Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Sending art to Trump, becoming a space archaeologist, a look at the real Playboy Mansion and more

1. Artist Sending Trump Artwork in Protest

This past weekend, Paul Weston decided to send President Trump a piece of artwork every single day—but not as a gift, as a reminder of the importance of arts funding. This comes hot off the news that the new administration is planning to remove budgets for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Weston says, “I’m not a political person. I really just know a few jokes and how to make art. And I do have tons of art. So I thought, ‘Maybe that’s my ammunition.'” Read more at Artsy.

2. These Glasses Automatically Focus For You

A very clever team at the University of Utah has developed a set of liquid-based lenses that alter their curvature, depending on the distance of the wearer’s focal point. According to PSFK, “The lenses are made of glycerin and enclosed by flexible membranes, giving them a low profile and making them lightweight.” The upshot is that, via its accompanying smartphone app, wearers can update their prescriptions as their eyesight changes—but would never have to buy new glasses. Read more at PSFK.

3. GlobalXplorer: How You Can Be a Space Archeologist

A “hybrid of Indiana Jones and Google Earth,” archaeologist Sarah Parcak uses satellite imagery to scour the earth for remains and lost cities and now she’s inviting us regular schmoes to do the same. Parcak has just launched GlobalXplorer°, an online tool that means we can help search for these important sites so that archaeologists get there before looters do. She says, “Most people don’t get to make scientific contributions or discoveries in their everyday lives. But we’re all born explorers, curious and intrinsically interested in other humans. We want to find out more about other people, and about ourselves and our past.” Find out more at National Geographic.

4. KAWS Brings VR to the New York Pubic Library

Brian Donnelly aka KAWS unveiled his first-ever VR project at the New York Public Library this past weekend. Housed in the historic Gottesman Gallery, the work was produced by Visionaire—in fact, co-directed by co-founder Cecilia Dean. In essence a trippy, magical and immersive “studio visit” with KAWS’ characters aplenty, the 360-degree project kept the artist’s signature aesthetic intact while blending reality with the virtual. Hopefully we can expect more from KAWS in this medium.

5. Farewell to the “Father of Pac-Man”

Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco—the Japanese company that was responsible for arcade classics like Pac-Man, Ms Pac-Man, Galaga and others—has died at 91 years old. Initially called Nakamura Manufacturing, the company was founded way back in 1955 and eventually merged with Bandai in 2005 (creating its current iteration as Bandai Namco). Nakamura’s passing and funeral were kept private, yet his legacy was (and will remain) immense. Read more at WIRED.

6. Audi’s “Daughter” Commercial

Accurately gauging many people’s mood across the country, Audi has created a commercial for the Super Bowl that isn’t about speed or luxury—in fact, it doesn’t even advertise one particular car. Instead this TV spot, called “Daughter,” depicts a bunch of kids in a somewhat ramshackle downhill cart race. One participant’s father narrates, contemplating his daughter’s gender and perceived worth. The final message from the car company is one of equality and hope—which is especially timely right now.

7. If We Were All Elephants

In describing elephants by their almost mystical elements (like sensing the weather both near and far, using their femurs to listen) “Being a Beast” author Charles Foster builds a profile of profound beauty. Placing this profile in conjunction with one of contemporary urban living, Foster illuminates all that makes the animals gentle, loving and unique. From reciprocal altruism to the depths of consciousness, the giant beast is explained and when contrasted with society, Foster reminds us both of the need for the the elephant’s conservation as well as our own need to love our neighbors.

8. The Playboy Mansion From a Different Perspective

The words “Playboy Mansion” conjure up very specific images for most people: flawless bodies, an older gentleman in a burgundy smoking jacket, exotic birds, lush grounds and the infamous grotto. Photographer Jeff Minton visited the iconic home last year (after it sold for $100 million) and while there are a few snaps of bikini-clad women, his images are not what one would expect. Minton’s photos show a worn-out and kitsch place; its overarching characteristics being entirely peculiar. He says, “The property is nearly 100 years old and it shows its wear in many ways. I guess I just wanted to celebrate the mansion in all of its tattered glory.” See more at It’s Nice That.

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