Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Magic mushrooms, moon dust, nudes and nature in our look around the web

1. Chameleons of the Art World: The Humans of Frieze New York

Frieze New York 2017 has ended but the visual treats keep coming. In a hilarious, sweet mockumentary by W magazine, the island-based art fair and its curious attendees are explored in a wildlife documentary style. Called “Chameleons of the Art World: The Humans of Frieze New York,” the short film was written by Mike Albo and narrated perfectly by James Gillies. For many of us, it’s a delightful way to laugh at ourselves as art enthusiasts and New Yorkers.

2. Your Chance to Own a Bag of Moon Dust

One of the many items available in Sotheby’s inaugural space exploration-themed auction (occurring 19 July) is a bag of moon dust and rocks, collected by Neil Armstrong during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission. The bag (labeled LUNAR SAMPLE RETURN) was forgotten for years and then mistakenly auctioned off to Nancy Lee Carlson—who paid $995 for it and other items. Carlson ended up sending the bag to NASA to test its contents, and the mystery of the lost moon dust was explained—along with a legal battle between Carlson and NASA. It’s believed the moon dust will fetch up to $4 million at this summer’s auction. Find out more at Reuters.

3. AI Invented Paint Colors With Silly Names

From a purplish blue color named “Sane Green” to a “Gray Pubic” sky blue, an artificial intelligence experiment by research scientist Janelle Shane saw a series of colors invented and named by a neural network. Through inputting 7,700 Sherwin-Williams paint colors and their RGB values, Shane trained the system—by way of an algorithm called char-rnn, which predicts the next character in a sequence—to generate new paint colors. Creating the colors was not a problem, but finding appropriate names for each was. But with “Light of Blast” and “Stanky Bean” they’re certainly fun.

4. Maisie Cousins’ Nudes- and Nature-Smothered Solo Show

We’ve long-been fascinated by Maisie Cousins’ photography—blending nature, sex, nudity, beauty and celebrating sexuality. Her first-ever solo show, called “grass, peony, bum” has just opened at London’s TJ Boulting Gallery and she spoke with Dazed Digital about her incredible knack for balancing the opulent, sultry and grotesque. She tells the publication, “Nature is always beautiful and also disgusting. Even the most beautiful people leak, bleed and shit.” For the show, Cousins also asked perfumer Azzi Glasser to create a fragrance in response to her artwork, “Honestly, it feels like such a natural, progressive step. I think scent is so sexy and also so heartbreaking. I was dating someone who wore a common cologne and after we broke up I could smell it on everyone on the underground all the time, it made my heart hurt. It’s inescapable.” Read and see more at Dazed.

5. Marc Newson’s $12,000 Collaborative Hourglass for Hodinkee

Esoteric and mesmeric are two words industrial designer Marc Newson uses to describe his new collaborative product (with watch expert website HODINKEE) an hourglass. It’s far more than these descriptors however. This time-counting apparatus documents 10 minute cycles, and does so with roughly 1.3 million copper-coated nanoballs fighting their way through a hand-blown glass neck. The sounds produced along the way mimic a lush rainstorm. It’s a multi-sensory reimagining of a classic timepiece. The unit has been produced in a limited edition of 100, at $12,000 a piece. To reimagine the nostalgic with a luxuriant infusion, as they have done here, should appeal to anyone with an appreciation of time and design.

6. Magic Mushrooms are the Safest Recreational Drug

According to this year’s Global Drug Survey, magic mushrooms are the safest recreational drug. Of the 12,000 surveyed people who took mushrooms, just a minuscule 0.2% of them sought medical aid. More dangerous, drugs like LSD, cocaine and MDMA had a rate five times higher. Founder and consultant addiction psychiatrist of the Global Drug Survey, Adam Winstock says that the most dangerous thing about mushrooms is, in fact, people picking and ingesting the wrong kinds. He says, “Death from toxicity is almost unheard of, with poisoning with more dangerous fungi being a much greater risk in terms of serious harms.” But that’s not to say magic mushrooms aren’t entirely safe to munch on every day, Winstock says that alcohol and unfamiliar places can cause confusion, fear and panic—which can lead to dangerous situations or injury. Read more at The Guardian.

7. Beautiful Mosques Around the World

26 May marked this year’s beginning of Ramadan—an important time for around one-quarter of the world’s population. Mosques (or “masjids” in Arabic) serve as places of worship for Muslim people, but also—much like churches and shuls—as places to learn, have community events and more. National Geographic created a slideshow of some of the world’s most stunning mosques, and whether a religious person or not, it’s easy to see that they are worthy of admiration. Says Alexandra E. Petri, “From Timbuktu to Washington DC, these holy marvels provide incredible historic, cultural, and religious commentary, illustrating a city’s identity within the Muslim world and as a destination all its own.” See them all at NatGeo.

8. Best Space Books for Kids

It’s important (especially for little girls and young women) to encourage our youth to engage with science, though this isn’t always easy. The editors at are constantly on the hunt for great, entertaining and educational books about space exploration and space science—for children and adults, too. From Chris Hadfield’s “The Darkest Dark” which tells the story of exploration and fear, to Leland Melvin’s memoir “Chasing Space,” there are plenty of titles in their recent list of reads that will appeal to youngsters—and the young at heart.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning.