The Aeronautic Spiders

It is usually, but not invariably, very young spiders that exhibit the aeronautic habit; and exhibitions of it are most often observed in warm and comparatively still autumn days. At this time great numbers of young spiders, of many different species, climb each to the top of some object. This may be a fence post, the top of a twig, the upper part of some herb, or merely the summit of a clod of earth.

sufficient to buoy up the spider It then lets go its hold with its feet and is carried off by the wind That these ballooning spiders are carried long distances in this way is shown by the fact that they have been met by ships at sea hundreds of miles from land And the showers of gossamer which are occasionally observed are produced by ballooning spiders It often happens that spiders attempt to fly when the wind is too strong and the threads they emit are not carried up but are merely blown against some nearby object I have known in Fig 205 A SEA OF GOSSAMER stances in which large fields have been covered with a gauze of silk in this way Members of a Country"

Here the spider lifts up its abdomen and spins out a thread, which if there is a mild upward current of air is carried away by it. Occasionally the spider will attach a small flocculent mass to this thread which will increase the force of the current of air upon it. This spinning process is continued until the friction of the air upon the silk is sufficient to buoy up the spider. It then lets go its hold with its feet and is carried off by the wind.


Diffrint Maps

Dear Paula,

Thanks so much for the kind words. The audience was terrific, I really enjoyed the discussion and was sorry there wasn't more time.

On Oct 3, 2008, at 11:30 PM, pele28 wrote:

> Hi Barbara,
> I really enjoyed your talk last night with Margaret. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to question you, but hope you'll respond when it's convenient. Please see below!
> Best,
> Paula

> 1. I missed the name of the fellow who collected the Native American drawings in the 18th Century. I think I have seen that book, but I can't find the title now. That was such a beautiful drawing/map.


Mallery, G. (1893/1972). Picture writing of the American Indians. (Originally published by Government Printing Office). NY: Dover.
> 2. The discussion about the cultures which don't have Left and Right in the language reminded me that in Bulgaria, they don't nod and shake their heads as we do, but instead they have other head motions that appear almost the exact reverse of what the rest of the world knows as a nod for "yes" and a shake for "no." I wanted to know if she's come across something like this in her studies of body language. Is there a collection of information on how different cultures use non-verbal communication, and perhaps how geographic and other forms of space have defined body language?
Interesting, There's a similar yes/no horizontal/vertical switched mapping in India, even harder to read because their heads continuously bob, and it's contagious.

There is at least one book that maps gestures across cultures, and others on body language. I'm sorry I can't recommend any in particular. Much has been written on iconicity and metaphoric iconicity in gestures, and this is closer to my interests as those gestures convey meaning in more direct ways than words. Susan Goldin-Meadow wrote a wonderful and accessible book on gesture, though she doesn't go into cross-cultural work. Researchers make a distinction between emblems, like the OK sign, which are quite culture bound, and iconic, metaphoric, and beat gestures which seem to be universal, and related to expressing meaning or structuring the discourse (beats, like, first, second, etc. raising and lowering the hand).

All the best,


Sticks are sea currents; Pebbles are islands

Floatable Inuit Coastal Map


Butterfly Heels

This woman must be possessed. The last minute is impossible. Does she go through a pair of shoes every time? Who was responsible for this costume?

A much-matured Marisol. And Nouveau animation.


Tang Ao's Mystical Fart

Sketches for an illustration project. I haven't quite got it right, yet. You'll see.

But I smell something fragrant....
Tang Ao followed the scent through the forest toward a precipice, and found a lovely vermilion plant of about two feet high growing from a crack in a rock on the roadside. After scrutinizing it, Tang Ao remembered a passage from an ancient book of nutrition which said, 'The vermilion plant resembles a dwarf mulberry bush. It has a coral coloured stalk with blood-red juice in it. Gold or jade, upon coming into contact with it, will dissolve into paste, called "gold paste" or "jade paste" depending on which is used. He who takes of this paste will leave the worldly existence and enter the region of Immortals.'
...He took a very small piece of jade from his head-scarf, and plucked the plant up...Laying it carefully between his palm and the piece of jade, he rubbed them together. Sure enough, it all melted into a brightly coloured red paste. He put this in his mouth, and immediately felt a fragrance permeate his brain, and was at once extremely invigorated....
'Well, you'll soon become an Immortal,' said Lin. "But why are you looking so miserable? Is it because you cannot bear the thought of leaving your family, or you quaver at the thought of joining the spirits?'
'I have a stomach-ache,' said Tang Ao. 'I don't know why.'
He had hardly finished speaking when there was a rumble in his stomach, a loud explosion, followed by an an appalling smell.

Clapping his hand over his nose, Lin cried, "Good! The vermilion plant has purged the impurities from your system! I wonder what else you have lost!'
Tang Ao kept saying, 'Strange! Strange! Just now, I could remember even the verses I composed as a child. Now I can remember only a tenth of it.'
'That is strange indeed,' said Old Tuo.
'Doubtless nine-tenths of your learning went out with that break of wind,' said Lin. 'The one-tenth you retain must be the inoffensive part. If you put it down on paper it will all be good....'


Forecast in Six Acts

This post was saved for a rainy day a back in March, but now that SNL has taken my idea and aired a skit along the same lines, it's past due. "Never-the-less!"