Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Award-winning iPhone photos, an uncuttable material, the future of video calls and more from around the web

An Uncuttable Material Inspired by Abalone Shells A new material called Proteus made from “ceramic spheres embedded in a cellular structure made of metallic foam” that’s believed to be uncuttable could revolutionize security. Inspired by abalone shells—which are composed of an essentially weak material that’s arranged in a manner that makes the shells super-strong—Proteus may be used in various ways, from bank vault doors to …

Japan’s New Earthquake-Proof Bullet Train

Commissioned by the Central Japan Railway Company to offer support during the now-postponed 2020 Olympics, the new N700S (Supreme) bullet train runs the roughly 250-mile stretch between Tokyo and Osaka. Though it can reach 224mph, it’s being capped at 177 for safety reasons—and it incorporates better brakes and running controls for slowing and stopping. Its makers also claim that the train is earthquake-proof thanks to …

Plans For High-Speed Rail Between US Cities

A bill introduced to Congress last week intends to allocate $205 billion over the next five years to build a high-speed rail line that would connect Chicago and Atlanta, Portland and Vancouver, and San Francisco and Los Angeles, drastically reducing the country’s number of air travelers and providing a formidable commuting plan for those living and working between the cities. These routes would also diminish …