According to a study published this week by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it seems orgasmic facial expressions vary depending on where in the world you’re from. When asked to decide which face was mid-climax, participants from Western cultures decided an orgasm looked more excited and outward (signified by an open mouth and wide-eyes) while Eastern participants believed that an orgasm looked like closed …
In a mind-boggling excerpt from Seth Fletcher’s book Einstein’s Shadow: A Black Hole, a Band of Astronomers, and the Quest to See the Unseeable (published by Ecco), the author probes the meticulous process behind the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). In fact, a series of collaborative data sets collected in 2017 by eight telescopes around the planet, the EHT aims to create an image of the shadow of a …
Judy Chicago’s Portrayal of Toxic Masculinity Appears in Real Life
Judy Chicago‘s 1985 series Three Faces of Man occurred in real-life this past week—seen in the outrage of powerful, petulant men unaccustomed to answering for their behavior. Chicago’s painting was unveiled in 1985, but it’s clearly as relevant as ever. As Jonathan D Katz writes for Artsy, “What was once allegory is now reportage, and Chicago’s art from decades past has never looked so current.” While exploring the concept of men’s behavior and actions, Chicago says she found, “The prohibitions around openly expressing feelings—particularly of vulnerability as expressed in tears—caused innumerable personality distortions.” Read more at Artsy.
Art Fairs Descend Upon London for Frieze Week
From Old Masters to contemporary African art, many prestigious fairs will temporarily open for London’s Frieze Week. Frieze London and Frieze Masters—in Regent’s Park—will once again be the anchor event, but this year sees many other pop-ups worth visiting. There’s 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House, PAD London at Mayfair’s Berkeley Square, plus Moniker and Sunday art fairs kick off in the city, as well. Head over to artnet News for more information.
Neptune-Sized Moon Discovered Outside Our Solar System
Some 8,000 light-years away, a moon has been discovered—possibly the first one outside our own solar system. Dubbed an “exomoon,” the “Neptune-sized” gassy object, which orbits a “Jupiter-sized” planet, was spotted by Columbia University astronomers via the Kepler and Hubble space telescopes. It’s “unlike anything scientists have seen before, and even if this turns out to be a false find, the experience has offered valuable insight on how to find a possible moon by surveying the planet first. Learn more at the Washington Post.
New Technology Hopes to Transform the Food Industry
The food industry has garnered near universal flack for its lack of transparency, mistreatment of animals and environmental impact. Rightfully so in some instances, but technology hopes to alleviate the issues that some producers and consumers otherwise cannot avoid. Foodini, for instance, is a 3D printer that replaces typical plastic ink with edible ingredients, allowing home-cooks and chefs the ability to make an exact amount of something with repetitious likeness. Another innovation, called Apeel, will use the leftovers in a wine press to coat perishable fruits and produces with an invisible and tasteless layer that can extend shelf-life threefold. Read more about the technologies that are hoping to revolutionize food production and consumption at the Wall Street Journal.
From The Seeds Up: The Future of Fruits and Vegetables
At New York’s first-ever Variety Showcase—organized by the Culinary Breeding Network from Oregon, and GrowNYC—chefs, plant-breeders, farmers and others in the food industry joined together to discuss and present examples of the future of produce. One of the many goals of the showcase includes developing ideas—and in-turn seeds—that produce foods which taste better, reduce waste and meet the specific needs of chefs and cooks. While much of these “bespoke seeds” result in out-of-the-ordinary fruits and vegetables, each serves a specific, and arguably necessary, purpose. Read more about the futuristic developments and learn about specific farm-to-table ingredients (like Deep Purple kale) at Grub Street.
World Wide Web Inventor’s New Personal Data Project
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, hopes to help internet users reclaim their personal data—and ultimately their privacy. His newest project, Solid, is a place to store information. Users can take the data with them and transfer it immediately to any app, workspace or website (if they agree to). “Solid is a platform, built using the existing web. It gives every user a choice about where data is stored, which specific people and groups can access select elements, and which apps you use. It allows you, your family and colleagues, to link and share data with anyone. It allows people to look at the same data with different apps at the same time,” Berners-Lee says. Read more about the power-to-the-people project at 9to5Mac.
60 Years of NASA
In 1958, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was formed after the Soviet Union launched their Sputnik satellite into the cosmos, and ever since the agency has explored distant worlds. In a sprawling graphic (made by a team consisting of Emily Barone, Jeffrey Kluger and Lon Tweeten) every NASA spacecraft ever launched is noted, tracked and dated. Excluding tests and failed missions, the list spans the ’50s through today—from the moon to Mars and beyond. Zooming out and viewing the USA’s obsession with space sheds light on how far we’ve gone, and concurrently, how little we’ve really seen. See more at Time.
Adobe Unveils an All-New Acrobat DC
Adobe’s all-new Acrobat DC aims to streamline the review process for creatives—thanks to new tools that make sharing PDFs with clients much easier. The program acts as a kind of hub—hosted on Adobe Document Cloud—where designers can offer access to their work to anyone via link or invite, check to see if invitees have looked yet, set deadlines and reminders, view feedback and more. Taking much of the dread out of sharing projects for review, this new system could be a game-changer. Read more about the update at Adobe.
Some 8,000 light-years away, a moon has been discovered—possibly the first one outside our own solar system. Dubbed an “exomoon,” the “Neptune-sized” gassy object, which orbits a “Jupiter-sized” planet, was spotted by Columbia University astronomers via the Kepler and Hubble space telescopes. It’s “unlike anything scientists have seen before, and even if this turns out to be a false find, the experience has offered valuable insight on …
Chinatown Soup’s Community-Minded Version of Monopoly
NYC-based art and activism collective Chinatown Soup has developed a “Chinatown Edition” of Monopoly, but their version’s winner doesn’t play to control the city by achieving ownership of all valuable properties. Rather, players aim to create a more utopian neighborhood as the game “prizes the player that purposefully develops an area while keeping its residents in mind.” Highlighting the issues surrounding gentrification, this version of the game includes “Chance” cards like “Convert a tenement building into a condo, donate $200 to the Community Center for displacing the elderly,” and other socially responsible concepts. Find out more about this new iteration, and the original, at Artsy.
Puerto Rico’s Rebuild Starts With Designers and Architects
Since last September—immediately after Hurricane Maria—designers and architects have been working to not only rebuild Puerto Rico, but also to rethink its infrastructure. Many of the some 1,200 homes that lost roofing in the Caño Martin Pena area of Puerto Rico had “informal infrastructure”—in this instance meaning they were built with galvanized metal sheet roofs. Sadly, this is the case in large regions of Puerto Rico, and the devastating winds and flooding ruined much of what was just strong enough to fend off weaker rains. The efforts of the designers and architects have been concentrated on resiliency planning, implementing faster construction techniques, providing the island with renewable energy systems, developing housing types designed specifically for the island, assisting in the launching of new businesses and getting in the ear of policy-makers to provoke change. Read more about these efforts on Curbed.
AR Puts Notable Women on US Bills
Notable Women—a project from former Treasurer of the USA, Rosie Rios, along with Google Creative Lab and Nexus Studios—lets anyone with the power of AR and their smartphone’s camera put one of history’s most important women on the front of a bill. Once AR identifies the bill, it’ll place a portrait there and, by tapping said portrait, you’ll be able learn about that woman’s contributions to US history. The portraits fit seamlessly, thanks to acute attention to detail that makes these woman-adorned banknotes feel authentic. Read more about the project on It’s Nice That.
The Truth About Plastic in Our Clothing
Polyester, nylon, acrylic and other synthetic fibers—all plastic byproducts—make up 60% of the materials used in clothing. Even if wearers aren’t tossing their shirts or pants into the ocean when they’re done with them, the plastics in our clothing still make their way there. With each wash, fibers shed from the clothing and are drained through waterways into the ocean. “Think about how many people are washing their clothes on a daily basis, and how many clothes we all have,” says Imogen Napper, a marine scientist at the University of Plymouth. A study she co-authored found that individuals generate 793 pounds of shed plastic throughout the year. “A large proportion will get caught by the sewage treatment works, [but] even that small proportion that does fall through is going to accumulate,” she continues. Read more about the issue on Vox.
Skin-Inspired Robotic Enhancements Animate the Inanimate
Developed by Yale’s Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio for NASA, new robotic skins aim to fit around static options and give them form—and movement. The skins are composed of supple elastic sheets and have sensors and actuators embedded throughout. This is a fascinating development that reflects a tangential robotics market, wherein an enhancement—rather than an independent form—is produced. Further, using more than one skin can lead to increasing complex series of movements. Anything, in theory, can become a moving robot. Read more at Interesting Engineering.
Lyft Launches Open-Source Design Tool
Most of the world’s largest companies protect their patents, data and design tools at all costs. But, as coding and design careers become increasingly coveted in today’s market, more people are interested in mastering (or at least brushing up on) the tools and techniques of the trade. A handful of larger companies have decided to go open-source with some of their internal tools, and Lyft is the most recent—launching Colorbox, an application that lets designers make accessible color systems. Read more about Colorbox’s launch on Product Hunt.
Replicating ’50s Design Inside a Care Center for Alzheimer’s Patients
Featuring 11 storefronts replicating the design of the ’50s, Glenner Town Square in Chula Vista, California isn’t a film set—it’s a care center for dementia patients. From Rosie’s Diner to Alois’ Newsstand, each build-out aims to represent a portion of life during the prime years of patients—activating a type of a reminiscence therapy. Altogether, the goal is to initiate engagement and trigger conversation. The partners—non-profit George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers and Senior Helpers, a national senior care provider—plan to franchise the idea. Read more at the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon’s Echo Show Hints at the Future of TV
Beyond a screen, microphone and speaker upgrade, Amazon’s new Echo Show (announced last week with a slew of other refined and amped-up products–a microwave included) opens up a new dialogue surrounding the future of TV hardware. It may look like a tablet head-on, but from streaming live TV content (NBC and Hulu) to its preference not to be touched (despite having a touchscreen, the microphones are its most powerful guide), it’s more like a countertop TV than Amazon’s actual TV sets. Read more on Wired about the shifting definition of TV and how Amazon’s slate fits into it all.