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Copyright: Copyright 2017 Logophilia Limited and Paul McFedries

mom as a service

Tue, 23 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

n. Software and online tools that provide services similar to the tasks performed by a mother.

This small subculture of wealthy technophiles promotes investment into luxury goods for rich people, or into "mom as a service" types of companies that cater to spoiled workaholics in the tech industry. And so we end up with things like a $120M juice squeezer, or three startups competing to deliver organic baby food.
—Maciej Cegłowski, “Notes From An Emergency,” Idle Words, May 10, 2017

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text neck

Fri, 19 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

n. Neck and upper back pain caused by an excessive and prolonged forward head tilt, such as when texting or performing other mobile device tasks.

Lanman and Cuellar suggest simple lifestyle changes to relieve the stress from the 'text neck' posture. They recommend holding cell phones in front of the face, or near eye level, while texting. They also suggest using two hands and two thumbs to create a more symmetrical and comfortable position for the spine.
—“Could phones change the way our spines curve? Scientists warn an entire generation is plagued by 'text neck',” Daily Mail, April 14, 2017

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Thu, 18 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

n. A symbiotic network of connections between tree roots and fungi that enable the trees to share nutrients.

A plant under attack from aphids can indicate to a nearby plant that it should raise its defensive response before the aphids reach it. It has been known for some time that plants communicate above ground in comparable ways, by means of airborne hormones. But such warnings are more precise in terms of source and recipient when sent by means of the myco-net.
—Robert Macfarlane, “The Secrets of the Wood Wide Web,” The New Yorker, August 7, 2016

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granny nanny

Wed, 17 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

n. A grandmother who cares for her grandchildren while their parents are working.

One way is that were in our grandchildrens lives more than ever before, whether from across the country thanks to Skype and FaceTime or as "granny nannies" -- in some cases full time.
—Lesley Stahl, “Grandbabies: The Great Reward for Aging,” The New York Times, May 13, 2017

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Fri, 12 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

n. A trip that combines participating in a race, such as a marathon or triathlon, and a vacation.

I just got back from a mini racecation. I thought Id share the things that I always forget and the things I never forget to create the ultimate packing list for a racecation!
—“The Fool-Proof Packing List For Your Next Race,” Women's Running, March 23, 2016

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Wed, 10 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

adj. Of a room, house, or apartment: having qualities that make it attractive to rent on Airbnb.

When she moved again, with another roommate (she has had thirty-six roommates in total), they searched for an optimally Airbnb-able place.
—Nathan Heller, “Is the Gig Economy Working?,” The New Yorker, May 15, 2017

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guerrilla drive-in

Fri, 05 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

n. An impromptu and unauthorized drive-in movie theater, particularly one set up in an unused urban space where the movie is projected against the side of a building.

Drive-in theaters have come a long way since the outdoor Theatre de Guadalupe in New Mexico first welcomed cars to join seated crowds at screenings in 1915. But decades of growth up through the 1950s and 60s gave way to decline in the 70s and 80s. A recent guerrilla drive-in movement, however, has begun to reinvent the concept, using new technologies to create mobile open-air theaters in the hearts of cities.
—Kurt Kohlstedt, “Guerrilla Drive-Ins: Mobile Urban Movie Theaters Animate Disused Spaces,” 99% Invisible, April 3, 2017

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Thu, 04 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

n. A person who illegally extracts and sells fossils.

However, when I finally arrived at the park entrance, I was turned away. A vigilant park ranger forbid me to see the trails because I had failed to acquire the proper permits. Their location, I learned, was a matter of great secrecy due to the rise of so-called "paleo-pirates," who had been known to carve out the more notable fossils and sell them to collectors.
—Robert Moor, On Trails, Simon & Schuster, July 12, 2016

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soft robotics

Wed, 03 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

n. The invention and use of robots made from materials that are soft, flexible, or malleable.

How will these robots appear in our lives and how will we interact, and live, with them? We can foresee smart skins, assist and medical devices, biodegradable and environmental robots or intelligent soft robots. For example, the compliance of soft robotics makes them ideally suited for direct interaction with biological tissue.
—Jonathan Rossiter, “Robotics, Smart Materials, and their Future Impact for Humans,” MIT Technology Review, April 6, 2017

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Fri, 28 Apr 2017 04:00:00 +0000

n. A lifestyle based on living in a van or similar vehicle.

Huntingtons vanlife hashtag was a joking reference to Tupacs thug life tattoo. You know, its not thug life--it's van life! he told me. Six years later, more than 1.2 million Instagram posts have been tagged #vanlife.
—Rachel Monroe, “#Vanlife, the Bohemian Social-Media Movement,” The New Yorker, April 24, 2017

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