Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Sophisticated edibles, supporting independent artists, why naps are good for you and more in our look at the web

1. Samsung Blends National Anthems into One

Considering the current world climate—sadly an anti-globalization fear seems to be gaining momentum—Samsung’s Olympics commercial is incredibly timely. The advertisement blends a bunch of national anthems into one, with people from all over the world singing lines of other countries’ patriotic tunes: from Cambodia to Malawi, Tunisia, Canada and Malaysia. While obviously made to tug at the heartstrings, it’s a simple message that the world always needs to be reminded of.

2. Great Wall of China Underwater

In 1977 the Chinese government evacuated Xichengyu Village, destroyed its buildings and intentionally flooded the nearby valley in order to create the Panjiakou Reservoir. Thus, a new source of drinking water was created (many of the residents are now fishermen) but another result was that a large section of the Great Wall of China became submerged. Now, it’s a way (for skilled scuba-divers) to experience the UNESCO World Heritage Site in a very different way. Read more on Atlas Obscura.

3. Half the USA’s Produce is Thrown Out

An impossible standard of beauty isn’t just cast upon humans, apparently we even judge produce in the same manner. This “cult of perfection” means that half the fruits and vegetables in the USA are thrown away, “deepening hunger and poverty, and inflicting a heavy toll on the environment.” Apart from the wildly obvious waste and the undeniable knowledge that much of the world’s population faces malnourishment, food waste also contributes to global warming. Then there’s the wasted water, land and resources. All for a blemish-free tomato. Read more at The Guardian.

4. Napping Declutters Your Mind

If your boss catches you napping under your desk Costanza-style today, direct them to this article from NY Mag’s Science of Us. Basically, sleep is like housekeeping for your mind, and a nap “is like letting Marie Kondo loose in your brain”—meaning a bunch of your non-essential and irrelevant information is decluttered. The process is called “synaptic pruning” and it’s the reason we feel refreshed after a good sleep (and groggy after a bad one), but mostly it’s a great excuse to have a snooze on a Monday.

5. Why Jet Lag Feels Worse Depending on Your Travel Direction

Jet lag is the pits, but it is even worse when you travel east. Michelle Girvan (a physicist at the University of Maryland who also co-authored a model published this week) says it’s because, “The body’s internal clock has a natural period of slightly longer than 24 hours, which means that it has an easier time traveling west and lengthening the day than traveling east and shortening the day.” It’s all due to a region of the brain called the hypothalamus, where our internal clock exists. Around every 24 hours, thousands of “pacemaker” cells in the hypothalamus synchronize—but of course traveling through timezones confuses them. The best trick is to set your watch to the destination time as soon as possible, and subjecting yourself to “brief flashes of bright light delivered at specific intervals” during and after your flight.

6. Edward Snowden’s Design Will Check if Your iPhone’s Snitching

Edward Snowden has been researching with hardware hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang to design a device that will check on your iPhone—just to make sure if it is (or, rather, isn’t) snitching on you. The case-like creation will access your iPhone’s insides and monitor electrical signals—essentially letting the user know, at all times, if their phone radio is transmitting any information. Snowden spoke to Wired on why this is super useful for investigative journalists and more.

7. Shop Art Theft

Several artists previously highlighted by CH (from Tuesday Bassen to Adam J Kurtz, Big Bud Press and Stay Home Club) have found themselves the victims of art theft by huge retailers. Since many indie artists don’t have the budgets and ability to hire lawyers to face large corporations, they are using the platforms they have to call attention to the unfair business of stealing designs. Kurtz just launched an extra store on his site called Shop Art Theft, where you can buy the original pins and patches from the independent artists who created them.

8. Next Level Edibles

With the cannabis industry growing from strength to strength and the knowledge that most people who have tried edibles have also had a bad experience, the team at Defonce Chocolatier (founded by former Apple employees) is taking marijuana consumption to the next level. The chocolate bars are nothing like the hash cookies you once regrettably scoffed at a high school party—they are beautifully designed, pyramid-shaped chocolate bars with very helpful portion suggestions. Combined with high-quality ingredients and a seed-to-bar philosophy, Defonce is helping to pioneer and shape sophisticated cannabis culture.

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