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Mindful : February 2017
16 mindful February 2017 Americans spend more than one year of their lives trying to find something to watch on TV, a study found. That’s 23 min- utes a day, or 15% of average daily viewing time. And it’s even worse on stream- ing services, where people spend up to one-third of their time trying to decide what to watch. Talk about finger lickin’ good: Last spring KFC introduced edible nail polish in Hong Kong, in t wo flavors—Origi- nal Recipe and Spicy. And over the summer, it gave away 3,000 bottles of KFC Col. Sanders’ Extra Crispy Sunscreen, an actual SPF 30 sunscreen that smells like fried chicken. ● A data specialist in England live-tweeted his effor t to use his new WiFi-enabled kettle. Some 11 hours later, he finally had a cup of tea—and had convinced a whole lot of people to just stick to the old fashioned way of heating water, thank you very much. A New Zealand public library with a rowdy teen problem had to stop using an ultra- sonic device that emits an unusually high- pitched mosquito-like noise only audible to young ears. People complained the tech- nology discriminated against youth and could trigger reactions in people with Down’s syndrome or autism. The Endangered Spe- cies Act has put more than 1,800 plant and animal species under federal protection. But a study found it takes on average 12 years for a candidate to get listed. Meanwhile, 42 species, including the Virgin Islands screech owl, have gone extinct. MIT researchers have turned spinach into a bomb detector. Yes, you read that right. Sensors embedded in the plant’s leaves can detect in groundwa- ter chemicals used in explosives, and relay information to a spe- cial mobile camera. The job of changing diapers while out in public is no longer reserved for women. This past fall, the US enacted a law mandating baby- changing facilities be located in all public bathrooms—the men’s room, too. While working with the homeless in St. Louis, Jake Austin learned that a hot shower can make you feel like a new person. So he has retrofitted an old truck with two shower stalls and a generator to heat water, and hooks it up to fire hydrants around the city so the homeless can get clean. He calls it Shower to the People. Researchers took 60 trips on the Big Thun- der Mountain Railroad at Disney World in Florida, and came to the clear conclusion that the sharp turns and quick drops, at speeds up to 35 miles per hour, help pass kidney stones. Taiwan has banned animal testing in the development of cosmetics. With bans in place in 29 other countries, there are few places left where animals are subjected to harm for beauty’s sake. Mindful–Mindless Our take on who’s paying attention and who’s not Illustrations by Jessica Rae Gordon Suggestions for Mindful–Mindless? Send them to