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I was discussing SciArt on several occasions with different people recently and was fishing for a way to classify different SciArt in order to make a particular point – the point being that the type of SciArt I find most interesting and valuable is in the minority. Basically, it seems there are 3 (or maybe…

Science Consulting for the Movies

I recently read David Kirby’s new book on science film consulting. This book is an absolute must-read for anyone even remotely or subconsciously interested in being a science consultant for the next Iron Man or Transformers, or smaller budget real-life dramas with real-life science in them. His book is both easy and interesting to read…

Dance Your Ph.D. -2011

The “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest is on again for 2011. This unusual and highly interesting experiment in science outreach continues to be shepherded by John Bohannon, and continues to attract new sponsors — this years sponsor is TEDx Brussels. So what is this? Basically: you create an interpretive dance that “explains” your Ph.D. research and…

Even in the small theater where I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it was clear that this is, to some degree, a father and son movie – there were several father and son pairs in the audience – more than I’ve seen in any other movie. “Yes, son, now you will see…

SciArt on the Bayou

The chair of the Theatre Dept. here at LSU and I have begun co-producing a new “SciArt Conversation Series” here at LSU — where we get scientists and artists on stage together at the same time for informal presentations of their work. We are trying to pick combinations that have some sort of real or…

A physicist friend of mine recently lent me a copy of Harry Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit“, which purports to be the only ever philosophical analysis of “bullshit”. This former essay turned teeny tiny hardback book reaches such profound conclusions as: 1) bullshit is sort of like humbug, only more excremental; 2) bullshit is worse than lying,…

“Amaryllis,” by Katelyn Sack I work in the engineering school here at U.Va. My office faces a lobby-type area just outside the main computer lab for undergrads. That space has blank walls. We recently commandeered it and opened up an art gallery. The painting above is one of four currently hanging in this first installment.…

I had the chance to interview Rebecca Solnit for The Believer. It’s on shelves now, in their September issue. They’ve also put the full text of it on-line at their website. (Here it is.) To quote the interview’s intro, Solnit is the author of twelve books. She is a journalist, essayist, environmentalist, historian, and art…

I haven’t been here much, but I did begin a new series over at McSweeney’s called “Days at the Museum.” It’s a limited-run set of dispatches (summer-length, let’s say) about research at the Smithsonian and related miscellany. Tuesday was the first one, called “Ronzoni All the Way Down.” This is the central image of the…

A slow June at the Fair (see here for an explanation), but I’m popping in to share what constitutes a different sort of landscape image(s) below. Here’s the first: The Citarum River in Indonesia. Here we have landscapes of garbage, scenes of environments overwhelmed with waste, with excess, with disposed and disposable items. The images…