Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Miss Piggy the feminist, Pluto's wobbly moons, how to achieve superhuman hearing and more in this week's look at the web


1. Miss Piggy Receives Feminist Award

The Muppets’ Miss Piggy was recently awarded the Sackler Center First Award by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art for her contributions toward modern feminism and for serving as a consistent inspiration to younger generations. Past recipients include former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, writer Toni Morrison and director Julie Taymor. In her classic, confident style, Miss Piggy took to Time Magazine to announce her accomplishment: “This week moi is being honored—and deservedly so,” she writes, “…Isn’t it wonderful, isn’t it about time?”

2. Pluto’s Wobbly Egg-Shaped Moons

Pluto is turning out be a weirder dwarf planet than expected. Not only is one of its moons almost as large as the planet itself, but its two other moons wobble through space. The Hubble Space Telescope has captured images of the oblong moons—Nix and Hydra—tumbling like two poorly thrown footballs as they orbit Pluto and Charon—the other massive moon. The wobbling is due to the shifting gravitational fields from the Pluto-Charon system and is exacerbated by their egg-like shapes.

3. A Structure For Ocean Self-Cleaning

Boyan Slat wants to rid the Pacific Ocean of half of its plastic waste by 2025. To do so, the 20-year-old and his nonprofit company Ocean Cleanup have designed a simple yet effective floating barrier that will allow the ocean to clean itself. Unlike nets—which sea life can become entangled in—the barriers will skim the surface of the water as ocean currents pass below it, capturing plastic debris in its large V-shaped structure for easy disposal. A 6,500 ft barrier has already been given approval to test the waters near Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture in 2016.

4. Earbuds That Offer Superhuman Hearing

A hotly anticipated set of wireless earbuds called Here won’t even play your favorite songs. The soon-to-be-released tech gadget from SF-based Doppler Labs is instead meant to be a type of superhuman volume control and sound equalizer for your everyday life. Users will be able to turn up the volume if they’re sitting in the nosebleeds at a concert or tune out specific sounds like the brain-rattling screech of an oncoming subway train. The earbuds are currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter at a discounted price of $179.


5. Choosing a New Names

Choosing a new name is oftentimes a first step for transgender people as they adopt a new identity. Much like Caitlyn Jenner’s = “Call Me Caitlyn” cover, announcing a new name is a symbolic moment that makes others see them differently—even if they may still look the same. Sometimes, it’s a most difficult decision. From spontaneous decisions to wracking detailed name lists, New York Magazine recounts various ways transgender people have selected their new names.

6. Solar Impulse Sets Off On a Groundbreaking Flight

For the first time, an airplane powered purely by solar energy is making a five-day, five-night journey across the Pacific Ocean. The success of the flight will depend heavily upon the weather as sunshine is crucial to the airplane’s functionality and without it, the only option will be to ditch the aircraft in the Pacific. Two pilots, Andre Borschberg and Betrand Piccard, are taking turns operating the plane as it travels from Nanjing, China to Phoenix, Arizona with one stop in Honolulu, Hawaii.

7. Young Soccer Girls Sport Their Best #GameFace

In preparation for the upcoming Women’s World Cup, Portland-based store Wildfang partnered with photographer Andrea Corradini for #GameFace: a series of portraits that capture the fierce gazes of young soccer players. Each of the 14 girls chosen for the powerful collection of photos also offer up some sage words that accompany their #GameFace perfectly, including this gem from 11-year-old Tess: “Cheetahs are my favorite animal—they’re almost as fast as I am.”

8. Digitally Tour the Massive Son Doong Cave

Since being discovered deep within the forests of Vietnam, Son Doong has become one of the world’s most recognizable and popular caves—so much so that construction projects are being planned to make it more tourist friendly. In order to capture the natural beauty of the colossal cavern before any construction can begin, photojournalist Martin Edström and a team of explorers ventured into the vast abyss to create a high-definition, panoramic digital tour of the entire cave, complete with building-sized stalagmites, breathtaking underground lakes and unexplained animal sounds.

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