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Art Science

Layered MRI Self-Portraits Engraved in Glass Sheets by Angela Palmer

October 25, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Artist Angela Palmer creates ipeccably detailed three-dimensional views of CT and MRI scans using multiple sheets of vertically layered glass. Just as magnetic fields are used to carefully image layer after layer of internal biological structures inside humans and animals, Palmer etches these same scans into layers of glass. She says her inspiration for these works is a lifelong fascination with maps and visual topographies.

I have always loved maps. The process of investigating and visualizing topographies, natural forms and landscapes, and then producing them in a form which captures their essence is endlessly fascinating and satisfying. This desire to ‘map’ is at the core of my work, whether it be the internal architecture of the human head or the physical geography of the planet. Peeling back the layers to expose the hidden natural world is a recurring theme, in this context I have appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity to work with scientists in every conceivable discipline, from radiologists and botanists, to engineers specialising in bio-fluidics, to dust-mite and spider experts, veterinary scientists, paediatric dentists and specialists in ancient Egyptian dyes.

If you’d like to see more of her work Palmer had a show earlier this year at Waterhouse & Dodd and you can also check out her online gallery.

 

 



Science

A Tornado of Fire Filmed in Australia by Chris Tangey

October 1, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Filmmaker Chris Tangey shot this incredible footage of a ‘fire devil’ near Alice Springs, Australia on September 11th. In the unedited, raw footage recently provided by Tangey you can watch as the tornado—which is technically more of a dust devil—towers over 100 feet (30 meters) high. The Huffington Post explains that while footage like this is rare, these vortices of fire are actually pretty common.

 

 



Science

Guerilla Creative Collective 'Kut' Brings Unexpected Weather to the Streets of Riga

August 29, 2012

Christopher Jobson

A Latvian group that goes by the name Kut who describes themselves as “a creative collective consisting of filmmakers, musicians, artists, politicians and cats,” recently undertook an action on the streets of Riga called “Oh Joy!” where the group brought nature to the city and made the weather change unexpectedly. Aside from the few “Oh dear god what is this stuff all over me” moments, it looks like most people enjoyed it quite a bit. Love the editing. (via vimeo)

 

 



Music Science

This is What Happens When a Squid Listens to Cypress Hill

August 23, 2012

Christopher Jobson

This just completely blew my mind. First a minor detail: squids do not possess ears. However, the same impulses created when audio is converted to an electrical signal, like what happens inside a microphone, can actually be gently applied to tissue, in this case the dorsal side of a squid fin. Joe Hanson over on It’s OK to be Smart explains this better than I ever will. The video above comes from the team over at Backyard Brains who did some experiments at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts where a squid was hooked up to a special iPod playing Cypress Hill’s 1993 hit Insane in the Brain. Via YouTube:

The video is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the caudal fin of the squid. We used a suction electrode to stimulate the fin nerve. Chromatophores are pigmented cells that come in 3 colors: Brown, Red, and Yellow. Each chromatophore is lined with up to 16 muscles that contract to reveal their color.

A number of incredibly smart people even wrote a scholarly paper on the phenomenon aptly titled Neural Control of Tuneable Skin Iridescence in Squid! (via brainpicker)

 

 

 



Photography Science

An Interactive 360° Panorama of Curiosity's Landing Site on Mars

August 14, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Last week I stayed up well into the night waiting for news of Curiosity’s successful landing on Mars. Although the first few dusty, low-res images were a bit underwhelming they were no less incredible: after traveling for over 8 months and 352 million miles we successfully landed a 2,000 pound car on another planet. Thankfully the wait for incredible imagery is finally over. The folks over at EDS Systems have stitched together a high-resolution interactive panorama of Curiosity’s landing site from where she’ll soon embark on at least two years of research and investigation of the red planet.