Frisk #193

Zeinab Badawi’s Twenty Hotels, it’s Frisk #193! State Route 193 is a road that runs through Cool, California. Yes, there really is a place named ‘Cool’.


German election hoax
Something a bit Black Mirror happened in Germany recently, in the run-up to the federal election: voters received letters in the post telling them not to bother heading to the polls, because their votes would be cast automatically according to whatever they’d posted online recently.
Not a real thing, naturally; a magazine had published a satirical article outlining just such a scenario, and some mischievous person decided to print up a load of letters, get hold of the electoral roll mailing list and make it happen for real – letters telling people that, according to the way they presented themselves on social media, their vote would be cast for the 'Party of Bible-abiding Christians', say, or the 'Basic Wage Coalition'. Not a particularly believable hoax, but an interesting indication of how nothing’s really off-limits any more. We were convinced that Britain would vote against Brexit. We were convinced that Trump wouldn’t be President. So… is anything actually that unlikely in 2017?

Gen Z: forever young
Back in the olden days, we couldn’t wait to grow up. We were smoking by thirteen, drinking by fourteen, driving by sixteen, and thoroughly bored with reality by the time we got to our twenties. But Generation Z, it seems, have a rather firmer grasp of the importance of being a kid.
According to a recent study, ‘18 is the new 15’. The number of 15-year-olds who have tried alcohol has dropped by 59% since 1993. Back then, 54% of high school kids were sexually active, and that’s dropped to 41%. In essence, the trajectory of development has slowed.
And why is this? Well, it’s all down to family. Firstly, family size: families are smaller, on average, so parents have more time and money to invest in their kids. Secondly, with longer life expectancies and fewer teen pregnancies, young people have more freedom to be kids for longer within the family unit. And thirdly, helicopter parents: with 60% of parents snooping on their kids’ social media behaviour, kids have to put a lot more effort into the appearance of being good – and it clearly marks a parent/child divide. The upshot of it all is that Generation Z are hitting their adult markers later on. Kids are being kids. That’s probably a good thing.

Thermochromic jumpers
Stone Island, the football hooligan’s brand of choice, has come up with an interesting new idea - thermochromic knitwear. The principle is this: the jumpers are woven in two layers, the inner layer being 100% wool and the outer made from a yarn containing colour-changing pigments. As the temperature rises, the pigments in the outer layer become increasingly transparent, revealing the colour beneath.
All very clever, but anyone who was paying attention in the 1990s will remember Global Hypercolour t-shirts… and what was the main problem with those? They were always a different colour under the armpits. So the whole image is actually kinda gross.

Daniel Bevis, Senior Knowledge Editor

27th September 2017