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Object Of The Week

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Object of the Week

Bucatini is so 2020

Enlarged view of a new type of pasta called “cascatelli.” The pasta has a U-shape with a ribbed outer edge.
Photo illustration: Save As/Medium; Source:

Object of the Week is a column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.

The 21st century has been a time of constant technical innovation — and a time for ridiculously overthinking food. These seemingly unrelated meta-trends have now coalesced in cascatelli, a brand new and meticulously engineered pasta devised over a period of three years by the host of the popular food podcast, The Sporkful.

Naturally, it’s a hit. In the first week of its formal unveiling to the public, the novel noodle has been hyped everywhere from Today to Eater to NPR


Object of the Week

After more than a year of travel being ground to a halt, timing is everything

Photo illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Breeze Airways

Object of the Week is a column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.

A year deep into a deadly pandemic that crippled the travel industry — U.S. passenger traffic is down by half — does not sound like the best time for a startup airline to take delivery of 60 brand-new planes.

But maybe that assumption is wrong. Maybe, in fact, a few dozen crisp new jets, painted in snazzy metallic blues, are a perfect physical symbol for a category that seems, surprisingly, poised to take off again.

The soon-to-launch airline is called…


Object of the Week

At a time when women have been hit hardest by the recession, brands are making International Women’s Day about themselves

A Hershey’s chocolate bar with packaging designed specifically for International Women’s Day, with the letters “SHE” highlighted. Above the Hershey’s logo, there is the addition of the word “Celebrate,” so that in its whole it reads: “CELEBRATE HerSHEy’s.”
Photo illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: PRNewsWire: The Hershey Company

“There is no Hershey’s without ‘SHE,’” the candy behemoth announced recently.

The occasion for this, uh, insight was International Women’s Day, this past Monday. To mark the day — and March as Women’s History Month — the company “developed a small batch” of its flagship chocolate bars, with the package design tweaked to highlight the “her” and particularly the “she” elements of the name, and adding the word “celebrate.” The gesture was meant “to honor all the women and girls out there,” the Hershey Company’s press release stated.

Sure. Of course, it was also meant to perform brand awareness and…


”My Home Office” for kids lands somewhere between dark satire and a meme

The text “Object of the Week” above  the Fisher-Price My Home Office play set with a fake laptop, headset, latte cup, pretend phone, and “4 fabric ‘apps.’”
Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Fisher-Price

Object of the Week is a column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.

It looks like a parody, and a rather dark one at that: The Fisher-Price My Home Office play set includes a fake laptop, headset, latte cup, pretend phone, and “4 fabric ‘apps’ that attach to computer screen to ‘work’ on different projects.” It’s intended for preschoolers, ages three and up. The obvious takeaway: Once upon a time, children might pretend to be an astronaut or a superhero before the educational system disabused them of all their dreams. …


Object of the Week

The new fleet of electric vehicles paints a brighter future where the post office actually still exists

The new US Postal Service truck
Photo illustration, source: USPS

Object of the Week is a column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.

It’s been a rough year — well, a rough decade or two — for the U.S. Postal Service. So it’s notable that in addition to enduring another round of criticism for subpar delivery performance this week, the venerable government agency also made news that struck a potentially positive note: It has awarded the contract for up to 165,000 new and redesigned delivery vehicles, some of which will run on electric power. …


How a shortage of the most boring cereal turned it into a pandemic sensation

A Grape-Nuts cereal box photoshopped onto a purple background with the text “Object of the Week” and a square frame surrounding the cereal box.

Object of the Week is a column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.

Of all the shortages the country has endured in the pandemic era, surely the scarcity of Grape-Nuts is among the least important. No lives are at stake; it is not even a particularly popular cereal. In fact, it’s probably more familiar as a punchline than as a part of your complete, nutritious breakfast. …


The story of a hippie sandal, a six-figure handbag, private equity, and a very mischievous art collective

A Birkinstock sandal, with the straps made of recycled Birkin bags, below the text “Object of the Week”.
Credit: MSCHF

Object of the Week is a new column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.

Birkenstocks, “fashion’s original ugly shoe,” as the Business of Fashion put it the other day, are having a moment. A pretty weird moment, actually, that has somehow caused the brand to stumble into the realm of high luxury.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that the maker of the hippie-dippie casual-culture icon was in talks to be acquired by L Catterton, a private equity firm backed by lux mega-business LVMH. The talks value Birkenstock in the neighborhood of $5 billion.


The meme investor mob came after a physical commodity, and it didn’t go well

Object of the Week is a new column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.

Over the past week or so, the meme-crazed, Reddit-fueled “stonk market” phenomenon careened in a new direction. Instead of aiming to drive up the share price of yet another business with a dubious financial future, the mob went after silver. This hasn’t worked out — largely because of the nature of silver itself as a physical commodity whose value can be difficult to untether from its materiality.

The run on silver seems to have been sparked by users of…


Object of the Week

Explaining our obsession with the most banal gadget left in the Oval Office

An image of the call button for the President in the Oval Office with the title text “Object of the Week”
Photo illustration, source: Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis/Getty Images

Object of the Week is a new column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.

A presidential transition requires a heady array of delicate and complex challenges and coordination, ensuring that the mighty apparatus that is the United States government moves forward as smoothly as possible. And this year, it has also brought a surprising amount of attention to a “Diet Coke button.”

The red button, built into a stained-wood box with a gold seal, about the size of a Kleenex package and often situated next to the phones on the Resolute Desk, was…


Object of the Week

They tried to overthrow our government, and all they got was a stupid T-shirt

Trump supporters flying flags near the U.S. Capitol following the Stop the Steal rally on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Selcuk Acar/NurPhoto/Getty

Object of the Week is a new column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.

Nearly two weeks after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building that left five dead, including a law enforcement officer who was beaten to death by the mob, the New York Times wondered why it was still possible to buy — on Amazon, no less — T-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as “Battle for Capitol Hill Veteran.” As if an insurrection was just another souvenir-worthy event.

It’s a troubling question. And as much as sedition merch sounds…

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Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

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