Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Frida Kahlo's wardrobe, needle-free vaccinations, why GIFs are the future of communication and more in this week's look at the web


1. Mx: A Gender-Neutral Title

The Oxford English Dictionary may soon include a gender-neutral title for those who don’t identify as a traditional Mr, Mrs or Ms. The prefix under consideration is Mx, a title that has already been accepted by some British institutions including the Royal Mail postal service, which currently offers the option on its website. The addition would make significant headway for the transgender community at a time when our collective understanding and acceptance of gender is greatly expanding.

2. Mothers and Daughters Around the World

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and, to celebrate, The Huffington Post has published 15 photos of mothers and daughters from around the world. Though the women in the images are different—be it because of race, religion, age or occupation—it’s clear that from Somalia to America, Tokyo to Toronto, the bond between mothers and daughters is universal.

3. Why GIFs Are the Future of Communication

GIPHY founder Adam Leibsohn took the stage at the recent PSFK 2015 Conference to discuss what he believes will be our communication preference of the future: GIFs. In an all-GIF presentation, Leibsohn runs through the evolution of communication, from voice to text to emoji and the endless number of animated GIFs that can just about explain anything. While words may work for literal subjects like a chair or cat, they do a terrible job at illustrating abstractions like love or hope. Watch the full speech on PSFK.

4. See Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe

If you’ve seen Frida Kahlo’s artwork then you’re mostly likely familiar with her distinct, signature style. After she passed away in 1954, Kahlo’s wardrobe was locked away by husband Diego Rivera and declared it not to be opened again until 15 years after he died. Her closet has finally been cracked open and photographer Ishiuchi Miyako was there to capture it all. Images of her classic cat-eye sunglasses, traditional Tehuana dresses, nail polish, prosthetic leg and even her full-body cast is now on display at London’s Michael Hoppen Gallery through 12 July.


5. Google Doodle for Unsung Feminist Hero Nellie Bly

Google is celebrating the 151st birthday of trailblazing feminist and journalist Nellie Bly (whose real name was Elizabeth Cochrane) with a heartfelt, musical Google Doodle. The animation illustrates the remarkable career of Bly, whose investigative reports uncovered the harsh realities of female factory workers, the brutal conditions of an NYC women’s insane asylum and corruption in the Mexican Government. Bly reached international fame after traveling across the world in just 72 days, breaking the previous record of 80. Watch the poignant tribute on Google—complete with a sweet song by Karen O—and learn more about Bly on Time.

6. Vaccinations Through Painless Patches

Trypanophobics (people who are afraid of needles) are rejoicing thanks to a new way to receive vaccinations. Georgia Tech’s Mark Prusnitz has developed a band-aid-like patch that will employ 100 microneedles to painlessly administer vaccines. According to Prusnitz, the patches will be most effective in developing countries, where proper refrigeration and injection training is not widely available. The new technology is currently being developed for rubella and the measles and may reach human testing as early as 2017.

7. Honest Empathy Cards by Emily McDowell

For LA-based designer Emily McDowell, the most difficult part of battling cancer wasn’t the sickness itself, but the loneliness she felt when her friends and family distanced themselves from her. Now cancer-free, McDowell has launched a set of empathy cards inspired by the things she wished her pals would have told her while she was ill. The cards boast hand-drawn lettering, bright illustrations and honest, comforting and oftentimes hilarious messages—including the excellent “Please let me be the first to punch the next person who tells you everything happens for a reason.”

8. Vale Dr Alexander Rich

Dr Alexander Rich, the first person to produce a distinct image of the double helix structure of RNA and DNA, has passed away at the age of 90. Rich was an award-winning researcher who was honored with the National Medal of Science—the highest scientific award given by the federal government—for his ground-breaking discoveries and contributions in the field of modern molecular biology. Read more about the amazing life and work of Dr Alexander Rich on the New York Times.

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