Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Pausing the tracking pixel, Malala Yousafzai's production company, conjoined fairytale cottages and more

Malala Yousafzai Launches Production Studio with Apple TV+

Globally recognized girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai has announced the creation of her own production studio, Extracurricular, established in partnership with Apple TV+. The Nobel Peace Prize winner and recent Oxford University graduate intends to focus on the theme of human connection with stories—documentary and narrative—that create awareness of other cultures. As Fast Company explains, “This is just the latest development in Apple’s long-running relationship with Yousafzai… the company has sponsored research at her organization, the Malala Fund, on the intersection of girls’ education and climate change” since 2018. Read an interview with Yousafzai about this development and her thoughtful intentions at Fast Company.

Image courtesy of Louise Kennerley/Fairfax Media/Getty Images, Bet_Noire/iStock

How To Spot + Stop Emails That Track You

Single-pixel images, embedded in the emails we receive, allow senders to note if that email has been ignored, opened (with an exact timestamp) and even forwarded. There are several free ways to prevent that tracking pixel from loading and reporting back. The first option, of course, is preventing the images in emails from auto-loading altogether. Though this alters aesthetics, it drastically increases privacy measures. Other tools, like the free, open-source Ugly Email extension and free Trocker extension offer calculated control, displaying an icon beside an email that alerts users to a pixel within. Some of these extensions even expose tracked links. To learn how to disable auto-loading or download any of these extensions, head over to Wired.

Image courtesy of Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images

Klein Dytham Architecture’s Japanese Forest “PokoPoko” Clubhouse

75 minutes from the center of Tokyo by bullet train, into the forests of Japan’s Nasu Highlands, sits the Klein Dytham Architecture-designed PokoPoko clubhouse and family activity center for the Risonare Hotel. The structure rises from its verdant surroundings like three conjoined, coned fairytale cottages. The conical construction, crafted from local pine, serves several purposes, like venting a wood-log oven where guests can make pizzas with ingredients plucked from nearby fields and providing a skylight within a rope-based climbing tower for kids. Learn more about how function informed the whimsical formation at designboom.

Image courtesy of Mark Dytham

LA’s Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Announces Opening Program

Long before doors open to the public on 30 September at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, programming will commence online and early announcements (along with our virtual walk-through) are cause for excitement. The pre-opening program includes a screening of Y tu mamá también to a celebrate the partnership between cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki and writer-director Alfonso Cuarón, as well as a screening of the groundbreaking coming-out story Pariah, with a discussion that includes writer/director Dee Rees. Other virtual conversations will feature Spike Lee, Oscar-winning musician and composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, and one on the intersection between filmmaking and social change. Not just a temple for cinema culture, the museum intends to directly address controversies like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite. While film fans await the forthcoming Los Angeles institution—with a campus designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, that includes a restoration of the historic Saban Building along with a spherical 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater addition—the online experiences (which start 22 April with an all-women panel titled Breaking the Oscars Ceiling) will lay further foundation of expectation. See more at the Academy Museum website.

Image courtesy of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Beeple’s $69.3 Million Sale Sets a Record Within The Digital Art Realm

Digital artist Beeple (aka Mike Winkelmann) has sold his artwork “Everydays — The First 5000 Days”—a collage of the images that he posted daily since 2007—for a record setting $69.3 million. That’s a record (by far) for digital art and is the third highest auction price for a living artist in any medium. Following the sale of Chris Torres’s “Nyan Cat” work for $590,000 just a few weeks ago, it’s part of what the New York Times is calling “NFT [non-fungible tokens] Mania”. The sale is especially phenomenal considering bidding started at $100 and was under $30 million just seconds before the auction was to end and extended by two minutes with heavy bidding. The artwork is the first NFT to be sold by Christie’s, and was “minted” just last month. The phenomenon drives plenty of conversation on issues surrounding ownership, the environment (as this model consumes a lot of energy) and conflicting arguments for and against. Collector Sylvain Levy says, “Art is no longer about a relationship with an object. It’s about making money. I feel bad for art.” But the appeal of blockchain for artists cannot be denied. Read more at the New York Times.

Image courtesy of Beeple + Christie’s 

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 Mark Dytham.