Artist focuses lens on viruses

Lennart Nilsson is 84, but still speaks of scientific photography—a field he pioneered—with infectious enthusiasm and emotion. Especially when talking of his latest project, in which he uses a lab at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet to capture images of viruses at work—nature’s “real biological terrorists,” he said.


Audio anthros

Andrew’s earlier post mentioning The Paris Review‘s interviews with influential writers reminded me of the Leakey Foundation’s audio archive of well-known anthropologists discussing their work:

These selected excerpts from interviews and lectures are firsthand recollections of many of paleoanthropology’s great pioneers describing moments of discovery and sharing anecdotes from their research experiences in the field.


Lady Democracy roars!

Forget the naysayers of the “blog-ass-sphere”: George Bush’s State of the Union reeked of bold visions of a future where cars eat corn on the cob and job-creating robots are programmed to create even more jobs.


Disclaimer: I haven’t actually watched the State of the Union. Is that bad?

Ninja kitten band win Coke battle

Ninja kittens. That’s soooo book.


Beer. For your dog.

A small brewery in the Netherlands has launched a new beer designed to bring cool relief to thirsty dogs.

Link (Via

Worth it for the picture. (I really need to be doing some work.)


Ohlala ! I’m somewhat speechless. I really don’t know what to say to this.

Link (Warning: possibly not work-friendly).

ETA: I wonder if this is from the Russian version of the National Enquirer?

Well, if needs must…

Rebekah’s [wedding] dress is completely made from toilet paper. She even has working toilet paper buttons on the back! This dress is worthy of a bridal catalogue!

Also of note is Jaymi’s TP basketweave top.

Link (Via

Paintings on hands


Uh oh!

Hillary Clinton’s abrupt announcement on Saturday that she is running for the presidency is a sign that her campaign is already in trouble.


The world is watching. Not Americans.

…you will also find frequent, justified expressions of frustration, even despair, at the state of foreign-film appreciation in the United States. The movies are out there, more numerous and various than ever before, but the audience — and therefore the box-office returns, and the willingness of distributors to risk even relatively small sums on North American distribution rights — seems to be dwindling and scattering.

Link (Via Arts Journal.)

See the Flockers: Daniel Lestarjette

OK, I’ll jump on this bandwagon.

I think this was on a Saturday morning, snapped in one of the little Ikea mirrors by my desk. Who knows what I was doing—probably avoiding something more important—but I like my brother’s response: “Put a damn shirt on!”

Read more

Hell will freeze over before Eskimo “snow” myth melts

One of the most influential linguistic urban legends of all time: the idea that Eskimos have countless words for “snow.” In truth, Inuit and Yupik language families (there is no one “Eskimo language”) don’t have many more terms for snow than other languages do.

Link. NB: Free registration required to read article. (Via Arts Journal.)

Italian art thief says tomb raiders provide important service

School started this week—naturally, I’m already behind—but I’m trying to get caught up with stuff that I’ve spotted and wanted to post. How about this to get started:

A retired Italian antiquities thief told a Rome court that tomb robbers provide an important service by saving ancient art and helping to preserve a historical record.

Link (Via Arts Journal)

ITV to air royal version of “The West Wing”

A new TV drama about the British royal family is in production and will be broadcast next year, Britain’s ITV television network said Thursday.


Scientists prepare to move Doomsday Clock forward

The keepers of the “Doomsday Clock” plan to move its hands forward next Wednesday to reflect what they call worsening nuclear and climate threats to the world. The symbolic clock, maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, currently is set at seven minutes to midnight, with midnight marking global catastrophe.

Link (Via.)

Attention heirs to English throne: Where are you?

Advertisements appearing this week in British, U.S., Australian, German and Norwegian newspapers will ask “Can you trace your family tree back to 1066? Might your ancestors have claimed the English throne?”

Link (Via

Cribsheet #7: Extinction

Scientific issues and innovations seem to creep into everyday conversation more than ever before. Recognizing that we could all use some expertise in hot science topics, Seed offers its Cribsheet.


Public can purchase $100 laptop

The backers of the One Laptop Per Child project plan to release the machine on general sale next year. But customers will have to buy two laptops at once – with the second going to the developing world.


Let’s hear it for literary feuds

Rather than rejoice in the reconciliation between García Marquez and Vargez Llosa, I believe feuding pens write with more wit than the nibs of praise.


Humans go on display in Australian zoo

An Australian zoo is putting humans on public display in its orangutang enclosure in a month-long scientific experiment that will also include a popularity contest.


I couldn’t help thinking of poor ol’ Ota Benga, as I read this.

Of cavefish and hedgehogs

The Mexican blind cavefish raises the challenging evolutionary question: Does disuse lead to degeneration or disappearance of a feature? Here, an answer Darwin would have loved.


Europe claims its place in American jazz

If jazz is characterized as a blend of European and African elements that could only have taken place in America, then the French are entitled to take credit for the Old World side of that equation.

Link (Via ArtsJournal)

Are foreign films as good as we think?

Would Penelope Cruz’s performance in Volver have been met with the same rapture had she not been lisping in Spanish?


We’ve seen the future, and it is us

Human habitation has been, and is increasingly, playing a direct role not only in the extinction of species, but in their evolution. By our own actions, we may be accompanied into the future by ever more diverse pests and pathogens, and may leave behind what we value most—elephants, tigers, and others of the earth’s great megabeasts.


Today’s EU is 27 states in search of a story

The silent empire has expanded again. There is so much to celebrate – but why do we see so little celebration?


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