translating biophilia into a love of life

Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

What would the lovechild of Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson look like?

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My two favorite people right now are Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson.  If you know me, it won’t surprise you when I say the natural offshoot of my admiration for these two science heroes was wondering what their child would look like.  And because the internet can do amazing things, my curiosity was soon satisfied.


Being a fan of rigor in all things, I repeated the simulation several times with various combinations of photographs of our heroes.  At least at MorphThing, the various combinations were fairly consistent.

In closing, I’ll leave you with pictures of our heroes in their black-and-white photo days.

Neil, Bill, I salute you.


Written by morethangray

November 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Give a squee for sea otters

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First, thank you to everyone who liked, commented on, and shared my previous post!  Your response was amazing!

I got a clear message that you like cuteness.  So I have a cuteness challenge for you: baby sea otters (and sea otters in general).  Read on if you dare, because this post will be peppered with presh pictures that will probably make you squee.

Sea otter mom and pup (via)

Mom with a newborn pup (via)

Mom and juvenile pup (via)

And I don’t want to give you the impression that only the pups are cute.  Adult sea otters are incredibly endearing.  Sea otters are a delight to watch, even (especially?) when snoozing or simply wrapped up in kelp.

Adult sea otter sleeping in kelp (via)

Kelp-stache (via)

Sea otters are definitely charismatic megafauna (via)

Written by morethangray

March 26, 2012 at 10:24 am

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Happy puppy day!

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March 23 is National Puppy Day!  This unholiday is the perfect day to admire the ephemeral cuteness of puppies, and by admire I mean click through online photo galleries.  Here are a few puppy pictures (with a gallery link in the caption) to get you started:

Here is my own contribution, a pic of my spaniel when she was 4 months old:


Written by morethangray

March 23, 2012 at 10:28 am

From paper to pangolins

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Awhile ago I came across this fantastic paper sculpture of a human torso, complete with removable organs, built by Horst Kiechle.  The anatomical detail is spectacular, considering Kiechle constructed the sculpture entirely from 200gms/sqm white card.  You can even build your own organs, using instructions found here.

Paper torso, by Horst Kiechle (link)

I soon found that the internet abounds with paper art crafted by science geeks, much of which is origami.  Below are some of the more interesting creations out there.

Origami is derived from the Japanese words “ori” meaning “fold” and “kami” meaning paper.  The traditional concept of origami is folding paper to create objects using only one piece of paper with no cuts or glue.

The Long-Term Effect of an MIT Education, by Brian Chan. Folded from an uncut paper square (link)

DNA (Double Helix) via Instructables (link)

And, while not officially origami (the use of two paperclips and several staples is involved), the Origami Embryo is probably the most clever tutorial on embryonic development I’ve seen.  Using three sheets of paper, Dr. Diana Darnell demonstrates how the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm fold upon one another to create embryonic organs.  Working through this tutorial would likely help countless biology undergrads who are primarily tactile or visual learners get a better grasp (har har) on early organogenesis.

The Origami Embryo (link)

Finally, an origami post would be incomplete without at least one Eric Joisel (1956-2010) creation.  Here’s to you, beloved pangolin:

Pangolin, by Eric Joisel (link)

Gratuitous pangolin (link)

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March 21, 2012 at 10:58 am

Floral X-rays

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Sometimes the line between science visualization and art is a blur.  Brendan Fitzpatrick’s series of floral X-rays is a perfect example, where a scientific technique that relays structural information about the subject is also incredibly beautiful.  Below are my favorites; many more images can be found on Brendan’s website.

Tulip (via Brendan Fitzpatrick Photography)

Orchid (via Brendan Fitzpatrick Photography)

Calla (via Brendan Fitzpatrick Photography)

Written by morethangray

March 20, 2012 at 11:46 am

Lions of the Masai Mara, captured by a BeetleCam

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Male lion and kill (via Burrard-Lucas Photography)

A striking, close-up, photo of a wild lion eating his prey is just one of many treasures that resulted from an innovative project by Burrard-Lucas Photography, a two-brother team from the UK.  Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas built a pair of remote controlled buggies designed to capture on-the-ground images of wildlife, dubbed BeetleCams.  One BeetleCam was equipped with an armored, lion-proof  carapace and the second with more advanced capabilities including HD video recording, wireless live-view and remotely operated camera tilt.

Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas with 2011 BeetleCams (via Burrard-Lucas Photography)

Their newest project captures unique, ground level photographs of African wildlife — specifically the lions of the Masai Mara in Kenya.  You can read an account of their journey and see a selection of BeetleCam images on their blog (and even more images through a directory found here).  A selection of my favorites:

BeetleCam surrounded by 4 lion cubs (via Burrard-Lucas Photography)

Lion cubs photographed by BeetleCam -- love the belly-up cub on the far left! (via Burrard-Lucas Photography)

Photobomb (via Burrard-Lucas Photography)

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March 19, 2012 at 10:32 am

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Microscopy as art

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Every year the Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition shares mind-blowing images captured through microscopes.  Not only are the winning images beautiful, they offer a pleasant summary of novel research taking place in today’s life science research labs.

Below are a my favorites from the 2010 winning entries.  The entire gallery of winning entries and runners up can be seen here.

Tribulus spp. flower bud, by Reza Dadpour

Longhorn beetle leg, by Jan Michels

Assorted wildflower seeds, by Yanping Wand

Written by morethangray

November 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm

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