#NoMorePolitics (aka OTHER things to talk about)

In need of some ideas for discussion points as an antidote to the pandemic of political despair on our social media feeds?

I was amused when a colleague tweeted a pic of her dog, with the tag #NoMorePolitics. It almost harked back to the early halcyon days of social media when people alerted us to their breakfast choices. Dull, but digestible (excuse the pun).

The twitter hashtag #NoMorePolitics is an entertaining read if you fancy ruminating over the discontent of others. It’s good to be engaged with politics, but don’t we deserve a day off?  Off the back of the themes in this feed, here are some Macquarie conversational leads. Perhaps we could all talk about something else for just one day?

Music

Dr Amanda Niland is researching the impact of music in early childhood. Read about the value of music for young children’s development.

Did you know that musical training could help your statistical ability?

Or have you wondered whether music in stores influences your spending? Associate Professor Chris Baumann (with colleagues at the University of Hamburg) reviewed whether the types of music played in common retail and service settings influenced the mood and behaviour of consumers.

Natural beauty

Did you know that we have a number of teaching gardens at Macquarie University? These have been developed in conjunction with the curriculum to assist undergraduate study.

What better antidote to politics than a walk in our beautiful grounds with a colleague? There are 130 sculptures scattered throughout our 126 hectares: plenty of inspiration for conversation. You can download further information on self guided walks here.

Big ideas

Most of us know about Big History, and its history making significance. 

How many of our Macquarie research impact stories do you know about? From honey bee colony collapse, to reef fish and energy use, deciphering the Earth’s history through passive seismic noise, improving the sentencing of environmental crimes and looking at the law of the sea. You can read about these and many more here.

Small talk

If these topics don’t work for you at the staff watercooler, or you’re having trouble working out how to start a conversation with a colleague, you might need some tips. This Week at Macquarie profiled the story “Small talk and how to get better at it” late last year.

If you just can’t extricate yourself from our very political 2017, you might consider immersing yourself via seminal reading. The New York Public Library has had a flood of requests for Orwell’s 1984. They came up with a list of alternative titles related to oppression, governments, dystopia.

So it begs the question: have you yet mentioned Trump today? Good luck making it through a politics free day.

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