Hal Has Arrived

The Mission Newsletter, 9/17/18

“The brain is wider than the sky.” — Emily Dickinson

The Mission Book Club Live: Update! 📣

Our live discussion for our newest book club pick, “The Courage to Be Disliked” is being rescheduled! We’re busy working on bringing you the best new content to level up your health, wealth, and wisdom and will be restarting the live discussion at a better date. We’ll post an invitation with the new date soon!

We’re so excited to show you all of the cool new things we’re working on, thanks for your patience! 🙌

Haven’t joined the book club yet? Join now!


Bad news … those probiotics might not be doing what you want them to be doing.

Two studies were released recently in the journal Cell, which showed that many people’s digestive tracts actually reject probiotics before they can be absorbed and do the work they’re supposed to. Plus, probiotics might be preventing natural gut bacteria from establishing itself where needed, especially after a course of antibiotics.

Generic probiotics did well at colonizing the gut, which makes sense since the indigenous microbiome was at least partially wiped out by antibiotics, but the probiotics significantly prohibited the natural biome from recovering and returning to its natural state. Even six months after the treatment, these patients’ natural biomes had not fully recovered, suggesting off-the-shelf replacement bacteria aren’t a great substitute for the wider diversity of natural microbiome.


Capitalism creates wealth. That was the message that Ken Langone, billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, expressed at a recent talk in New York as well as in his book, I Love Capitalism!: An American Story.

“Let me say it again: It works! And — I’m living proof — it can work for anybody and everybody…. Show me where the silver spoon was in my mouth. I’ve got to argue profoundly and passionately: I’m the American Dream.”

Langone is worth approximately $3.6 billion and has recently been involved in philanthropy efforts, including donating $100 million to NYU for its program to make medical school free for all students.


Parents, what are you yelling about?

Research has shown that telling as a form of correction does not work when raising a child. Instead, psychologists suggest using the ABCs program, which means antecedents, behaviors and consequences.

“The antecedent is the setup, telling a child, specifically, what you want them to do before you want them to do it. Behaviors are where the behavior is defined and shaped, modeled by the parent. And the consequence involves an expression of approval when that behavior is performed, an over-the top Broadway-style belt-it-to-the-back-row expression of praise with an accompanying physical gesture of approval.”


How’s Hal?

That’s the question medical students will need to ask when they are studying to become doctors because Hal is a new AI body created for medical study.

The bot moves, shakes, and convulses. Its eyelids droop, he can cry, bleed and even urinate. Oh, and he can talk, too, and has an expressive face.

One of the reasons for building Hal was to train medical workers on how to approach children, who may not be forthcoming about their symptoms. “They can often do that by facial expression,” says James Archetto, Gaumard’s vice president. To get the expressions right, the company’s engineers worked with pediatricians to fine-tune how an angry or happy child’s face really moves — muscles contracting here, brows furrowing there.

The idea of using Hal, and bots like him, is to bring more emotion into training doctors and nurses who are used to dealing with lifeless mannequins.


Brace yourselves, the Love List is out.

The annual report from Conde Nast looks at millennials and Gen Z — AKA the folks with the most purchasing power — to study their preferences and purchasing motivations.

“This study clearly demonstrates brands that have unique identities and create personalized experiences have more influence and win among next gen consumers,” said Pamela Drucker Mann, chief revenue and marketing officer of Condé Nast. “Millennial and Gen Z consumers are looking for quality, authenticity and innovation, not mass appeal, and we can see that in the
brands that popped.”

At the top of the Love List are brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Sephora and Nike. Among the emerging brands, Fenty Beauty, Glossier, Colour Pop and Fabletics have the next generation excited. The list also includes the top apps, the younger generation are using. Amazon got the top spot, with Snapchat and Instagram coming in at Nos. 2 and 3.


It’s pretty sad if a three-year-old has to take out a student loan just to go to preschool. But as early education has become more of a focus for parents, it’s also become more expensive. That’s because according to multiple studies, early childhood education has proven to be helpful in closing the achievement gap among students and can also improve social and emotional behavior — tools that will be necessary for success later in life.

But help is on the way in at least one U.S. city. The San Diego Foundation recently announced it was donating $13.8 million to expand preschool in San Diego County. The donation will be broken up into segments, with the first $3.8 million going to local organizations including building a new preschool, and helping fund a preschool for victims of domestic abuse. The rest of the money will be doled out after further research reveals where it is most needed.

The Best of What We’re Listening To

Recently, after a tough day all I wanted to do was something active, so I jumped on the treadmill and ran my little heart out. Blasting in my headphones was Panic! At the Disco. Great beats, underappreciated lyrical mastery and just solid jams overall. Pray For The Wicked is the new album, and “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” is one of the best jams in the collection. Check it out on Spotify!

Join us at SIGNAL!

SIGNAL will be packed with product announcements, amazing performances, inspiring stories, and insights from industry-leading visionaries. We can’t wait to check it out, and we know you won’t want to miss it either. 😏

If you don’t have your ticket to SIGNAL yet, head over to signal.twilio.com and get your ticket for 20% off by using the promo code: MISSION20. The Mission team will be there, so please drop by and say hi! 👋

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The Mission is a new kind of media company. We publish stories, videos, and podcasts to help smart people get smarter. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or learn more about us here. We’d love to connect!

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The Mission helps mission-driven companies build trust and connect with customers in a new way.

We create custom podcast sponsorships for enterprise companies. To learn more about why companies like Salesforce trust us to produce results, connect with our team here.

Hal Has Arrived was originally published in The Mission on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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