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Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Data for cash, the world’s first paper snowboard, reviving the extinct passenger pigeon and more in our weekly look at the web


1. Design & Fiction: Panel Discussion

Bringing together heavy hitters across numerous industries, the IDEO-hosted panel Design & Fiction explored the relationship between technology, design and fiction—all in the context of the past, future and present. The breadth of the presentations is now available for viewing, though listening does the trick for the most part. A memorable quote to get you started: “We seem to have reached a point where self-driving robot cars and people flying at high speeds through pipes is easier to imagine than a regional train system.”

2. While You Were Steeping

Bigelow Tea has partnered with artist Geoff McFetridge and the resulting video, “While You Were Steeping,” is a charming documentation of what McFetridge is capable of producing while his teabag brews. The 2:26-long video finds the painter extending beyond the pages of his notebook with graceful strokes, ultimately turning his table into a work of art. And when finished, his tea is brewed to exactly how he wanted.

3. Paper-Made Snowboard

In their latest video, Every Third Thursday invites David Lee and his Signal Snowboard mates to construct a new type of usable board. The catch? It has to be made out of paper. Lee is able to accomplish the task with help from Ernest Packaging and to prove its integrity he drives to Colorado’s Copper Mountain for a test ride. With the crew shooting, the boards take the mountain and the true test becomes how long they’ll last.

4. Patagonia on the Bowery

In a video tour that goes above and beyond in-store highlights, Indoek explores Patagonia’s first-ever East Coast surf shop, situated on the Bowery in NYC. Narrated by the shop manager, DL Tashjian, the film ventures away from the store (which features plenty of locally made goods and reusable nylon bags) and out to the shore, where the filmmakers catch waves with Patagonia employees.


5. Diagramming First Sentences

Every writer is taught the value of an opening line, and many readers can cite the first sentence of their favorite book from memory. Pop Chart Lab took it all a step further with the creation of Reed-Kellog sentence diagrams, which breaks down the launching point of many notable works. From the three words initiating Toni Morrison’s Beloved to the the epic start of Cervantes’ Don Quixote, these aren’t just handy guides. They’re pure art themselves.

6. Star In A Bottle

Some time between now and 2030, the most expensive scientific device ever made will be online in Southern France. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor is the result of a multinational collaboration to create what will potentially be a solution to the global energy crisis. In a series of complex reactions, the device, which operates at temperatures 10 times hotter than the core of the sun, will create vast amounts of energy with little to no waste.

7. Datacoup

As the language of big data continues to invade our daily lives, one company is attempting to turn the tables—enabling users to sell their information for profit instead of giving it away for free, often without consent, to the big data miners. Datacoup is a new service that will let you pick and choose which of your data you want to disseminate for a profit, promising a safe, secure way to make some extra cash.

8. Where the British Creatives Work

Initially intended as a small project charting the spaces and habits of creatives, London-based photographer Cat Garcia’s pictorial documentary series blossomed to a 60-person list and a new book, “Our Time.” A beach stroll with a fashion designer, walking a dog with an illustrator and a scooter ride are some of the intimate moments Garcia captures; each providing insight into creative environments. Garcia would spend an entire day with the subjects—most of whom she had never met before—exploring their home or studio and beyond. Each photo essay is punctuated by a black-and-white portrait, and the result is intimate and quite beautiful.


9. The Micro-Dreamhouse

As notions of luxury change, so do ideas of the perfect getaway. While the square footage may be less than vacation homes of the past, micro-homes deliver when it comes to the escape they offer, and few rival the winter-friendly getaway the PODhouse. Built from sustainably sourced larch wood, the minimalist home easily sleeps two and is fully insulated. Best of all, the PODhouse is electrically wired with an iron beam base, meaning you can set up shop just about anywhere.

10. From Bottle Cap to Lego Block

Plastic bottle caps contribute to more than $1 billion of waste every year. The innovative Brazilian company Clever Pack offers a thoughtful solution in the form of Clever Caps, which resemble Lego-style bricks for kids and adults alike to collect and build. By adding another purpose to these plastic caps, Clever Pack promotes reuse, which is more eco-friendly than recycling.

11. Theranos

Over a decade in the making, a new method of blood testing has arrived that will change the way we diagnose and prevent disease. Typical blood tests, which are key in diagnosing diseases, require lots of blood and are quite expensive. The company Theranos has developed a test requiring only a single drop of blood to perform an entire diagnostic screening at significantly lower costs. The future of medicine just got brighter, and less painful.

12. Reviving the Extinct

What began as an obsession with the extinction of passenger pigeons has extended into the potential for resurrecting the species. The birds’ population declined from five billion to zero in a matter of decades. The idea of “de-extinction” provides much hope for conservationists, and though the process will be long and filled with unforeseen issues the genome reconstruction is already underway.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily on Twitter and published weekly every Saturday morning.


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