This spider was trapped in tree resin about 20 million years ago. Over time, the resin fossilized to amber, preserving the animal inside. Specimens like this are helpful given that spiders don’t fossilize well in sediment. They offer researchers good information about the group’s more recent history. The oldest known amber specimen is from around 130 million years ago. This specimen was collected in the Dominican Republic.
Learn more in our exhibition, Spiders Alive! open now.
The test audience to whom the movie was initially screened was not told that the movie was intended to be a comedy. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale recalled that the atmosphere in the cinema started to get really tense during the scene where Einstein the dog is sent through time, because the audience was expecting that something gruesome had happened to the dog.
Back to the Future Part I (1985)
Michael J. Fox on the set of Back to the Future. 1985.
The Coraline shoot lasted over 18 months, following 2 years of pre-production.
Mary Read 1690- 1721
Mary Read was a pirate who was active in the early 18th Century. Mary was born to the widow of a sea captain. Her mother dressed her as a boy in order to get more money from Mary’s grandmother. Mary took the role of “boy” into her adult life, she liked the freedom and adventure.
Mary became a soldier and a sailor. When working for the British in Holland, she fell in love with a flemish soldier. She revealed to him that she was a woman and they married. Her husband met an early death, so Mary decided to hitch a ride to the West Indies. The ship Mary was on was attacked by pirates and she made the decision to align herself with the criminals. She went from pirate ship to pirate ship, and then worked for the British government for a while. Mary mutinied the government ship to become a pirate again and eventually found herself on board with Anne Bonny.
Mary had yet to reveal her womanhood to Anne when Anne first tried to seduce her. After Mary revealed herself, the seduction continued and the two became an inseparable duo. They were the toughest on the ship and had a reputation throughout the high seas. Bounty hunters were sent out to find the ship and in October of 1720 they were attacked. Mary Read and her lover were the only two in the crew who were sober enough to fight. They held their ground for a while but were no match for the bounty hunters, especially when their only back up was a bunch of drunken criminals.
At their trial, Bonny and Read pled the belly. Since a pregnant woman could not be hung, both women were spared that fate. The men of the crew were all swiftly sentenced to execution. Mary was never free again, she died in prison from a fever.
Anne Bonny 1702- 1782
Anne Bonny is one of the most notorious pirates in recorded history. She was born in Ireland but moved to America when her father was disgraced. She was tough and a rebel even before her days on the high sea. Legend says she stabbed one of her father’s maids, beat a man who attempted to rape her and put him in the hospital and publicly stripped her fencing instructor with her sword.
At sixteen Anne fell in love with a poor man named James Bonny and insisted on marrying him despite her father’s objections. She did and her father disowned her. She moved with James to New Providence where her husband worked capturing pirates. Anne thought this was exceptionally boring and left him for a pirate named Calico Jack.
Anne was an excellent pirate. She did not hide her gender from her crew mates, but when attacking ships she dressed like a man and kicked ass like a woman. While on the high seas, Anne developed a friendship with fellow woman pirate, Mary Read. Some accounts report the two were lovers.
One night, when Calico Jack’s crew was wasted, some privateers captured his ship. The crew was so drunk, none fought back but Bonny and Read. All the pirates were brought to trial and sentenced to execution. Bonny avoided this fate by revealing she was pregnant. Even after giving birth, her execution was delayed and eventually her paper trail ends. She was probably saved by her father who had influence over the courts, but there is no recorded evidence of her fate.
Middle Eastern cab driver’s interior
National Geographic, 1968
"May 18, 2009—The glittering "grills" of some hip-hop stars aren’t exactly unprecedented. Sophisticated dentistry allowed Native Americans to add bling to their teeth as far back as 2,500 years ago, a new study says.
Ancient peoples of southern North America went to “dentists”—among the earliest known—to beautify their chompers with notches, grooves, and semiprecious gems, according to a recent analysis of thousands of teeth examined from collections in Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (such as the skull above, found in Chiapas, Mexico).
Scientists don’t know the origin of most of the teeth in the collections, which belonged to people living throughout the region, called Mesoamerica, before the Spanish conquests of the 1500s.
But it’s clear that people—mostly men—from nearly all walks of life opted for the look, noted José Concepción Jiménez, an anthropologist at the institute, which recently announced the findings.
"They were not marks of social class" but instead meant for pure decoration, he commented in an e-mail interview conducted in Spanish.
In fact, the royals of the day—such as the Red Queen, a Maya mummy found in a temple at Palenque in what is now Mexico—don’t have teeth decorations, Jiménez said.
Other evidence of early Mesoamerican dentistry—including a person who had received a ceremonial denture—has also been found.”
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