Science Art: Plate XIV (Cosmarium species from Desmids of the United States....

Scientific illustration of desmids (algae)

Single-celled algae, magnified 500 times.

They float in ponds and stream banks. I found them in the Biodiversity Heritage Library, in the Rev. Francis Wolle’s 1884 book Desmids of the United States and list of American pediastrums : with eleven hundred illustrations on fifty-three colored plates .

They look a lot better up close, don’t they?

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SONG: Facing North

SONG: “Facing North”.

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Science News, 18 Mar 2019, “People can sense Earth’s magnetic field, brain waves suggest,” as used in the post “People can sense the Earth’s magnetic field.”

ABSTRACT: I don’t know if this song is from March or from April; I think this might be the first time I’ve double-blown a monthly deadline for an original. At least I got a decent cover out of it.

This song is sort of built out of competing choruses, or stacked refrains. I don’t kno…

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Science Art: Rufus Porter’s “Travelling Balloon,” later renamed the “aeroport,” from Mechanics magazine, Nov. 8, 1834

Scientific illustration of Rufus Porter's airship, dubbed the "aeroport"

This airship is a kind of ancestor of the blimp or dirigible, designed by 19th-century American artist and inventor Rufus Porter, who’s perhaps best remembered today not for his drawings nor inventions, but for founding the magazine Scientific American.

From the Linda Hall Library’s “Scientist of the Day” entry (where I found this illustration):

He envisioned filling up a 500-foot-long balloon with hydrogen gas, which he calculated would provide enough lift to carry one hundred passe…

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Science Art: Perspective Cutaway View of a Rotary Hammering Sample Acquisition Section (Fig. 5) from NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 20150003208

Scientific Illustration of a Single-Piezo-Actuator Rotary-Hammering Drill patent from NASA, used for samples.Click to embiggen

A way NASA plans to get core samples from Mars, the Jovian moon Europa, and beyond – a drill designed to cut bedrock.

From the NASA Technical Report on the device:

Using an average power of 50-Watts, the drill basalt is expected to cut basalt at a rate of 0.2 cm/min down to depth of 10-cm and create cuttings and an intact core. The drill is expected to operate under different environments including Martian ambient (6 Torr and down to -50 degree C), and liquid nitrogen …

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Science Art: Sinocalliopteryx gigas as a stealth hunter feeding on the primitive bird Confuciusornis, by Cheung Chungtat

Scientific illustration by Cheung Chungtat of Chinese feathered dinosaur Sinocalliopteryx gigasClick to embiggen

An Easter Sunday lunch is served: an early bird!

This is the Chinese feathered dinosaur Sinocalliopteryx gigas, chomping the bird Confuciusornis – something we know happened because we’ve actually found a fossil with the bones of one inside the stomach of the other. That discovery was the subject of this PLOS One article, which is where the illustration came from. I like the way the illustrator made it look both like a scientific illustration and a classical Chinese draw…

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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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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 […]