Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Antarctica's first-ever Pride celebration, Olafur Eliasson's debut building, underwater data, lawn flamingoes and more

1. Microsoft’s Underwater Data Center One cylinder comprising 864 servers and 27.6 petabytes of storage has been dropped by Microsoft off the coast of Orkney in Scotland. The goal is to see if the tech giant can save energy by cooling in the sea. And the location was chosen as the French-built cylinder will draw power from an undersea cable and the Orkney’s renewable energy …

Antarctica’s First-Ever Pride Celebration

Ross Island, Antarctica might seem like the end of the Earth, but the remote location is very much connected to the rest of the world and has launched its first-ever Pride celebration. Employees based at the McMurdo Station research center have been flying the rainbow flags joyfully and this weekend will have their official Pride Month party. Evan Townsend, who works at the station tells …

Glassy and Glorious, an Iceberg Upturned

Rarely do we have an opportunity to see what filmmaker and photographer Alex Cornell captured on his recent excursion to Antarctica: the underbelly of an iceberg, pointing to the sky. Cornell—while exploring the glacial bay Cierva Cove—caught sight of an upturned iceberg. Its surface was glasslike, rather than snow-covered, and water was pouring through it, something he mentions was like observing an ant colony. Head …

Antarctica’s Extinct Forests

From November 2016 to January 2017 (in other words, summer in Antarctica) Erik Gulbranson and John Isbell found 13 fossil fragments from trees dating back more than 260 million years. This more than hints at the continent’s green past—with a landscape that would have been densely forested with a network of resilient plants and trees capable of withstanding uninterrupted sunlight and then months of darkness. …

NASA’s Night Photography Tracks Cracking Glaciers

Following the Larsen C ice shelf’s behavior quite closely, since one of the largest icebergs in history broke off in July, scientists came across a problem: it’s winter in Antartica and therefore it’s entirely dark. To solve the issue, NASA scientists have added a special instrument to a satellite in order to photograph and track the ice shelf. Instead of using regular light like normal …