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Link About It: This Week’s Picks

How art helps cops do a better job, a 101-year-old artist’s first solo show and more in this week’s look around the web

1. Chicago’s Proposed Aerial Cable Car System

While some cities are considering self-driving pods or improved water ferry routes (like Singapore and NYC respectively), Chicago is looking to the sky to transport its citizens. Architecture firms Davis Brody Bond and Marks Barfield have just unveiled plans for a series of sky-bound cable cars that would move passengers between the city’s architectural landmarks—from Wacker Drive on the west to Navy Pier on the east with stops in between. The proposed system would carry up to 3,000 people per hour 17 stories above the ground.

2. 101-Year-Old Artist Carmen Herrera Finally Gets Her First Solo Show

You never know when you’ll get your big break. At nearly 101 years of age, Cuban-born artist Carmen Herrera is finally reaping the benefits of nearly half a century of hard work and creativity. She recently opened the inaugural show at London-based Lisson Gallery and is also having a solo show at New York City’s Whitney Museum. Her distinct, abstract and geometric style—first developed in Paris in the 1940s—was eventually crowded out by the wave of abstract expressionist artists of the time. But that never slowed her down: “It’s a passion. Every morning, I get up, I have breakfast, I go to the table and I begin drawing,” she says.

3. Moody Images of New York City’s Neon Lights

New York City’s collection of neon lights is unlike any other. From Times Square to the corner diner, the bright, luminescent lettering of all shapes, colors and sizes light up the streets and sidewalks until the wee hours. In a new photo series called “Light On,” Paris-born photographer Frank Bohbot captures the charm of the bustling city through moody images of its neons. Through the day, the night, the rain and snow, the colorful signage beams brightly and offers a modern glimpse at old New York.

4. How Art is Helping Police to Notice Details

At New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Amy E. Herman—an expert in visual perception—is using art to teach police officers to notice the details in everyday situations. By having them scan over unfamiliar artworks (the officers admit to not having much time to visit museums) and voice their perceptions of the pieces, the police learn to pick out the intricacies of the artworks and describe them in clear, straightforward language. The unorthodox training teaches them how to better observe and document their findings in the field.

5. Only Half of Human Friendships are Actually Reciprocated

According to a new study published in the journal PLoS, we’re a little too generous when counting our friends. In fact, only half of the people we consider as friends actually feel the same way. The researchers surveyed 84 college students asking them to rate other students from one to five, and results showed that just 53% of relationships were reciprocal as compared to the expected 94% that many students guessed. While the study’s sample size may be small—and keep in mind that these kids are all college undergrads—the findings might be our collective nightmare come true.

6. An Interactive 3D Rendering of the New SFMOMA

Concurrent with the opening of the recently expanded SFMOMA, WIRED Magazine has developed an interactive 3D rendering of the museum to showcase its technological innovations. Beyond its icy, rippled exterior, the Snøhetta-designed building boasts a multitude of architectural, mechanical and environmental mechanisms—including hidden plant sensors for its massive live wall, energy-saving multi-layered glass wall panels, and a custom, Apple-assisted audio tour program—that elevate the structure past just a home for art, but the preeminent example of contemporary museum design.

7. India’s Crosswalk Illusions are More Effective Than Speed-Bumps

To get drivers to slow down at crosswalks, India is experimenting with painted optical illusions instead of speed-bumps. Created by artists Saumya Pandya Thakkar and Shakuntala Pandya, the street paintings appear to be 3D road blocks as drivers approach, forcing them to slow down in their confusion. As they get closer, it becomes apparent that the blocks are actually flat, so drivers don’t actually come a complete stop. And so far the experiment seems to be working—no accidents have occurred at the upgraded intersections.

8. Australia is Using Herpes to Wipeout an Invasive Fish

Nearly two millions tons worth of carp have infested Australia’s Murray-Darling river system, creating roughly £260 million worth of damage each year. They swallow native species, wreak havoc on the environment and grow to enormous sizes if left unchecked. Officials are now calling for a “carpaggedon,” using a specific strain of the herpes virus to wipe out the fish. While most everyone is on board, the mass cleansing will produce huge piles of dead fish, which Australia is now considering using for fertilizer or pet food.

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


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