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Mindful : October 2013
22 mindful October 2013 Suggestions for Mindful–Mindless? Send them to email@example.com When did LEGO get so serious? A study of the faces on 3,655 figures released by the toy company since the 1970s found a recent trend toward having more angry expressions instead of the tradi- tional neutral or happy. Granted, living in a world of plastic blocks may not be ever yone’s idea of a good time. In one Roxbur y, Massa- chusetts, public school, metal detectors are turning into paint- brushes. The principal of Orchard Gardens decided to take the school’s security budget and direct it toward ar ts programs instead. Who knows if there’s a connection, but since then something else has happened: twice the number of seventh grad- ers scored proficient in English and math than the previous year. Parenting is no cake- walk—especially if you’re doing it solo. Now there’s an online suppor t network called Pen Moms that con- nects single mothers in low-income commu- nities (star ting in New York City), so they can share resources and information and get a helping hand when they need it. Does the fashion industry promote unhealthy body images? Sure looks like it when modeling scouts were found trying to recruit women outside an eating-disorder clinic in Stockholm. The word “parliament” comes from the French parler, to talk. But some- times a war of words becomes... just a war. A brawl recently broke out in the Venezuelan parliament, where sev- eral MPs were injured. The ruling par ty and the opposition each blamed the other for star ting it. For 50 years, much of London’s garbage went to a massive landfill nor theast of the city. But you wouldn’t know it today: the dump has been turned into a 120- acre nature preserve, and the methane gas the garbage produces is siphoned off and used to generate power. Nex t time you’re on the New York City subway, don’t be surprised if someone standing beside you star ts reciting poetry. The five-member Poets in Unexpected Places creates public art by taking rhymes to the daily commute. A recent study of 2012’s 100 top-gross- ing Hollywood movies found that less than 17% in the ranks of the writers, directors, and producers were women. And out of almost 4,500 speaking parts that made it to the screen, there were 2.5 guys for every female character. Turns out Two and a Half Men isn’t just a sitcom. Jose Mujica, the president of Uruguay, gives away most of his monthly salar y to charity. It leaves his earnings in line with the Uruguayan aver- age income, around US$775 per month. Feeling the need to improve your, uh, performance? An app called Passion mea- sures your sounds and movements to deter- mine how good a lover you are. Because that’s what we need: a gadget to judge us while we have sex. Just in case we’re not already doing that enough ourselves. Mindful–Mindless Our take on who’s paying attention and who’s not mindlessmindful now Illustrations by Jessica Rae Gordon