Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Colette's swan song, mining in space, the worst sex scenes in literature and more

1. Classes on Mining in Space

At the Colorado School of Mines’ Center for Space Resources, a new class called Space Resources Fundamentals is underway, the first-ever academic program specializing in space mining. Christopher Dreyer teaches the course, which is presently in a test run, though potentially slated again for summer 2018. The class covers things like the Outer Space Treaty, which was developed by the United Nations to govern outer-space action but also how dust moves in space and more. With so much interest in longterm space living, it’s never been more important. Read more at Wired.

2. An Illustrated History of Sex Toys

The oldest pleasure object (that we know of) was a siltstone dildo estimated to be about 30,000 years old. Later, others were made of ivory, bone, limestone and even teeth. After their launch, electric vibrators were sold as beauty devices that could help with wrinkles and health issues. It wasn’t until the late ’60s, thanks to the feminist movement, that vibrators and sex toys were politicized and also embraced as objects that could help women feel empowered about their sexuality. From there came the famous Rabbit, artistic dildos and more. Check out this fascinating history of the sex toy at The Cut.

3. YSL + Colette For the Iconic Store’s Final Collaboration

First opening in 1997, Paris concept store Colette is officially closing next month, on 20 December. Over the past 20 years, the shop has teamed up with countless artists, designers and fashion houses for special collections, and the final one is with YSL. The collection includes leather paddles, skateboards, and more—even an all-black Vespa. Rumor has it that YSL will be taking over the three-story space, so it’s a fitting farewell.

4. Literary Review’s 2017 Bad Sex Award Shortlist

“We seem to be moving at avalanche speed and also, unfortunately, with avalanche precision,” writes Christopher Bollen in his novel “The Destroyers,” one of many books to be noted for its less than enticing sex scene. The judges from Literary Review, who award an annual bad sex in fiction prize, have said that this was a great year for bad sex scenes. Their selections make this quite clear, in particular a lament from a character in Wilbur Smith and David Churchill’s “War Cry,” “It’s bloody cold. I might get frostbite on my cock.” From a damp, mossy bed to a bird trapped in a house, several select (and frequently funny) quotes from this year’s award winners can be read over at the Guardian.

5. Hintlab’s Customizable LEGO Jewelry

With LEGO blocks as the centerpiece, Paris-based hintlab’s 3D-printed precious metal rings can be customized according to the wearer’s whims. Each ring comes with multiple LEGO pieces in a range of colors—solid and translucent—for swapping out. Naturally, they can also be stacked one atop the other. There are various styles of metal frames, but the heart is all the same: a little piece of nostalgia. Read more at PSFK.

6. Video Game That Teaches People Not to Touch WOC’s Hair

Created by Momo Pixel, “Hair Nah” is a retro-style video game that teaches people not to touch black women’s hair. Players select their character’s skin tone, hairstyle and location and then have to swat away invasive and prying hands. For those who finish the game, there’s an important message: “The game is over, but this is an issue black women face daily. So a note to those who do it: stop that shit.”

7. The Not Yorker

Launched last month, website The Not Yorker was created by three illustrators in order to give rejected New Yorker covers a second chance. The aim is to be a museum-style site, celebrating those covers that didn’t quite make the cut, as Brooklyn-based illustrator Jack Dylan (and site co-founder) tells Artsy, “A repository of runner-ups, because there just aren’t enough first prizes to go around.” While they are planning to post just about all submissions, the trio behind The Not Yorker don’t want to get snarky, explaining that it’s meant to be a “love letter” to the famed publication. Read more at Artsy.

8. Klemens Schillinger’s Objects Aim to Combat Smartphone Addiction

Designer Klemens Schillinger has created a collection of objects that are essentially substitute phones, with the goal to combat smartphone addiction. Around the same size as most phones, the objects contain stone beads in ways that—when interacted with—imitate the motions we have grown so accustomed to: scrolling, swiping and more. Schillinger says, “More and more often one feels the urge to check their phone, even if you are not expecting a specific message or call. These observations inspired the idea of making a tool that would help stop this ‘checking’ behavior.” Read and see more at Dezeen.

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