The human pyramid gets a new twist in China

December 2, 2013
Teamwork makes the dream work? (toychan.net)
Teamwork makes the dream work? (toychan.net)

We’ve heard of human-sized chess, but human-sized Jenga? That sounds more squishy than fun. But just stacking kids for the sake of teaching them about “resistance to heavy pressure?” Now, that’s a lesson. Or something…

“Maybe we should all just avoid stacking kids in general. They’re not books after all.” — Preston Phro at en.rocketnews24.com reacts to a photo of a Chinese teacher posing atop a pile of children stacked between a few layers of gym mats. Apparently, stacking kids is a thing in China, at least according to the teacher who took this photo. “This was done as part of a class to strengthen the children’s resistance to heavy pressure and to foster their teamworking skills,” she said. “They do it in Shanghai, too.”

“Why, after reading this, does the the brain not recognize the second the?” — redditor toointerested at reddit.com makes the Internet do a double-take after reading that question. According to the most popular comment in the discussion, the answer to that question is, “Because when we read we tend to to skip certain obvious words, so that we can focus more on on the less common words.”

“That ‘chemical’ that inactivates part of the brain is beer, isn’t it? I bet it’s beer.” — commenter LingerGalthrope at salon.com responds to an article about how the brain tells time — and it’s not just by reading the hands on a clock. Neuroscientists have discovered humans may have two internal clocks. To test the theory, researchers used a chemical — most likely not beer — to make parts of the brain inactive to pinpoint which parts are involved.

“The academic job market is structured in many respects like a drug gang, with an expanding mass of outsiders and a shrinking core of insiders.” — Alexandre Afonso at alexandreafonso.wordpress.com makes an unlikely comparison between drug dealers and academia professionals. His basic premise is based on a theory made popular by economist Steven Levitt: People will sacrifice their present well-being if there’s even a possibility of reaching fame and fortune later. So, basically, this applies to all occupations …

“Not just babies: it’s the ideal food. Period.” — commenter jefke at huffingtonpost.com evangelizes for what might be the next big thing in food — poi, the pounded root of the taro plant. Hawaiians have been feeding poi to babies for years, and now mainland America is catching on after learning poi offers several desirable qualities. It’s high in calories, easily digestible, a good source of calcium and iron, and even hypoallergenic. Unfortunately, it looks like wallpaper paste.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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Marissa Payne | December 1, 2013