Culture

Foodies, Culture, and Gastrodiplomacy

Foodies, Culture, and Gastrodiplomacy

Quartz, 2019, 7:53… Thai restaurants are abundant and popular in many parts of the world. This has a lot to do with the Thai government actively promoting Thai food overseas for more than a decade. The strategy has been so successful that it inspired a new trend in foreign policy: gastrodiplomacy. And food isn’t just a diplomatic tool for governments. There’s a new kind of gastrodiplomacy on the rise, one that’s led by people who have left their governments behind. Quartz News went to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the refugee capital of America, to visit a 25-year-old gastrodiplomat who fled war in Somalia, rebuilt his life, and connects neighbors through his mouthwatering Somali samosas.

The Happiest Country In The World

The Happiest Country In The World

Vice News, 2019, 4:36… Finland has been declared the happiest country in the world for the second year in a row. On Wednesday, the United Nations released its annual World Happiness Report and confirmed the Nordic country as the reigning champion of joy. But in many ways, the land of frigid temperatures and dark winter days seems like the most unlikely of choices.

Homogenized Aspiration (Coffee Shops)

Homogenized Aspiration (Coffee Shops)

Quartz, 2019, 5:02… In coffee shops all over the world, the same set of design elements keep popping up. What is happening? Distinctive design elements—Edison bulbs, reclaimed wood, potted plants, exposed brick—are popping up in coffee shops everywhere. But it isn’t just the design of these spaces that are becoming increasingly uniform…

Pixar's Purl

Pixar's Purl

Pixar SparkShorts, 2019, 8:43… Purl, directed by Kristen Lester and produced by Gillian Libbert-Duncan, features an earnest ball of yarn named Purl who gets a job in a fast-paced, high energy, bro-tastic start-up. Yarny hijinks ensue as she tries to fit in, but how far is she willing to go to get the acceptance she yearns for, and in the end, is it worth it?

The Benefits of Risky Playgrounds

The Benefits of Risky Playgrounds

Vox, 2019, 5:43… The stereotypical modern playground — with its bright colors and rubberized flooring — is designed to be clean, safe, and lawsuit-proof. But that isn't necessarily the best design for kids. US playground designers spent decades figuring out how to minimize risk: reducing heights, softening surfaces, and limiting loose parts. But now, some are experimenting with creating risk. A growing body of research has found that risky outdoor play is a key part of children’s health, promoting social interactions, creativity, problem-solving, and resilience.

The History of Pink

The History of Pink

CBS Sunday Morning, 2019, 5:57… Pink is the most divisive color in American society, associated with gender stereotypes that leave some seeing red. After gaining favor in Europe as the preferred color for the fashionable and aristocratic, pink became linked with notions of sugar and spice and everything nice – and that's when businesses started seeing green.

Blackface in America

Blackface in America

Vice News, 2019, 2:37… Ralph Northam is still the governor of Virginia—for now. But he’s facing increasing pressure to resign after a conservative media site unearthed a photo of a man in blackface on Northam’s page in a 1984 medical school yearbook. Northam insists it isn’t him in the photo. And the New York Times today reported that a group of his medical school classmates is standing behind him.

Political Self-Segregation

Political Self-Segregation

Vice News, 2019, 6:06… You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends. And if they start to vote differently than you, some families are willing to pick up, leave and find new friends. Sick of states that permit legal marijuana? Same-sex marriages? Laws that permit transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice? What if there were a better way? Last year, VICE News went to McKinney, Texas to check out "Conservative "Move" - a real estate company that says it has the solution to living a life free of liberals. They’ll try to find you a place to live, a job with a decent wage, and the best schools for your children, in Texas or any other Republican stronghold.

Advertising & Alcohol Regulation

Advertising & Alcohol Regulation

USA Today, 2018, 5:43… Millions of Americans will hoist a glass this holiday season. And convincing you to do so is big business! In the US alone, 2 billion dollars is spent on alcohol advertising each year. Perhaps well worth it, as it results in 162 billion dollars in annual alcohol sales. You heard us right, it's not just your in-laws who are driving you to drink.

Body Positive Fat Camps

Body Positive Fat Camps

Broadly, 2018, 10:41… Broadly visits the first adult fat camp that focuses on celebrating bodies instead of changing or shaming them. Women from around the country gathered at Fat Camp in Henderson, North Carolina for a weekend of outdoor activities like swimming, campfires, and pool parties in a judgement-free space. For many of them, the experience among other fat women was a transformative step in their journeys towards self-love.

The Symbolism of The Lawn

The Symbolism of The Lawn

The Atlantic, 2018, 2:26… Michael Pollan explains how front lawns are endemic to America—and emblematic of the country's hypocrisies. “The conceit of the American suburb is that we’re all in a great park together,” Pollan says in the film. “The lawn symbolizes that continuity.” And yet, Pollan explains, despite the fact that lawns are the largest irrigated crop in the country, Americans tend to avoid using them.