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  • kathleen.goodwin

monday memo 109: happy halloween!

Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.

Hey, friends. Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make October 31, 2022 a bit better.


1. Artist of the Week: Hunt Gather Design Hunter Gather Design is an instagram account specializing in "building a platform to educate & inspire black and brown creatives." Run by Chris Richardson, the account features work across all mediums and is a great way to expose yourself to a number of incredible artists of color.


2. What we're listening to: The System with Kim Kardashian You make know Kim Kardashian as a reality TV star, a social media icon, and overall status as one of the biggest celebrities of our time. You may not know, however, about her passionate work to exonerate the wrongfully accused. In The System with Kim Kardashian, she explores the case of Kevin Keith, a man who has spent 28 years behind bars despite the fact that there is no physical evidence connecting him to the crime.


3. What we're watching: Bad Sisters - Apple TV+ In Bad Sisters, after their brother-in-law, John Paul, dies under unexpected circumstances, the Garvey sisters - Eva, Grace, Ursula, Bibi and Becka - find themselves at the center of a life insurance investigation. Talk about family you would kill for...


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: Gas Your Friends Up It should come as no shock to you that the internet, and social media in general, can be an incredibly toxic place. However, a new app with a special focus on spreading positivity has exploded in popularity among Gen Z, currently ranking higher than TikTok and BeReal on the app charts. Here's how it works: after you sync up your location and contacts to the app, users anonymously vote for their friends in a round of polls that refresh every hour. The app, Gas, is named after the Gen Z slang "gassing someone up" meaning to compliment and raise their confidence. The prompts range from friendly superlatives to flirtatious confessions. If you win a poll, a "flame" gets sent to your inbox. Where previous "anonymous" apps have struggled with regulating messages, Gas only allows users to send pre-written compliments. The company says the app is intentionally designed this way in order to "create a place that makes us feel better about ourselves" and show users that "there are people who love and admire you." The app is currently available in 12 states, with plans to launch nationwide. We love seeing the younger generations embracing it and even if this app is just a flash in the pan, we hope it can inspire a larger movement of kindness online.


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Leveling and Sharpening Leveling and sharpening are concepts that have been introduced by early Gestalt psychologists as memory distortions that occurs when we fail to remember details of a certain memory. Leveling and sharpening is most commonly associated with the idea of selective memory, especially when it comes to storytelling and narration. For example, say you and a friend are in a fight. You call your sister to express your frustration and catch her up to what is happening. As you are telling her, you may exaggerate certain elements to make it more dramatic, and minimize certain details that could point to your wrongdoing. This occurs because our brain likes to engage in leveling and sharpening: cognitive controls that help us to manage information and details so they align with our cognitive assumptions and goals. Leveling consists of omitting what we have judged to be ‘minor’ details in memory recollection, whereas sharpening is the exaggeration and intense recollection of small details that mean a lot to the overall narrative. The best way to avoid this is to take stock of how we recall events, and keep it in mind when we hear stories from others.


Melisa Raouf became the first makeup-free participant in the Miss England competition’s 94-year history. (Kam Murali/Illustration for The Washington Post)

6. Good News of the Week:

  • Makeup-free Miss England finalist defies ‘unrealistic beauty standards’ (The Washington Post)

  • The Salt Lake City Council unanimously approved a tiny home village for people in Utah experiencing homelessness (The Desert News)

  • First wild bison born in UK for millennia after surprise pregnancy (The Guardian)

  • Russell Crowe Ensures Survival of the Dragon Tales Book Shop With Surprise Donation: ‘It’s Bonkers’ (GNN)


7. Bonus: Happy Halloween from Manifesto We realize we used all our best spooky suggestions during the rest of the month, but we still wanted to wish you a Happy Halloween! We hope your day is filled with more treats than tricks.


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