Learning! Roundup: Stop Scaring the Whales, Prejudiced Kids, Muscle Memory, and More!

A roundup of research to learn from this week, including the fact that kids are prejudiced thanks to white supremacy and music is getting angrier.
Photo by Flavio Gasperini.

Scared Whales

Sonar, it turns out, is so bad for whales that it can actually scare them to death. This happens when they are on a deep dive and get so startled by the sonar that their hearts beat too quickly, inducing "the bends", which can be extremely painful even if it doesn't kill them.

Child Prejudice

We like to think that little children are immune to bias and prejudice, but it turns out that all children, regardless of their race and their exposure to diversity, have more negative evaluations of black boys than other children (black girls, white boys, white girls). The researchers can only hypothesize at this point that kids pick up on this bias, which is present in adults across our society, and incorporate it into their own subconscious attitudes. (Thanks a lot, white supremacy!)

Muscle Memory is Real

During physical training, our muscles gain nuclei, and those nuclei stick around even if we stop working out and our muscles shrink back down, making it quicker and easier to regain those skills later. So you might lose it if you don't use it, but you'll get it back real quick!

Blaming Mom (Again)

New research shows that kids who perceive themselves to have conflicting relationships with their moms early in life have a harder time finding purpose in life as adults. This effect is also present in relationships with fathers, but it's not quite as pronounced, probably because mothers are generally the primary caretakers.

Go Outside

If you're in a bad mood, just go outside for five minutes. It'll make things a little better.

Angry Music

Anecdotally, I can tell you that this seems accurate: pop music is getting angrier. If I think about the golden oldies I used to listen to all the time as a teenager, they were pretty upbeat, and even the ones about sad things had incongruously happy tunes. Now part of being cool is being edgy and angry.


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