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monday memo 129: cats, shipwrecks & the grid

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

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make May 8th, 2023, a bit better. But first, join us in admiring the WGA strike signs...


Used with permission from the artist. Explore more of their work on Instagram 1. Artist of the Week: Alexander Khabbazi

Alexander Khabbazi is a London-based geometric artist known for his typographic prints inspired by his background in architecture. His process combines physical and digital techniques to create bold, decisive artworks featuring analog textures and undulating shapes.


2. What we're listening to: The Music of Gordon Lightfoot

This week we are honoring Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, who passed away last week at the age of 89. Lightfoot was the voice of folk music in the 1970s, and his music still rings true today. Our favorites are the melancholy and menace of "Sundown," and the lively lore of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."


3. What we're watching: Baby J - Netflix After a very public fall from grace in 2021, you wouldn't be alone in betting against John Mulaney. However, it turns out, you would be wrong. Mulaney returns to us in Baby J, a must-watch, a vulnerable, self-aware, and hysterical special. It’s a perfect comeback from our very own Comeback Kid.


For the second year in a row, L.L. Bean is going “off the grid” by wiping and pausing all their social media channels in honor of Mental Health Month. During May, when you visit their social profiles, you will instead find tips and tools to help you get outside for your mental wellbeing. The brand has also partnered with the fitness app Strava for the “L. L. Bean Feel Good Challenge” to encourage users to spend a combined 500,000 hours outside this month. The company added that participation in the challenge will raise money for Mental Health America. Shawn Gorman, executive chairman at L.L.Bean, said, “My great-grandfather Leon Leonwood Bean believed that nature is the most powerful antidote to the stresses of life, a conviction confirmed by modern research.” Gorman continued, “Our priority at L.L.Bean is to support our customers on their outdoor journeys, outfitting them in quality gear and creating greater accessibility to outdoor activities.” We love this because this is the second year in a row L.L. Bean has deployed this strategy. This repetition makes it feel so much more than a flash-in-the-pan P.R. move and, instead, like a long-term commitment the brand has set forward. Plus, we love that the campaign doesn’t just tell you to go outside but instead provides you with links for tangible ways to do so. Anyway, now that we are done writing this, it’s time for a walk outside...


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Optimism Bias

If you are a “Negative Nancy,” this bias is not for you. Optimism bias refers to our tendency to overestimate our likelihood of experiencing positive events and underestimate our likelihood of experiencing negative events. This bias is so powerful many consider it partially responsible for the 2008 financial crisis! Individuals, analysts, and government officials were so optimistic that the economy would grow that they missed many warning signs indicating a recession was on the way. When many people hold unrealistic expectations, their bias accumulates and is amplified, producing large-scale effects. All this to say, there is power in being an optimist as long as you are also a realist. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but if we are lucky, we keep the hope within to still be a dreamer. Balance is key.


Isaiah Márquez-Greene and New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba.Courtesy @NYRangers/Twitter 6. Good News of the Week:

  • Bipartisan group unveils bill to ban lawmakers from owning stocks (CBS)

  • Berkeley diner provides free meals to anyone who's hungry, no questions asked (CBS)

  • New treatment significantly improves chances of babies with acute leukemia (NL Times)

  • Sandy Hook survivor, now 18, receives scholarship from New York Rangers (TODAY)

  • Parrots kept as pets were taught to video call each other—and they loved it (GNN)


Artist Hannah Rothstein recently dropped her latest collection, "Goodstock: Putting Climate Solutions at Center Stage." The collection features a series of 1960s-inspired concert posters with big and small ways to be kind to mother earth. Flower power, indeed.


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