Link About It: This Week’s Picks

The New Yorker's archives freely unfold, space plant photography, the science behind tattoos and more in our weekly look at the web


1. Opening The New Yorker Archives

With the launch of their redesign and in preparation for their upcoming pay wall, The New Yorker has opened up its archives free to the public—temporarily. All issues from 2007 to date are available to peruse and, to help navigate, The New Yorker editors have offered up some tips on must-read pieces.

2. Bonsai Trees In Space

Tokyo-based artist Azuma Makoto isn’t interested in discovering the possibility of life on other planets—he’s interested in sending life from Earth beyond it. Strapping a bonsai tree, orchids, lilies and other plants to a balloon, the artist juxtaposes the symbols of life against the backdrop of the stratosphere. While the work “Exobiotanica” claims to transform these plants into extraterrestrial life, it also reminds us of how unique the Earth’s environment is.

3. Why Tattoos Are Permanent

It seems pretty straight-forward why tattoos stick around forever. But as recently explained in a TED Ed video, the reason is more complicated than one may imagine. With each needle prick from the tattoo machine, the body is alerted of a fresh wound, and thus begins the inflammatory healing process. Over time, some pigment is disposed of internally, while other bits are absorbed by skin cells and remain
suspended in the dermis. So even though we shed nearly one million skin
cells each day, your tattoo will likely last as long as you do.

4. The History of Shuffling

Documentary magazine The New British has put together a short feature called “Release” that explores shuffling in the London underground dance scene, beginning with its roots in the 1920s jazz dance, The Charleston. The program will premiere at London’s BASEMENT on 1 August 2014 and The New British’s Facebook page has all the details.


5. Getting Down with Internet Star Baddie Winkle

This grandma is winning the internet. The online superstar Baddie Winkle—who hails from Hazard, Kentucky and has over 185,000 Instagram followers—has created quite the dynamic virtual persona. Born from spending time with her great-grand daughter, Baddie can be seen tossing up peace signs and rocking all forms of marijuana-friendly threads, and this interview with Paper Mag proves why she—at 86 years old—is a cross-generational online icon.

6. Replacing Inkblots with Plastic Bags

The epitome of “open to interpretation,” Rorschach Tests have been used by psychoanalysts since the 1920s with arguable validity. Whatever their clinical efficacy, the inkblots have worked their way into pop culture and general knowledge over the years and it’s no secret why—analyzing the abstract shapes is addictive. Now artist Kyung-Woo Han’s latest project substitutes cheap plastic shopping bags for ink in his latest series that invites the viewer’s interpretation and is sure to spur conversation in galleries.

7. Bora Wear Belts

Established to pay homage to his native Kenya through designs and
support local artisans through manufacturing initiatives, Mugo Muna’s
Bora Wear is now on Kickstarter. The latest project
involves belts, handmade in Kenya of local leathers and individually
molded, cast metal buckles. Check the crowdfunding campaign to
support the project.

8. Jaguar’s Tour de France F-Type

Forget the herculean feat of hammering for nearly 4,000 kilometers, the space-age technology that goes into the bikes of the riders and the down-the-second calculation of tire changes—at this year’s Tour de France, a support car nearly stole the show. Jaguar’s special edition F-Type was built as a support car for Britain’s decorated Team Sky. With 550 horses under the hood, a separate electric charging station in the boot, built-in carbon fiber roof rack and svelte Team Sky blue interior accents, the one-off ride is a cyclist or grand tourer’s dream. Let’s just hope it makes another appearance on the Champs-Élysées.

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