1. NASA Discovered The Most Distant Black Hole
The farthest known supermassive black hole has just been discovered—and the “matter-eating beast” is some 800 million times the mass of the Sun. Because it grew to an immense size just 690 million years after the Big Bang, it’s challenging beliefs about how black holes are formed. Not only that, but this discovery will also be crucial for finding out more about the entire universe as this black hole is “devouring material at the center of a galaxy”—making it a quasar. Quasars are relatively young, which means this will likely provide “fundamental information about the universe when it was only five percent of its current age.” Read more at NASA.
2. Es Devlin’s Surreal “Room 2022” Exhibition for Miami Art Week
An immersive multi-room artwork that made many publications’ must-see lists for Miami Art Week even before anyone had experienced it, artist and stage designer Es Devlin’s “Room 2022” actually delivers in a myriad of unexpected ways. While initial information from the American Express-commissioned piece alluded to its highly Instagrammable nature, the actual installation at the Miami Beach EDITION Hotel contains strong, thoughtful and self-reflective themes that manifest from the moment one steps into the first of many rooms. Devlin’s narrative structure has been built upon poetry and while the visuals throughout are striking, it’s the emotional landscape and the concept of what it means to be a human passing through a space that leaves resounding impact well after the maze ends.
3. NatGeo’s Weirdest Animal Stories of 2017
End of year lists can sometimes be predictable or simply dull, but that’s never the case with National Geographic’s Weird Animal Stories, which amazes and delights every year. From a lioness nursing a baby leopard in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area to a cardinal feeding a goldfish, an anaconda squeezing her mate to death and more, these tales prove that Mother Nature is just as magic as fiction.
4. Farewell to Renowned Designer, Ivan Chermayeff
Ivan Chermayeff—the graphic designer, illustrator and artist who created some of the world’s best-known logos—has passed away at 85 years old. While his name might not be famous, his designs certainly are, and will continue to be. Chermayeff’s firm Chermayeff & Geismar designed the Pan Am globe symbol and NBC’s peacock, but also created visuals for cultural and non-profit institutions including the Smithsonian’s sunburst logo, MoMA, the Southern Poverty Law Center and more. He told the Guardian, in 2014, “The goal is always to make something simple and memorable.”
5. Carsten Höller + Fondazione Prada’s The Prada Double Club Miami
Playing into the idea that Miami Art Week is as much about the celebration as it is the art, artist Carsten Höller and Fondazione Prada have found a way to unite both in a space that might just be the most dynamic people will enter at Art Basel. The collaborative pop-up features combating installations. Outside, one finds a lush neon framed tropical garden and tiki shack. Inside, there’s a stark monochromatic, geometric nightclub—complete with a rotating dance floor. Cocktails were imagined to match the bars at one space or the other. Both locations are more than just Instagram fodder; they are genuinely impactful designs.
6. Designer Marijuana Strains Fight Driving-While-High
In order to educate about the effects and dangers of driving while stoned, RIDE Checks (a Canadian anti-drug-driving initiative) has created three strains of cannabis. The three strains—Kourtoom Krush, White Whiplash and Slammer Time—were crafted with licensed medical marijuana grower Beleave, and together they also made a website that outlines victim testimonies, criminal punishments for driving while high, statistics, and more. Read more at PSFK.
7. Vinyl Factory’s 50 Best Albums of 2017
In a diverse and potentially surprising list, the Vinyl Factory’s favorite 50 albums of 2017 traverses all genres, tastes and continents—the only common thread is that they need to have appeared on vinyl within the past 12 months. From well-known names like Kendrick Lamar and Björk, to releases from Visible Cloaks, Golden Teacher and Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet, the music is that which “excited, stimulated and moved” the Vinyl Factory’s team. Take a look and maybe discover some new tunes.
8. Celebrate Snafus at the Museum of Failure
Whenever you feel like a mess or an imposter, it’s oftentimes comforting to know that even the world’s most successful people have dealt with serious failures. From JK Rowling getting rejected countless times, to Michael Jordan being cut from his school team, there are plenty of stories. Opening for two months in DTLA, Sweden’s Museum of Failure highlights commercial flops—from Colgate-brand frozen dinners to Coca-Cola BlāK (aka coffee and soda) to “Trump, the Game” and more. There’s even a booth for you to anonymously confess your failures. Find out more at the LA Times.