Science Art: 254th Combat Communications Group emblem

This is the insignia of the 254th Combat Communications Group, a unit that’s normally part of the Texas Air National Guard, but if federalized, becomes part of the Air Force Space Command. It’s been around since 1952 – that’s 10 years before the first Telstar communications satellite, and 8 years before Echo 1 bounced the first communication signals through space. Of course in 1952, this was called the 221st Radio Relay Squadron and operated out of Springfield, Ohio. It wasn’t until 1971 tha…

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Science Art: Wilson's Snipe, by W.I. Beecroft, 1912

Gallinago delicata, from https://archive.org/details/historyofgamebir1912forb

Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as a snipe. Lots of kinds of snipe, in fact.

And snipe hunting was a real thing, too.

This illustration is of a Wilson’s snipe, and it comes from A history of the game birds, wild-fowl and shore birds of Massachusetts and adjacent states…. by Edward Howe Forbush.

In the intro, he writes: “There is a story current among gunners of Concord, Mass., that years ago one man won a wager that he could kill fifty Wilson’s Snipe in an hour or two with…

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Science Art: The Goodrich XH-5 Tomato-Worm Suit

from https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/dress_for_altitude_detail.htmlClick to embiggen

This might be the greatest contribution gardening ever made to space travel.

In the middle of World War II, engineers were trying to figure out how to make pressurized suits for military pilots who were going into ever-thinner layers of the atmosphere. One problem was once you’re on the inside of an inflated balloon, even one with arms and legs, it gets really hard to move. If you bend, the pressure goes up even farther. You tend to just… outstretch.

Goodrich engin…

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Science Art: Tesla Coil: high-frequency discharge demonstrator, Welch Scientific Company, 1931

from https://www.tumblr.com/dashboard/blog/pwlanier/177956911836Click to embiggen

Electrical history from PW Lanier and the Minneapolis Institute of Art:

This tabletop Tesla coil was likely made for science classes, producing long, impressive sparks in the air and lighting a fluorescent tube held at a distance. Since a Tesla coil is really a radio transmitter without an antenna, Tesla is credited with helping invent the radio—he filed the first radio patent. And his legacy continues today, with his namesake battery-powered automobile and Tesla coils…

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Science Art: Lunated Nail-Tailed Kangaroo, 1863

From John Gould's *The Mammals of Australia*, 1863: https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/49740861#page/7/mode/1upClick to embiggen

Not just a kangaroo, and not just a nail-tailed kangaroo. A lunated nail-tailed kangaroo. And a cute one, too. From John Gould’s The Mammals of Australia, 1863. Nowadays, Onychogalea lunata is called the crescent nail-tailed wallaby. I like to think they’re still cute, though.

I found the picture in the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

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Science Art: Pipes and playing-drum of a "Leierkasten" hand-drawn organ, by Rama

from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CIMA_mg_8385.jpgClick to embiggen
This is a view of one of the automatic music-making devices collected by the Centre International de la Mécanique d’Art (CIMA), a Swiss museum of music boxes and automata. So, robots and machines that make art. Something people were making way before the first digital audio workstations came around.

I found the photo in the “Centre International de la Mécanique d’Art (CIMA)” category on Wikimedia Commons.

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The Inner Life of a Cell.

14 February 2008 grant b 0

Happy Valentine’s Day. From deep inside my heart. If you want to know more about the strange imagery you’ve just seen, there’s a narrated version […]

Robots Evolve.

13 February 2008 grant b 0

Discover raises a further warning about the rapidly approaching obsolescence of humanity. We’ve now created robots that are evolving… and learning how to deceive: Dario […]

New Peking Man.

12 February 2008 grant b 0

Actually, he’d be a very, very old Peking Man indeed. Reuters recently carried a story about some very old bones found in China: An almost […]

Science Art: Jupiter’s Rings

10 February 2008 grant b 0

Click to embiggen. Photo by: the National Optical Astronomy Observatory/Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy/National Science Foundation, as well as Cornell astronomers J. Burns […]

Men meet obsolescence.

8 February 2008 grant b 0

Yep. The Environmental Graffiti blog (among other sources) is pointing out that, biologicially speaking, the testicle is on the way to joining the appendix. Men […]

Blue-eyed babies.

7 February 2008 grant b 0

Science Daily reveals that blue-eyed people really are special – they’re all related to each other: New research shows that people with blue eyes have […]

Memory on tap.

6 February 2008 grant b 1

The Daily Telegraph has a fascinating story about an accidental neurological discovery. While trying to “switch off” an obese man’s desire to overeat, neurologists using […]

Engineers of Jihad?

4 February 2008 grant b 0

EETimes.com, the online news magazine for electrical engineers, recently published a bizarre little musing in the form of a study linking electrical engineering aptitude with […]

Supersize Me.

1 February 2008 grant b 0

Science Daily reports on researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig who discovered that McDonald’s makes us supermen: The researchers fed laboratory mice one […]

Skin Rhythms.

30 January 2008 grant b 0

New Scientist stops the clock with timely news about skin. Apparently, skin is pretty deep – it’s somehow tied to the brain as part of […]