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Link About It: Top Picks of 2012

Birth, death and re-birth—a look back at the the news that hit our creative world in 2012

by CH Editors in Link About It on 29 December 2012

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1. RIP MCA

Adam "MCA" Yauch—founding member of the Beastie Boys—passed away at the age of 47 following a prolonged bout with cancer. The influential music icon took his group from a garage band in Brooklyn to superstardom alongside Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Adrock" Horovitz. In addition to music, Yauch led charities for Tibetan citizens, 9/11 victims and directed several of the band's music videos.

2. Whitney Houston

In the wake of Whitney Houston's death, tributes abound. The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones offers a heartbreaking examination of the troubled superstar, down to her remarkable voice's command on vowels and her always worried, enraptured public.

3. Dick Clark on "This is Your Life"

In a vintage recording of "This is Your Life", we are reminded of Dick Clark's truly fascinating life and prolific career. Recorded when Clark was still a young man, the episode sheds light on his accomplishments prior to becoming a New Year's Eve institution.

4. Bill Moggride Dies at 69

Celebrated industrial designer and technology pioneer, professor, creator of the interaction design discipline, founding partner of IDEO, Director of the Cooper-Hewitt, author and digital illuminati Bill Moggridge passed away this week. Among his legacies are the invention of the laptop's now ubiquitous clamshell format; his 1979 design for Grid's Compass computer was used on NASA space shuttle missions from 1983 to 1997. We're humbled by his legacy.

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5. Caine's Arcade

Caine's Arcade tells the heartwarming story of a creative young boy in East LA who made a DIY arcade using cardboard boxes from his father's auto parts store. Discovered by an encouraging young filmmaker, Caine has what he calls the "best day of his whole life" when the city rallies his efforts in a surprise tribute arcade flashmob.

6. Guy Fieri Kitty Critique

New York Times critic Peter Wells published a magnum opus of restaurant reviews with Guy Fieri's city block-sized Times Square eatery in its crosshairs. To make light of the situation—or possibly make it worse—Eater positioned the harshest quotes from Wells' writing as cute and cuddly questions from kittens.

7. Beautiful and Bald Barbie

Created by cancer survivor Jane Bingham, "Beautiful and Bald Barbie" eschews blonde locks in favor of a hairless scalp to remind cancer stricken women and children that beauty and self-worth are "not dependent upon their hair." Mattel plans to produce the Barbie, and stock hospitals around the U.S. with the altruistic doll.

8. Yoko Ono for Opening Ceremony

"Soooooo, this is actually, like, 'art' or something, isn't it? No fucking way Yoko Ono thinks she can break up The Beatles AND ruin menswear." Read more of Jon Moy's appropriate reaction to Ono's new Opening Ceremony collection over at Four Pins.

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9. Thom Browne F/W 2012

Innovative menswear designer Thom Browne is known for reinventing the suit—most notably with a cropped pant—but his recent Fall/Winter 2012 collection takes it to the next level. Football shoulder pads, rugby-striped sweater dresses, Uncle Fester makeup and Hellraiser-esque headwear mark his resounding departure from business casual.

10. 3D-Printed Aston Martin

Though the story called for a precious 1960 Aston Martin DB5 to be decimated, producers of "Skyfall," the latest Bond installment, saved the rare icon by combining 3D printing with creative modeling. Propshop Modelmakers Ltd. employed a Voxeljet VX4000 large-scale printer to produce a series of model DB5s, which were built on a one-third scale out of 18 components.

11. Art Thoughtz: Damien Hirst

In a direct-address video, Art Thoughtz personality Hennessey Youngman explains the "perfect storm of banality" that is Damien Hirst, and how money has served as his medium. But Youngman's biggest beef with the artist, who is estimated to be worth £215 million, is the "asshole" way he presents himself in photographs—a style he can only liken to the "douchery" of Bono.

12. Custom IPhone Collodion

Using an antiquated method that's as technical as it is creative, photographer Jake Potts ingeniously turned the glass back of his iPhone into a ambrotype photo. The wet plate collodion process calls for some real camera nerdery, but the diligence is clearly worth it.

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13. Venus Transit

If you missed Venus' seven-hour odyssey across the sun, NASA has a high-definition video of the transit, which won't occur for another 105 years.

14. Time + Sandy + Instagram

To give subscribers a clear portrait of hurricane Sandy in realtime, Time hired five notable photographers Ben Lowy, VII shooter, Ed Kashi, Andrew Quilti, Stephen Wilkes and Michael Christopher Brown to man their Instagram account and show the storm's devastating impact.

15. Pulitzer Prize Photography

This year's arts and journalism awards saw a first-time win for a new media outlet and the omission of a Fiction winner for the first time in 35 years, as well as two war-related images in the Breaking News andFeature Photography categories. For the former, the committee recognized Massoud Hossaini for his "heartbreaking" depiction of a young girl screaming in the wake of a suicide bombing that killed 70 people in Kabul. Craig F. Walker of the Denver Post took home the Feature Photography award for his "compassionate chronicle of an honorably discharged veteran, home from Iraq and struggling with a severe case of post-traumatic stress."

16. Yayoi Kusama

The Whitney Museum of American Art is presenting a retrospective of 60 years of work by Yayoi Kusama, famous for her two-toned paintings of intricate dot patterns that make up large-scale environments. In conjunction with the show, the artist collaborated with Louis Vuitton on a clothing collection entitled "Infinitely Kusama," and has decked out the windows of the brand's 57th Street flagship and Soho outpost with her red and white polka-dotted whimsy.

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