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The Biology Textbook That Wished It Was A Progressive Rock Album
May 5, 2009 7:07 AM   Subscribe

This is your biology textbook. This is your biology textbook on drugs. Any questions?
posted by jonp72 (37 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
Very pretty.

The Beowulf link on that last link above is way cool as well.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:13 AM on May 5, 2009


Who knew science was so groovy?
posted by Nelson at 7:19 AM on May 5, 2009


Well, this explains the Phish song Golgi Apparatus. Some of these look familiar, I wonder if my older brother had this text book.
posted by mollweide at 7:20 AM on May 5, 2009


NSFW
posted by geos at 7:22 AM on May 5, 2009


also, the difference between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells is... like... woah... alright, which one of you brats dosed my coffee again
posted by geos at 7:25 AM on May 5, 2009


Any questions?

So taking the acid before the AP Bio exam was not a bad idea?
posted by From Bklyn at 7:31 AM on May 5, 2009


trippy
posted by caddis at 7:35 AM on May 5, 2009


I wonder what the heck Michael Chrichton contributed to that one.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:37 AM on May 5, 2009


I keep expecting to see Frank and Pushpaw crop up in the background somewhere, like "Where's Waldo".
posted by FatherDagon at 7:40 AM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Have you ever really LOOKED at your hand, foot, spleen, vertebra and brain?
posted by DU at 7:42 AM on May 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Pretty sweet, thanks.
posted by rosswald at 7:47 AM on May 5, 2009


This is your textbook on drugs.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:50 AM on May 5, 2009


Very Peter Max. Lovely stuff.
posted by tidecat at 7:51 AM on May 5, 2009


I'm in love. Thank you.
posted by fontophilic at 7:59 AM on May 5, 2009


I don't know why I didn't look twice at one of many textbooks that were illustrated in a simiar fashion. It just seemed "normal" at the time.

˙ɹǝɥʇıǝ 'ɥɔnɯ ǝɯ pǝʇɔǝɟɟɐ ʇı ʞuıɥʇ ʇ,uop ı
posted by not_on_display at 8:13 AM on May 5, 2009


Fantastic.
posted by scratch at 8:20 AM on May 5, 2009


Between these textbook illustrations and the future-synth-drone soundtracks in the science videos we watched, I think there may have been a vast conspiracy to turn nerds into psychonauts. (And judging by the MeFi population, it worked.)
posted by naju at 8:22 AM on May 5, 2009


I pity the poor kids stuck with this. I can just imagine the twee little protoscientist, "Why can't we have normal pictures? That's NOT the right color for a cell"
posted by leotrotsky at 8:23 AM on May 5, 2009


I love this so much, thanks!
posted by applemeat at 8:30 AM on May 5, 2009


I smell new Tarot Deck!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:37 AM on May 5, 2009


Wow, this is great. Lots and lots of talented unsung illustrators out there...
posted by Ron Thanagar at 8:52 AM on May 5, 2009


These are amazing. Lots of archetypal, practically pagan imagery in there. Thanks!
posted by lysistrata at 8:53 AM on May 5, 2009


This is the way textbooks should be done. This book was created with joy and a zest for science. So much scientfic education, is deliberately and conspicuously sanitized. The language is sucked dry of all expressiveness. I understand the need to maintain objectivity, but science education can and should be more invigorating than it is. I want kids to leaf through their bio 101 texts and say, "You know what? I fuckin' love science!"
posted by Mister_A at 9:05 AM on May 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


It is a 70s art book, a biology book, an acid trip. I love it.

Appropriate to today's crisis: an artist's conception of a pandemic
posted by eye of newt at 9:05 AM on May 5, 2009


Too cool. I remember mostly taking it all for granted in my texts, but there were occasional WTF TEXTBOOK ILLUSTRATOR? moments.
posted by everichon at 9:35 AM on May 5, 2009


Funnily enough the first thing I did with my biology and psychology textbooks was to look up drugs. Then various interesting kinds of going mad.
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on May 5, 2009


You know who fucking rocked? Charley Harper
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on May 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


Ha, that's amazing. It's available on Amazon Marketplace for 29 cents too!

There's a great hippie Intro to Philosophy textbook from the 70s in the graduate lounge of my philosophy department. (Philosophy: A Modern Encounter by Robert Paul Wolff.) Not nearly as awesome as this bio text, but still pretty a pretty great capsule of its era. It features chapters such as:

Metaphysics -- LSD: Appearance and Reality
Metaphysics -- The Insanity Defense: Free Will and Determininism
Political Philosophy -- The Draft
Philosophy and Religion -- Drugs Again

And it includes readings by Kant and Ayer next to readings by Timothy Leary. I wish it was available on Google book search.
posted by painquale at 10:11 AM on May 5, 2009


I pity the poor kids stuck with this

I actually think I was one of those kids; that cover definitely looks the the textbook I had at some point in the 70's. I don't remember the art particularly sticking out, but in those days even anti-smoking ads were psychedelic. This homunculus looks familiar, but it is a pretty standard picture in most texts about the brain. I went on to a biology-related career, so my interest must have been sparked at some point.
posted by TedW at 10:17 AM on May 5, 2009


I’m pretty certain there’s a reason why the homunculus is proportioned similarly to elves, trolls, greys and other figures of popular hallucination, like a weird reflection of the minds understanding of itself.
posted by Artw at 10:23 AM on May 5, 2009


I’m pretty certain there’s a reason why the homunculus is proportioned similarly to elves, trolls, greys and other figures of popular hallucination, like a weird reflection of the minds understanding of itself.

I've had a similar theory, and extend it to the accounts of people having conversations with gnomes and ETs while on DMT. We usually perceive our minds/psyches as a contiguous whole (even if often it isn't and we just fill in large gaps with imagination or ignorance). The effect of hallucinogenic drugs is to debase those elements in some way, probably through the blocking of serotonin reuptake. So, the mind sort of plays itself against itself with internal personifications of its own various moving parts. Then what results is a kind of continuum between either full-on dialogue with said ETs/gnomes/whatever or just glimpses of them.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:35 AM on May 5, 2009


Of course, it's possible that I just discovered Robert Anton Wilson around about the same time I was doing cognitive psychology.
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on May 5, 2009


Oh my god! I have that edition of Beowulf from the link that cjorgenson mentions! Those illustrations are fantastic, no doubt, but the translation is the worst I've ever read! It all rhymes! In English. Even when there's no possible way...

PS--I really liked the actual post, as well.

posted by Squid Voltaire at 11:20 AM on May 5, 2009


You guys obviously need to spend more time listening to reading "Molecular Biology of the Cell".
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:02 PM on May 5, 2009


The "Two aging prostitutes on the streets of New York" image in the last link is class.. :)
posted by the cuban at 12:34 PM on May 5, 2009


ajourneyroundmyskull is the best justification of the internet's invention i think I've ever come across. it is the only blog i get excited about reading, rather than just passively scan.
posted by iamnotateenagegirl at 1:24 PM on May 5, 2009


Hey, it was the 70s. All the graphic artists were doing it, you know.
posted by dhartung at 9:24 PM on May 5, 2009


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