Lord of the rings - my big fat planet
Each year, trees add a new layer of growth between the older wood and the bark. The size of this layer, or tree ring as seen in cross-section, tells us about the speed of growth and reflects environmental conditions — such as temperature, moisture and even cloudiness — at the time of growth. Tree rings usually grow wider during warm periods and narrower during cold ones. Since some trees live for many centuries and, in some cases, for thousands of years, we can reconstruct temperature and other climate records dating back several hundred years, providing valuable information on how Earth’s climate looked in the past.
German artist Bartholomaus Traubeck designed “a record player that plays slices of wood. Year ring data is translated into music”.
Listen to Years.
2:21 pm • 14 July 2012 • 118 notes
The Astronomer, 1668.
Oil on canvas, 51 × 45 cm.
6:28 pm • 25 May 2012 • 141 notes
It’s a VanGogh-esque world (NASA’s rapresentation of oceanic surface currents - here’s the video) (via rispostesenzadomanda)
6:29 pm • 24 March 2012 • 1,698 notes
If Andy Warhol had been a biologist, he might have produced art like this. The colorful series of images shows the distribution of a protein called CHC22 clathrin in human muscle cells. (via nih.gov)
8:33 pm • 1 March 2012 • 212 notes
“The scientists by large know more liberal arts, than the science known by liberal artists and that needs to change. If you go to a science cocktail party and someone talks about Shakespeare no one is gonna say “Oh I was never good at Shakespeare! I was terrible in nouns and verbs!” No, you’ll never hear that. But if you go to a liberal art party, an artists party, and someone start talking about math it’s all “Oh I was never good at math, I hated math” and they all chuckle and all agree, and all like sip the next sip of champagne and go on talking about the art and that’s somehow ok. No that’s not ok.”
Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
I agree. But it really makes me sad when I hear scientists saying that literature is useless because it’s all about unreal stories, or that art in general is meaningless because is subjective. It’s not ok this either.
8:47 am • 29 February 2012 • 313 notes
Links Roundup #2
ART OF SCHIZOPHRENIA, BIOLOGY OF MORALITY, ADULT NEUROGENESIS, DANCING PLAGUE, PREDICTION TO LEARN MATH, ARACHNOPHOBIA & PERCEPTION, SUPER BABIES…OR NOT.
The Fairy Fellers’ Master-Stroke by Richard Dadd (1817-1886). Richard Dadd was an Enlish painter who developed a mental illness, something like skizophrenia, and underwent a dramatic personality change becoming delusional and violent. He murdered his father and attempted to kill another man. His life and work are the subject of a book by Nicholas Tromans.
Frans de Wall, a biologist and “monkey watcher”, author of The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society, says that human morality has its biological basis in the need to cooperate to survive, reproduce, and pass genes.
For most of the last century one of the central dogmas of neuroscience was that the brain couldn’t grow new cells once embryonic development was ended. In 1980 Fernando Notthebhom found evidence that “the adult canary brain undergoes seasonal changes in size. Males sing to serenade females, but the song-producing brain regions decrease dramatically in size after breeding season. The following spring, they are regenerated by neurogenesis so the male can learn new songs." Nowadays adult neurogenesis is one of the hottest topics in neuroscience.
How do you decide if a neuroscientific interventions for dyslexia is a valid treatment or an hoax? Some useful criteria could be: Who is behind the treatment? Is there a credible scientific basis to the treatment? What is the attitude of those promoting the intervention to conventional approaches?
The same criteria can be used to judge also other kind of treatments.
In 1374 strange episodes were reported across Europe. People started dancing, uncontrollably, screaming, shouting and singing, appearing to neither see or hear nothing but their hallucinations. These events are known as dancing plague.
”[…] using prediction during instruction can create learning opportunities to enhance the understanding and doing of mathematics”. Students asked to predict “how linear and exponential factors work—before this information was taught—became more curious about the content of the lessons they then proceeded to learn." Engaging math in this way promotes reasoning, and the students appear to understand the material more deeply compared to when math is proposed (implicitly or not) and viewed, only as a matter of memorizing facts and procedures.
A new research investigate the connection between fear and perception in spider phobic individuals showing how they are biased by their fear and perceive spiders as larger than they really are. / “[…] perception is just as much about construal, belief, the interaction of environment and memory as it is about sensory inputs”
“It was as big as my head, I swear!”
Are babies super? A reasoned critique to development psychology studies claiming babies have incredible hidden abilities.
The great snare of the psychologist is the confusion of his own standpoint with that of the mental fact about which he is making his report. I shall hereafter call this the ‘psychologist’s fallacy’ par excellence.
William James, Principles of Psychology
5:40 pm • 25 February 2012 • 79 notes
“If a Martian ethologist were to land on earth and watch us humans, he would be puzzled by many aspects of human nature, but surely art — our propensity to create and enjoy paintings and sculpture — would be among the most puzzling. What biological function could this mysterious behaviour possible serve? Cultural factors undoubtedly influence what kind of art a person enjoys — be it a Rembrandt, a Monet, a Rodin, a Picasso, a Chola bronze, a Moghul miniature, or a Ming Dynasty vase. But, even if beauty is largely in the eye of the beholder, might there be some sort of universal rule or ‘deep structure’, underlying all artistic experience?”
The Science of Art: A Neurological Theory of Aesthetic experience by V.S. Ramachandran and William Hirstein.
6:34 pm • 30 July 2011 • 166 notes
Danish or Doughnut
This series of images is a result of a project to automatically fill holes in polygonal meshes. While in simple cases it suffices to create a patch by triangulating the boundary of a hole, in cases where the topology of the final object is uncertain a more complex method is needed. In the figure shown, using our “Atomic Volumes” method, the outer half of the torus can be filled in two topologically different ways. The viewers can decide if they see a Danish or a doughnut. ( Joshua Podolak GS, Department of Computer Science; via Art of Science Competition)
6:53 pm • 4 June 2011 • 31 notes
Drawing Autism is an incredible collection of artwork by people diagnosed with autism, from teenage amateurs to established artists. (via Drawing Autism - 50 Watts)
2:56 pm • 2 May 2011 • 128 notes