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Google Employees Propose New Emojis Focusing on Professional Women

Move over, Information Desk Person: If some Google employees have their way, we’ll soon be getting a whole new set of emojis that represent a wide range of careers for women.

According to the proposal [PDF], which was submitted to the Unicode Consortium on Tuesday, “Google wants to increase the representation of women in emoji” by creating “a new set of emoji that represents a wide range of professions for women and men with a goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere.”

The proposal follows an outcry over the lack of emojis featuring professional women. Ladies who want to express themselves via emoji can choose from a neutral female emoji, a bride, a princess, a dancing lady in a red dress, or twins dressed as bunnies—a fact pointed out in #LikeAGirl, an ad campaign for Always. Men are better represented: They can choose from Santa, or a detective, a police officer, a construction worker, or a number of athletes.

Niniane Wang, CEO of Evertoon and a former Google employee, told Mic late last year that “Every day we're seeing this subtle message that there are these emojis of men doing jobs, but women are just dancing and getting their hair cut. … [Emojis have] become part of our cultural language. That's why I don't think it's silly. Lots of people communicate with emojis, and texting is such a pervasive part of how we communicate with each other. If we're all texting, and all using emojis, then doesn't it make sense that they should represent us?”

Google employees Rachel Been, Nicole Bleuel, Agustin Fonts, and Mark Davis—who is also co-founder and president of the Unicode Consortium—have proposed 13 new female emojis (and their male counterparts), running the gamut from office workers and doctors to scientists and software engineers to mechanics and farmers. “We believe this will empower young women (the heaviest emoji users), and better reflect the pivotal roles women play in the world,” the proposal reads.

The goal is to implement these new emojis by the end of 2016. “The global women’s equality movement is growing,” the proposal reads, “so the time to create these emoji is now.”

[h/t Buzzfeed]

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Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
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Pop Culture
How to Perform the Star Wars Theme—On Calculators
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The iconic Star Wars theme has been recreated with glass harps, theremins, and even cat meows. Now, Laughing Squid reports that the team over at YouTube channel It’s a small world have created a version that can be played on calculators.

The channel’s math-related music videos feature covers of popular songs like Luis Fonsi’s "Despacito," Ed Sheeran’s "Shape of You," and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, all of which are performed on two or more calculators. The Star Wars theme, though, is played across five devices, positioned together into a makeshift keyboard of sorts.

The video begins with a math-musician who transcribes number combinations into notes. Then, they break into an elaborate practice chord sequence on two, and then four, calculators. Once they’re all warmed up, they begin playing the epic opening song we all know and love, which you can hear for yourself in all its electronic glory below.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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Somnox, Kickstarter
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technology
This Cuddly Robot Is Designed to Lull You to Sleep
Somnox, Kickstarter
Somnox, Kickstarter

For people seeking all the benefits of a human sleeping companion without the human part, there’s a new Kickstarter-backed product. As Mashable reports, Somnox, the self-proclaimed “world’s first sleep robot,” is designed to give you a more comfortable, energizing night’s rest.

The bean-shaped cushion is the perfect size and shape for cuddling as you drift to sleep. Beneath its soft exterior is hardware designed to get you to deep sleep faster. Somnox rises and falls to mimic the movements of human breathing. Lay with the pillow long enough and the designers claim your breath will naturally sync to its rhythm, thus prepping your body for sleep.

Somnox can also be set to play sounds and music. Some content, like guided mediation, lullabies, and gentle heart beats, come built-in, but you can also upload audio of your own. And you don’t need to worry about shutting it off: Once you've customized its breathing and audio behaviors through the app, the device does what it's programed to do and powers down automatically.

Having a robotic sleep aide will cost you: You need to pledge about $533 to the team’s Kickstarter to reserve one. Even with the steep price tag, the campaign surpassed its funding goal.

[h/t Mashable]

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