It seems that moderate drinkers are happier than teetotalers, in general. Although regular exercise and not smoking also help with happiness.
  3. The interesting contradictions between attitudes toward sex and actual sexual behavior in teens. My takehome: as always, openness, honesty, and love are more important than stricture or structure.
  4. Pregnant women should avoid flaxseed oil (only the oil).

The very first “Articles of the Moment”

This was the inaugural “Articles of the Moment”—emails that I started sending to my close friends and family with links to interesting articles and studies lo those many eons ago, in 2008. Enjoy!


  1. Natural childbirth leads to stronger bonds between mother and child than C-section. Mother nature knew what she was doing with evolution.
  2. Turmeric lowers chances of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and stroke. It’s constantly fascinating how almost every natural foodstuff we study (e.g. spices, broccoli, beer, chocolate, teas, coffee, apples, and oh so much more) reveals “unexpected” health benefits. Eat naturally, be thankful to your food, and health will be yours.
  3. The lack of a feeling of personal control leads to belief in conspiracy theories, superstition, active deities, etc. This is why staying centered, and therefore naturally in control of oneself, is so important—it removes the blinders and distorted lenses from our eyes, allowing us to be more sensitive to the truths that are always around us.