bioephemera

Archives for March, 2010

Mind the disembodied heads!

With some portraits, you can feel the eyes following you around the room. With Sophie Cave’s art installation make that fifty pairs of eyes – in fifty expressions ranging from disgust to shock to delight. All suspended above you in the atrium of a Victorian museum. photo credits: Ashley R. Good and chatirygirl. Visit kuriositas…

Women have white matter, men have duct tape. Or so implies Louann Brizendine’s latest book, the Male Brain, dissected in this post and comments at Language Log: You may remember the controversy surrounding her previous book, the Female Brain, which (in the UK edition) depicted women’s cerebrums as overstuffed, exploding purses. So for men, this…

Slate asks, “You rarely see women holding management positions in terrorist groups. Is there a glass ceiling for female Islamist terrorists?” Um. . . A. Did you just seriously ask that question? B. Are we supposed to be surprised that Islamist terrorists don’t respect women? C. Are we supposed to be outraged by this blantant…

Artists Bigert & Bergstrom create suspended globular clusters, reminiscent of molecular structures, with vinyl photographs on the outside and lighting within. The overall effect is a “luminous three-dimensional sculpture”, light and airy as a memory, but distinctly industrial. These sculptures used photos of a power plant, linking the molecular appearance to greenhouse gases and pollution.…

Good idea: the National Zoo is letting us name its Giant Pacific octopus. Bad idea: the names. All four are terrible: Olympus: This octopus arrived at the Zoo just before the 2010 Winter Olympics, and for many zoogoers the octopus gets a gold medal for being a compelling animal. Ceph: Octopuses belong to the fascinating…

I don’t think I’ve posted yet about Andrew Chase’s graceful articulated metal sculptures. His cheetah is particularly stunning. Click the image to watch it run! Chase’s mechanical sculptures have way more personality than metal should. The soulful eyes of his elephants and giraffes could reflect some futuristic world in which extinct flesh-and-blood animals have been…

This poem by Rosemary Kirstein is truly a worthy successor to the classic by Wallace Stevens. (Thanks to Jen Ouellette for sharing.)

A recent CNN article points out that the Georgia Guidestones, a carved granite monument erected in 1980 by a mysterious donor obsessed with the possibility of civilization’s destruction, wouldn’t be all that useful to humankind’s survivors: The center column has a slot through which the transit of the sun throughout the seasons can be observed,…

Joianne Bittle

Jackrabbit #5 Joianne Bittle, 2009 Joianne Bittle has an awesome job (Exhibition Assistant at the American Museum of Natural History) where she gets to paint, draw and make dioramas. Wow. But she’s also an accomplished artist in oil and wax, as these paintings attest. Her series of beetle paintings, A Royal Family, were the result…

Doesn’t that title sound weird – like an experimental film? It may help to know that House of Sweden is Sweden’s embassy in Washington, DC – a lovely glass building on the Potomac. If you’re in the DC area, you should get on their mailing list, because they host interesting science-related panel discussions and receptions.…