Link About It: This Week’s Picks

The art of the Black Panther Party, a lonely galaxy, weatherproof hijabs and more in our weekly look at the web


1. The Black Panther Party’s Artist

When the Black Panther Party decided to start a weekly newspaper in the late 1960s, they selected Emory Douglas as their revolutionary graphic artist. Douglas was tasked with creating bold prints depicting the injustices affecting the black community in order to spread awareness. As the newspaper expanded, so did his artwork’s influence and the paper became the go-to source for information on social issues. In a short film produced by Dress Code, Douglas describes his early days with the Black Panthers and how he became the party’s Minister of Culture.

2. Bill Nye’s LightSail Deploys Its Sails

After surviving two communication failures that left it temporarily incapacitated in space, Bill Nye’s interplanetary LightSail project has finally deployed its solar sails. The spacecraft was launched into orbit last month to test a method of space travel that relies on streams of the sun’s photons to propel its four mylar sails. Just recently, those sails were successfully locked into place, marking a major milestone in the project’s timeline and effectively completing the mission. The sails’ ability to coast off of solar rays will be tested in a later mission, which is set to launch in 2016.

3. The New Look of Two World Trade Center

Just last month it was announced that architectural design firm BIG would replace Foster + Partners as the lead architects of Two World Trade Center. Now, they’ve unveiled new renderings of an impressive building that draws inspiration from the nearby city blocks of NYC’s TriBeCa neighborhood. The new design features a series of “stacked” boxes that offer outdoor gardens at each tier and underlying LEDs that display real-time news to passersby. BIG describes the tower as a “new hybrid that merges the Modernist skyscraper with a contemporary interpretation of historic building setbacks.”

4. How To Illustrate the Internet

They say that only 10% of the internet is accessible to the general public and that the rest is hidden in the “deep web.” But what does this web of visible and invisible internet pages actually look like? Is it three-dimensional or flat, bursting with bright colors or black and white? Depending on who you ask, the answer may vary dramatically. Wired rounds up the most notable attempts to put this otherwise abstract, electronic world of the internet into digestible illustrations.


5. The Lonely Lost-In-Space Galaxy

NASA has resurfaced a 2013 photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of the “Lost-In-Space Galaxy”—officially known as NGC 6503. The lonely planetary system earned its nickname from its location on the edge of the Local Void—an unusually empty section of outer-space that stretches across more than 150 million light-years and is somehow vacant of any stars or galaxies. The image of NGC 6503 reveals bright spots of pink and violet swirling around a dusty brown nucleus.

6. Hijabs Made From Technical Fabrics

A new company called Veil is bringing the modern technology of sportswear fabrics to one of the most traditional garments in the world: the hijab. Broadening the choices for Muslim women—whose head wraps are oftentimes made from fabrics like jersey cotton or voile—the company is working with advanced properties of technical fabrics. Now available on Kickstarter, Veil offers waterproof, sweat-wicking, laser-cut hijabs that keep the body cool even during the hottest summer months—all for the pre-order price of $17.

7. Aston Martin’s Optical Illusion

German artist Tobias Rehberger has given an Aston Martin Vantage GTE a new paint job that exudes speed—even when sitting still. The color-blocked blue, white, orange, yellow and black design complements the Vantage’s clean racing silhouette, tricking viewers’ eyes into perceiving motion. Rehberger was commissioned by Aston Martin to create the optical auto illusion for the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans race, which takes place on 13 June.

8. Scientific Tips for Online Dating

The rules to crafting an attractive online dating profile might seem obvious—use your best photos and write a bio that only includes the most interesting aspects of your life. But according to science, there are several subliminal factors that can maximize your online success. Choosing a username that begins with a letter from the first half of the alphabet (A-M) seems to work while sticking to the golden ratio—70% about you and 30% about them—in your bio is proven to be effective. Another oddball tip is that rhyming messages get more responses, but we’ll leave that for you to decide.

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