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May 16 2020
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Watch

Netflix Party


Imagine a world where movie-viewing experiences began with this announcement: “Please un-silence your cellular devices.” Enter Netflix Party, a Google Chrome plug-in for desktops and laptops that syncs multiple Netflix accounts to the same video stream, allowing users to watch shows and films with friends while safely socially distanced at home. Simply begin streaming, share a link with your chosen mates, and you’re off. In this theater of sorts, talking and texting won’t elicit hushes and glares. The platform’s chat function is ideal for gregarious or opinionated viewers, whose favorite thing about the movies is talking about them. (netflixparty.com) —Gasper Tringale-White

Smell

Sana Jardin


If you love floral perfume, but also care about purchasing ethical, eco-sustainable products, look no further than Sana Jardin. Sourcing its materials from female flower harvesters in Morocco, the brand empowers local women to break free of oppressive supply chains by teaching them how to turn otherwise discarded materials—surplus orange blossoms, for instance—into essential oils that are then used to make perfumes, which in turn provides these workers with extra income. The process, known as “flower recycling,” sustains rural lands and the women who practice it by teaching them lasting skills. And the best part? The company’s production ethos is as admirable as the products themselves. Each of Sana Jardin’s eight scents, as well as its new line of candles, smells fantastic. (us.sanajardin.com) —Elena Clavarino

Marshall Herff Applewhite speaks on videotape. Applewhite, who founded the organization known as Heaven’s Gate, lead 38 others in a mass suicide near San Diego. 1977
Listen

Heaven’s Gate


In 1997, dispatched to the suburb of Rancho Santa Fe, the San Diego Police entered a Mediterranean-style mansion and found 39 dead bodies. The deceased were uniformly dressed in black sweatpants, black button-downs, and new black-and-white Nikes. Each had $5.75 in his or her pocket. They had ingested phenobarbital dissolved in applesauce, followed by vodka, so that their spirits could “exit their human vessels” and be taken by spacecrafts, piloted by extraterrestrials, to a “higher evolutionary level.” They were members of the Heaven’s Gate cult, founded two decades earlier when, in Houston, Bonnie Nettles met Marshall Applewhite (pictured), and the two came to believe that they were on an earthly mission to save souls. This podcast, reported and narrated by Glynn Washington, who was himself raised in an apocalyptic, radical denomination, tells how Applewhite’s preachings about doomsday and U.F.O.’s and prepping for intergalactic life led to the largest mass suicide in the United States. (heavensgate.show) —Clementine Ford

Capture

Holga 120N


You’ll probably never handle a camera as poorly built as the Holga 120N. Its hollow plastic body rattles like a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy. The shutter, also plastic, fires at just one speed: 1/100th of a second. The 60-mm. lens, which indicates its focal lengths with icons—a tiny person, a mountain range—is, incredibly, also made of plastic. Light leaks, vignetting, double exposures—all are par for the course. It is, however, the cheapest 120-mm. in existence, and a small-time legend amid a corner of photography dominated by prohibitively expensive cameras. The Holga’s bare-bones operation, build quality, and unpredictability, combined with the richness of the 120-mm. format, make for a raw and experimental experience, yielding dreamy photos that you’d be hard-pressed to replicate with even the most costly of Hasselblads. ($40, bhphotovideo.com) —Alex Oliveira

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