Natural Selection by Noah Scalin
Scalin on his project:
The Natural Selection portrait series specifically explores the lives of great scientists whose work has had an incredible impact on the world. Each diptych is made up of the portrait of a deceased scientist and a representation of his/her skull. The skull is made by literally rearranging the elements used in the portrait, thus destroying that original creation in the spirit of the traditional sand mandalas of Tibetan Buddhism. The scientists represented are all great thinkers whose creations had an impact on our lives today, but also serious repercussions for their own lives (and deaths).
Well … these are pretty dang brilliant.
Don’t miss Noah Scalin’s 30-foot anamorphic portrait of Richard Feynman, drawn in flower petals … because we all know how Feynman felt about flowers :)
Big heads … big brains … big
In case you haven’t watched the It’s Okay To Be Smart Very Special Thanksgiving Special yet … here’s who stopped by for dinner.
"I am almost convinced (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable."
The birth of the Theory of Natural Selection, in a letter.
Eight years after returning from his globe-spanning voyage aboard the Beagle, Charles Darwin penned this letter to Joseph Dalton Hooker. Darwin had spent years analyzing the botanical and animal specimens he collected from the Galapagos. He had noted their variations, their geographical relationships, and his theory of how species arise was beginning to take shape. And he was nervous about telling the world.
It’s funny, Darwin had no idea that we’d be reading his mail, looking for important stuff. Makes me think twice about my Twitter account.
Under the category of “cool things penned by Darwin,” the above letter is perhaps second only to this, his first tree of life, accompanied by the hilariously appropriate words “I think”:
Their correspondence has been digitally archived by the University of Cambridge library, and it’s a time capsule to the moment when the most important principle in all of biology was hatched from the noggin of one British naturalist named Darwin. It’s hours of fun, give it a read.
Sigh. Why don’t people write letters any more?
At last gleams of light have come, & I am almost convinced (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable.
This is an excerpt from a newly released collection of over 1,000 letters from Charles Darwin to Hooker throughout the course of his life. They provide an unprecedented view of Darwin’s struggles and emotions, enriching the humanity of this great scientist.
Tour the letters at Cambridge University’s Darwin Correspondence Project, and read more at BBC News.
That awkward moment when you find out it’s someone else’s birthday on your birthday.
Wonderful Darwin Day art by Kapil Bhaghat (Tumblr)