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Link About It: This Week's Picks

The New Yorker's archives freely unfold, space plant photography, the science behind tattoos and more in our weekly look at the web

by CH Editors in Link About It on 26 July 2014

Africa, Cars, Dance, Link About It, New Yorker, Photography, Social Media, Space, Tattoos

1. Opening The New Yorker Archives

With the launch of their redesign and in preparation for their upcoming pay wall, The New Yorker has opened up its archives free to the public—temporarily. All issues from 2007 to date are available to peruse and, to help navigate, The New Yorker editors have offered up some tips on must-read pieces.

2. Bonsai Trees In Space

Tokyo-based artist Azuma Makoto isn't interested in discovering the possibility of life on other planets—he's interested in sending life from Earth beyond it. Strapping a bonsai tree, orchids, lilies and other plants to a balloon, the artist juxtaposes the symbols of life against the backdrop of the stratosphere. While the work "Exobiotanica" claims to transform these plants into extraterrestrial life, it also reminds us of how unique the Earth's environment is.

3. Why Tattoos Are Permanent

It seems pretty straight-forward why tattoos stick around forever. But as recently explained in a TED Ed video, the reason is more complicated than one may imagine. With each needle prick from the tattoo machine, the body is alerted of a fresh wound, and thus begins the inflammatory healing process. Over time, some pigment is disposed of internally, while other bits are absorbed by skin cells and remain suspended in the dermis. So even though we shed nearly one million skin cells each day, your tattoo will likely last as long as you do.

4. The History of Shuffling

Documentary magazine The New British has put together a short feature called "Release" that explores shuffling in the London underground dance scene, beginning with its roots in the 1920s jazz dance, The Charleston. The program will premiere at London's BASEMENT on 1 August 2014 and The New British's Facebook page has all the details.

5. Getting Down with Internet Star Baddie Winkle

This grandma is winning the internet. The online superstar Baddie Winkle—who hails from Hazard, Kentucky and has over 185,000 Instagram followers—has created quite the dynamic virtual persona. Born from spending time with her great-grand daughter, Baddie can be seen tossing up peace signs and rocking all forms of marijuana-friendly threads, and this interview with Paper Mag proves why she—at 86 years old—is a cross-generational online icon.

6. Replacing Inkblots with Plastic Bags

The epitome of "open to interpretation," Rorschach Tests have been used by psychoanalysts since the 1920s with arguable validity. Whatever their clinical efficacy, the inkblots have worked their way into pop culture and general knowledge over the years and it's no secret why—analyzing the abstract shapes is addictive. Now artist Kyung-Woo Han's latest project substitutes cheap plastic shopping bags for ink in his latest series that invites the viewer's interpretation and is sure to spur conversation in galleries.

7. Bora Wear Belts

Established to pay homage to his native Kenya through designs and support local artisans through manufacturing initiatives, Mugo Muna's Bora Wear is now on Kickstarter. The latest project involves belts, handmade in Kenya of local leathers and individually molded, cast metal buckles. Check the crowdfunding campaign to support the project.

8. Jaguar's Tour de France F-Type

Forget the herculean feat of hammering for nearly 4,000 kilometers, the space-age technology that goes into the bikes of the riders and the down-the-second calculation of tire changes—at this year's Tour de France, a support car nearly stole the show. Jaguar's special edition F-Type was built as a support car for Britain's decorated Team Sky. With 550 horses under the hood, a separate electric charging station in the boot, built-in carbon fiber roof rack and svelte Team Sky blue interior accents, the one-off ride is a cyclist or grand tourer's dream. Let's just hope it makes another appearance on the Champs-Élysées.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily on Twitter and published weekly every Saturday morning.

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Photographer Cole Barash Presents "Talk Story"

An intimate look at the culture behind the waves and white sand of Hawaii's famed North Shore

by Hans Aschim in Culture on 25 July 2014

Film Photography, Hawaii, North Shore, Photo Books, Photography, Surfing


The North Shore of Oahu—quite likely the most photographed surfing destination in the world—is the go-to reference point for big wave-riding for both surfers and non-surfers. It is home to world-class breaks, sees some of the cleanest swells and hosts top international contests. Behind the corporate sponsors, product tosses, glossy magazine shots and tourist brochures lies a local culture with a deep respect for nature, the ocean and preserving the integrity of their community. With this in mind, Brooklyn-based photographer Cole Barash (known for his action sports and lifestyle photography) turned his lens away from noise of the crowd and hype. The result, is his 92-page book "Talk Story" anchored around John John Florence, a North Shore local who at 21 years old has the professional surfing world on his shoulders.


Shooting the project entirely on film, Barash took the risk of waiting months for his film to be developed before piecing together the narrative. The results are stunning, appealing to lovers of the sport as well as those with little to no attachment to it. In a sense, "Talk Story" is more of a documentary bordering on ethnography than pure surf photography.


There are boards, waves and the beach is always a few pages away, however there is also vulnerability, family life and emotion. Through this approach, a community emerges. It's one that Florence—described by Barash as soft-spoken and humble—despite his world ranking, appears to know his place in. Few photographers capture contemporary Hawaiian surfing culture with such deft attention to the social forces at play in the local communities. It doesn't hurt that Barash is highly skilled in managing light conditions and bringing forth rich textures in both landscapes and subjects.


"Talk Story" is available from Dashwood Books in limited numbers. For more from Cole Barash, check his portfolio and keep an eye on his Tumblr for a glimpse at his latest work.

Images courtesy of Cole Barash, gallery images courtesy of Matt Catalano

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Aston Martin Revives Bespoke Lagonda Model

The historic nameplate is reintroduced, drawing inspiration from its 1976 predecessor

by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 25 July 2014

Auto Design, Britain, Cars, History, Aston Martin, Custom


In 1976 Aston Martin introduced the William Towns-designed Lagonda, a cutting-edge automobile unlike anything the market had seen before. Now, nearly 40 years later, the British brand announces a return to the bespoke program with an entirely new super saloon intended to revive the historic Lagonda nameplate. Following in the footsteps of Aston Martin's One-77, V12 Zagato and CC100 Speedster Concept projects, the new limited edition Lagonda model will draw direct inspiration from the aforementioned 1976 Longonda to reach a rarely seen level of luxury, only accessible through personal invitation.


Working off the brand's existing VH architecture, the unique cars will be hand-built, one at a time in Warwickshire, England—a facility previously established to exclusively produce the One-77 hypercar. Expect to see the use of carbon fiber in body panels alongside a range of top-level Aston Martin engineering techniques. The new Lagonda super saloon will only be available in the Middle East market upon introduction, though this may change over time. Keep an eye on Aston Martin for more news in the near future.

Images courtesy of Aston Martin and New Art Cars

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