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  • kathleen.goodwin

monday memo 147: sweets, pets & pencils

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

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make October 9th, 2023, a bit better.

Time to start thinking of your Halloween costume...


1. Artist of the Week: Brooke Cowitz

Brooke Cowitz is the culinary artist behind Crybaby Cakes in Toronto. Her store is entirely run on Instagram, and her unique, whimsical, unconventional, and vintage cakes have racked up almost 50K followers. Cowitz said, “All I did was start up an Instagram page saying I make cake. And I’ve been getting messages non-stop.” Well, we think her work is one sweet visual treat!


2. What we're listening to: Search Engine - Apple Podcasts Hopefully, this will stop you from going down those Wikipedia rabbit holes... No question too big, no question too small. On Search Engine, host PJ Vogt answers the kinds of questions you might ask the internet when you can't sleep. If you find the world bewildering, but also sometimes enjoy being bewildered by it, this is the podcast for you!


*Hides under covers* Our spooky season recs continue! In this wicked series from Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) and based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, ruthless siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher have built Fortunato Pharmaceuticals into an empire of wealth, privilege, and power. But past secrets come to light when the heirs to the Usher dynasty start dying at the hands of a mysterious woman from their youth. Check out this spooky new show premiering this Thursday on Netflix.


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: MrBeast Mode on the court MrBeast, a YouTube star and influencer with over 350 million followers, just signed a historic deal with the Charlotte Hornets. This is the first deal between an influencer and an NBA team. MrBeast—whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson—will advertise his Feastables logo on the Hornets' uniforms and media backdrops for news conferences, the team said on Monday. Feasables launched in January 2022, making over $10 million in the months following the launch with their chocolate bars and cookies. The partnership is the first high-profile public-facing business move of the new majority ownership regime of Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin, who took over the franchise from Michael Jordan in July. Whether we like it or not, influencers are here to stay and have massive sway over the spending power of their followers. This partnership may be the first of its kind, but in the years to come we expect to see many more influencer partnerships in professional sports.


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Anthropomorphism Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology. We're sure you have read the numerous articles claiming that many millennials and Gen Z have even opted for pets over children. So, let's explore why. Especially when many people became pet owners during the pandemic, they spent A LOT of time with their pets. They no longer were just an animal, but a companion that staves off loneliness and has their own personality. For some people, this represents a means to reinforce the human-animal connection, display empathy towards their companion animals, and show care and interest in their well-being. At the same time, it is important to remember that despite their personalities, pets are not human. While they can give us signals through body language or vocal queues, we will never completely understand their needs and thoughts. So while it is totally normal to speak to your pet and treat them with the utmost care, we cannot assume they think and respond as we would. Except for your pet, of course...*winks*


Crash test dummies for cars are typically based on average male bodies, which could explain why women are 73 per cent more likely to be injured in frontal road collisions.

6. Good News of the Week:

  • Despite challenges, a new Gallup poll found that Gen Z is overwhelmingly optimistic about the future (GGG)

  • In a move to make cars safer for women, researchers and engineers just unveiled the first-ever crash test dummy modeled after a woman’s body (Euro News)

  • Starbucks workers raise over $40K for beloved barista after her car was burglarized (TODAY)

  • A group of people in Germany are buying freedom for people jailed for not paying public transport fees (BBC News)


This week, we wanted to feature the delightful sharpener pendant light series from Japanese artist Nanako Kume. Inspired by the distinctive shavings left behind from sharpening coloring pencils, the pendant light was created using a custom-built, giant pencil sharpener.


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