Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Free meals for trans people of color, mapping the moon, recycling face masks and more from around the web

Plaxtil Turns Used Face Masks Into School Supplies

Once a plastic parts supplier for the automotive and aeronautical industries, French company Plaxtil now uses their technology to transform used face masks into school supplies. The idea took shape after a charity asked the company for help in dealing with a mountain of clothing that couldn’t be resold. Realizing that garments today are comprised of up to 70% plastic, Plaxtil co-founder Jean-Marc Neveu conceived of a way to obtain and reuse it. He found that in melting the material it creates a fiber-infused plastic that can be re-molded into protractors, rulers and triangles. They’ve already transformed 25 million (sanitized, of course) masks into 100,000 geometry kits that French municipalities provide to students free of charge. Learn more about this charitable innovation at Core77.

Image courtesy of Core77

The Most Detailed Map of the Moon Ever Made

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China’s Institute of Geochemistry and other organizations worked together to compile all known information about the moon’s surface in a new project that culminated in the most detailed map of the moon ever created. Using a 1:2,500,000 scale, the map denotes all discovered rocks, craters, basins and 90 different types of structures on the lunar surface. This is the first map of its kind to include data collected from various countries at such a high scale. Not only does it result in a breathtaking image, it also attests to how far scientists have come in studying space and “serves as a testament to the unifying power of science.” Read more about this at Futurism.

Image courtesy of Science Bulletin/ResearchGate

NASA’s New UFO Research Team

In a move that some in the traditional science community see as “selling out,” NASA has put together an independent team of researchers dedicated to gather data on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs), the updated term for UFOs. The group will collect information on sightings of mysterious objects in an attempt to find out if they are natural or are aircraft, “a key first step to identifying or mitigating such phenomena.” The space agency stresses that UAPs aren’t necessarily extraterrestrial, and the aim is to uncover information—all of which will be open to the public. NASA’s science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen says, “Our strong belief is that the biggest challenge of these phenomena is that it’s a data-poor field.” Find out more at The Guardian.

Image courtesy of Albert Antony/Unsplash

Roaming Restaurant Gay4U Provides Free Meals to Trans People of Color

Oakland-based Cellphone (founder of Hella Vegan Eats, creator of the queer-centered market GayMart and organizer of Trans Skate Parties) has been “queering the Bay Area culinary scene” for decades. An advocate and pioneer of LGBTQ+ issues and intentional celebrations, their latest venture is a roving vegan restaurant called Gay4U and is dedicated to serving trans people of color free meals regardless of their financial circumstances. Currently shifting from its West Oakland brick-and-mortar to a roaming establishment, Gay4U will travel across the country (and potentially internationally) to share treats like snow mushroom chicharrón birria, fermented cashew-cojita cheese and other creative dishes. “I get to make food for a living, and I am going to make you a dish, and you don’t have to worry about [feeding yourself] today,” says Cellphone. Their free policy serves as a way to ease the disproportionate burdens trans people of color endure and acts as an opportunity for others to reflect on why this is the case. Find out more at Them.

Image courtesy of Evan Benally Atwood/Them

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 Science Bulletin/ResearchGate