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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Meat by law, not by lab.

29 August 2018 grant 0

Not the usual science-mag fare, but yesterday USA Today had a story that’s sort of about business and sort of about unintended consequences of cutting-edge […]

SONG: Taste the Wind

24 August 2018 grant 0

SONG: “Taste the Wind” [Download] . ARTIST: grant. SOURCE: Nature, 13 Aug 2018, “Spacecraft sets off to make humanity’s closest approach to the Sun”, as […]

Tasting the solar wind.

17 August 2018 grant 0

Nature reports on the Parker Solar Probe, a ship with a mission to closer than we’ve ever been to the Sun, even dipping into the […]

Cut out cutting out the salt

15 August 2018 grant 0

Yes, it’s still controversial, but it looks like (according to The Guardian‘s reporting) that successfully lowering your salt intake might – oops – increase your […]