Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Love with no labels, holding back tears and why Indian food tastes so good in this week's look at the web


1. Internet Slang in Sign Language

Each year, dozens of new words ease themselves into our vocabulary, but when it comes to sign language, the progression isn’t so natural. With words and phrases like “duck face,” “photobomb,” and “Emoji” being added to our daily jargon, the American Sign Language community must work together to find universal gestures that exemplify each new term. As Hopes&Fears finds out, the process can be rigorous (and it needs to be) to pare down each sign to its most intuitive, elegant form.

2. IKEA’s Wireless Charging

With so many of our devices requiring daily charging, open outlets are becoming as rare as Polaroid film. IKEA is setting out to liberate us from our outlet obsession—while reducing powercord clutter—by embedding inductive charging into everyday furniture. The Swedish home design behemoth will soon offer lamps, tables and desks that have a small platform where users can wirelessly charge any of their devices that support the technology. The new collection will go on sale this April.

3. Pocket Points Rewards Phone-Stashing Students

A new app called Pocket Points is encouraging students to shelve their smartphones while in class by offering up rewards. The way it works is simple: before beginning class, students will open the app, lock their phone, and as long as the phone stays locked, they’ll rack up points. These points can be redeemed at partner businesses and restaurants for discounts or free food. So far the app is available at a few colleges but may soon be available on campuses nationwide.

4. How to Hold Back Tears

Unless you’re alone in a sound-proofed room, crying is generally something to be avoided. But if you do find tears building up at an inopportune time, is there a way to stop them? New York Magazine asked Ad Vingerhoets—a scientist who specializes in emotional tears—this very question and found that physical pain or muscle tensing works best. So the next time you need to hold back an upcoming sob session, try pinching yourself or clenching your butt cheeks.


5. Muslim Holy Days Added to NYC School Calendars

New York City took a leap forward in inclusivity and fairness this week when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city’s public schools will be observing two Muslim holy days, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Although a few other municipalities have already done this, NYC’s recent move is much more resounding as it’s home to more than 1.1 million school children. The changes are set to take effect in the upcoming academic year.

6. Skate Heads

Arts and culture publication Booooooom teamed up with Flexfit to bring weirdness back to skateboarding. In their new Zenga Bros-directed film, “Skate Heads,” they’ve found a way to combine a DIY portable fort, boat and mobile toolshed with street skating. In the opening scene, skaters paddle to shore on a homemade skiff, flip the boat over and then proceed to use its modified hull as a mobile skate spot. From there, it only gets kookier as the crew takes to the streets (and wilderness) around Vancouver, BC. Check out the full film on Booooooom.

7. Why Indian Food Tastes Good

Ask anyone if they want to get Indian food for lunch, and you’ll probably hear a resounding “Yes.” But why is Indian cuisine so delicious? After analyzing over 17,000 recipes, researchers have found that the complex flavors of Indian cuisine take advantage of negative food pairing, where no two flavors share the same “flavor compounds.” So instead of adding similar seasonings to your next homemade meal, try using completely opposite ingredients for the best results.

8. Love Has No Labels

A touching new video from the Ad Council and R/GA’s “Love Has No Labels” campaign has more than a few people getting all choked up. In the short three minute clip, passersby watch as X-ray skeletons dance amongst a large screen—sometimes embracing, sometimes just waving, but always showing their love for one another. The skeletons then step out from behind the screen to reveal real relationships between people of different races, religions, ages and physical ability.

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