Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stan Vanderbeek-science friction (1959)

 From this 1959 cut up film, you can certainly see where Monty Python and countless others took some influence from.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Point - Think About Your Troubles

Harry Nillson wrote one of his best songs in this clip from the 1971 animated film "The Point"... Of course, I love the pre-digital hand-drawn animation. The imperfections in this type of animation are what makes it so personal...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tom Waits/Cookie Monster mashup - God's Away On Business

Tom Waits meets Cookie Monster. You know, they actually DO sound a bit like each other...
Thanks Rob for the tip.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We Stopped Dreaming

Again, Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the best public communicators on the subject of science I have ever seen.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ask Sam Harris Anything #2

More and more, Sam Harris is becoming one of my favorite public intellectuals.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Scientific Visualizations

I am a big fan of looking at images that are meant to visualize scientific research. Everything from antique scientific atlas images to contemporary three dimensional animated modeling are big influences on my artwork. They can often be absolutely beautiful images without ever thinking about aesthetics. Wired magazine has put together a web gallery the top ten winners from SciDAC 2011's "Visualization Night" challenge.

From Wired magazine:
Active Galactic Nuclei Magnetism

Churning at the heart of roughly one in few thousand galaxies is a supermassive black hole that gobbles matter from a spinning disk of gas and dust. Astronomers call the most energetic of these objects active galactic nuclei, or AGNs, after the powerful jets of radiation they spew.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Human Echolocation

This person lost his vision early in life and has learned to navigate his surroundings as good as any seeing person using echolocation. By making clicks with his tongue, he can literally hear the objects in front of him in much the same way that a dolphin or a bat navigates.

From Neurophilosophy:
WE all know that bats and dolphins use echolocation to navigate, by producing high frequency bursts of clicks and interpreting the sound waves that bounce off objects in their surroundings. Less well known is that humans can also learn to echolocate. With enough training, people can use this ability to do extraordinary things. Teenager Ben Underwood, who died of cancer in 2009, was one of a small number of blind people to master it. As the clip below shows, he could use echolocation not only to navigate and avoid obstacles, but also to identify objects, rollerskate and even play video games.

Very little research has been done on human echolocation, and nothing is known about the underlying brain mechanisms. In the first study of its kind, Canadian researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor the brain activity of two blind echolocation experts. Their findings, published today in the open access journal PLoS ONE, show that echolocation engages regions of the brain that normally process vision.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

English Pronunciation from the Time of Shakespeare

I love listening to the different accents and dialects of the English language. It turns out that the learned brand of Oxford or Cambridge English has very little to do with the way English was spoken at the time of Shakespeare. Apparently, at that time, the "R's" in the English language were much more pronounced. So a Shakespearean soliloquy in the time of Shakespeare would have been pronounced much more in line with the pronunciation of contemporary Irish, Australian or Appalachian than it would have been pronounced in the contemporary British dialect.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mr. Deity and the Virgin

Larry is stunned by Mr. Deity's callous response to a grave crisis.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Governor Prick Error

Aaron Ra's great response to Rick Perry's call for a Day of Complete Inaction and Not Eating.

This is our Response to Rick Perry.
Here are his original videos.
Watch the one titled 'The Response'!