bioephemera

Archives for August, 2008

Singing about phylogeny

My friend mdvlist sent me the link to some rather odd educational materials, called “Lyrical Life Science.” They’re folk songs set to familiar tunes, but the lyrics are all biology. I realize that folk songs about science have a storied history. But these are kinda weird – like “Sirenians” set to “Drunken Sailor,” or “Oh…

As untrustworthy as a winged cat

Tia Resleure Winged Cat Mixed Media, 2002 Speaking of possible hoaxes, I noticed thanks to Zooillogix that the Chinese winged cat story is making the rounds again. I blogged about this in May 2007 on bioephemera – apparently they haven’t even changed the photo accompanying the story! Although the Tia Resleure sculpture above is a…

A sad story from Bangladesh: a baby boy born with two heads has passed away at just two days old. What makes the story especially sad is that apparently the boy, named Kiron, was doing surprisingly well shortly after birth, even eating, but his parents could not afford further medical treatment at a larger hospital.…

Not your grandma’s sampler

Surgical suture sampler, circa 18th cen. Zurich Medical History Museum Photo from Ickybitty’s photostream . . . unless your grandma was a trauma surgeon. This antique sampler from the Medical History Museum in Zurich represents a variety of stitch techniques appropriate for different anatomical regions and types of injury. Both the embroidery and the illustrated…

Forestle uses the Google search algorithm, but the ad revenues associated with each search go to prevent deforestation (via donations to the Nature Conservancy). According to the site, the average search saves about 0.1 square meter (0.11 sq. yd) of rainforest – approximately the surface of your computer screen. And Forestle’s browser plugins make altruism…

The Stone of Madness

The Cure of Folly (The Extraction of the Stone of Madness) oil on board attributed to Hieronymous Bosch*, c. 1475-1490 Museo del Prado, Madrid At one point or another, Hieronymous Bosch must have turned his paintbrush to every bizarre practice known to the fifteenth century Dutch mind, and this early piece is no exception. The…

From the library of . . . death!

A great gift for the medical history junkie, from Manifesto Letterpress: twelve “Dreade of Death” letterpress bookplates ($9.95 on sale). The designs are also available as coasters. Manifesto also has skeleton and microscope letterpress postcards for the scientist in your life.

Octobowl!

For the cephalophile’s gift registry: a large octobowl by Hudson Beach Glass. Available here and elsewhere.

Two cute

Today I wandered over to the National Zoo and saw the baby golden lion tamarins, who are just about a month old now. I’ve never seen anything so cute in a zoo in my life. The babies leap on any adult in reach and cling as the adults scramble across branches – clearly raising these…

Vintage microscopes

Bibliodyssey just published an outstanding collection of illustrations depicting the development of the microscope. I recently saw these antique microscopes at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, and I enjoyed trying to match my photos with the engravings.