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Freefall 2835 July 11, 2016

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Freefall 2835 July 11, 2016
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denismm
43 days ago
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Utterly consistent quality and schedule for 18 years and he says "end of chapter 1"?
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Why Do Pirates Wear Earrings?

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Can that earring pay for his funeral? (Photo: David Goehring/CC BY 2.0)

Avast! Can any one of you scurvy dogs tell me if this earring matches this bandana? While pirates have a reputation for crime and cruelty, they are also known to be flamboyant dressers, if most depictions in popular culture can be believed. And there's one essential accessory sported by everyone from Jack Sparrow to Captain Morgan: the gold hoop earring. 

When exactly men of the sea began to put rings in their ears is anyone’s guess, but there are a handful of legends that claim to explain the fashion. The most popular myth behind the jewelry trend is that sailors would wear gold and silver earrings so that no matter where they died, they would be adorned with a way to pay for their burial. Since gold and silver were accepted forms of payment just about everywhere in the world, having a hunk of it stuck in your ear where it won’t wash away at sea was a pretty solid insurance policy. 

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(Photo: Howard Pyle/Public Domain)

There does seem to be some truth to this myth, says pirate historian Gail Selinger. “If you were a pirate or a thief, you were never buried. But if you’re on land and you die, then you have the money for your own burial, “ she says of the earrings. And it wasn’t just earrings that pirates wore to show off their wealth. During the golden age of piracy, pirates were known to drill holes in coins and wear them like necklaces and bracelets. “They’d wear it on their wrist, or around their neck, so that no one could steal their purse. [Archeologists] found quite a few of those [pieces of money jewelry]. So it’s not just a myth,” says Selinger. How widespread the practice was, however, is unknown.

In addition to their possible role as a down payment on a burial, earrings and jewelry were objects of rebellion. During the height of piracy in the 17th and 18th centuries, much of Europe, and especially England, had a number of sumptuary laws in place that regulated what the common people could wear and how they could live. “It was a legal way for the ruling class to separate themselves from commoners, by regulating what they wore, what they could drink, where they could live,” says Selinger.

The stifling laws prescribed things down to what colors people could wear, what genders could sport jewelry—men weren't allowed—and where they could show off the approved things they could afford. Those who refused to obey these laws could face jail time or heavy monetary fines. Unsurprisingly, this culture of control didn’t really gel with the freewheeling lives of pirates. “Pirates basically gave [these laws] a, ‘to hell with you!’ The mindset was, ‘I no longer allow you to tell me what I can and cannot do,’” says Selinger.    

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(Photo: Howard Pyle/Public Domain)

According to Selinger, the flamboyant dress that came to be associated with historic pirates was a direct response to these sumptuary laws. “Especially going into town, they would wear clothes that they had stolen or purchased in the town, and then wear them, essentially saying, ‘Here I am, what’re you gonna do about it?’ So, the earrings represented [flouting]  flaunting these laws.”

However, without a great deal of concrete evidence of what pirates actually wore, and the thinking behind their outfits, not everyone is convinced that pirates’ iconic earrings were ever really a thing. “Pirates didn't really wear earrings at all—or bandanas," says Angus Konstam, author of Pirate: The Golden Age.“Both were the invention of the late 19th-century American artist Howard Pyle. When he was asked to depict pirates for children's books, he based them on drawings he'd made of Spanish peasants and bandits. So, his pirates wore sashes around their waists, headscarves... and earrings.” As Konstam points out, Pyle is often credited with popularizing what is today considered stereotypical pirate dress, and our continued depiction of pirates wearing earrings is likely thanks to his work.

Whether it's a myth based on some truth, or a truth surrounded by myth, swashbuckling seafarer and their earrings are now inextricably linked. Even hundreds of years later, you can't separate a pirate from their treasures. 

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denismm
79 days ago
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Han Solo wore an earring? :)
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DMack
79 days ago
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Harrison Ford played a sort of space pirate in Star Wars, so you could say the tradition began "a long time ago"
Victoria, BC

A Metal Version of John Cage’s “4’33″”

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One of the weirdest avant-garde compositions of all time is John Cage’s 1952 work, “4’33″” (You pronounce it “four minutes and thirty-three seconds.”). Its original form consists of a pianist sitting at the keyboard and…doing nothing for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Cage’s goal was to get people to listen to the sounds of the [&hellip

The post A Metal Version of John Cage’s “4’33″” appeared first on A Journal of Musical Things.

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denismm
113 days ago
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\m/
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drchuck
113 days ago
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Turn it up.
Long Island, NY
wreichard
113 days ago
Hear that sustain?
fxer
113 days ago
I don't hear anything

Laws of Physics

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The laws of physics are fun to try to understand, but as an organism with incredibly delicate eyes who evolved in a world full of sharp objects, I have an awful lot of trust in biology's calibration of my flinch reflex.
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denismm
125 days ago
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Black Hat is not to be trusted.
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Covarr
125 days ago
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At that distance, he'll get hit regardless.
Moses Lake, WA
alexanglin
125 days ago
It would help if there were more than two dimensions.
Lythimus
125 days ago
When is xk3d launching?

Microsoft brings Bash to Windows

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This isn't Bash or Ubuntu running in a VM. This is a real native Bash Linux binary running on Windows itself. It's fast and lightweight and it's the real binaries. This is a genuine Ubuntu image on top of Windows with all the Linux tools I use like awk, sed, grep, vi, etc. It's fast and it's lightweight. The binaries are downloaded by you - using apt-get - just as on Linux, because it is Linux. You can apt-get and download other tools like Ruby, Redis, emacs, and on and on. This is brilliant for developers that use a diverse set of tools like me. Windows just got cancer. Update: here's more information on the technical implementation. In short, it's a sort-of reverse WINE - it translates Linux syscalls to Windows syscalls in real time.
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denismm
144 days ago
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Or Ubune, maybe.
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superiphi
144 days ago
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I thought it was an early April's fool but since its true this is going to improve my life
Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
kazriko
145 days ago
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So, if Windows Emulator is Wine, then this would be Line?
Colorado Plateau

Goodyear reveals spherical tyres for self-driving cars

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American manufacturer Goodyear has unveiled a concept for a "visionary" sphere-shaped tyre that could make driverless cars safer and smoother to run (+ movie). (more…)

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denismm
166 days ago
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Of all the things the Wachowskis might have predicted correctly, we get the spherical wheels from Speed Racer?
wreichard
166 days ago
Heh.
fxer
166 days ago
thought they were from iRobot or maybe Minority Report
blakeyrat
165 days ago
I, Robot did it first.
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everphilski
166 days ago
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Simple physics. Weight of car [lb] has to be compensated for by pressure of tires * contact patch [lb/area] *[area] = [lb].
wreichard
166 days ago
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Interesting, but it seems they'd have a lot less rubber in contact with the road than a flat tread does.
Earth
fxer
166 days ago
I dunno, the tires seem quite a bit larger, and the footprint would be circular vs rectangular like a current tire. Also what pressure they'd run at, guess surface contact area would depend on a number of variables
everphilski
166 days ago
Surface area is purely a function of inflation pressure and vehicle weight.
fxer
166 days ago
Independent of tire shape? Impossible. Exhibit 1: a square tire
wreichard
166 days ago
I guess if the sphere were severely deflated, the contact patch would get quite large. Still, given equal inflation pressures, I'd have to agree the square tire would have a bigger patch. That said, there are obviously a huge number of factors here. In a traditional tire, rotational stresses are probably held by sidewalls, aren't they? (To keep the tire from twisting around itself?) How will a spherical tire hold its shape as force is applied? Obviously I don't know much about this, but I find it fun to think about anyway.
wreichard
166 days ago
For that matter (I guess I need to go read this again) how would the tire be driven at all if there's no axle?
wreichard
166 days ago
The video says "a layer of foam under the tread" would increase the size of the contact patch. I'm not sure what that means, but the video sure looks cool!
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