The magnificent patterns found on butterfly wings make these insects a wonder to behold. But they do more than dazzle the human eye: The colorful designs also frighten or trick predators, help butterflies avoid detection, and attract mates.
In 60 second :Google receives over 4,000,000 search queriesYouTube users upload 71 hours of new videosPinterest users Pin 3,472 photos Facebook users share, 2,460,000 pieces of content Twitter users share 277,000 tweetApple users download 48,000 apps.The global internet population grew 14.3 percent from 2011 - 2013 and now presents 2.4 Billion peopl
In 1977, NASA launched two unmanned missions into space, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. Though originally intended to study Saturn and Jupiter over the course of two years, the probes have long outlasted and outtraveled their purpose and destination, on course to exit the solar system this month. Attached to each Voyager is a gold-plated record, known as The Golden Record — an epic compilation of images and sounds from Earth encrypted into binary code, the ultimate mixtape of humanity. Engineers predict it will last a billion years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Golden Record was conceived by the great Carl Sagan and was inspired by his childhood visit to the 1939 New York World’s Fair, where he witnessed the famous burial of the Westinghouse time capsule. And while its story is fairly well-known, few realize it’s actually a most magical love story — the story of Carl Sagan and Annie Druyan, the creative director on the Golden Record project, with whom Sagan spent the rest of his life.
The Voyagers is a beautiful short film by video artist and filmmaker Penny Lane, made of remixed public domain footage — a living testament to the creative capacity of remix culture — using the story of the legendary interstellar journey and the Golden Record to tell a bigger, beautiful story about love and the gift of chance. Lane takes the Golden Record, “a Valentine dedicated to the tiny chance that in some distant time and place we might make contact,” and translates it into a Valentine to her own “fellow traveler,” all the while paying profound homage to Sagan’s spirit and legacy.
The 576,412 people who reside in Wyoming represent 0.18 percent of the total U.S. population. But Wyoming’s three electoral votes represent 0.68 percent of the total number of votes available to a presidential candidate, and the state’s two senators are, of course, 2 percent of the voting members of the U.S. Senate. Blame the electoral college and the Constitution, which sets the number of senators, for Wyoming’s (relatively) outsized influence.
But what if we redrew the map to give every state an equal voice — by giving them an equal population? Mapmaker Neil Freeman has done just that, by drawing 50 states with just about 6,175,000 people each.
A friend told me to go to a certain latitude and longitude on Google Maps. When I noticed it seemed to be in the middle of an African desert, I thought he was just sending nonsense. But when I zoomed in, my mind was blown. I noticed a tiny icon that looked like an airplane.
When Justin Palmer stumbled across a dataset that included the year nearly every building in the Portland metro area was built, he was curious how old the buildings on his block are. Instead of just searching the data for his neighbors’ addresses, he made the beautiful map above.
He posted the map on his website, and it soon caught the eye of other mapmakers. Just a few days later, Thomas Rhiel published a similar map of Brooklyn, spurred by New York City’s release of a huge dataset known as PLUTO. Pretty soon, more maps began popping up. Soon there was a map of all of New York City, one of Reykjavik, Iceland, and one of Ljubljana, Slovenia, each with its own amazing colors, patterns and stories.
These maps make more than just pretty pictures. Palmer learned from his mapthat Portland’s oldest building identifiable by name was built in 1851. Only 942 structures are left from the 1890s while 75,434 built in the 1990s are still standing. Palmer graphed the steep and steady decline of new buildings since 2005.
Inspired by Palmer’s map, Marko Plahuta made a map of building ages in his home town of Ljubljana, Slovenia. When he plotted the number of buildings built each year, the graph had some huge spikes in it, and he set about discovering why. One spike occurred four years after a major earthquake hit the area in 1899 when people were able to rebuild. Similar periods of rebuilding show up after the two world wars. Plahuta made a really nice video of his map that shows the growth of the city from 1500-2013.
The Netherlands has a wonderful dataset that includes the almost 10 million buildings in the entire country, which inspired two beautiful maps in this gallery.
I first became aware of Paul Koudounaris a couple of years back with the release of his Thames and Hudson book, The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses, but had forgotten about his beautiful and stunning imagery from religious ossuaries throughout Europe until I received an email from my friend Lee announcing the release of Koudounaris’ new book, Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs (also from T&H).
The ultimate veneration, these bejeweled bodies remind us distantly of the illuminated manuscripts from the earlier Middle Ages, but instead of decorating pages of text, we’re looking at the remains of various saints, both male and female, dressed and decorated with such subtle intricacy, all shimmering with silk and gold, sparkling in precious stones including rubies and emeralds. The result is breathtaking.
That’s right. The duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-BAT-MAAAAN theme has been recreated using ultrasonic bat sounds. The frequencies were shifted into the audible range, and then assigned a key so they’d match the original composition.
Why do writers — great writers — write? We’ve heard from George Orwell, Joan Didion, and Susan Sontag. But one of the most poignant answers comes from a somewhat unlikely source: Charles Bukowski — he both cynical and soulful, and always unapologetically irreverent.
With lines like “unless the sun inside you is / burning your gut,” reminiscent of Ray Bradbury, and “unless it comes out of / your soul like a rocket,” reminiscent of Anaïs Nin, “so you want to be a writer,” from the altogether fantastic volume Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way: New Poems, is a necessary reminder that, contrary to the culturally toxic tortured-genius myth, to create is to celebrate rather than bemoan life.
Milan, one of the trendsetting capitals of the world, is applying their avant-garde tactics off the runway as well with 'vertical forests'.
The city has become one of the most polluted in Italy; with little room for an oxygen-giving forest in the middle of the bustling fashion capital, the only place to go was up.
Architect Stefano Boeri designed Bosco Verticale, a vertical forest which will plant 900 trees on the balconies of 2 towers. This vegetation produces the same ecological footprint as 10,000 square meters of forest. And anyway, this way is much more fashion-forward.
Aside from looking ridiculously gorgeous, the vertical forest has abundant positive eco-effects as well. The plants will produce humidity and oxygen while protecting from radiation and pollution through absorbing carbon dioxide. The towers will use Aeolian and photovoltaic energy systems to increase the buildings' self-sufficiency.
They will also attract birds and insects, creating a miniature ecosystem. The skyscraper forest was called “the most exciting new tower in the world” by the Financial Times and serves as an inspiration to other industrial spaces wishing to buffer their pollution output.
The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, part of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register for the preservation of cultural documents, have been delighting and terrifying children since 1812, transfixing generations of parents, psychologists, and academics. The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm is an astounding new volume from Taschen editor Noel Daniel bringing together the best illustrations from 130 years of The Brothers Grimm with 27 of the most beloved Grimm stories, including Cinderella, Snow White, The Little Red Riding Hood, and Sleeping Beauty, amidst artwork by some of the most celebrated illustrators from Germany, Britain, Sweden, Austria, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and the United States working between the 1820s and 1950s.
The new translation is based on the final 1857 edition of the tales, and stunning silhouettes from original publications from the 1870s and 1920s grace the tome’s pages, alongside brand new silhouettes created bespoke for this remarkable new volume.
In 1692 an artist known only as "A. Boogert" sat down to write a book in Dutch about mixing watercolors. Not only would he begin the book with a bit about the use of color in painting, but would go on to explain how to create certain hues and change the tone by adding one, two,
“Frank Rudolph Paul (1884 – 1963) was an illustrator of US science fiction pulp magazines in the field. He was influential in defining what both cover art and interior illustrations in the nascent science fiction pulps of the 1920s looked like.”
On a microscopic scale, a four-day-old zebrafish embryo looks a lot like a multicolored alien wearing enormous headphones and looking surprised. Or maybe it’s just in the middle of singing along with “Happy” or whatever the aliens are streaming these days through their headphones (which are actually the zebrafish’s eyes). On a similar scale, the crystals on a solar cell look like a chaotic foreign landscape. Zoom in even more, and human cardiac tissue resembles a knobby, moss-covered tree trunk.
These and the other images collected here are the winners of the 2014 Wellcome Image Awards, which celebrate striking science and medical images. The overall winner depicts a mechanical heart pump embedded in the chest of a patient awaiting a heart transplant. Constructed from a new type of CT scan, the full image is rendered in 3-D and can be rotated, sliced, and magnified.
One day, while my daughter was happily distracted in her own marker drawings, I decided to risk pulling out a new sketchbook I had special ordered. It had dark paper, and was perfect for adding highlights to. I had only drawn a little in it, and was anxious to try it again, but knowing our daughter’s love of art supplies, it meant that if I wasn’t sly enough, I might have to share. (Note: I’m all about kid’s crafts, but when it comes to my own art projects, I don’t like to share.) Since she was engrossed in her own project, I thought I might be able to pull it off.
Ahhh, I should’ve known better. No longer had I drawn my first face (I love drawing from old black & white movie stills) had she swooped over to me with an intense look. “OOOH! Is that a NEW sketchbook? Can I draw in that too, mama?” I have to admit, the girl knows good art supplies when she sees them. I muttered something about how it was my special book, how she had her own supplies and blah blah blah, but the appeal of new art supplies was too much for her to resist. In a very serious tone, she looked at me and said, “If you can’t share, we might have to take it away if you can’t share.”
Oh no she didn’t! Girlfriend was using my own mommy-words at me! Impressed, I agreed to comply. “I was going to draw a body on this lady’s face,” I said. “Well, I will do it,” she said very focused, and grabbed the pen. I had resigned myself to let that one go. To let her have the page, and then let it go. I would just draw on my own later, I decided. I love my daughter’s artwork, truly I do! But this was MY sketchbook, my inner kid complained.
Microbiologist-turned-photographer Zachary Copfer has developed an amazing photo-printing technique that’s very different from any we’ve seen before. Rather than use photo-sensitive papers, chemicals, or ink, Copfer uses bacteria. The University of Cincinnati MFA photography student calls the technique “bacteriography”, which involves controlling bacteria growth to form desired images.
Here’s how Copfer’s method works: he first takes a supply of bacteria like E. coli, turns it into a fluorescent protein, and covers a plate with it (does this remind you something?). Next, he creates a “negative” of the photo he wants to print by covering the prepared plate with the photo and then exposing it to radiation. He then “develops” the image by having the bacterial grow, and finally “fixes” the image by coating the image with a layer of acrylic and resin.
Using this process, he creates images of things ranging from famous individuals to Hubble telescope photos of galaxies:
Though filled with dozens of subjects, each photo has an emotional core—the camping collection was inspired by a plastic flashlight Golden had as a kid and recently rediscovered at a thrift store, while the bright orange and yellow housewares came from Lane’s personal collection.
Despite owning a well-equipped photo studio, Golden didn’t have nearly enough gear for the camera photo. To pull off this shot, Golden and Lane had to become event organizers and librarians—the pair asked the Portland photography community to borrow gear for a day, resulting in donations of 400 pieces of kit that needed to be cataloged and a gathering of photographers that turned Golden’s studio into an impromptu photography convention. “It took Kristin and I 14 hours to lay out and photograph,” he says. “We have both learned a lot about what’s possible and what isn’t, how big these things can be compared to the scale of the items.”
The photos have a minimal style, but are really the result of Golden obsessive pursuit of perfectionism. “The scissors were a challenge,” he says. “I did one layout and didn’t like it, and redid it — my assistant thought I was nuts. Still, nothing was weirder than learning an old friend had over 5,000 scissors at his house.”
Golden’s still life series has collected a series of awards and honors that rivals some of the collections he’s photographed and has led to more corporate work, but he is always searching for the next astonishing assortment of esoteric products to photograph. “I shoot stuff I’m interested in and combine that with what I can get a hold of,” he says. “When I started, it was a bit harder, but now people are coming out of the woodwork and offering it.”
Artist Rachel Evans makes gorgeous poster-art with a spirograph, and has an especially sweet line of world-maps made using the technique, which she sells as posters. Click through for a video of her in action.
There’s a decent chance you know what’s going on inside a gun. You pull the trigger; the trigger releases the hammer; the hammer slaps the cartridge, and out the bullet fires. But what’s going on inside each of those cartridges? That’s what you can see here. “Ammo,” by Sabine Pearlman, is a series of photos of perfectly bisected projectiles. All have some sort of recognizable silhouette–either the short, stubby shape of a 9 mm cartridge, the chunky rectangular body of a shotgun shell, or the long menacing lines of higher-powered ammunition–but inside, we see, each has its own unique architecture.
Pearlman happened upon the cleaved ammo last autumn, when she was touring a Swiss military bunker set deep in a mountainside in the Alps. There were 900 different types of ammunition in all. “I instantly wanted to photograph them,” Pearlman says. She convinced the munitions expert there–the one who had actually cut the bullets in half–to let her document them, and returned shortly thereafter to see it through.
But photographing so many fragile specimens wasn’t easy. “With only one day to shoot and 900 photographs to be taken, I needed a way to expedite the process,” Pearlman explains. “The answer was a well organized assembly line. A local art store cut some sheets of white cardboard to size for me. The day of the shoot, the munitions specialist carefully lifted each cartridge out of a glass vitrine and placed them onto the cardboard. It was important to keep them upright and not spill out their contents. One by one, we slowly moved each specimen into the lighting setup to be photographed.
Last summer, CERN was on the verge of announcing a discovery so critical to understanding the basic building blocks of the universe that it had been given a divine name: The God particle.
The hunt for the Higgs boson was one of the most expensive and labor-intensive particle physics projects ever undertaken, and promised to answer the fundamental but elusive question of why our atoms stick together in the first place. And yet, when CERN researchers finally announced that they'd glimpsed the Higgs, the world's first reaction wasn't to cheer; it was to stifle collective laughter. The institution's scientists, cradling the most important scientific discovery of the decade, had chosen to present their findings to a breathless public using a peculiar font face: Comic Sans MS.
The origins of the cameras we use today were invented in the 19th century. Or were they? A millenia before, Arab scientist Alhazen was using the camera obscura to duplicate images, with Leonardo da Vinci following suit 500 years later and major innovations beginning in the 19th century. Eva Timothy tracks the trajectory from the most rudimentary cameras to the ubiquity of them today.