Tag: science history

Wow… Vintage anatomical plus vintage biodiversity art forms make for a gorgeous combination.







By Travis Bedal, via Visual News

Stunning portrait of Darwin by @davidrevoy, as composed by a myriad of organisms

Wow. Very cool… How many organisms can you spot?


By David Revoy, via Fresh Photons.

If icons of science had Instagram accounts…

… then it might look like this:




Via histagrams.

Testing Galileo’s idea IN SPACE!

This is so awesome…

This comes by way of the Futility Closet, which also outlines a really great thought experiment that convinced Galileo that he was right, and Aristotle was wrong (his was the prevailing theory at the time).

This is a wonderful & touching way to spend 7 minutes in science history joy: Wallace: The Other Guy to Discover Natural Selection

Beautifully done…

Via the New York Times.

Love this little anecdote about astronaut John Glenn and the International Flat Earth Research Society

Found at Futility Closet and noted here for tagged archive.

In February 1962 John Glenn circled Earth three times on Friendship 7.

When he landed, he received a card from the International Flat Earth Research Society.

It said, “OK wise guy.”

Alexander Bell sends a pic #funny via @beatonna

Almost peed my pants when I read this. Plus I love it, because it’s a perfect commentary on the diverse nature of science culture (i.e. we can be silly and crude as well as science-y). Would be wonderful if, one day, Ms. Beaton decides to do a book on science history – heck, I would even love to commission that sort of project (ooh ooh – maybe a “famous folks in science history” phylo deck?)


By Kate Beaton.

So apparently, Sir Isaac Newton invented the cat door. Maybe.

Whilst doing a little research on our friend, Isaac Newton, I cam across this lovely piece of trivia. Long story short: on Wikipedia, you can go from “Pet Door” to “Isaac Newton” in one click.

In an apparent early modern example of urban legend, the invention of the pet door was attributed to Isaac Newton (1642–1727) in a story (authored anonymously and published in a column of anecdotes in 1893) to the effect that Newton foolishly made a large hole for his adult cat and a small one for her kittens, not realizing the kittens would follow the mother through the large one.[3] Two Newton biographers cite passages saying that Newton kept “neither cat nor dog in his chamber”.[4][5] Yet over 60 years earlier, a member of Newton’s social circles at Trinity, one J. M. F. Wright, reported this same story (from an unknown source) in his 1827 memoir, adding: “Whether this account be true or false, indisputably true is it that there are in the door to this day two plugged holes of the proper dimensions for the respective egresses of cat and kitten.”[6]

Text via Wikipedia.

Haunting and surreal renditions of scientific imagery by Daniel Martin Diaz




By Daniel Martin Diaz, via Thinx (also Boing Boing)

The monument to Sir Isaac Newton that never came to be. #whoa

This would have been something else, if it came to pass.


“In an anonymous letter to the London Times in 1825, Thomas Steele of Magdalen College, Cambridge, proposed enshrining Isaac Newton’s residence in a stepped stone pyramid surmounted by a vast stone globe. The physicist himself had died more than a century earlier, in 1727, and lay in Westminster Abbey, but Steele felt that preserving his home would produce a monument ‘not unworthy of the nation and of his memory’”

Text and via Futility Closet.

How an astronomer was honoured by mentioning his name without mentioning his name.

I love this. To do with these 8 asteroids, and explained in full at the always brilliant futility closet*.

1227 Geranium
1228 Scabiosa
1229 Tilia
1230 Riceia
1231 Auricula
1232 Cortusa
1233 Kobresia
1234 Elyna

*tagged here (without copying), in case you wish to find an interesting story under astronomy, science history, or scientist.

I love this. A true story about a corn beef sandwich in space…


“Astronaut John Young smuggled a corned beef sandwich into space. As Gemini 3 was circling Earth in March 1965, Young pulled the sandwich out of his pocket and offered it to Gus Grissom:”

What follows next is described in detail in a post over at Futility Closet: it’s lovely, and I’d copy it here, except it wouldn’t work without taking all of the text (which would hardly be fair would it?)

Still, I wanted to make sure I tag this on my site (under “space” and “science history”), so now that I have your attention, do head over to futility closet to read the rest.

One of the earliest Mars images was a digitally reconstructed paint-by-numbers.


“A “real-time data translator” machine converted a Mariner 4 digital image data into numbers printed on strips of paper. Too anxious to wait for the official processed image, employees from the Telecommunications Section at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, attached these strips side by side to a display panel and hand colored the numbers like a paint-by-numbers picture. The completed image was framed and presented to JPL director, William H. Pickering. Mariner 4 was launched on November 28, 1964 and journeyed for 228 days to the Red Planet, providing the first close-range images of Mars.”


Close up (Dan Goods)


Color Key (Spencer Mishlen)


Side by side comparison of drawn image and actaul image (JPL/Caltech)

Text and images from NASA/JPL/Dan Goods, via Wired.

Sciencegeek Advent Calendar Extravaganza! – Day 19


See other Ways Darwin Could Jump the Shark


“Sporting his full white beard, Darwin is hired to impersonate Santa Claus at the local mall. He initially does well in this job, looking the part, being punctual, amicable, and knowledgeable about reindeer. However, he soon begins to insist on teaching children words like “invertebrate.” He also starts giving out stylish feces beads instead of candy canes. Later, he gets in an argument with another Santa Claus in another mall over biologically sound explanations for Rudolph’s glowing nose. The “Darwin vs. Santa Claus” fistfight goes viral on YouTube.”

By David Ng via McSweeney’s. Image: Source Unknown.

(see more of Popperfont’s Sciencegeek Advent Calendar Extravanganza here)

The “Name the Scientist: Cartoon Picture Edition” Quiz

How many can you get? (I got 6)

(Click on the image for a larger version).

By Chay Hawes. Answers found here.

Carl Sagan as a Scribblenaut

by Aaron Thornton, via Hey Oscar Wilde!

These Victorian microscope slides are both beautiful and amazing! #want

O.K., this site about Victoria microscope slides has to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. Lots to peruse, but why not just start with how beautiful the mounting looks.

Botanical specimens

“By the later 1800s, with the advent of an expanding middleclass and the burgeoning popular interest in the Natural Sciences, it was not unusual for households to have a well used microscope and a little “cabinet of curiosities”. Some, as well as purchasing commercially mounted examples, found pleasure in collecting specimens and making their own slides. Many people of the times could give the common and Latin names, and an account of the habits, for most of the plants, insects, and other living creatures both small and large in the vicinity of their town and countryside. Holiday excursions to the seashore became a popular pastime, being seen as wonderful opportunity for collecting unusual specimens for study. Public lectures, classes and demonstrations were held, and numerous societies and clubs of interested “amateur naturalists” met regularly. During the heyday of the Victorian period, the microscope and it’s attendant collection of mounted objects were not viewed as just a means to an education, or scientific tools for the laboratory, but as an interesting, wondrous, and delightful entertainment.”

Specimens that are grouped in a specific spatial (i.e. pretty) arrangements.

Insect specimens

Marine specimens

This is an example of a large mount (with Earwigs) slide.

Visit www.victorianmicroscopeslides/.

Newton, shoulders, giants and other things he may or may not have stood on during his lifetime.



A stage of some sort.
Tippy toes.


Laminate Flooring
Olympic podium.
Someone’s throat.

In case you’re wondering: Lemmings are not made of cloud. (via @mwand)

Good Ole Worm (a.k.a. Olaus Wormius)

From Rocketboom, via @mwand

WANT! The Cat in the Box: by Dr. Schrödinger.

By Nathan W. Pyle, via Shirt WOOT.


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