Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Electric cars, Record Store Day, debunking Star Trek theories and more in our look at the web

1. Star Wars + Record Store Day Milestone Anniversary Turntable

In celebration of the 10th annual Record Store Day, as well as the 40th anniversary of the very first “Star Wars” film, Crosley Radio has made a limited edition record player. Only for sale at select retailers who are taking part in 2017’s Record Store Day, the turntable is the brand’s Cruiser Deluxe—a portable player that includes full-range speakers. Available on Saturday 22 April for $110, the record player features a take on Tom Jung’s iconic film poster.

2. The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon Did It Again

In 1967, though there were no official rules banning women from competing in the Boston Marathon, race director Jock Semple tried to rip 20-year-old Kathrine Switzer’s bib off her mid-race. Registering without suspicion by using only her first two initials and last name, Switzer (after the ambush) finished the marathon in just over four hours. This week, 50 years later, Switzer participated in the marathon again. (In 1972 women were officially allowed to register for the race.) Read an interview with her at the Boston Globe.

3. Wingman Dating App Puts Your Pals in Control

Yet another dating app is available on your smartphone, but this time it’s substantially different. Instead of swiping left or right yourself, Wingman (thought up by London-based Tina Wilson) puts your pals in control. More of a matchmaking app than a dating one, “singles can’t create their own profiles or connect themselves with people” so you better trust your friends a bunch. There are a lot of positive factors, but perhaps the best is that you remain unaware if you’re rejected—your wingperson deals with everything for you. Find out more at Mashable.

4. VW’s Four Affordable Electric Cars

Christian Senger, head of the Volkswagen AG’s marque electric-car project announced a few goals and advancements in Shanghai this week, while the brand revealed its first battery-powered crossover named “I.D. Crozz.” By 2018, VW hopes to have small battery-powered vehicles on the Chinese market and more globally shortly thereafter. Altogether, VW’s battery-powered I.D. line will include two SUVs, a sedan, and a hatchback, and as Senger affirms, at prices similar to those of combustion engine vehicles. Further, through its Audi nameplate, they plan to debut a luxury battery-powered crossover in 2019, the E-tron. As the electric car market grows—and continues to be dominated by Tesla and Chevy—Volkswagen AG has some challenging roads ahead.

5. Extracting Water From Thin Air

Even scorching desert landscapes have water molecules floating in the atmosphere. Until now, the technology required to extract them has required vast amounts of energy. But a scientific duo from MIT and UC, Berkeley has just prototyped a new machine employing an MOF, or metal-organic framework. Here, a thin MOF powder layer absorbs water vapor—and ambient sunlight then releases it into a basin within the device. The prototype used was quite small but one of the two scientists, Evelyn Wang, says a full-sized system could pull almost three quarts of water each day—quite literally extracting the liquid from thin air.

6. Debunking a Long-Lasting Star Trek Theory

Mathematician James Grime has debunked a very popular Star Trek theory by using fairly simple math. The widely held belief that “redshirts” (those who work in engineering or security) die more often than any other character isn’t true, Grime says. While technically 10 gold-shirted, eight blue, and 25 red-shirted die in the series, that calculation ignores the fact that there are more redshirts than anybody else—so probability needs to come into the equation. “Out of 239 redshirts, 25 died, which is 10 percent. Out of 55 goldshirts, 10 died, which is 18 percent,” so it’s actually more likely to cop it if you’re wearing gold. Find out more at Space.

7. NASA 3D Prints Metal Space Fabric

A chainmail of the future, 3D-printed flexible metal space fabric is being produced by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. As far as functionality goes, there are four important attributes: reflectivity, foldability, passive heat management and tensile strength. Each of these has untold applications. Because of its sheer strength, it could be used to shield spacecraft but its insulation capabilities could translate to future spacesuits. The foldability, however, may prove most valuable as the fabric is easy to transport and expand once in space. Any way you look at it, this material is an advancement in 3D printing and the opportunities are endless.

8. Canndescent Grows Marijuana for Every Mood

To coincide with the fact that humans are complex and have good days as well as bad, cannabis company Canndescent grows marijuana for many different moods. With five different strains—Calm, Cruise, Create, Connect, and Charge—users can choose what feels most appropriate at any given moment. A super-pragmatic approach, the company “hired an in-house PhD in neuroscience to test and measure how specific strains effect people.” They’re also working on an app so users can share their personal experiences with the different types of pot.

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