Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Flying by Pluto, samurai Darth Vaders, ranting on Gchat and more in this week's look around the web

1. Google Salutes Ida B Wells in its Latest Doodle

Google’s homepage doodle this week recognized recognizes fearless journalist Ida Bell Wells-Barnett aka Ida B Wells. At the young age of 25, Wells became co-owner and editor of Free Speech and Headlight, where she unrelentingly spoke out against racial inequality and civil injustices—and continued to do so late into her life and career. In a blog post, Google writes, “Today, for her 153rd birthday, we salute Ida B Wells with a Doodle that commemorates her journalistic mettle and her unequivocal commitment to the advancement of civil liberties.”

2. The Evolution of Seinfeld

Seinfeld—a show in which almost nothing seemed to change episode to episode, season to season—actually evolved more than even the most dedicated of viewers might have noticed. In this article on Slate, readers are shown a series of graphs that explain the changes in the show—from pace to secondary characters and even “the rise of Kramer.” A typical episode in the first season contained about 10 scenes, but by the sixth season, they included 20 to 25. For a show about nothing, it very subtly evolved in a big way.

3. NYC’s Wes Anderson Art Show

San Francisco’s Wes Anderson-inspired art show “Bad Dads” is leaving Spoke Art—its home of five years—to take residence at NYC’s Joseph Gross Gallery later this summer. The wildly successful exhibition will expand to include the work of over 70 different artists, making it the largest “Bad Dads” show yet. Expect to see portraits of Anderson’s most compelling characters, including the Tenenbaums, the Grand Budapest Hotel’s lobby boy and the crew of the Belafonte at the 7 August 2015 opening—as well as large crowds (39,000 people have already confirmed their attendance).

4. NASA’s Long-Awaited Image of Pluto

Nearly a decade ago, NASA launched its New Horizons spacecraft into space, tasked with exploring our vast solar system and sending information home. After over three billion miles of flight, it has finally reached its ultimate destination: Pluto. Until now, details of the controversial dwarf planet have only been speculative—often describing it as oblong and gray—but information from New Horizons’ up-close encounter tells a different story. Pluto’s atmosphere reeks of nitrogen, its polar caps are especially icy and its red-brown landscape is marked with a mysterious and sweet heart shape.

5. Japanese Craftsmen Reinterpret Star Wars Scenes

Japanese craftsman have adapted the ancient practice of ukiyo-e wood-block printing to portray scenes from the Star Wars film franchise, creating the ultimate mash-up of tradition and science fiction. Keeping with the artistic styles of Japanese drawings, these craftsmen re-envision an icy battle scene from Hoth, Queen Amidala standing with R2-D2 and an image of Darth Vader. The prints draw eerie parallels between Japanese culture and the Star Wars world, including Amidala’s kimono-esque attire and Vader’s light saber—which calls to mind sword-wielding samurai. Watch the design process on DesignBoom.

6. Sending Emails to Trees

In 2013, the city of Melbourne, Australia assigned trees identity numbers and email addresses, making it possible for citizens to report dangerous branches or other problems that trees in their city may face or cause. However, what began as a program to benefit the city turned into something very different when people began to write thousands of emails to their favorite trees about everything and anything, “from banal greetings and questions about current events to love letters and existential dilemmas.” Read several emails at The Atlantic, who outlined the beautiful turn of events.

7. Venting Actually Makes You Madder

Whether through an angry Facebook status, Twitter rant or even an old-fashioned phone call, outlets for venting our inner displeasures are everywhere. The effectiveness of these venting sessions, though, are questionable. While research conducted by Brad Bushman, a psychology and communication professor at the Ohio State University, reveals that people feel better while in the process of venting, a study from 2007 shows that its lasting effects are actually opposite. People who let their anger out by kicking, screaming, texting or Tweeting are far more likely to retain the negative memories than those who refrain from venting.

8. How League of Legends is Ending Online Harassment

Women are nearly the majority demographic in the world of gaming, but that hasn’t dampened the amount of offensive comments thrown their way. To help put an end to online gaming hate in general, League of Legends (LoL)—the world’s most played game—has turned to artificial intelligence. After learning what types of actions or comments were deemed abusive by its players, LoL put “machine learning” to work, weeding out and reporting offensive instances as soon as they happened—and the results were astonishing. Verbal abuse has fallen by 40% and, after being reported just once, 91.6% of players don’t act up again.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily on Twitter and published weekly every Saturday morning.