Table of Contents - Volume 8, number 2 (June 2003) - 24 pages
Flying foxes are larger cousins of bats. They roost out in the sun, use their excellent eyesight, and also pollinate flowers in the same way that bees do. Bats are found all over the world, and it is not surprising to find many different string representations of them. See the December 2002 issue of String Figure Magazine for another bat string figure.
A jujube, or “Chinese date”, is a type of fruit. It originated in China and has been cultivated for more than 4000 years. In many cultures the fruit has been used medicinally. One of its most popular uses is as a tea for a sore throat. Jujube is also the name of a small, fruit flavored, jellied candy. At one time they contained a cough suppressant made from the juice of the Chinese date.
‘Chinese Finger Trap’ is a three-dimensional string figure that resembles a toy of the same name. The toy, made of straw, is a loosely woven tube about a half-inch in diameter and five inches long. A player inserts an index finger into each end. When the player tries to pull out his fingers the tube contracts and traps his fingers. The harder he pulls, the tighter the trap becomes. The only way to release the trapped fingers is to bring the hands together. The tube then expands enough for the fingers to be gently withdrawn.
When viewed on end, a hollow space mimicking the tube of a Chinese finger trap is clearly seen.
A helix is a three-dimensional spiral. The threads of a screw give this shape a utilitarian purpose, yet when a telephone cord supercoils into a hopeless helical knot it can be absolutely maddening. Nature employs a double helix in DNA - the molecule that allows life to replicate.
True to its name, Shishido’s ‘Helix’ is a three-dimensional string figure. Compare this helix with one that appeared in the September 1997 issue of String Figure Magazine.
A rope bridge is nothing more than a rope stretched across a river or gorge. It is the forerunner of the modern suspension bridge. In its most primitive form, a person, using hands and legs, would hang from the rope and pull himself along. One could also drag a light load along the rope, as illustrated by this string figure. Sophisticated rope bridges are suitable for foot travel and pack animals.
One of the best rope bridges ever built was located in San Luis Rey, Peru. It was made from fibers of the Manguey plant. The bridge, constructed in 1350, did not collapse until 1890.
Author Thornton Wilder wrote a famous novel about five people who died when the San Luis Rey bridge finally broke.
Snakes live almost everywhere. They live in deserts, forests, oceans, streams, and lakes. Snakes cannot survive where the ground stays frozen the year around. Thus, no snakes live in polar regions or at high elevations in mountains. Interestingly, snakes are often absent from islands, including Ireland and New Zealand.
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