TO-DO LIST: Take Pics, Watch Videos, Walk Around, Hug a Tree, LOL, Repeat

July 14, 2017

Happy July 14th! In celebration of the Storming of the Bastille, here are some things I found while staring at my computer this week.

  • The Eye Roll Seen ‘Round The World: Everyone’s favorite German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was less than intrigued with what Russian President Vladimir Putin had to say when they met at the G20 Summit this week – cue eye roll. The clip went viral, generating significant responses across social media and underscoring the power of visual messaging and body language. Proving the impact of a picture, new data from LendEDU shows 53% of Millennials’ purchases are influenced by Instagram posts, while 93% of Pinterest-ers use the site to plan purchases.
  • The New Generation of TV: Microsoft announced plans to harness unused channels between television broadcasts – known as white spaces – to get rural America online. The “white-space broadband” service is set to roll out in 12 states – including Arizona, Kansas, New York and Virginia – with the goal of connecting two million rural Americans with high-speed internet in the next five years! Facebook is also rethinking traditional use of TV and researched the difference in outcomes between TV ads and Facebook ads worldwide. The study found TV ads reach wider audiences, while Facebook ads generate more sales. When combined, Facebook and TV ad campaigns improved overall target audience reach. Not to be left out in the cold, Twitter is enhancing its live video offerings across multiple tech verticals – focusing on sports, news and entertainment.
  • Oh Go Take A Hike! No, really… According to a new study from Stanford University, the U.S. ranks 4th worst in physical activity inequality, reflecting the high rate of obesity and low walkability of many non-urban communities. Tracking daily steps using smartphone data, researchers looked at walking trends across the socioeconomic spectrum in 111 countries and the U.S. came up at the bottom of the barrel, while other countries like Sweden had a very small gap in physical activity between rich and poor. To learn more about obesity or other common medical terms, just Google it. An analysis of medical terms Googled by state shows Illinoisans are curious about “diabetes,” Alabamans are concerned about “itching” and Wyoming(ans) want more info on “diarrhea.”
  • It’s The End of The World, As We Know It: A new studypublished in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates Earth is entering its sixth mass extinction event, which would result in three-quarters of all species dying off in the next few centuries – mostly driven by the “biological annihilation” humans are inflicting on Mother Earth. Further proof: an iceberg the size of Delaware broke off from the Antarctic shelf – one of the largest ever recorded! But not all our decisions are bad: a human chain was created off the coast of Panama City Beach, Florida, to save nine swimmers who got trapped in the current! If that doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzies inside, you can always hop a plane to China where a group of students are testing a self-sustaining space station for 200 days to determine if the base could be used on the moon or other planet besides Earth – which we are slowly destroying (see above).
  • Just Taking A Little ME Time: A popular story of a woman taking a day off to take care of her mental health (and her CEO’s lovely response) brought to focus the importance of mental health awareness and care. There are a variety of ways to unwind or reset mentally, including taking time during the day to goof off! To help you follow this advice, here is a kitten startling a dog, a story about “baby tooth” perfume, a conspiracy theory about the Friends show DVD cover and a Lego coffee mug. If you feel like sharing any of these distractions today, make sure you don’t forget to add your version of “haha” or “lol” – as these digital sayings have apparently evolved to represent much more than laughter.