Oppositional Defiant Disorder

ODD is a condition in which a child displays an ongoing pattern of an angry or irritable mood, defiant or argumentative behavior, and vindictiveness toward people in authority. The child’s behavior often disrupts the child’s normal daily activities, including activities within the family and at school. (webmd.com)

What is the symbolic meaning when two people spit in their hand before they shake on an agreement?

Quora.com Jan 12, 2017

It is the more civilised version (believe it or not) of cutting your hands and mixing the blood pre handshake. Bodily fluids mixed together symbolizing a brotherhood or bond. By the 19th century we (mercifully) were saying “my word is my bond”. The concept of the power of blood bonding or changing the value of things (and apparently saliva) pre dates the bible. It also would have been common for European farmers to have done it. Most notably in Ireland.


FEBRUARY 25, 2020 by VICTOR TANGERMANN (Futurism.com)

Planet Hunter

A team of astronomers at Penn State just confirmed the existence of G 9-40b, a gigantic super-Earth only about 90 light years from Earth — making it one of the closest known exoplanets.

The exoplanet is at least twice as massive as Earth and may even be as large as Neptune. It was first spotted by NASA’s planet-hunting space telescope Kepler during its K2 mission in 2019.

Howdy Neighbor

The team used The Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF), a low-mass planet-hunting instrument attached to the 10-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope at the McDonald Observatory in Texas.

But this particular planet isn’t very habitable. Its surface experiences scorching temperatures of over 3,100 degrees Celsius (5,600 Fahrenheit) — hot, but still substantially cooler than the Sun.

Backyard Bash

The fact that it’s only about 90 light years away means that it is “among the 20 closest transiting planetary systems known, and is currently the second closest transiting planets discovered by the K2 mission to date,” according to a statement by Gudmundur Stefansson, lead author of a paper about the planet published in The Astronomical Journal earlier this month.

The astronomers believe the exoplanet is an excellent candidate for a much closer look by NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope that is scheduled to launch in March 2021.

READ MORE: Extremely big and incredibly close: Meet the new Neptune-sized exoplanet G 9–40b [The Next Web]

More on exoplanets: Scientists Find Evidence of Second Planet Orbiting Closest Star



FEBRUARY 24, 2020 by VICTOR TANGERMANN (Futurism.com)

Night Light

The journals Nature Geoscience and Nature Communications published six fascinating studies today, all detailing discoveries made by NASA’s InSight lander, which first touched down on Mars in November 2018.

Overshadowing the other research in today’s headlines is the InSight team finally confirming once and for all that Mars is in fact seismically active. Another finding, though, is stands out for its sheer weirdness: InSight’s weather science team was able to confirm strange glows in the Martian night sky, Vice reports, thanks to the lander’s sensitive night-time imaging capabilities.


The mysterious phenomenon, dubbed “airglow” is suspected to be caused by photochemical reactions in the sky. It’s long been predicted to take place on the Red Planet, according to Vice, but has only been confirmed now.

The observations were thanks to the lander’s extremely sensitive host of meteorological instruments, as outlined in this paper.

Dust Devils

Scientists were left with one major puzzle: they found plenty of evidence for the existence of dust devils, or “vortices,” near InSight’s landing site. Yet the lander’s latest observations show no sign of them.

“We almost certainly have imaged a lot of these vortices but for whatever reason they don’t appear to be opaque, or not opaque enough that we can see them,” research lead Don Banfield at Cornell University, who leads InSight’s weather science team, told VICE. “It’s quite the mystery.”

READ MORE: NASA’s Mars Lander Detected a Weird Glow in the Martian Night Sky [VICE]

More on Mars: Here’s Why NASA Suspects Mars Life Could Be Hiding Underground

7 ways to be a better communicator — by tweaking your body language

Feb 25, 2020 / Abhimanyu Das (ideas.ted.com)

Eugenia Mello

This post is part of TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from people in the TED community; browse through all the posts here.

Public speaking is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences that many of us face in our daily lives (although it’s dropped off the list of Americans’ biggest fears in recent years, replaced by more immediate threats like … sharks?).

Part of our fear is about what we’re going to say, but the other part is about how we’re going to say it, according to communications expert David JP Phillips (TEDxZagreb Talk: The 110 techniques of communication and public speaking). Phillips has spent years analyzing 5,000 public speakers to identify what moves work — and which ones don’t — when talking to an audience.

When we think of body language, many of us immediately think about hand and arm gestures. But body language is so much more than that — and it’s also something that we should all get comfortable with. By making small, easy tweaks to how we stand, move or even smile, we can help hold an audience’s attention. While Phillips has an entire 110-step system to public speaking, there’s no way or need to master them before your next presentation. Here, he shares 7 body-language tips that anyone can use.

Lean towards your audience

“Taking a step back indicates that you are threatened and makes your audience feel less relaxed,” says Phillips, who is based in Sweden. “Whenever we are threatened, we tend to close our body language, tense our muscles, and take a step back.” Crossing your arms is another move to avoid — it’s something else that people do when they’re nervous or scared and it puts those watching us on the defensive. So keep your arms open, and lean towards your audience. Make sure your head is inclined too; tilting your head backwards signals to your listeners that you feel superior to them.

Match your gestures to your words

Phillips’ rule of thumb when it comes to hand gestures: Make them functional (they should always have a purpose) and make sure they match your message. “The core of all communication is to make your message as clear as possible,” Phillips notes. If you’re talking about sales figures going up, that’s a good time to use a gentle, rising motion. If you’re setting two rhetorical options out for your audience to consider, place your hands on either side as if you’re weighing items in your palms. Humans are visual creatures, and movement will arouse an audience’s attention. But do not abuse this tendency. “If a person is using non-functional gestures, they can become annoying very quickly,” explains Phillips. “Functional gestures, however, are rarely used too much.”

Give your hands a rest

Most of us struggle mightily with what to do with our hands while talking. Put them in our pockets? (No, says Phillips: Too closed off.) Clasp them behind our back? (Nope: Domineering and overly formal.) Phillips has a whole lexicon of poses not to do with one’s hands, such as the “the prayer” (hands clasped in front) and “the beggar” (hands in front, palms up). And then there’s “the peacock”: hands on hips with elbows flapping loosely at your sides. “You often see this one being used by people who are nervous and who desire to quickly become ‘bigger’ in front of their opponent,” he explains. Phillips’s recommendation: “Leave your hands by your sides when you’re not using them.”

Tilt your head

Some of the ways that humans communicate nonverbally are pretty hardwired in us, says Phillips. One of these nonverbal signals is something you probably do all the time without realizing: When you’re trying to show empathy, you tilt your head to one side. “Good listeners are head tilters,” Phillips says. The same empathy signals work — even when you’re the one doing the talking.

Smile like you mean it

One of the most important things that a public speaker can do is deliver a Duchenne smile — the kind of genuine grin that fills your face and reaches your eyes. People respond more warmly to a Duchenne smile. “It will help make the audience more at ease and relaxed. And if they are at ease and relaxed, you’ll become more that way too and you’ve created a positive spiral, making you deliver your talk better. Also, adds Phillips, “as our emotions work from the inside out and the outside in, it means that you can affect your own emotional state in a positive way by smiling on stage.” No need to fake it — just bring to mind a person, place or animal that you know automatically brings a Duchenne smile to your face.

When you slip up, don’t panic 

We’ve all had that moment: We practiced our speech until we could recite it in our sleep, but suddenly we can’t remember what comes next. The best way to recover, according to Phillips, is to act like you’re not panicking. “Avoid reacting on your fear,” he says. “Your body will want to tense up, reverse, hide in a corner, but all that just makes you feel less confident.” Instead, he suggests, “lean forward, open up your posture, breathe deep and slow, talk slowly, pause, and smile a Duchenne smile. All of those in combination will make you feel more comfortable.”

Practice — even when you’re not in front of a crowd

One of Phillips’ favorite mottos when it comes to body language is: “It’s a skill, not a talent.” He believes that anyone can become a great public speaker, even the most awkward and nervous of us. He says that a good first step is to simply become more tuned in to your everyday body language. Learn what gestures you tend to use to get your point across. Once you’ve gotten familiar with your existing body language vocabulary, you can start changing it and expanding it. “My most practical tip is to pick one to three skills and practice them every day until they become part of your natural way of communicating.”

Watch his TEDxZagreb talk now:


Abhimanyu Das is the content specialist at TEDx.

How Steak Became Manly and Salads Became Feminine

Food didn’t become gendered until the late 19th century.

The Conversation|getpocket.com

  • Paul Freedman

Illustration from Maisei Raman/Shutterstock.com.

When was it decided that women prefer some types of food – yogurt with fruit, salads and white wine – while men are supposed to gravitate to chili, steak and bacon?

In my book, “American Cuisine: And How It Got This Way,” I show how the idea that women don’t want red meat and prefer salads and sweets didn’t just spring up spontaneously.

Beginning in the late 19th century, a steady stream of dietary advice, corporate advertising and magazine articles created a division between male and female tastes that, for more than a century, has shaped everything from dinner plans to menu designs.

A Separate Market for Women Surfaces

Before the Civil War, the whole family ate the same things together. The era’s best-selling household manuals and cookbooks never indicated that husbands had special tastes that women should indulge.

Even though “women’s restaurants” – spaces set apart for ladies to dine unaccompanied by men – were commonplace, they nonetheless served the same dishes as the men’s dining room: offal, calf’s heads, turtles and roast meat.

Beginning in the 1870s, shifting social norms – like the entry of women into the workplace – gave women more opportunities to dine without men and in the company of female friends or co-workers.

As more women spent time outside of the home, however, they were still expected to congregate in gender-specific places.

Chain restaurants geared toward women, such as Schrafft’s, proliferated. They created alcohol-free safe spaces for women to lunch without experiencing the rowdiness of workingmen’s cafés or free-lunch bars, where patrons could get a free midday meal as long as they bought a beer (or two or three).

It was during this period that the notion that some foods were more appropriate for women started to emerge. Magazines and newspaper advice columns identified fish and white meat with minimal sauce, as well as new products like packaged cottage cheese, as “female foods.” And of course, there were desserts and sweets, which women, supposedly, couldn’t resist.

You could see this shift reflected in old Schrafft’s menus: a list of light main courses, accompanied by elaborate desserts with ice cream, cake or whipped cream. Many menus featured more desserts than entrees.

By the early 20th century, women’s food was commonly described as “dainty,” meaning fanciful but not filling. Women’s magazines included advertisements for typical female foodstuffs: salads, colorful and shimmering Jell-O mold creations, or fruit salads decorated with marshmallows, shredded coconut and maraschino cherries.

At the same time, self-appointed men’s advocates complained that women were inordinately fond of the very types of decorative foods being marketed to them. In 1934, for example, a male writer named Leone B. Moates wrote an article in House and Garden scolding wives for serving their husbands “a bit of fluff like marshmallow-date whip.”

Save these “dainties” for ladies’ lunches, he implored, and serve your husbands the hearty food they crave: goulash, chili or corned beef hash with poached eggs.

Pleasing the Tastes of Men

Writers like Moates weren’t the only ones exhorting women to prioritize their husbands.

The 20th century saw a proliferation of cookbooks telling women to give up their favorite foods and instead focus on pleasing their boyfriends or husbands. The central thread running through these titles was that if women failed to satisfy their husbands’ appetites, their men would stray.


The pressure to please was increased through advertising. Photo from Mad Men Art.

You could see this in midcentury ads, like the one showing an irritated husband saying “Mother never ran out of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.”

But this fear was exploited as far back as 1872, which saw the publication of a cookbook titled “How to Keep a Husband, or Culinary Tactics.” One of the most successful cookbooks, “‘The Settlement’ Cook Book,” first published in 1903, was subtitled “The Way to a Man’s Heart.”

It was joined by recipe collections like 1917’s “A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband” and 1925’s “Feed the Brute!

This sort of marketing clearly had an effect. In the 1920s, one woman wrote to General Mills’ fictional spokeswoman, “Betty Crocker,” expressing fear that her neighbor was going to “capture” her husband with her fudge cake.

Just as women were being told they needed to focus on their husbands’ taste buds over their own – and be excellent cooks, to boot – men were also saying that they didn’t want their wives to be single-mindedly devoted to the kitchen.


‘The Way to a Man’s Heart’ meant sacrificing your tastes for his own. Photo from Abe Books.

As Frank Shattuck, the founder of Schrafft’s, observed in the 1920s, a young man contemplating marriage is looking for a girl who is a “good sport.” A husband doesn’t want to come home to a bedraggled wife who has spent all day at the stove, he noted. Yes, he wants a good cook; but he also wants an attractive, “fun” companion.

It was an almost impossible ideal – and advertisers quickly capitalized on the insecurities created by the dual pressure wives felt to please their husbands without looking like they’d worked too hard doing so.

A 1950 brochure for a cooking appliance company depicts a woman wearing a low-cut dress and pearls showing her appreciative husband what’s in the oven for dinner.

The woman in the ad – thanks to her new, modern oven – was able to please her husband’s palate without breaking a sweat.

The 1970s and Beyond

Beginning in the 1970s, dining changed dramatically. Families started spending more money eating out. More women working outside the home meant meals were less elaborate, especially since men remained loathe to share the responsibility of cooking.

The microwave encouraged alternatives to the traditional, sit-down dinner. The women’s movement destroyed lady-centered luncheonettes like Schrafft’s and upended the image of the happy housewife preparing her condensed soup casseroles or Chicken Yum Yum.

Yet as food historians Laura Shapiro and Harvey Levenstein have noted, despite these social changes, the depiction of male and female tastes in advertising has remained surprisingly consistent, even as some new ingredients and foods have entered the mix.

Kale, quinoa and other healthy food fads are gendered as “female.” Barbecue, bourbon and “adventurous foods,” on the other hand, are the domain of men.

A New York Times article from 2007 noted the trend of young women on first dates ordering steak. But this wasn’t some expression of gender equality or an outright rejection of food stereotyping.

Instead, “meat is strategy,” as the author put it. It was meant to signal that women weren’t obsessed with their health or their diet – a way to reassure men that, should a relationship flower, their girlfriends won’t start lecturing them about what they should eat.

Even in the 21st century, echoes of cookbooks like “The Way to a Man’s Heart” resound – a sign that it will take a lot more work to get rid of the fiction that some foods are for men, while others are for women.

Paul Freedman is the Chester D. Tripp Professor of History at Yale University.

This article was originally published on October 24, 2019, by The Conversation, and is republished here with permission.