Link About It: This Week’s Picks

A vaccine against fentanyl, household appliances in the style of Gaudí, the future of clean energy and more

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Fusion Energy Breakthrough

For the first time ever, scientists have been able to produce a nuclear fusion reaction that generates a net energy gain. This is, according to the Washington Post, “a major milestone in the decades-long, multibillion-dollar quest to develop a technology that provides unlimited, cheap, clean power.” This scientific breakthrough—which could ultimately support impoverished areas with power, and contribute to the fight against climate change—is set to be announced by The Department of Energy, and was orchestrated by California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Read more about the milestone, which is still at least a decade away from commercial use, at the Washington Post.

Image courtesy of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory/AP

AI-Generated Household Appliances in the Style of Gaudí

Amidst all the experimentation that artists, designers and other creative individuals are taking part in regarding AI-generated imagery, few bring an aesthetic collision as clever as art director Marcus Byrne’s household appliances in the style of Antoni Gaudí. Every-day items—including a toaster, vacuum, mixer and microwave—have been embellished with textures, shapes and colors that allude to work by the highly imaginative Catalan architect. Byrne used the AI program Midjourney to counter the minimalism found enveloping the design world. “We live in an age of Apple and Tesla with minimal design taking charge,” he says in a statement to designboom. “All car brands have similar looking models and company logos are stripped back to live in the tiny space world of mobile devices.” Read more about the project and see all the extraordinary images at designboom.

Image courtesy of Marcus Byrne

Digital Artist Neon Saltwater Transforms a Las Vegas Gas Station into a Glowing Beacon

Modifying an abandoned gas station from the 1930s on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, “Mystery Cruise 1990” (2022) is a glowing, site-specific installation by digital artist Neon Saltwater (aka Abigail Dougherty). The neon beacon is part of the city’s annual Life Is Beautiful Festival, curated by creative agency JustKids. “I see ‘Mystery Cruise 1990’ as a nostalgic reinterpretation by the artist of the vintage neon pieces and tourist extravaganzas still visible in the old Vegas, but with new energy,” JustKids director Charlotte Dutoit tells Artnet News. “I hope this artwork will spark curiosity and slow down the passerby, inviting them to escape for a moment in a weird glowing time travel.” Read more about the physical installation and Dougherty’s digital vision for the interior at Artnet.

Image courtesy of JustKids

New Vaccine Protects Against Fentanyl

Scientists at the University of Houston have developed a vaccine that protects against fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that contributes to the risk of fatal overdose. The team of researchers tested the vaccine on 60 rats, finding that it successfully prevented the drug from entering their brain. Once immunized, the rats were able to produce anti-fentanyl antibodies to stop the drug’s effects further. The vaccine—which can work alongside other opioids without creating adverse reactions or negating its treatment for pain relief—helps block the high from fentanyl which can not only reduce the risk of overdose but also help people wean off drugs. Learn more about this life-saving development at Smithsonian Magazine.

Image courtesy of Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

The Mark Hotel’s Façade Glitters with Two Tons of Hand-Applied Swarovski Crystal

Amidst all the festivities aswirl throughout New York City this holiday season, nothing glitters quite like the façade of The Mark Hotel, the beloved Upper East Side destination that’s now encrusted in two tons of Swarovski Crystal. Altogether, millions of hand-applied crystals craft a stunning gingerbread house edifice that wraps the hotel’s Assouline boutique, guest entrance and all the way around The Mark Bar, further embellished with larger-than-life nutcrackers, ribbons and candy canes. The spectacular display—visible to all who pass by—will be be up until 7 January 2023. Read more about it, as well as the two matching holiday carts and their flavorful offerings (including hot chocolate with house-made marshmallows, as well as The Mark x Swarovski Lollipops), at The Mark Hotel’s website.

Image by Thomas Loof, courtesy of The Mark Hotel

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 Neon Saltwater/JustKids