Why doesn't the heart shape look like an actual heart?

The answer can be found several thousand years ago, in the Roman city of Cyrene.

Photo credit: Olivier Collet on Unsplash
  • If our real hearts looked anything like the symbol that represents them, we'd all probably have a much harder time pumping blood through our bodies.
  • The reason why the heart symbol looks nothing like the anatomical heart has its roots, oddly enough, in the economy of a Roman city called Cyrene.
  • Cyrene's heart symbol became associated with love through a strange confluence of botany, philosophy, and sex.
Keep reading Show less

The future of male contraceptives? A layered cocktail.

"Dinner and drinks" may take on a new, more provocative meaning.

Photo credit: Peter Ruck / BIPs / Getty Images
  • Scientist propose a layered cocktail as a future male contraceptive.
  • Chemical layers block the flow of sperm and can be dissolved with near-infrared light.
  • Tiny umbrella not included.
    Keep reading Show less

    Why ‘mom guilt’ is an unreasonable term

    What is 'mom guilt'? It's a symptom of the tragic state of America's parental leave policies.

    • America's poor family leave policies for new parents are the reason why 'mom guilt' is universal – but that guilt is unreasonable, says Smith Brody.
    • 'Dad guilt' is not a term, but men should also be part of this conversation.
    • For every month of parental leave that a father takes, the mom's lifetime earnings increase by 7%. Studies prove fathers who take parental leave ultimately have better relationships with their teenage children.
    Keep reading Show less

    Thanks Mom: How your mom swaddled, worked, and fought the clock for you

    Your mother most likely went through a lot to raise you when you were a baby... including getting some of the worst sleep of her life.

    Your mother most likely went through a lot to raise you when you were a baby... including getting some of the worst sleep of her life. According to Lauren Smith Brody, a pregnancy rights activist and founder of The Fifth Trimester, most mothers of infant children don't get a solid night's sleep until 7 months in. In America, unfortunately, there is no law for paid pregnancy leave and many women are back to work after only 8.5 weeks. Lauren advocates for a more lenient policy, one that benefits both the mother and the company. Lauren's latest book is The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom's Guide to Style, Sanity, and Success After Baby

    Hope Together: How One Partner's Belief in Good Outcomes Affects the Relationship

    Pregnancy is proving to be a crucial time to study the effects of hope and optimism within a relationship.

    "The smallest indivisible human unit is two people, not one," wrote Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Kushner, and Professor Eshkol Rafaeli and his team at the Affect and Relationships Lab at Bar-Ilan University have taken that to heart. Funded by the Hope & Optimism initiative, they have been investigating how hope functions in a couple—or a 'dyad', the most romantic term of all—especially as a dyad becomes a triad. Their research focuses on the emotional and mental health of couples having their first child, as it's a major life transition. So does hope fluctuate? Is it contagious? Must both be hopeful, or is one optimist enough to carry everyone through? Here, Rafaeli discusses his team's findings, and future work. This video was filmed as part of the Los Angeles Hope Festival, a collaboration between Big Think and Hope & Optimism.