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Anatomy of a spiderweb

If you’ve ever stood and looked at a spiderweb for any length of time you can’t help but be impressed by the work that goes into it.  We have a lot of orb spiders here and there is one in particular that builds a web across the driveway that is over a metre in diameter.  If we knock a bit of it down on our way out to the shed in the dark then it is usually repaired by the time we come back.  It’s a pretty amazing piece of architecture, even if you do have eight hands to hang on to all the strings.

The parts of the web of an orb spider

Image from

I’ve never thought about the ‘anatomy’ of a spider web before but, now that I’ve seen this diagram on via the ABC Science Facebook page, I realise that if you’re going to study something the first thing you need to do is name the parts so you can discuss it intelligently.

So, just for a bit of fun here is the Anatomy of a Spider Web.  In case you ever find yourself on my driveway with not much else to talk about!

Miss Vivi

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Say hello to my little friend

Organ Donor Plasma from Street Anatomy

A little while ago I posted on the Facebook page that I’d seen these incredibly cute collectables by artist David Foox at the Street Anatomy store but they were sold out.  The lovely Vanessa from Street Anatomy got in touch and offered me the very last one – and here he is!

They are sold as a blind box, so you don’t know which one you’re getting until it arrives.  Mine is Plasma and he came with a little booklet describing all the different organs that can be donated and how they are used.  I don’t know if he’s camera shy, but he’s been remarkably difficult to photograph.

Since I bought mine there has been another release and they are available now at the online shop and every order comes with a free pack of anatomical stickers by artist Rx.

The Red Cross website says that 1 in 3 of us will need a blood donation but only 1 in 30 donates.  You can actually donate plasma every 2 weeks because the red cells are returned to your body after the plasma is separated out.  I’m overdue to donate blood so this is a good kick in the pants to get me back to the donor mobile.  I might even take my little friend along.

Of course, you can also sign up all your other useful body parts to be donated to others when you’re finished with them.  It’s strange that Australia is a world leader for successful transplant outcomes, and we are so generous towards others in times of need, but we still have the one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the developed world (Donate Life).  Why is that?

The End

Miss Vivi

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Animated Anatomies

Anatomical flap books

Check out this exhibition of anatomical flap books being held at Duke University in North Carolina.

These stunning and incredibly detailed books have been produced for centuries as both teaching tools and society curiosities.  The oldest specimen on display was made in 1530.

The online exhibition is well worth a look and includes videos of the books in action.  You can even hear the paper crackle as the pages are turned and the flaps are lifted.  Browse the links down the right hand side of the site and keep an eye out for the pregnant ladies in hats and gowns to protect their modesty.

Miss Vivi