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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Health Magnet.

28 January 2008 grant b 0

LiveScience notices something odd that’ll have some hard-minded skeptics practicing their eyebrow raises. Medical magnets – one of the old staples of alternative medicine pseudoscience, […]

The King of Paper Airplanes.

25 January 2008 grant b 2

New Scientist reports on Japanese space scientists creating origami that’s out of this world: The origami space plane will be a similar design, Suzuki says, […]

SONG: You’ve Got Power

23 January 2008 grant b 0

SONG: “You’ve Got Power” [Download] (To download: right-click & “Save As”) ARTIST: grant. SOURCE: “PopSci’s Best of What’s New 2007: Innovators”, Popular Science, December 2007, […]

It flowers itself to death

21 January 2008 grant b 0

New Scientist reports on a frankly bizarre palm tree just discovered by a family picnicking in Madagascar: “It’s a species that is so significant from […]

Drug for cold turkey.

18 January 2008 grant b 0

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology has a survey of a subculture that could turn addiction therapy on its ear – an informal alliance of people using […]

It’s an odd universe.

16 January 2008 grant b 0

That’s right. AP is reporting on an announcement from the American Astronomical Society that the universe is more violent and awe-inspiring than previously thought: The […]

You’re not real

15 January 2008 grant b 0

Dude. What if, like… …like, the WHOLE UNIVERSE was just… …like, made up, maaan? Like it was all VIRTUAL REALITY, man? (asks the latest New […]

Turn the Brain Back On

14 January 2008 grant b 0

ScienceDaily has news from researchers in Los Angeles who found that a single injection with a drug that’s already used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and […]

The Super-Soaker Engine

11 January 2008 grant b 0

Popular Mechanics sheds light on an inventor’s all-new approach to getting power from the sun: The Atlanta-based independent inventor of the Super Soaker squirt gun […]