1. Hawaii Bans Common Sunscreens to Save Coral Reefs
In a few years, the majority of common sunscreens available on the market will be banned in Hawaii in an effort to save their coral reefs. These sunscreens contain oxybenzone or octinoxate—both ingredients that make coral more vulnerable. As Mother Jones explains, oxybenzone “deforms coral cells, damages their DNA, and, most disturbing of all, disrupts coral larvae endocrine hormones causing baby coral to encase themselves in their own skeletons and die.” It’s believed that 70% of sunscreens currently available use oxybenzone as their active ingredient, so by 2021 (when the ban is in full force) many brands will be outlawed—including Banana Boat, Coppertone, Neutrogena and more. Find out more at Mother Jones.
2. House of Holland’s Perfect Pride Collection
“A little bit jaded with the term ‘gender-neutral,'” Henry Holland—founder/designer at British label House of Holland—has created a capsule collection for Pride that’s made for everybody and can be worn all year ’round. The colorful, rainbow-colored suits aren’t emblazoned with cutesy slogans, rather they encapsulate the range’s name “Show Your True Colours.” Holland says, “I think [that phrase] is something that is often used in a quite negative connotation—like, ‘She’s showing her true colors!’—but this is reclaiming all that in a positive way.” These gorgeous, tailored pieces come in several colorways (from lilac through yellow, turquoise and more) and 25% of profits will be donated to The Albert Kennedy Trust, which has offered safe homes, support and mentoring to homeless LGBTQ youth since 1989. Read more at Them.
3. Disability-Friendly Alternatives to Plastic Straws
Banning plastic straws might seem brilliant, but there are a few reasons why blanket bans aren’t actually ideal. One important reality being that many people with disabilities need them—whether due to involuntary movements, muscular or swallowing issues, or various other reasons. As Karin Willison writes for The Mighty, “the straw debate has increasingly devolved into a (mostly online) battle between environmentalists and disability rights activists.” But Willison has offered a super-useful and straight-forward guide for reusable drinking straws for people with disabilities and different needs—from silicone to pasta (really) to metal and more, take a look at some clever alternatives over at The Mighty.
4. A Rising Wave of Luxury Expenses for Dogs
From pawdicures to glitter tattoos and even prosthetic testicles, the market for dog wellness and pampering has skyrocketed. According to the American Pet Products Association, $69.5 billion was spent on dogs, cats and other pets last year. As the New York Times points out, these expenses weren’t limited to vet appointments, surgeries, kibble and traditional treats. Rather, there was a slew of unexpected additions to the options, ranging from CBD treatments to variations on the paleo diet. Along those lines, there are currently lavender aromatherapy biscuits and also life-coaching sessions. And this is really just the beginning. Read more at the Times.
5. Peanuts + NASA To Collaborate Once More
With a mission “to inspire a passion for space exploration and STEM,” Peanuts Worldwide and NASA will collaborate once more on publishing and merchandizing projects, as well as interactive experiences. Referred to as the Space Act Agreement, the multiyear partnership comes five decades after the organizations first worked together. As the story goes, NASA approached Peanuts’ creator Charles M Schulz back in the mid-’60s to seek permission to incorporate Snoopy into their spaceflight safety materials. Schulz obliged, with delight. Further, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the space flight agency’s Silver Snoopy Award, which according to the Washington Post, is “an honor that recognizes achievements by NASA employees and contractors.”
6. Physics, Chemistry and Art Combine for Berndnaut Smilde’s Installations
Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde makes clouds and rainbows for his remarkable installations. The word “make” is key here: he really does create these phenomena thanks to some clever scientific tinkering—whether by making a prism (to then create a rainbow) or by combining water, vapor and smoke machines to conjure a cloud on demand. He then places these unnatural natural beauties in dramatic spaces—including a “gothic church, a hammam in Turkey, or a tile-covered hallway in France.” The results are, unsurprisingly, quite breathtaking. See more at National Geographic.
7. Nikon’s Coolpix P1000’s Powerful 125X Zoom Lens
Falling somewhere between utility and novelty, Nikon’s Coolpix P1000 offers the most extreme zoom available for the “compact camera” category. That’s 125x optical zooming or a 24-3000mm equivalence. The world of point-and-shoot cameras doesn’t generally carry innovation to this extent, and this is a device that might just make its way into the bags of professional shooters who intend to land a very specific long-range shot (without having to buy a crazy expensive lens for their existing DSLR). The little camera with a giant lens will retail for $999.
8. Hope Rises from New Gene-Editing Method
Innovative Genomics Institute—a partnership between University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley—have released their findings on a new gene-editing method that holds the potential to advance treatment against cancer. This new immunotherapy process involves using electric fields rather than viruses to splice into white blood cells to deliver gene-editing tools and modified genetic material. Not only is it efficient, it’s far faster than previous methods. Right now, the findings are being processed and tested in other labs as a next step. Read more about the study, which was published in Nature, at the New York Times.