Friday Fives, Vol. 114

Every Friday we highlight five things we have on our radar that we think should be on yours, too.

Here’s this week’s Friday Fives.

Snitch on Uber

Uber has added a new feature that allows users to discreetly report issues with their drivers. Issues that aren’t as urgent as involving the police, but smaller things that make them feel uncomfortable like braking too hard or not paying attention to the road. On a similar note, Uber recently added a “Quiet Driver” mode for their more premium Uber Black rides. Conversations with Uber drivers are all or nothing. It’s either silence or a live podcast. An eclectic mix of topics from half-baked philosophies on how to live a fulfilling life to detailed stories about the last time someone vomited in the car. And once it begins, you are all but forced to listen, as the driver repeatedly looks at you in the rearview mirror — making sure he/she is heard. — MC2

Cleanest Crib Ever

European energy company Vattenfall created a simple crib made with zero fossil fuels. As a result of having to source the materials, and other aspects such as finding alternatives to traditional transportation, the cost of the crib comes out to $28,885. This one-off piece was made, obviously, as a kind of symbolic statement piece. Is this some kind of late capitalist flex? We destroyed the planet for monetary wealth, and now we are using that wealth to create a piece that proves the difficulty in creating something without hurting the planet? My head is spinning. — MC2

Prediction: Malls won’t ever die

I don’t think that malls will become obsolete, but we cannot ignore the fact that the internet has changed the way we shop. There are so many online alternatives to help make shopping seamless: subscriptions, recurring shipments, services you didn’t know you needed but now can’t live without (aka Amazon dash button or Rent-The-Runway). But I’ve noticed that going to the mall has become more of a therapeutic and engaging “day out on the town” with your Mom, your friend, or your partner. Especially in the age of instant gratification, nothing beats going to the mall and leaving with hands full of new items. All while getting some exercise in. — RW

Bezos vs. Climate Change

Earlier this week, Jeff Bezos announced a ten billion dollar contribution towards the fight against climate change. The money will jump-start the Bezos Earth Fund, which would support “scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.” Bezos’ contribution has the power to “shape the whole nature of the climate movement,’’ according to Robert J. Brulle, a professor at Drexel University who specializes in politics and the environment. Yet, however monumental the Bezos Earth Fund may seem, it does not reflect his past actions. Bezos is facing backlash for income inequality at Amazon. For some, his commitment is also being viewed as a shrewd political move meant to atone for the environmental sins that gained him his riches. We can only hope that Bezos had positive intentions and that the funding towards climate change can be enacted effectively, and quickly. — DD

Innovations in Mayo

Ever feel like there’s too much mayonnaise in your sandwich? Or that soggy mayo-bread and the hard-to-squeeze bottle is the bane of your packed lunch? Well, Bourbon is here to solve all your problems! After its successful creation of sliced chocolate, (as an alternative to the labor-intensive and bread-shredding spreads like Nutella) Bourbon has come through once again with more magical sheet-like goods: sliced mayonnaise. While the company’s suggestion of slapping a slice of mayo over your homemade pasta may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it does open-up endless opportunities for your sandwiches. Spice up your lunch with the spicy cod roe-flavored mayo or simply save on tuna with tuna mayo. While the taste and texture are often questionable for flavored spreads, one thing is for sure — you can’t go wrong with sliced mayo. — CC

The Working Assembly is an award-winning multidisciplinary design studio with a focus on branding and visual design.

Founded in 2014, we partner with clients and agencies for end-to-end brand building, including strategy and visual identity, print and digital design, content and creative communications.

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