SONG: Facts Will Save Us All

SONG: “Facts Will Save Us All”.

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE:Steve Ballmer Serves Up a Fascinating Data Trove,” New York Times, 17 Apr 2017, as used in the post “Microsoft’s Ballmer sics big data on government spending.

This is a song from the perspective, maybe, of Steve Ballmer’s inner voice.

He is, after all, an emotional man (about things like developers! at least).

The chorus comes from something that I remembered hearing in a public radio interview about his new da…

Read more

Science Art: Lychee, from Flora Sinensis, 1656.

A lychee. By Michel Boym, from

This is Litchi chinensis, 荔枝, the lychee, sometimes called a “lychee nut” although it’s not nut-like at all. It’s more like a muscadine (tough skin, sweet juiciness) with a big seed in the middle. It’s one of the best things in life.

As I’m sure it was in the 1600s, when Michel Boym, a Polish Jesuit missionary, was studying them for his exhaustive work on Chinese botany. He also authored the first two dictionaries translating Chinese into European languages – Latin and French.

If you c…

Read more

SONG: Another Girl, Another Planet (penitential cover)

SONG: “Another Girl, Another Planet” (penitential cover)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: This has no scientific source; it’s a penitential cover for being late for the April song. It’s originally by The Only Ones.


This is a punk standard, as much as there is such a thing. I shouldn’t admit this, being of the generation that I am, but I came to this song backwards – through (of all things) a classical tribute to punk rock. Somehow, I missed this song the first time around, and the…

Read more

Science Art: Blackbird SR-71 engine nozzle, 2011

from :
Click to embiggen

“Internal view of a Pratt & Whitney J58 afterburner and exhaust nozzle.”

Found on Wikimedia Commons.

Read more

Science Art: The Myology of the Raven, 1890

Corvus corax sinuatus
Click to embiggen

This is the head and neck of a raven, Corvus corax sinuatus, as dissected and drawn by Robert W. Shufeldt.

I look at this and am impressed by the beauty of the anatomy. Then I wonder what Shufeldt’s fingers were like after dissecting and drawing the thing….

You can find more of the raven here. He was a thorough man.

Read more

Science Art: Mouth of Petromyzon Marinus with its Horny Teeth,

From FM Balfour's WORKS, Vol 3:

This is a “more definitely suctorial mouth with horny cuticular teeth,” according to Francis Maitland Balfour, a British biologist with a particularly distinguished name and a delicate sense of prose, who was, until his untimely mountaineering death, viewed as the successor to Charles Darwin.

This lamprey’s face is from Volume 3 of his Works, which can be found on

Read more

Robo-Dog Soldiers

2 August 2007 grant b 0

Well, we knew about robot dogs and we’ve heard about robot soldiers – but unless you were paying close attention, you might not have heard […]

The future is now.

31 July 2007 grant b 0

Via Wired’s Danger Room comes news from the US Army’s Future Combat Systems. They need a new name because we’re already living in the future: […]

The 62-mile-high club

30 July 2007 grant b 0

Discover raises a slippery space question… as if NASA didn’t have enough scandal to deal with lately: When missions lasted no more than a few […]

My Mechanical Mom

28 July 2007 grant b 0

From New Scientist comes news of the womb-on-a-chip: Fujii’s team has created a “lab on a chip” that is 2 millimetres across and 0.5 millimetres […]

The Amygdaloids

26 July 2007 grant b 0

From Salon comes assurance that we are not alone: All right, the occasion wasn’t a concert but a graduation ceremony for 10,000 students in the […]

Pleasure and placebo

25 July 2007 grant b 0

Nature plumbs the depths of one of the most mysterious processes in medicine. Researchers have found that the placebo effect – when “fake” medicine creates […]

The Noble Bonobo

25 July 2007 grant b 0

The New Yorker, of all publications, has a fascinating Ian Parker article on the natural history of the bonobo – the sexy primate that’s supposed […]

Ice Volcanoes of Charon!

24 July 2007 grant b 0

Nature brings new observations of Ice Volcanoes in Outer Space. Cook speculates that liquid water deep within Charon’s core is mixed with ammonia, which acts […]

SONG: A World Without Us.

23 July 2007 grant b 3

SONG: “A World Without Us” [Download] (To download: right-click & “Save As”) ARTIST: grant. I’m the guy who put this questionable site up on the […]

Schizophrenia in Paradise

19 July 2007 grant b 0

Science News reports on Trouble in Paradise – how feelings of “social defeat” could be responsible for triggering schizophrenia, which might explain why the otherwise […]