• Science
  • The Emotional Terrain

    Watery eyes: a micro climate (Photo: Rose-Lynn Fisher) Maria Popova, curator extraordinaire for Brain Pickings, has identified her all time favorite Moth* story: Life on a Möbius Strip, by Janna Levin. Levin is a brilliant scientist who also happens to be a lyrical writer. Her book, How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a […]

  • Current viewings
  • In Water

    Remaya 2, mixed media on wood panel, 36 x 36″ A year ago I had a conversation with Jerry Beck, good friend and founder of the well known Revolving Museum (in Jerry’s nomenclature, a “nomadic nonprofit cultural organization”). We shared an interest in exploring the linkages between art and science, and we agreed that New […]

  • Science
  • Earth & Mars

    Dunes and Slopes in Crater Southwest of Xainza Crater, Mars (Photo: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona) Ridged Surface Near Nilokeras Scopulus (Photo: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona) English sculptor Phyllida Barlow (no relation to me although I would love to claim her as a kinswoman—after all, so talented AND she is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin) has captured an […]

  • Science
  • Invisible But Felt

    From Astronomy Picture of the Day: Milky Way over Erupting Volcano (Photo: Sergio Montúfar) Explanation: The view was worth the trip. Battling high winds, cold temperatures, and low oxygen, the trek to near the top of the volcano Santa Maria in Guatemala — while carrying sensitive camera equipment — was lonely and difficult. Once set […]

  • History
  • Pale Ramon

    One of the phases of the moon from Selenographia, world’s first lunar atlas completed by German-Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius in 1647 after years of obsessive observations. Hevelius also created history’s first true moon map. Courtesy of the Wolbach Library, Harvard Plate from Thomas Wright’s 1750 treatise ‘An Original Theory,’ depicting Wright’s trailblazing notion that the […]

  • Books
  • It’s a Multiverse

    Detailed views of some recent paintings that I hope suggest a layered and complex reality *** Science has always wrestled with the idea of an immaterial will, or agency, at work in the universe, and for centuries it was thought to be expressed through the “laws of nature.” God might be dead, but he rules […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Awesomeness is Good for You

    Piero della Francesca (Tuscany 1412? – 1492, Tuscany),The Senigallia Madonna and Child with Two Angels Tempera and oil on wood. Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino. Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Most of my artist friends can speak about the exhilarating and very personal experience of being deeply moved by a work of […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Useless Beauty

    Who needs a peacock’s tail when you can build this for your lady love? The bower created by a male bowerbird. David Rothenberg is a jazz musician and a professor of philosophy. He has written a number of books, several of them focused on the interface between natural sounds (like the songs of birds and […]

  • Science
  • Exceptionalism, Exposed

    Photo credit: Joe Bonomo from No Such Thing as Was For years I have been a fan of The Edge, John Brockman‘s website/movement/salon writ large/community. Feel like you need a lift, something to perk up your day? You can stop in and wander that site and invariably leave with ideas that are new, provocative and […]

  • Science
  • Focus and Creativity

    Heron on the beach at Small Point, Maine This is a postscript to yesterday’s post with more on the theme of the usefulness of downtime… Sam McNerney has posted a piece on Big Think called Why You Shouldn’t Focus Too Much in which he highlights the results of several recent studies on focus and creativity. […]