Tag: science history

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.

Endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful… piece of art.

By Ainsley Seago.

Talk about an amazing coincidence: Bizarrely perfect anagram for Neil Armstrong quote.

Saw this at Futility Closet. Note that it has been said that the proper quote does include the word “a,” as it was apparently drowned out by static.


is an anagram of


(Note that the sound you hear is your brain exploding…)

Kate Beaton looks at Tesla and the ladies.

Kate is awesome as always.

Tesla was celibate and never married, claiming that his chastity was very helpful to his scientific abilities. However, towards the end of his life, he told a reporter, “Sometimes I feel that by not marrying, I made too great a sacrifice to my work….” There have been numerous accounts of women vying for Tesla’s affection, even some madly in love with him. Tesla, though polite and soft-spoken, behaved ambivalently towards these women in the romantic sense. (Wikipedia)

Neil Armstrong: A Giant Among Men

By Zen Pencils.

Chris Ware’s take on the development of humankind.

By Chris Ware, via Hey Oscar Wilde!

Dan Winters’ amazing photos of a space shuttle launch

“The work begins the day before launch, when he [Dan Winters] positions up to nine cameras as little as 700 ft. (213 m) away from the pad. Each camera is manually focused and set for the particular shot it is meant to capture, and the wheels of the lens are then taped into position so that they can’t be shaken out of focus when the engines are lit. Electronic triggers—of Winters’ own devising—that do react to the vibrations are attached to the cameras so that the shutter will start snapping the instant ignition occurs.

To prevent the cameras from tipping over on their tripods, Winters drills anchoring posts deep into the soil and attaches the tripods to them with the same tie-down straps truckers use to secure their loads. He also braces each leg of the tripod with 50-lb. (23 kg) sandbags to minimize vibration. Waterproof tarps protect the whole assembly until launch day, when they are removed and the cameras are armed. Throughout the launch, they fire at up to five frames per second. Only after the vehicle has vanished into the sky and the pad crew has inspected the area for brushfires, toxic residue and other dangers, are the photographers allowed to recover their equipment. (Text from Time)

Photos by Dan Winters, also soon available in book form. (Via My Modern Met)

Pokemon equals Charles Darwin plus Cock Fighting

From Johnny Wander, by Ananth and Yuko.

A little science history on the origins of various words that concern themselves with the subject of electricity.

Via TEDEd.

In which it’s obvious that pictures of the LHC never get old.

All photos by Maximilien Brice/© 2012 CERN, from an amazing gallery at the Atlantic.

Large particle accelerators are the gothic cathedrals of our time. #lovelymetaphor

From the NYT piece by Lawrence M. Krauss.

“The physicist Victor F. Weisskopf — the colorful director in the early 1960s of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which operates the collider — once described large particle accelerators as the gothic cathedrals of our time. Like those beautiful remnants of antiquity, accelerators require the cutting edge of technology, they take decades or more to build, and they require the concerted efforts of thousands of craftsmen and women. At CERN, each of the mammoth detectors used to study collisions requires the work of thousands of physicists, from scores of countries, speaking several dozen languages.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Wonderful artwork in this brilliant history of organic chemistry slideshow.

Download the full presentation here (pdf).

“Vladimir Markovnikov,a chemist and political progressive, was outmaneuvered by the crafty and conservative Aleksandr Zaitsev. Both men would go on to fame as discoverers of significant trends in chemical reactivity and organic chemistry students today still learn “Zaitsev’s Rule” and “Markovnikov’s Rule.”

“So, organic chemistry has come a long way from its early days. It might have reached its peak,in a certain sense, around 1972, when Robert Woodward of Harvard and Albert Eschenmoser of the Swiss Institute of Technology synthesized the very complex molecule we know as vitamin B-12. Ever since, it has been widely accepted that organic chemists can make pretty much any molecule that occurs in nature. That is really something!”

By David B. Cordes, via Fresh Photons.

Happy Birthday! Nikola Tesla turns 156.

Lovely art by Alvaro Tapia, via Hey Oscar Wilde!

More from Tesla’s wikipedia page here.

Awesome, and of note, on this site:

Tesla letterhead.

Tesla: Kick ass edition.

Why is it called the “God Particle?” Because it’s actually short for “Goddamn.”

So awesome…

Also from an interview with Peter Higgs at the Guardian, via Fresh Photons.

“Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.”

Love this quote, and so I had to quickly make a little graphic for it. Image from NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona (source link). Font: Helvetica bold.

Wonderful vintage evolution illustrations from the American Philosophical Society Flickr account

“This image from Ernst Haeckel’s 1874 The Evolution of Man shows comparisons between cross-sections of different animals and their embryos at different stages of development. For Haeckel the development of an embryo retraced the evolutionary history of the animal. The different colors represent the four types of tissues out of which all the organs formed. Ernst Haeckel. Anthropogenie, oder, Entwickelungsgeschichte des Menschen. Leipzig: W. Engelmann. 1874.”link

“Title: Outlines of Comparative Physiology
Maker: Louis Agassiz, 1851
Significance: In opposition to Darwin”

“Nott, Types of Mankind
Here American physician J. C. Nott attempted to illustrate geologist Louis Agassiz’s theory, which was that each region of the world was populated by separately created sets of species, both animal and human. Such ideas about human species at the time were often influenced by western racial prejudices, as the idea of multiple, separately created races could be used to justify slavery and other forms of subjugation. Darwin disagreed, firmly maintaining that all humans were descended from the same human ancestor. Josiah Clark Nott (1804–1873). Types of Mankind…. Philadelphia: Lippincott and Grambo, 1854.”

See and learn more from the APS Flickr account, via Fresh Photons.

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