Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Apple's Black History Month efforts, support systems for travel and hospitality workers, a preview of Virgin's hyperloop and more

Fossils Suggest Earth’s Largest-Ever Land-Dwelling Animal

In 2012, when paleontologists began excavating a massive set of 98-million-year-old fossilized bones located at the Candeleros Formation in Argentina’s Neuquén Province, they didn’t realize how big (literally and figuratively) their discovery would be. The research team now believes that the enormous dinosaur—a long-necked, plant-eating titanosaur—could be larger than the 122-foot-long Patagotitan. So far, mostly vertebrae and some pelvic bones have been uncovered, but once load-bearing bones like the femur are found, researchers will be able to more accurately estimate the creature’s size. That said, there’s firm belief in the scientific community it’s “likely that this is a contender for one of the largest, if not the largest, sauropods that have ever been found,” Paul Barrett, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London says. Find out more at Smithsonian Magazine.

Image courtesy of CTyS-UNLaM Science Outreach Agency / Smithsonian Magazine

Southampton Now Requires Vacant Storefronts to Display Local Art

The population of the villages within Long Island’s eastern end diminish severely as the summer season ends. With reduced foot traffic, businesses tend to shutter, casting a blight upon the other seasons. To breathe life into one town, and provide exposure for local artists, Southampton mayor Jesse Warren’s Storefront Art Project requires that landlords fill their vacant storefronts with art or receive a fine. This partnership program encourages artists and landlords from the community to reach out to the Southampton Arts Center or Southampton Artists Association to get involved. Though the artists are not compensated for their installation, the initiative (now signed into code) provides coveted exhibition space. It’s a superb idea, applicable outside off the Hamptons, that could stymie the creeping ghost-town sensations of many destinations. Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

Image courtesy of  Southampton Art Center

11 Ways to Support Travel, Hospitality and Domestic Workers

From the onset of the global pandemic, many individuals with the financial capabilities to do so have donated to various organizations and local mutual aid initiatives. Still, countless industries continue to suffer. Two of the hardest hit remain hospitality and tourism—which go hand in hand. Here Magazine has a list of 11 ways to support travel, hospitality and domestic workers without traveling or dining out. From donations to the National Domestic Workers Alliance to Unite Here (a labor union for travel industry employees), there’s plenty to ways support and learn. Read more at Here Magazine.

Image courtesy of Here Magazine

Apple Celebrates Black History Month With Maps + More

Apple’s Black Unity Collection of products and accessories painted in the Pan-African Flag’s colors caught headlines this week, but another set of initiatives will prove more impactful. During Black History Month, Apple will support several global organizations (including the Black Lives Matter Support Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the European Network Against Racism); host a Black-owned and -developed hub within the App Store; highlight Black artists, essayists and music industry executives through content on Apple Music; and point out Black-owned businesses in Maps through a partnership with business directory Okra. They will also focus on Black stories on Apple TV, Apple News, Apple Books and Apple Podcasts. All of this follows their launch of a $100 million racial equity initiative, the opening of a developer training center in Detroit and tech education classrooms on HBCU campuses. Read more at The Verge.

Image courtesy of Apple

Virgin Hyperloop’s Passenger Experience Concept Video

In a new step-by-step concept video, Virgin Hyperloop walks viewers through the entire Hyperloook passenger experience. With utopian serenity, and portal design by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and pod designs by Teague, the journey portrays a commute at supersonic speed with structure and ease. “Hyperloop technology—and what it enables—is paradigm-shifting,” Sara Luchian, Virgin Hyperloop’s Director of Passenger Experience, says. Luchian, one of the first people to ride the hyperloop in November, adds that “It follows that the passenger experience should be nothing short of extraordinary.” Watch the video on YouTube.

Image courtesy of Virgin Hyperloop

Researching The Theory That Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Whether or not money buys happiness remains a collective fixation—and many scholars endeavor to answer the question through countless studies. In a much-cited paper published in 2010, psychologist Daniel Kahneman and economist Angus Deaton determined that an individual’s life satisfaction improved as their income increased, but emotional wellbeing plateaued once a household achieved an income of $75,000 (equal to about $90,000 now). Around the same time, psychology doctoral student and software product manager Matthew Killingsworth developed an app designed to retrieve and record similar data. Killingsworth—now a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School—just released his newest findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which draws conclusions via information from 33,391 employed US adults. His paper suggests that there is no plateau to the relationship with income and satisfaction. As Justin Fox writes, “Money keeps buying happiness, even for the affluent.” Read more at Bloomberg.

Image courtesy of George Wylesol for Bloomberg

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 Shruti Dadwal via Here Magazine.