monday memo 106: cake, the troubles, and lakes
Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.
Hey, friends. Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make October 10, 2022 a bit better.
1. Artist of the Week: Elizabeth Mayhew Elizabeth Mayhew is an east-coast designer, decorator, and cake artist! When she’s not in the kitchen, she also works as a columnist for The Washington Post and a contributing editor for The Today Show! Not exactly a cake walk. Growing up in Kentucky, she loved baking, and even started a catering company in college. When she moved to NYC to be an editor, baking became more of a side hobby. In 2020, Elizabeth launched The Dutchy, her own shop. “When I’m making cakes, I’m in the zone. It’s almost meditative,” she says. “It feels like what I’ve always been meant to do.”
2. What we're listening to: Let's Not Meet - Apple Podcasts Sometimes following your gut pays off. Maybe you have your own experiences with a situation that could have gone horribly wrong but didn't. This podcasts covers true horror stories written by those that made it out alive. Let's Not Meet features first person accounts narrated and produced by Andrew Tate in an anthology of terror and suspense.
3. What we're watching: Derry Girls (Season 3) - Netflix We have recommended Derry Girls in the past, but with its final season finally reaching US shores, one of our favorite comedies of the decade deserves a proper sendoff. The show follows a group of teens growing up during The Troubles in Ireland, and while the setting couldn't be more serious, the writing could not be more wittier. So, join us in saying goodbye to our favorite girls...oh, and James.
4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: Monopoly Meltdown According to Hasbro, eight out of ten people fight while playing Monopoly. While this should come as devastating news to a brand that sells themselves on wholesome family fun, this insight has fueled a new campaign that shows how playing Monopoly can make your kid a better loser. “Fighting teaches children to express their emotions, to set boundaries, to stand up for themselves and to put themselves in other people’s shoes,” explained child psychology expert, Dr Krista Okma, in a statement. “It can also be a good occasion to talk to children afterwards about important questions: How important is winning for them? Is it necessary to always be better than others?” In short, playing Monopoly isn’t just pretend capitalism, it's a chance to learn real life skills and lessons. Let’s be honest, unless you're a saint, we all have a memory of losing our cool during a game. This campaign is relatable, clever, and helps to remind us that life isn't all fun and games. Pass go and collect $200, this is one rad campaign.
5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Negativity Bias While we honor and respect all the work journalists do, it's hard sometimes to forget the famous saying, "if it bleeds, it leads." Meaning, stories of tragedy and disaster always take precedence over fluffy or positive stories in the news. This is due to the negativity bias, a cognitive bias that results in adverse events having a more significant impact on our psychological state than positive ones. This bias is tied to another we have featured in the past, loss aversion, where the pain of losing is psychologically twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining. We should be aware of the negativity bias because it can significantly impact our decision-making ability. When making decisions, individuals who fall privy to negativity bias will typically outweigh or focus too heavily on an outcome’s potential costs or negatives. We can attempt to avoid this bias though mindfulness, focusing on the positive, and even reading the next section of this newsletter.
It's the great pumpkin Charlie Brown! Jamie Graham stands next to his prize-winning pumpkin.
6. Good News of the Week:
The FDA just approved a new drug for ALS that was funded by the Ice Bucket Challenge (NPR)
A Ukrainian teenager was just named 'Global Student of the Year' for their work on detecting landmines (Evening Standard)
Nearly 2,500-pound pumpkin wins Massachusetts fair, sets new record (TODAY)
Ancient 3,000 year-old canoe discovered beneath Wisconsin lake carved from single piece of oak (GNN)
7. Bonus: Spooky Lake Month Another great series to follow this October is "Spooky Lake Month" hosted on TikTok and Instagram by Great Lakes enthusiast Geo Rutherford. Each day Rutherford tells the story of one "haunted hydrology." From scientific phenomenons to the more macabre, this series is an education and fun way to embrace spooky season.