Seeking to understand bird flight, scientists have constructed PigeonBot – a robot bird made of pigeon feathers and some other components.
While it is understood that birds morph the shape of their wings to fly through the air, new pigeon wing studies reveal a simpler model for how bird flight really works. A team of engineers has created a nimble flying machine called PigeonBot that they hope will prove inspirational for people studying birds or aviation.
Using motion-capture, Laura Matloff, a Stanford University student, was researching how feathers work. Interested in incorporating biology into engineering, she took measurements on how feathers and bones move together. David Lentink, the corresponding author and an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, commented that they used cadavers of museum birds to avoid causing harm to live birds.
The team soon discovered that pigeon wings are not so complicated and rely on two basic variables: the angle of the finger joint in the middle of the wing and the overall wing angle. With this knowledge, they created a model of pigeon flight where a flexible rubber band alters the angle of the feathers in unison.
To understand how the feathers stay locked during flight, the scientists used electron microscopes and CT scanners, discovering a Velcro-like system of hooks and barbs that activates when a wing spreads. This “directional Velcro” proved to easily withstand strong winds, and the discovery was published in the Science journal.
Meanwhile, Stanford graduate Eric Chang was also studying flying creatures and investing time in competitive small aircraft designs. With his experience, two decades of bird-inspired knowledge, and Matloff’s research, his team attached forty real pigeon feathers on an artificial skeleton. It could move at the base and the finger joint, using rubber bands to control the angle of the feathers. The robot bird also received an artificial tail, rudder, controllers, propeller, and sensors. It was tested in a wind tunnel and in an outdoor environment.
Eventually, the robot bird flew successfully, and Lentink saw many applications for the research, including the development of new kinds of Velcro, flight models, and bird studies. The researchers now look forward to continuing their studies, taking more measurements, and improving the PigeonBot.
There is no doubt that Richard Gere is one of the most iconic Hollywood heartthrobs of the last 50 years. With a countless number of relationships and rumored affairs, has the Pretty Woman star finally found the one?
Too Good To Be True?
After dating for the last few years, Richard Gere tied the knot for the third time with fellow activist Alejandra Silva. This begs the question: is the third time the charm for Gere? Or is it just another fleeting romance?
He Could Have Whoever He Wanted
Richard Gere was already a big name, but after starring alongside Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, he reached a whole new level of superstardom. It wouldn’t take long before the most beautiful women in the industry were lining up to date the Hollywood heartthrob. Then came supermodel Cindy Crawford, who tied the knot with Gere in a rushed Las Vegas ceremony in 1991. From day one, fans and journalists alike were skeptical as to whether the couple would stand the test of time.
Cindy Doesn’t Want To Talk About It
Although they were stunning to look at on a variety of red carpets, Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford were just not meant to be. After four years of marriage, they decided to call it a day in 1995. However, it seems like something must’ve gone seriously wrong between Gere and Crawford. The former supermodel even refused to discuss the failed relationship in her autobiography, Becoming. “It’s not something I want to share,” she said.
License To Wed
It would be seven long years before Richard Gere decided to settle down once again. Amazingly, it was with Carey Lowell, who is probably best remembered for her role as Timothy Dalton’s love interest in the James Bond movie License To Kill. The couple tied the knot in 2002. However, they had already spent a considerable amount of time together and even had a kid two years before their big day – Homer James Jigme Gere, who was born in February 2000.
Another One Bites The Dust
It may have seemed like Richard Gere and Carey Lowell were one of the more stable couples in Hollywood. However, in 2013, after being married for 11 years, the couple decided to part ways. This certainly wouldn’t be the end of Gere and Lowell’s saga. The following three years would see the two ex-lovers go back and forth in longstanding divorce procedures. Eventually, the pair managed to bring the fiasco to a settlement in the Fall of 2016.
On The Rebound
During his highly contested divorce with Carey Lowell, Richard Gere still managed to find time to blow off some steam and get back out there in the dating world. For a while, it looked like the actor had truly moved on after meeting TV personality, Padma Lakshmi. The Top Chef host became romantically linked with Gere in April 2014. However, the relationship eventually fizzled out after six months with one source saying, “they decided they would be better off as friends.”
There is no denying that Richard Gere was, for a long time, the man that every man wanted to be and every woman wanted to be with. With his only serious relationship before the ’90s being with actress Penelope Milford, Gere fully embraced the Hollywood lifestyle and was rumored to be in a series of high-profile affairs. One woman who the actor reportedly had a one night stand with was Elvis Presley’s ex-wife, Priscilla. This was according to her ex-boyfriend Michael Edwards, at least.
Off-Screen Lovers Too?
It has happened time and time again in the world of Hollywood. Passions between on-screen couples have been so high that they have ended up dating in real-life too. Kim Basinger’s ex-husband grew suspicious when the actress kept coming home late from rehearsals while filming the 1986 movie No Mercy. Ron then caught Basinger making out with Gere in a car on the other side of the street. Even though Ron found romantic letters sent from Gere, Kim continued to see the Hollywood star.
Another superstar who had many rumored affairs and relationships in her long, successful career is Motown legend, Diana Ross. Long before Gere had his first official relationship with actress Penelope Milford, he was spotted on a number of occasions holding the hand of the Supremes lady at public gatherings. This only fueled the rumors that the actor and singer were in a relationship. Ultimately, while their romance is still unconfirmed to this day, all the signs were certainly there.
Despite consistently living the life of a celebrity for the last few decades, Richard Gere has somehow managed to maintain some form of spiritual enlightenment. Not only has he spent a lot of time in the Far East, exploring many forms of Buddhism, he has also worked with the Dalai Lama in an effort to advocate human rights in Tibet. However, his pursuit of spiritual awakening has also taken him down other avenues during his time in Asia…
Getting Into Trouble With Shilpa
Along with his spiritual pursuits, Richard Gere has also worked for many noble causes outside of the studio. In 2007, Gere took part in an AIDS awareness rally in India. During a press conference, he held Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty in his arms and kissed her multiple times on the cheek. Not only did it make headlines, but Gere and Shetty ended up getting arrested for violation of public obscenity rules. After going to court, the judge deemed the case nonsense and acquitted both Gere and Shetty.
More Than Just A Pretty Woman?
If there is anything that casual fans know Richard Gere for, it’s for his role as wealthy businessman Edward Lewis, who develops a relationship Julia Roberts’ escort Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman. Widely considered to be one of the best movies of the ’90s, many have speculated about the nature of Gere and Roberts’ relationship ever since their iconic on-screen partnership. However, after maintaining a steady friendship throughout the years, it is reported that Gere has finally friend-zoned Roberts for good, ever since meeting Alejandra Silva…
Charity Brought Them Together
This is where Alejandra Silva comes into the picture. It was both Richard Gere and the Spanish lady’s charitable endeavors that ultimately brought them together. At least, that’s what they claim, in hindsight. For a while now, Silva has worked for the RAIS Foundation, a charity that tries to help as many homeless people as possible. Here is a photo of Gere and Silva at one of RAIS Foundation’s regular charity events. But it wasn’t exactly love at first sight…
Playing Hard To Get
Alejandra Silva has previously admitted that she didn’t quite consider Richard Gere to be marriage material upon first meeting him. According to her, she played extremely hard to get during the early days and the Pretty Woman actor was determined to win her heart. He sent her many bouquets of flowers, rarely getting a response. One day though, she finally caved in and decided to give him a chance. Gere also writes songs for her on a regular basis.
It appears that Richard Gere and Alejandra Silva’s paths were more intertwined than previously thought. It is believed that Gere is a longtime friend of Silva’s family. Her dad, Ignacio Silva, used to be the financial vice-president of soccer giants Real Madrid and has been in close contact with Gere over the years. When Real Madrid won the coveted UEFA Champions League in 2016, Silva and Gere were invited onto the field after the game and got a chance to lift the trophy.
Half His Age?!
If there is an environment where relationships with large age-gaps are more common than usual, then it is definitely Hollywood. However, Richard Gere and Alejandra Silva took it to another level. The young lady is 33 years younger than Gere, making her half his age! This means that when Gere was Alejandra’s current age, he was starring in ’80s movies such as Beyond The Limit and Breathless. It was during this time that Alejandra was just a baby, crawling around in her family home in La Coruna, Spain.
With a home full of flowers and romantic love letters, Alejandra Silva finally started dating Gere in 2014. Amazingly, it would be an entire year until the public was made aware of their romance when the couple appeared at the Madrid premiere of Gere’s movie Time Out of Mind. It was revealed that the pair had made it official during a romantic getaway in an Italian resort in Positano on the Amalfi Coast. However, there was something deeper going on at the time…
Marriage Or Baggage?
It wasn’t just Richard Gere who was still getting over his breakup with his ex-wife. Alejandra Silva started dating the actor while she was in the middle of her own longstanding divorce with Govind Friedland. They had been married for eight years beforehand and had even had a son together – five-year-old Albert Friedland. There was no denying that both Gere and Silva were bringing baggage into their new relationship, but would it have an impact on their own blossoming love?
I Was Lost
In an interview with ¡Hola!, Alejandra Silva confessed that before meeting Richard Gere, she was “lost.” She was unsure about what the future might bring. “I was a little bit lost, without light, and meeting him gave meaning to my life,” she said. Gere followed up this statement, sharing the same sentiment. “I have found the quiet, happy life that I had always sought,” he said. And it’s not just Gere’s personal life that has taken an exciting new turn…
Back On TV
While Richard Gere has been one of the most iconic film stars in recent memory, he has rarely been on TV. In fact, his last work in television was about 30 years ago. That is all about to change though. The actor is scheduled to play his first ever lead role in a TV show, playing an American media tycoon in BBC drama MotherFatherSon. He will star alongside the likes of Helen McCrory, who is best known for her role in fellow BBC hit Peaky Blinders.
Going The Distance
There was one factor that threatened to tear Richard Gere and Alejandra Silva apart early on in their relationship. During the first few years of dating, the couple spent a considerable amount of time apart and were forced to have a long-distance relationship. Due to her commitments as a mother and Richard’s ever-active acting career, they chose to stay together, despite being on either side of the Atlantic. However, they now live together at Gere’s home in New York.
After having a civil wedding a month beforehand, Gere and Silva tied the knot in a private Indian-inspired ceremony on May 6th, 2018. Both the bride and groom arrived at their ceremony in a tuk-tuk. That’s not all though. They ended up having an incredible display of flowers, decorating them with Tibetan flags and they even had tents that were brought all the way from Jaipur, India. It was a fitting wedding that had a theme close to both of their hearts.
When Hello! magazine interviewed Gere after the wedding, he said the following: “I’m the happiest man in the universe. How could I not be? I’m married to a beautiful woman who is smart, sensitive, committed to helping people, who’s fun, patient, who knows how to forgive, who’s a great cook – and who makes the best salads in the world!” For the first time in a while, Richard Gere could say that he was genuinely happy and with someone that he truly loves.
One thing is for sure, Gere has found someone who complements him in virtually every single way. While they have so many shared interests, Gere believes that their unique personalities balance each other perfectly. “Alejandra meditates, she’s a vegetarian, a great mother, has the touch of an angel and she’s also Spanish – the land of kings and queens, of Cervantes and Bunuel,” he said. “You can’t get any better than that.” However, it seems that Silva has benefited even more…
Building A Family?
Although they are still in the early days of their marriage, Richard Gere and Alejandra Silva have expressed their interest in starting a family together. After a reported visit to a fertility treatment clinic in New York, rumors began to spread about Silva potentially being pregnant. Until there is any confirmation, Gere and Silva will be able to have a makeshift family, bringing their children from previous marriages together. Only time will tell though if the couple ends up having their own child.