*speechless arm flailing*
I want one!
If only every concept was explained with a Disney reference, I’d be doing even better in law school.
Another work-in-progress gif! Start to finish of the Green Tree Frog. :)
So that’s how it’s done
When you need glasses but you don’t like wearing them, you develop stubborn alternatives like recognising people by their gait – a unique waddle buys you a good few metres before the vague blur of a face resembles anything human. You get by with neither a street sign to navigate you nor an awesome vista to inspire.
Then comes a rainy morning when you spend so long squinting at the number of a bus that you miss it.
A few months ago I gave contact lenses a try, and if my glasses were gathering dust before, they’re buried in it now. How incredible that we are able to correct poor vision by attaching little transparent discs directly onto our eyeballs.
Materials science has, unsurprisingly, had a huge role in the development of contacts, making them thinner, lighter and less intrusive as new materials became available.
The first lenses were produced in 1888 by a German ophthalmologist named Adolf Fick. They were made of glass and had a ‘scleral’ fit, meaning that they covered the entire visible surface of the eye, and they could only be worn for two hours. Much like Dr Fick’s given name, glass contacts went somewhat out of fashion in the 20th Century.
In 1936, American optometrist William Feinbloom introduced plastic to lens manufacture, combining glass and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA, commonly known as acrylic glass, Plexiglass and Perspex), but the smaller ‘corneal’ lenses were not developed until 1949, and they were a huge step forward – the first to have mass appeal. There was no more glass involved, just PMMA, and they could be worn for up to 16 hours a day. Still, they weren’t the floppy, soft lenses we know today.
Otto Wichterle: Father of the soft contact lens.
It was the Czech chemists Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lím who made that breakthrough in 1959, when they published a study into the biological use of hydrophilic gels. They invented the polymer polyhydroxyethylmethacrylate (pHEMA), which functions as a hydrogel by rotating around its central carbon.
Over the next 25 years, copolymers were developed that made the gel thinner and increased oxygen permeability, which is important for frequent use, as a lack of oxygen supply to the cornea is associated with several health risks. In 1998, silicone hydrogel lenses became available, offering the extremely high oxygen permeability of silicone. Contact lenses have even been cultured with stem cells to restore sight in patients suffering corneal damage.
Bionic: Could this be the next big thing?…
Considering the progression in lens materials in little over a century, perhaps the next big thing is not that surprising. Bionic lenses are currently under development, featuring an antenna that receives a radio signal, an integrated circuit that harvests power and controls a set of LEDs, which send images via a 10 micrometre focal lens direct to the retina. Forget cumbersome headgear – augmented reality could be coming straight to your eyeballs soon…
By Simon Frost
THE BEGINNINGS OF KAWAII
No, no, you have no idea. It actually IS the beginning of the whole so-called “kawaii culture”. And it started because girls started using mechanical pencils, which provided fine handwriting. After being banished (more precisely, during the 80s), this kind of writing started being used in products like magazines and make-up. And, during this time, icons we usually associate with the whole kawaii industry (like the characters from Sanrio) came to life too.
And what many people don’t realize is that this subculture was born as a way for young girls to express themselves in their own way. And it was also used as something against the adult life and the traditional culture, often seen as dull and boring and oppressive. By embracing cuteness, these young girls (and adult women, after a while) were showing non-conformation with the current standards.
So yep. Kawaii is important, and it all started with cute, simple handwritting a few hearts and cat faces in some girls’ school notebooks <3
NO OK THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!
This is also how the kawaii fashions started! Girls began dressing in cute and off beat styles for themsleves, they were criticized by adult figures telling them “you’ll never find a husband if you dress that way!” to which they began to reply “Good!”
All the japanese subcultures and fashions that evolved out of this became a rebellion to tradition and the starch gender roles and expectations the adults were forcing on the younger generations. As early as the 70s and still to this day you’ll see an emphasis on child-like fashion and themes in more kawaii styles and the dismissal of the male gaze with styles like lolita (a lot of western people assume lolita is somehow sexual due to the name of the fashion, but ask any japanese lolita and they will tell you that men hate the style and find it unattractive which is sometimes a large reason they gravitate towards the style - they can express their femininity and individuality while remaining independent and without the pressure to appeal to men)
Its so so so important to understand the hyper cute and ‘odd’ fashions of Japanese girls carry such a huge message of feminism and reclaiming of their own lives.
I’m so happy to learn about the origins of kawaii culture. Yet again, young girls push the limits of our verbal and visual vocabulary by being themselves.
Twenty-five years ago today, Voyager 2 flew within 5,000 km of the cloud tops of Neptune, capping the most glorious and ambitious exploration humankind has ever engineered. We could not claim to know the contents of our cosmic neighborhood without Voyager’s tour through the planetary portion of our solar system. For many of us, including myself, it was a defining, life-shaping experience.
Here are some pictures from that oh-so-memorable time … a time of discovery and peaceful conquest that set the stage for the return expeditions to Jupiter and Saturn, which came to be called Galileo and Cassini. The pictures include artwork, a close-up of the high methane clouds on Neptune, preparations for TV interviews by MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour and CNN, the final press conference in which I gave the summary of our findings on Neptune’s rings, and a pic of Chuck Berry and Carl Sagan, speaking to the Voyager team members already giddy in their celebration of the successful conclusion of Voyager’s historic, 12-year odyssey.
Enjoy the memories!
Fan-art of a recently (semi-) published hypothesis: that the bizarre internal structures on beaked whale skulls may be used for ‘visual’ sexual display, despite being surrounded by soft tissue. Apparently this bone — some of which is the most dense known — could still be detectable to an echo-locating beaked whale. The title of Gol’din’s article rather memorably calls them ‘antlers inside’ and… I sorta ran with it.
Gol’din P. (2014) ‘Antlers inside’: are the skull structures of beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidae) used for echoic imaging and visual display? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society DOI: 10.1111/bij.12337
In a nutshell, it is possible that beaked whales have “antlers” inside their skulls only detectable by the echolocation apparatus of other whales.
100% medically accurate.
Starting Thursday August 14th, visitors will be able to use free wifi at Reseda Park off Victory Blvd. The project received some funding from Toyota and has been named, “Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi.” There are 5 other parks that are a part of the launch: Cabrillo Beach, Echo Park Lake, Griffith Observatory and Pershing Square and Venice Beach. There are hot spots within the parks.
I didn’t grow up in Reseda, but my life brought me in its orbit frequently and its mid-century seediness holds a special place in my heart.