An Earth-inspired typeface designed by Siyu Cao that creates shapes and letters from classic typographic map features. The two-dimensional forms are great, but the 3-D carvings really drive it to the mountaintop.
I’ve seen a lot of Earth as Art projects, but never a typeface. Excellent work.
What is Evolution?
This is a great video to share with friends/enemies/confused relatives that might have trouble accepting evolution and how simple it can be to understand.
I’d like to add one thing to this video. Single amoebas, pairs of parents and a few children are used in these evolution illustrations to simplify the concept of evolution, but it’s important to remember that evolution is something that happens to populations, not individuals. The changes within a generation are random. It’s only after those changes have been passed on for several generations that a survival advantage or disadvantage (followed by either more or less individuals carrying the trait) occurs. That’s where evolution happens, it’s not in the change itself. And sometimes even harmful traits can become frequent in a population, like we see in diseases that are prevalent among isolated ethnic groups.
Bonus: I’d also recommend Understanding Evolution’s “Common Misconceptions” FAQ for those who want to dig deeper.
“Check out this awesome dance move I invented.”
“Oh god, evolution, please stop doing that.”
“What? It’s called ‘pronking.’ All the springbok are into it.”
“I can’t take you anywhere.”
I wish I could give you this feelin’, I’m pronkin’ on a million
17 year Cicada emergence GIF, because I had to see it animate.
The Brood II 17-year cicadas are up and poppin’ along the east coast of the US, according to WNYC’s citizen-science Cicada Tracker map.
Want to know more about these rarely seen prime number nomads? Your humble blogger talked to New Hampshire Public Radio about cicada science. Give it a listen, they say my voice is soothing*
*No one has actually said that yet.
Terrellas: Magnetized spheres that were bombarded with beams of charged particles in order to simulate the magnetic field of the Earth, and its influence on the auroras.
They were replaced by computer models years ago, but they are still hauntingly beautiful demonstrations of our best natural light show.
Need more glowing skyporn? Check out my YouTube episode all about auroras.
What happens inside a pupa stays inside a pupa. Or it used to, anyway. Until recently, when special x-ray imagers were turned on a developing butterfly to elucidate its metamorphosis.
the process of caterpillar-to-butterfly is a messy one. An overfed worm not only has to convert a lot of the stored energy it gathered stuffing its face for a few weeks into new body parts, it does so by essentially dissolving much of its body and reforming. The pupa isn’t so much a dressing room for a beautiful diva as it is a bag to keep all the goopy globs of proto-butterfly from dripping on the ground. Sounds like both butterfly and human puberty involve a mess of bodily fluids and hiding in your room.
That’s what most biology books would have you believe anyway. This new work (written up in great detail by Ed Yong) demonstrates that while there’s still plenty of goop-globbing, quite a few structures remain intact, migrating and growing into adult forms in a more traditional way (like those blue circulation vessels). For the insect nerds in the bunch, this technique doesn’t revolutionize metamorphosis or anything, but it’s a view inside that most of us have never gotten.
And quite a view it is.
The same process works going forward in time; in essence every one of us who has children and whose line does not go extinct is suspended at the center of an immense genetic hourglass. Just as we are descended from most of the people alive on the planet a few thousand years ago, several thousand years hence each of us will be an ancestor of the entire human race—or of no one at all.