Welcome to Talking Points, a daily roundup of digital miscellany
THE NEW THE
A Melbourne restaurateur's decided he's the man to revolutionize our alphabet for the social-media age. Paul Mathis is hoping to replace the oh-so-common and cumbersome word "the" with a symbol: "Ћ." Mathis' creation fuses the capital letter T with the curvy part of a lowercase h, both letters now sharing one stem. The Australian said his symbol saves two precious letters on Twitter. He argues that "and" (a less frequently used word) gets the ampersand, so why no catchy sign for "the?" "Isn't it time we accorded the same respect to 'the'?" Mathis asked the Sydney Morning Herald. To date, he's sunk $72,000 on an app featuring a new electronic keyboard with his icon. So far, Mathis' attempts to woo Apple into selling the app on iTunes have failed. Ћ nerve.
LEAN COMFORT FOOD
Dieters, it's time to get creative: Drawing comfort food – but not eating it – can drastically improve our moods, according to a new report published in the Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science. Researchers from St. Bonaventure University in New York had 61 overweight people in their early 20s sketch different foods on an empty stomach for five minutes. Drawing high-fat pizzas boosted the subjects' mood by 28 per cent while doodling high-sugar cupcakes raised spirits by 27 per cent. The poor suckers left illustrating bitter low-fat and low-sugar peppers reported a meagre 1-per-cent improvement in their emotional states. It's official: Peppers are the most discomforting food. What's unclear is how drawing that Big Mac whilst hungover will replace stuffing it in your face.
That's how many po' boys Beyoncé ordered for her entourage from the legendary Parkway Bakery after her show at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday. The restaurant doesn't deliver but staff made an exception for Bey, who scored a police escort for the sandwiches.
"You've got this whole culture of people who don't know what the hell they're doing teaching every other idiot out there."
– Mary Britton Clouse. Minneapolis Chicken Run Rescue owner curses overwhelmed and inexperienced "urban farmers" who are dropping off their free-range, backyard chickens at animal shelters in droves.