Sunday, November 14, 2010

Modern vs Ancient



In the left corner we have modern snow goggles!
In the right corner we have ancient Inupiat snow goggles! 
... Are you ready to rumble!
First let us critique the stats. on modern snow goggles.

               Judging from their appearance the lens seems to be made of plastic, with a lot of tinting via polarizing filters (same material used in sunglasses), allowing for a lot of protection from the sun's ultraviolet rays. It even appears as if the lenses are double layered, offering an extra shield of protection. Because it's made of plastic, it allows for them to be both lightweight, flexible and durable. Like the ancient pair of goggles, they utilize a straps instead of arms to insure that they remain on the person's head at all times, which could come in handy especially when skiing at high speeds or during times of vigorous movement.

Now let us take a look at the ancient Inupiat snow goggles.

              Instead of a plastic frame it appear's as if it might be handmade out of some type of ivory possibly walrus tusk or caribou antler. The design includes very detailed intricate carvings giving them the resemblance of an owl. Instead of tall wide lenses, they have very thin slits for the eyes to peer out of and limiting the ultraviolet glare off of the snow, allowing the peripheral vision to still be of use, but vision will be limited compared to the modern prototypes. Instead of arms like modern sunglasses, the ancient pair sports a strap made of sinew, that can be adjusted to the wearer's preference.

I'm convinced modern snow goggles win this matchup ladies and gentlemen. For multiple reasons:

  • Ivory would harbor more of the cold temperature than plastic making the wearer's face even colder
  • Ivory isn't as flexible as plastic, though hard to break, it's possible for them to snap or chip, and then they will no longer be of any use
  • The slits allow for limited vision
  • The plastic allows more comfort upon wearing 
Though there is some things that the modern goggles are missing:
  • A personal connection to the person wearing them, considering they didn't make them
  • Individuality, because they are mass produced
  • Art, sure modern goggles are fashionable, but they don't resemble any form of self expression

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