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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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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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 […]

The Noble Bonobo

25 July 2007 grant b 0

The New Yorker, of all publications, has a fascinating Ian Parker article on the natural history of the bonobo – the sexy primate that’s supposed […]

Ice Volcanoes of Charon!

24 July 2007 grant b 0

Nature brings new observations of Ice Volcanoes in Outer Space. Cook speculates that liquid water deep within Charon’s core is mixed with ammonia, which acts […]

SONG: A World Without Us.

23 July 2007 grant b 3

SONG: “A World Without Us” [Download] (To download: right-click & “Save As”) ARTIST: grant. I’m the guy who put this questionable site up on the […]

Schizophrenia in Paradise

19 July 2007 grant b 0

Science News reports on Trouble in Paradise – how feelings of “social defeat” could be responsible for triggering schizophrenia, which might explain why the otherwise […]

Weather in China

16 July 2007 grant b 0

On the one hand: China had more wars in cold weather Most of the armed conflicts in eastern China over the past 1,000 years were […]