Jessica Palmer

Goodbye to Scienceblogs

A few weeks ago, I was notified that if I wished to continue blogging at Scienceblogs/National Geographic, I’d have to agree to new terms. After considering these terms, as well as the decision to ban pseudonymous blogging, I don’t feel that the new management and I are on the same page. I have therefore decided…


A few months ago I got an email from Zachtronics, creators of the Codex of Alchemical Engineering, about the new indie game called SpaceChem. It was billed as “an obscenely addictive, design-based puzzle game about building machines and fighting monsters in the name of science.” What’s not to love? Here’s a preview. . .

Mechanical butterfly, circa 1911

Check out this great slideshow of fascinating advertising novelties from 1911, over at Scientific American.

Recently, Scienceblogs/National Geographic decided it would no longer host pseudonymous science bloggers. As a result, many of my former colleagues have left. I think this decision was wrong. Read on for my reasons.

This video from Xperia Studio very effectively conveys how data visualization can both leverage and challenge our conceptions of “reality.” The night sky we’ve seen since childhood, like everything else we see, is just a tiny slice of the spectrum – only what we can perceive with our limited physiology. An app that lets us…

Kate MacDowell: bloodless bodies

Entangled, 2010 handbuilt porcelain, cone 6 glaze Kate MacDowell sculpts partially dissected frogs, decaying bodies with exposed skeletons, and viscera invaded by tentacles or ants. It’s the imagery of nightmares, death metal music videos, or that tunnel scene in the original Willy Wonka (not a speck of light is showing, so the danger must be…

Helping Vermont

Photo of Vermont highway courtesy of Kyle Cornell Last week, I had my long-awaited vacation semi-ruined when, thanks to Hurricane Irene, my flight back from the West Coast was cancelled. I had to rent a car and drive across the country in a rush – not my favorite way to spend three and a half…

Glass acorns

Etsy seller bullseyebeads makes glass acorns and tops them with real acorn caps. I think they’re adorable.

Greg Dunn’s golden neurons

Gold Cortex 16 x 20, 2010 Greg Dunn I used to have a beautiful gold Japanese folding screen, which was purchased by my great-grandmother’s feisty sister on a trip in the 1920s. I loved the gold patina and the surprisingly modern impact it had on my wall. At the moment, it’s loaned to a friend,…

Window Shopping

Two very BioE-esque images spotted in Portland, Oregon: