Helen Friel - “Here’s Looking at Euclid” (paper sculptures of mathematician Oliver Byrne’s illustrations of Euclid’s Elements, 2012)
Byrne’s illustrated Euclid is one of my favorite vintage science reads (you can leaf through it online for free!) and the fact that the Mondrain-esque artwork has been made into paper sculptures makes me happier than I can verbalize.
Strike a match, light a rocket, and travel into the Golden Age of the Soviet space program with these vintage matchbox labels.
It’s important to remember that the USSR was first to most early milestones in space, and they celebrated their accomplishments with some amazing art. Some of that was in the form of classic Eastern bloc propaganda posters, and some was … matches, I guess.
Via an amazing Flickr gallery full of all subject matter of matchboxes, my favorites feature (from top) Laika the space dog, a couple commemorating the three-year anniversary of Sputnik 1, a trio celebrating the Luna 2 moon mission, and finally the museum/home of pioneering rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.
Lots more vintage art, space-age and otherwise, here.
Previously: Want more vintage science goodies? Tour the best pocket protector collection on the web.
I’m Pollen For You
It’s a lot prettier when it’s on paper rather than launching your sinuses into full revolt and unleashing a Niagara Falls-level torrent of snotty discomfort, eh?
Pollen is strange stuff. Although many pollen grains are only a few millionths of a meter across, plants sculpt remarkably intricate and diverse suits of armor for these mobile gametes, having evolved a remarkable variation of symmetries.
To deliver a plant’s male genetic material to female plant parts, it’s got to be both sticky and tough. Within the pollen grain, a dormant cell lies poised for division, ready to burrow a pollen tube toward the seed ovum when it finds the right female parts. Surrounding that hibernating genetic material are two layers of protection: cellulose-rich intine and sporopollenin-sculpted exine.
So tough are those outer layers, so effectively do they protect the cells within, that pollen grains can be used to study everything from crime scenes to ancient climates. The spores below have survived more than 400 million years, dating from a time when plants had just invaded land and begun to reach up toward the sun:
Illustrations up top are from Ueber de Pollen, by Carl Julius Fritzsche (1837). If you speak German, there’s more small wonder for you here.
(via Public Domain Review)
In 1905, E. G. Conklin published a remarkable fate map of the ascidian embryo. He showed that “all the principle organs of the larva in their definitive positions and proportions are here marked out in the 2-cell stage by distinct kinds of protoplasm.” This study of cell lineage has been the basis for all subsequent research on the autonomous specification of tunicates. The color plates of this study are considered to be some of the best examples of embryological illustration and descriptive anatomy.
It takes so much division in order to come together.
square corners, engraving on paper mounted on card, hand-tinted, plain backs; an attractive astronomical game showing the planets, constellations, historical comets and signs of the zodiac with the appropriate scientific measurements (lacking two cards), in the original card box (lacking lid) and instruction pamphlet (incomplete), published by F. G. Moon, Threadneedle Street, 1829,
9.7cm x 6.5cm, [50/52].
”An attractive and scarce pack of cards on an astronomical theme. The pack is divided into the four seasons: Summer (pink, Autumn (yellow), Winter (white) and Spring (blue). The zodiacal sign cards of or a greater value than the other cards. The suits are made up as follows: Spring- Aries, Luna, Jupiter, Saturn, Herschel, Tellus, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Pallas, Juno, Ceres, Vesta. The remaining suits are composed in the same way, except for the first two cards: Summer: Cancer, The Sun; Autumn: Libra, The Comet; Winter: Capricorn, The Orbits.”
So how do you win?
Sooooo how can I own this?
Extended Exposure: A sampling of long-exposure and multiple-exposure photography from NASA. Take a long look.
Doesn’t include my favorite long exposure image of all time, though: The Hubble Extreme Deep Field, a 2 million second look into the deepest corners of space, almost to the edge of time itself.