3-Minute Coffee with UR: What head shape would you like:
flat, long or pointy?
与曾叔叔喝三分钟咖啡:你想要什么头型:平的、长的,还是尖的? (Sonic翻譯)

“Long heads.” When I see an adult with a long head shape that is flattened on both sides, I instantly recognize that this person likely used to be a premature baby. When babies are premature, their skull is relatively soft so it’s easier to mold or distort its shape. I recognize them, because (as a neonatologist), those were “my babies” that I took care of!

“长头”,当我看到一个头部长且两侧扁平的成年人时,我立刻意识到这个人可能曾经是早产儿。当婴儿早产时,他们的头骨相对较软,所以更容易塑造或扭曲其形状。我认识他们,因为作为一名新生儿学家,那些是我曾经照顾的“我的孩子”!

If premature babies lie on their faces, which was common in the past, the relatively heavy head results in the flattening effect. Today, however, nurses put the baby’s head in different positions, or even use a helmet so their heads don’t look so squashed later on!

如果早产婴儿像过去一样面朝下俯着,那么相对沉重的头部会产生扁平效应。然而,当今护士把婴儿的头放在不同的位置,甚至使用头盔,这样他们的头以后看起来就不会被压扁了!

Swimming round head in the womb.
圆头在子宫里游泳

Swimming “round-head” babies. Our heads were probably the roundest when we were in our mother’s womb. In essence, we were swimming or bobbing in water, and the lack of directed pressure on any specific part of our skull allowed the skull to develop more uniformly, and rounder!

游泳的“圆头”婴儿。当我们在母亲子宫里的时候,我们的头可能是最圆的。从本质上讲,我们是在水中游泳或漂浮,我们头骨的任何特定部分都缺乏定向压力,这使得头骨发育得更均匀、更圆!

The Great Birth Squeeze and Challenge. Actually, the skull is so beautifully designed, it can even normally pass through an intensive skull squeeze before being born. The softer, more flexible baby skull allows the process to proceed well, without damage to mother or baby.

巨大的生产压力和挑战。事实上,头骨设计得非常漂亮,在出生前,它甚至可以正常地通过密集的头骨挤压。更柔软、更有弹性的婴儿头骨可以让这个过程顺利进行,而不会对母亲或婴儿造成伤害。

Even though the squeezing pressure can be quite strong! Even without the midwife yelling out to “push” and “push”. We can imagine the strong adult muscle pressures that bear down on a small baby skull! It’s truly a major challenging trial just before arriving into a cruel new world!

尽管挤压力相当大!即使没有助产士大声喊着” 用力,用力” “加油,加油”,我们也可以想象,成年人强大的肌肉压力正压在一个小婴儿的头骨上!在进入一个残酷的新世界之前,这真的是一个具有挑战性的重大考验!

The baby’s head actually looks pretty squashed right after birth, depending on the degree and duration of the squeeze. Certainly not a nice round cute head at that moment!

宝宝的头在刚出生后看起来被压扁了,这取决于挤压的程度和持续时间。当然在那一刻不是一个可爱的圆脑袋!

Some people try to avoid their baby’s head being squeezed and squashed by having her born by cesarean section. That’s a drastic way of keeping a round head, since there are potential side effects that can sometimes, though rarely nowadays, even be fatal.

一些人为了避免宝宝的头部被挤压,选择剖宫产。这是一种保持圆头的极端方式,因为有时潜在的副作用甚至是致命的,尽管目前很少出现。

Pointy heads and all.
各种尖头

Royal “pointy heads” and “flatheads”. It turns out historically that many royal families liked to play around with the royal baby head. The Incas in the Americas loved their royal families to have pointy heads, so they molded the royal baby heads that way, using wooden frames that squeezed their heads from infancy.

皇家“尖头”和“平头”。史料显示许多皇室家庭都喜欢摆弄王室婴儿的头部。美洲的印加人喜欢他们的皇室成员有尖尖的头,因此他们用木框从婴儿时期就挤压皇室婴儿的头,以此来塑造皇室婴儿的头型。

Ancient Egyptian royalty also preferred pointy heads. (Think of the fabulous mummies of Egyptian queens.) They looked very sophisticated, and could even be considered exquisitely fashionable!

古埃及皇室也喜欢尖头。(想想那些神话般的埃及女王木乃伊吧。)它们看起来非常精致,甚至可以被认为是精致的时尚!

Korean royals, however, preferred flat backs of heads, the flatter the better, which I suspect has influenced even non-royal traditional Korean head shapes! All it takes is to have babies sleep exclusively on the back of their heads. And keeping them obediently still, a good Asian virtue.

然而,韩国皇室更喜欢平头,越平越好,我怀疑这甚至影响了非皇室的传统韩国头型!只需要让婴儿,就行了。让他们乖乖不动,这是亚洲人的美德。

Rare heads. There are many bones that make up the entire skull. And there are a number of interfaces between these bones, called suture lines, which do not grow completely closed until about age two. So, there’s less restriction on the natural growth of the brain, which can grow quite a bit, especially during the first two years.

罕见的头。整个头颅由许多骨头组成。这些骨头之间有很多交界面,叫做颅骨缝,直到两岁左右才会完全闭合。所以,颅骨对大脑的自然发育没有什么限制,特别是在头两年,大脑可以有较多的发育。

If for some reason some of these suture lines are fused before their appointed time, that could cause a limitation of brain growth at those locations. This restriction can then result in distorted skull and brain shapes. Sometimes these distortions come as part of various syndromes or malformations. Specialized head and neck surgeons do tremendously valuable work fixing the distortions so that they don’t look quite so unusual or even grotesque.

如果由于某种原因,这些颅骨缝在预定时间之前就融合了,这可能会导致这些位置的大脑生长受到限制。这种限制会导致头颅和大脑形状畸形改变。有时候这些改变是各种综合征或畸形的一部分。专门的头颈外科医生做了非常有价值的工作来修复这些改变,这样它们看起来就不会那么不寻常甚至怪异。

Location-based baby heads? In America, it was the tradition for babies to sleep on their faces, and I’m assuming that baby skulls at the time, “made in America”, were “naturally” more flat on the sides. Obviously not as flattened as a premature baby, but likely still significant.

基于位置的婴儿头?在美国,婴儿趴着睡觉是一种传统,我猜测当时的婴儿头骨“美国制造”,侧面“自然”更平。显然不像早产儿那么扁平,但可能仍然很重要。

However, in traditional Chinese culture, similar to the Korean approach, babies generally slept on their backs, so the head was flattened in the back, having a bit of the so-called royal look described above. Maybe, when viewed face to face, their resultant wider-looking heads might even look bigger, an imagined sign of “smartness”.

然而,在中国传统文化中,与韩国的做法类似,婴儿一般是仰卧着睡的,所以头部在后面是扁平的,有一点上面描述的所谓皇家的样子。也许,当面对面观看时,他们看起来更宽的头甚至看起来更大,这是一种想象中的“聪明”的标志。

I noticed these specific head shape differences in some relatives and friends born and raised in America, versus those “made in Asia”. Asians who were born and raised in America seemed to have a more “westernized” skull shape! I imagined Asians who were born in America might have slept like most American babies. Which should affect skull shapes. Which will shape the face, eyes and cheekbones.

我注意到,一些在美国出生和长大的亲戚和朋友,与那些“亚洲制造”的人,有这些特定的头型差异。在美国出生和长大的亚洲人似乎有一个更“西化”的头骨形状!我推测在美国出生的亚洲人可能睡得像大多数美国婴儿一样。这应该会影响头骨形状,还可以塑造面部,眼睛和颧骨。

Modern-day attempt to mold the baby head using helmets. The relatively recent concern of sudden infant death (SIDS) has produced more flat heads, hence this new industry.
用头盔塑造婴儿头部的现代尝试。最近对婴儿猝死(SIDS)的关注导致了更多的平头,因此这是个新兴产业。

A new baby head worry. Then in the 1990s, concern about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), made American mothers aware of a greater risk of SIDS in babies lying on their faces, so there was a significant move to flip the baby onto her back during sleep. A more Asian approach! Which could have resulted in more “Asian looking” skulls?

新宝宝头型担忧。到了20世纪90年代,由于对婴儿猝死综合症(SIDS)的担忧,美国的母亲们意识到婴儿趴着睡觉更有可能患上SIDS,因此出现了重大变化,在睡觉时让婴儿改为仰卧。更亚洲的方法!这会导致更多“亚洲长相”的头骨吗?

So as Asians moved to America, there might be a tendency towards a more “Western” longer head beginning in infancy, and as more Americans became SIDS-conscious, the heads (beginning in babyhood) might have tended towards an “Asian look”, flatter in the back. Somewhere, head shapes might have met in the middle!

因此,随着亚洲人搬到美国,从婴儿时期开始,可能会有一种更“西方化”的长脑袋的趋势,而随着越来越多的美国人开始SIDS顾虑,他们的头(从婴儿时期开始)可能会趋向于枕部扁平的“亚洲人的样子”。东西方对于头的形状的要求可能会在中间相遇!

In the last few decades, there has even been an American industry trying to prevent flat heads in the back (exaggerated by the SIDs scare) by positioning the baby’s head during sleep and putting special helmets on the babies. So if you see babies wearing helmets in the parks, you now know what’s going on. At least it’s not a wooden frame which such as was used in royal babies!

在过去的几十年里,甚至有一个美国公司为了防止枕部平坦头(被婴儿猝死症吓怕了)而试图在婴儿睡觉时给婴儿头部戴上特殊的头盔。所以如果你在公园里看到戴着头盔的婴儿,你就知道那是在干什么。至少它不是用在皇室婴儿头上的木制的框架!

Who’s got the better head? As for the debate among head shapes, you can’t win: which one is “better”: round, or flat in the back, or flat on the sides?

谁的头型更好?至于关于头型的争论,你肯定赢不了:圆头、后平头、侧平头,哪个更“好”?

“Big-head monk”. Growing up in Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong is hazardous for your name. Because of the nine tones in Cantonese, it‘s pretty easy to be given a nickname which sounds close enough to your real name, but which, good or (usually) bad, will last you a lifetime!

“大头僧(和尚)”。在说粤语的香港长大对你的名字是有害的。因为粤语有九种音调,所以很容易得到一个听起来和你的真名很接近的绰号,但不管这个绰号是好是坏(通常是不好的),都会伴随你一生!

I was given a nickname of “Big-Head Monk” by classmates, because in Cantonese the word for monk is zang, which sounds exactly like Tsang, my last name. I don’t remember that my head was particularly big, but hey, a nickname is a nickname, forever. People from my childhood days would probably remember that more than my real name.

同学们给我起了个外号叫“大头僧”,因为在广东话里,和尚是“僧”,跟我的姓“曾”发音一模一样。我不记得我的头是否特别大,但是,绰号就是绰号,永远都是。我童年时代的人可能更记得这个名字,远胜过我的真名。

At the time, in comic cartoons there was a “Big-Head Monk. That’s where it came from, I assume. Then there’s also a monk figure in the classical Chinese lion dance, who indeed has a big round head, whose job it is to provoke the lion with a fan. He’s either a clown or a menace. See Photo 4 below.

当时,在漫画中有一个“大头和尚”。我想这就是它的由来吧。在中国古典舞狮中也有一个和尚的形象,他确实有一个又大又圆的头,他的工作就是用扇子挑逗狮子。他要么是个小丑,要么是个惹事的人。见下图4

Photo 4: The Big-Head Monk, dai tou zang, plays an important role in the classical lion dance. No known relation with the author.
图4:大头和尚,大头僧,在古典狮舞中扮演重要角色。和我没有什么关联。

Or maybe he’s even a respected character, since in some descriptions he is called a Big-Headed Buddha, daai tou fat. So maybe my nickname was meant to be a compliment. But nicknames then were not meant to be complimentary, so I doubt it!

然而他甚至是一个受人尊敬的角色,因为在一些描述中他被称为大头佛,(大头胖佛)。所以也许我的昵称是一种赞美。但那时的昵称并不是为了赞美,所以我对此表示怀疑!

“Big-head prawn”. It’s actually much worse for person surnamed Ha who has a good-sized head. He’s doomed, since ha has the same sound as the word for shrimp or prawn. In Cantonese, daai tou ha is a colloquial name for a giant prawn, literally a big-headed prawn.

“大头虾”。对于脑袋较大的夏姓的人来说,情况更糟。他的命运注定了,因为夏与虾的发音相同。在广东话中,大个头虾是块头较大的虾的口头称谓,字面意思是大头虾。

Or “big headed prawn” can be an unkind joke for a clumsy or even loopy person. Actually, that was a bit too close for comfort for me, since it was too easy to include my supposedly big head in this joke. Daai tou zang morphing into Daai tou fat, and easily into daai tou ha!

或者 “大头虾”在香港俚语里就是蠢笨,这对一个笨拙甚至愚蠢的人来说,可能是一个不太友好的玩笑。事实上,这对我来说似乎有点令人不悦,因为我的据别人说的大头,太容易被扯进这个笑话里了。大头僧变身大头佛,又轻松变身大头虾!

Whose head do you have in your luggage? I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I shipped an authentic human skeleton (gifted many years earlier to my father from his Anatomy department) from Hong Kong to the USA, without immigration papers or hassles. Clearly in today’s culture, shipping a real human skull and the rest of the skeleton in my (unaccompanied) baggage would raise a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) alarm! But not in those simpler days.

你行李里有谁的头?我在其他地方提到过,我把一具真正的人类骨骼(多年前我父亲的解剖系送给他的)从香港运到美国,没有办理移民手续,也没有遇到麻烦。显然,在今天的文化中,在我的托运的行李中运送一个真正的人类头骨和其他部分的骨骼会引起运输安全管理局的警报!但在那个简单的年代是不会的。

I’m so glad, however, that I brought this handsome authentic head over because it gave my Vacation Bible School cannibal stories that much more pizazz. Thank you, whoever is the original owner! Incidentally, I might even be in trouble. Someday someone might try to reclaim it. I really don’t have any documentation papers, sorry. Again, those were simpler times than today.

然而,我很高兴我带来了这个漂亮的真实头颅,因为它给我的暑期儿童圣经班食人族故事增添了更多活力。谢谢你,不管你的原主是谁!顺便说一句,我可能有麻烦了。总有一天会有人想要收回它。对不起,我真的没有任何文件。再说一次,昔日比今天简单。

My non-squashed, unaccompanied-luggage authentic head in action.
我没有被压扁的,托运行李中带来的真正的人的头骨正在展示。

What’s a really fashionable head? In China, squashed female feet were once considered exquisitely fashionable. As mentioned, in many countries, infant heads were squashed for royal beauty. So squashing fashions come and go, and who knows what the shape of the head really should be, royalty or not, sophisticated or not. I think I’ll keep my original head shape, big or not, thank you.

什么是真正时髦的头?在中国,女性缠足曾被认为是一种极致的时尚。如前所述,在许多国家,婴儿的头部被压扁以符合皇室的审美标准。所以扁头时尚潮流潮涨潮落,谁知道真正的头型应该是什么样的,皇室的还是民间的,精致的还是粗陋的。我想我会保持我原来的头型,无论大小,谢谢。

Does head shape improve brain power? To a medical type like me, maybe an important question is, do any of these head shapes make the baby smarter? Did royal babies get smarter from their head distortions? I seriously doubt that.

头型能提高脑力吗?对于像我这样的医学专家来说,也许一个重要的问题是,这些头部形状是否会让婴儿更聪明?王室宝宝因为头部变形而变得更聪明了吗?我对此深表怀疑。

And there will be no way to study this in a systematic way, such as squashing half the babies’ heads and not the others, and following their brain lives for years. Since no one will do this study, we’ll never know for sure.

没有办法系统地研究这一点,比如把一半的婴儿的头压扁,另一半则不,并跟踪他们的大脑生活数年。因为没有人会做这项研究,我们永远无法确定。

Heaven’s mandate for royalty. For a loftier view of body shapes, in the highly revered half of the world, the Mandate of Heaven was given to David, the greatest King, because of the shape of his heart (poetically), and not his external body physique. It’s fair to assume that the shape of his head wasn’t important at all! In fact, from many sources, I’m sure Heaven also looks at all of our hearts, and not our skull shape! Definitely no need to squash any heads, in any imaginative way.

这是上天对皇室的授权。对于身材的更高的观点,世界一半人备受尊敬的历史上,天命被授予大卫,最伟大的国王,因为他的心的形状(诗意地),而不是他的外在身体的体格。相当公正的认为他的头的形状根本不重要。事实上,从很多方面来看,我确信上天也会看我们所有人的心,而不是我们的头形!绝对没有需要,用任何想象的方式去压扁别人的脑袋。

Reference: Acts 13:22

参考: 使徒行传 13:22