Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Robo-ants, Boston's official Riot Grrrl Day, modern art's favorite color and more in our weekly look around the web


1. Robo-Ants are Future Factory Workers

Palm-sized robotic ants may one day take over industrial factories, but instead of being pests, these android insects will help out on the assembly line. German robotics company Festo came up with the idea for BionicANTs after being inspired by the way real-life colonies work together to accomplish tasks deemed too daunting for just one ant. The robo-ants will mimic this swarm mentality and will communicate with each other autonomously to complete set goals. Festo will debut BionicANT at this year’s Hanover Messe.

2. Riot Grrrl Day in Boston

Today, 9 April 2015, is officially Riot Grrrl Day in Boston, Massachusetts—in honor of original riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna. Hanna—who began the “girls to the front” movement at punk shows—has long been a key player in the hardcore-punk feminist realm, and continues to be an icon far beyond. Boston Mayor, Marty Walsh, signed the proclamation to coincide with Hanna’s visit to the city, where she will lecture and perform at the Wilbur Theatre.

3. What is Modern Art’s Favorite Color?

Martin Bellander, a PhD psychology student at the Karolinska Institutet, created a data visualization that illustrates the use of various colors in paintings over the past 200 years. Bellander pulled the data from a website that offers images of over 94,000 paintings between 1800-2000. The visualization shows a significant trend toward the use of the color blue, possibly the reflecting changing prices in paint, an artistic affinity for the color or even the resulting influence of Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period from 1901 to 1904.

4. Marakesh’s Girl Biker Gangs

Following up on his stereotype-shattering series ‘Kesh Angels—which depicts the girl biker gangs of Marakesh through technicolor imagery—photographer and filmmaker Hassan Hajjaj will premiere a new film “A Day in the Life of Karima: A Henna Girl.” The documentary follows Hajjaj’s favorite ‘Kesh Angel—Karima—who, aside from being and mother, wife, artist and henna artist, spends time riding her bike through the city’s streets wrapped in vibrantly decorated veils. The film will premiere on 13 May at LACMA’s Bing Theater.


5. Websites as Abstract Artwork

A new Google Chrome extension called Abstract Browser transforms your favorite websites into vivid, geometric artwork. The extension was created by artist Rafael Rozendaal as a source of inspiration for creating brightly colored jacquard tapestries by replacing blocks of words, photos and videos with random colors. It’s become an interesting way to see the skeleton of a website, revealing just how crowded and complex sites like Facebook can be.

6. Why Reboot TV Shows?

David Lynch, the creative force behind the cult-classic show Twin Peaks, has announced through Twitter that he is pulling out of the series’ reboot due to a lack of funding from Showtime. His departure from Twin Peaks reveals the reason that so many other show revivals end up being underwhelming: they’re meant to attract the large amounts of residual fans without injecting any new creativity into the actual storylines. It’s unclear whether Showtime will continue without Lynch or abandon the reboot altogether.

7. The Life of Stuntman Riley Harper

Men’s grooming company Baxter of California recently spent a day with second-generation stuntman Riley Harper, who’s living his dream up in the hills of sunny Santa Monica. Harper personifies the California lifestyle, constantly seeking out new adventures—whether it’s on his hand-built motorcycle or single-fin surfboard—but with a laid-back, appreciative approach. Though he’s traveled the world as a stuntman for big budget films, to him “the best vacation in the world is just being home.” Watch the full video on YouTube.

8. The Brontosaurus is Back

The once-renounced Brontosaurus is finally being restored to dinosaur status after new research discovered that the vertebrate actually did exist. The friendly, four-legged veggie-eater (which you may remember from the Jurassic Park movies) was previously rejected by taxonomists who argued it was no different than the already established Apotosaurus. A new analysis identifies several distinct features that now differentiate the two, bringing the Brontosaurus back to life.

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