1. Vale Designer Kenji Ekuan
Kenji Ekuan, the award-winning designer behind Japan’s bullet train and the ubiquitous Kikkoman soy sauce bottle has died at the age of 85. According to the New York Times, his iconic bottle design has been used by Kikkoman ever since its introduction in 1961, accruing over 300 million bottle sales worldwide. Ekuan aspired to be a maker of everyday things and worked toward making people happy through beautiful, accessible design.
2. Timelapse Kidney Growth
Through a set of incredible timelapse images, researchers at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute were able to track a key molecule called beta-catenin as it orchestrated the construction of a mouse kidney. This new discovery will allow scientists to manipulate beta-catenin concentrations in future organ growth, making it possible to instruct cells to develop specific parts of organs. The successful use of timelapse imaging will also help to reduce the amount of animals needed for lab testing through more detailed observations.
3. RyanAir’s Dirty Snow Drawings
RyanAir ran into some controversy after its ground crew got bored and decided to draw a giant penis in the snow. An upset passenger posted a photo of the snow-wang, which garnered quite a bit of online attention. The discount airline responded perfectly by saying, “While our ground crew excel at industry-leading 25 minute turnarounds, art isn’t their forte, as they’ve clearly forgotten to draw wings on their snow airplane.”
4. Museums Ban Selfie Sticks
Museums are taking a stand against selfie sticks by prohibiting them in their exhibits. Already publicly banning the photo-enhancing rods are The Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Frick, and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts—with more looking to join. According to the museums, Instagrammers wielding the extendable arms could injure guests, or worse yet: damage irreplaceable art.
Some of today’s top digital influencers are honoring past and present figures in a new movement called #WeAreBlackHistory. The project is a poignant photo series that sees women of color from the digital world replicating portraits of legends like Billie Holiday, Rosa Parks and Angela Davis. Through the campaign, the creators hope to pay tribute to these iconic women’s contributions, knowing that “the best tribute we can give them is to continue to break down barriers for black women, and shape history for the generations to come.”
6. Babies With Three Parents
Britain is hoping to alter the desperate future of children diagnosed with damaged mitochondria before they’re even born. Through a possible “mitochondrial donation” women will be able to donate their healthy eggs to a mother whose fertilized egg contains damaged mitochondria. The only kicker to the transplant operation is that the child born from the donation will then carry the genes of three people: the father, mother and the woman who offered up the egg.
7. Cinderella’s Glass Slipper Goes Designer
In anticipation of their upcoming live-action film inspired by “Cinderella,” Disney called upon nine luxury designers to dream up their take on the glass slipper. Ranging from Paul Andrew to Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stuart Weitzman and more, each designer submitted a sketch of their distinctive vision, which will later be realized by Saks Fifth Avenue. Be sure to catch the entire collection in Saks’ New York and Beverly Hills window displays come March.
8. Bob Dylan’s Revealing Acceptance Speech
At an event for the Grammys’ MusiCares organization—a charity that benefits musicians in critical need of assistance—Bob Dylan delivered a riveting 35-minute acceptance speech after being named the 2015 Person of the Year. The 73-year-old chronicled his storied career as an artist and didn’t hold back as he called out his critics and other songwriters who gave in to commercial music. Read the full transcript of his speech from The New York Times.