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  • kathleen.goodwin

monday memo 144: guts, tomatoes & 'girl math'

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

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make September 11th, 2023, a bit better. "No day shall erase you from the memory of time." #NeverForget


1. Artist of the Week: Olivia Herrick Design

Olivia Herrick is a Minnesota-based graphic designer, specializing in the abstract and inspirational. In addition to her work as a designer, Herrick is an author and illustrator of children's books. Sometimes we just need a reminder to take it one day at a time.


2. What we're listening to: GUTS by Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo's highly anticipated sophomore album, GUTS, was released last Friday. Back in 2021, Rodrigo took the world by storm with SOUR and racked up two Grammys in the process. Her second album solidifies her path to superstardom, with tracks like "bad idea right?" and "teenage dream" showing she is far more than a one-album wonder.


3. What we're watching: Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman - Amazon Prime With the ongoing writers and actors strikes, we have been taking the time to revisit some classics we might have missed (or not been alive for) the first time around. Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman follows its titular character as she searches for adventure establishing a medical practice in the Wild West during the 1860s. The show may be over 30 years old, but there is something timeless about a complex female lead who is strong and intelligent, warm and empathetic, pushing through adversity. You go (cow)girl!


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: Something's rotten in the state of entertainment reviewing... Last week, Vulture released a scathing piece detailing how PR firms have paid low-level critics to bolster poorly performing films on Rotten Tomatoes. Rotten Tomatoes is the leading online aggregator of movie and TV show reviews from critics, with a comprehensive guide to what’s Fresh – and what’s Rotten – in theaters and at home. A key part of their system is the Tomatometer score, based on the opinions of hundreds of film and television critics. When at least 60% of reviews for a movie or TV show are positive, a red tomato is displayed to indicate its Fresh status. When less than 60% of reviews for a movie or TV show are positive, a green splat is displayed to indicate its Rotten status. In today's day and age we care more about the collective reception of media than we do the thoughts of an individual critic. According to a report, a third of U.S. adults say they check Rotten Tomatoes before going to the multiplex. Now that trust is going down the tubes. The lesson here is simple; inauthenticity is a rot that starts from the inside out. As they say, trust is earned in drops and lost in...well, a bunch of bogus PR reviews...


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Girl Math (Aka Mental Accounting) While we have covered mental accounting in the past, we are bringing it back to talk about the internet's phrase of the moment, girl math. Girl math refers to a set of imaginary and humorous rules that women set to justify purchases. Some of the rules include: the refund you receive when you make a return is basically free money or a profit, anything you buy with cash is free and you’re losing money if you don’t shop at your favorite store when there’s a sale. Girl Math is mainly about figuring out how purchases fit into your financial picture. That doesn’t preclude you from having a solid approach to money management, budgeting, and debt, but the women who are using Girl Math know that it’s silly, but they’re in on the joke. It’s about openly rationalizing our spending decisions, which is empowering. This is a sign you deserve a little treat in your day.


The LEGO® Braille Bricks concept is a playful methodology that teaches Braille to children who are blind or have a visual impairment. Each colorful LEGO brick is moulded with studs that correspond to numbers and letters in the Braille alphabet and has a corresponding printed symbol or letter. This allows sighted and blind kids to play and learn together on equal terms.

6. Good News of the Week:

  • Starting in September, Lego will start selling braille bricks to help vision-impaired children learn to read (The Guardian)

  • To help reduce waste, a university hosted a yard sale for incoming students filled with donated household items from “move-out day” (WISN)

  • Debunking stereotypes, a new study found that people experiencing homelessness spend cash on food, shelter, and clothing (The Guardian)

  • Ava DuVernay makes history as first Black woman to have film compete in the Venice Film Festival (NBC News)


7. Bonus: Scamanda - Apple Podcasts or Spotify Amanda started a blog detailing her cancer journey, becoming an inspiration, touching and captivating her local community and followers worldwide. That is until investigative producer Nancy gets an anonymous tip telling her to look at Amanda’s blog, setting her on an unimaginable road to uncover Amanda’s secret.


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