Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Talking to dogs, flawless sound, architecture-inspired pleasure toys and the changing face of fashion

New Technology Enhances Dog-Human Communication

From Maria Goodavage’s brand new book Doctor Dogs, an excerpt in Wired probes the FIDO program at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Animal-Computer Interaction Lab. The epicenter of dog-human communication studies in the US, FIDO’s researchers have developed several prototype talking vest for dogs. They employ tabs and pulleys that trigger prerecorded statements that the wearer dog intends to convey. FIDO is also experimenting with touchscreens (and has even worked out some fixes for slobber) to increase dogs’ access to words and statements. The ultimate goal is to allow dogs to “speak” in ways we all understand, when it is really necessary. Read more at Wired.

Wolfgang & Hite’s Starchitect Dildos + Butt Plug

Referencing the towers and sculptures of Hudson Yards, Wolfgang & Hite’s skyscraper-shaped dildos (and sculptural butt plug) comprise their XXX-HY sex toy collection. A silicone critique of NYC’s high-end real estate, the series features Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s The Shed, Heatherwick Studio’s Vessel, and several towers, including 50 Hudson Yards by Foster + Partners. They’re abstracted versions, but to scale, rather than exact replicas—and unfortunately not for sale. Read more at Dezeen.

The Chemist Preserving The Met’s Art Collection

“Conservation started by looking at how to treat objects that have been damaged… Now we’re thinking about how to set up displays and storage so that kind of damage doesn’t happen in the first place,” Eric Breitung, a conservation scientist at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, says. Typically, if damage occurs, it’s the job of his staff to undo it. Instead of prepping the museum exhibit-by-exhibit, Breitung wants to catalog every potentially volatile chemical, in what fabrics and materials they exist, and how his museum (and others) can work in advance to prevent these substances from coming in contact with priceless artworks. Read more at National Geographic.

Model Ugbad Abdi is Among Those Changing the Face of Fashion

Teenager, Iowan, Somali, Muslim and talent agency-recruited runway model: Ugbad Abdi’s rise to stardom began just after her high-school graduation. One of NYC’s top agencies messaged her on Instagram, and months later she was walking in Valentino’s Paris show. She then walked for Burberry, Chanel, Fendi and Marc Jacobs; and appeared in Vogue’s April, August and September issues. She’s done so on her own terms: abiding by her faith, she will not wear skin-bearing clothes or reveal her hair. “It’s good to see that people want to see change. It’s an honor to have a voice and maybe educate some people who didn’t know anything about the hijab before,” Abdi says to the Wall Street Journal. “I feel like this is a journey for everyone.” And, according to a recent tallying, Abdi is right—in the most prominent runway shows held in February and March of this year, around 40% of the models were non-white. Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

National Cannabis Industry Association’s Push to Legalize Marijuana

To combat illicit cannabis vape products (amidst the escalating vaping crisis), 800 cannabis business leaders and policy experts have urged Congress to legalize—and regulate—marijuana in the US. What they refer to as “real, comprehensive federal cannabis reform,” would allow lighter guidelines on vaping products, and comes along with recommendations to make funds available to state medical authorities to investigate the vape illnesses and request licensed vape cartridge producers to stop using any additive thickening agents. Read more at Marijuana Business Daily.

The Arrivals’ Extreme Climate-Themed NYC Pop-up Shop

Digital-exclusive outerwear and accessories brand The Arrivals has presented this year’s FW collection at their annual NYC pop-up shop. Titled OutThere Lab, and designed in collaboration with Brooklyn-based experiential strategy and design shop Early Spring, the venue itself highlights the functionality of the pieces through spaces (divided by translucent polycarbonate partitions and) dedicated to extreme microclimates—where the accompanying pieces near each weather-oriented display are organized as “packing lists.” At 26 Mercer Street, from 5 October onward, the shop includes ‘60s-era alpine ski culture-inspired jackets, new communication-blocking puffers, bombers, hats and gloves. Read more at Surface.

Detroit’s Orchestra Hall, with Scientifically Verified Nearly Flawless Acoustics, Turns 100

Designed by C Howard Crane, an architect known for “theater palaces,” Detroit’s ornate, spectacular Orchestra Hall turns 100 years old on 23 October. With scientifically verified, nearly flawless acoustics, the venue houses the Detroit Symphony Orchestra—who are embarking on a program that will honor the 1919 season. Orchestra Hall’s shoebox shape favors sound over sight lines and its high ceiling with cloud panels perfect the sonic experience. From its grand opening, through years of challenge and to the present day, Orchestra Hall’s preservation demonstrates the importance of architectural protections. Read the entire history of the Beaux-Arts building and its century of performances at Curbed.

Twitch Channel “Insomnia by Endel” Generates Sounds For Sleep

Endel, makers of a personalized app that utilizes adaptive soundscapes built on psychoacoustic effects to help users sleep (or focus), have launched a Twitch channel that veers from the streaming service’s typical video game orientation. Much like their app, the channel Insomnia by Endel streams algorithmically generated sounds, along with relaxing visuals, to soothe listeners to sleep. The science behind it all remains up for debate but, according to Endgadget, “There is some evidence that listening to relaxing sounds can reduce anxiety and help people spend more time in deep stages of sleep.” Read more there.

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