Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Nokia's banana phone, exploding stars, the world's oldest tattoos and more in our look around the web

1. Amateur Astronomer Photographs Exploding Star

An Argentinian amateur astronomer was simply testing out his new 16-inch telescope by taking a bunch of short-exposure photographs when he managed to snap an image believed to be one in 10 million—or even one in 100 million. The photo is of an exploding star in a distant galaxy—a visual that professionals have been hoping to capture for a long time. UC Berkeley astronomer Alex Filippenko says, “It’s like winning the cosmic lottery.” Read more at Quartz.

2. Oldest Tattoos Discovered on 5,000-Year-Old Mummies

In a discovery that has “pushed back evidence for tattooing in Africa by over 1,000 years,” researchers at the British Museum have found the world’s oldest tattoos on 5,000-year-old mummies. These figurative tattoos resemble letters and animals; the female mummy has four small S-shaped designs on her right shoulder. The male’s tattoos (on his upper arm) resemble a wild bull and a sheep. These are believed to represent masculinity and virility. First thought to be “smudges,” the tattoos were eventually revealed thanks to researchers scanning them using infrared machines. Read more at Dazed.

3. Italian Fashion and Logomania

Whether viewed as “an ironic subversion of consumerist society, or disregarded as an epitome of ‘bad taste,'” logos were (and remain) a significant factor in fashion. In a new exhibition at Milan’s Palazzo Reale, this culture—in Italian fashion design specifically—is explored in a cohesive and fascinating manner by two guest curators, critic Maria Luisa Frisa and W Magazine editor Stefano Tonchi. The show “ITALIANA: L’Italia Vista Dalla Moda 1971-2001” traces logomania from its beginnings through to Versace’s Medusa, Moschino’s smiley faces in the ’90s, the Gucci snake and more. Read more at AnOther.

4. World’s Tallest Timber Tower Proposed for Tokyo

Known as “plyscrapers,” several towers of wood are planned for development around the world. None impresses quite as much as Sumitomo Forestry’s 1,148-foot-tall and $5.6 billion project: the W350 tower. It’s slated to be the tallest wooden building in the world, and its construction will honor the company’s 350-year anniversary. Completion of the 70-story tower is expected in 2041. Green balconies will define the exterior, while the interior will be a 90% wood hybrid structure with steel vibration-control framework. Learn more and see all of the photos at CNN.

5. Minnesota Twins’ Official Prince Merchandise

Last year the Minnesota Twins gave out Purple Rain umbrellas to honor Prince, and this year they are teaming up with merch company Bravado for a co-branding deal that’s believed to be the first of its kind in Major League Baseball. The Majestic Twins Clubhouse Store will have Prince-themed apparel, accessories, baseballs and more (including an inflatable Love Symbol guitar) available for purchase. “All of us in the Twins organization were deeply saddened by the loss of the late Minneapolis icon Prince,” says Twins president Dave St Peter, “Along with our fans, we look forward to celebrating the legacy of a man who brought an international spotlight to our great city.” Read more at Mashable.

6. BrainQ’s Mind-Reading Technology Aims to Treat Neurological Diseases

Rather than embed chips in the human brain—as proposed by two of its better-known competitors, Israeli start-up BrainQ is developing a non-surgically embedded EEG machine to accrue and analyze data on stroke and spinal cord patients. BrainQ isn’t the only company utilizing EEG technology, but their application is unique. Its “mind-reading” capabilities are already being put to the test in two human clinical trials. Read more at Tech Crunch.

7. Nokia’s “Banana Phone” from The Matrix Returns

HMD, the producers of Nokia-branded phones these days, will revive the cinematic classic “banana phone,” better known as the Nokia 8110. The curved sliding cell phone featured in “The Matrix” and was used by Keanu Reeves’ character Neo. Now the retro device is returning in black (but with a banana yellow variation) as well. It’s quite basic, running on Smart Feature OS, but comes complete with an updated version of the game Snake. There’s a two-megapixel camera, a 25 day standby battery life and a handful of other curious attributes that might appeal. It will be on sale worldwide come May, for only 79 euros. Read more and see a video at The Verge.

8. Lacoste Replaces Croc Logo for Endangered Species

Few logos are as familiar as Lacoste’s crocodile and, for the first time in the brand’s history, the reptile was replaced by not one but 10 other animals. To celebrate the launch of Lacoste and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s three-year partnership (called Save the Species), 1,775 of the classic T-shirts were adorned with endangered species—from the Vaquitas (a type of porpoise) to the Anegada Rock Iguana. The profits from each sale will help with preservation efforts. Read more at AdWeek.

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