Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Mapping the universe, making tiles from discarded eggshells, learning from squids and more

“DESI” Will Attempt to Create The Most Detailed 3D Map of the Universe

As part of an ambitious new survey of the cosmos, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) will analyze light collected by the ultra-powerful Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. “DESI will record not only a galaxy’s light but also its spectrum,” according to Smithsonian Magazine, “by measuring how much light a given object emits at particular wavelengths.” It intends to compile this information into the most detailed 3D map of the universe—incorporating up to 40 million galaxies—and use the data within to probe questions about dark energy and gravity at the largest scale. Read more about the “galaxy-grabbing” instrument and its stellar efforts at Smithsonian Magazine.

Image courtesy of DESI Collaboration

Artist Jillian Mayer’s “Life-Saving” Lake Sculpture at SECCA

Upon the lake outside of Winston-Salem, North Carolina’s Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), artist Jillian Mayer has positioned her largest sculpture to date—aptly named “LAKE SCULPTURE”—for her solo exhibition TIMESHARE. This clever multimedia exhibit reflects upon survivalist subcultures, as well as infrastructural and environmental collapse. The floating “LAKE SCULPTURE” references another of Mayer’s works also on view, “A Sculpture Can Be Used As A Flotation Device In Times of Emergency” (2018), which suggests alternative uses for artwork during times of crisis. Read more about the nuances of the show at SECCA‘s website.

Image courtesy of Jillian Mayer

The Vital Role of Longfin Squids’ Giant Nerve Fibers to Neuroscience

In 2020, a group of scientists at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory used the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to disable a gene in the Doryteuthis squid (aka the longfin squid). This milestone comes after years of neuroscience developments derived from this particular underwater creature and its dual nerve fibers, called axons. Research on these axons has provided insight into everything from simple nerve signaling to the complexity of brains, but even more could be in store, including “improved therapies for neurological and genetic disorders in humans,” according to National Geographic. Read more about the extraordinary longfin squid and their unique nerve fibers there.

Image courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Cities Continue to Hire Chief Resilience Officers to Address Climate Change

Amidst the myriad extreme weather events globally, city and county governments in the US continue to hire Chief Resilience Officers in an effort to address the effects of climate change. Once grant-funded (through efforts like the 100 Resilience Cities initiative from The Rockefeller Foundation, which ran from 2013-2019), these roles are now full-time government positions that help cities and local leaders to prepare for and adapt to disasters and extreme weather. The role requires communication between infrastructural branches, including water and food supplies, as well as energy systems. Read more about the aspects of the role and the pioneers behind it at Smart Cities Dive.

Image courtesy of Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Nature Squared’s Tiles Made from Eggshells

From ethical Swiss design studio Nature Squared’s new chief innovator, Elaine Yan Ling Ng, the CArrelé tile series is composed of organic white eggshells discarded in industrial kitchens and then collected by craftspeople on the Philippine island of Cebu (where the brand maintains a factory). The shells are cleaned, crushed, cured and then combined with natural dyes. They’re ultimately cut into beautiful design-forward tiles. Ultimately, it was Nature Squared’s intention to divert the eggshells from landfills, where their decomposition contributes to climate change. Read more at the material, and the brand at Fast Company.

Image courtesy of Nature Squared and Tracy Wong

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning. Hero image courtesy of Nature Squared and Tracy Wong