Ross Lovegrove for Lasvit: Nodules

Using glass as an optical reservoir, the Nodules are handmade spherical lenses fused together in the making process to harness the natural physics of the material. A fiber optic light source delivers an intense white light from a remote point so that the relationship between the stem and Nodule is minimized and mysterious. The unique installations rise from the floor in clusters.


For such tiny animals, Syllidae really get around.

These polychaete worms, most only a few millimeters long, are found from the intertidal to the deep sea. The over 200 species of Syllids, and potentially many more not yet recognized, are keeping some molecular biologists very busy. 133 species from 5 continents have DNA barcodes already, and our colleagues at the Moorea Biocode project just keep finding more, just waiting to be identified, or classified as new species.

More Syllids from Moorea here.

(via: Encyclopedia of Life)

When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images.

Niels Bohr 

In his first meeting with Werner Heisenberg in early summer 1920, in response to questions on the nature of language, as reported in Discussions about Language (1933); quoted in Defense Implications of International Indeterminacy (1972) by Robert J. Pranger, p. 11, and Theorizing Modernism : Essays in Critical Theory (1993) by Steve Giles, p. 28

The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out — there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.

Quote in context:

“For instance, the scientific article may say, “The radioactive phosphorus content of the cerebrum of the rat decreases to one-half in a period of two weeks.” Now what does that mean? It means that the phosphorus that is in the brain of a rat — and also in mine, and yours — is not the same phosphorus as it was two weeks ago. It means the atoms that are in the brain are being replaced: the ones that were there before have gone away. So what is this mind of ours: what are these atoms with consciousness? Last week’s potatoes! They now can remember what was going on in my mind a year ago — a mind which has long ago been replaced. To note that the thing I call my individuality is only a pattern or dance, that is what it means when one discovers how long it takes for the atoms of the brain to be replaced by other atoms. The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out — there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.”

Richard Feynman, “The Value of Science” (speech at NAS meeting, 1955)
reprinted in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short
Works of Richard P. Feynman
 (Jeffrey Robbins, ed., 1999)

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

Quote in context: 

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”

— Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself,”  Leaves of Grass (1891)

Did you know that the phrase “and sing myself” didn’t appear in the 1855 version?

Black Hawk Rotor Vortex Wake

“Aft view of the UH-60 helicopter rotor detatched eddy simulation showing the 3D nature of the vortex wake. Note the separated flow leaving the centerbody in the middle of the image, and the uneven wake separation due to the blade motion.

Investigator: Neal Chaderjian, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Ca
Visualization: Tim Sandstrom, NASA/ Ames

More info available here:

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Animated top view here

This is a Bryozoan statoblast. It is a cyst that can survive over the winter and begin a new Bryozoan colony when conditions permit. The little anchor shaped hooks really cling to things and allow the statoblast to hitch a ride on vegatation or animals. ” Photos by Charles Krebs


Bryozoan Statoblast (diminutive aquatic animal of the phylum Bryozoa) (10x)

“Survival pod” of a bryozoan colony:

“Phylactolaemates also reproduce asexually by a method that enables a colony’s lineage to survive the variable and uncertain conditions of freshwater environments.[16] Throughout summer and autumn they produce disc-shaped statoblasts, masses of cells that function as “survival pods” rather like the gemmules of sponges.[6] Statoblasts form on the funiculus connected to the parent’s gut, which nourishes them.[16] As they grow, statoblasts develop protective bivalve-like shells made of chitin. When they mature, some statoblasts stick to the parent colony, some fall to the bottom (“sessoblasts”), some contain air spaces that enable them to float (“floatoblasts”),[6] and some remain in the parent’s cystid to re-build the colony if it dies.[16] Statoblasts can remain dormant for considerable periods, and while dormant can survive harsh conditions such as freezing and desiccation. They can be transported across long distances by animals, floating vegetation, currents[6] and winds,[16] and even in the guts of larger animals.[64] When conditions improve, the valves of the shell separate and the cells inside develop into a zooid that tries to form a new colony. Plumatella emarginata produces both “sessoblasts”, which enable the lineage to control a good territory even if hard times decimate the parent colonies, and “floatoblasts”, which spread to new sites. New colonies of Plumatella repens produce mainly “sessoblasts” while mature ones switch to “floatoblasts”.[61] A study estimated that one group of colonies in a patch measuring 1 square metre (11 sq ft) produced 800,000 statoblasts.[6]


From The Earth Story Facebook:

While it certainly looks as though someone has taken a great deal of paint to these hills, these colours in fact formed naturally.
This unique geological formation is known as the Zhangye Danxia landform, found in southern China. It was formed by sediments laid down in a low-elevation fault basin during the Cretaceous period, which then experienced uplift due to their position on top of various fault zones. The various colours are a result of the erosion of the thick-bedded red sandstone and conglomerate: from running water erosion, biological effect, chemical precipitation and organic staining.

Image 1: A dish of millipedes under UV light. Most of the ones fluorescing in blue are Semionellus placidus, while the two fluorescing red are Pseudopolydesmus serratus. Red fluorescence under UV hasn’t been reported before in arthropods, to my knowledge.”

Photos by Derek Hennen. Check out his blog post for more field notes and details on identification!

Image 2: Semionellus placidus, photo by Derek Hennen (source)


This was actually one of my favorite books as a child! I’ll have to scan some pages next time I visit my parents. I had pet planaria, tadpoles, caterpillars, a xystodesmid millipede, a dusky salamander… not all in a jar, of course!

(img source, although I don’t agree with their review!)

Eggs of Things, Maxine W. Kumin and Anne Sexton (1963)

Full (out-of-print) book available at brain pickings:

Eggs of Things was followed by More Eggs of Things in 1964, also sadly out-of-print but available in some public libraries.”