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Mindful : December 2018
mindful A vegan food festival in Calais, France, was cancelled to prevent “an outbreak of public disorder.” Local butchers and farmers had threatened to hold a huge barbeque in protest of the pesky plant promoters. A new state policy in Kerala, India, means the government will cover the costs of gender reassignment surgery for transgen- der citizens, as well as working to improve trans people’s access to educa- tion and jobs. Alexa, mind your own busi- ness! A couple’s Amazon Echo device turned on, recorded part of their con- versation, and emailed it to one of their contacts—all without their knowledge. A great mystery of the universe has been solved: Physicists at Cornell University and MIT figured out how to use the laws of physics to make dry spaghetti noodles—which usually crack into three or more pieces—break perfectly in half. A woman in Ontario accidentally stole a car from a parking lot, mistaking it for her rental (both cars had key fobs). The truth didn’t come out until she tried to return it two weeks later. ● Illustrations by Jessica Rae Gordon mindless At the start of 2018, Illinois made a leap toward kind- ness to fellow creatures: They became the first US state to ban circuses from using elephants and other “performing” animals. Suit up and meditate The IoT—inter- net of things—is a whole new world of tech where objects (anything from toasters to cars) hook up to computer-based systems. Among the wackiest IoT innovations are wearables. Now, a Dutch inventor has brought the IoT to meditation with the Silence Suit. Eleven sensors in the suit—measuring breath, skin tem- perature, heart rate, etc.—help to deliver “ideal” meditation. Next stop: a robot who meditates for you. ● Got grit? The quality of grit— perseverance in the pursuit of meaningful goals and the ability to bounce back from setbacks—has been linked with all sor ts of positive life achievements. A study looking for dispositional qualities that promote grit found that acting with awareness and nonjudgment—key components of mindfulness— were impor tant precursors of grit. December 2018 mindful 15 Mindful or Mindless? Our take on who’s paying attention and who’s not