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February 5, 2020

How's your spidey sense?


Did you notice anything unusual about today's posts?

Not the content, booboo: the fact that there's an underlying theme.


It's an experiment inspired by my Crack Research Team®©, who've been annoying me for many years about how much great stuff they have to discard after assembling the materials for boj posts.

I figured that for once, I'd use some of the stuff that otherwise would've ended up on the virtual cutting room floor.

More theme days?

Never again?

What say you*?



Greg Perkins?






Ms. Radoo?

Steven Frisk?


Joe Peach?

Dave Tufte?






Paul Tempke?



Nanci McCrackin?




Rob O.?

Brett Kling?




*Above, the names of the 28 authors of the 50 latest comments at the time I composed this post: 9:58 a.m. EST on Friday, January 31, 2020.

FunFact: The comments span the period December 12, 2019 through the time of composition noted above.

50 comments over 50 days.

I got out my calculator and did the math.

Like the vitamins, one a day does the trick.

February 5, 2020 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

The Giant Bronze Spiders of Louise Bourgeois




above and below,


it's clear


they travel well.




the then 84-year-old artist with one of her creations in her Brooklyn studio in 1996.

She died in 2010 at the age of 98 in New York City.

February 5, 2020 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


Screen Shot 2020-01-31 at 8.37.07 AM

Kind of a creepy name for a creepy company.

From its Documentation page:

SpiderFoot is a reconnaissance tool that automatically queries over 100 public data sources (OSINT) to gather intelligence on IP addresses, domain names, e-mail addresses, names, and more.

Screen Shot 2020-01-31 at 8.37.36 AM

You simply specify the target you want to investigate, pick which modules to enable, and then SpiderFoot will collect data to build up an understanding of all the entities and how they relate to each other.

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February 5, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Newly discovered neon-green spider named after "Lady Gaga of mathematics"


From LiveScience:

A newly discovered neon-green spider that uses math to build its incredibly precise and consistent webs has just been named after the "Lady Gaga of mathematics."

The bright-green arachnid is part of the orb-weaver spider family (Araneidae), whose members "tend to build beautiful and architecturally aesthetic webs" that look like they adhere to the golden ratio, study lead researcher Alireza Zamani, a doctoral student in the Biodiversity Unit at the University of Turku in Finland, told Live Science. 

In fact, a close relative — the garden orb-weaver spider (Araneus diadematus) — creates about 30 radial threads (the spoke-like lines extending from the web's middle) that form "an astonishingly constant angle of about 15 degrees, which the spider carefully measures using its front legs," Zamani said.

The newfound spider has similarly precise webs, he noted.

To highlight the spider's fastidious weaving, Zamani named the newly discovered species Araniella villanii, after French mathematician Cédric Villani — the winner of the 2010 Fields Medal, a prize awarded to mathematicians under the age of 40.

Villani is also apparently a huge spider fan.

"Villani's love for spiders is evident by the constant presence of a spider brooch on his lapel," Zamani said.

"Although he has never explained the reason behind his appreciation of these arachnids, we decided to make a connection between them in real life and name a mathematical spider after the spider-man mathematician."

Like other members of the Araniella genus, A. villanii eats small flying insects and builds its webs in woods, bushes, and low vegetation, where the spiders' green bodies are camouflaged. (It's no wonder the nickname for Araniella is "green cucumber spiders," Zamani said.) 

"Living specimens of Araniella spiders usually have a beautiful, striking green coloration, which is quite rare in spiders," Zamani said. "This is due to certain bile pigments called 'biliverdin,' which makes them very difficult to detect in nature."

A. villanii also has spiky black hairs covering its body. These hairs are innervated, meaning they can sense the outside world, much like a cat's whiskers. 

This discovery shows just how many unknown species are likely still out there. 

A. villanii "is known from southwestern Iran, eastern Kazakhstan and northern India, a distribution range covering at least 10 countries, and yet, the species was unknown to science until now," Zamani said.

The study was published online January 22 in the journal ZooKeys.

February 5, 2020 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ernst Haeckel "Spiders" Puzzle

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Based on a print from Haeckel's 1904 Kunstformen der Natur — the Art Forms of Nature.

1,000 pieces, 20" x 30".


February 5, 2020 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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