Words

bioephemera

Category archives for Words

Quote of the Day

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. Albert Einstein Ideas and Opinions, New York:…

Adam Winnik sent me this animation inspired by Carl Sagan’s famous “pale blue dot” monologue. It’s true to the serious implications of Sagan’s words, yet wry and lighthearted (mostly). A lovely example of remix culture revitalizing a classic of biology. Adam gives some background: I’ve been enrolled in illustration at Sheridan College for the the…

The Letter Collector

 When I was about eleven years old, I loved to draw intricate ornamental initials with sea serpents twining all over them and castles sprouting out of them, etc. Sometimes my friends would have me draw ink letter “tattoos” on them, but really, the only way I could get satisfactory resolution on my letters was…

How often people speak of art and science as though they were two entirely different things, with no interconnection. An artist is emotional, they think, and uses only his intuition; he sees all at once and has no need of reason. A scientist is cold, they think, and uses only his reason; he argues carefully…

Because people have been discussing Google ngrams a lot, and because there are always major caveats to new datamining methodologies, I have to link Natalie Binder’s excellent series of posts urging caution, not only about the methodology, but about assuming too much about ngrams’ utility in social research.

detail of “Williamsburg Bridge Plaza,” Brooklyn, NY, circa 1906 Source: Shorpy I’m just saying, I don’t think that’s a speck on the negative. But maybe I’m too cynical.

Fox News is taking quality to a whole new level this afternoon. (I know, I know, it’s my fault for accidentally clicking on their site. I deserve what I get.) Regardless, congrats to the new Queen Minister!

You may have heard from Slashdot that the University of Wisconsin is switching from Arial, a sans-serif font, to Century Gothic, a serif** font that uses 30% less ink, for default printing. The university hopes to save ink, which is both thrifty and eco-friendly. But you may not have seen this art project by Matt…

Alan Jacobs finds a quote that beautifully expresses why I don’t want a Kindle, and why I wish the iPad were a stylus-friendly Mac tablet: Of course, you can’t take your pen to the screen. When it comes to annotating the written word, nothing yet created for the screen compares to the immediacy and simplicity…

A little Sunday reading: “Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store,” one of several wonderful short stories by San Francisco writer Robin Sloan. It’s sort of like magical realism for techies: Back at Supply and Demand. The air is crack­ling with wi-​​fi; Kat and I are hav­ing the only spo­ken con­ver­sa­tion in the entire place. She’s wear­ing…