Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Bill Cunningham's secret memoir, celebrating Katsuko Saruhashi, upcycling, gene-editing and more

1. Bill Cunningham’s Secret Memoir

Legendary fashion photographer Bill Cunningham left behind a somewhat secret memoir which is set to publish later this year. Titled “Fashion Climbing,” the book has been drafted several times, as a few revised versions were discovered in his immense archive. Tracing his childhood obsession with women’s clothing to his service in the Korean War, his work in NYC as a milliner and more, the book promises to be a fascinating look into the very private and beloved Cunningham’s life. Read more at the Times.

2. Sustainable LEGO Blocks from Plant-Based Plastic

New LEGO blocks made from polyethylene (which is based on and sourced from sugarcane) are to be released this year, beginning a new sustainable direction for the iconic company. While the material is flexible and soft, the new blocks will be identical to those made with conventional plastic, meaning LEGO can continue to keep their promise that any of their blocks made over the past 60 years will fit together—making them a long-lasting tool for kids (and adults) to play and learn with. Find out more at the LEGO site.

3. Best of Iceland’s 10th Anniversary DesignMarch

Now a mainstay at the global design festival circuit, Iceland’s DesignMarch makes for a gathering point of Nordic nations and a celebration of Icelandic vision. The three-day festival includes international DesignTalks at the iconic Harpa Concert Hall, live music, open studios and exhibitions. From shockingly beautiful tartan patterns to decorative objects and future-forward products for the home and body, Core77 documented dozens of highlights. Head over to there for imagery from the festival’s 10th anniversary installment.

4. Google Doodle Celebrates Japanese Geochemist Katsuko Saruhashi

The first woman to get a PhD in chemistry in Japan, geochemist Katsuko Saruhashi would have been 98 today and Google has honored her with her very own Google Doodle. Saruhashi’s research (measuring molecules in seawater) revealed the radioactive fallout that occurred after the United States began nuclear testing in the Pacific. She and her colleagues found that “fallout didn’t disperse evenly in the ocean.” A champion for women in science, she also co-founded the Society of Japanese Women Scientists in 1958. She is yet another oftentimes overlooked woman who made a huge impact in the world of science. Read more at The Verge.

5. Malmö Upcycling Service’s “Odds & Ends” Made From Recycled Materials

Using waste materials to create new objects, Malmö Upcycling Service’s “Odds & Ends” collection includes pieces made from “brick, glass, acrylic, stone, and sheet metal.” Unveiled at Reykjavík, Iceland’s DesignMarch last week, the range includes a coffee table, mirror, vase and more. The contrasting materials and clean lines have combined for a selection of products that are tactile and sophisticated. See more at Dezeen.

6. Retail’s Brick-and-Mortar Reasoning in the Age of Amazon

At Shoptalk retail conference, brands found themselves doing more than outlining next moves. Much attention has been given to redefining purpose and even defending their right to continue, in essence proving that Amazon doesn’t have the might to close their doors. As Hilary Milnes outlines for digiday, the strategy here includes investing in private-label products and inventory exclusives while turning physical stores into fulfillment centers. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Head over to digiday to learn more about what Target, Macy’s and others have in store.

7. IBM Reveals “The World’s Smallest Computer”

At IBM Think 2018, the tech company unveiled what they claim is the world’s smallest computer. The machine (smaller than a grain of sea salt) cost less than 10 cents to manufacture and has the computing power of an old x86 chip. That’s enough for it to be “a data source for blockchain applications,” according to Mashable, who notes that its purpose will be to “monitor, analyze, communicate, and even act on data” pertaining to bitcoin. Right now there’s no release date and the application of it, well that’s up to the imagination.

8. Gene-Editing Away Herpes

Around two-thirds of humans, according to Smithsonian Magazine, are infected with at least one of the two types of herpes, HSV-1 and HSV-2. It’s estimated that 87% of people with the latter are without clinical diagnosis. The notoriously tenacious herpes virus hides deep in the human body’s central nervous system, but “molecular scissors” might be the way to splice it out. This would occur by introducing a human-made enzyme to “snip” genes at crucial points, removing the virus where it’s embedded. This direct path is still being researched, however, but to learn more about what could be, head over to Smithsonian.

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