Ars Technica: "Humans began making paint and glue at roughly the same time with the same tools. Evidence from a cave in eastern Ethiopia has revealed something extraordinary about the origins of symbolic thought among humans." [more inside]
ARTS MacArthur Foundation Announces 2016 ‘Genius’ Grant Winners [The New York Times] This year’s winners of the MacArthur fellowships, awarded for exceptional “originality, insight and potential,” and publicly announced on Thursday, include writers, visual artists, scientists, nonprofit organization leaders and others, who are chosen at a moment when the recognition and money — a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000 distributed over five years — will make a difference. [more inside]
The Evolution of Bacteria on a “MEGA-Plate” Petri Dish - a cinematic approach to visualizing drug resistance
World-record-holding balloon fiend Twinkie hunts down ghosts and balloons (but mostly balloons) in Pac-Dog
Meet Graham, an interactive sculpture developed by a trauma surgeon, a crash investigation expert and a Melbourne artist to show what humans might look like, if they had evolved features to withstand car crashes (via)
ABC (potentially NSFW, due to CGI butts) by Alan Warburton (previously), as inspired by the work of Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland (kinda previously)
In 1997, Björk interviewed musicians Alasdair Malloy, Mika Vainio, Tommi Grönlund, and Arvo Pärt in a two-part BBC documentary entitled Modern Minimalists - part I | part II
Return of the Cicadas is a short film by Samuel Orr about the insects' (surprisingly beautiful) 17-year lifespans. [more inside]
The anatomical Venus re-examined. “One of the things that makes the Venus so hard for us to understand is that we’ve now divided up all those things in ways that wasn’t divided in the time that it was made... We have this division between art and science, and between religion and medicine, that didn’t exist at that time.” (Photos of nude wax anatomical models that may be NSFW or disturbing to some.)
Albert Omoss is an artist who uses computers to explore bodies as rubbery, entangled forms (all likely NSFW) and to make ads and data visualizations. Among other tools, he uses Processing to make hypnotic animations.
The Panic Sign - a brief story about a remote-controlled sign on top of a building in Portland, Oregon
Tareq Alsaadi performs gravity-defying aerobatics with the SAB Goblin Nitro radio-controlled helicopter — in one case, with some interesting LED patterns on the blades
Reverse OCR is a bot that picks a word and then draws randomly until an OCR library recognizes it
Scurvy Dogs - A brief overview of the history of the scurvy, brought to you by naval cartoonist Lucy Bellwood
The most unusual colors from Harvard's storied pigment library include beetle extracts, poisonous metals, and human mummies
Transplantable human bone and cartilage made with 3D printer that creates a matrix in the desired shape and injects cells that can integrate with the patient's blood vessels on implant
The China National Space Administration released all of the images from their Chang'e 3 moon landing mission (previously), including hundreds of amazing true color, HD photographs. Some 35 GB of datasets, including photographs of and by the Yutu rover have been difficult to retrieve outside of China and have been mirrored by Emily Lakdawalla at planetary.org.
A tyrannosaur of one’s own. by Laurie Gwen Shapiro [Aeon] Dinosaur collecting isn't just for museums any more — film stars and sheikhs do it too. What drives a man to covet big bones?
The world’s most famous palaeontologist doesn’t understand why anyone wants to collect dinosaurs. Mark Norell sits across from me in his expansive corner office at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and launches right in: ‘People are weird. I think: “Who is buying this shit?” No accounting for people’s taste. I have a passion for dinosaurs, but certainly not what I would call “dinosaur insanity”. Dinosaurs are just a medium for me to do science. But if I were doing the same thing on some other organism – you wouldn’t be here.’
Welcome to WorldPopulationHistory.org, an interactive site that lets you explore the peopling of our planet from multiple perspectives – historical, environmental, social and political. It is about the 2,000-year journey of human civilization and the possible paths ahead to the middle of this century.
The Seattle Natural Hazard Explorer lets you explore where different parts of the city of Seattle, Washington are most vulnerable to potentially catastrophic geological events like earthquakes (previously) and volcanoes. It is one of many visualizations or choropleths that connect ever-changing data with explorable geographic locations, such as an Atlas for a Changing Planet and Syria: Epicenter of a Deepening Refugee Crisis
Creatures avoiding planks - "After around a thousand generations of training, the agents became half decent at avoiding planks. Please see the final result in this demo." [more inside]
“Cut Microbe” is a sculpture entirely hand cut out of paper. Measuring 44 inches/112cms in length, it is half a million times bigger than the ecoli bacteria upon which it is based. I wanted to create a sculpture that reflected in the process of being made the incredible scale and complexity of this microbiological world. I am amazed at the strange beauty of the natural world and wanted to open people’s eyes to aspects of it that they rarely see. -Rogan Brown
The "Lube Olympics" makes slippery bid to rival 2020 Tokyo Games — featuring popular Greece sports like group sumo, tug-of-war, giant balls relay, sliding underneath the sheets and so much more
The 2015 finalists for the American Society of Microbiologists'agar art winners have been announced! Agar art, also sometimes called petri dish art or microbial art, is a technique in which colonies of bacteria or fungi are grown on agar plates to produce a pattern. If you want to see more, the Daily Dish posts a new art plate every single day. Previously.
"Immigration to my country harms me, it harms my family, it harms my people. Whoever invites or welcomes immigrants to Europe and Germany is my enemy,” says bioinformatician Gangolf Jobb, who has responded to the Syrian migrant crisis by revoking the license for his Treefinder software, one tool (among many) that help measure and visualize the evolutionary distances between organisms. [more inside]
The iBookGuy explains how graphics worked within the memory constraints of the Commodore 64 and NES, and the Apple II and Atari 2600
A 17th-Century Woman Artist’s Butterfly Journey Despite her long career, her influence on contemporary natural knowledge, her vivid descriptions of distant Suriname, and her intrepid spirit, when she died in 1717 the city of Amsterdam’s register of deaths described her simply as a woman “without means.”
It’s important to remember that scientists present their data in ways that their fellow scientists can comprehend. Technical jargon and statistical error bars can efficiently communicate the legitimacy of a scientific breakthrough to a scientific audience. However, these same features can be both confusing and distracting when presented to a wider audience. For the public to be excited and informed about the latest scientific breakthroughs, technical data visualizations need to be transformed into engaging visual stories that a wider community can understand.
I've looked at the US Census Bureau data, and the numbers don't lie. They paint a dire picture. On top of all that they closed one of my favorite mac & cheese joints. Look, I still love this place. Sometimes. But I'm done with wherever I am. Best of luck to those who stay wherever they are.
Interactive simulations for science and math for teachers and interested students, from acids and bases to waves
The Role of Writers in a STEM Obsessed Society
“As writers, it’s easy to think of how we matter to literature classrooms, but what the appointment of writers-in-residence in hospitals, history classrooms, foreign language learning spaces, and cooking schools reminds us is that we are relevant wherever there is humanity—which is to say, wherever humans are with their stories. Writing is healing. Writing is art. Writing is learning. As such, writing across the disciplines matters. Many models of artist residencies depend upon the retreat model, wherein the artist sequesters herself away with a small community of other artists. While these models have value, especially when considering how solitude relates to the creative process, it’s heartening to me to see more models catch on that value the place of the writer in society, rather than hidden away from it.”
Kaycie D. is an animator and artist who grew up on Disney films and has used that inspiration to create her own anthropomorphized illustrations of the chemical elements.
With designs inspired by Peking opera the facekini protects its wearer from jellyfish stings and sunburns.
The Dynamic Periodic Table... probably the only periodic table most of you will ever need, or want, to consult (aside from Tom Lehrer's musical version). What makes this periodic table different? Take it for a spin and find out!
Dr. Dave Southall is an engineer who makes things, like monowheels, mini-monowheels, water bottle jetpacks, racing mowers, racing bars stools, uniboards, and other fun things.
David Lebovitz visits the Le Creuset factory in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France.
French magician and juggler Antoine Terrieux created a series of remarkably self-sustaining sculptures using different arrangements of hair dryers, and has also incorporated them in funny ways in his stage performance. He also plays with a diabolo in ways that seem to defy gravity. [via]
"The first 21 days of a bee's life in 60 seconds" is a time-lapse video by photographer Anand Varma, who discusses his collaboration with the bee lab at UC Davis in breeding a naturally mite-resistant line of honeybees. (Via.)
The Singing Sailor Underwater Defense System - the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society sends out a message of peace, love, understanding and respect to Russian submariners cruising through the Stockholm archepelago