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Mindful : April 2017
Consumer watchdog groups called foul on the maker of the My Friend Cayla doll and i-Que Intelligent Robot for collecting and sharing data from kids, including their location and even camera footage. The data is ostensibly used to improve the toys’ software. Men will overeat if they think people are watch- ing them, especially women, a study finds. Apparently eating more than others is one way that men demonstrate virility and strength. Unfor- tunately, researchers concluded, “women do not appear to be favor- ably impressed by the feats of overeating.” ● Is that eggplant emoji really just an eggplant? We’re get- ting so dependent on emojis to express ourselves, we have actually started to need translators. This year a UK firm advertised for what’s thought to be the first-ever position of “emoji translator,” and one UK linguist called emoji the “fastest-growing language.” A 20-year-old St. Louis man posing as a police officer and driving a car equipped with a siren and flashing lights was found out when he pulled over the wrong guy. The driver of the stopped car happened to be an actual police officer using his per- sonal vehicle. A Japanese amuse- ment park was forced to close its new attraction after just two weeks, due to public uproar over the 5,000 dead fish the park had frozen in ice, to give skaters gliding over them “the feel of the ocean.” A scientist in Australia has discovered that seaweed may hold the key to mitigating harmful greenhouse gases released by livestock. By eating a specific kind of the aquatic plant, the methane emissions from cows’ belches and farts are reduced to almost nothing. The Make-A -Wish Foundation helped a 12-year-old leukemia patient from Sydney fulfill a big dream: to blow stuff up. He was invited to a national police training facility to take part in hostage drills and help detonate explosives. IKEA’s fun Retail Ther- apy website campaign looks just like the regular IKEA site, only products are renamed to honestly reflect common woes cus- tomers seek to solve with their purchases. Hence, the “My Part- ner Snores” daybed and “He Doesn’t Close the Door” scented candle, among others. Drawing attention to gender discrimination in the workplace, a Swedish union estab- lished a “mansplain- ing” hotline. Women are encouraged to call for advice on how to be heard by male col- leagues and what to do when a man receives credit for their work. Scotland’s ambitious Zero Waste program seems to be working. After just one year, the Single Use Carrier Bag Charge initia- tive, which charges consumers 5p to use a disposable bag at a store, led to an 80% reduction in their use. Mindful–Mindless Our take on who’s paying attention and who’s not Suggestions for Mindful–Mindless? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org culture 16 mindful April 2017 Illustrations by Jessica Rae Gordon mindful mindless