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Pantone’s Color Of The Year Is “Life-Affirming”

Since 2000, Pantone, the company artists and home improvement experts alike come to for inspiration, has been declaring a “Color of the Year.” Twice a year, representatives from the top color authorities gather in a drearily dull, and barren room—a safeguard from potential color or mood influences—to discuss and debate hues that capture the spirit and the mood of the time.

Colors are chosen a year in advance so fashion designers, florists, makeup artists, publishers, and a variety of other consumer-oriented industries can develop their products accordingly. After two days of discourse, a winner is chosen.

Pantone recently announced its 2017 Color of the Year: a punchy yellow-green tone dubbed ‘Greenery.’ The lively and fresh color evokes feelings of the initial days of spring when everything comes to life.

As executive director of Pantone Leatrice Eiseman describes:

“We know what kind of world we are living in: one that is very stressful and very tense. This is the color of hopefulness, and of our connection to nature. It speaks to what we call the ‘re’ words: regenerate, refresh, revitalize, renew.”

Pantone hopes the color will bring a sense of rejuvenation and growth after an extremely tumultuous year of social and political upheaval that left many fatigued, beaten down, and helpless.

GOODFest Generosity in NYC

It’s been a rocky year-end for a lot of people. The weather in New York has been a bit weird and with mercury out of retrograde, we’re having a difficult time finding things to blame our hardships on. Each day can’t come faster, and a little raincloud seems to sit on the shoulders of every other person I see in this city.

Or at least, that’s the state I was in before coming into the New York City GOODfest. But when I headed into the BAM theater, the little glow of the lights and the energy of the room shifted my body chemistry. All of a sudden, I felt a little more *up* you know?

I was entranced by the opener, Madame Gandhi, whose spoken word and song committed the audience to a rallying cry of social change and activation. Her refrain: “The future is female, the future is female.” I couldn’t agree more. I played with the Google Pixel I was given for the evening, and as an iPhoneographer (I know, I know), I couldn’t get over how great the photos looked in low light, helping me capture Kiran’s face and energy with more distinction.

After a lull, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band emerged from the back, guerilla-style, and the blared through the crowd. Everyone held out their phones to capture it as they headed to the front of the stage, later joined by Shilpa Ray, a local blues punk band with a frontwoman that I can’t get out of my head. In an energized room, her silken voice and sardonic sense of humor captured the crowd and brought things down a notch.

When Glass Animals finally came on, most of the crowd (myself included) were a few glasses in. The theater was lubricated, and feeling positive, so when frontman Dave Bayley came out and let out his first little croons, we were all the way up there on his level. Something about the theater lights and the time and space we were at created a bit of a tingle in the room. Like I said, with everything going on right now, it was a sweet relief to feel some good.

Video: Jimmy Fallon speelt nieuwe Zelda op de Nintendo Switch
Presentator Jimmy Fallon is een enorme Nintendo-fan. Hij kon zijn geluk niet op toen hij Super Mario Run op een iPhone mocht spelen. De platform-rengame verschijnt op 15 december op iOS-apparaten. Als kers op de taart mocht Fallon ook met de Nintendo Switch aan de slag. Hij speelde voor het eerst live The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild op de nieuwe console van Nintendo. Eregast in het publiek was niemand minder dan Shigeru Miyamoto, de bedenker van Mario, Zelda en...

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5 Moms In High-Level White House Positions Proving Kellyanne Conway Wrong 

Image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore

At Politico’s “Women Rule” event on Wednesday, Kellyanne Conway told a largely female audience that because of her four young children, working for Trump’s administration would be out of the question. Referring to typical conversations she’s had with male colleagues, Conway said,

“I do politely mention to them the question isn’t would you take the job, the male sitting across from me who’s going to take a big job in the White House. The question is would you want your wife to. Would you want the mother of your children to? You really see their entire visage change. It’s like, oh, no, they wouldn’t want their wife to take that job.”

If reading that made you question what decade we’re in, you’re not alone. According to Politico, current senior adviser Valerie Jarrett spoke with Conway backstage and urged her to accept a high-level position, later reiterating to the audience,

“I think tone starts at the top, and if you have a relationship with your boss such that you can say, ‘Look, this is a top priority. There’s nothing more important for me than being a good mom, but I think I can be a good mom and have the flexibility enough to do this job well.’”

Jarrett added that you can always leave a job if it doesn’t work out (good advice for all job hunters) as a subtle reminder that sometimes it isn’t the job itself that prevents women from taking opportunities but their own perception of their abilities. American University political scientist Jennifer Lawless surveyed a group of men and women with identical qualifications and asked if they felt qualified to run for office. While 35 percent of men saw themselves as “very qualified,” just 22 percent of female respondents felt the same, proving the common adage that women are more likely than men to underestimate themselves.

The fact that 60 percent of female respondents said they are responsible for the majority of childcare—compared to just 6 percent of male respondents—further highlights this gender imbalance. It should go without saying that women should not automatically bear the burden of raising children. Unfortunately, that glass ceiling has yet to be shattered. It’s going to take a serious reimagining of gender roles if we’re going to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of female representation in politics (we’re currently 97th in the world).

Luckily, we have modern examples to prove that cultural shift is within our grasp. Here are five mothers currently excelling in high-level positions and proving Kellyanne Conway wrong in the process.

Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

McCarthy on the right. (Image via Flickr/US Embassy Canada)

Over the past 30 plus years, McCarthy has worked in all levels of government to implement pragmatic policies that face environmental issues head-on. She has promoted cleaner, fuel-efficient vehicles, better air quality, and energy-efficient public buildings as a means of improving overall public health.


Paulette Aniskoff, Deputy Assistant to the President

As Obama’s deputy assistant and the director of the Office of Public Engagement, Aniskoff creates opportunities for the president and his staff to have active discussions with the general public. A big part of that job is incorporating opinions that the bulk of Obama’s administration may not agree with. According to Slate, “Doing her job well … sometimes means bringing in people who don’t necessarily agree with the president or his policies, because they work to bring a wide range of American voices into the conversation.”


Jen Psaki, White House Communications Director

Image via Wikipedia

By commanding President Obama’s communication efforts, Psaki has helped distill White House information in a way that is easily digestible for the general public, while also keeping important policy issues relevant. She first forged a professional relationship with Obama while serving as his traveling press secretary during his first presidential campaign in 2008. He expressed that he was “thrilled” when Psaki agreed to rejoin his executive team in 2015.  


Amy Pope, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor

In her role, which also includes being a deputy assistant to the president at the White House National Security Council, Pope uses her skill set to prevent violent extremism (at home and abroad), help refugee populations, and defend victims of sex trafficking, terrorism, and violent crime. She’s also a staunch advocate of getting women more involved in politics.


Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council

Image via Wikipedia

As a senior advisor to President Obama, Muñoz has championed immigration rights by working to streamline the visa application process and modernize immigration policy in the face of rapid globalization. According to NBC News, she’s a fan of practicality and debunking mythologies surrounding the border, saying, “It would be useful for the policy debate to catch up with the reality we are facing.”

Duurtest: BMW i3 met range-extender (met video)
De BMW i3 met grote accu en range-extender die wij reden kost 41 duizend euro voor de opties. Dat is natuurlijk een flink bedrag, maar feitelijk is de BMW i3 de enige auto in zijn klasse en is het dus wat lastig de prijs te vergelijken. De van carbon gemaakte compacte luxe auto met serieus elektrisch bereik en bovendien een slimme range-extender is niet te vergelijken met een Renault Zoe, een Nissan Leaf of een Tesla Model S. De eerste is minder luxe, kleiner en ontbeert de range-extender. De...

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Video: de snelst springende robot tot nu toe
Video van de dag Robots worden steeds behendiger, zo zagen we laatst al de humanoïde van Google over oneffen oppervlakten lopen. De robot SALTO van de Universiteit van Berkeley in Californië is met zijn 26 centimeter iets kleiner. Deze robot is ook een stuk minder geavanceerd, zo kan hij niet zien of lopen. Wel kan SALTO springen, hoger en sneller dan waar robots tot nu toe in staat waren.  De kleine robot kan...

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Mattel Refused To Create A Breastfeeding Barbie, So This Artist Started Making Them

Though Barbie’s a cherished and iconic toy the world over, its status as such has prompted many to demand that the doll’s manufacturer get with the times. The doll is and continues to be an aspiration for many girls, and though Mattel has addressed that idea somewhat, it’s clear they still have a long way to go to reflect the realities of being a girl or woman in today’s world. 

To the company’s credit, they’ve made an effort with their Fashionista line which presents Barbie as women present themselves in the world: in different shapes, skin tones, hairstyles, and clothing. That said, many claim that the line is a half-measure, kept distinct from the more traditional Barbies so as not to tarnish the brand of the towering, skinny blonde that the name has come to represent. 

YouTube

Though Barbie has had many jobs and undertaken many roles over the years, Mattel has failed to acknowledge that Barbie could one day become a mother who breastfeeds. Upset with the glacial pace Mattel has undertaken to get with the times, Australian mom and artist Betty Strachan has taken it upon herself to show Barbie breastfeeding. 

For the past four years Strachan has repainted and modified Barbie dolls as a hobby, making them more realistic and human. Now, she’s creating a one-off line of pieces that she calls “Mamas Worldwide Barbie,” and people are applauding the effort and the product. 

Here are just a few of the dolls in the project: 

Betty Strachan

Betty Strachan

You can see countless more, as well as representations of girls that include some with braces, acne, and most every other aesthetic annoyance people face in their adolescence, on her bountiful Instagram feed

Says Betty to The Huffington Post about her most recent endeavor, "The decision to make a breastfeeding doll didn’t come consciously. I’m a member of a mothers’ group that’s comprised of very lovely and supportive women. I remember one day, I was drawing the new face on a Barbie doll, and she just seemed to be the embodiment of the entire group."

Though she might not be a full-fledged factory (though a glance at her Instagram pics shows how prolific she really is), it sounds like her work is reaching her target audience. She says, "Most of the sales I’ve made have gone to mothers with children, and I’ve received a few pictures of happy customers playing with their dolls."

To that point, if you’d like to acquire one of these creations, you can support Betty by visiting her Etsy shop where she offers the Mamas Worldwide and other dolls for sale. 

Ikea Just Became The Company Every Parent Wants To Work For

Ikea

Ikea, the world’s favorite Swedish furniture company, has also become every parent’s dream company to work for.

The do-it-yourself furniture giant says it will expand its paid parental leave benefits program up to four months total for all of its U.S. hourly and salaried workers. This includes both male and female employees who become birth parents, adoptive parents, or foster parents, according to USA Today. Efforts like these are becoming more widespread as retaining top talent becomes a more serious consideration among large organizations.

The benefits go into effect on January 1 and signal a moment where it has become a far more decent place to work. This illuminates a bit about how Ikea sees itself and a bit about the market as a whole. Large employers are losing talent to smaller, more nimble companies, as the younger employees are more comfortable with shifting around during their career. Not only that, but Inc.com says top talent now sees themselves as “businesses of one,” looking at employment as “partnerships” rather than as traditional employees. 

Ikea and other large retailers are doing their best to stave off that sort of thinking, especially in an economy that seems to be getting better for that particular worker. Lars Peterson, president of Ikea’s U.S. operations says, “We see it as an investment in our co-workers, which we view as our most important resource.” 

Netflix became the shimmering company on a hill for parents when they announced unlimited parental leave for their salaried employees. But other’s have followed suit. Hilton Hotels, Adobe Systems, and Chobani have expanded their parental leave policies in the hopes of building loyalty with their employees. 

Of course, the United States is one of the few developed nations in the world that doesn’t have some kind of national parental leave law in place. This means many things to people in the workforce, as expensive childcare and the juggling act of working soon after giving birth begins. 

This kind of policy is part of the solution, and other companies may want to lean in to. Still, according to the Department of Labor, only 12 percent of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave through their employer. 

Even with the policy change Ikea is making in the United States, it may just make more sense to be their employee in Sweden. Those folks get 480 days—well over a year—of paid parental leave. 

The Curious Link Between Delayed Gratification, Kindness, And Good Health

In the famous marshmallow experiment, children were seated before a tasty treat and asked to resist eating it in exchange for a later reward of two marshmallows.

With a President-elect who regularly blows off steam via ill-advised 3 a.m. tweetstorms, self-control may appear to be in short supply these days. But the ability to delay gratification remains an important skill. Every time you walk away from an argument that you know will lead to a fight, or put away your credit card because you won’t have the money to pay it off for quite some time, you’re resisting immediate rewards in exchange for potentially bigger future rewards. And it turns out that people with stronger self-control are better able to empathize with others—including their future selves—according to new research published in Science Advances.

European researchers at the University of Zurich and the University of Düsseldorf who study self-control and impulse control, investigated a brain region called the temporoparietal juncture (TPJ) that becomes active when taking the perspective of another person. In short, the TPJ is the area of the brain dedicated to selflessness. The larger the region, the more generous you’re likely to be, while electric stimulation there has been shown to lead to more empathy. The Zurich-Düsseldorf team was surprised to find that the same brain region lights up when one exhibits self-control of any kind, leading to an unusual conclusion that, “The future self is kind of like another person,” says Alexander Soutschek, lead author of the study and professor of economics at the University of Zurich.

Those who have better self-control abilities are happier in later life, less overweight, and perform better in their jobs.

In other words, when you exhibit self-control, you’re essentially relating to your future self the way you would another person—and thinking more on that future self’s behalf than that of your present self. Being able to take on another’s perspective is associated with stronger social behavior, Soutschek says, adding, “Those who have better self-control abilities are happier in later life, less overweight, and perform better in their jobs.”

To see if their findings held up, researchers administered two rounds of “classical self-control tasks to link perspective-taking with the ability to exert self-control,” he says. Mirroring the famous marshmallow test—in which children were seated before a tasty treat and asked to resist eating it so that they could receive a later reward of two marshmallows—these subjects could “choose between 80 francs today, or 160 francs in one month,” Soutschek says of the first task. The subjects really did receive the money after the test. Next, they also had to choose between a payoff they would personally benefit from, or a payoff in which they benefited slightly less in order for another person to benefit.

The team then disrupted the TPJ region using non-invasive transcranial stimulation. Rather than boosting empathy, people tended to act more impulsively (choosing the immediate payoff), as well as acting more selfishly (choosing more money for themselves over sharing the benefits with others). Messing with the brain’s empathy center turns you into a jerk—to your future self and others.

Psychoanalyst Scott Von, Ph.D, director of the New Clinic in New York City, believes this research is particularly relevant, given America’s particular political climate. “We are no longer in the ‘culture of narcissism’ that the baby boomers talked about, but what I call a ‘culture of egoism,’ where we care even more about our status and reputation than our selfish pleasures or self-control,” he says. American society right now “may reflect a set of false selves and pretense to civility—while hate, fear, resentment, and selfish manipulation lie under the surface,” which Von sees as “more evident during the recent election and surrounding events.”

It’s well-known that addiction patients are suffering self-control deficits.

While the self-control research will have many implications, one of the most potentially important will involve how we treat addiction, says Soutschek. “It’s well-known that addiction patients are suffering self-control deficits,” he says. While the focus in the treatment of addiction has primarily been on impulse control, “our idea is if there’s a second self-control mechanism in the TPJ, then self-control deficits may (also stem) from deficits in perspective-taking.” He envisions new approaches to addiction treatment, such as cognitive training “that could direct attention to the future consequences of your behavior,” and stimulation of the TPJ.

So the next time you find yourself baited for a fight, tempted to slap down cash you don’t have, or about to indulge in a calorie-laden snack you really shouldn’t, practice holding back. Even if delaying gratification doesn’t come naturally to you, you’ll benefit from an arguably less delicious, but much more valuable reward—in the form of physical, mental, and social health.

Here’s The Ridiculous, Racist Reason This Man’s Passport Photo Was Rejected

Getting your passport is never a fun task. In addition to the costs, there’s the bureaucratic red tape along with the additional chore of getting your passport photo taken. It’s almost as if the photo Gods know that this is the picture you’ll be stuck with for a decade, so they ensure that it’s so bad it makes your driver’s license look like a Herb Ritts glamor shot

For New Zealand citizen Richard Lee, he managed to walk away from his photo shoot with a pretty great-looking headshot. But when he uploaded it to his country’s website to renew his passport, he was told that he couldn’t use the picture. 

Richard Lee

Because his eyes were closed. 

Only they weren’t closed. He’s of Asian descent, so that’s what his eyes look like when they’re open. I’m not sure if it’s a mitigating factor, but the rejection was an automatic one based on software to analyze submitted photos. The bizarre event raises some interesting questions like, “Is the machine racist?” Or “Can a machine be racist?” Or even “Is the person who programmed the software insensitive or did they just lack the foresight into the types of faces their product would be analyzing?”

People certainly had their opinions over whether this whole affair was a tempest in a teapot or an actual issue that needed to be addressed. 

The discussion will continue now that the screenshot of the rejection (and the great-looking photo) have gone viral, but Mr. Lee isn’t sweating it too much. He told Mashable, “I found it hilarious actually, not racist. It’s pretty impressive that in the past 80 years we went from Turing Machines to a computer software that could read a face and determine that the eyes were smaller than usual.”

The passport office has responded with, “There were shadows in the eyes or uneven lighting,” but if that’s the case with a picture of this caliber, we’re thinking the office’s standards might be unrealistically high for getting a photo taken at the local post office. 

Lee put the matter behind him, saying, “So I took a couple more at the post office and fortunately one of them went through.”

We don’t have a line on what Lee’s new passport picture is, so we’ll just imagine it’s even more majestic than the one that got senselessly denied. 

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