Archive for March, 2012

Sweetheart

Jennifer Aniston: Overweight? With bad skin? And frizzy hair!?

Your eyes do not deceive you. Photographer Danny Evans has transformed America’s sweetheart into the homely middle-aged woman she might have been in the absence of a $141,037 beauty routine and an (alleged) nose job.

Evans didn’t stop at Aniston. The New York photographer has worked Photoshop magic on an entire swath of the celebrity crowd, converting everyone from Beyonce to Brad Pitt into ugly regular people. There’s Gwyneth Paltrow with a soccer-mom bob and a leathery wattle. There’s Becks in a sweater vest and Posh in a bad perm. There are the Olsen twins looking, well, every bit as uncomfortable as usual–but CHUBBY!–and, my favorite, Kanye as a short, fat guy in a barfy blue suit, awkwardly clutching Kim Kardashian as if they were posing for high-school prom pics.

Evans doesn’t reveal much about his process. “I don’t like to discuss the technical side of my work,” he tells Co.Design, “but I will say that they are photo composites, and not products of age altering software.” There is sweet justice in taking Photoshop, the very tool that makes celebrities seem so insufferably flawless, and turning it cruelly against them. The point, Evans says, is “to show celebrities in a different light. [It’s] my interpretation of how they might appear if they were never famous.”

And spent their days hanging around the local Olan Mills.

Really

Scientific dating sheds light on another aspect of Lima Lake’s history.

Ten years ago, a flurry of excitement arose when bones and teeth from an ancient bison were found along the eroded bank of a drainage ditch running through the former site of Lima Lake in the northwest corner of Adams County.
Mixed among the animal remains was a projectile point typical of the kind used by a native American culture known to exist in this region about 1,600 to 2,000 years ago.
This was an exciting discovery for archaeologist Steve Tieken of the Quincy-based North American Archaeological Institute. Finding the bones, teeth and projectile point at the same location suggested the point theoretically could have been associated with the killing of the bison. If that was indeed the case, it would rewrite history because most scientific evidence has suggested that bison didn’t arrive in this region until about 600 years ago.

“I was really confident that this point had some meaning with the bones,” Tieken said.This question nagged at him for years. Now, finally, Tieken has an answer.

A sample of the Lima Lake bison was submitted for absolute dating to the University of Illinois. The results, published in the latest edition of Illinois Antiquity magazine, show the bison teeth and bones, and the projectile point might have been found together, but they are more than 1,000 years apart in age.
“I felt in my gut those two pieces were contemporary. This proved that they weren’t,” Tieken said.
Tieken said he wasn’t disappointed by the findings.
“They are what they are,” he said. “To me, it was the truth. And that’s what we’re trying to get at.”

Until the carbon-14 dating technique was used to determine the age of the bison remains, archaeologists interested in the historic Lima Lake area were intrigued by the possibility that the findings from the drainage ditch could alter the cultural history of this area. But this could happen only if the unknown age of the bison matched up with the known age of the projectile point, identified as a Waubesa Cluster point typical of the Early and Middle Woodland periods going back 1,500 to 2,000 years or more.
“It would have put bison hunting way back — almost a thousand years previously,” Tieken said.

People

Tieken was further encouraged by this possibility when news emerged in 2006 that personnel from the Dickson Mounds Museum found the remains of a bison in the bed of the Illinois River when the river was unusually low.

“It had a similar point embedded in one of the bones,” Tieken said.
The Illinois River finding was dated to the Early Woodland period going back more than 2,000 years, marking it as the earliest evidence of bison hunting in Central Illinois.
Tieken said it’s not uncommon for artifacts from one historic period to be found mixed in with materials from other ancient periods when archaeological sites are unearthed — particularly in stratified areas where several different cultures lived over thousands of years. It’s believed the Adams County drainage ditch items were mixed together when a section of dirt sloughed off the side of the ditch after heavy rains, exposing the archaeological treasures.
Tieken said the bison findings nonetheless have educational value. As it turned out, he said, the carbon dating put the age of the bison remains at between A.D. 1450 and 1470.
“Previously, most researchers believed bison didn’t come into this area until after 1500. So we put that date back at least 50 years,” Tieken said.
A Native American culture known as the Oneota people were living in this area around that time.
“It used to be thought that the Oneota people within Lima Lake were procuring buffalo on hunts to the west. But this (carbon dating results) proves that buffalo were right here in this area,” Tieken said.
In addition, getting a firm date on the bison “adds another time frame and scenario to the whole story down there” at Lima Lake, he said.
Since it was drained of water in the 1930s and converted into farmland, the former site of Lima Lake has been a treasure trove of historical discoveries over the years. Tieken has had a hand in several of those discoveries, which have resulted in three previous carbon-dating evaluations that have added to the local body of knowledge.

For example, one Native American settlement site at the south end of the Lima Lake area has been positively identified to A.D. 78 while another nearby site was dated to A.D. 525.
Even more significantly, a mastodon tooth found in the former Lima Lake bed in 1957 was taken to the U of I five years ago to be dated. Using a new high-tech dating technique, scientists determined the tooth’s actual calendar date was somewhere between 10,891 and 10,854 B.C. At the time, it was the youngest mastodon specimen scientifically dated in North America. Since then, however, a mastodon tooth from Indiana was found to be even younger by about 700 years, Tieken said.
All these discoveries from the Lima Lake area help add to the cultural knowledge base of Adams County, Tieken said.

“This puts things in factual terms as opposed to folklore or old historic tales,” he said. “It’s a living legacy of one particular tract on this huge planet.”

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