Sentient Octopuses, Thanksgiving Stories You Can Retell and Non-Obvious Black Friday Deals | Non-Obvious Insights #297

Dear Newsletterest,

Today, I'm grateful for all of you. It's Thanksgiving day here in the US and I deeply appreciate you spending your precious time with me every Thursday to read these stories. Thank you for the insightful commentary (and sometimes criticism!) of these ideas. And thank you for all your book recommendations for our Non-Obvious Book Awards announcement next week. The world needs more people who are open-minded enough to appreciate what everyone else misses. People like you. So most of all, thank you for doing the hard work of being that person. It is worth the effort. Now on to this week's stories! 

What If Spoiler Alerts Make Us Stupid?

What if spoiler alerts didn't exist? For many of us, this would immediately feel like a bad thing. In our world of time-shifted entertainment, it feel obvious that we need these warnings in order to unintentionally avoid spoiling a twist ending for ourselves. That's what I would have said too, but an article in WIRED this week helped me question that assumption:

"Good criticism should not cater to our childish fears of spoiled pleasures, with disclaimers and warnings and other acts of silly self-debasement. It should honestly evaluate a work of art in its entirety, and you can’t do that without talking about what happens. Besides, it’s not even clear that spoilers really do ruin one’s experience of art.

We know Romeo and Juliet do; doesn’t mean we skip the show. On the contrary, when the burden of plot is relieved, you’re free to observe the ways in which a story is told, the choices and foreshadowing and subtle manipulations: the things that make art truly artistic."


I'm not sure I agree with this argument, but it did get me thinking. How important is it to preserve the mystery of how things end in order to heighten our experience of it? A similar question came to mind this week as I read about Adele's insistence that Spotify remove the shuffle button from her new album so her fans would be compelled to listen to the songs on her new album only in the order she intended. Is she crossing a line or simply trying to preserve the artistic integrity of what she created? 

Shutterstock Publishes Their Predictions For 2022's Hottest Colors

Stock photography platform Shutterstock has crunched the data on the most popular images on the platform and has used those numbers to identify several new colors that will likely be trending in 2022. I can't resist a good color exploration, and this one also offers some cultural observations for why particular colors seem to be resonating for designers right now. Velvet Violet, Calming Coral, and Pacific Pink are all on the list. The Report also spotlights popular shades region by region across the world.  

United Kingdom Declares Octopuses, Squids & Crabs Are Sentient Beings

A recent report from the London School of Economics and Political Science found that creatures such as octopus, crabs, squids, and lobsters along with “all other decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs” are capable of feeling “pain, pleasure, hunger, thirst, warmth, joy, comfort and excitement.” These are the criteria for sentience and so the United Kingdom is adding an amendment to its Animal Welfare Sentience Bill to recognize all of these animals as sentient creatures. For now, this bill will not impact any specific practices from the fishing industry, but it is a big victory for those who are fighting for more compassion in farming and better treatment for animals. 

The Upside Down Cranberry Sauce Label and Other Interesting Thanksgiving Stories To Share ...

One of the promises of this newsletter is to help you be more interesting. If you're headed to a Thanksgiving gathering today, you may be able to use a few interesting Thanksgiving themed-stories to share with friends and family. One that caught my attention this week was a fascinating explanation for why Ocean Spray prints the labels on their cans of Jellied Cranberry Sauce upside down ... because the air pocket that makes the sauce pop out of the jar tends to be at the bottom.

Reese's got into the holiday spirit with the "craptacular" (new holiday word!) invention of the Reese's peanut butter chocolate pie, which apparently is suggested to be cut into 48 slices and packs a whopping 7,680 calories. Of course, this is America so no one cares about that. The pie sold out two hours after they announced it.

On a more serious note, Thanksgiving is a holiday that does have a troublesome past as well. Many Native American groups currently see it as a day of mourning. We can all do better by learning about and celebrating Native American Heritage Month, honoring Native peoples and working to decolonize our Thanksgiving dinner. Finally, here's a link from an interview I did last year with dialogue expert Dr. David Campt with some helpful advice on how to talk to your more racist family members. Just in case you have one of those difficult conversations in your immediate future. 

5 Non-Obvious Black Friday Deals On Great Holiday Gifts

Tomorrow is Black Friday and so it seems everyone wants to sell you something. Still, some of it might actually be worth getting - so here's my roundup of the best deals I came across this week that I found worth sharing:

Even More Non-Obvious Stories ... 

Every week I always curate more stories than I'm able to explore in detail. In case you're looking for some more reading this week, here are a few other stories that captured my attention ...
How are these stories curated?
Every week I spend hours going through hundreds of stories in order to curate this email. Want to discuss how I could bring this thinking to your next event as a keynote speaker in person or virtual? Watch my new 2021 speaking reel on YouTube >>
Beyond Diversity Now Available!

My latest book is now available and explores what it takes to create a more diverse and inclusive world. The book features the voices of more than 200 amazing people and is co-authored by inclusion expert Jennifer Brown. Get your copy of the book today!

Get a FREE Excerpt >> 
Buy on Amazon >>
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