1.Scientists Have Found Evidence of a Lost Continent of Mauritia
The lost continent of Mauritia is believed to have been pulled apart by geological forces and sunk to the bottom of the sea long, long ago and scientists have just found evidence that might prove that theory. When studying volcanic rocks on the island of Mauritius, scientists found some with zircon crystals embedded in them. The remarkable thing here is that the crystals are some two billion years old, while Mauritius is just nine million years old—meaning there’s a much more ancient layer of earth under what we know as Mauritius. Read more at Popular Science.
2. The Middle East’s First All-Women Roller Derby Team
For the first time, roller derby has made its way to Lebanon, and Beirut’s first all-women team is smashing stereotypes across the country. As Huck magazine says, it’s a sport “which is physically grueling and dominated by women, has always embodied defiance” but the individuals on this team are just as impressive when not playing their roller derby roles. Almost all the team members are studying at the American University of Beirut and one even founded the university’s first gender and sexuality club. Find out more at Huck.
3. AccuWeather and Spotify Launch “Climatune”
AccuWeather and Spotify have teamed up to make playlists that match the weather, no matter if you’re schvitzing or stomping through snow. The two companies undertook a year-long study comparing “85 billion anonymized streams on Spotify in over 900 cities” across the USA and analyzed that data to create the playlists. Evidently, sunny days encourage higher energy music, while (interestingly) snowy days seem to warrant more instrumental songs. Head over to Climatune to see what songs make sense to you, depending on your location’s weather.
4. Forgotten Black American Fashion Designers
Prompted by a Twitter thread from Claude Hector, Quartz has delved into the history of many forgotten black designers—and the iconic looks they’re responsible for. Like so much black history around the world, significant stories are simply not known. For example: Ann Lowe created Jacqueline Bouvier’s wedding dress when she married JFK, and Zelda Wynn Valdes designed the blue satin Playboy “bunny suit.” Read more at Quartz.
5. Urinals Encourage Public Peeing in Paris
There’s no stopping public urinators, and now the city of Paris has (like many other places) decided to support the act—but with a beneficial outcome. Now with the Uritrottoir (which translates to “pavement urinal”) people can pee on the street and help public gardens grow. Each Uritrottoir has two sections: on the top is a window-box-style garden, and on the bottom is a layer of compost. Those who use the urinal not only help to create fertilizer, but also lessen the stench on the street. From industrial design studio Faltazi, this creation is a very clever solution to a frequent problem. Read more at FastCo.
6. Merriam-Webster Just Added 1000+ Words
Always an entertaining read, Merriam-Webster just announced the words and phrases it’s adding to the dictionary this month. Among them are “throwing shade,” “side eye” and even “ghost”—not the spook, but the act of abruptly cutting off contact with a person. There are also a few less-timely additions, including “first world problem,” “riding shotgun” and “weak sauce.” Whatever your feelings on these latest inclusions, there’s no doubt that the ever-evolving nature of language is inherently fascinating.
7. 375,000 Images From the Met Are Yours to Use, Free
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s public domain policy has changed this week, making 375,000 images in the collection free to be used in any which way you can think up. Additionally, the new policy makes data about the collection available. Understanding that visiting a museum is more than gazing at a full paintings, the Met also uploaded detailed images of artworks, and even their frames. All of this is an admirable effort to have art more accessible for more people. Read more at NYT.
8. An Exhibition of 400 Found Notes
For 12 years, Sydney-based artist Laura Sullivan has been collecting discarded handwritten notes. The first one was a fairly dull shopping list, but since then she has found love notes, pro/con lists about romances, and very strange information on Post-It labels. She says she prefers the notes to come to her—she doesn’t go searching, “That sounds cheesy right? But it’s kind of true. I do get excited on bin day, though.” An exhibition of 400 of her finds—called “Found by Laura”—will open 16 February at Sun Studios, Sydney. For those who can’t see it in person, follow her project on Instagram. Read more at The Creators Project.