SONG: "Math" (a penitential cover)

SONG: Math” (a penitential cover)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: This has no scientific source; it’s a penitential cover for being late for March’s song (which I still haven’t done yet). It’s originally by the 1990s “spacewave” pop-punk band Supernova. They toured with the Aquabats and shared a member with Servotron, and why they never became just a little bit bigger is a mystery.

ABSTRACT: I’ve loved this song since I heard it on a sampler CD I picked up in 1996 or 1997. It spent a year or tw…

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Science Art: Chandra X-ray Observatory close-up of the core of the M87 galaxy, by NASA/CXC/Villanova University/J. Neilsen

Scientific illustration of M87 black hole taken by Chandra X-ray ObservatoryClick to embiggen
This is not the famous Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) black hole image that you’ve probably seen by now. It’s a visualization of some of the data that helped make that image.

This is a picture of the center of the M87 galaxy taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, a telescope that “sees” X-rays. It’s showing, among other things, a jet of energy emerging from the area around the black hole – basically spewing from the pole of the black hole near the speed of light.

From …

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Science Art: Verge Watch Escapement, from The Cyclopaedia, or Universal Dictionary, Vol. 2, 1820.

Scientific illustration of a watch escapement

A horological device called a “verge escapement” (on the bottom) with a balance wheel (on the top) from a pocketwatch.

An “escapement” is the thing that makes a watch tick – it advances in set intervals, then pauses, then advances, then pauses again.

From the image description on Wikimedia Commons:

The verge escapement, the oldest mechanical escapement, was used from the 13th century, and was the first escapement used in clocks and watches. It consisted of a vertical rod, the “verge”…

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Science Art: Plate LIL, Fig 3: Cepheus bifidatus Nymph, from British Oribatidae, 1884

A scientific illustration of a mite. Click to embiggen

Mm. Mighty mite.

From a this book of mites.

Luckily for us, these mites (the Oribatidae) aren’t parasitic. They live in dirt (which they turn, like earthworm), and eat lichens and fungus. They do serve as a host for tapeworms, so try not to eat them when you meet them.

As far as I can tell, this specific mite, Cepheus bifidatus, hasn’t been studied very much. At least, it’s sort of hard to find descriptions online. People do get very excited to find some of their…

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Science Art: Ichneumon Fly, from the USDA's Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, 1941

Ichneumon Fly, a scientific illustrationClick to embiggen

“Lays eggs on larva boring in wood.” Add just one comma and that comes across as harsh criticism, but it’s really meant as a compliment.

This is from an illustrated fact-sheet of Beneficial Insects that I found in the Biodiversity Heritage Library. It’s a poster from the WWII era that might as well be labeled “THESE ARE YOUR FRIENDS. DO NOT ATTACK THESE INSECTS.”

As propaganda, I suppose it’s still pretty effective. At least I found them all rather handsome – but none…

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Science Art: Hypocaustum excavated behind the old city of Rottenburg am Neckar , by Eduard von Kallee.

Roman central heatingClick to embiggen

An ancient Roman central heating system – hot water would be flooded through the basement, and the floors would warm up. “Hypocaust” was the name of the system. This particular one, painted in 1884, was built in the city of Rottenburg am Neckar, which the Romans called Sumelocenna when they lived there. The city might have gotten its “rotten” name because of an earlier version of the word “rotten,” which also meant “ruined” – the Germans built their city over the ruins of th…

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Stoned Moses.

5 March 2008 grant b 0

Ha’aretz reports on a rather unusual theory coming out of Hebrew University – that Moses was tripping his way down Mt. Sinai: “And all the […]

From Weight Into Light.

3 March 2008 grant b 0

PhysOrg brightens our day with a fun new invention that’s actually rather old-fashioned. It’s a gravity-powered lamp. The LED lamp, named Gravia, is an acrylic […]

Chimps are Wired for Words.

29 February 2008 grant b 0

ScienceDaily reports on new findings from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, who say that chimpanzee brains are really close to human brains as far […]

Red Spot Mystery

25 February 2008 grant b 0

Discovery assures us that space contines to be utterly inexplicable – at least as far as that famous, bizarre, permanent hurricane on the King of […]

SONG: Flip the Switch.

23 February 2008 grant b 0

SONG: “Flip the Switch” [Download] (To download: right-click & “Save As”) ARTIST: grant. SOURCE: “Deep brain stimulation may help Alzheimer patient’s memories”, Telegraph.co.uk, 31 January […]

Cloned Booger.

22 February 2008 grant b 0

BBC News reports on a new breakthrough from South Korea. A biotech firm named RNL Bio is cloning a pit bull named Booger: RNL Bio […]

A Flying Telescope!

21 February 2008 grant b 0

How I resisted calling this “Eye in the Sky” I don’t know. But yeah, Universe Today is all excited about SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared […]

Making Oil Out of Thin Air.

20 February 2008 grant b 2

That’s what they’re doing at Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to the New York Times. Zap CO2 and H2O from the atmosphere with electricity and […]

Star Wars Practice Run?

19 February 2008 grant b 0

So, Wired’s Danger Room has an interesting take on the Pentagon’s response to that crashing spy satellite we mentioned here not too long ago. See, […]

Sexbots. Better. Faster.

18 February 2008 grant b 2

From the AFP newswire, a new blossoming of interest in robots built for sex: Called Honeydolls, the lifesize figures are made from surgical-grade silicone and […]