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Earlier this summer, Stuff Mom Never Told You listener Pauline wrote in with an intriguing podcast suggestion: Over the past few days I read several times a statement that goes like this: Women form 50% of the world’s population They perform 66% of the world’s paid and unpaid work Produce 50% of its food Earn […]

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On May 18, 1970, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell walked into the Hennepin County courthouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota, intending to obtain a marriage license. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Baker already had been fired from an air force base for being openly gay, but the rampant anti-LGBT discrimination and harassment of the era didn’t hold him back from attempting to marry his partner. The license was denied, and a Hennepin County judge upheld the decision with a nod to the Bible: “The institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family, is as old as the Book of Genesis.”

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There’s a spot in the human brain named for Pierre Paul Broca, and if you’re reading this post out loud, you’re using it. Discovered by the French neurologist in 1861, Broca’s area is a cluster of neurons responsible for speech formation. Then, in 1866, Broca described familial breast cancer for the first time in medical history based on 10 cases of breast cancer that occurred across four generations of his wife’s family.

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As a kid, I watched a ton of AMC, back in the pre-”Mad Men” and -”Walking Dead” days when the channel only played old movies, and was commercial-free to boot. And, oh, how I hated Bette Davis because whenever one of her movies was on, that meant it was probably a drama about dramatic adult things, and all my 10-year-old self wanted was some Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis slapstick or a happy-go-lucky Technicolor musical. However, my kid self likely would’ve been into Davis’ “Now, Voyager“because I was and still am a sucker for a magical makeover movie…

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Nipple-darkening tattoos in Britain, double eyelid surgery in South Korea, and now mustache implants in Turkey. I’m not going out of my way to turn this blog into Stuff Mom Never Told You About Faddish Cosmetic Surgeries, I swear. But how could I resist spreading the word about how men are apparently “flocking” to Turkey to get mustache implants? Answer: I couldn’t.

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Cobbling together a history of cupcakes was about as challenging as eating one without getting frosting all over my face, as the origin story of America’s Favorite Handheld Dessert is a murky one. Speaking to Scientific American, food historian Andrew Smith said cupcakes first popped up in an American cookbook a couple years prior in 1826, although earlier recipes dated back to the 1850s in England. Meanwhile, Krystina Cupcake Castella, author of “Crazy About Cupcakes” writes that the word first appeared in print in 1828 in Eliza Leslie’s75 Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats.” Leslie was a Victorian-era Betty Crocker who may have picked up the cupcake “receipt” in England where she grew up…

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Whether good, bad, or ugly, female political candidates’ looks making the news hurts their electability. A survey jointly sponsored by Name It. Change It., the Women’s Media Center and She Should Run found that whenever the media report on the appearance of women running for office, the outcome is negative — no matter whether news items praise or critique. Based on the responses of 1,500 likely male and female voters, including an oversample of 100 women, the survey revealed that the appearance reporting hurt the women candidates the most in the areas of “being in touch, being likeable, confident, effective and qualified.”

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In anticipation of Saint Patrick’s Day, our minds inevitably turn the little people of Irish folklore.

But as Julie and I discuss in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, diminutive magical fairy folk pop up in folk traditions around the world – as do the Lilliputian hallucinations that produce such fantastic visions.

So listen in and I’ll help you bone up on Irish myth and then we’ll introduce you to the science behind those paranormal leprechaun encounters.

Blind men will see again.

Gaunt beings will gather around death beds.

Little people will frolic in the woods.

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In 2001, Dannon attempted the seemingly impossible: turn yogurt into a “man food.” Speaking to The New York Times about its new ad campaign clearly aimed at a male demographic then-marketing president Eric Leventhal said, “Yogurt is not just a woman thing.” And so its new manly commercials showed gritty construction workers….doing a choreographed dance while stirring their yogurt in time? Real tough stuff.

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There’s far more to military camouflage than painting a tank green. As Julie and I discuss in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, camouflage design incorporates both the neuroscience of how we perceive the world as well as the art of cubism and textile design.

To the right you’ll find an excellent example of the dazzle ship camouflage that we discuss in the episode. This photo takes us back to November 1918, as airmen and seamen cheer King George V from the aircraft carrier ‘Argus’ on his visit to the Fleet.

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