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24 Puzzling Parenting Tips From the 1800s

Reg Speller, Getty Images
Reg Speller, Getty Images

If you have kids, sifting through countless parenting books and websites to find just the right advice can seem like an endless task. While we can’t tell you the best way to raise the perfect young lady or gentleman, we can offer up some child-rearing tips from the 1800s that you should definitely avoid—like soothing a crying baby with opium.

In the 19th century, it was common practice to quiet a fussy or sick child with "medicines" like Stickney & Poor’s Paregoric Syrup—a substance that not only contained more than a tenth of a gram of opium per ounce, but that was almost 50 percent全天幸运飞艇数据网页。 alcohol! No wonder it was able to deliver on its promise of calming children down. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only toxic remedy that parents embraced in the days of yore: Kids were regularly made to ingest turpentine in order to rid themselves of tapeworms, while mercury was believed to be a cure for dysentery or edema.

In this edition of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy dives into the many toxic substances that were administered to children, plus the history of baby cages, gum lancing, and many more puzzling child-rearing practices from the 1800s. You can watch the full episode below.

全天幸运飞艇数据网页。 For more episodes like this, be sure to head and subscribe.

Blue Apron’s Memorial Day Sale Will Save You $60 On Your First Three Boxes

Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

If you’ve gone through all the recipes you had bookmarked on your phone and are now on a first-name basis with the folks at the local pizzeria, it might be time to introduce a new wrinkle into your weekly dinner menu. But instead of buying loads of groceries and cookbooks to make your own meal, you can just subscribe to a service like , which will deliver all the ingredients and instructions you need for a unique dinner.

And if you start your subscription before May 26, you can save $20 on each of your first three weekly boxes from the company. That means that whatever plan you choose—two or four meals a week, vegetarian or the Signature plan—you’ll save $60 in total.

全天幸运飞艇数据网页。With the company’s Signature plan, you’ll get your choice of meat, fish, and foods, along with options for diabetes-friendly and Weight Watchers-approved dishes. The vegetarian plan loses the meat, but still allows you to choose from a variety of dishes like General Tso's tofu and black bean flautas.

全天幸运飞艇数据网页。To get your $60 off, head to the and click “Redeem Offer” at the top of the page to sign up.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

26 Fascinating Facts About the Human Body

Ridofranz/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Ridofranz/iStock via Getty Images Plus

You may not think about it very often, but there's so much to learn about the human body. For instance, did you know that people are actually covered in invisible stripes? In this article, which was adapted from an episode of , we take a look at some fascinating facts about the human body you might not know.

1. Only humans have chins.

Humans are the only with chins. While you may think every animal has one, that’s just what we tend to call the bottom of the head. But in reality, a chin is a very specific bone feature that extends forward from the lower jaw. Some experts propose that elephants and manatees have chins, but others argue that they’re such fundamentally distinct structures they shouldn’t be compared to humans. Experts still aren’t sure why people evolved to have ; the reason might have to do with eating or speaking, or they may just have emerged as a side effect from some other useful feature.

2. Humans have a strange bone called the hyoid.

A peculiar bone humans have is the hyoid全天幸运飞艇数据网页。. This is the one bone that doesn’t form a joint with another bone. Instead, it’s connected to muscles and ligaments. The sits between the jaw and the voice box and it’s used to keep all the lower mouth muscles in place. It also helps with swallowing and talking.

3. People that have more hair and innie belly buttons are more prone to lint.

全天幸运飞艇数据网页。Hairy people with innie belly buttons are more prone to belly button lint, which comes from fibers that rub off of clothing over time. Your stomach hair grabs onto the and pulls them into your .

全天幸运飞艇数据网页。Starting in 2011, a group of scientists started the to learn about what's going on inside these little caves of mystery, and as it turns out, it's quite a lot. from about 60 people revealed over 2300 total species of . And of those, only eight were identified as common, appearing in over 70 percent of belly buttons.

4. While it varies person to person, fingernails grow faster than toenails.

Your fingernails grow faster than your . Though it varies from person to person, typically, fingernails grow about a tenth of a millimeter each day, while toenails grow at around half that pace. There’s a correlation between nail growth speed and the length of the nearest bone. This means that your longest fingers have faster-growing nails than your shorter fingers.

5. Fingernails grow faster on your dominant hand.

Your fingernails grow faster on the hand that you write with. No one knows why.

6. As you age, your nails change.

, they grow more slowly and then nail cells, known as onychocytes, start accumulating. That’s why older people have thicker toenails全天幸运飞艇数据网页。. Fingernails aren’t as noticeably different because people manage them better, plus our toes a lot of damage throughout our lives.

7. It's a misconception that people's hair and nails continue to grow after they die.

What’s actually happening is the skin dehydrates and then recedes. So it looks like the hair and nails are getting longer, but in reality it's actually the skin that's getting shorter.

8. Breastfeeding will not cause breasts to sag.

It's a common misconception that breastfeeding causes breasts全天幸运飞艇数据网页。 to sag. Pregnancy itself might affect in that they may stretch and then recover differently. But research on breastfeeding confirms it will not cause breasts to sink. A behavior that will, though, is smoking.

9. Hands and feet contain over half the bones in an adult body.

With around 27 in each of your daddles—that’s an old slang word for the hands—and about 26 bones in each of your plates of meat—which is another old slang term for feet全天幸运飞艇数据网页。—these appendages account for over half of an adult’s bones, of which there are around 206 total. But that’s not always true. Feet mostly contain cartilage at birth, then bones form over time. They don’t fully harden until humans are in their early twenties.

10. You can fracture a rib just by sneezing.

While it's rare, it is possible to fracture a rib by sneezing. In 1885, there was an article in the about a 72-year-old man who fractured his eighth rib while sneezing. Sneezer, by the way, is a 1940s Australian slang term “excellent, wonderful,” which could definitely describe a good sneeze—but probably not one that would break a rib.

11. You can see stars if you rub your eyes.

If you've ever seen stars while rubbing your eyes, you’re not imagining it. The cells in our eyes are interpreting the pressure as an input, and treat that the same way they’d treat a light input.

12. Goosebumps are pretty much useless.

Goosebumps are frequently associated with adrenaline being released in the body, like when we’re feeling a particularly strong emotion, for example. They used to be important when had way more hair on their bodies because goosebumps would elevate that hair and make a person look bigger when they were in danger. But now, they’re a pretty useless feature.

13. Spleens help the immune system.

The spleen全天幸运飞艇数据网页。 is surprisingly not totally useless even though that was the belief up until the 1950s. It’s OK to get your removed, but it does assist the immune system. While blood is in the , the immune system creates the necessary antibodies to fight bacteria in that blood. A fetus’s spleen also creates red blood cells.

14. The appendix seems to help the immune system.

It's OK to get your appendix removed, but the organ also aids the immune system. In 2018, Dr. Mohamad Abouzeid, assistant professor and attending surgeon at NYU Langone Health told全天幸运飞艇数据网页。 Mental Floss, "[The appendix] has a high concentration of the immune cells within its walls." Experts don't know exactly how the appendix affects the immune system, but it seems to play some role in keeping us healthy.

15. A fetus's face forms in the first three months after conception.

During the first three months after conception, a fetus’s comes together, fusing in the area of the top of the lip. That means the dent under the nose, which is called the philtrum, is evidence of a person's time in the womb.

16. Babies don’t just see in black and white.

A newborn baby has pretty terrible vision. But it’s not true that they can only see in black and white. In reality, if there’s a large amount of the color , they can identify it, but only if it appears in front of gray. Newborns have about 5 percent of the visual acuity that adults do, but it improves quickly and takes only around six months before they can see about as well as a grown-up. Though there are some eye tests that babies can school adults on, which are ones centered around . For example, up until 6 months old, a baby can tell monkeys apart, while older babies and adults can’t do that.

17. The liver is very good at regenerating itself.

In fact, with just 25 percent of the original liver tissue, it can regenerate. transplants are generally only needed if someone has experienced severe damage to the organ or an injury.

18. Some people are born with three kidneys.

全天幸运飞艇数据网页。Some people had a kidney split while they were still in the womb, so they're actually born with three. This makes them candidates for donation, but the problem is often don't know when they have three kidneys.

19. A person's large intestine can be stretched 5 feet and the small intestine can stretch 20 feet.

The intestines are pretty long: The small intestine stretches to about 20 feet and the large intestine hits 5 feet. The surface area of your intestines could take up two entire tennis courts, although some Swedish researchers have downgraded it to studio apartment size. Compare that with a , though, which has over 700 feet worth of intestines.

20. The stomach can hold up to 50 fluid ounces.

The stomach全天幸运飞艇数据网页。 may not be tennis court size, but it can hold around 16 to 50 fluid ounces. It's interesting to note that a Trenta size at is 31 fluid ounces, which is more than many adult stomachs can technically hold.

21. The neurotransmitter serotonin can be found in the gut.

Our gut contains 95 percent of the neurotransmitter serotonin. In fact, the , with its 100 million neurons, is so important to mood that it’s sometimes called the “second brain.” Medications that affect serotonin will often also cause GI issues.

22. The skin is the largest organ.

全天幸运飞艇数据网页。The skin is considered an organ and it's the body's largest one. An adult may have 22-square feet of on their body. Basically that means your skin could comfortably stretch across half the floor of the typical bathroom.

23. The skin makes up a large part of your body weight.

Fifteen percent of your total body weight, to be exact.

24. The ovaries are in communication with the brain.

It was once believed that the ovaries and sort of sat dormant until they were needed, but the ovaries actually communicate with the brain in ways we’re just learning about. The hypothalamus and ovaries work together to make sure that the levels of hormones in the ovaries, like estrogen and progesterone, are where they need to be.

25. Humans are covered in stripes.

The human body is covered in stripes called Blaschko’s Lines, which are typically invisible. They’re cellular relics of our development from a single cell to a fully formed human.

26. Humans glow, but our eyes aren't able to detect it.

Humans glow, but it’s just around 1000 times weaker than our eyes can detect. Every animal that has metabolic reactions because in that process, photons get emitted, causing light. In 2009, a study was published in which a camera captured the bioluminescence of five men. According to that study, our upper lights up the strongest. And the glow is on a cycle; when we’re on a normal sleep schedule, our bioluminescence is at its strongest at about 4 p.m.

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