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Beautiful plywood

Beautiful plywood

I have mentioned elsewhere, I love laser cutters. I got to try one at uni, and to do some pretty cool things. And wanted to make more. I could have made files and ordered the pieces from professional companies, but the laser is a ...

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space

Space

Science

Head Full of Words

The average adult knows approximately 12,000 to 35,000 words of his/her native language (depending on level of education). That includes all the words he/she regularly uses (active vocabulary), and all those he/she might never use, but understands the meaning of (passive vocabulary) should someone ...

Open Science: Map scaled by number of journals published there

Iara Vidal is working on her PhD in Information Science at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. She is an expert in altmetrics (altmetrics are non-traditional metrics proposed as an alternative to more traditional citation impact metrics). This is what she has to say ...

A murmuration of robots, a huddle of penguins

A murmuration of robots, a huddle of penguins. Swarm behaviour is a sticky problem. Scientists are twisting their brains to come up with self-organising systems. The murmuration of starlings, the behaviour of slime moulds, ants and corals are examples of nature being waaaay ahead ...

The continuum of science, art and design

Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer; art is everything else. – Donald E. Knuth [two_third last="no"] The definition of categories of design, science and art are not clear-cut. Neither one have a universally-agreed on definition, and professor Martin ...

Blasphemous Theories About the First Americans

The ice bridge through which the first American settlers came from Asia was neither made of ice nor a bridge. And according to new evidence, it might have not been the only way in which the continent was populated. Previously dismissed blasphemous theories about ...

The Great Exhibition of 1851

I was once walking around Crystal Palace Park, waiting for a movie festival to begin, when a man approached me and my friend and asked us if we had seen the dinosaurs. We were confused at first, but he quickly pointed at some massive ...

More articles about science

Art by the squirrels

Beautiful plywood

Beautiful plywood

I have mentioned elsewhere, I love laser cutters. I got to try one at uni, and to do some pretty cool things. And wanted to make more. I could have made files and ordered the pieces from professional companies, but the laser is a tool and unlike any other, and to get good results requires practice to figure out the tool and the material. Besides, it is insanely expensive. Driven desperate by the overwhelming mass of ideas this machinery generated in my brain, I have on and off been looking at how to get to do more. To get to use the one at uni was a hassle when I was ...

More cool stuff we make

cartography

Abstracting the map

Abstracting the map

Tung studio in Toronto decided to reinvent the map. The results ...
The network

The network

The network. The most common question I get when people see ...
A-maze

A-maze

Listening to the QI No such thing as a fish podcast, ...
Dangerous tectonic visualisations

Dangerous tectonic visualisations

Dangerous tectonic visualisations: Visualisations are good things. They should be beautiful ...

More in cartography

architecture

Stave churches – medieval vikingry

Stave churches – medieval vikingry

Stave churches are curious buildings. They seem to try to mirror ...
The art, design and architecture of birds

The art, design and architecture of birds

What is architecture? What is design? What is art? Conscious choices ...
Hostile architecture – how dare you be homeless?

Hostile architecture – how dare you be homeless?

This is an old post once posted elsewhere: brought it here ...
Thomassons: extinct architecture

Thomassons: extinct architecture

The 99% invisible is a brilliant podcast. I was alerted to ...

More in architecture

technology

Wondrously whimsical: the unsought finding

Wondrously whimsical: the unsought finding

What was your thesis about? I don't really get that question ...
The Internet of dangerous Shit

The Internet of dangerous Shit

I am not a Luddite, I promise. But we are drowning ...
Sea hero quest: playful dementia research

Sea hero quest: playful dementia research

Lots of games have no result except the pleasure the player ...
The day Indiegogo promoted a SCAM: Triton Gills is now fully financed

The day Indiegogo promoted a SCAM: Triton Gills is now fully financed

Have you heard of the Triton Gills? A device that would allow ...

More in technology

colours

Colours

More articles about colours

History

  1. All
  2. deep time
  3. evolution
  4. prehistory
  5. ancient history
  6. ancient Greece
  7. medieval
  8. enlightenment
  9. renaissance
  10. modern history
  11. digital age
  12. future
  13. world history
Streetart II

Streetart II

There are some amazingly talented artists around here ...
Stave churches – medieval vikingry

Stave churches – medieval vikingry

Stave churches are curious buildings. They seem to try to mirror some viking age aesthetics, and in the process, produces their own visual premise. It has been suggested though, that the stave church is a translation of the architecture of bysantine basilikas – from stone to wood, with its closest architectual relations in Ireland. Maybe, ...
Navigation – paddling the web

Navigation – paddling the web

When we make websites for clients we analyse their business, their products, and their customers. We create interfaces that are logical, that helps drill down. I am looking to buy a notebook. This company sells stationary. A top-level category then might be "paper products", "writing and drawing", "blank paper" or something like that. So I ...
New species of 2016

New species of 2016

2016 has been an absolutely shait year, so I am not going to do a list of main events. I think we better get seriously drunk and forget the sorry business. However! As every year, new species are discovered, and not all of them tiny bacteria, gray mushrooms, or minuscule fish from lake Malawi. I ...
Wondrously whimsical: the unsought finding

Wondrously whimsical: the unsought finding

What was your thesis about? I don't really get that question. People know I did my master at the Institute of Informatics, faculty of mathematics and natural sciences. To most people, that is enough to get their eyes to glaze over. "Computerstuff", "hard science", "mathematics" are words connected to that. Zeros and ones. Onion-shaped Asbergers-kids ...
The Internet of dangerous Shit

The Internet of dangerous Shit

I am not a Luddite, I promise. But we are drowning in the Internet of Shit. *checks wrist*ah yes i seem to be thirsty pic.twitter.com/lNTQVZ4INu— Internet of Shit (@internetofshit) October 17, 2016 We are producing awful products at a frightening rate. Not only is it hard to find a real need for bluetooth-connected inlay shoe ...
Theodor Kittelsen – a Norwegian bestiary

Theodor Kittelsen – a Norwegian bestiary

Theodor Kittelsen was a Norwegian painter and book illustrator (1857-1914). He illustrated the Scandinavian bestiary of legend and fairy tales, and his work has scared countless children (myself included). He drew and painted trolls, the black death, sea monsters, nøkken ("water spirit"), and anthropomorphised natural phenomena such as the echo. His work can be rather ...
Merit Ptah: a woman not Marie Curie

Merit Ptah: a woman not Marie Curie

It is embarrassing. There is this question "name a female scientist, not counting Marie Curie". I cannot really do it. I can say "oh.. you know, that lady .. whatshername...". I can do Ada Lovelace (1815 - 1852), the "mother" of computer programming. Which is sad on so many levels: she lived not that long ...
Fimbulwinter: mythology meets climate science

Fimbulwinter: mythology meets climate science

I grew up with the stories from Norse mythology. The sagas, the pantheon of gods, their fights, petty arguments, and underhand murders. How to keep them happy by offerings, how the vikings saw themselves and ordered their society and solved conflicts – which was not as bloody and brutal as you might think. The mythology also ...
Sea hero quest: playful dementia research

Sea hero quest: playful dementia research

Lots of games have no result except the pleasure the player gets out of it. But there is an increase of games that help science in some way. Yisela has already written an article about some of them; in games for science. This article is about a brand new game by University College London, University of ...
The voyage of the Karluk – polar disaster

The voyage of the Karluk – polar disaster

We know the stories: heroics, suffering, death of exploration in polar regions. Amazing feats, hunger and stamina and team work. As for the story of the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913–16; not so much. It is a story of bad planning, bad preparations, egos, death and men divided and (probably) murder. Some years ago, I read ...
The Future Library is a forest in Oslo

The Future Library is a forest in Oslo

The future library is a forest in Oslo: 1000 trees was planted in a forest in Oslo in 2014. It is the future library. Each year, an author submits a manuscript, unread, unseen; that will be stored in the national library. In 2114, the trees will be cut down, milled and made into 1000 books ...

More history-stuff

Future!

Future

To the future!

Animals

  1. All
  2. ammonites
  3. amphibians
  4. beetles
  5. canine
  6. cats
  7. chickeosaurus
  8. dinosaurs
  9. ducks
  10. extinct
  11. frogs
  12. horned lizard
  13. invertebrates
  14. insects
  15. marine life
  16. mechanical animals
  17. metamorphosis
  18. molluscs
  19. penguins
  20. reptiles
  21. Ruffen
  22. shellfish
  23. snails
  24. snakes
  25. spiders
  26. squirrels
  27. trolls
  28. synthetic life
  29. vertebrates
  30. wolves
  31. zoology
Walking with wolves

Walking with wolves

There are wolves here in Norway, and it is an insane controversy. It would have been really funny, if it was not so tragic. Here is the gist: the wolf is red-listed here. That is to say, on a national level. This means it is threatended, on the brink of extinction, there isn't enough individuals and enough variety in the genetic material to sustain a healthy population. So we should work for a sustainable gene pool, right? The wolf has been pretty much non-exsistent in Norway since the 60-ish. This means that farmers, primarily sheep farmers, have gotten used to the practice of letting their sheep roam freely in the woods ...
Biomimicry, engineering, and design

Biomimicry, engineering, and design

Biomimicry is about mimicking nature. Humans have tried for thousands of years to conquer and control nature. But we tend to do this in a very heavy-handed way: pour concrete over it, set up miles and miles of fencing, and if we cannot fence nature in, we erect walls around ourselves to keep nature out. The answer to troublesome deer is higher, electric fencing. The solution to flooding is more concrete walls and spillways. Thing is, as they are finding out in the UK, another solution to flooding is to have beavers create wetlands. Deer can be kept out of gardens by certain smells ...
New species of 2016

New species of 2016

2016 has been an absolutely shait year, so I am not going to do a list of main events. I think we better get seriously drunk and forget the sorry business. However! As every year, new species are discovered, and not all of them tiny bacteria, gray mushrooms, or minuscule fish from lake Malawi. I found a bunch of them, and they are delightful! It is said, convincingly, that the most likely place you can discover a new species, is in your own back yard. Every year, new insects and vertebrates are discovered. Problem is, of course, that to know you have found a new critter, you need to intimately know ...
Theodor Kittelsen – a Norwegian bestiary

Theodor Kittelsen – a Norwegian bestiary

Theodor Kittelsen was a Norwegian painter and book illustrator (1857-1914). He illustrated the Scandinavian bestiary of legend and fairy tales, and his work has scared countless children (myself included). He drew and painted trolls, the black death, sea monsters, nøkken ("water spirit"), and anthropomorphised natural phenomena such as the echo. His work can be rather subtle at times, and require a closer study to reveal the monster in the frame. I saw a lot of his paintings in an exhibition years ago, and it is a shame that all the pics on the internet does not show the frames: they are artwork in themselves. Trolls Kittelsens' images have defined how we ...
Walking with cats: Eurasian lynx

Walking with cats: Eurasian lynx

The Eurasian lynx is a medium-sized cat, native to Siberia, Central, East, and Southern Asia, North, Central and Eastern Europe. It lives in the wild close to where I live, but after decades of hanging out in the woods, I have never seen anything but a set of footprints in the snow. Once. They are extremely shy, stick to steep, rocky terrain. You could pass one a metre away and you would never know. But up in the mountains, there is a farm and wildlife park called Langedrag that does some extraordinary things. Their lynx, with one exception, are remarkably tolerant of people. Though far from tame – they are wild animals ...
Twelve golden wild ducks – fairytale in smoke and mirrors

Twelve golden wild ducks – fairytale in smoke and mirrors

There is a fairy tale here in Norway, called the twelve wild ducks. The story is not really important, it a fairly classic good versus evil, patience, purity and deceit. I think it is a pretty convoluted story, and I always found it dissatisfying that there is no attempt at explaining why the princes are turned into ducks. As for magical shape-shifting, that just seems rather lame. I include the fairytale at the bottom of this post, should you be interested. The point is; I was doodling one day, and made stylized birds. Sort of. It was never intended to be birds, but three emerged. I started another one, and the problem with ...
Cleaning bones: mallard skull

Cleaning bones: mallard skull

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I was at a beach, and among some rocks found a fairly decomposed duck. Basically, a big pile of feathers, mainly no flesh, but sinews and – cough – bits of unidentified biohazard. The skull was delightfully intact, with sinews holding it all nicely in place and (thankfully) brainless. What to do? Clearly, action is needed! I dashed home and picked up some plastic bags and a jar. I filled the jar with water and gently teased the skull in there. Now what?? I know very little about cleaning bones, except that you can use insects. I do not have any flesh-eating maggots around, ...
Scientific illustrations by Carim Nahaboo

Scientific illustrations by Carim Nahaboo

Scientific illustrations by Carim Nahaboo Carim Nahaboo is a London based illustrator specialising in accurate depictions of natural history subjects as well as more imaginative, conceptual themes. So says his bio on his webpage, and who am I to argue? I am in awe of his work; this is old-school scientific illustration: art, design and science. Feast your eyes and tell me that we should not keep the deep understanding and ability to inquire that is the essence of scientific illustration and curiosity. And recognise that it takes time. Hours, weeks, years. Scientific illustration is a skill that should not be lost; it is a philosophy, an art, a craft; it ...
Darwin: murdering a fox, not helping a frog

Darwin: murdering a fox, not helping a frog

“A fox (Canis fulvipes (Lycalopex fulvipes)), of a kind said to be peculiar to the island, and very rare in it, and which is a new species, was sitting on the rocks. He was so intently absorbed in watching the work of the officers, that I was able, by quietly walking up behind, to knock him on the head with my geological hammer. This fox, more curious or more scientific, but less wise, than the generality of his brethren, is now mounted in the museum of the Zoological Society.” ... and so Darwin helped to bring the aptly named Darwin's fox a little closer to extinction. “Amongst the Batrachian reptiles, I ...
A murmuration of robots, a huddle of penguins

A murmuration of robots, a huddle of penguins

A murmuration of robots, a huddle of penguins. Swarm behaviour is a sticky problem. Scientists are twisting their brains to come up with self-organising systems. The murmuration of starlings, the behaviour of slime moulds, ants and corals are examples of nature being waaaay ahead of us. Here, Harvard University has created a self-organising system, consisting of 1024 (magic number!) tiny robots. They are a long way away from the sterlings, but there is something really adorable about seeing those little robots getting in line. Basically, what these robots are doing, is a version of the emperor penguins' "huddle": to keep themselves and their chicks warm in the depth of winter, the (male, ...
Kjell Aukrust: rural Norway in a nutshell

Kjell Aukrust: rural Norway in a nutshell

Kjell Aukrust was a legendary artist, humourist and illustrator. He is most famous for his wacky stories from a particular part of rural Norway, full of bizarre and hilarious people, inventions and creatures. They make little sense to people from other countries, the Danes certainly do not get it at all. I grew up with his work, and always loved the strong graphic language. I saw his ink drawings in a museum when I was a kid, and was struck by the fact that he used liberal amounts of liquid paper for corrections: the drawings are not born perfect. The artists' privilege of changing his mind. His stuff is virtually non-existent ...
Axolotl – the salamander that never is

Axolotl – the salamander that never is

Axolotl. Ambystoma mexicanum. What is it? It belongs to the salamanders, but. A salamander is a creature that has some properties and life history. Your garden-variety salamander starts life as an egg, larvae, tadpole, metamorphosis, adult salamander. After metamorphosis the creature is an adult, crawls up on land and reproduce. That is the idea. But there is this magnificent mechanism in evolution.. if (over time) the environment for the adults on land is too harsh, the juveniles can develop the ability to reproduce. They skip metamorphosis almost entirely, and stay in a juvenile "prepubescent" stage that should not allow them to reproduce, and yet they do. This is called neoteny. Now this ...
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Animals