Category Archives: Science & Math

First posts from Mars Curiosity NASATweetup

We’re still in Cocoa Beach, FL after spending several days with folks from around the world who participated in the Mars Curiosity NASATweetup. Here’s a quick taste of the events. More to come!

Video of the Pre-Tweetup dinner at Dixie Crossroads restaurant in Titusville, FL.

Mars Curiosity Tweetup dinner from Braga on Vimeo.

Video of Bill Nye, The Science Guy, speaking to the NASATweetup tweeps in the twent on Saturday right before the launch.

Video of Bill Nye, The Science Guy, and Astronaut Doug Wheelock handling Q & A.

Video of (!) speaking to the tweeps about making science cool and communicating enthusiasm to kids so they will reach for the stars (literally).

Two Arthropods Meet – a teeny commission challenge

I first “met” Glendon Mellow online (I think via Twitter, where he is@flyingtrilobite) as I was working on projects for ScienceOnline2011. He graciously sent me a few of his new Moo business cards which had images of his artwork and a QR code on them (something we were including in many aspects of ScienceOnline2011). He also donated some prints of his work for some prizes during our event. After meeting Glendon at ScienceOnline2011 I knew I wanted to have an original piece of his artwork. If you know me, you know I love small, tiny things. So, I challenged commissioned him to make me a miniature oil painting on a piece of slate no bigger than 1.5-2″. That was the only criteria I gave him. I was excited to see what he would come up with. He did not disappoint.

One fine afternoon, a padded envelope winged its way into my mailbox from Toronto. I was so excited. But the fun was just beginning! The following pictures re-create the steps of my “unveiling” of the piece. I loved every detail of the presentation!

This is the small box that contained the commissioned piece. Glendon sketched his trademark Flying Trilobite on the top of the box (a treasure in itself!)

After I removed the lid, I saw the canvas roll with the instructions "Unroll Gently." I could hardly contain my excitement.

I carefully unrolled the canvas. Anticipation growing.

The piece revealed! What a delight to behold. I quickly picked it up to look at all the details and colours.

Here is a close-up. The photo doesn't really do justice to the beauty, texture, and colour. This is why you need to own real artwork!

This is a photo of the whole presentation (with a US quarter for scale). You can read the title of the piece written in the bottom of the little box. Perfect.

I haven’t decided how I am going to display the piece yet, but I have some ideas (if you have ideas, leave them in the comments).

Glendon has blogged about this commissioned piece on his own blog. Read his thoughts here.

NOTE: I took all of these photographs, but the work itself is © 2011 by Glendon Mellow. Please respect the artist and do not reproduce these images without his permission.

The Snowflake (Redux)

This is a re-posting. I am adding two photos of snowflakes I took yesterday (Dec 4, 2010) in Durham, NC. I could not believe we had snow! I ran outside and shot these macros hand-held. Not great, but I was so excited. Will get out more this winter and work on some new techniques.

Snowflake I captured in our yard, Durham, NC, December 4, 2010.

Snowflake melting. Durham, NC, December 4, 2010. Camera: Panasonic GF1 (Micro-four thirds).

It’s no secret that I love snow. One of the best books that I’ve seen about snowflakes is The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty by Kenneth Libbrecht (photography by Patricia Rasmussen). If you’ve ever been mesmerized by the shape of a snowflake that has fallen onto your gloved hand, then this book will delight you. The stunning photography of individual snowflakes is complemented perfectly by excellent explanations of the science behind the beauty.
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