NASA astronaut and Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit, recently uploaded an incredible gallery of star trails to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Posts tagged Science.
Introduced to life under the sea in high school through snorkeling, Yoji Ookata obtained his scuba license at the age of 21. At the same time, he went out and bought a brand new NIKONOS, a 35mm film camera specifically designed for underwater photography. He devoted all his spare time – aside from his day job – to perfecting his art of underwater photography. Then, at age 39, he finally made the transition. He quit his office job and became a freelance underwater photographer.
But even for a man who spent the last 50 years immersed in the underwater world of sea life, the ocean proved infinitely mysterious. While diving in the semi-tropical region of Amami Oshima, roughly 80 ft below sea level, Ookata spotted something he had never seen. And as it turned out, no one else had seen it before either.
On the seabed a geometric, circular structure measuring roughly 6.5 ft in diameter had been precisely carved from sand. It consisted of multiple ridges, symmetrically jutting out from the center, and appeared to be the work of an underwater artist, carefully working with tools. For its resemblance to crop circles, Ookata dubbed his new finding a “mystery circle,” and enlisted some colleagues at NHK to help him investigate. In a television episode that aired last week titled “The Discovery of a Century: Deep Sea Mystery Circle,” the television crew revealed their findings and the unknown artist was unmasked.
Underwater cameras showed that the artist was a small puffer fish who, using only his flapping fin, tirelessly worked day and night to carve the circular ridges. The unlikely artist – best known in Japan as a delicacy, albeit a potentially poisonous one – even takes small shells, cracks them, and lines the inner grooves of his sculpture as if decorating his piece. Further observation revealed that this “mysterious circle” was not just there to make the ocean floor look pretty. Attracted by the grooves and ridges, female puffer fish would find their way along the dark seabed to the male puffer fish where they would mate and lay eggs in the center of the circle. In fact, the scientists observed that the more ridges the circle contained, the more likely it was that the female would mate with the male. The little sea shells weren’t just in vain either. The observers believe that they serve as vital nutrients to the eggs as they hatch, and to the newborns.
[Artist At Work]
What was fascinating was that the fish’s sculpture played another role. Through experiments back at their lab, the scientists showed that the grooves and ridges of the sculpture helped neutralize currents, protecting the eggs from being tossed around and potentially exposing them to predators.
It was a true story of love, craftsmanship and the desire to pass on descendants.
- Apple Trees and LEDs
- Fruit Battery Still Life (Citrus)
- Orange Battery
- Garage with Alternative Batteries
Energy from alternative sources is the inspiration for Caleb Charland’s recent work.
Doilies Laura Splan
Freestanding computerized machine embroidered lace mounted on velvet, the patterns come from microscopic images of lethal viruses like SARS, HIV, Influenza & Herpes.
How much to send this to Mars? [via]
Osborne Ross Design has created a set of space-themed stamps for the Royal Mail to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Ariel 1, Britain’s first satellite.
Mi corazón violento (by A.C. Arbeláez)
Copfer, who is a microbiologist, has created a technique that makes use of genetically modified E. coli bacteria to create photographs.
Thanks to the heaps of dinosaur bones scattered across the globe, paleontologists have a vague idea of what dinosaurs looked like when they roamed the earth millions of years ago. But what they sounded like is a tougher nut to crack. Vocal chords are made of soft tissue and cartilage, which means they don’t fossilize. The roars and squawks we hear in movies aren’t exactly made up, but they certainly aren’t based on scientific fact. Marguerite Humeau has spent the last two years working with paleontologists, zoologists, engineers, and doctors to recreate the noises our scaly forebears might have made.
When Co.Design last wrote about Humeau, the young interactive designer was rapid-prototyping Wooly Mammoth vocal chords for her thesis showat the Royal Academy of Art. Since graduating, Humeau has focused on the speech boxes of three other long-extinct mammals—no small feat, given that a smattering of bones is all that remains of these creatures.
In May, the 25-year-old unveiled the fruits of her research: three massive 3-D-printed models of prehistoric vocal tracts, installed in Saint-Étienne’sCité du Design. In Politique Fiction, Humeau has chosen to reimagine creatures from three vastly different prehistoric eras: There’s Ambulocetus, or the “walking whale,” a Cetacean that could swim and walk over 50 million years before our time. Entelodont (also known as *shiver* Hell Pig) was a massive omnivore that roamed more than 20 million years ago. The youngest is Mammoth Imperator, the species of giant mammoth that Humeau recreated for her graduation show in 2011. Rendered in gleaming black and white, Humeau’s pieces look more like Zaha Hadid sculptures than ancient larynxes. The eerie, truly awesome sounds (listen above) originate in a mechanical “windpipe,” connected to a plastic larynx and vibrating vocal chords. The large resonance chambers articulate the shape and length of each yowl and hoot.