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June 27, 2018

How to wear Moche ear ornaments

1

Unlike modern-day earrings, these ear ornaments have no backings.

The post that goes through the earlobe balances the front to keep it from falling out.

2

The front of each ear ornament is large — almost 3.25 inches wide — the width of a driver's license is only a little greater.

These ornaments — made from gold, turquoise, sodalite, and shell — were likely worn with the winged, bird-like figures facing inward towards the face.

Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 4.25.40 PM

The figures seem to be running, possibly to deliver an important message to the wearer.

The Moche, who lived on the north coast of Peru, created this pair of ear ornaments between 400 C.E. and 700 C.E.

Ear ornaments have been discovered at archaeological sites across the Americas, from Peru to Mexico.

For many years, experts believed that these objects were only worn by important men.

Recent studies, however, have revealed that ear ornaments were worn by powerful women as well.

Girls and boys in high-ranking families had their ears pierced and wore large ear ornaments to stretch the holes.

Long, droopy earlobes were a sign of power — sometimes they even hung down to the shoulders.

[via the Metropolitan Museum of Art]

June 27, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

How spiders fly

From Tech Times:

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Scientists have found that spiders float in the wind by releasing nanoscale silks that are thinner than the wavelength of visible light.

The step-by-step process involved when the spiderd float in the wind in search for food or for a new home has been deconstructed.

Many spiders, large and small, engage in a behavior called "ballooning," in which they may fly on the wind for hundreds of miles to search for a mate or find another place to colonize.

While ballooning has been a subject of numerous scientific studies before, the current research dissected how exactly the spiders take off from their point of origin.

The study, conducted by Moonsung Cho, an aerodynamics engineer from the Technical University of Berlin, found that spiders actually strategize before "flying," determining ideal wind conditions.

Insights from this research could help aerodynamics experts designing flying devices.

To conduct their experiments, Cho and his team collected crab spiders and observed them both in a Berlin park and a laboratory.

Crab spiders are about 0.11" (5mm) long and weigh up to 25 mg.

Their study, published in the journal PLoS Biology on June 14, found that spiders would first sense the wind by raising one or both of their front legs.

The arachnids would repeatedly raise their legs to evaluate the condition and direction of the wind.

"The pre-flight behaviors we observed suggest that crab spiders are evaluating meteorological conditions before takeoff," explained Cho.

When spiders sensed that the wind speed was less than 7 mph, they released multiple nanoscale fiber silk fibers measuring about 10 feet long.

Before launching, they would first leave some strands of silk anchored to the ground or to blades of grass which served as a launch pad.

The spiders would then launch themselves using the remaining strands of silk.

The team concluded that spiders do not spin their silk during ballooning.

In the laboratory, the team observed that one spider could release up to 60 fibers, some as thin as 200 nanometers.

Upon closer inspection with an electron microscope, Cho found that these silks are thinner than the wavelength of visible light.

"Most winged insects flap their wings to build a vortex of air to lift their bodies and make them float," Cho explained.

In the case of crab spiders, their nanoscale silks were so thin that they instead made use of the density of air to float in the wind.

June 27, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dolce and Gabbana "Super King" Sneaker

B3-AX030_DOLCE__16H_20180622124209

So me.

Too loud?

No problema: they also make this more sedate version

B3-AX037_OTSNEA_ER_20180622124929

for formal occasions.

A snip at $995.

[via the Wall Street Journal]

June 27, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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