Where did these strange viral videos come from and who is making tens of millions of dollars a year from them?

Jay Sprogell for Marker

I’m glued to YouTube, watching one of the most ridiculous life hacks imaginable from 5-Minute Crafts. A young woman has put clear soap cubes in a bowl and liquified them. She adds green food coloring to the mix, then pours it into a latex glove. She puts a suction cup into the open part of the glove. The soap mix solidifies again, holding the suction cup in place. She peels off the glove to reveal a green soap hand that she sticks to a wall in her bathroom above her sink. …


How the must-have hipster vessel of DIY authenticity also became a foreboding signal of the economy.

Animation of a mason jar switching between containing string lights, nothing, pickles, flowers on different backgrounds.
Animation of a mason jar switching between containing string lights, nothing, pickles, flowers on different backgrounds.
Illustration: Ariel Davis

Late this summer, after the pandemic turned everyone into an amateur gardener and home cook, a frenzy erupted on Facebook. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson first spotted it while perusing a private Facebook group called Recipes of North Dakota — everyone was talking about mason jars. “For many of them, food preservation is a part of their daily life,” says Wassberg Johnson, who grew up in Fargo. They were keeping tabs on where they saw canning jars and lids, trying to nail down a fast-moving target. …


Love/Hate

The weirdness of dating as a young feminist woman in America

Illustration: Jeannie Phan

“Dating is super weird,” Amelia*, a 25-year-old Barnard College graduate who’s partial to the phrase “men are trash,” tells me. “I loathe it, but I don’t know if I hate it because I’m looking for a specific type of person who’s not that common — because I want a feminist man — or if everyone hates it, and we’re all fighting an uphill battle.”

Dating has always been, and will forever be, weird. But dating — and life — as a young woman in America is particularly fraught; a study in extremes. On the plus side, in this era of…


Great Escape

The short answer is no, but all hope is not lost

Credit: Westend61/Getty

That quote attributed to Andy Warhol — “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” — may be true. But in the internet age, it should come with the caveat that you’ll have to pay for it with at least 15 minutes of hell. Forty percent of U.S. adults have been harassed or abused online, according to Pew Research Center statistics, and two-thirds have seen it happen to someone else. More than 60 percent consider it to be a “major problem.” Presumably the rest have yet to be harassed.

Online abuse can take many forms. Maybe you’re a…


Trust Issues

Trusting myself enough to drive after 20 years away from the wheel

Illustration by Jessica Siao

When I was in high school, I had a car. It was a Chrysler New Yorker, a responsible four-door sedan with a hint of sparkle to its exterior, as if it had been glazed in brown sugar and left to bake in the sun. (I’d really wanted my dad’s red Miata, a vehicle I was sure would transport me to the upper stratospheres of popularity at my Alabama high school, but my parents were no fools.) The Chrysler had plush, velvety seats, and it spoke to you, literally. If a door hadn’t been closed properly, a robotic voice would announce…

Jen Doll

Jen Doll is a freelance journalist as well as the author of the young adult novel Unclaimed Baggage and the memoir Save the Date. www.jendoll.com

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