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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Nerdcore soldiers on

8 August 2007 grant b 0

Via the MC Hawking blog comes word of the irresistible, meteoric rise of nerdcore, as declared by the New York Times last Sunday: Many nerdcore […]

Sleep Eaters

7 August 2007 grant b 0

Discover lifts the veil on unusual nocturnal behavior – the phenomenon of sleep eating: Except for the trail of crumbs and gooey messes that confront […]

JokeBot UNBOUND

6 August 2007 grant b 0

New Scientist on the dawn of the Humortron 3000: Now Julia Taylor and Lawrence Mazlack of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio have built a […]

Gimme more sugar! MORE!

4 August 2007 grant b 0

Kevin Beck at ScienceBlogs shares some news published on PLoS by researchers from France’s University of Bordeaux, who found that sweet things can be 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 […]