1. The Genius of Walter Becker
Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, who passed away last weekend, was widely regarded as one of music’s greats—though not as a brilliant guitarist or vocalist, but rather a genius when it came to melodies. Both Steely Dan co-founders were jazz nerds, but beyond that they were groove masters who managed to craft left-of-center pop songs that appealed to just about everybody. As NPR says, “Becker was a conjurer, sly and tactical. His lines could be weird and skronky while also accessible and melodic. He used strange configurations of notes and chords that at first seem odd, but later register as devastatingly apt.” Read more impressive insights into Becker’s songwriting at NPR.
2. Star Wars-Inspired Observatory in Cyprus
Set to track celestial phenomena from India to the Mediterranean, a new observatory will be built in Cyprus. Most excitingly, the structure (which was designed by Kyriakos Tsolakis Architects) draws inspiration from the Star Wars films. The Troodos Observatory—as it’s known—will be the first purpose-built facility of this type in the country, and will boast a large dome along with a slim wedge at the other end—plus a cantilever roof. Read and see more at dezeen.
3. Miranda July’s Interfaith Charity Shop
There are some 10,000 charity shops in the United Kingdom, and now—thanks to artist and filmmaker Miranda July and Artangel—there is the first-ever interfaith charity store. The pop-up (which is open from 31 August to 22 October 2017 at Selfridges) is being run and staffed by Islamic Relief, Jewish charity Norwood, London Buddhist Centre and Spitalfields Crypt Trust who will divide the proceeds equally. From there, “each is donating 2.5% of their share to another charity of their choice: Islamic Relief is donating to The Bike Project; Norwood to Carers in Hertfordshire; London Buddhist Centre to Praxis Community Project; and Spitalfields Crypt Trust to Providence Row.” Prices and goods are just like regular charity stores, but this execution is more inclusive.
4. Incredible Hollywood Memorabilia Auction
Later this month (26 September), an incredible collection of Hollywood costumes, props and memorabilia will be up for auction thanks to Prop Store in London. The auction, which features some 600 items, isn’t exactly affordable for many to participate in but it’s fascinating to browse the goods nonetheless. From Indiana Jones’ whip, to Marty McFly’s 2015 Nike Hyperadapts, Jack Nicholson’s Joker costume and more, there are genuine gems aplenty.
5. Supercar Megabuild’s Epic Bentley Continental GT Rally Edition
UK TV show “Supercar Megabuild” has turned the luxurious Bentley Continental GT into an off-roading beast—and it’s available for purchase. The Dakar Rally-inspired vehicle has been painted army green, and with £25,000 worth of modifications the monster can do a lot more than its original version but will cost a lot more too. Currently the bid (of which there have been 99) sits at £40,400 (or $52,802 USD).
6. Daan Roosegaarde’s Smog Vacuum Cleaner and Other Inventions
Explaining that creativity is the true investment capital of the future, inventor Daan Roosegaarde’s optimism for the future hinges upon the power of human imagination. Roosegaarde himself, under the name Studio Roosegaarde, has invented wondrous things—from a Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”-inspired green energy bike path in the Netherlands to a working smog vacuum cleaner in Beijing. Roosegaarde’s futurism applies to tangible needs and stems from asking why. He also makes clear, sometimes inspiration strikes from dire circumstances. Watch his talk at TED for more inspiration.
7. Mario Testino Auctions His Collection of Photos
With proceeds going to Lima’s Museo MATE, an upcoming Sotheby’s auction will see Mario Testino’s personal collection of photographs up for grabs. Over the years, Testino’s gathered an impressive body of work from the likes of Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Richard Mosse, Martin Parr and more. Testino established the non-profit Museo MATE five years ago to support local and global culture in Peru.
8. Farewell Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent Co-Founder
Yves Saint Laurent co-founder Pierre Bergé has died aged 86 years old, 19 years after his parter. The French luxury fashion house was founded in 1961 after Saint Laurent was fired from Dior having been conscripted. Bergé and Saint Laurent went on to create one of the world’s most influential, recognizable and aspirational brands. As Dazed explains, “With Bergé in charge of the business, Yves Saint Laurent revolutionized fashion in the second half of the twentieth century—democratizing the industry by introducing ready-to-wear line YSL Rive Gauche in 1967, reinventing iconic styles such as Le Smoking, Safari dress and the Mondrian dress.” Read more at DazedDigital.