Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Space news, gene-edited twins, tracking chickens' fitness and more from around the internet

Sherrie Silver’s Stunning Choreography for the National AIDS Trust Campaign

With Erasure’s “A Little Respect,” narration from Stephen Fry and stunning choreography by Sherrie Silver (the mind behind the moves in Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” video), this James Fitzgerald-directed short was created to raise awareness for the UK’s National AIDS Trust—just ahead of World AIDS Day, 1 December. Following Silver through an empty gym as she dances, the film makes clever and creative use of the cause’s signature red ribbon—with just the right amount of whimsy. Read more about the campaign, Silver and World AIDS Day at It’s Nice That.

Patagonia to Donate $10 Million to Environmental Groups

This year, Patagonia saved a whopping $10 million because of tax cuts. Rather than funnel the cash back into their company, the already environmentally conscious brand has decided to donate it all, announcing the money will go “to groups committed to protecting air, land and water and finding solutions to the climate crisis.” CEO Rose Marcario wrote in an open letter, “Our home planet is facing its greatest crisis because of human-caused climate disruption… Far too many have suffered the consequences of global warming in recent months, and the political response has so far been woefully inadequate—and the denial is just evil.” Read more at Adweek.

Ethiopia’s First Satellite Launching in 2019

With China’s financial assistance, Ethiopia will be sending its first-ever observatory satellite into space next year. The capsule is heading into the skies for three to five years in order to collect data on climate and weather changes. Costing $8 million to design and produce, the satellite will launch from China, but have control based out of Ethiopia. While it seems like a joint venture by the two nations, China’s financial and technological transfers in various African countries “have increasingly come under scrutiny, with experts warning that these digital systems could be used for Beijing’s intelligence operations and electronic surveillance.” Find out more at Quartz.

South Africa’s Southern Guild at NYC’s The Salon Art + Design

Cape Town‘s Southern Guild was the only African design representative at NYC’s high-end showcase, The Salon Art + Design in mid-November. And, as Lynsey Chutel points out for Quartz, the gallery presented furniture that “punctured the outdated image the west has of an African aesthetic.” Southern Guild makes clear that it’s important African design maintains attention—and a competitive edge—on a fickle global design stage. Further, the work they showcased reflected the values of the artist and their community. From CH favorite Porky Hefer‘s piece to “A piece of furniture made of brick” by the Gregor Jenkin Studio, the entire installation was a true stand-out in the intimate setting—and marked a continued force in the world of design. Read more at Quartz.

Twin Girls Might Be The World’s First Gene-Edited Babies

Chinese researcher He Jiankui of Shenzhen, along with US scientist and bioengineering professor Michael Deem, assisted in making the world’s first gene-edited babies. While this was not announced in a journal or peer reviewed as of yet, Jiankui asserts that he used a tool during the fertilized embryo stage of recently born twin girls. His goal was to offer them the ability to resist HIV infection by imparting a trait very few people have naturally. Many questions have arisen—beyond whether or not he succeeded—with is it justifiable or legal, being two of the foremost. Gene-editing on humans is currently illegal in the US. Read more about the fascinating, in-depth process at the Associated Press.

Nine Companies to Compete Over $2.6 Billion in NASA Contracts

In an effort to broaden their relationship with companies capable of developing technology for lunar transportation and exploration, NASA fielded over 30 pitches from various aeronautics and space organizations. Of the 30, nine were chosen to compete for $2.6 billion in government contracts. “When we go to the moon,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine says, “we want to be one customer of many customers in a robust marketplace.” Read more about the project, and see the full list of finalists, at CNBC.

Ori’s Robotic Pocket Closet

The MIT offshoot company Ori is hoping to make small living spaces feel and function better with the help of robotics. Their “shape-shifting” walk-in wardrobe (called Pocket Closet) can be bought online and shipped as a flat-pack to your door. The Pocket Closet is a set of shelves from the outside, but opens along a motorized track to reveal the closet space. The wardrobe is controlled via button, app or voice and promises some 30 square feet of space, according to founder and lead researcher Hasier Larrea. Find out more at Fast Company.

Fitness-Tracking for Chickens

It might sound comical, but putting a fitness tracker on chickens may ease the workload of commercial farmers. Now, chicken farmers are required to manually inspect the health of each bird—seeking out mites, signs of parasites and more—but this technology could change that. Using sensors and behavioral knowledge of healthy chickens, the devices would be tucked inside what looks like a tiny backpack to track when they eat, preen or peck (with 85% accuracy). Read more about the University of California, Riverside project at Digital Trends.

The Field’s Guide to Japanuary

With the help of Chandler Kane of Stealth Backcountry Tours, The Field Mag has put together a comprehensive list of tips and gear for those heading to Japan for the new year’s snow season—or as they call it, “Japanuary.” Kane and The Field’s Graham Hiemstra explain everything from cultural differences to when to book your flight and which Gore-Tex gear to buy. Visit the The Field to find out the best way to approach your trip to Hokkaido.

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