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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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 …

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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.

Read more

Sins of the father?

2 November 2007 grant b 1

Scientific American reports on another look at the origins of violent behavior in children… and rather than blaming food additives, junk TV or general social […]

Old, stinky sex.

30 October 2007 grant b 0

With plants! New Scientist reports on a sordid study of the pulsing, fetid origins of life as scientists plunge into an ancient plant’s hot, stinky […]

The Happy Brain.

29 October 2007 grant b 0

New Scientist discusses a joyous discovery inside our skulls – the bits of the brain responsible for optimism: Elizabeth Phelps at the New York University, […]

HIV defeated?

26 October 2007 grant b 0

Science Daily reports that AIDS might finally be on the way out: With the latest advances in treatment, doctors have discovered that they can successfully […]

China Moon

25 October 2007 grant b 0

Reuters reports that China is taking its next step into space with the Chang’e One lunar orbiter launch this week: The launch of the Chang’e […]

Biofuel from a bush.

24 October 2007 grant b 0

Nature brings news of a potential fuel for tomorrow growing wild in Africa and India. It’s called jatropha, and it could possibly be ideal for […]

SONG: Something in the Air

23 October 2007 grant b 0

SONG: “Something in the Air” [Download] (To download: right-click & “Save As”) ARTIST: grant. Hello there. SOURCE: “Lap dancers ‘in heat’ are the ones to […]

Sputnik DIY

22 October 2007 grant b 0

The BBC has published directions for building your own history-making satellite: In simple terms, the Sputnik satellite was a metal sphere almost 2ft (61cm) in […]

The Ares V

20 October 2007 grant b 0

Behold the mighty propaganda of a mighty space agency! NASA’s (computer generated) video of the very big (notional) Ares V rocket, launching a Very Large […]

Maps of Cosmic Bliss.

18 October 2007 grant b 0

You might remember reading, a few years ago, about some controversial claims made by Dr. Michael Persinger, who was researching how repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation […]