Beautiful data… visualizing science!

April 24, 2011

I have been absent for too long — this time for a good cause:  Vacation!  Geekgirl enjoyed California and Vegas and anything not involving a computer for over a week.  It is a good experience to have at least once a year.  And in return, dear reader, I give you a nice long post.  Thank […]

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Science, art, and Bay Area culture

October 12, 2009

One of the things that I miss most about the Bay Area is the intensive culture of geekery and delightful playfulness that goes with the unabashed celebration of membership in the pocket protector set.  I invited Alan Rorie — an artist and a scientist at the Exploratorium (who happens to hold my old job) — […]

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How am I impacted by technological art?

October 1, 2009

I’m not a big art fan. I mean, I have nothing against it.  I guess it’s like pot — fine for other people, but it just doesn’t move me.  Though art, at least, doesn’t (usually) make me keep looking back over my shoulder and laugh nervously. Anyway.  But I do have an aesthetic drug of […]

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The inner life of the cell

September 24, 2009

I was recently reminded of this wonderful visualization of the processes inside the cell.  As a physicist, I found this quite powerful in imagining this mysterious (and usually, to me, boring) microscopic world.  It was created by a Harvard professor in conjunction with a scientific animation company.  Here’s the video: In my art and science […]

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Engineers Make Art: Visualizing Fluid Flow

August 20, 2009

Our most famous fluids tend to be transparent — air and water, for example.  This makes it hard for us to imagine how fluids are moving as members of the general public, but also poses an interesting problem for budding engineers.  They need to know how to make fluids do what they want them to […]

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Visualizing flow

June 18, 2009

Wow, check out this beautiful video of visualizing fluid flow with a special tracer fluid (courtesy of Sebastien at the Exploratorium).  Stunning!

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The inner beauty of everyday objects

April 8, 2009

A (sort of) recent story in the NY Times highlighted the wonderful work of Satre Stuelke, a medical student and former art professor who co-opted the CT scanner for his own aesthetic purposes.  Below is just one of the images that resulted — a wind-up toy bunny: This is a tin wind-up drumming bunny toy. […]

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Flounder x-ray & other beautiful things

April 3, 2009

Wow, I just stumbled upon this and it was so beautiful I had to share: Thanks to Tibchris on Flickr for posting this (and making it available with Creative Commons). If you’re looking for freely available images for presentations or in-class use, there are two great places to look: Wikimedia Commons images are all licensed […]

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Why Monet and Degas couldn’t see (updated post)

November 12, 2008

I wrote a post a week or so ago about a study that showed what Monet’s and Degas’ artwork would have looked like through their respectively failing eyesights, which may account for particular deteriorations of their art in later years. I just managed to get a copy of the original paper, and have just updated […]

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[NASW] Artists and opthamology

October 28, 2008

[CASW New Horizons: Michael Marmor, Professor of Opthamology, Stanford] This was a very interesting little talk by an opthamologist and art collector about what happened to two particular artists as they lost their vision — Degas and Monet.  Here is a link to the original article, with pictures. Degas suffered from maculopathy, where his vision […]

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The "umami" taste

June 2, 2008

I was just listening to one of Robert Krulwich’s many delightful podcasts on science (Krulwich on Science — if you haven’t listened to it you must) and he was explaining how the “umami” taste was discovered. It turns out that for years and years scientists accepted the mantra that there are four basic tastes — […]

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Seeing the unseen

June 8, 2007

A few weeks back I saw a presentation by artist Ned Kahn. Ned’s a genius — literally. He got one of the coveted MacArthur genius awards to pursue his ideas. He made a lot of the exhibits at the Exploratorium many years ago. Most things having to do with granular flow are his: Soap Film […]

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Why art?

May 20, 2007

One of the senior artists at the Exploratorium recently asked all the science types at the museum, “Could you tell me why you value art and the artists here?” Here’s what I told her: The artists at the Exploratorium tickle my brain. The art exhibits at the Exploratorium, as well as the conversations with artists, […]

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Margaret Wertheim and hyperbolic coral

May 19, 2007

I recently heard Margaret Wertheim speak — she’s a pretty famous science writer and commentator. She questioned who we are reaching when we write about science. Only 7% of the US population reads a science magazine, she says. And those people are mostly male, well-educated, and in their mid 40’s, with high income. What about […]

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