Link About It: This Week’s Picks

A "heartbeat" in space, an online database of 5,000 cookbooks, women-centric design and more in our round-up of the web

BlackStar Film Festival Celebrates BIPOC Filmmakers

From three drive-in screenings (Be Water, The Forty-Year-Old Version and Miss Juneteenth) at Philadelphia’s Mann Center to the online presentation of more than 90 films and live panels, the BlackStar Film Festival returns for its ninth installment from 20 to 26 August. Founded by Maori Karmael Holmes as a platform for independent work by Black filmmakers, the festival does more than screen groundbreaking work from BIPOC creators; it fosters an inclusive network of talent capable of creating necessary change in the industry. This year’s highlights are plentiful and feature 24 world premieres (including the debut screening of the highly anticipated documentary Unapologetic). The Still Processing conversation between podcasting journalists Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham is certainly a standout, as well. It’s also another opportunity to see Sundance favorite Coded Bias. Day passes for the festival start at $5 and live panels are free. See the full schedule and find out more about the festival’s mission at the official BlackStar site.

Image courtesy of Unapologetic

The Sifter Catalogues 5,000 Historic Cookbooks

For more than 50 years, Barbara Ketcham Wheaton—now an honorary curator of Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library Culinary Collection—chronicled European and US cookbooks published over the last 1,000 years. With the help of a team of scholars (including two of her children), Wheaton launched this database—called The Sifter—in July of this year. This publicly available database isn’t a recipe collection; rather, it’s “a repository of entire texts,” according to Atlas Obscura, currently 130,000-items strong and incorporating “the ingredients, techniques, authors, and section titles.” Further, Wheaton and her team assembled the database like Wikipedia, allowing those who peruse to make it better. Read more about the epic endeavor and its ties to Julia Child at Atlas Obscura.

Image from the public domain

Cosmic Cloud Has “Heartbeat”

A decade’s worth of data from NASA’s gamma-ray space telescope has revealed a “heartbeat” at the center of a cosmic gas cloud which seems to be beating in sync with a neighboring black hole located 100 light years away. The revelation comes from the space agency’s study of a system called S 433, which is home to “a giant star that is about 30 times the mass of our sun as well as a huge black hole.” Every 13 days, the star and black hole orbit each other, resulting in the black hole sucking up matter from the star. This doesn’t result in the material disappearing, but rather it “shoots out at high speed in two narrow jets in opposite directions,” researcher Jian Li says. These two jets are on their own schedule too, and “sway over a period of about 162 days”—which proves to be the same rhythm as the cloud’s “heartbeat.” While there’s a connection, researchers cannot figure out exactly why. Li explains, “Finding such an unambiguous connection via timing, about 100 light years away… not even along the direction of the jets is as unexpected as amazing. But how the black hole can power the gas cloud’s heartbeat is unclear to us.” Read the full article at The Independent.

Image courtesy of DESY, Science Communication Lab

NYPL’s List of Essential Reads on Feminism

On the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment (securing some women’s right to vote in the USA, though it’s crucial to note that Black women would have to wait almost 50 years), the New York Public Library (NYPL) has released their list of Essential Reads on Feminism. With books and essays for kids, teens and adults, the lengthy selection includes “first-hand accounts and histories” that trace the achievements and serious limitations of suffrage, as well as more contemporary pieces that explore feminism’s intrinsic links with “race, class, education, and LGBTQ+ activism.” From well-known books like Susan Faludi’s Backlash to works by Hida Viloria, bell hooks, and L.H. Stallings, the list includes biographies, poetry, historical non-fiction and more. There are also plenty of resources for further reading on the NYPL site.

Image courtesy of NYPL

MoMA Design Store’s “Design Innovations for Women” Collection

MoMA Design Store’s newest curated collection comprises products designed for women, by women. The Design Innovations for Women section spans several categories—from reproductive and sexual health to sport, apparel and accessories. “This is an opportunity to recognize just how far these products have come in terms of quality and to celebrate the fearless female entrepreneurs, designers and innovators who have changed the game,” Chay Costello, the store’s Associate Director of Merchandising, says of the launch. Shop personal massagers, lubricants, smart accessories, bike seats and more at their site.

Image courtesy of MoMA

Kandi Electric Car Priced Under $10K for US Launch

An important milestone for the Chinese electric car manufacturer (and EVs in general), Kandi’s K27 and K23 have had their prices reduced even further for their US launch. This deal applies to the first 1,000 pre-orders for each model. Thanks to incentives in the form of a $7,500 federal tax credit, the cost of each car has been drastically reduced: “originally priced at $19,999 MSRP, the K27 is now listed as $17,499,” so after the tax credit it will be $9,999; while “the K23 is discounted from $29,999 MSRP to $27,499,” bringing that cost down to $19,999. With various states offering their own incentives, the price of these cars could drop even further. Find out more about each car at Electrek.

Image courtesy of Kandi

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning. Hero image courtesy of DESY Science Communication Lab