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Link About It: This Week's Picks

The Jacques Cousteau iPhone app, an electric camper, musical tree rings and more in our look at the web this week

by CH Editors in Design on 21 January 2012

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1. Cousteau Collection

Connoisseurs of the work of the pioneering sea scientist will delight in the new iPhone and iPad app that reveals a significant portion of Cousteau's archive for the first time. Users can track exhibitions, meet members of the crew and learn more from pictures and video of oceanic analyses inspired by Cousteau's findings.

2. Years

Reading the rings of wood cut from felled trees, "Years" produces music that reflects the tree's unique composition. Created by Bartholomäus Traubeck, the custom program and modified turntable pump out piano melodies as the wooden disc spins around.

3. City Silhouettes

The visually lucid images Beijing-based photographer Jasper James captures of people in cities around Asia are inspired by the 2008 demographic shift where the number of people living in cities outnumbered those in rural areas. They are also amazingly done without the help of digital retouching.

4. A Room for London

Philosopher Alain de Botton has made the latest contribution to the movement toward unconventional hotel experiences with A Room for London, as part of his ongoing Living Architecture series. The Room is housed within a one-bedroom boat perched atop the city's Queen Elizabeth Hall, overlooking the Thames. Bookings for one-night stays have already sold out through 2012.

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5. Sunrise Thermal Airship

In an attempt to expand access to flight Metin Kaplan has delivered this prototype solar powered airship. The craft, which runs completely on solar energy, might be slower than a normal helicopter but it makes up for it in fun.

6. The Skin I Live In

Since debuting at Cannes last May, Pedro Almodóvar's latest film "La Piel Que Habito" ("The Skin I Live In") has received praise around the world for its beautifully obscure yet sterile portrait of a deranged plastic surgeon. Now in cinemas in South Africa, Cape Town culture magazine Mahala writes a compelling review.

7. Love, Life, Fuck

Nieves just released five new zines, including—for the first time—Olaf Breuning's "Love, Life, Fuck." The edition, limited to 150 copies, features 20 pages of the Swiss artist's humorous drawings.

8. Suicidal Surfing

Despite the coast guard labeling the conditions double code red and delivering threats to arrest anyone who entered the water, a few intrepid surfers still took a dip. In this stunning video, shot on the Phantom, we get a slow-mo look at some maniacal riders taking on monstrous waves.

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9. Dennis Manarchy's Custom Camera

Dennis Manarchy embarked on a massive journey to build what might be the largest camera we have ever seen. The custom creation is a tool for his Vanishing Cultures project, in which Manarchy will travel America documenting societies that are disappearing and then attach their 2-story sized prints to buildings in an outdoor exhibition.

10. Golden Gate Camper

San Francisco artist Jay Nelson has created the ultimate electric camper for hyper-local excursions. While the range is a meager ten miles, the plywood, epoxy resin and fiberglass vehicle has room for a bed, sink, stove and toilet. Drivers are required to sit cross-legged while revving the electric bike-powered engine.

11. Pow

The work of augmented reality trailblazers Reed + Rader, "Pow" is a series of animated gifs that brilliantly combines avant fashion and low-tech digital art. The Brooklyn-based duo created the gifs, inspired by 8 bit video games, for the debut menswear collection of Central Saint Martins Graduate Student Chi He.

12. Fuuvi Bee

While there are other tiny cameras out there that mimic the 8mm feel, this is by far the cutest. The Fuuvi Bee is a tiny plastic camera that captures digital footage that looks very much like the classic home movie.

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13. DropbyDrop

The United Nations is hosting a design competition in Europe, tasking people to design ads supporting water conservation efforts. As part of "The Future We Want" initiative for the Rio+20 conference, the DropbyDrop campaign aims to inspire individuals to motivate one another to save the planet's "most precious resource." Entries may be submitted through 29 February 2012.

14. Cell Phone Recycling

To encourage recycling of electronic devices, ecoATM is an automated machine that collects unwanted cell phones, giving users a cash reward. The amount is determined by the machine's evaluation of the object's value, which uses Axeda's information cloud to make an assessment through the ATM's sensors.

15. Richard Mille's Sapphire Watch

The world of ridiculous goods has just gained another time-telling member. Created from a single block of solid sapphire, the RM056 from Richard Mill features is a split-second chronograph with tourbillon movement. The five that will be made are set to retail at $1.65 million.

16. Levi's Camera Strap

Photography blog PetaPixel reminds readers that the Levi's denim camera strap created exclusively for subscribers of the Hong Kong magazine New Monday can be found on eBay.

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