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monday memo 158: last memo of 2023!

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

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make December 18th, 2023, a bit better. This is our last memo of 2023! But before we sign off to spend time with friends and family, we have gathered our favorite memo moments of the year. Thank you for your continued support, and we wish you a happy holidays! P.S. Manifesto is closed from Christmas to the New Year. While we hit 'reset' for 2024, we hope you also get some time to reflect and rest.


1. Artist of the Week: Crybaby Cakes

We love all our artists equally, but something about Crybaby Cakes was just too sweet to pass up! Wait...does this mean our mom actually has a favorite???? 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 on the app. Cowitz said, “All I did was start up an Instagram page saying I make cake. And I’ve been getting messages non-stop.”


2. What we're listening to: The Good Witch by Maisy Peters


Maybe you heard about Maisie Peters through her hit song "Psycho," or saw her open for Ed Sheeran on his Mathematics Tour. Maybe you have never heard of her...but you will. With her second album, The Good Witch, Peters shows she has all the talent and chops of a future pop icon. The album is the perfect blend of songs you want to dance to paired with poetic lyrics that can make you cry. If it wasn't already a great album, the deluxe version adds even more fun and depth, with new tracks like our personal favorite, "Holy Revival." We can't wait to see what she does next!


3. What we're watching: BARBENHEIMER - Streaming


After COVID, many studios wondered what it would take to get audiences back into the movie theater. The answer? An atomic bomb and a children's toy. If you have yet to "Barbenheimer," the double feature for Barbie and Oppenheimer, the holidays are the perfect time to snuggle up next to the fire for a (long) movie night. If you don't have a little over five hours for the runtime, we've included the Actors on Actors interview between Barbie star Margot Robbie and Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy. In it, we learn that Robbie was approached about moving the premiere of Barbie so it wouldn't compete with Oppenheimer, but she said she felt the instinct that audiences had a wide enough palette for cinema. The lesson? Barbie knows best.



Long before she was named Time's Person of the Year, Taylor Swift was just a woman (with a record-breaking tour, adoring fans, and lots of Grammys.) So when rumors of her romance with Travis Kelce hit the internet, many of us thought we would have to wait until her next album to decode the truth. And then, she showed up at the Chiefs game...

The NFL has been in a steady ratings decline over the past few years, struggling through scandals, controversies over safety, and a struggle to adapt to modern audiences. Meanwhile, the summer of 2023 has been dubbed "Girl Summer," thanks to the economic success of Barbie, combined with the touring forces of Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. Generating $8.5 billion for the US economy, some economists have said that "Girl Summer" even staved off a recession. Now, back to earlier this year. Taylor Swift is rumored to be dating Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce and was prominently shown in his family box at the game, next to his mom. The national FOX broadcast of the Chiefs' win over the Chicago Bears was the highest-rated NFL game of the week for women in three different age demographics covering 12 to 49, according to FOX Sports: the game ranked first in females 12-17, 18-34 and 18-49. Since then, there has been a 400 percent increase in merchandise sales for Kelce's number, and the official NFL account changed its bio to "9/24/23. Taylor was here." In the weeks following the NFL has launched multiple promos to Swift's music and leaned into to the new audience! While many have speculated that the relationship between Kelce and Swift is just for PR, does it really matter? If it is, it's well done. If it's not, the NFL is leveraging an incredibly powerful fan base to create buzz. But it turns out, "Karma is the guy on the Chiefs, coming straight home to me!" <3


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Reactive Devaluation

If your New Year's resolution is to be kinder to your coworkers, we've got the bias for you...

Reactive devaluation refers to our tendency to disparage proposals made by another party, especially if this party is viewed as negative or antagonistic. In high-stakes situations, for instance, a peace proposal offered by an opposing country during a conflict might be rejected solely because of the source, rather than considering its potential benefits. In everyday life, this could show up as shooting down a good idea from a coworker just because you don't particularly like them. Like Michael and Toby in The Office, this can result in missed opportunities for collaboration and problem-solving, perpetuating workplace conflicts and undermining team cohesion. In short, our emotions cloud our judgment to a point where we miss out on an opportunity for real progress. So while it can be hard, it's important to put aside our personal feelings for someone in favor of the greater good.


Here at the Memo, we are tackling life's biggest questions: What is girl math? Could you land a commercial airliner in an emergency? And now, we dare to ask, how often do men think about the Roman Empire?

According to a new TikTok trend, men think about the Roman Empire a lot more than you would think. But be careful, you might open a can of worms. When asked, Partnership coordinator Michael Natelli responded, "The original or the Holy Roman Empire (which was neither holy nor Roman)? Vastly different answers." And people try to claim women are confusing...


Did you really think we would leave you with NOTHING new before we disappeared for two weeks? Yeah, right!

Pantone's Color of the Year 2024 has been announced and will make you feel all types of warm and (peach) fuzzy. The color is called PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz, a gentle and nurturing peach shade that reminds us to slow down and care for ourselves and one another. For Leatrice Eiseman, the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute said, "We've been living in this time of turmoil in many aspects of our lives, and as a result of that, our need for nurturing, empathy, and compassion continues to grow stronger as we imagine a more peaceful future." Here is to a more compassionate new year...


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