Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Today's most innovative companies, outdoor art highlights and more from the internet this week

Farewell, Jackie Shane

Jackie Shane, an influential figure in soul music and the LGBTQ+ community, has passed away at 78 years old. Even though she helped define the R&B sound of the ’60s and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Historical Album this year, her work transcends music. Shane identified as a woman from the age of 13, before the term “transgender” was used.  More than an entertainer, she was an educator and an inspiration. She told the Guardian in 2017, “I don’t bow down. I do not get down on my knees. The lowest I go is the top of my head. This is Jackie!” Read more at Pitchfork.

A Visual History of Public Libraries

In a scrolling, hand-drawn and collaged article by CityLab’s Ariel Aberg-Riger, America’s beloved public library system is indexed from its origin as a “social” amenity for the wealthy and white to now. Currently, public libraries are battling a major federal funding cut under the administration. The public library system is designed to service all and it needs the support of local funding to do so. Because of that, the quality of libraries can differ drastically between communities and they have never needed public advocacy more than now. See Aberg-Riger’s wonderful, artistic explanation at CityLab.

Highlights From Desert X 2019

At Desert X, a series of outdoor exhibitions in the Coachella Valley, this year’s artwork addresses timely and poignant issues—from the depleting Salton Sea, indigenous peoples’ rights and the political battle at the US-Mexico border. These striking pieces turn sparse land into places for reflection, debate and hope—across more than 50 miles. From Sterling Ruby’s SPECTER to Pia Camil’s Lover’s Rainbow, Artsy staff has picked some of the highlights. Head there to learn more. The works are on public view now through April.

300,000 Possible Galaxies Discovered

A project helmed by an international team of astronomers has resulted in the discovery of some 300,000 “previously unseen light sources” that are believed to be distant galaxies. This new map of the night sky was uncovered using the incredibly powerful Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope, with many of the light sources sending radio signals for billions of light years until they reach Earth. (One light year is approximately 5.8 trillion miles or 9.5 trillion km.) With the wealth of knowledge these discoveries may offer, we could see more information about black holes, magnetic fields and more. Read about it at Daily Galaxy.

Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies List for 2019

An undertaking of immense proportion, that initiates inspiration of equal magnitude for readers, Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies list shines a light on businesses impacting both culture and their respective industries. This year, China’s tech platform Meituan Dianping takes the top spot for facilitating 27.7 billion transactions through 2,800 cities—ultimately affecting 350 million people. Others on the list include household names like Walt Disney and the NBA, brands reinvented like Rimowa and Mozilla, and relative newcomers like Truepic. Head over to Fast Company to see them broken down by ranking or sector.

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