1. The Kodak Ektra Smartphone is for Photographers
Hot on the heels of the Google Pixel smartphone, Kodak has just announced its new Android-powered smartphone called Ektra—and it’s been designed with photographers in mind. For photo experts and enthusiasts, a few specs: the device boasts a 21-megapixel sensor behind an f/2.0 aperture. The touchscreen will have a dial upon which users can manually adjust settings like shutter speed and ISO. The faux leather back is designed to look a little like cameras of yesteryear, adding a nostalgic feel. Slated for release in December, the Ektra will likely cost around £450.
2. MoMA, Karl Lagerfeld and the $3,000 Pencils
The Karlbox is a black lacquered cabinet with 350 items for all your creative endeavors inside—pencils, markers, charcoals and watercolor brushes. A collaboration between MoMA and Karl Lagerfeld (the 83-year-old creative director and fashion legend), the limited edition box set is made by German heritage brand Faber-Castell and already has a waitlist. While that might not seem too surprising to hear, it carries a little more weight when one finds out the price tag is a neat $3000 USD. Read more at Quartz.
3. $300k Kickstarter to Save Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers
A truly iconic piece of film history, Dorothy’s ruby slippers from 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz,” are in desperate need of conservation. The sequin-covered shoes (an anonymous gift to the museum in ’79) are some 80 years old and it shows. In order to preserve them, the Smithsonian needs $300k and has launched a Kickstarter to make it happen. At the time of publish, the campaign (dubbed #KeepThemRuby) has already raised around $250k and is offering various rewards for contributions.
4. 90-Mile-Long Rainbow Installation in San Antonio Airport
Reminiscent of an airplane itself, a new large-scale Gabriel Dawe public art installation at San Antonio International Airport has recently been unveiled and it’s a rainbow-hued delight. Made from over 90 miles of colored thread (in 19 different colors), the piece “Plexus C18” hangs above the ticketing area of the airport and will no doubt add some life and cheer to what is an otherwise quite stiff, sterile space. Read more at designboom.
5. Instead of Buying Merch, Donate to Women’s Organizations
While sometimes it’s nice to wear your heart (and your feminism) on your sleeve, there’s more to a movement than a T-shirt. The team at The Cut knows this and has put together a list of seven organizations and charities that really empower and support women—from Planned Parenthood to RAINN. So if you want to buy that “Nasty Woman” T-shirt, go ahead! But maybe also consider giving your hard-earned dollars to an organization that directly helps women, rather than just donating a percentage.
6. Winemaking in China
China isn’t necessarily a country that comes to mind when thinking about wine, but winemaker Emma Gao wants to change that. Her small production winery at Silver Heights vineyard is focused on making super-high quality vino, rather than bulk, mass-produced wines. Gao is calling the Ningxia region (where the vineyard is located) in China’s north-center “a new world in the new world.” Find out more in the short documentary on Nowness.
7. Somerset House’s Affordable Creative Studios
To combat an “accelerating exodus of artists due to rising rents and redevelopment,” London’s Somerset House is set to open affordable studios to keep the creative spirit of the city alive. Set to be used as both studio and rehearsal space, it will house some 100 creatives of all disciplines. This is a move in the right direction for a city that—like so many others—is seeing a decrease in creativity due to an increase in cost of living. Hopefully other hubs will follow suit in order to keep busy cities full of flair and art, and not just banks and new developments.
8. The Universe is Even Bigger Than We Thought
Last week, The Astrophysical Journal published a piece by Christopher J Conselice, an astrophysicist at the University of Nottingham, England and his findings are mind-boggling. As if the concept of the universe’s size wasn’t already hard to comprehend, Conselice’s research shows that there are actually 10 times more galaxies than previously believed. “The team analyzed sky surveys by the Hubble Space Telescope and other instruments able to see far away, and therefore far back, through about 13 billion years of time.” The result of this (and some mathematical work) is the conclusion that the universe is home to two trillion galaxies. Read more, and be amazed, at the New York Times.