Link About It: This Week’s Picks

The world's fastest car, Antarctica's extinct forests, turning wine into fuel and more

1. NYC Gallery Showing Every Work They’ve Been Sent for a Show

At NYC’s Andrew Edlin Gallery, an open call was posted for any type of artist to submit work and have it featured it the exhibition “Et Tu, Art Brute?,” with the only restriction being that the work must fit within a 16-by-20 inch envelope. Some 740 pieces later, and all the work is featured in the crowded but exciting exhibition. Yes, in many ways it combats art world elitism, but more importantly many newcomers are given a voice—including three-and-a-half-year-old Georgi Starbuck Brown from Brooklyn. Famous artists like Terence Koh submitted pieces, as did everyone from artists working with disabilities to those incarcerated. Every medium has been represented and the show runs through 28 January 2018. Read more on Artsy.

2. NASA’s Chainmail Tires for the Moon and Mars

NASA would go ahead and reinvent the wheel—and they have. In fact, it has been a necessary process, what with the Mars Rover launch planned in 2020. In an attempt to maximize both traction and durability, NASA engineer Colin Creager and materials scientist Santo Padula switched materials from the usual steel to a stoichiometric nickel-titanium alloy. Composing the tire from interlocking coils of this alloy meant that a chainmail like weave allows the tire to deform down to the wheel hub and spring right back up to its original shape easily. Read more at The Drive.

3. The Simpsons House in Different Architectural Styles

Strangely enough, after browsing the various iterations of The Simpsons’ house in different architectural styles—from the classic log cabin to Victorian, Art Deco and more—it’s difficult to remember what the original looks like. Created by Neomam Studios for Home Advisor, this project is a delightful look at popular culture, design and architectural history all at once. In the show, 742 Evergreen Terrace happens to be a pinkish brown suburban tract house but its essence clearly works in so many ways. Read more over at Home Advisor.

4. Remembering Azzedine Alaïa

The inimitable designer Azzedine Alaïa passed away over the weekend, and the outpour of grief from designers, editors, models and more has been overwhelming. Tunisian-born Alaïa rose to fame during the ’80s and became known as “the king of cling” thanks to his alluring, body-hugging style. The New York Times’ Fashion Director and Chief Fashion Critic Vanessa Friedman has written a touching, personal piece about the designer, saying that above all, he valued time. “He had been, up until the moment his heart gave out, time’s ultimate champion. He understood, more than anyone I had ever met, time’s value and importance to the creative mind,” Friedman writes. Read more at the NY Times.

5. Promises of Supreme Speed from Tesla’s 2020 Roadster

The stats behind Tesla’s forthcoming Roadster, due out in 2020, are quite remarkable: zero to 60mph in 1.9 seconds, and zero to 100 mph in 4.2. There’s a max speed predicted to be over 250mph—and a 400 mile ride on a 30-minute charge, with a maximum range of 620 miles. “The point of doing this,” Musk explains at a press conference, “is to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars.” There’s certainly a stunning sports car design behind it—and a cost to match (between $200,000 and $250,000). Read more at the International Business Times.

6. Antarctica’s Extinct Forests

From November 2016 to January 2017 (in other words, summer in Antarctica) Erik Gulbranson and John Isbell found 13 fossil fragments from trees dating back more than 260 million years. This more than hints at the continent’s green past—with a landscape that would have been densely forested with a network of resilient plants and trees capable of withstanding uninterrupted sunlight and then months of darkness. Of equal importance, fossil microorganisms and fungi have been preserved inside the wood—all of which alludes to a warmer, more humid time period. All of this was, however, before history’s greatest mass extinction event. You can read more at National Geographic.

7. Gift Air Travel with the Skyhour App

Until now there’s been no easy way to gift someone a portion of a trip (unless, of course, buying an entire flight outright). With Skyhour—a website and app—everything has changed and the process is beyond simple. On the platform, users buy as many “skyhours” they want and select someone to gift. Skyhours are received by the recipient via e-mail, SMS or the app itself. Recipients then search for flights on Skyhour, which has partnered with 350 international and domestic airlines (basically all the ones people want). A “skyhour” retails for $60. This was ascertained after the cofounders analyzed 15 years of flight reservations and found that the cost per hour of time spent in the air actually amounts to $60. Read more at Condé Nast Traveler.

8. Where Unsold Wine Becomes Car Fuel

“In the wine industry, when your product outweighs your demand, there are few ways to legally dispose of it,” Quartz writer John Capone explains in his riveting story of Parallel Products, a California facility that turns spoiled beer, unsold wine, tainted liquor and soft drink surplus products into fuel-grade ethanol. Capone stakes out one of the brand’s two facilities, describing in detail the odors and visuals, which include remnants of an old vineyard and distillery parts. Remarkably, the wine they tend to turn into energy additives is based on consumer trends, more or less what people aren’t drinking. Read more at Quartz.

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