This “Smart Mask” Can Translate Japanese Into Eight Languages

Japanese start-up Donut Robotics has elevated the face mask category by creating a “smart” version capable of translating and transmitting messages from Japanese into eight other languages. The “c-mask” (made from plastic and worn over a regular cloth mask) connects to an app on your phone or tablet “that can transcribe speech into text messages, make calls, or amplify the mask wearer’s voice.” While the …

Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Mutant enzymes, an unseen film by a French New Wave icon, design-forward campers and more

Mutant Enzyme Breaks Down Plastic in Hours New research published by French scientists in the journal Nature addresses their discovery and manipulation of a mutant bacterial enzyme that can break down PET plastic into raw materials in a matter of hours. After optimization experiments, Carbios (the organization behind the discovery) broke down one metric ton of waste by 90% in 10 hours. Their scientists then used …

The Tangled History of the Letter X

As porn consumption reaches what may be an all-time peak, MEL Magazine writer Chris Bourn wondered “How did X become the edgiest letter?” The 24th letter in our alphabet is the second-least used, but has come to represent all things “adult” and is intrinsically connected to porn. This can be traced back to the introduction of 1968’s audience-advisory ratings, which attributed X to movies with …