National Best Friends Day (8th June, 2021) 😊😊
If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you. — Winnie the Pooh
Covid-cancelled School play re-imagined as animated short film, ‘Drawn Closer’ with help from Academy Award Winning Director 🎬
Academy Award winner and Nexus Studios director, Patrick Osborne (who won the 2014 Best Animated Short Oscar for Feast) partnered with Cox Communications for a Covid-canceled live performance play from the students of 'Thurman White Academy of the Performing Arts'.
Osborne directed 22 school kids virtually and helped each of the young stars of the show voice puppeteer their own characters in an animated short.
Using facial recognition technology, the students were able to act out their parts over video calls, with their digital counterparts mirroring their movements and expressions in real-time on-screen. ..We wanted to make this as connected and inclusive of an experience as possible.
The project brought a new perspective by creating a community of creators turning a play into an animation film during these hard times. On collaborating, Osborne said:
Working with these kids was easily the best part of the project. They were endless wells of enthusiasm and natural performers.
(Video) Collaboration with Stanford scholar and photographer Mary Beth Meehan reveals how impossible it is to make ends meet in Silicon Valley 💰🥺
When Stanford scholar Fred Turner moved to Silicon Valley in 2002, it was one for all. Today, there is another Silicon Valley: one filled with workers and their families barely making ends meet. Turner teamed up with renowned photographer Mary Beth Meehan to provide an unseen view of the heart of the tech world to create a new book, 'Seeing Silicon Valley: Life Inside a Fraying America.'
On the two different realities of Silicon Valley, Meehan says:
I had this idea of it as a place where everything sparkled, where everything was possible, where people were young and healthy – that it was a place in which all of the best of human ingenuity was put into play....Nothing could have prepared me for the uneasiness and human stress and suffering that went along with being a part of that economy.
Friendships Post-COVID: Resume, Repair, or Replace? 😊
Which post-Covid friendships do you plan to resume, repair or replace is a question many of us are asking. What will be important for you and your communities as things open up?
For Arianna Varas, an executive assistant in New York City, she's moving slowly to add other friends outside of her COVID bubble of close friends. They were the handful of people who were her support system. One thing COVID taught Arianna:
You don't need more than your support system. Other friends are a bonus.
For, Amy, a Southern California journalist, who got vaccinated as soon as possible, she is doing great with her close circle of about 15 friends. But her in-person bubble is much smaller because the pandemic is not over. Her big dilemma is other friends she lost respect for when she learned they were anti-mask and anti-vaccine, even those with elderly parents. She says she will delay getting together with friends with opposing views. Amy wants to slow down from her previous go-go-go schedule and evaluate friendship potential when she meets new people.
I wonder if I ever really knew who they truly are... I never had an opportunity to get to know who some of these people are in a crisis.
TOOLS 🛠️ ⚙️
(Video) What is ransomware and how is it dealt with? 💻
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that blocks access to files on a device and demands a ransom to release them. Malware can be downloaded onto a computer, phone or other device and is spread in a number of ways. Cybersecurity expert, Diep Nguyen says,
In the past, talking about cybersecurity attacks is something of defense. Now, it is the responsibility of every single citizen with implications on our daily life.
One way to keep the criminals out is to update your antivirus and malware security software as soon as a new update exists. Staying informed by subscribing to a cybersecurity company's newsletter or social media channels may also help.
POP CULTURE 🎥🎵🎮
(Video) Thought-provoking short film reimagines plastic pollution as ocean life 🐠
'The Beauty' is a powerful, mesmerizing award-winning short film directed by Pascal Schelbli. It explores the horrible effects of plastic pollution in the ocean and forces viewers to confront this reality. Plastic waste is seen beautifully integrated into ocean ecosystems. Old flip flops become schools of fish, plastic straws become coral reefs, and tires make up the long bodies of eels.
At least 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year. They make up 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. Plastic accumulating in our oceans and on our beaches has become a global crisis and one that goes undealt with.
“Simultaneously stunning and filthy” is how director Pascal Schelbli describes his film and the ocean. This Instagram clip shows how he took a different approach in the making of 'The Beauty':
Instead of showing another mournful stomach full of plastic bags, I thought, ‘what if plastic could be integrated into the sea life and nature solves the problem?’ The film should take you on a journey, where all our feelings of guilt will disappear. But in the end, we wake up and realize that we need to change something.
NOTABLE PEOPLE📝 📖🖊️
Fellow athletes praise Naomi Osaka as she reveals mental health struggles 🎾
It's common for athletes to experience mental health struggles but it's uncommon for them to speak about it publicly and risk their careers. Japanese professional tennis player, Naomi Osaka, recently tweeted about her reason for withdrawing from the French Open due to concerns over her mental health after being threatened to be expelled from the tournament and fined $15,000.
Michael Phelps, who went public with his struggles and became a strong mental health advocate in sports told Time, after reading Osaka's post:
I felt very happy after reading her message because she’s showing that vulnerability, she’s showing a side of her that we haven’t seen before, and that’s so powerful...It’s definitely going to be a game-changer in mental health moving forward.
It commendable seeing fellow athletes from across the sports spectrum publicly show their support for Osaka at a time that needs the conversation to move forward.
NBA star Steph Curry tweeted:
You [shouldn't] ever have to make a [decision] like this-but so damn impressive taking the high road when the powers that be dont protect their own. major respect.
Seven-time Formula 1 British race driver champion and activist Lewis Hamilton told Autoweek how he felt about Osaka's statement:
I think she's an incredible athlete and human being, and her activism has been just so impactful—and at such a young age with so much weight on her shoulders.
LASTLY 🏠 ❓ ℹ️
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Welcome to Issue #10. The theme of this newsletter is friendships. What has your friend circle looked like during the pandemic? The average American has 16 friends according to a 2019 poll. The first three are "best friends", five are "good friends" and eight are people you like but don't hang out with 1 on 1. Acquaintances and social media friends are not part of the 16. Then there is the "Dunbar's number", coined by veteran friendship researcher Robin Dunbar. He argues your maximum cognitive limit is 150 total friends - this means you know each person and also know how they all know each other.
According The Atlantic, the pandemic erased entire categories of friendship. Incidentally, Dunbar believes things will return to normal 6-12 months after Covid-19 case counts decline. Think of coworkers at your workplace's lunchroom or kitchen area. Think of staff at a local coffee or sandwich shop not allowed to engage in banter with customers. What about people with shared interests that you meet at a concert, nightclub, record, or comic store. Sociologist, Mark Granovetter calls this outer group your weak ties or people you see less often but connect with quickly. He says weak ties are just as important to our social health and serve a purpose that is different from close friends and family.
Pandemic friends: Anecdotally, many people I spoke with said they met at least one new "weak tie" person online during the pandemic where a connection was made that developed into a satisfying friendship without ever meeting in person. While difficult to connect with someone in a Zoom call, researchers say it's possible to practice something called "conversational reciprocity". When both people feel heard and have the opportunity to speak in a balanced manner with each other, they end up feeling happier and more satisfied.
Dr. Nicholas Christakis is the author of “Apollo’s Arrow”, a book about the impact of Covid-19. He says friendships allow us to cooperate, form alliances, exchange ideas, and learn from each other.
As society opens up, it's helpful to visualize what you want your friend circle to look like. Suzanne Degges-White, a professor of counseling at Northern Illinois University, suggests arranging your 'friendscape' -- where friends belong in the foreground, middle ground, or background, depending on how much time and emotional energy you invest in them.
Foreground friends are friends who just get you. They are there for you and listen to you even if that means they don't always agree with you. You enjoy being with them in the same way they enjoy being with you. Research shows that having friends across the age spectrum is good for our mental health. I watched Here Today, a delightful new comedy-drama movie about how two strangers (Billy Crystal & Tiffany Haddish) from different generations develop an unlikely yet hilarious and caring friendship that helps overcome their loneliness.
Stay safe. Stay sane. Get vaccinated.
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CFP News is a weekly roundup of the best links on how people collaborate, create social impact, and build community. An online version is here and archives are here.