YRB is an exceptionally well put-together bimonthly aimed squarely at the street-smart urban sophisticate who's into rock music and clubs and worries about the right threads to wear to those clubs. It's edited in the basement of 480 Broadway in Manhattan's trendy SoHo district.
YRB's origins are at Yellow Rat Bastard, a clothing store at the same Broadway address. That curious name comes from a particularly slimy character in Sin City, the graphic novel by Frank Miller later made into a memorable motion picture with Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Jessica Alba. As YellowRatBastard.com explains, "the parent store spawned baby rats and the YRB store catalogue, magazine and website were born." Don't worry, it's several blocks away from the infamous rat-infested Taco Bell.
Issue No. 72 of YRB, identified as the "Spring Preview" issue, has just arrived at the MagSampler.com newsstand. From my grazing through Issue 72, I've saved the best for first. It's the opening Jump Off section, which identifies trends, products and technology of interest to young urbanites.
That's where I learned about the "nap helmet," a fascinating Japanese invention perfect for the weary subway rider. It's a hard hat with a suction cup on a stick projecting from behind. If you're lucky enough to find a window seat on the train, you suction yourself to the window, and can then nod off without fear of knocking your noggin against the window or falling onto the shoulder of your neighbor. There's a placard on the front of the nap helmet for you to write your stop, so if you believe in the kindness of strangers, you'll be awakened in time to get off.
The other technological marvel that intrigued me comes from Germany. You've probably heard of spray-on hair for that bald spot. This is a spray-on condom. As YRB instructs, "insert the given organ into the aerosol can, push the button, and presto chango, you're covered. Literally." The magazine notes that the product is still in development, and warns that the aerosol can won't fit into your wallet.