Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.
Hey, friends. Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make December 05, 2022 a bit better.
1. Artist of the Week: Ed Fairburn
Ed Fairburn is a Cardiff-based artist that specializes in turning vintage maps into beautiful works. These beautifully rendered works examine “the synchronicity of the patterns between the geographical and the human being”. By juxtaposing the lines of the map and of the human face, Fairburn exposes the viewer to a concept that can literally remind us of how united we are underneath the apparent differences.
2. What we're listening to: Normal Gossip
Are you a Noisy Nancy? The office gossip? Or simply just like sticking your nose in other peoples business? Normal Gossip delivers juicy, strange, funny, and utterly banal gossip about people you’ll never know and never meet. Host Kelsey McKinney discusses reader-submitted comedic gossip with guests, diving into the lives and decisions of complete strangers. The second-hand truth really is stranger than fiction. Perfect for when you need a break from holiday music.
3. What we're watching: Wednesday - Netflix
Wednesday follows Wednesday Adams (Jenny Ortega) during her teenage years as she attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart and solve the mystery that embroiled her parents. Produced by Tim Burton, this series perfectly balances macabre with comedy. *snaps twice*
4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: The Greatest - Apple To celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities (Dec 3), Apple released a short film featuring the various ways their products can be used to make the world around us more accessible. The film spotlights Apple features like VoiceOver, Voice Control, image and people detection modes, AssistiveTouch, and Magnifier, amongst numerous others. The film is befitting of this year’s theme for the Day of People with Disabilities, which is described online as “transformative solutions for inclusive development [and] the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.” Tech and the disability community have often been at odds, pushing accessibility to the bottom of the priority list behind account sign ups and marketing. Technology just became another world that felt like it was not built for people with disabilities. With this commercial, Apple isn't simply including the disabled community in its audience, it is directly messaging to them in a way that puts their humanity at the front and center. Bravo.
5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Bandwagon Effect
The Bandwagon effect refers to our habit of adopting certain behaviors or beliefs because many other people do the same. In short, as an idea or behavior becomes more popular, that popularity is seen as credibility. A great example can be seen with the idea of a "fair-weather fan." Maybe you have heard from your local Gen Z member that "skinny jeans are OUT." In fact, you have worn them since they rose to popularity in 2008 and like the fact that they are flattering on your legs. But, suddenly, you see less and less people wearing them. You would be hate to be old and out of fashion, so you relegate your beloved skinny jeans to the back of your closet and spring for a new pair of flair jeans. This is the bandwagon effect in action. You choice had more to do with the growing popularity and fear of being "out" than by any logical process. While it is impossible to completely rid ourselves of the bandwagon effect, we may be able to counteract our tendency to automatically use social cues as a driving factor when making influential decisions. The best thing to do is slow down decision making, try to make decisions in an environment where you don't feel pressured by other people and consider alternative options that go against the majority view.
The European Space Agency on Wednesday named the first ever "parastronaut" in a major step towards allowing people with physical disabilities to work and live in space. The 22-nation agency said it had selected former British Paralympic sprinter John McFall as part of a new generation of 17 recruits picked for astronaut training.
6. Good News of the Week:
Advocacy And Fundraising Have Led To Declining HIV/AIDS Deaths Worldwide (GGG)
A network of wildlife crossings built on a Montana highway with Indigenous knowledge is dramatically reducing collisions (GGG)
Europe names world's first disabled astronaut (Reuters)
Writer wears Lizzo's dress to red carpet gala after an unusual request (CBC)
7. Bonus: New York Department Store Windows Since the 1870s, a number of New York department stores like Macy's and Saks Fifth Ave have made a tradition of unveiling elaborate holiday windows. Check out this amazing piece from the NYT that goes behind the scenes of the 9 month process of bringing these to life.