Link About It: This Week’s Picks

New gender options for The Sims, a cannabis smoothie recipe, the science behind "skin orgasms" and more in our look at the web

1. Impeccable Concept Car Designs that Failed After Production

Always the showstopper at auto shows, concept cars allow designers to present the purest form of an upcoming vehicle before rules and regulations water down its design. In the case that a concept car actually makes it into production without drastic changes, they can often fall victim to being too forward-thinking for the average customer. Looking back at the history of great concept cars, Gear Patrol has rounded-up five impeccable designs that, when introduced to the market, crashed and burned.

2. How Teens Are Growing With Technology

In a fascinating article profiling 13-year-old Katherine Pommerening, The Washington Post’s Jessica Contrera explores what it’s like growing up with the tech of today. For kids falling within the category of Generation Z, social media (mostly Snapchat and Instagram) is essential (yet Facebook is obsolete). That said, “old-fashioned” activities haven’t entirely disappeared, despite many older people remaining convinced kids are glued to screens all day. From what’s important on Instagram (posts without enough likes are deleted) to how Pommerening’s parents deal with her screen time, the profile is a look from the outside at how teenagers are now—as always—ahead of the pack.

3. Haruka Misawa’s Soothing Fish Tank Designs

Looking much like underwater zen gardens, Haruka Misawa’s minimalist fish tanks eschew traditional rainbow colored rocks in favor of soothing geometries and 3D printed structures. On display now in Taiwan, her exhibition “Waterscape” explores the relationship between gravity, buoyancy, air and water, all through unique perspective of fish tanks. The tiny aquariums are sculptural on their own, but with fish freely swimming inside, they’re given an entirely new purpose and context.

4. New Gender Options for The Sims

In a significant (and free) update to their wildly popular The Sims game, Electronic Arts has added several gender customizing options. Before today’s update, players would create a Sim and have just two genders to choose from, but now users can pick from more variable body shapes and all hairstyles and clothing are available to all genders. Now, a Sim’s gender can also be modified during the game. Electronic Arts reached out to GLAAD when working on the update and Nick Adams (of GLAAD’s Transgender Media Program) says the game now “more accurately reflects the world in which we live today.”

5. The Science Behind Music-Induced Skin Orgasms

Not much is known about frisson—a physical reaction to an emotional stimuli that sometimes feels like a “skin orgasm“—or its physiological origins or even why it only affects two-thirds of the population. Frisson occurs when a song (perhaps just a few notes), painting or any sort of sensory stimulation strikes an emotional chord. But then the emotion turns into a skin-stretching physical sensation. According to a study cited in The Conversation, personality tests revealed that those more inclined to an “openness to experience” (where expectations are amplified and often undermined in powerful ways) have access to frisson and its tantalizing effects.

6. Cannabis-Infused Smoothie

Inspired by the traditional Bhang Lassi, Julianna Carella (founder of cannabis food company Auntie Dolores) created a Western and modern take: the Cannabis Superfood Smoothie. In a recipe and a video, Carella outlines how to infuse coconut milk with cannabis—though admits it’s most likely safer to leave that part to the professionals—and create a 420-friendly smoothie that’s good for your mind and body.

7. DIY Kit That Encourages Kids to Code

London-based Technology Will Save Us has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their latest DIY kit: The Mover. Encouraging kids of all genders to learn and play at the same time, The Mover Kit includes a core unit, circuit board, accelerometer, magnetometer and eight LED lights—which can be programmed in countless ways after assembly. TWSU co-founder and CEO Bethany Koby tells Core77, “While kids are avid consumers of technology, they can find creating and making with it complex and scary. Kids who might want to get involved in making with digital technologies are getting left behind.” This DIY wearable makes learning about electronics, programming and problem solving fun—and is all about experimenting.

8. Norman Lear on Living Life With Meaning

Norman Lear is responsible for TV shows like “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” and “Good Times”—programs that changed how Americans saw families and gave screen time to under-represented people during a rapidly evolving era. He went on to make several iconic films including “The Princess Bride” and “Stand By Me,” and then worked as an activist—he even made it to Richard Nixon’s “enemies” list. In a TED Talks conversation with Eric Hirshberg, Lear (also a war veteran who is now 93 years old) charmingly and humorously discusses stealing stories, needing a father figure, wanting to be heard and the moment he “began to understand the foolishness of the human condition”—a gift he has used since childhood.

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