Persistent pupillary membrane (PPM) is a condition of the eye involving remnants of a fetal membrane that persist as strands of tissue crossing the pupil.
The Forgotten Antonine Wall,
I’m sure just about everyone has heard of the world famous “Hadrian’s Wall”, the ancient Roman wall separating iron age Scotland and Roman England which essentially served as the frontier of the Roman Empire. However the Antonine Wall doesn’t get nearly as much press, and is largely forgotten by all except historians.
Like many emperors before him Antoninus Pius (reign 138-161) cemented his rule over the Roman people through a program of public building projects and territorial expansion. As part of that program, Pius ordered the invasion of Southern Scotland beyond Hadrian’s Wall. They conquered all territory up to the Scottish highlands, then set a new border complete with a new wall. Located between the Firth of Forth and Firth of Clyde, Antonine’s Wall had the same purpose of the earlier Hadrian’s Wall; to define the border of the Roman frontier, prevent the barbarians from crossing into Roman territory, and serve as a buffer in case of invasion. Unlike Hadrian’s Wall, the Antonine Wall was not made entirely of stone. Rather it was built from turf, piled upon a stone foundation and lined with stone and wood for added strength. At the top of the wall would have been a wooden palisade, and in front of the wall was dug a large moat, as well as a series of trenches, pitfalls, and various other obstacles. The wall itself was 10 feet high and 16 feet wide.
Altogether the Antonine Wall stretched from the North Sea to the Irish Sea, covering a total of 39 miles. However it was not the wall by itself that kept barbarian invaders out, but the men who manned the wall. Across the wall, spaced out at two mile intervals were 16 forts, in between which were a series of guard houses and guard towers. In addition a number of forts were built north of the wall to protect trade routes leading to and from what the Roman’s called “Caledonia”. To supply the defenders of the wall, and allow for a quick response in case of invasion, a 39 mile long Roman military road was built on the southern side of the wall.
The Antonine Wall took 12 years to build, but was short lived. The Romans were never able to pacify the Caledonians, and thus the wall was under constant attack. In 162 Emperor Marcus Aurelius ordered the wall abandoned and its legions retired to Hadrian’s Wall. While the exact reasons behind abandoning the wall are unknown, it was most likely because the wall guarded territory that was not worth holding, in an attempt to rule over a people who had little to offer in tax revenue. In 208 the wall was re-occupied and repaired under order of Emperor Septimus Severus. However the new occupation was even shorter lived, only lasting a few years.
Over time the wall was deconstructed as locals used the wall for building materials. Eventually time and the weather also wore down the turf walls into small mounds. Today all that remains of the Antonine Wall are a line of mounds, trenches, and stone foundations, as well as the remains of Roman forts.
Via Lock, Stock, and History
Fun History Fact,
Although the Western Roman Empire fell in 476 AD, the Roman Senate continued to operate until it was disestablished around 630 AD. The Senate was revived 1144, but was disbanded by the Pope in 1193.
Augmented marksmanship system by TrackingPoint provides visual feed to a wearable AR device, allowing shooting around corners - video embedded below:
TrackingPoint, the worldwide leader in advanced firearms technology, has released a video from their Labs department that demonstrates the use of wearable technology along with a Precision Guided Firearm (PGF). PGF technology makes use of a bevy of sensors to make highly accurate ballistic calculations, taking into account wind, elevation, pressure, and more in real time. TrackingPoint’s PGFs enable shooters to lock on and accurately hit moving targets at up to 1200 yards. The video showcases the companies R&D testing of their Shotview streaming app for mobile devices, paired with consumer wearable technology.
When paired with wearable technology, PGFs can provide unprecedented benefits to shooters, such as the ability to shoot around corners, from behind low walls, and from other positions that provide exceptional cover. Without PGF technology, such positions would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to fire from.
The video demonstrates how wearable technology could enhance a shooter’s ability to engage targets on the battlefield. Similar to a fighter jet’s head’s-up display (HUD), the wearable PGF technology provides the shooter with visual aids to improve the aiming and shooting process. TrackingPoint’s ShotView system can be used to stream video to smartphones or tablets. With wearable technology, the ShotView system could be even more tightly integrated into the shooting experience.
The Bizarre and Ancient Practice of Foot Binding in China,
One of the strangest forms of body modification, foot biding was an ancient Chinese practice dating to the 10th and 11th century. At a young age, girls feet were bound in tight wrappings to bend the bones of the foot. It wasn’t uncommon for the bones to be purposely broken as well. The wrappings could stay on for years, resulting in badly deformed feet called “Lotus Feet”. The disfigured Lotus Feet typically had a high bent arch while the metatarsal bones and toes were broken or disfigured in such a way that they came to a sharp point. In essence, the goal of foot binding was to transform the foot into the shape of a pointed toe high heel shoe. Needless to say the process was long and extremely painful for the girls and young women who were forced to undergo the tradition.
Foot binding was a practice always done to women, typically of the upper classes but also the lower class. It was common for upper class women as a status symbol, essentially communicated that the person with Lotus Feet was a women who need not work on her feet, or even walk as servants could attend to her every whim. It was also a symbol of attractiveness and even erotic sexuality. Many lower class Chinese families also bound the feet of their daughters. Women with bound feet were much more desirable for marriage than those who weren’t bound, and having Lotus Feet could give young women the opportunity to marry rich. Special shoes were made for women with Lotus Feet to accommodate the deformed feet.
While foot binding was a status symbol for many Chinese as well as a chance for better opportunities, the body modification was not without its price. Many women were permanently crippled by the practice. Other side effects included nerve damage, muscle damage, arthritis, blood circulation problems, osteoporosis, and a lifetime of chronic pain. The popularity of foot binding waned by the late 19th century. By the 20th century China was awash in anti-footing binding campaigns, as many saw the practice as cruel, elitist, and a symbol of the corruption and abuses of the Chinese Empire. In 1912 the practice was banned in China, though foot binding continued in secret up to the 1950’s and 60’s.
Via Lock, Stock, and History