1. The Sun Might Be Bigger Than We Thought
Perhaps surprisingly, we don’t know the sun’s size—at least, not as accurately as we know the Earth or the moon. When working with Google Maps (to measure the sun’s shadow) and his own models, Xavier Jubier realized something was off with the measurements, “For me, something was wrong somewhere, but that’s all I could say,” Jubier tells Space.com. Apparently this year’s solar eclipse will help get a more accurate reading, and it’s believed that the sun might actually be bigger than we thought. Read more at Space.com.
2. The Stein Sisters’ “Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer”
Filmmakers Emily and Alice Stein’s “Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer” is a charming documentary about a pair of ballroom-dancing kids, Francesco Cesario and Chiara Morgese. Capturing their everyday lives and (of course) their incredible dancing, the film offers a glimpse into a passion that’s enviable and infectious. After photographing young ballroom dancers, the sisters and filmmakers focused on Francesco and Chiara because “They are so graceful and have such an energy and strong bond. The film is a celebration of the closeness and synchronicity between them,” Emily says. Read and see more at It’s Nice That.
3. The 170-Year History of Food Photography
The first image of food wasn’t avocado toast—instead it was a still life of fruit, shot by William Henry Fox Talbot (a British scientist and mathematician, best known as a pioneering photographer and the inventor of several photographic processes). Influenced by traditional painting, food photography took some time to develop on its own. In 1927, Edward Steichen was commissioned by the Stehli Silks Corporation to “produce a pattern for its American scarf series,” where “he arranged sugar cubes in neat rows and lit them from behind to create a cross-hatched shadow.” This dissociative act pushed the craft further. With color advertising and cookbooks in the 1930s, another new style emerged, and this was just the start. Take a look at the fascinating history of food photography at Artsy.
4. Tracing the Evolution of Language
Michael Gavin, Associate Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University, and other researchers across six disciplines formed a unit in 2010 with the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and they’re on a mission to better understand why our species, collectively, speaks over 7,000 distinct languages. They began by reviewing existing studies of language studies around the equator and at different elevations and by addressing existing theories like war, geography and cultural differences. Remarkably, little is known. Applying species diversity patterning never before applied to language and using only three basic assumptions about climate and population they were able to predict quite accurately the language diversity and placement of the 406 aboriginal Australian languages. Learn more about the study at NY Magazine.
5. TONL is Making Stock Photography Less White
While stock photography is meant to represent everyday lives of everyday people, it’s overwhelmingly and inaccurately white. With the belief that diversity leads to innovation, Karen Okonkwo and Joshua Kissi founded TONL—a stock photography company that aims to expand the ways in which black people are represented in visual culture and show those who are, right now, incredibly underrepresented. The thousands of photos (set to launch in August) “not only showcase cultural, social, and racial diversity, they also take aesthetics to heart, replacing the cold anonymity of stock photography with consideration for modern aesthetics.” Read an interview with Okonkwo and Kissi over at The Outline.
6. The “Yeah Girl” Exhibition Celebrates Women in Skateboarding
On display now at Copenhagen’s Vess Gallery, “Yeah Girl” is a celebration of women in the world of skateboarding. Curated by photographer Sarah Huston, the diverse show presents images by women photographers of women skaters. Featuring work by Jenna Selby, Alana Paterson, Linnea Bullion and others the exhibition first opened last year in Australia. Head over to Huck to read an interview with Huston and fellow photographer, Sonia Ziegler.
7. Apple Has Discontinued the iPod Nano and Shuffle
Ever since the iPhone’s birth, the trusty iPod has taken a hit—selling less and less over the years. It should come as no surprise to tech enthusiasts that Apple has decided to discontinue the two cheaper iPods: the Shuffle and the Nano. The two models have been a little ignored by the tech giant—being skipped over for updates (the Nano hasn’t been redesigned since 2012; the Shuffle since 2010). The iPod Touch, however, has been revamped with more storage space and its price has decreased. Read more at Bloomberg.
8. Jacqui Kenny’s Google Street View Photography
Jacqui Kenny’s Instagram isn’t technically her own photography. She also has created a collection of images from all over the world, but never leaves the house. Known as the Agoraphobic Traveler, Kenny takes her photos from Google Street View, finding colorful and charming scenes thanks to the tech company’s automated cameras. Kenny says about Street View, “It’s this parallel world with billions of automated photos. I found that really fascinating. I wanted to try to find some magic moments of this world.” Take a look at her photography and read an interview at FastCo.