Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Pricing the Apple Watch, mapping the ultimate US road trip, remembering a Simpsons co-creator and more in this week's filtered look at the web


1. Apple Watch Pricing

Apple finally delivered its Apple Watch keynote this week, and while the product is packed with mind-boggling technology, its pricing may be the most dizzying. With so many size, strap and material combinations out there, there’s never been a more customizable device by the California company. To help you figure out how much you’re going to spend on your new Apple Watch, 9to5Mac put together a pricing guide starting from the lowest $349 Sport Version all the way up to the $10,000+, 18k gold edition.

2. Lockheed Martin’s Laser Beams

With their latest weapons demonstration, Lockheed Martin is proving that laser beam canons aren’t just for science fiction. Using the Advanced Test High Energy Asset (or ATHENA), Lockheed burned a hole through a stationary, running vehicle in only a few seconds and from about a mile out. ATHENA focuses multiple fiber-optic lasers into a single beam, unleashing 30 kilowatts of energy into its targets. There’s no word yet on how it will be employed in the future, but we’re guessing Darth Vader would approve.

3. ResearchKit for iPhone Improves Medical Research

Aside from the Apple Watch, ResearchKit may be the most exciting project to have come out of Apple’s recent keynote. The new open-source, iOS software framework is Apple’s answer to the lack of robust, well-rounded sample sizes in medical research. Users will be able to login to the app and take part in tests set up by scientists that will contribute to medical studies while also helping participants learn about themselves. Any information shared with ResearchKit will not be passed along to Apple.

4. Germany Combats Public Peeing

The smell of stale urine is an unfortunate issue that many city dwellers must endure on a daily basis. After becoming fed up with the omnipresent stench, citizens of the St. Pauli neighborhood in Hamburg, Germany decided to take action against the foul act of public peeing. Equipped with hydrophobic paint which repels water chemically, participants coated prime pee spots so that offenders get the ultimate “peeback” as they relieve themselves. Check out the video that demonstrates how effectively it works.


5. The Optimal US Road Trip

Self-proclaimed “data tinkerer” Randal Olson has computed the optimal road trip across the United States. Using an algorithm that he previously applied to finding the best search path for locating Waldo in a “Where’s Waldo” book, Olson targeted must-see national natural landmarks, parks, historical sites and monuments all within the contiguous 48 states. The result is a 9.33 day-long, 13,699 mile drive that stops at every must-see Americana destination from Mount Rushmore to Graceland, the Hoover Dam and the San Andreas Fault.

6. Mouse Inception

French neuroscientists have successfully implanted false memories into the brains of sleeping mice, which then altered their behavior upon waking. Using electrode stimulation, the researchers targeted the section of the brain that affects the mice’s recognition of rewards, associating specific locations with some kind benefit. Compared to their control counterparts, the mice implanted with artificial memories were found gravitate toward locations linked to their newly implanted memories.

7. The $10K Diamond-Infused Martini

In the latest episode of “Most Expensivest Shit,” GQ sent host 2 Chainz and Detroit rapper Big Sean to try out a diamond-infused vodka martini at LA’s Vaucluse Lounge. The extravagant cocktail is created by dropping diamonds into vodka and letting the “essence” of the gems infuse the spirit for about a week. The drink is then served as a $10,000 or $100,000 martini depending on the diamond size you select.

8. Sam Simon’s Best Simpsons Moments

The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon died on Sunday 8 March 2015 after battle with terminal colon cancer. The nine-time Emmy Award winner has undoubtedly left a major mark on the world not only for his role in the storied TV show, but also for his generosity to charities benefitting animal rights. To commemorate Simon, Huck Magazine has put together a list of his top Simpsons moments, including a few episodes that some may argue are the funniest in the show’s 26-season history.

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