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.

Rethinking MENstruation

Welcome to 2019, where women are shattering Hollywood’s glass ceilings, marshalling entire global political movements, yet somehow still aren’t allowed to talk about our periods. We’re taught to slip tampons up our sleeves when going to the bathroom, and to speak in hushed tones when asking a friend for painkillers to tame our gut-wrenching cramps. We’re conditioned to view menstruation as a private female issue, and to keep our periods hidden from those around us at all costs — specifically, from men. For its first national campaign, the period-proof underwear brand Thinx hopes to flip period-shaming on its head by posing the question — would we be more comfortable with periods if men had them? The campaign, titled “MENstruation”, features a surprising gender flip on imagery all too familiar to most women — a man rolling over in bed to reveal blood-stained sheets; a man sighing in frustration at an empty tampon dispenser; a man walking through a locker room with a tampon string dangling from his briefs. While it’s wildly refreshing to hear a man say the word “tampon” without visibly flinching, it’s hard to imagine men dealing with period symptoms with as much grace and patience as the many women in my life. After all, if men with period cramps are anything like men with the common cold, we should all be thankful that the delicate masses of cisgender men do not, in fact, get periods. –KJ

Groceries have never felt so fun

New York City, home of bright lights, big dreams, and questionable urine smells. Despite NYC’s famed “glamorous” appeal, the city’s urban charm is far from cute (unless you count the fluffy Elmo mascot in Time Square). Looking for a vacation from the grime and mayhem? Look no further than Lucy Sparrow’s latest art installation, “Delicatessen on 6th.” Hand-stitched entirely from felt, the installation is a friendlier, softer replica of the classic New York City Deli experience. Like your everyday delicatessen, Lucy’s on 6th is a fully functioning retail experience where you can purchase any of her handmade plush versions of common deli items like bagels, canned beans, and, of course, Miller Lite. So the next time you’re examining the sub-par produce section in your local deli, maybe think twice about purchasing that inedible, overly-ripe avocado — instead, consider a smiling felt avocado from Lucy’s that won’t tease you with the unrealistic dream of being perfectly ripe exactly when you need it to be. — KY

Typesetting A24

My friends, family, and close acquaintances are all familiar with my love of the entertainment company A24. I was first in line at the theater to see Moonlight, I‘ve completely memorized the choreography of the dance scene in Ex Machina, I own a Midsommar t-shirt, and I have not stopped talking to my friends about A24’s latest film, The Lighthouse, since the first trailer aired in July (I suspect that’s why they don’t want to do brunch anymore). I am equally obsessed with Actual Source, and if you don’t think it’s sick that a design-studio-slash-publishing-house is changing the face of graphic design from Provo, Utah, I don’t know what to tell you. I also own their basketball — it’s pretty tight. So naturally, when A24 came together with Actual Source to create a series of books based on three of their most critically lauded films, I was instantly enthralled. Each of these books dives deeply into their respective films, exploring the screenplays with beautiful typography, rich imagery, and thoughtful forwards by the likes of Frank Ocean and Carmen Maria Machado. And just like that, I’ve added this series to my Pinterest Christmas wish list (right next to the MUJI electric tea kettle). — AD

A Sound Experience

Gone are the days where the only options for experiencing sound were stereo or mono. With the increasing normalization of people talking into tiny wireless earpieces (which in the past just made you look crazy), developers are now considering the potential for immersive audio experiences facilitated by our mobile devices. Imagine listening to your favorite music track, but with the ability to isolate and place different instruments in different parts of your room, allowing you to virtually walk through the band. That’s exactly what the new app Moonmoons AR does — using augmented reality to help the user place virtual “speakers” highlighting different instrumental elements within a musical composition. Finally, the perfect way to put your AirPods to good use (before you accidentally drop them through a sewer grate). — MC

Sneaking to the top

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from my mother where she described in amazement the enormous line forming outside a shoe store near our home. She said the line bent around the block as people waited for hours to buy the new “yee–” “iezz”… “zee zee” shoe. But the most shocking part of her experience? When she saw how ugly the shoe was. While there’s clearly a generational-gap, “back in MY day” mentality at play here, nobody can ignore the explosive rise of sneaker culture in recent years. We now have teenage entrepreneurs running their own sneaker empires, computer programs created to purchase rare sneakers within the first fraction of a second they become available, and whatever the heck these are. From their humble origins as practical footwear for tennis players, to avant-garde fashion accessories focused more on aesthetics than athletics, the sneaker is in the midst of a serious cultural transformation that has surprised, challenged (and occasionally outraged) sneakerheads everywhere — all while continuously baffling my mother. — MC²

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