Link About It: This Week's Picks
Link About It: This Week's Picks
A 300-year-old murder mystery, rethinking aging, Monday's supermoon and more
1. Upcoming Supermoon Will be Closest to Earth Since 1948
It only takes one cosmic happening to remind us just how immense the universe is and, in turn, how small Earth is. On Monday, our tiny blue dot will experience a supermoon unlike any since 1948, when the moon passes Earth more closely than it has in almost 70 years. On the East Coast, the best time to view the extra big and bright celestial body will be around 6AM. Read more at Popular Science.
2. A Language Without Sound or Visuals
According to Washington DC's Gallaudet University, the US has between 45,000 and 50,000 DeafBlind people—those who can neither see nor hear. Until recently, fingerspelling and braille were the primary means of communication but limited person-to-person interaction. Over the last few years, however, a new communication system has grown organically, based around American Sign Language (ASL). Known as pro-tactile ASL, elements from standard sign language have been modified so that they interact directly with the receiver's hands and body. This touch-based language can convey more than words, but also concepts and even tone. And while complex, it's no more so than learning any other language. As the language advances, more and more people might just be able to open their world further. Learn more at Quartz.
3. Range Rover Sport's Inferno Downhill Challenge
In Switzerland's stunning Bernese Alps sits the Schilthorn summit—almost 3,000 meters high. Home to the world's longest downhill ski race—the Inferno, which was first held in 1928—this is one serious mountain. Land Rover enlisted race car driver Ben Collins to race the Range Rover Sport down the Inferno, over all kinds of terrain (ice, snow, mud, rocks, asphalt and more) at gradients up to 75% over 15 kilometers. Unsurprisingly, the video features incredible landscape and some thrilling moments.
4. 300-Year-Old Murder Mystery Rekindled by Skeleton Discovery
When renovating the Leine Palace (located in Lower Saxony, Germany), workers found bones on the floor. Soon it was determined they were human, and from a long time ago. Now it's believed the bones could be a clue in a 300-year-old murder mystery involving King George I. The story goes, when King George I was still Georg Ludwig, he lived at Leine Palace with his wife (and cousin) Sophia Dorothea of Celle. The couple married in 1682 and neither was faithful. Sophia Dorothea had a long relationship with a Swedish Count, Philipp Christoph von Königsmark. The lovers had planned to run away together, but Georg found out about their plan. "On the day the lovers planned to escape, Königsmark mysteriously disappeared and wasn’t seen again. Georg then divorced Sophia Dorothea and imprisoned her miles away in another castle, where she died three decades later." Could these bones be Königsmark's? Read more at National Geographic.
5. Rethink Aging, Thanks to This 80-Year-Old Chinese Model
Wang Deshun doesn't look like your "regular" 80-year-old man. Wang (aka "China’s hottest grandpa") is an actor, model and artist, and made waves last year when taking to the catwalk for the first time—showing off his super-fit physique. In China, the Times reports, "someone as young as 50 may be addressed as 'yeye' or 'nainai'—grandpa or grandma—regardless of whether they have offspring," so Wang's rejection of this attitude is subverting the ways in which Chinese people—and all of us—traditionally view aging. "Nature determines age, but you determine your state of mind," he says. Read more at the New York Times.
6. Custom Rusted BMW i8
With shiny gold rims and a rusted-out exterior, this BMW i8 is all about contrasts. Florida-based garage Metrowrapz built the vehicle for a customer and while the aesthetic might not be appealing to everybody, one pragmatic reason for the rust-bucket style is that as the car ages, rust will simply blend in. As designboom says, it looks like "it could be found roaming around a post-apocalyptic landscape"—definitely something Mad Max might drive, if he had a little more cash.
7. The Weirdest, Funniest and Most Controversial Art of the 2016 Presidential Election
After 18 months of campaigning, Election Day is finally over. No matter which candidate you voted for, whether you abstained from voting or aren't allowed to, it's been grueling. Luckily artists all over the world have been making their stances known, and entertaining us in the meantime, by creating some of the most hilarious, weird, gross, and controversial political artworks seen in recent years.
8. Sappy But Symbolic Gestures Mean a Lot
No matter which side of this election you've been on, there's no doubt that a huge number of people in the United States and around the world are feeling tremendous shock, sadness and uncertainty. According to The Science of Us' Jesse Singal, seemingly sappy but symbolic gestures mean a lot in times like these. Singal writes, "Those of us who value certain norms—empathy, multiculturalism, tolerance—can push back just a little bit against the storm that is coming by broadcasting those norms to the world." Visible displays of solidarity, kindness and caring about others' safety is important always, but today "Jews going to mosques or Muslims going to synagogues or all the other stuff that's so easy to write off as saccharine theater"—those kinds of gestures are especially significant. Read more at Science of Us.