Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Honoring the Black oystermen of NYC, designing comfier airplanes, growing plants in darkness and more

Traditional Japanese Garments Merge with Unusual Natural Materials in New Exhibition From now through 11 September, the Minneapolis Institute of Art will showcase Dressed by Nature: Textiles of Japan, an exhibition that features over 120 Japanese textiles crafted from unexpected natural materials like banana leaf, nettle, hemp and even fish skin. “Exhibitions on the dress of Japan always focus on the silk kimono and clothes worn …

1,700-Year-Old Penis Graffiti Discovered in Ancient Roman Fort

Vindolanda is an ancient Roman fort in Northern England that dates back to the reign of emperor Hadrian in the second century CE. When a team of researchers and volunteers were excavating the site last month, a retired biochemist from South Wales named Dylan Herbert unearthed a stone carved with a phallus and an inscription that reads “SECVNDINVS CACOR.” According to specialists in Roman epigraphy, …

New Low-Cost Material Can Pull Buckets of Drinking Water from the Air

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin developed a low-cost gel film that can pull multiple liters of drinking water from the air—even in arid conditions—and release it easily. The material is made up of two common and inexpensive ingredients: konjac gum and cellulose. The gum’s porous structure attracts water from the air, while the cellulose, when responding to gentle heat, turns hydroponic and …