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Link About It: This Week's Picks

Matt Groening's early work for Apple, bands to watch at SXSW, chasing the Higgs Boson and more in our look at the web this week

by CH Editors in Link About It on 09 March 2013

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1. 30 Under 30 at SXSW

Buzzfeed counts down 30 of the hottest young bands to check out at SXSW 2013, starting with breakout band Wildcat! Wildcat! and ending with returning headliner Passion Pit. The focused list serves as a great guide for anyone setting out to navigate the massive Austin music fest. Some of our favorites include Charli XCX, Kendrick Lamar, Alt-J, Beach Fossils, Sky Ferreira, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Haim.

2. Petting Zoo

Illustrator and author Christoph Niemann unveiled his newest project, Petting Zoo at this year's Design Indaba to much delight. Niemann created the interactive picture book as an app, allowing you to stretch, squish, morph and play with all of the animals in his fictitious menagerie. Pick it up from iTunes.

3. WiFi Boosting Phone Case

Only sightly larger than a standard iPhone case, Linkase both protects your phone and claims to boost wireless speeds. Simply slide up a little EMW stick and boom, your WiFI download and upload speeds will double. We haven't tried it yet, but the brand's demonstrative video does well to convince.

4. Chasing the Higgs Boson

Following the landmark multimedia experience "Snowfall," the New York Times has released another multi-chapter investigation of the Higgs Boson. While not as graphically sophisticated as its predecessor, "Chasing the Higgs Boson" is a beautifully thorough look at the so-called "god particle."

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5. How The Outsiders Came To Be

In 1980, on behalf of her class, California school teacher Jo Ellen Misakian sent Francis Ford Coppola a letter—along with a petition signed by 110 of her students—in an effort to encourage the legendary director to make a move adaptation of S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. After a brief written exchange between producer Roos and Misakian, it actually worked.

6. Bell Jar Sculptures

After picking up several bell jars from different marketplaces, the founders behind quirky British office supply store Present&Correct began to experiment with them, creating a collection of geometric bell jar sculptures. Simple in their construction, the structures offer a playful paper alternative to a bell jar's usual mounted animal inhabitants. For now these are just a personal project by the creative store owners.

7. PAM Indigo Dye

In creating their new "To & Afro" collection, the always-fresh Aussie label PAM relied on Malian craftspeople to color the fabrics by hand in indigo dye pits. While most know indigo by its synthetic counterpart, the traditional process is kept alive by a handful of people and lends incredibly rich blues to the final product.

8. Smithsonian Magazine 2012 Photo Contest

Following a proud tradition of international photography, Smithsonian Magazine has announced the 50 finalists in their annual photo contest. From tornado-warped grain silos to Vietnamese salt harvesting, the collection is a stunning look at the contemporary world.

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9. Hollywood Swindle

For non-fans of the hoards of 3D movie offerings—and their nearly $20 ticket prices—pumping out of Hollywood, Matt Wasser's clever T-shirt design gives a cheeky way to show your disapproval. Playing on the traditional red and blue 3D technology, the graphic blasts a clear message you won't need glasses to read. Available from Threadless.

10. NYC I/O

Ask and you shall receive. When NYC sent out a call to reinvent the public payphone, Control Group and Titan responded with NYC I/O. The concept for a network of touchscreen computing portals aims to distribute information, provide services and unite the city.

11. Matt Groening Artwork for Apple

In 1989, prior to the debut of the Simpsons, Apple hired Matt Groening to illustrate a series of fliers and brochures aimed at college students. While rumors of the deal have circulated for some time this is one of the first times we've seen the result in its entirety. The humorous brochure "Who Needs a Computer Anyway" relied heavily on illustrations based on Groening's then-popular "Life in Hell" comic, informing prospective Apple buyers of the perks of owning a personal computer.

12. Predpol

Utilizing an algorithm to predict crime like the weather, Predpol offers police departments a new weapon in their arsenal. By assessing 500-square-foot regions the program takes into account recent crimes from burglaries to hijacking to help focus officers on where they might have to take their next bite. The recently developed Predpol has had success in its trial runs in California, so west coast bandits beware.

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