Category Archives: art

Pair of misplaced glasses mistaken for art

The latest book I’m reading is by the New York Times‘s film critic A. O. Scott: Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth. It’s a mixed bag, but, to give him credit, Scott’s taken a hard look at the value of his own profession, asking what the purpose of criticism […]

Darwin ignominiously dropped from Britain’s £10 note

Yes, they’re revising the British banknotes again, so hang onto your tenners. You might even get a crisp one at the bank and frame it. For the £10 note, which has carried the portrait of the World’s Best Biologist since 2000, is being given the boot. I always smiled when I pulled out a tenner in […]

John Edmark’s animated sculptures

While I’m lecturing, enjoy these animated sculptures by John Edmark: From Vimeo: These 3-D printed sculptures, called blooms, are designed to animate when spun under a strobe light. The placement of the appendages is determined by the same method nature uses in pinecones and sunflowers. The rotation speed is synchronized to the strobe so that […]

Trump supporters try to censor a drawing of The Donald with a small penis

Well, Australian-born artist Illma Gore, until recently living in the U.S., did a drawing of Donald Trump that has him and his supporters really riled up. The 11″ X 14″  image, done in pastel pencil, depicts The Donald in the nude, and with a Very Small Organ. You’ll remember the back-and-forth between Rubio and Trump about the size […]

Russian produces world’s smallest book—and other tiny stuff

It’s 70 X 90 microns (a micron is one millionth of a meter), or 0.07 X 0.09 millimeters, which means that you could fit over 100 of these side by side in a single centimeter, or almost three hundred of the books in a single inch.  As Wednesday’s Guardian reports, a Russian man, Vladimir Aniskin, who works at […]

A moving hummingbird sculpture: make your own

We’ll finish up today with two light items. First, another find by Matthew Cobb: an amazing and complex wooden sculpture of a hummingbird sipping from a flower. Apparently it’s anatomically correct: And if you want to make one (proceed at your own risk), you can read about the sculpture and buy the plans (for $99!) here. […]

A Mancunian New Year

by Matthew Cobb New Year’s Eve in UK cities can be a pretty horrendous experience. The Manchester Evening News has just published a delightful selection of photos by Joel Goodman, showing what happened last night. They are generally pretty grim, but this photo, taken on Withy Grove, stands out. As various people on Tw*tter have […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Don’t expect much substantive today, as I may take a birthday break and actually have some fun. Remember to send in your wildlife photographs (landscapes count, too)! They’re slowly accumulating, so the tank has risen about my comfort level. Today we’re featuring Jacques Hausser’s photographs of cerambycid (“longhorn”) beetles. They show the variety of this family, […]

Unique artwork: Darwin on the Beagle, painted during the voyage

The Torygraph has published a jocular painting and the story behind it: it’s apparently the only depiction of the young Charles Darwin on his five-year H. M. S. Beagle voyage beginning in 1831. It was created by the official Beagle artist. Hannah Furness, the art correspondent, gives the tale. But first, the painting and its title: The […]

An amazing 3D illusion

We’ll finish off the week with a topic beloved of Matthew Cobb: optical illusions. A German artist named Stefan Pabst specializes in doing drawings that look amazingly three-dimensional, as well as speed drawings (his YouTube site is here; be sure to check out the 3D Eiffel Tower, just put up to honor the victims of […]


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