Stories [What's capturing my attention these days across design, strategy, innovation and beyond]

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My biggest discovery in high school was that Mcdonalds would make shamrock McFlurries upon special request. Not so with Dasia Taylor, an Iowa student who invented a surgical suture that changes color when in the presence of infection for her science fair.

The innovation relies on beet juice, which changes from red to dark purple when pH rises from 5 to 9. Apparently, the human body also raises pH when confronted with an infection. A perfect marriage!

Product is still in testing before being it can be brought to market, but it could be a particularly huge early warning sign in emerging countries with limited access to medical care. C-sections alone result in 20% infection rates across many African nations.

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My biggest discovery in high school was that Mcdonalds would make shamrock McFlurries if specially requested. Not. so with Dasia Taylor, an Iowa student who invented a new surgical suture that changes color when in the presence of infection.

The innovation relies on beet juice, which changes from red to dark purple when the pH rises from 5 to 9. Apparently, the human body also raises pH when confronted with an infection. A perfect marriage!

Product still in testing before being launched, but could be a particularly huge early warning sign for emerging countries with limited access to medical care.

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SURVIVOR (CBS and streaming)

I've spent two full decades rolling my eyes at Survivor. How have there been so many seasons? Why does Jeff Probst have so many Emmys? What's a Parvati?

Cut to a pandemic and suddenly 40 seasons of television aren't sounding so daunting. Throw in some gentle encouragement from Las Culturistas podcast (another recommendation) and suddenly inhaling seasons faster than Cheese-Its.

I'm not going to wax philosophical about why I became obsessed, but trust that the format is incredibly satisfying for binge watching while trapped in your home.

There is no need to watch chronologically, so here's my current top 5 seasons for those wondering where to start:

  1. Season 28: Cagayan
    [Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix]

  2. Season 31: Cambodia - Second Chance
    [Hulu] 

  3. Season 40: Winners at War
    [CBS All Access...or try 123Movies.Gallery I mean just kidding this blog does not condone illegal streaming]

  4. Survivor 34: Game Changers
    [Hulu]

  5. Season 20: Heroes vs. Villains
    [Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix]

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CONAN O'BRIEN NEEDS A FRIEND

2020 was the year I finally turned off Rachel Maddow (well...at least some days) and started​ casting some escapism.

It was a rough year. We all need to laugh. And this podcast consistently delivers.

I never had any strong feelings about Conan, but his wit is so lightning fast, it's amazing overhearing him spar with some of our funniest people.

For a starting place, last week's interview with Matthew Rhys--who is also secret hilarious--was a delight. Then go back into the archives and enjoy chats with Michelle Obama, Tina Fey, Ali Wong, Hillary Clinton, and more.

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HIDE N SEEK (by Cehryl)

A true Spotify Discover Weekly find, I knew next to nothing about this Hong Kong-based artist until this bop popped up. Great indie feel, engaging guitar work, solid retro beat. Excited to learn more.

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I AM HUNGRY (by Grace McLean, sung by Ashley Perez Flanagan, Rachel Duddy, Hannah Whitney)

I know musical theater is not everyone's cuppa tea. And, frankly, since I stopped performing it has not been mine either. I find it really hard to engage these days; everything feels super derivative and self-serious.

 

But I was lucky enough to see this show at Lincoln Center last summer, when theater still existed, and it blew. me. a. way. I worked with Grace in my last show as a performer (#Bedbugs), and knew her to be an unreal vocalist and blistering star of brilliance. Still, I was not prepared for this. 

Only Grace could take an obscure story about an 11th century mystic and transform it into a visceral meditation on collective trauma. Have been eagerly awaiting the cast recording ever since.

If musical theater still isn't your thing, just listen to this track for Ashely Perez Flanagan's vocals. Is she even human? WTF. 

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This past quarter has not been my most prolific, but did crank out a few new pieces and try some new techniques that made me smile. ​

Follow the full collection on
Instagram at barry.doodles

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