Imagining what the iconic picture of Buzz Aldrin on the moon might look like if he weren’t wearing a space suit can be stomach churning when you think about all of the elements that the personal space ship protects against. Without the pressurised gas to maintain internal pressure, all of the gases in his body would expand at a rapid rate, causing his blood to boil, and he would have no oxygen to breathe. NASA has a great interactive that shows a friendlier cartoon version where Andy the Astronaut demonstrates what would happen to a human in space without protection, then you can take a virtual tour of the space suits that have made history. Enjoy watching the evolution of the space suit as you scroll through this collection. [Read more...]
Humans are interesting creatures. We look at the world with some of the most advanced eyes and minds, but often fail to realize that others see the world differently than we do. While this idea is often put forward when talking about the way other people experience the world, in this case I’m literally talking about vision, and insects in particular.
In the vast electromagnetic spectrum of wavelengths (extending from below the long wavelengths used for radio, to the short wavelengths of gamma radiation) we humans see only a miniscule fraction that we call visible light. This small sliver, spanning the distance between violet and red is the way we perceive the world around us with our eyes. However bees and other insects have a different view of the world. Their whole range of light is shifted further towards the violet end of the spectrum and further from the red. This means that, while they can’t perceive red, they see colors we simply cannot see – what we call ultra-violet. This also means is that bees see a world literally hidden before our eyes. [Read more...]
Remember making “fossils” in Science class? Austrian designer Andreas Scheiger takes that old lab up a notch with this fantastic series of typography. Inspired by the 1918 book, The Alphabet and Elements of Lettering by Frederic W. Goudy which explains how language went from sounds to recognizable symbols and letters, Scheiger started a project called Evolution of Type. In this unique typography, he combines lettering with anatomy and paleontology to show an imaginary biological evolution, with “preserved” letters in amber, muscles and bones composing a segment of a letter sculpture, and now fossilized letters using plasticine, chicken bones, wood, water colors and gypsum. [Read more...]
The original “March of Progress” image is one of the best known scientific illustrations in the world and Maentis.com is remixing it, 2012-style, 99 times over. The 99 Steps of Progress, coming out of the Paris based artist collective Maentis, is a release of 99 re-imagined versions over the course of the next 99 days. Their on-going project is unfolding now on their blog. [Read more...]
Have you ever wondered why humans have a groove above the upper lip that seems to have no purpose whatsoever? This groove, known as the philtrum, tends to go un-noticed unless it is not completely formed, resulting in a cleft palette. With the help of a CGI created from high quality human embryonic scans during the early stages of development, Dr. Michael Mosley shows that the forming of the philtrum is actually a clue to our evolutionary fish ancestry. [Read more...]