Link About It: This Week’s Picks

A new species of whale discovered, making VR more real, a poop-themed cafe and more in our look around the web

1. Depressing News About Alcohol

Bad news for wine enthusiasts and cocktail experts: alcohol has been directly linked to several types of cancer in a new study published in “Addiction.” More than liver cancer (which, of course, most people already associate with alcohol) the results of the study showed booze can contribute to “the development of seven types of cancer, including that of the breast and liver, and now there’s growing evidence that it can cause skin, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.” In fact, over five percent of cancer deaths can be linked with alcohol consumption. It’s enough to make you want a drink. Read more at Grub Street.

2. Twitter’s Identity as a News Organization

For many dedicated Twitter users, the service feels like it’s populated by only a few types of people: journalists, celebrities, comedians and those watching it all unfold. This spring, the Twitter app pivoted its categorization in the iOS store from social networking service to news platform. And that move was understandable. Twitter is where news breaks first or where many of us learn of it first. Continuing this push toward the newsworthy, and expounding upon recent deals that have granted Twitter streaming rights to sporting events and political happenings, the brand’s new marketing campaign—centered around “what’s happening”—wants to remind people that you heard it there first.

3. The Story of Japanese Denim

Upcoming documentary “Weaving Shibusa” is the story of Japanese denim, as told by those who make it. More than dyes and machines, it’s about the humans—and, more specifically, the ways in which they work together, rather than in competition. Premiering 6 August in San Francisco, the film’s trailer is available to view at Cool Material.

4. New Whale Species Found in Alaska

Again proving the mysteries of the ocean are almost as overwhelming and infinite as those in space, a new species of whale has just been discovered in Alaska. When the 24-foot-long corpse washed ashore in the Pribilof Islands community of St George(in Alaska’s Bering Sea) back in 2014, it was believed to be a Baird’s beaked whale. But this week it was revealed that it is, in fact, “an entirely new species—a smaller, odd-shaped black cetacean.” Phillip Morin (a molecular geneticist) says, “It’s just so exciting to think that in 2016 we’re still discovering things in our world—even mammals that are more than 20 feet long.” Read more at National Geographic.

5. Making VR More Real

From full-body controllers to moving platforms, the world of VR continues to grow beyond that of goggles and head tilts. Mazekine has compiled a list of five ways to shake up virtual reality—sometimes quite literally—and encourages people to do so at home. Adding temperature changes or “tactile transducers” for motion are just a couple options when it comes to bolstering a virtual world. And as the area is still so new (for mass recreational usage), we can only imagine what will come next.

6. World Health Organization May Finally Declassify Transgender Identity as Mental Disorder

The World Health Organization might just overturn a decades-old disease classification and in the next edition of their codebook remove Transgender Identity as a mental illness. Thus far, all committees involved, who have taken it under consideration, have approved its dismissal. “It’s sending a very strong message that the rest of the world is no longer considering it a mental disorder,” says Dr Michael First (clinical psychiatry professor at Columbia and the chief technical consultant on the WHO codebook). While it’s a great and important step forward, the decision (like many before it) will come with several significant issues surrounding language and the sensitivity of linguistics pertaining to illness, sexuality and identity. Read more at the New York Times.

7. America’s Most Scenic Restaurants

With entries selected by OpenTable users across the US, a new list of America’s 100 most scenic restaurants has made a rather inspiring debut. Almost 40 states have options listed and all of the restaurants seem like destinations worth traveling for. Whether you’re looking for an unfettered skyline, an ocean view with a breeze or a quiet wooded lake, there’s something here to appeal to just about everyone. Plus, you get to eat while enjoying it all.

8. Toronto’s Poop-Themed Cafe

Serving chocolate soft-serve, pudding and other brown desserts, a new cafe is set to open in Toronto—and it’s poop-themed. Lien Nguyen (the cafe owner) says that the aim is “trying to make poop cute.” She will open Poop Café Dessert Bar in Toronto’s Koreatown next month. With stool-shaped treats and dishes shaped like toilets, it’s sure to be a strange and interesting place—with plenty of puns.

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