1. Extraordinary Aurora Given a Very Ordinary Name
Termed as an aurora, but technically an aurora-like feature, this phenomenon behaves differently—and has been named differently too. While most auroras ripple and fade horizontally, this one appears as a bright green/purple vertical streak. “Steve,” as its known, was discovered by the Alberta Aurora Chasers, who follow and photograph the Northern Lights and it’s now been verified by the European Space Agency’s Swarm satellites. While “Steve” is apparently not uncommon, it’s a phenomenon that hasn’t been captured by the aforementioned scientific equipment before. Head to Space.com to read more.
2. Vale, Jonathan Demme
Oscar-winning filmmaker, producer and screenwriter Jonathan Demme—perhaps best known for “The Silence of the Lambs”—has died in NYC aged 73 years old. Demme, though successfully horrifying audiences in 1991, actually leaves a very diverse body of work. From the comedic “Married to the Mob” to Talking Heads documentary “Stop Making Sense,” and the drama “Philadelphia,” his films delighted and moved viewers for a plethora reasons. Well-known for his close-ups of characters, his work has influenced many—notably Wes Anderson—and he leaves behind a rich legacy.
3. Japanese Artist Gaku’s Incredible Food Carvings
Using just an X-acto knife, Japanese artist Gaku turns fruit and vegetables into remarkable works of art. From avocados to apples, strawberries and lemons, Gaku’s mini sculptures are meticulously created and—of course—do not last forever. Ultimately, the ornate carvings are edible. To see more of this geometric work, head to his Instagram.
4. A Typeface for Rainbow Flag Creator Gilbert Baker
After the recent passing of artist and LGBTQ activist Gilbert Baker—who also created the all-important rainbow flag in 1978—NYC Pride and NewFest teamed up with Ogilvy & Mather and Fontself to create a typeface to honor the very special man. The typeface, called “Gilbert,” follows the flag’s design—with each character using one of its bright colors, albeit semi-transparent. The Ogilvy team says, “People can now raise the rainbow flag with every letter they type. By literally embedding the rainbow flag into the font we made it possible for everyone around the world to type with pride.” Read and see more at It’s Nice That.
5. NASA’s Cassini Mission Gets a Google Doodle
Today, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is making the first of 22 dangerous swoops between Saturn and its rings. Part of what’s called the “Grand Finale,” this mission will give us humans an unprecedented view of our solar system’s second-largest planet (after, of course, Jupiter) and is set to take 13 years all up. The Doodle is adorable, and shows a smiley little satellite taking snaps of an equally cheerful Saturn. NASA will find out if this first mission was successful very early tomorrow morning.
6. Building a “Harold and Maude” Jaguar E-Type Hearse
The morbid, macabre and entirely transfixing Jaguar E-Type hearse first crossed into the public consciousness through the 1971 cult classic film “Harold and Maude.” Ken Roberts, in search of a “movie car,” ultimately decided to build one himself. As Roberts shares with Petrolicious, “In the movie, Harold builds his in about two days. Well, it took us four years, and more money than I even want to admit to.” The original Jaguar hearse was built by the same man who put together the original batmobile, who chooses to remain anonymous—though he consulted with Roberts. Not only does the E-Type hearse drive well, Roberts is touring it around the country.
7. Mapping NYC’s Historic and Cultural LGBTQ+ Sites
NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project has just launched an interactive map that pinpoints 100+ significant political and cultural sites across all the five boroughs. Of course, there’s Julius’ Bar and Truman Capote’s apartment in Brooklyn Heights, but also lesser-known spots like Alice Austen’s house on Staten Island and the now-closed Everard Baths—which was a refuge for gay men since opening in 1888. Take a peek and explore the city in a different way.
8. An ’80s Era All-Girl Skate Gang, The Hags
Stevie Bates started the all-girl skate gang The Hags back in 1983 or ’84, and the 10+ crew could be seen rolling around West LA with matching canvas patches on the backs of their jackets. Skating since she was nine years old, Bates says she started the gang because she was rejected from the male gang The Jaks and because “everything is more fun in groups, and it was good to have the girl power thing.” During the ’80s there were articles written about them. They even featured in Pat Benatar’s “Ooh Ooh Song” music video. What started as a form of rebellion was much more, as member Michel Miller says, “Even though we were these total party chicks, we were interested in social justice, though I hate that phrase. We were rebellious and we wanted a different world and we wanted more acceptance… Those rowdy, tough girls who didn’t take shit and paved their own way—those are core parts of who we are as people.” Read the full feature over at Bust.