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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Science Art: Four views of the Alvan Clark & Sons workshop..., from Scientific American, Sep. 24, 1887

Here, an astronomical family is building a 36-inch refractor telescope known as the Great Lick Refractor in the 1880s. It’s named for James Lick, an eccentric entrepreneur who financed the observatory. Please, don’t lick the telescope.

The lenses were fabricated in France, then shipped to Boston where Alvan Clark and his sons ground and polished the glass, built the telescope to house the lenses, then set them in place in a new observatory in Harvard College. They had to wait to put the fini…

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Science Art: Progne purpurea. Purple martin, by Howard Jones, 1886

from https://digital.cincinnatilibrary.org/digital/collection/p16998coll59/id/91/rec/3Click to embiggen

A bird in its home (grown on a vine, fashioned by humans).

Cute little guy, too.

I found this on the Scientific Illustration tumblr, which got it from the Cincinnati Public Library’s copy of Illustrations of the nests and eggs of birds of Ohio.

Apparently, the book started as a kind of by-subscription service, like a bird-watching newsletter, but then was bound together and published as a guide.

Seems like something people still do today, I suppose. Only more …

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Science Art: Korowaar, page 488 of The Cruise of The Marchesa, 1889.

a Papuan ancestor-statue

This image is from the British Library archive, a book called The Cruise of the Marchesa … With maps and … woodcuts drawn by J. Keulemans, C. Whymper and others. by Francis H. H. Guillemard, a medical doctor who decided to explore New Guinea (and the Malay Archipelago) rather than settling down in Kent to practice medicine. Then, Cyprus. Then, Morocco. Then, Cambridge, where he became geographical editor of the Cambridge University Press.

The book says this about the korowaar:

On…

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SONG: My Batteries

SONG: “My Batteries”.

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Jacob Margolis’ Twitter feed, 13 Feb 2019, 3:30 AM “The last message they received…,” as used in the post “A Moment of Silence for Opportunity.”

ABSTRACT: This song was kind of a no-brainer. (I couldn’t afford more, the weekend I’ve had – sick day, plumbing emergency, surprise bulldozers removing part of my back yard….) I mean, it’s not literally a moment of silence. It is using a technique I used more than a decade ago to put a six-word…

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Science Art: Ossicula Organi Auditus Diversorium Animalium (Aural-Organ Bones of Diverse Animals), by Athanasius Kircher

from Musurgia Universalis: http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/month/nov2002.html

A close-up of the tiny ear-bones of a few kinds of animals, including human beings.

This is a detail of a page from Musurgia Universalis, which was the book of the month at the Glasgow University Library Special Collections Department for November 2002. A few centuries earlier, in 1650, it was a groundbreaking work by the Jesuit polymath, Father Athanasius Kircher.

He liked music, and was very, very curious about how listening happened.

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Endangered words.

12 December 2007 grant b 0

Natural History magazine sounds a warning for words. University of Michigan linguist Sarah Grey Thomason, a specialist in the Salish–Pend d’Oreille language of Montana’s Native […]

Dinosaur meat.

11 December 2007 grant b 0

Palaeontologists in North Dakota have found a first-of-a-kind duck-billed dinosaur fossil, the BBC reports, containing not just hadrosaur bones, but the remains of skin, ligaments […]

One chimp, two chimp.

10 December 2007 grant b 0

Science Daily continues to make me feel inadequate by pointing out that even chimpanzees are better at math: “There are still many people, including many […]

Making a brain.

6 December 2007 grant b 0

For a few years now, computer engineers have been building a virtual brain – using computers to replicate every neural connection in a mammal’s gray […]

Invisible? Or just empty?

5 December 2007 grant b 0

Nature recently revealed research that will please the nihilists among us, from astrophysicist Teppo Mattsson, who says that dark energy, the stuff that keeps the […]

Robot Guitar.

4 December 2007 grant b 0

I’m not sure if this takes the fun out of weird intonations and un-well-temperedness, but Gibson is now selling an amazing guitar that Is. A. […]

Dry tobacco.

3 December 2007 grant b 0

Nature reports on a new strain of genetically modified drought-resistant tobacco. OK, so some people are probably thinking this sounds like the least healthy plant […]

Sunny smiles…

30 November 2007 grant b 0

…from a solar-powered toothbrush, of course. The invention, from University of Saskatchewan professor Kunio Komiyama and his colleague Dr. Gerry Uswak, uses electrons to replace […]