Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.
Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make January 22nd, 2024, a bit better.
Happy National Puzzle Day! Adam and KG would like to apologize to Charles. Last week they finished the office puzzle he had been working on for over a year. Biggest takeaway for the Creative team—be sure to include "don't touch my puzzle," in your OOO note.
1. Artist of the Week: Aynsley (@knottedneon)
Aynsley is a Toronto-based crochet artist and creator. Initially, she considered herself more of a painter, but during the pandemic tried out crocheting. Anynsley said, "Through my crochet pieces I want to convey this comfort in a playful and childlike way, where there's no limit to imagination and color." From sandwiches to pizza rats, her cuisine-inspired crochet is a delicious treat for our timeline.
2. What we're listening to: Fulton Lee
We stumbled across Fulton Lee on TikTok when we saw his one-man solo performances for strangers walking by who needed some hope. His sound feels like a mix of Leon Bridges and Lake Street Dive with a colorful pop melody. Our favorites are "Symphony," "Strawberry Lemonade," and "Close to the Edge."
3. What we're watching: The Holdovers - Peacock or Prime Video
The Holdovers follows a cranky history teacher at a remote prep school as he is forced to remain on campus over the holidays with a troubled student and a grieving cook with no place to go. While it is technically a Christmas film, this cozy, heartwarming, and beautiful film can be enjoyed any time of year. We were thrilled to see this 2023 nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars! Behind Barbie, this was our favorite film of the year.
Okay, so turns out our hats were made of tin foil, but at least Taylor Swift's boyfriend is going to the Super Bowl...This week we have the unique opportunity to provide a duel trend and cognitive bias! The NFL has no doubt had one of the most publicized seasons yet, thanks to a global pop star, and now we are headed to the biggest sporting event of the year on February 11—the Super Bowl! But, is it all fixed????? Probably not, but let's pretend graphic designers are behind a major conspiracy theory for a second.
Back in November, someone on X (formerly Twitter) pointed out that the last two Super Bowl logos featured the primary colors of the two teams who ended up facing off. Plus, last year running back Arian Foster jokingly(?) commented: "That’s what practice was about — it was about practicing the script…It’s like WWF — we know what’s going to happen, but you’ve still got to put on a show." Okay, time to come back to reality! The NFL releases the official Super Bowl logo the day after the big game the previous year (ex: the 2024 logo comes out the day AFTER the 2023 game). Besides playing a very long game, they would have to convince some very competitive players to throw games. As well, let’s talk about this year’s colors. Purple is the color for two NFL teams and red is the primary for at least four. If they were going to be giving us hints, we would hope they would be less subtle about their choices.
More likely, there are several cognitive biases at play here. Confirmation bias shows that we seek and interpret information in a way that confirms our existing views, like reading only news sources affirming our political ideas. The backfire effect demonstrates that even when presented with contradictory evidence, we are more likely to stick with our biases and further resist other information.
One night this January, Cat Janice awoke from her hospice bed at her parents’ home to the beeping of a medical device. She checked her phone and saw a notification she never thought would come: iTunes tagging her to announce her latest single, her last, was charting top 10 worldwide. Cat hopes the proceeds from the song will support her young son after she passes.
6. Good News of the Week:
Portland area nonprofits turn potential food waste from storms into meals for those in need (OPB)
A startup is replacing traditional plastic packaging with a seaweed-based alternative (GGG)
Groundbreaking procedure allows heart repairs to grow with children, new study shows (CNN Health)
Lily Gladstone became the first Native American woman nominated for a competitive acting Academy Award (BBC)
Meet Cat Janice, the DC musician who became a viral pop sensation—from hospice (Washingtonian)
7. Bonus: Monday Memo Suggestion Box
We started Monday Memo to inspire dialogue, but no one likes being talked AT all the time. That's why we are proud to launch the Monday Memo Suggestion Box, a place where you, dear Reader, can send us your favorite suggestions for any category! Going forward, the suggestion box will live at the bottom of this newsletter. It may be digital, but in our minds, our suggestion box is shaped like a unicorn...