for W3c validation
Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive.
The Sounds of Silence
Anne says: There’s a mound of articles being written about tourism at the moment. Mostly focused on airlines, airports and hotels and their challenges with providing safe environments for travellers. In contrast, this article caught my attention about the sounds of tourism, particularly after three months in confinement in Barcelona (a city normally overflowing with tourists at this time of the year). What does a tourist city sound like without tourists? It amazed me how different the noises were, what you could hear that I’d never heard before. Even now, when an occasional aircraft goes over, I look up, I can hear it clearly – it’s a novel moment!
This study, Sounds of Tourism, has been investigating the impact of tourism and sounds since 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. When the pandemic started and the tourists stopped coming, how did the city sounds change? The researchers started capturing the soundscapes in the city and have produced a series of sound postcards from Lisbon. They noted the absence of buzz – constant voices, cafes, general people moving around noises were replaced by the buzzing of air-conditioning units, echoes of occasional people, limited traffic and food delivery bicycles.
They highlighted how you adapt and attune to new sounds, unfamiliar sounds in the same environment. I recall hearing a church bell ringing every hour – I’d never heard that before. In fact, I didn’t even know where there was a church. To my amazement it was barely half a block away – yet before confinement, the sound of the bell chiming the hour was drowned out by traffic, people and general noise.
The researchers are continuing their research as people start to emerge from confinement and as restrictions ease and tourists return to the streets. The layers of sounds, as the soundscape rebuilds will be used to understand the impact on the city and its residents.
If you’re going out for a walk today, try to listen for new sounds, what can you hear that’s different or you haven’t heard before? This won’t last, as traffic returns to the streets, people start moving around more freely and businesses reopen, we’ll lose the moment to notice these different sounds – the sounds of silence.
The article is in Spanish, but if you turn on auto-translate in your browser, the translation is good. There’s 5 sound postcards embedded in the article – why not take a few minutes and listen, really listen to the sounds of silence!
A sold out performance as Barcelona Opera House reopens
Anne says: From sounds of silence to opera. This week is all about sounds. As Barcelona emerged from confinement, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona’s opera house, held their first concert to a full house. Full of plants, that is, not people! The plants were provided by local nurseries and were donated to health care workers at the Barcelona Hospital Clinic (one of the major COVID hospitals) in recognition for their contributions during the crisis.
The event was also livestreamed (for people) to watch – the recording is embedded in the article and available on YouTube. There’s no feedback from the audience about their experience, although I do notice there’s a plant in the front row that seems to have fallen in it’s seat! It would have been great to hear from the musicians what their experience was like – did the plants sway, just a little (or a lot), was there any sense of noise, presence? How did it feel?
And if you just want to know if plants really can hear and sense music – read this article from the BBC – one of the quotes from a researcher sums it up:
A Beethoven symphony is of little consequence to a plant, but the approach of a hungry caterpillar is another story.
6 work phrases you need to drop if you want your team to like you
Jakkii says: I’m sure it’s not just me who wants to be likeable, at least most of the time! While there’s no doubt most of us will never be 100% likeable to 100% of the people 100% of the time, it can never hurt to be conscious of our own behaviours and habits and find ways – where reasonable and appropriate – to make ourselves more likeable. Not because of a need to be a people pleaser, but because we are social animals who predominantly live and work in communities and groups that need to cooperate, collaborate and just plain get along.
Here are the 6 phrases, and I think you’ll agree some are immediately obvious red flag type phrases!
- Well, it’s always been done this way
- It’ll only take a minute
- It’s not my job
- Erm, I’ll try
- Let’s touch base
- Let’s circle back
There is, of course, more detail in the article as to why each can present an issue – and I’ll tell you right now, I’m guilty of numbers 5 and 6 on a pretty regular basis.
Maybe you already have all of these out of your lexicon (or maybe you’ve never used them in the first place!). Or maybe you don’t quite agree with all of them – I know I don’t necessarily agree with number 6! I find it’s often used more to move a conversation along from a tangent and back to the focus at hand, though if no one ever actually takes “circling back” as an action it is certainly a hollow phrase. It’s corporate jargon, to be sure, but not one without purpose. Do you have a way you prefer to say “circle back” to avoid the corporate-speak? Let me know in the comments or on social media!
If you agree with even some of these though and you know they’re phrases you use occasionally, perhaps now’s a good time to pay attention to the language you’re using, why you’re using it (especially number 1!), and whether you might be better off rephrasing – and hopefully reframing some of your thinking in the process.
Around the house
Things are in a funny place here in Australia, particularly with the latest spikes in Victoria. Whether you’re back into a stricter lockdown or getting out more often, here’s this week’s round up of things to keep you occupied for those times you’re still staying safe at home.
- Go on a virtual tour of major Civil Rights landmarks in the US
- Explore live radio on this website by rotating the globe
- Discover the enduring romance of the night train
- 13 virtual train rides from around the world that you can experience right now
- Read the story behind Neil Young’s “Homegrown,” and 14 other “lost” albums
- Try it: your brain won’t let you see all 12 dots at once
- Bookmark and try these puzzles and brain teasers to keep your brain active
- 10 online workouts you can do – and support Black trainers while you’re at it
- Learn the windy history of Penny Lane: The Beatles, the slave trade and a now-resolved controversy
- Find something new to cook with favourite recipes from 65+ Black food bloggers (US-based)
honestly worst purchase of 2020 was a 2020 planner
— dumpster baby (@laurenrosaaa) June 15, 2020
NO your email did NOT find me well, it found me ravaged with STRESS AND THE EFFECTS OF TIME
— Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue) June 15, 2020
Misinformation Friday Five
- Australia warned to not ignore domestic misinformation in social media crackdown
- Down the rabbit hole: how QAnon conspiracies thrive on Facebook
- The obsession with online beauty conspiracy theories
- Facebook will show users a pop-up warning before they share an outdated story
- Google adds new fact check labels to Google Image search results
COVID-19 Friday Five
- One metre or two? The science behind social distancing
- How COVID-19 can damage the brain
- How ‘superspreading’ events drive most COVID-19 spread
- America is reopening. Coronavirus tracing apps aren’t ready, while the UK ditches its app and switches to Google-Apple model
- The CDC lost control of the coronavirus pandemic. Then the agency disappeared.
Work Friday Five
- How to promote an anti-racist workplace
- WWDC: Box CEO says enterprise tech must ‘think like consumer’
- Going back to the office? Here are 5 major tech problems that lie ahead of you
- Yet more moves on email: Slack announces Slack Connect, its attempt to replace email across businesses
- Children interrupting Zoom meetings could be the reboot corporate culture needed
Tech Friday Five
- Wrongfully accused by an algorithm
- Why our laws can’t protect me from my digital stalker
- China’s about to overtake the US as the world’s best performing tech industry
- Everything Apple announced at its WWDC 2020 keynote
- Trump’s latest immigration ban is bad news for US AI ambitions
Social Media Friday Five
- The importance of social media in instigating social change and how it has changed civil rights protests
- Facebook ad boycott is a worthy use of brand power
- Were TikTok users and K-pop fans really behind the poor turnout at Trump’s Tulsa rally?
- Instagram’s 85yo GangstaGrandma and her unlikely fame as a social media star
- Inside the social media cult that convinces young people to give up everything (long read)
Corona Business Insights Podcast
Employee monitoring: the rise in remote worker monitoring and workplace health screening. This is part 1 of a 2-part special looking at monitoring and surveillance in the workplace. Listen to part 2.