1. Secret Chamber Discovered in Egypt’s Great Pyramid
Using muon detectors, researchers have discovered a previously hidden space inside Egypt’s Great Pyramid. Egyptologists have said that the chamber won’t contain hidden treasure or anything of that kind, but it will potentially help reveal how the 4,500-year-old pyramid was constructed. The purpose of the hidden space is unknown for now, but researchers believe it might have been a second “grand gallery” or a “relieving chamber.” Read more at Nature.com.
2. Barbara Kruger’s Collectable NYC MetroCards
Conceptual artist Barbara Kruger is the latest to join forces with the MTA and design limited edition subway MetroCards. The collaboration is part of arts biennial Performa 17 and is comprised of two designs—each red with white lettering. The tickets pose questions that the artist wishes would not have to exist, such as “Whose justice?,” “Who is housed?,” “Who is silent?,” and “Whose fears?” Her classic and recognizable red/white combination plays interestingly with the MTA’s last collaboration with Supreme, which had hypebeasts buying MetroCards for up to $1,000. Read more at Curbed.
3. Saudi Arabia’s $500 Billion Renewable-Energy-Only Mega City
Announced at the Future Investment Initiative, mega-city NEOM might just represent the next generation of urban planning. This future Saudi Arabian destination will cost $500 billion to build, connect to Jordan and Egypt and be powered completely by renewable energy (making it one of the largest cities in the world to run without fossil fuel). The first section of the 10,230-square-mile city is slated to be up and running by 2025. And as its proposal reflects advancement all around, one core goal here is to help the nation step away from reliance on money from oil exports.
4. Photographer Laurence Rasti’s “There Are No Homosexuals in Iran”
In 1979 Iran became governed by Sharia Law, meaning (among other things) that homosexuality was outlawed, punishable by death in extreme cases and jail time in others. Many Iranian refugees travel to Denizli in nearby southwest Turkey, where they await visas to live in other countries—of course, plenty of them are part of the LGBTQ community. Swiss-born Iranian photographer Laurence Rasti began photographing portraits of people there in Denizli—exploring gender, sexuality and identity. Her book of these images “There Are No Homosexuals in Iran” is set for release in November and is full of stylistic but tender and intimate portraits. Read more at Dazed.
5. An Echolocation Bracelet for the Blind
Referred to as an enabler of a sixth sense, the Sunu bracelet employs echolocation technology to help blind and visually impaired individuals understand what’s around them. The device sends forth a high-frequency sound-wave up to 14 feet away. When they strike something and bounce back, the band pulsates. The closer the object, the more frequent the vibration. And all of this, including range and sensitivity, are customizable within the Sunu app. These functions help users build a mental map of the world around them much the same way vehicles use sonar. Many more developments are planned—or are being considered—with a view in mind to help the more than seven million people living with a visual disability. Read the Washington Post’s account of cofounder and user, Fernando Albertorio, to learn more.
6. First Alien Space Rock Seen in Our Solar System
For the first time ever, astronomers have spotted an alien space rock floating around in our solar system. The asteroid is the first unexpected visitor from outside our system, and it’s moving fast (5.8 miles per second) so scientists are frantically trying to learn as much as possible about it before it disappears. Discovered by Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS 1 telescope, the rock is less than a quarter mile in diameter but fascinating regardless. Paul Chodas—the manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies—says “We’ve been expecting this for decades, really. We don’t know enough about how much material is floating around between the stars. And so this will give us the first data point. We hope to find more of this stuff.” Read more at NPR.
7. Digital Greenhouse’s “Vegetable Symphony”
A touch-activated digital greenhouse in Tokyo is more than visually stunning because of its psychedelic lights. This magical place is home to a “vegetable orchestra,” by studio PARTY. The garden contains seven types of vegetables, each of which, when touched by visitors, trigger different sounds and visuals. Sound artist Ray Kunimoto says, “Tomatoes are violin, carrots are trumpet, cabbages are oboe, mini radishes are flute, sweet potatoes are piano, eggplants are harp, pumpkins are clarinet.” The mission is to create conversation about agriculture. Read more at CNN.
8. New York for Puerto Rico Art Auction
It’s been over a month since Hurricane Maria, and Puerto Rico is still struggling to survive. To help out, NYC’s creative community came together for an art auction to benefit the survivors. At Chinatown’s THINK! (384 Broadway) artworks by Tamara Santibañez, Petra Collins, Tim Barber, Curtis Kulig and many others were available for purchase, with the proceeds going to Unidos—a hurricane relief fund launched by the Hispanic Federation. If you couldn’t make the event, you can also donate online.