Every Friday we highlight five things we have on our radar that we think should be on yours, too.
Here’s this week’s Friday Fives.
The Unicode Consortium recently announced it is releasing 117 new emojis later this year. Of these, they will include the transgender flag and more gender-inclusive options. As our arsenal of emojis increase and become more detailed and nuanced, I cannot help but recall the time before they existed. When we used simply “:)”, and “O_O” and yes, sometimes: “XD”. They were certainly gender-neutral and inclusive back then, albeit due to their simplicity. It’s comforting to see our modern versions heading in the same direction. — MC2
We are all so imperfect. But what sets us apart is how we are compelled to strive. This is the human spirit. It is the framework of every great story — in fiction and art, and even the occasional drunken rant. Unconscious biases are a large part of this imperfection. In a world that struggles to grapple with conscious biases, this more subversive and micro form of bias can bypass even the most educated, hyper-aware and sensitive individual. And sometimes these biases reach into something as basic as our names. It can affect our chances at jobs, where we live, whom we marry, how well we do in school, even our decisions to donate money. I guess our names can always be changed, but this brings forth the old identity trope — should we have to change things about ourselves just to get by? — MC2
Well, the proverbial electric train has officially left the sustainable, solar powered train station and everyone is getting on board. Even America’s venerated GMC, a brand dedicated to manufacturing gas guzzling pickups, SUVs and commercial trucks is teasing an all electric vehicle. And it’s none other than the Hummer, a 6400lb monster of a car originally converted from a military Humvee for civilian use. I love the idea of driving this ridiculous, impractical tonka toy of a vehicle, free of the guilt and cost of gasoline. Maybe I’m the exact demographic they’re counting on. It really brings to mind a future of fascinating, juxtaposed cultures and people and I cannot wait! — HY
Atari, the old school video game brand from the 80s and 90s, is now building themed hotels in eight different cities. This is gonna be paradise for gamers, in which they will get to experience esports studios and theaters during their stay. I think this has great appeal, not only to the older generation but also the younger generation. Nostalgia is all the rage nowadays. Another factor, which could be a downside depending on how you see it, is that it’s super instagrammable. Which might mean people who just want a cool pic will book a night just to rack up the likes on their Instagram. What do you think? — SS
Belgian innovation hub Imec, the University of Ghent, and hardware company the Connect Group have teamed up to create a firefighters suit that warns them when temperatures rise to dangerous levels. Now one might ask why someone needs to be reminded of how hot something is inside a literal burning building. The fact is that firefighters often suffer from 2nd degree burns from the combination of their suits that numb sensation and the incredible amount of adrenaline that comes with axing a door down and blitzing into zero visibility smoke and 6ft high flames. This new suit has sensors that audibly notify firefighters when conditions become dangerous. It’s something we never thought they’d need, but actually proves to be very valuable. — MC2
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