Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Beautifully designed book covers, powerful news photos, the color of the year and more

1. 25 Powerful News Photos From 2016

This has been a year of immense tragedy, dizzying highs and mind-boggling surprises. From the world’s biggest refugee crisis since WWII to the US election, there’s been plenty for us to think about—and perhaps more reason to act than ever before. Some of the 25 news photos chosen by The Atlantic are incredibly powerful (for example, Ieshia Evans calmly standing up to police officers during the Baton Rouge protests), while others are simply adorable (a panda cub taking a tumble) but all of them tell a story about the year that was 2016. See more at The Atlantic.

2. Pantone’s Color of the Year: Greenery

Symbolizing a refresh, rejuvenation and new beginnings, Pantone’s 2017 color of the year is “nature’s neutral.” The hue—called Greenery—is also hopeful, and the choice is linked with politics. According to Leatrice Eiseman (executive director of the Pantone Color Institute), “‘Rejuvenate,’ ‘revitalize’ and ‘reassurance’ are all the things we look for in a very complex social and political environment. Greenery symbolizes our growing desire for a renewed connection and unity with nature and our fellow human beings.” Read more and find out ideal color pairings for the green online at Pantone.

3. Boo-Hooray’s Post-War, Counterculture + Pop Auction

An upcoming Sotheby’s auction full of exciting collectibles, “Boo-Hooray Presents: Post-War, Counterculture & Pop,” features all kinds of significant items from lesser-known movements and subcultures. With products from “the revolutionary May ’68 protests, New York’s early hip hop pioneers, Lower East Side Anarchists, concrete poets and even the collected fanzines surrounding the bizarre career of pop singer Scott Walker,” it’s one not to miss. We’re especially coveting the Dash Snow collection, John Waters movie posters and seemingly countless New Order-related items.

4. Best Book Covers of the Year

From the minimal to the delightfully overwhelming, the New York Times’ selection of the year’s best book covers is a feast for the eyes. Some favorites include the bright and busy cover for “The Mothers” by Brit Bennett, which was designed by Rachel Willey; the upside-down and very apt “But What If We’re Wrong?” by Chuck Klosterman, designed by Paul Sahre; and our favorite, the Kelly Blair-designed “Against Everything” by Mark Greif. As the Times’ Matt Dorfman says, “These covers are challenging without being impenetrable and playful without being precious—none of which is an easy task for a designer.” Go judge a book (or 12) by its cover at the NY Times.

5. Google Can Read Emoji: Farewell Language

Google has added yet another feather to its bow: it can speak emoji. If you tweet Google an emoji, the company’s Twitter handle will reply with a GIF and a link with potentially useful local suggestions. Send them the pizza, and they will direct you to slice joints nearby. The gang at The Verge did some investigating regarding trickier emoji, head over there to see what Google sent them when they tweeted the poop and the eggplant emojis.

6. John Margaritis’ Hoop Dreams

Multidisciplinary artist John Margaritis’ “Hoop Dreams” is a series that blends basketball with the beach—a combination that dreams are, indeed, made of. The surreal pieces were on display during Miami Art Week, and weren’t just clever photos—the artist and his team actually placed basketball hoops (weighed down by sandbags) in the sea, creating the strange and lovely images. See more at designboom.

7. Three New Instagram Updates

In a blog post this morning, Instagram announced three new updates: the ability to disable commenting on certain photos, anonymous reporting for self-injury posts and removing followers from private accounts. These changes are all being made in order to create a safer, more positive atmosphere for Instagram users. Previously the only way to remove followers or comments was to block or delete (both of which take a little extra time and sometimes feels extreme). Probably the most important update is the anonymous reporting of self-harm images and messages, as the team at Instagram will now (after receiving a report) “connect your friend to organizations that offer help.” Read more at Mashable.

8. Compostable, Cannabis Coffee Pods

San Diego-based company Brewbudz has announced it’s planning to launch cannabis coffee pods, so Mary Jane enthusiasts can have an extra early morning buzz. Expected to cost $7 each, each pod will contain 10 milligrams of THC for those sipping recreationally (but up to 50 milligrams will be available for medicinal users). Perhaps most excitingly, these single-serve pods are 100% compostable—unlike so many on the market that are incredibly wasteful. The company website says, when composted properly, they “can break down in as little as five weeks, leaving no toxic residue.” Read more at Quartz.

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