Science Art: Hyneria, by ABelov2014

Scientific illustration of prehistoric fish from the Devonian period. Click to embiggen
A scene from the Devonian period, before dinosaurs ever emerged to rumble the earth. This lobe-finned fish measured between 8 and 15 feet long, and swam in freshwater rivers and marshes that spread over what is now Hyner, Pennsylvania. The very first four-legged creatures (like that tetrapod swimming in the background) came onto land around the same time, exploring this new thing called “forests.”

Meanwhile, Hyneria waited in the wetter parts. They could lunge up onto land…

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SONG: Bang, You're Misled

SONG: “Bang, You’re Misled”

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on Defense One, 2 Oct 2020, “Can AI Detect Disinformation? A New Special Operations Program May Find Out”, as used in the post “Artificial intelligence is being programmed to spot disinformation – by the military”.

I’m counting this song as on time, although technically this is a day late. I had the thing written, it was just a chore getting time to mix it and stuff. I recorded on a different computer than usual – …

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Science Art: Astro-2 Observavory in STS-67 Payload Bay, 1995

Scientific illustration of a space shuttle satellite payload from NASA's Technical Reports Server

A space telescope inside a space shuttle, from the STS-67 mission.

The mission summary, from, is:

The Space Shuttle Endeavor, scheduled to launch March 2, 1995 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, will conduct NASA’s longest Shuttle flight prior to date. The mission, designated STS-67, has a number of experiments and payloads, which the crew, commanded by Stephen S. Oswald, will have to oversee. This NASA press kit for the mission contains a general background (general press r…

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Science Art: Chasse à courre en dirigeable, by Albert Guillaume.

Scientific illustration of a dirigible hunt, a cartoon of balloons and zeppelins and blimps all aiming at a flock of birds in midairClick to embiggen

This is a cartoon inspired by “the experiences of Santos-Dumont,” the famed Brazilian-born aviator who maybe might have kind of sort of had a powered flight before the Wright Brothers. At any rate, Santos-Dumont went on to make records with both heavier-than-air and lighter-than-air vessels, one of the few pilots to work with both planes and dirigibles. The title (if the red jackets don’t make it clear) translates to “hunting with hounds by dirigible.” Basically, this is ima…

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Science Art: Escut del Marquès d'Oró (Escutcheon of the Marquis d'Oró)

Scientific illustration in heraldry; the coat of arms of the Marquis d'Oró, showing a chemical diagram on the sinister side. Click to embiggen

The Marquis d’Oró (without that accent mark, he’d be the Marquis of Gold) has a coat of arms with a diagram of the molecule adenine in it, on the sinister side (“sinister” being to the left of the person holding the shield). The blazon – the instructions for painting the shield – says the first section is a gold background with a “mont de sinople” – a mountain of green – and the second section is, on a blue background, “la fórmula de la adenina, con sus 5 átomos de hidrógeno…

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Science Art: Single-Acting Force Pump with Ball Valves, 1903.

Scientific illustration of a pump with ball valves, from a textbook on mechanics and mechanical engineering

Among all the diagrams of force-vectors, there’s this wonderful illustration of a well-made machine in A Text-Book of Applied Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, on

There’s little reason why a pump made to these specifications in 1903 wouldn’t still be operating, unless it had had been left idle and allowed to rust through somewhere. It makes you wonder.

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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 […]

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 […]