Link About It: This Week’s Picks

The sounds of icebergs, "seeing" a black hole, Elon Musk's new endeavor and more in our look around the web

1. Keeping Up With the Machines, Elon Musk’s New Program

It’s been a week now since serial entrepreneur (and futurist) Elon Musk announced the launch of Neuralink Corp, and to be honest, it’s still on our minds. With this new venture, Musk proposes developing a technology (known as “neural lace”) that would potentially implant electrodes into human brains, allowing us to keep up with the advancement of machines—even uploading and downloading thoughts or fight brain disorders. The company is still in its “embryonic” phases, according to co-founder Max Hodak, and there are plenty of technological and safety barriers ahead. That said, it’s the first of its kind as an application of artificial intelligence inside the human brain. And that’s a milestone proposal.

2. “Seeing” a Black Hole

Every visualization you’ve ever seen of a black hole has been an illustration. As Vox points out, the closest the scientific community has ever come to seeing one was through last year’s observation of “spacetime-warping gravitational waves radiating” from the billion-year-old collision of two black holes. This is because black holes are small, far away, dark and surrounded by bright things. Now, however, a planet-sized tool called the Event Horizon Telescope has been tasked with capturing an image. This isn’t a telescope as we know it, with large mirrors. It’s a virtual project tapping eight telescope locations across the globe to focus on Sagittarius A (at the center of the Milky Way) for a few days. They’ll pick up massive amounts of radio frequencies and scientists will actually translate that to a real image our eyes can see. And who knows what that will actually look like.

3. From ’70s Digital Watches to Today’s Wearable Tech

The first portable, accurate clock was invented back in 1510 but it would be more than 450 years later that things got digital, with the introduction of Hamilton’s Pulsar Time Computer (complete with numeric keypad). From there, it’s been a race to showcase the most technologically advanced features. Familiar names like Casio and tech giants including IBM have all spearheaded electronic updates to watches, but in the mid-aughts, wearables (beyond the watch as we know it) began to hit the market. All of this information and more can be found in a brief, informative video over at the Telegraph.

4. Hattie Stewart’s Facebook Stories Effect

Giving Snapchat filters a run for their money, London-based artist Hattie Stewart has created a wacky, fun Facebook effect (for their stories feature which rolled out on iOS and Android devices at the end of March). Quintessentially Stewart, it’s all bug-eyes, rainbow tears, big tongues and beyond. Certainly an easy way to take a break—or give yourself a childlike joy mood lift—it’s a very ridiculous effect that all but guarantees a bit of a smile.

5. Martin Parr’s Photo Book of Beat Up Cars

Photographer Martin Parr has focused on a specific, nostalgic topic for his latest limited edition book. Called “Abandoned Morris Minors of the West of Ireland,” the book features photos of charming, beat up old cars abandoned in equally compelling surroundings. The photographs hail from Parr’s archive, and the 36-page volume (in an edition of 500) is available for purchase now.

6. The Haunting Sounds of Icebergs

Only 20 years ago the scientific community had no idea that icebergs made noise. After the last remaining chunk of the largest iceberg ever (twice the size of Delaware) began to fall apart, sounds were heard up to thousands of miles away. In fact, the ocean was documented as being much noisier as a whole. Through data analysis, scientists were able to trace the sounds back to the iceberg (and another, also melting). As more information became available (and military data became declassified) a whole range of sounds have been attributed to icebergs, from bloops to clanks, groaning and grinding (against the sea floor). Of great importance, these sounds might be able to help scientists better understand what can be expected of icebergs in the midst of climate change. Learn more at Atlas Obscura.

7. A Visual Reminder of James Rosenquist’s Artistic Vision

His name might not be as ubiquitous as those also once under the watch of famed gallerist Leo Castelli (namely Warhol, Lichtenstein and Frank Stella), but James Rosenquist’s contribution to the pop and modern art worlds carry great value. Much like his contemporaries, Rosenquist addressed elements of the everyday. Frequently, he documented ordinary (and generally unbranded) subjects, adopting and undermining the language of advertising and pop culture. And yet, his voice is distinct—something he developed first as a billboard painter. In light of his recent passing, the New York Times has assembled a slideshow charting his work through the decades. It’s a fascinating, abbreviated study that conveys true artistic development.

8. David Obendorfer + Fabrizio Caselani’s Citroën HY Tribute

70 years to the day since designer Flaminio Bertoni released the now iconic Citroën HY, designers David Obendorfer and Fabrizio Caselani have unveiled a car kit for the current Citroën jumper chassis that captures the original’s spirit. Known as the Type H, 70 kits will be produced by FC Automobili and sold across Italy. The fiberglass “suit” has been imagined in a handful of colors, in a striking balance of nostalgia and contemporary styling. Head over to designboom to see more.

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