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June 21, 2017

The Oldest Human-Made Metal Object Ever Discovered in South America

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From Atlas Obscura:

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About 3,000 years ago, someone in the Andes in what is now northwestern Argentina made an object unlike any other archaeologists have found in South America, reports LiveScience.

This sheet of metal, 7 inches long by 6 inches wide, was given the features of a person — eyes, nose, and mouth holes.

Along the edges, whoever created this object made small, circular holes — at the corners of the sheet and its middle, bottom, and top.

As far as anyone in our own time can tell, it was meant to be a mask.

This discovery, reported in a new paper in the journal Antiquity, is one of the oldest examples of metalwork in South America and the oldest manmade metal object on the continent.

There are older examples of metalwork but "none of the artifacts had been intentionally shaped into a recognizable form, nor were any perforated or shaped into three-dimensional objects," the paper's authors report. "This mask is unique."

It was initially discovered by locals in 2005, when a rainstorm washed it from the ground.

In the place where the mask was found, archaeologists uncovered the remains of 14 individuals.

One of the skeletons showed green stains, which indicated that the mask had been buried there.

At the time the mask was created, people in that part of the world were moving from hunting and gathering to a more sedentary, agricultural existence.

It was previously thought that the practice of metalworking in this part of the world originated in what is now Peru but as the authors write, this new discovery indicates that there may be more than one origin point for this craft in South America.

June 21, 2017 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"This new Moleskine is like an iPad made of paper"

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From CODESIGN:

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Ask companies like Adobe and Fiftythree and they'll tell you that tablets are the future of drawing. Give in, and get used to the concept of touching a stylus to your screen. Because as hardware and software get better, you'll be able to create the sorts of things you can only dream about creating on paper.

Moleskine — the preeminent journal company with no lack of self-interest in keeping paper alive — has presented its vision of another possible future. Its new Livescribe Notebook appears to be a typical Moleskine. Except when you write on it with a Livescribe Smartpen (a pen known for turning written paper notes into typed digital transcripts), your doodles and brainstorms not only are automatically backed up to an app, they're also infused with the conveniences of digital-native technologies.

The pen is programmed with the exact lines, margins, and buttons of the Moleskine notebook paper, so it always knows where the pen is hitting the paper, which opens the possibilities for a gee-whiz user experience. If you'd like to tag a sketch to pull up later, you simply tap on one of three icons printed at the bottom the page — a star, flag, or tag — much like you might tap an icon in your Gmail inbox. If you'd like to record a verbal note alongside your sketch, there are play, pause, and record icons at the bottom of the page. Additionally, two pull-out bookmarks offer some logistical features as well, like letting you update your pen's Wi-Fi settings (complete with password support), pairing your pen, or scrubbing through your recordings.

Now, a Livescribe pen — coupled with a Livescribe journal — can already pull off a lot of these stunts on their own. The cleverness here is that Moleskine and Livescribe are both thinking beyond their own brands, and designed the book and pen to work in tandem.

Moleskine is a powerful brand that does $100 million in sales a year, which Livescribe can use to extend its reach. At the same time, more than 90% of Moleskine’s revenue is from paper products. Livescribe offers Moleskine an opportunity to stay relevant in the digital age.

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Notebook: $29.95.

Pen: $179.95.

June 21, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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