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Let the kids flip water bottles, they need it

It begins with the blankie. Mother isn’t able to comfort you all day every day, and your developing brain is rapidly attuning to that fact. But you also aren’t able to comfort yourself, not yet, not entirely; the feelings are too strong, language and notions of cause-and-effect relationships too nascent. And so the blankie. It is, by all accounts, an ordinary blankie. But in your tiny hands it possesses a special power, one that until now has been the exclusive purview of your mother, which is the power to comfort. Of course, even your young and elastic mind can appreciate…

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Why adults are drawn to teenage stories

As you walk into Gallery 625 of the European Paintings department in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you confront a rather puzzling work. Madonna and Child, by Italian painter Duccio di Buoninsegna, is much smaller than its neighbours, barely the size of a standard US letter. While its peers float in ethereal realms of shining gold, Duccio’s gilding lacks lustre, the tracery of cracks on its surface evincing the painting’s extreme age. Even the colors are not as bright. Mary’s dress, which dominates much of the scene, appears to be painted in somber azurite, rather than the brilliant ultramarine that…