Here are some things I read this week that made me think. (These are just snippets – click on the title to read the whole thing.)

This Couple Married For 37 Years Always Dress In Matching Outfits from Giedré at Bored Panda

“While some people struggle to find a pair of socks that match, this coordinated couple from Japan effortlessly match their clothes, and as you can see from these pictures, the resulting outfits are eye-catchingly awesome.” #couplegoals
Matching Outfit Elders  Matching Outfit Elders  Matching Outfit Elders

“Along quaint New England streets, you’ll probably spot a sign or two declaring itself “Ye Olde Tavern” or “Ye Old Soda Shoppe.” But before you adopt a British accent and order a pint of ale inside, there’s a bit of history you should know.

Phrases like ye olde are actually just some of the late 19th century’s first marketing ploys, meant to evoke a sentimental connection to older times. And ye has its own complicated story—based in the history of the alphabet.

English has always been a living language, changing and evolving with use. But before our modern alphabet was established, the language used many more characters we’ve since removed from our 26-letter lineup.”

“Get Out — Jordan Peele’s acclaimed horror-comedy about a black man who finds himself in a nightmare while visiting his white girlfriend’s suburban family — is the kind of film that gets under your skin, using horror-film tropes to illuminate the daily terror of being black in a white world. We talked to seven interracial couples of various backgrounds about how watching the film made them reflect on their own relationships, the enduring stress of “meeting the parents,” and whether they’ll be RSVPing for the next family reunion — “TBD,” as one of our interviewees put it.”

Facebook’s Got a New Feature to Help You Contact Elected Officials by Madison at Select All

“Mark Zuckerberg says he is definitely not running for president, thank you very much, but as part of his 5,800-word manifesto, the Facebook CEO pledged to get people more involved with their government. (Something something “civic engagement” something something.) This week, the company rolled out a new feature, Town Hall, which helps users connect with their government representatives.”

“In one of the experiments, Israeli people could match Israeli names to faces, and French people could do the same for their own countrymen. But Israelis apparently had no idea what a “Pierre” looks like, and the French couldn’t peg Israeli names to faces either. “That suggests it’s something culturally specific,” Mondloch says.”

Kids Are Better Friends When They Spend Time Away From Screens by Adam with Science of Us

“Today, schoolchildren aged between 8 and 18 years spend roughly a third of their lives sleeping, a third at school, and a third engrossed in new media, from smartphones and tablets to TVs and laptops. They spend more time communicating through screens than they do with other people directly, face-to-face. Since the turn of the new millennium, the rate of non-screen playtime fell 20 percent, while the rate of screen playtime increased by a similar amount.”

50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets by Adele at Fast Company
From making you live longer to making cities more resilient: If you want a reason to make your city more walkable, it’s in here.
A couple of good ones:

It makes people happier. Someone with a one-hour commute in a car needs to earn 40% more to be as happy as someone with a short walk to work. On the other hand, researchers found that if someone shifts from a long commute to a walk, their happiness increases as much as if they’d fallen in love. People who walk 8.6 minutes a day are 33% more likely to report better mental health.

It connects people across generations. In the U.S., millennials prefer walking to driving by a 12% margin. In some areas, the elderly are also more likely to walk or take public transit. Making streets more walkable helps bring people of all ages—including children—together.

It makes cities more competitive. Walkability is directly connected to liveability. When Melbourne redesigned its center for pedestrians, it saw an 830% increase in residents, and it was recognized as The Economist’s “world’s most liveable city” five years in a row.