Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Contraceptive jewelry, a credit card that limits your carbon footprint, and more clever advances in our look around the web

The Lifelong Benefits of a Single Psychedelic Trip

For decades, numerous scientific studies have set out to determine the benefits of psychedelic trips. From stabilizing moods to boosting creativity, substantial findings support the positive impact of psilocybin. But, a slew of recent work—specifically a survey conducted by Johns Hopkins—suggests that trips could do even more: they can instill newfound purpose and a sense of connectedness that lasts a lifetime. Often, these come as a byproduct of an encounter with “ultimate reality”—something that teeters between an internal revelation and an acknowledgment of a “God” figure. Read more about the studies and the lasting effects of a trip at Psychology Today.

Jewelry Could Replace Contraceptive Pills and Implants

Developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a tiny patch might change the future of contraception. Potentially replacing traditional options for birth control (from pills to IUDs and implants), the small contraceptive patch will administer contraceptive drugs through consistent skin contact and therefore can be attached to accessories—from earring backs to the back of a watch. Engineer Mark Prausnitz says, “The more contraceptive options that are available, the more likely it is that the needs of individual women can be met.” Read more about the concept at Dezeen.

Alzheimer’s-Detecting VR Game

VR game Sea Hero Quest—developed by game studio Glitchers, Deutsche Telekom (a German telecommunications company) and several European universities—is capable of identifying the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease in players. The game takes players on an ocean voyage, during which they are tasked with controlling the ship and navigating a specific route—first with a map, and then without. Apparently, “every two minutes spent playing the game is equal to five hours of lab-based research” and since the game has been downloaded around three million times, researchers have acquired the equivalent of around 1,700 years of research into the devastating disease. Developers and researchers hope that the data collected will offer the medical field vital information in order to provide treatment to those in need—before their illness worsens. Read more at Kotaku UK.

Iceland’s Mother Nature Fan Club

Perched on Reykjavik’s coastline, three rows of bleacher seats look out onto the Skeljanes Bay. They didn’t wash up on the shore but rather were positioned here as a “ready-made” art installation by Atelier Tobia Zambotti. The rocky shoreline naturally arches as a stadium would, but visitors here are encouraged to bask in the natural beauty of mother nature—hence the work’s name, “Mother Nature Fan Club.” This is for “the people who think that sunsets and rainbows are more exciting than any kind of sporting events,” Zambotti says to designboom. It’s also a stark reminder that what you see now may not be the same in the future. Read more there.

The $400 All-in-One Oculus Quest VR System

It may not be the most powerful VR system on the market, but the just-announced Oculus Quest has the potential to be a breakout hit. The system’s wireless headset and two Oculus Touch controllers offer six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) experiences—meaning you can walk, crouch or jump in the real world and your character moves in the virtual one. Games drop players right into the middle of the action. And, the OLED panel offers a solid 2880×1600 resolution. According to Ars Technica, “That full head and hand tracking makes the Quest a completely different class of VR than other untethered ‘mobile’ headsets.” With that functionality at an affordable price for such a system, many barriers to entry into the VR world have been lifted. Read more at Ars Technica.

The Credit Card That Tracks Your Climate Impact

Using a calculation system called the Aland Index, Doconomy (in partnership with Mastercard) is offering credit card holders the opportunity to have their purchases tracked for carbon emissions—and ultimately, card users that exceed a set climate impact limit will have their spending capped. It’s an important reminder that everything—from apparel to plane tickets—comes with associated climate impact and carbon emissions. In fact, 60% of carbon emissions are a result of consumption. The card itself is kinder to the planet and is made from bio-sourced material with ink rendered from air pollution particles. Read 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.