1. Photographer Mary Ellen Mark Dies at 75
Pioneering photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark—who died on Monday, 25 May at the age of 75—will forever be remembered for telling the stories of those who were unable to tell their own. In her most famous photo essay “Streets of the Lost: Runaway Kids eke out a mean life in Seattle,” Mark uncovers the tough lives of homeless youth in a city known for being one of America’s most livable. By immersing herself in the daily struggles of the kids, Mark was able to produce a powerful set of images that the rest of the nation couldn’t ignore.
2. The Brilliant Colors of Buddhist Monasteries
Brooklyn-based photographer Colin Miller’s shooting style is reactive—he gages his surroundings and selects his subjects based on the places he’s given access to. On his most recent trip to Chengdu, China, those places were the incredibly ornate and brightly decorated monasteries of Buddhist monks. Soon after arriving in China, Miller was drawn to the monasteries’ intricate architecture and began snapping away. The resulting images are striking. The vibrant reds, golds and greens of the structures stand out against the barren landscapes behind them.
3. Live Off the Grid in an Ecocapsule
A new pod-like dwelling from Slovakia-based design firm Nice Architects makes disconnecting from the world easier than ever. Dubbed the Ecocapsule, the portable egg-shaped room allows inhabitants to live completely off the grid for up to a full year by making use of solar- and wind-generated energy. The Ecocapsule comes complete with a rainwater collection and filtration system, a kitchenette, a flushable toilet, a shower, workspace and a bed for two. Nice Architects unveiled the prototype on 28 May at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna.
4. Breast Cancer Survivors Model Unisex Underwear
For its latest advertising campaign, genderless underwear company Play Out has recruited breast cancer survivors who underwent double mastectomies as models. Play Out’s owner Abby Sugar—who’s good friends with the models chosen for the campaign—is using the campaign to challenge the way people perceive both fashion and gender while also raising awareness around breast cancer. By highlighting the stories and experiences of these survivors, Play Out hopes that other patients—especially in the LGBTQIA community—can find role models, inspiration and support.
5. 38 New Emoji Coming in 2016
Fresh off a proposal to update a few Emoji that we’ve all been using wrong, Unicode has finalized 38 brand new Emoji for the upcoming 9.0 update in 2016. Included in the update are a lying face, clinking champagne glasses, an avocado, bacon and a symbol for the word “selfie.” The new icons are set for approval in June 2016, and tech companies are expected to add them to their operating systems shortly thereafter.
6. Mathematician John Nash’s Obituary
Long before the award-winning film “A Beautiful Mind” made his name famous, John Nash—who recently died in a taxi crash at the age of 86—was already a star in the world of mathematics and economics. As a post-graduate student at Princeton University, Nash developed mathematical theories that would later earn him international recognition. In 1959, illness took over, curtailing his research and leading to the demise of his marriage with wife Alicia—who he would later remarry and who died with him in the crash. Visit The Guardian for the full story.
7. Google Doodles for First American Woman in Space
In their doodle on 26 May, Google celebrated what would have been the 64th birthday of Sally Ride—the first American woman in space. Animator Olivia Huynh created five playful GIFs for the doodle, each capturing a different aspect of Ride’s inspiring story. In an accompanying guest blog post, Tam O’Shaughnessy—Sally Ride’s partner and co-founder and CEO of Sally Ride Science—writes, “As the first American woman in space, Sally Ride—who would have been 64 today—captured the nation’s imagination as a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers.”
8. Striking Portraits of Unknown African History
For his latest photo series, “Project Diaspora,” Senegalese artist Omar Victor Diop uses soccer as a metaphor linking the rich history of Africans in Europe to the struggle of those living on the continent today. After discovering a set of particularly striking portraits of important Africans in Europe, Diop decided to insert himself in the images while adding soccer balls, cleats and other gear as a nod to the dilemmas of current players, who are celebrated on the field but marginalized off. Diop also hopes to shed light on the current struggles of African migrants journeying to Europe, many of whom have perished.