It’s Monday morning, and I’ve decided to read and comment on the news again. Bolding in all quotes is mine.
Here’s the link to the peer-reviewed study itself, if you are curious. How did they study this, you ask?
In their experiments, Cuaya and her colleagues had a native Hungarian speaker and a native Spanish speaker read sentences from Chapter 21 of “The Little Prince” while the dogs were in the scanner. The text and the readers were unknown to all the dogs.https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/dogs-understand-foreign-language-brain-scans-show-rcna11074
Are they sure? Dog owners can be awfully intense. I would 100% believe that there are dog owners out there reading “The Little Prince” to their dogs before tucking them in bed.
In any case, note that the researchers studied just 18 dogs and animal behavior is difficult to study. I read this gem in another article covering a different study on dog behavior:
For one, the authors still worry that the experimental design could have been too complex for the dogs to fully understand what was going on…https://gizmodo.com/would-your-dog-give-you-treats-if-he-could-1847291658
Perhaps surprising given my avatar, I’m actually not a dog person. But I want to be clear that I’m not criticizing dogs. It’s actually amazing what dogs can be trained to do. Also, humans barely understand experimental design.
Besides, criticizing dogs is like asking to get banned from the internet.
M&M’s is redesigning their characters to be more progressive and inclusive.
The redesign is focused on creating a sense of belonging and community, as well as spotlighting the character’s “personalities, rather than their gender.”https://www.cbsnews.com/news/m-ms-characters-redesigned-modern-inclusive-progressive/
The most notable changes include the green M&M’s redesign, which will exchange the white heeled go-go boots she was given in 1997 for “cool, laid-back sneakers to reflect her effortless confidence.”…The green M&M will also be “better represented to reflect confidence and empowerment, as a strong female, and known for much more than her boots.”
The green M&M and the brown M&M will have a more friendly relationship, showcasing a “force supporting women.” The two characters’ dynamic will have them “together throwing shine and not shade,” the company said.https://www.cbsnews.com/news/m-ms-characters-redesigned-modern-inclusive-progressive/
So Mars Wrigley is making the female M&Ms a “force supporting women” and also “spotlighting personality not gender” – isn’t that kind of a contradiction?
Separately, note that Mars Wrigley is not increasing the number of female M&M characters because that would require coming up with new colors (aka actual product innovation):
Currently, there are two female characters and four male ones. Adding another couple of female characters to balance out the ratio is possible, said [Anton Vincent, president of Mars Wrigley North America], but there are “implications” for the product itself. Namely, M&Ms would have to add new permanent colors to its mix.https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/20/business/mms-characters-logo/index.html
Then there’s this change:
Mars will also include imagery of M&Ms of all shapes and sizes, moving away from only one body sizehttps://www.newson6.com/story/61e949c1c6a2e90befdf7239/mm-characters-redesigned-for-more-dynamic-progressive-world-mars-announces
Question: If Mars Wrigley isn’t changing the actual size of the actual M&M candies, is showing M&M imagery of all shapes and sizes false advertising?
Anyway, everyone who isn’t a VP at Mars Wrigley (and who isn’t this sole Gen Z-er who feels seen by the anxious Orange M&M) is unimpressed with the redesign. This writer is upset because she doesn’t want to think about the M&Ms’ anthropomorphized personalities while she eats candy. Tucker Carlson is upset because the M&Ms are no longer sexy. This writer thinks the M&M characters should be more gender-fluid and engage in queer romantic relationships. Feminists are mad about the implication that Green’s go-go boots cannot coexist with feminism. There are too many Twitter gems from the right and the left to quote in full.
I don’t give a rat’s ass about the M&M characters; M&Ms are still a crappy candy.
Before we dive into the article, let us just acknowledge how novel it is to see news related to the CDC that isn’t about coronavirus.
The CDC released new state maps showing the levels of adult physical inactivity across the United States.https://whnt.com/news/cdc-releases-map-of-most-inactive-states-heres-how-yours-ranks/
But at the risk of being branded as anti-science for questioning the CDC (which other medical groups have done), I question the definition of physical inactivity used for this study:
For these maps, physical inactivity for adults is defined as not participating in any physical activities outside of work over the last monthhttps://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/p0120-inactivity-map.html
This definition strikes me as very classist. Does the CDC not realize that there are plenty of jobs which involve physical activity as part of performing the job? By this definition, a white-collar worker working from home all day who gets on a Peloton for one hour would be physically active, whereas the bike delivery driver who rides a bike for his/her entire workday shift would be considered physically inactive unless he/she went running afterwards. The “outside of work” element of this definition goes against other accepted definitions of physical activity
This headline is not about what you think it is about:
A new study led by Dr. Sharon Gilaie-Dotan, a senior lecturer in Bar-Ilan University’s School of Optometry and Vision Science and Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, concludes that in the formation of visual memories, size counts.https://www.jpost.com/science/article-694354
This study is about image size and memory formation
Yes, I kept giggling while reading this Jerusalem Post article because the jokes write themselves, but ultimately, this is not a study about male genitalia.
If you’re disappointed, consider reading my poem, “Unpopular Opinions on Thesauruses and Penises”, which is about exactly that.
“Because of the pandemic, a physical, real kind of reception is not possible with the huge number of people attending,” said Padmavathi…”So, we decided: let’s make it in the metaverse.“https://www.cnn.com/style/article/india-wedding-metaverse/index.html
Now I finally understand the demand for luxury-branded NFTs. What else do you wear to a metaverse wedding? This makes sense now. I can’t wait for the etiquette and style guides for metaverse weddings.
Is commenting on the news going to be a regular feature of this blog? I haven’t decided yet. I’m also not a creature of routine, so words like “regular feature” scare me, but let me know what you think.