Scientists report that the massive 200-yard spider web recently discovered in Texas's Lake Tawakoni State Park was woven by spiders from many different species working collaboratively. Thousands of spiders have rebuilt the web three times after it's been torn up by rain and wind. Texas A&M University entomologist Allen Dean has identified spiders from such families as funnel web weavers, sac spiders, orb weavers, mesh web weavers, wolf spiders, pirate spiders, and others working on the web. From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (photo from Tx. Parks & Wildlife Dept.):
The motive may well be food, researchers say. The larger the web, the more flies and bugs get stuck, providing an abundant food supply for the spiders.
"Spiders generally are cannibalistic and keep their webs distinct," Dean said. "We're not sure what started the initial webbing ... but there probably have been thousands of spiders working on the web.
"With the amount of rain that has occurred this year and the huge food supply available, it just created the right condition for all of this."
Link to Star-Telegram, Link to Texas Entomology site about the web
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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