Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Instagram in space, Tokyo's POOL, unplayed Aphex Twin and more in our look at the web this week


1. The Injustice of Food Chains

In a new, appropriately titled documentary short, “Food Chains,” the hands and hearts of the individuals producing our every day foods are unearthed. With so much interest in food globally—from its source to its nutritional value and artisanal appeal—it’s about time a film stepped up to share hidden stories of injustices plaguing farm workers. The three-minute long exposé asks: If we are spending more money because of higher prices, why isn’t more of it going to the people who slave away during production?

2. The POOL Aoyama

A project helmed by Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tokyo’s newest concept store The POOL aoyama is nothing like the average retail spot. With the store located inside a disused pool in a ’70s apartment, Fujiwara decided to work with the space, rather than demolish it and start again. The shop sells products from Supreme, UNDERCOVER, Nike and their own in-house goods—but nothing they put a price on could outshine the stunning re-imagined interior.

3. Finding MH370

When the Ocean Shield (a vessel belonging to the Royal Australian Navy) picked up deep-sea signals consistent with a black box, it seemed the search for missing flight MH370 would be over within days. However, in a clever and mind-blowing infographic, Richard Johnson and Ben Chartoff of The Washington Post have explained the true depth (in both senses) of the issue. By visualizing distances under water—the depth of an inverted Empire State building, the furthest a sperm whale can dive, to the depth of the wreck of the Titanic—the remarkable task is at once understandable and baffling.

4. An Impossible Building

Inspired by a pinecone from a nearby forest, the InterContinental Davos in Switzerland is as masterful as it is mesmerizing. And people didn’t think it could be done on the budget it was allotted. Composed of 691 rippling, laser-cut panels, the shimmering structure now stands amid evergreens and mountain tops. While there were many detractors in the beginning, this extraordinary structure—envisioned by Oikios Architects and Designtoproduction, structural engineers Wilhelm + Partner and facade experts Seele—was not only completed, but opened on the date initially promised.


5. The New Pourover

The Manual Coffeemaker No 1 functions much the same way as industry leader Chemex (the company that pioneered at-home pourovers). However, this new home appliance—spied on Kickstarter—has one major design addition: a dome-like enclosure that ensures coffee stays warmer longer. The inventor is seeking $100K to realize this countertop creation, and with that logical and helpful added functionality, he’s well on his way to getting it.

6. House Industries Wall Clocks

From the more traditional to the abstract, Heath Ceramics has everything covered and recently teamed up with House Industries to create a line of elegant wall clocks. Bearing the makers’ typical strong visual language and aesthetic, the clocks are all glazed and fired by Heath and come in two styles and a variety of colors.

7. Aphex Twin’s $13,500 Album

This week, a test-pressing by Irish electronic musician Aphex Twin (aka Richard David James) was announced. The record—apparently first test-pressed in 1994 only to have disappeared shortly after—is now being offered by James himself on Kickstarter in a one-time distribution rights deal, so the people contributing to the crowdfunding cause will have the ownership of the rare and, no doubt, impressive songs. The $9,000 goal has already been exceeded (last count was $30,053) and there are still 28 days to go.

8. $46 Million Funding for Wattpad

In bringing Wattpad’s total funding to $60 million, investors are banking on the literary world as the next great billion dollar community. The site currently boasts 25 million registered users, spending six billion minutes on the site every month—sharing and discovering stories. With a continued, fast-growing user-base, they’ve got their eyes and hopes set on one day reaching a billion in the next few years. While ambitious, the world’s literary communities need a nurturing home online and right now Wattpad’s the best place to perch.


9. A Year-Round Hydroponic Garden

Take some lessons from out-of-soil cultivation methodology, add a little artificial light, and you get Orto perpetuo, an indoor, year-round, fruit and vegetable garden. It’s modular and every plant it produces is small but edible. The hydroponic system within, dubbed Elioo, is made from repurposed IKEA boxes by Antonio Scarponi, in conjunction with the Quadra, a LED light (14W) for growing vegetables produced by Bulbo. You can simultaneously grow 24 plants—all the while consuming less than 50 watts in the process. Get ready to replace your Chia herb garden.

10. 15 Second Brain Delay

A new study from MIT postulates that perception is influenced by the past. The experiment showed subjects multiple images of the same object at varying orientations. When the subject was asked to describe the most recent image, researchers found that they often remembered it as they saw it previously. Study author Jason Fischer says, “What you are seeing at the present moment is not a fresh snapshot of the world but rather an average of what you’ve seen in the past 10 to 15 seconds.” Researchers believe it has to do with our difficulty remembering changes because our brains create certain standards to process the world around us.

11. Selfies in Space

American astronaut Steven R. Swanson might not have been the first man on the moon, but he is the first person to post an Instagram selfie from space. Floating in the middle of the Cupola (the observatory in the International Space Station, shared by 15 nations) Swanson grins, with blue skies and clouds surrounding him. Kind of puts your “Friday night, pouting in front of the mirror selfies” to shame, doesn’t it?

12. 117 MPH on a Lawnmover

Honda’s HF2620 Lawn Tractor is perfectly equipped to mow any lawn—and to whip around a racetrack, setting a new Guiness World Record. With some slight modifications (including a 1000cc engine from the Honda FTR Firestorm motorcycle, two heavy duty coolers and a six-speed paddle shift transmission) the lawnmower set the record in Tarragona, Spain at the IDIADA Proving Ground. The mean machine averaged 116.57 miles per hour—and it can cut grass at up to 15mph, double the speed of its less-tricked-out version.

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