Link About It: This Week’s Picks

From T. Rex's vegetarian cousin to lab-grown leather and shower-crying, this week's internet reads


1. The Mexican Morrissey

Although he’s known to many as the world’s greatest Morrissey impersonator, Jose Maldonado will admit he’s just another fan of the indie rock icon and former The Smiths lead singer. Maldonado spends his days patrolling the beaches of Los Angeles as a lifeguard but, once the sun goes down, it’s full-on Morrissey mode as he takes the stage with his tribute band the Sweet and Tender Hooligans to pay homage to his favorite singer. Watch as Vice i-D enters the life of the Mexican Morrissey.

2. A Movement-Matching Virtual Reality Robot

The virtual reality experience continues to expand, now with the Dexterous Observational Roving Automation (DORA) telepresence robot. DORA pairs VR headsets with a movement-matching, mobile robot, allowing users to explore nearby areas without ever having to get up—think of it as a spare body you can control. Though it might seem like the ultimate tool for laziness, possible uses are very encouraging: for example, emergency responders may one day be able to scope out a potentially harmful scene from the safety of a close by station.

3. Lab-Grown Leather

Brooklyn-based start-up Modern Meadow is currently developing the world’s first lab-grown leather. By taking advantage of recent advances in cell engineering, the company is hoping to shape a future that is “cultured not slaughtered.” The leather is grown by first isolating an animals skin cells and then multiplying those cells by the billions, producing sheets of the faux-skins. Not only can this technology decrease leather-specific slaughter houses, it will also open up opportunity for designs that wouldn’t be available naturally.

4. What Makes Shower-Crying So Good

From a Ray Bradbury poem to a GIF-worthy reel of Tobias Fünke in Arrested Development, the appeal of crying in the shower has been well documented. But what is it about shower-crying that makes it so comforting? After studying over 5,000 crying episodes between men and women, University of Pittsburgh psychologist Lauren Byslma confirmed that people prefer to cry alone, making the privacy of the bathroom and the background noise of falling water the perfect setting for a little sob. Visit NYMag for more on the science of the shower-cry.


5. The Life and Style of Iris Apfel

After showing her extensive collection of costume jewelry at a Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition in 2005, then-83-year-old Iris Apfel became something of a fashion icon and a New York City “geriatric starlet.” Now, 10 years later, the incredible dresser and accessories enthusiast will truly be a star—in her own documentary titled “Iris,” which documents her trend-defying personal style and the influence she holds in a city where younger often means better. Visit Slate for a preview of the film, which is now playing in select theaters.

6. The GIFwrapped App

Sometimes a well executed GIF is the only response a text message or email requires, but finding the right GIF at the right time can often be an overwhelming endeavor. That’s where GIFwrapped comes into play. The iOS-only app acts as a database for the internet’s best animated image files as well as a place to store your favorites. And since it’s searchable by emotion, responding with the perfect GIF is super easy and fast. The only difficult decision you’ll make is whether to pronounce GIFwrapped with a hard or soft G.

7. Quiksilver’s Business Suit Wetsuit

Early morning, pre-work surf sessions are one of the best ways to start the day, but changing in and out of surf gear can mean an extra early wake-up time. Quiksilver’s Japanese division has teamed up with ad agency TBWAHAKUHODO to create the perfect solution: the True Wetsuit—a surf-ready wetsuit styled like a business suit that can go straight from board riding to board meetings. True Wetsuit is made out of a thin jersey neoprene and a specially developed “dryflight” fabric that helps repel water. They’re available now at Quiksilver for a cool $2,500.

8. T. Rex’s Awkward Vegetarian Cousin

Looks like you’re not the only one with an awkward, embarrassing cousin; the Tyrannosaurus Rex had one too. Though it’s known officially as Chilesaurus diegosaurezi, this vegetarian T. Rex relative is often known as “The Platypus” due to is duck-like bill, beaver-like tail and otter-like feet. Chilesaurus’ bizarre set of features led archaeologists to believe they had collected the remains of three different dinosaurs but soon realized they actually belonged to just one. Find the full profile on Chilesaurus in the journal Nature.

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