freshphotons:

A fruit fly ovary, a crystal from an evaporated droplet of bovine serum albumin, vaporized polyethylene oxide on a silicon wafer, a bridge of army ants. Selected entries from Princeton University’s 2014 Art of Science Competition. Via.

leslieseuffert:

Dennis Wojtkiewicz, Fruit Painting

Feast your eyes on these incredible fruit paintings by Ohio artist, Dennis Wojtkiewicz.

There’s nothing more integral to the fruit flowering and feasting than the work of the honeybee. However, honeybee populations are dwindling. To that end, the fascinating periodical, Fruit Grower’s News presents a story about the new Bayer CropScience’s North American Bee Care Center in North Carolina.

The $2.4 million, 6,000-square-foot facility is now the hub of the company’s North American bee care research and outreach efforts. 

According to Bayer, the new center houses a full laboratory with a teaching and research apiary, honey extraction and hive maintenance space; an interactive learning center; meeting, training and presentation facilities for beekeepers, farmers and educators; and office space for staff and graduate students. There also are on-site honeybee colonies, pollinator-friendly gardens and a screened hive observation area.

“We’ve got to make sure that these pollinators do function properly and have good health. This is a big step in that direction.”

(via rotiferola)

 Robert Swain: The Form of Color

The Santa Monica Museum of Art is currently showing an immersive, site-specific exhibition of the artist Robert Swain. The installation is the culmination of the artist’s forty-five years of research into the phenomenology of color. The Form of Color is  comprised of hundreds of 12”x12”, interlocking, modular square paintings created specifically for the Museum and reflects the quality of light in Santa Monica.

“Color,” says Swain, “is a form of energy that stimulates our perceptual processes and is instrumental in conveying emotions.”

His insights are aesthetically and scientifically correct. Research shows that color impacts emotion, perception, and performance. Just  a tiny list of scientific findings about color include: 

    • warm-colored placebo pills appear to be more effective than cool-colored placebo pills.
    • installing blue-colored streetlights is thought to reduce crime

    • people who are warm tend to list cool colors as their favorites, while people who are cold prefer warmer colors.
    • exposing students to red before an exam has been shown to have a negative impact on test performance.

  • red helps people react more quickly and with greater force

The show is up until August 23.

Non-Objective Painting no. 80 (Black on Black)1918 Aleksandr Rodchenko

Suprematist Composition, White on White, 1918 Kazimir Malevich

British scientists announced this week the invention of the darkest material ever made. The carbon nanotube creation, called Vantablack, is able to capture, and thus obscure, 99.965% of light. It is the latest development in a long series of material innovations in which the ultimate goal is to achieve complete darkness. With it, astronomers are able calibrate cameras to detect the faintest flickers of light emanating from the furthest corners of the universe.

Almost 100 years ago Russian artists Alexsandr Rodchenko and Kazimir Malevich explored darkness and light in an entirely different way.

Rodchenko created several paintings with only black pigments. According to MoMA, he used black in a variety of textures and finishes to focus solely on the physical properties of the works, bringing attention to their surfaces and to the action of painting itself.

Opposingly, the all-white works of Kazimir Malevich, were meant to connote and explore “the infinite expanse of the ideal.”

Sotheby’s has announced that the world’s most expensive watch is going up for sale this Fall. Made 81 years ago, the Henry Graves Supercomplication timepiece can be thought to represent the limits of the human mind. The next most-complicated watch ever made was designed 56 years later, with computer assistance. 
The incredible story of the 8 years it took watchmaker Patek Philippe to design and make the Henry Graves Supercomplication timepiece is chronicled in the book A Grand Complication. From the book’s webpage:

The 18-karat gold wonder the Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe delivered to New York financier and horological obsessive Henry Graves in 1933 had 24 complications, including a chart of the changing nighttime sky over Manhattan complete with the magnitudes of the stars and the Milky Way, and a minute repeater with chimes that played the same melody heard in Big Ben. It’s the most complicated (in every sense) watch ever made, and it took Patek Philippe—and an army of astronomers, mathematicians, jewellers, artists, engineers and craftsmen—nearly eight years to design and build. The supercomplication cost Graves $15,000; when it last changed hands, at a 1999 auction, it went for $11 million.

A Grand Complication casts the creation of this extraordinary object against a backdrop of duelling rich men. Graves’s rival in pursuit of the acme of the watchmaker’s craft was another fabulously wealthy American, James Packard, maker of the luxury cars that bore his name. The two men shared a belief that the most advanced pocket watches represented the cutting edge of their era’s marriage of art and technology. 

Sotheby’s has announced that the world’s most expensive watch is going up for sale this Fall. Made 81 years ago, the Henry Graves Supercomplication timepiece can be thought to represent the limits of the human mind. The next most-complicated watch ever made was designed 56 years later, with computer assistance. 

The incredible story of the 8 years it took watchmaker Patek Philippe to design and make the Henry Graves Supercomplication timepiece is chronicled in the book A Grand ComplicationFrom the book’s webpage:

The 18-karat gold wonder the Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe delivered to New York financier and horological obsessive Henry Graves in 1933 had 24 complications, including a chart of the changing nighttime sky over Manhattan complete with the magnitudes of the stars and the Milky Way, and a minute repeater with chimes that played the same melody heard in Big Ben. It’s the most complicated (in every sense) watch ever made, and it took Patek Philippe—and an army of astronomers, mathematicians, jewellers, artists, engineers and craftsmen—nearly eight years to design and build. The supercomplication cost Graves $15,000; when it last changed hands, at a 1999 auction, it went for $11 million.

A Grand Complication casts the creation of this extraordinary object against a backdrop of duelling rich men. Graves’s rival in pursuit of the acme of the watchmaker’s craft was another fabulously wealthy American, James Packard, maker of the luxury cars that bore his name. The two men shared a belief that the most advanced pocket watches represented the cutting edge of their era’s marriage of art and technology. 

Four moments of moonlight. #sciencesparksart
Tonight is the Supermoon! Last night’s lunar light was noticeably mega-bright. As our orbital neighbor reaches it’s closest point to us, watch out for higher tides and some say, heightened emotions. Watch out for Supermoon syndrome this summer. There will be 3!

From NASA: In June of last year, a full Moon made headlines. The news media called it a “supermoon” because it was 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full Moons of 2013. Around the world, people went outside to marvel at its luminosity. If you thought one supermoon was bright, how about three….? The full Moons of summer 2014—July 12th, August 10th, and Sept. 9th—will all be supermoons.

Four moments of moonlight. #sciencesparksart

Tonight is the Supermoon! Last night’s lunar light was noticeably mega-bright. As our orbital neighbor reaches it’s closest point to us, watch out for higher tides and some say, heightened emotions. Watch out for Supermoon syndrome this summer. There will be 3!

From NASA: In June of last year, a full Moon made headlines. The news media called it a “supermoon” because it was 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full Moons of 2013. Around the world, people went outside to marvel at its luminosity. If you thought one supermoon was bright, how about three….? The full Moons of summer 2014—July 12th, August 10th, and Sept. 9th—will all be supermoons.

Patti Smith, Resilience of a Dreamer (detail)

Fort Tilden Beach, Rockaway Queens.

Hurricane Sandy occurred nearly 2 years ago, tearing up the East Coast and ravaging the Rockaway Peninsula of New York City. Thousands of homes were lost to the deluge and then a fire, and much of the remaining natural sand dunes were washed away forever. Until this summer, Fort Tilden Beach had been closed due dangerous debris left in the storm’s wake. 

To celebrate Fort Tilden’s reopening, and recognize the ongoing recovery of the Rockaways, MoMA has sponsored Rockaway! an arts and performance event running now until September 1st.  

The stone above, carved with the poignant words of Walt Whitman is part of a large installation Resilience of the Dreamer conceived by musician, writer, and Rockaway resident, Patti Smith. One of five such stones placed around the park, this stone is placed near the shore, close to one of Fort Tilden’s many decommissioned military buildings, also pictured above. 

Whitman himself was a naturalist, poet, and longtime New York City resident. The opening began with an incredible reading of his poetry by Smith and the actor James Franco. 

Hurricane Sandy created surges of water 14 feet higher than normal low tides. It began as a tropical wave in the Caribbean, then quickly turned into a tropical storm and raged up the East Coast and then took an uncharacteristic turn westward near the Carolinas, which directed it straight into the New York Harbor. The timing of the storm was terribly perfect, in that it churned toward the metropolis during a full moon, raising the waters another foot.   

 

A new study points to a possible reason for what every musician knows: drummers are a touch different. Although the researches did not study drummers directly, they did ask 34 different people to tap out a simple beat while solving a 60-question intelligence test. What they found is interesting: Those with the steadiest sense of rhythm scored highest on the test.
One researcher explained:
“The rhythmic accuracy in brain activity that is observed when a person maintains a steady beat is also important to the problem-solving capacities measured with the intelligence tests,” said Professor Frederic Ullen to the Telegraph.
Other studies have also found that people perform better on intellectually challenging tasks when listening to a steady beat. Apparently the brain responds to consistent pulses, as itself runs on pulses of neurochemical signals.
As a drummer myself, I’m not surprised at these findings. I’m certainly the smartest girl in my band!

new study points to a possible reason for what every musician knows: drummers are a touch different. Although the researches did not study drummers directly, they did ask 34 different people to tap out a simple beat while solving a 60-question intelligence test. What they found is interesting: Those with the steadiest sense of rhythm scored highest on the test.

One researcher explained:

“The rhythmic accuracy in brain activity that is observed when a person maintains a steady beat is also important to the problem-solving capacities measured with the intelligence tests,” said Professor Frederic Ullen to the Telegraph.

Other studies have also found that people perform better on intellectually challenging tasks when listening to a steady beat. Apparently the brain responds to consistent pulses, as itself runs on pulses of neurochemical signals.

As a drummer myself, I’m not surprised at these findings. I’m certainly the smartest girl in my band!

(Source: keithmoonphotos)

This year’s Young Architect’s installation at MoMA’s PS1 is absolutely insane! Hy-Fi is built from two types of bricks, one made of corn stalk and mushroom roots, and another that is nearly 100% light reflective. I am in love!

From the PS1 site:

Using biological technologies combined with cutting-edge computation and engineering to create new building materials, The Living will use a new method of bio-design, resulting in a structure that is 100% organic material. The structure temporarily diverts the natural carbon cycle to produce a building that grows out of nothing but earth and returns to nothing but earth—with almost no waste, no energy needs, and no carbon emissions. This approach offers a new vision for society’s approach to physical objects and the built environment. It also offers a new definition of local materials, and a direct relationship to New York State agriculture and innovation culture, New York City artists and non-profits, and Queens community gardens.

You Know Me, the One With Her Feet in the Clouds, Heather Sparks
I suppose I’m in the sharing mood today. More so than usual. I snapped this pic last Friday as I emerged out of the subway. I just couldn’t believe how beautiful the sky was, or how white the heels were, or how they look like they’re skipping across the sky, or how many thoughts I had looking at it all. 

You Know Me, the One With Her Feet in the Clouds, Heather Sparks

I suppose I’m in the sharing mood today. More so than usual. I snapped this pic last Friday as I emerged out of the subway. I just couldn’t believe how beautiful the sky was, or how white the heels were, or how they look like they’re skipping across the sky, or how many thoughts I had looking at it all.