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Strange Business: The Smartphone Makes the Man?


Plus, even non-drinking Irish people feel compelled to drink on St. Patrick's Day. How patriotic!

A Man's New Status Symbol
Source: Wikimedia Commons

What defines a man? The phone he carries around with him, according to 61% of men surveyed by media site Vuclip. The mobile video and media company asked participants to complete the phrase, "The first thing people notice about me is...." China's growing middle class particularly prizes smartphones from Samsung (PINK:SSNLF), Lenovo (PINK:LNVGY), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Huawei (SHE:002502).

Women share a somewhat similar sentiment: 38% of women ranked their phones as the most important status symbol, giving a higher rank to their mobile devices than traditional status items such as cars, watches, and clothing.

Culturally Induced Imbibing

The Irish people's penchant for alcohol is a stereotype for a reason. Inhabitants on the island nation, even non-drinkers, drink on St. Patrick's Day out of a sense of patriotism, according to marketing lecturer Matthew Kearney. He asked 70 Irish individuals to keep shopping diaries, and all participants celebrated St. Patrick's Day, maxing out credit cards and asking family and friends for loans. Globally, 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed on March 17.

Weapons and Water

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) claims to have discovered a way to reduce the amount of energy needed to remove salt from salt water. Officials and engineers say this desalination method uses graphene, pure carbon membranes just one atom in thickness. The material has pores only a nanometer, or one billionth of a meter, in diameter. The holes allow water molecules to pass through but block salt molecules. With this invention, Lockheed, a producer of jet fighters and lethal missiles, may provide a cheaper way for less developed countries to secure clean water sources.

Where's the Green Fairy?

Is it really absinthe without thujone, the wormwood plant toxin? The European Parliament voted today that the green-tinged alcohol doesn't need to contain thujone in order to be labeled "absinthe." Spirits Europe, a lobby group for the alcohol industry, expressed its disappointment. Absinthe cannot contain more than 35 milligrams of thujone in the European Union.

Did You Put All Your Vacation Photos on Facebook?

People often report feeling depressed when viewing the details of others' global adventures and hangouts with friends posted on social sites like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) or when viewing people's exploits on reality television. It may have not occurred to them that the smiling individuals in the photos may lack true fulfillment.

A group of psychologists collected survey data from nearly 1,000 adults, asking what motivates them to pay for a life experience, such as a trip or vacation. The results, posted on the site, found that people who made purchases for intrinsic reasons (such as personal satisfaction) versus extrinsic reasons (such as impressing others) also reported feeling more autonomous, competent, and connected to others.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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