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“A System Of Perfectionist Teenage Girls”

This article in Melbourne’s Age newspaper caught my eye.
It’s an interview with Claire Shipman and Katty Kay authors of a book called The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know.
Part of the article deals with what they describe as a “system we’ve all set up is one that creates this army of young girl perfectionists.”
The rationale behind it is explained in these terms:

Not surprisingly, it’s a mix of nature and nurture. It does seem that girls’ and boys’ brains develop a little differently. Girls, especially at puberty, start to really have much higher emotional intelligence than boys. They did before, but this is the time they double down. It leads girls to be more cautious, and boys don’t have that. Boys get a big boost of testosterone, stuff that encourages risk-taking. You build confidence by taking risks and struggling and failing and eventually mastering something. You need to be taking action to build confidence. But the system we’ve all set up is one that creates this army of young girl perfectionists.
From preschool through university, it’s all about sitting still, colouring within the lines, doing more than expected, trying to please teacher. So they don’t take risks, fail, mess up. There’s this whole conversation about boys struggling academically. But that means in the real world they know what to do. They’re learning lessons about taking risks, so they’re more ready to try something.
We were really struck by this idea of how is this happening with young women. They are outperforming boys academically. Then they enter the work world, and their confidence plummets. They’re just not learning it’s okay to take risks and fail.

The takeaway is setting up mechanisms for encouraging both girls and boys to learn from failure.

Read the interview here.


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How To Tie Shoelaces With One Hand (via Megan Absten)

Megan Absten is an athlete who lost her left arm at age 14.
Here she provides a video tutorial on how to tie shoelaces one-handed.
(A couple of different ways, actually.)


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Australian (Extreme) Dinghy Racing

Dinghy is such a wonderful word.
This three-minute video from Great Big Story about Dinghy Racing in (South) Australia had me at “In 1981, two dinghy pilots in Australia made a wager to determine which one of them could ride their boat to the pub the fastest. Thus, extreme dinghy racing was born.”
Of course it had to be about getting to the pub fastest.
It’s Australia.


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When Coca-Cola Tried To Introduce Vending Machines That Raised Their Prices On Hot Days (via Today I Found Out)

Everyone is used to (but nobody likes) the way that petrol prices rise and fall through the week in a way that has less to do with the cost of production and more to do with increased demand and capacity to pay.
In Australia most mortgages have interest rates that can be raised (and more recently lowered) with no or little notice.
But the same grudging tolerance is not extended towards other products.
This Today I Found Out Story made me think of that.
It’s about a time when Coca-Cola trialled vending machines that had internal thermostats so that they could raise or lower their prices based on what would be understood to be people’s thirst.
It did not prove to be a popular measure.
Perhaps it was simply before its time.
(When I used to drink soft-drink there was a vending machine that sold Coke Zero cheaper than anywhere else and I went out of my way to use it.)
A brief excerpt.

When asked how Coca-Cola as a company planned to take advantage of the amazing revelation that hot weather inexplicably also coincided with an increased demand for cold drinks, Ivester stated that they’d been developing a new line of vending machines that exploited this fact. Specifically, [then CEO Doug] Ivester explained that Coca-Cola had been experimenting with vending machines that contained a thermostat and simple software that would raise the price of the products within the machine once a certain temperature threshold had been reached. As Ivester himself would correctly point out during the interview, neither the technology nor the idea of raising the price of a product in times of great demand was a new concept, noting in regards to the latter that “the machine will simply make this process automatic”.

Read the whole article at Today I Found Out.


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The Sibling Rivalry Behind Adidas Versus Puma (via Great Big Story)

A two minute entertaining background piece on the Dassler brothers whose sibling rivalry resulted in the worldwide show brands Adidas and Puma.


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Bush Cemetery

A funeral for a unique person concluded at the Nelson Cemetery today.

The Cemetery, of which she was a committee member for decades gives insight into her nature.

A sign outside the Cemetery contains pictures of some of the notable native flora that had been sighted in the area. Alongside the photos is a ‘Short List Of Native Plants Found Within This Cemetery’. (The Cemetery is set within a five acre reserve)

You can be certain that somewhere in her home the complete list of native plants found in the cemetery exists as well.

Vale Leila.


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Seventy National Stereotypes Debunked – Or Not (via Condé Nast Traveller)

This video from Condé Nast Traveller features seventy people of different nationalities saying what the most common stereotypical perception of their country is.
Some of them concede that sometimes a stereotype is a stereotype for a reason.
And sadly, we don’t all ride kangaroos. Though sometimes we see them hopping down our main street.
I’m a bit crushed to find out they don’t say ‘Hakuna Matata’ in Tanzania.