bioephemera

Archives for November, 2008

Panic

Via today and tomorrow

Sciences Naturelles

Botanique Sciences naturelles (1951) Via Agence Eureka, some lovely illustrations from a French science textbook. They’re perfectly vintage-schoolbook yet also crisply contemporary. See more here.

Ephraim Chambers Cyclopaedia, 1728 Via Morbid Anatomy, some beautiful detail images from Ephraim Chambers’ Cyclopaedia: Cyclopaedia: or, A Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (folio, 2 vols.) was an encyclopedia published by Ephraim Chambers in London in 1728, and reprinted in numerous editions in the 18th century. The Cyclopaedia was one of the first general…

Board games, circa 1600

The Noble Game of the Swan, 1821 While visiting Monticello recently I was struck by a 19th century example of “The Game of the Goose” lying on the floor, as if a child had just left off playing with it. It fascinates me that the board game, a staple of my childhood holidays, was also…

On science, beauty and utility

Andre at Biocurious responds to something PZ Myers said at a talk, with this legit criticism of the “science is beautiful” theme: How far down the road of “science shares more with art than engineering” do you want to go? Our society supports the arts because they provide beauty and insight and enrich our lives.…

This peculiar little dude is a paper toy for children – and a great example of vintage advertising. “Le Pere Savon” is built of cubes of soap with “72%” embossed on them, indicating a composition of 72% olive oil – which is typical of the French soap savon de Marseille. I believe he is blowing…

The visible embryo: a visual history

The Moment of Conception and Ensoulment Illumination from Jean Mansel, Vie de Nostre Seigneur Jesus Christ, fifteenth century, fol. 174. 11.1 x 15.8 cm. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris From “Making Visible Embryos” Via the invaluable Morbid Anatomy, I discovered a remarkable new website, “Making Visible Embryos.” Assembled by Tatjana Buklijas and Nick Hopwood of the University…

Imagine if all the incoming members of Congress were required to have “compulsory lessons in scientific literacy under a plan to strengthen evidence-based policy-making,” including “classes explaining scientific method and basic concepts.” Far-fetched, right? Well, apparently Britain’s doing exactly that: The plan, drawn up by Adam Afriyie, the party’s spokesman for science and innovation, is…

Insect Jewels

Tarantula Elizabeth Goluch sterling silver, gold, tourmaline Canadian artist Elizabeth Goluch’s precious metal insects double as treasure-boxes. From her website: My fascination with nature in general and with insects in particular began while I was a child growing up on a farm in southwestern Ontario. The work that I do reflects the influence of that…

From Wired comes this rather odd interview with conceptual artist Jonathon Keats, who advocates turning the nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain into a universe nursery. Keats has already built a $20 “do-it-yourself universe creation kit” (pictured above). The Yucca Mountain project would simply scale it up. What exactly this would look like is a…