Link About It: This Week’s Picks

An inflatable space station, child writers and anti-drone apparel in our look at the web this week


1. Warby Parker Annual Report

While 2012 was a big year for many small startups, few grew with as much influence as one-for-one eyewear brand Warby Parker. To put the growth in transparent terms that everyone can understand they released their 2012 annual report as an interactive infographic this week, ripe with collection overviews, sales stats and employee fun facts.

2. Stairway to Nowhere

Architecture can often spark the imagination, but nothing seems so fantastical—or frustrating—as a staircase to nowhere. Whether a spiral set of stairs to midair or an ancient walkway carved in stone, the mysterious relics leave a story to be told. Gizmodo found 22 favorites.

3. GObank

Ever find yourself standing in a bank line at lunch hour wondering why you were wasting your time? Well, GObank may be for you. The new mobile banking solution exists with no physical locations, saving funds and capitalizing on the youth banking market. Currently in beta, invites are being divvied out now, so get on board or be forever bogged down in your old, brick-and-mortar bank.

4. Eight Insights on Interactive Design

In “Connecting,” an 18-minute documentary by Bassett & Partners and Microsoft, we see a range of dichotomies and questions present themselves about the soon-to-come era of interactive design. While some may say it’s already upon us, all can agree on the points discussed.


5. Mr. Hare’s FW2013 Show

The laid-back maker of impeccable men’s shoes threw an appropriately exuberant dance party for his first runway show. Models showcased the Fall/Winter 2013 collection by breakdancing down the disco-lit catwalk, adhering to the shoes’ easygoing ethos—Mr. Hare himself says that, “when I designed them I was thinking about having a great time at night, outside, with friends, with great food and drink, and dancing. Lots of dancing.”

6. I Beat Mike Tyson

When little-known boxer Kevin McBride defeated Mike Tyson in 2005, he was expecting a title shot that never came. Filmmaker Joshua Z. Weinstein found McBride in a Boston suburb six years later to film “I Beat Mike Tyson,” a short that eloquently captured McBride’s emotions as he continued to fight in anticipation of his big break.

7. Live Action Toy Story

Superfans and devoted nerds Jonason Pauley and Jesse Perrotta spent two years remaking Pixar’s animated opus as a live-action, stop-motion feature. With a charming DIY spirit the duo depicted the adventures of Woody and Buzz Lightyear shot for shot, and even included the original audio tracks—which, instead of prompting legal action from Pixar, completely won them over.

8. Real Scenes: Johannesburg

Documenting the proliferation of house music and venues in Johannesburg, Resident Advisor presents a mini-documentary on the “DJs, producers, promoters and record labels” who are elemental to the scene. The video explores the musical tendencies as well as the roadblocks—such as slow Internet speeds—that define South African house music culture.


9. Space Station of Tomorrow

Soon, NASA will attach an inflatable space pod to the International Space station, complete with cloth siding. The unconventional vestibule marks the way of the future in material and a departure in design from the archaic designs currently orbiting above us.

10. Multi-Touch iPhone Gestures

Royal College of Art student Gabriele Meldaikyte has developed a series of objects dedicated to the iPhone’s gestural language. Meldaikyte created the tech-inspired analog installations to pay homage to the current interactive standard of pinching, flicking, tapping, scrolling and swiping.

11. Stealth Wear

Fashion has gone covert in artist Adam Harvey’s new collection of drone-blocking and signal-silencing apparel in collaboration with designer Johanna Bloomfield. Intending to make a statement against our increasing surveillance culture, Harvey used his training as a mechanical engineer to bring the concept to fruition in the form of a metalized anti-drone hoodie undetectable from overhead, with pockets insulated to block cell signals from tracking. The price point hasn’t been set, but the pieces will be for sale if you’re looking to fly under the radar for a while.

12. Writers to Watch Under 10

Countercultural literary zine The American Reader presents a hilarious survey of talented elementary school students who are dedicated to the craft of writing. The parody article features outrageously eloquent interviews with the youth on their works to date, mocking the intellectual jargon of today’s grown up literati.