Demystifying Art on Amazon

Coffee as Viagra, car crushing, Tokyo in high-def and more in our weekly look at the web

This week, Amazon launched a high-end art marketplace that grants access to over 40,000 pieces of fine art, culled from over 150 dealers and galleries. This is no Etsy—the price point spans a more manageable $200 to an exorbitant $2.5 million. In true Amazon fashion, users can search by subject, color, size and price, and each work is shown alongside information about the artist, provenance …

Solid Rain

Coffee as Viagra, car crushing, Tokyo in high-def and more in our weekly look at the web

Mexican chemical engineer Sergio Jesus Vaelasco has created instant water. Using a highly absorbent polymer scientifically known as potassium polyacrylate, the tiny crystals absorb about 500 times their size and begin to look like much large, water-filled salt crystals. Originally intended to make diapers more absorbent, Vaelasco’s blend for Solid Rain has shown dramatic benefits when planted among crop fields and dry climate gardens. Watch …

Rare + Fibrous

Colorful side tables built from an Amazonian root

Using Kufa, an aerial root fiber native to the Amazon rain forest, John-Michael Ekeblad builds furniture by hand using a variety of techniques unique to the region. Ekeblad works with local Amazonian craftsman in Georgetown, Guyana to harvest the nomadic plant, then collaborates with them throughout the design process. His latest project, Rare + Fibrous—which is operated by strategic design consultancy, Daytime NYC—presents a series …