bioephemera

Archives for March, 2008

Yesterday I alluded to the wonder cabinet aesthetic of retailer Anthropologie. I love that store, though I can’t afford to patronize it (not that insolvency always stops me). But I’m sometimes ambivalent about their use of science as marketing tool. Here’s a screenshot from their latest web ad campaign, “It’s elemental“: Ok. . . the…

Mastodon on the mantel?

Nancy Fiddler with her mastodon skeleton photo by Robert Galbraith So apparently there’s a week left to place your ebay bid on the Rustler Ranch mastodon skeleton. It’s only $115K, and ebay helpfully notes that you can get “up to $25 back with ebay MasterCard”! So get out $114,975 (plus shipping) and start planning your…

The following is another post from the “old” bioephemera (originally published June 18, 2007). Last weekend I discovered Seattle’s Gas Works Park. By accident. And ended up on a tour through the derelict gasworks – led by the park’s designer, Richard Haag. The structures are fenced off, so I got the impression this was an…

Glove map of London, 1851, by George Shove. Printed map on leather. (via Mapping the Marvellous) Long before Googlemaps on an iPhone or handheld GPS devices, there was this very analog Victorian Glove Map! (I already posted this wonderful glove on the old bioephemera, but was inspired by a recent conversation with my boss to…

World Map (detail) Martin Waldseemuller, 1507 Last week I had to visit the Library of Congress, so I dropped in on the 1507 map by Martin Waldseemuller. The map, which was acquired by the Library in 2003, is tucked in behind an exhibit of mesoamerican artifacts, which seemed arranged specifically to baffle visitors. Both 1507…

Can animals create art?

Zooillogix posted this video of an elephant that paints “realistic paintings of other elephants:” It’s a fluff piece, granted, but it gestures towards credibility by bringing in an “art expert” (and, I’m guessing, cutting 98% of her comments). The genial narrator, anticipating our astonishment that an elephant could learn to paint portraits, reassures us that…

The Gygax Bestiary

Gary Gygax, who died today at age 69, has a special place in my heart – but not for the obvious reason. I was never a disciple of his famous creation, Dungeons & Dragons. I grew up in a rural, conservative area, and while I’m sure there were a few gaming groups around, they were…

Archival Images from NMHM

St Elizabeth’s Hospital, Washington, DC; wall of Room in Ward Retreat 1 Reproductions made by a patient, a disturbed case of dementia precox [praecox?]; pin or fingernail used to scratch paint from wall, top coat of paint buff color, superimposed upon a brick red coat of paint. Pictures symbolize events in patient’s past life and…