Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Discoveries from around the web on the topics of architecture, archaeology, iOS apps and more

Civic Engagement Organization Work the Polls Encourages Election Day Involvement

Bipartisan civic engagement organization Work the Polls encourages all who can to apply to be a poll worker for the 2020 election. Poll workers are typically older (60+ on average, according to the org’s data) and polling locations close if they’re not properly staffed. Given the ongoing pandemic, at-risk individuals are not applying in the same numbers as previous years and places are more likely to shutter with under 50 days until 3 November. Working the polls is a paid position and it gives you an opportunity to oversee a fair and fluid election. Of note, polling places are required to be staffed by members of both major parties to ensure balance and deter lobbying on behalf of a candidate or single issue. Read more at Work the Polls.

Image courtesy of Work the Polls

27 Sarcophagi Discovered South of Cairo

Found in the mass burial ground known as Saqqara, 27 unopened 2,500-year-old sarcophagi tease the possibility of many more. They were found in shafts as deep as 30 feet below surface level in two plots—13 in one and 14 in the other. Largely preserved and seemingly unopened since buried, they offer in-depth looks at the art used to adorn the dead and the methods of mummification. Saqqara is a hotspot for archaeological excavations, given it was the site of burial grounds for the Egyptian capital Memphis—just 12 miles from the Pyramids of Giza. Researchers have found mummified cats, dogs, buried treasures and troves of ancient objects, and are certain more remains buried. Read more at Vice.

Image courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities 

Architecture Research Office Completes Houston’s Rothko Chapel Restoration

Commissioned by Dominique and John de Menil, and opened in 1971, Houston’s Rothko Chapel houses 14 paintings by abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. During the chapel’s development, Rothko proposed that the octagonal structure, designed by architect Philip Johnson (and then Howard Barnstone and Eugene Aubry after Johnson quit), feature a skylight. Rothko died before the building was complete and, to protect his work from the Texas sun, the skylight was obstructed. Now, thanks to an ambitious restoration by the Architecture Research Office and lighting experts George Sexton Associates, new light is shed upon the entire space—lifting weight and revealing the depth of the paintings—through a laminated-glass skylight. It draws inspiration from the one within the artist’s former carriage house on NYC’s Upper East Side. The skylight is only one (albeit very important) part of a broader plan for the interfaith social space, which reopens on 24 September with timed tickets. Read more at Architectural Digest.

Image courtesy of the Architecture Research Office

Customize Your iPhone Home Screen + App Logos With iOS 14

With iOS 14, Apple introduces users to a suite of new tools for customizing the iPhone home screen. This update grants users access to Widgets, which are bite-size versions of your favorite apps that can be installed as small, medium or large buttons on your home screen. A week’s weather or the time in five cities can be spelled out for you without having to enter either the Weather or the Clock app. Further, Apple expands the capabilities of Shortcuts, a native app that lets you route actions through a single tap. There, you can customize a given app’s logo or hide the destination app within your app library, producing a clutter-free screen filled with your custom logos (even MS Paint ones like Twitter user Thomas Reisenegger). Read more at Gizmodo.

Image courtesy of Thomas Reisenegger

Google Removes Street View Images of Australia’s Uluru

In a move to prevent people from virtually climbing Uluru—a sacred, 600-million-year-old sandstone rock formation in Australia’s Northern Territory—Google removed images of the site from the internet. The Anangu people (the traditional owners of Uluru and its surrounding land) banned visitors from clambering the site a year ago, but many have defied the law and traversed the spiritually significant formation through “virtual walking tours” thanks to Google’s 360-degree photos. Parks Australia “alerted Google Australia to the user-generated images from the Uluru summit that have been posted on their mapping platform” and requested their removal—which the web monolith agreed to immediately. Find out more at ABC News.

Image courtesy of ABC News / Neda Vanovac

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 Architecture Research Office