Category Archives: Science Online 2011

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.

Educated Guess (not what you think)

In my last post, I showed you a photo I took of a wine bottle that was being tasted at the local Whole Foods (Chapel Hill). I decided to investigate a little more.

The winery behind Educated Guess (the one I saw is a Cabernet Sauvignon, but there are others) is Roots Run Deep in the Napa Valley of California.

Image of Roots Run Deep Winery from their website.

Here’s what the vineyard has to say about the art of choosing (& making) wine:

The name Educated Guess came about during a lively, second bottle of wine conversation about winemaking styles, vineyard sites, and the progressive escalation of wine prices without comparable increases in quality. The discussion then proceeded to the “art vs. science” aspect of winemaking and after a few more glasses of wine Educated Guess was born!!!

So ask yourself this question: Have you ever found yourself in a wine shop or restaurant perusing the wines and wondering how do I choose the best wine for the money? You may admire a label, recognize a name, or recall a great review…in essence you making an “Educated Guess.” This is exactly what goes on in the vineyards and wineries around the world. Should we pick the grapes now or wait? How long should we barrel age our wine? Should we use French or American Oak, or both?

We use our knowledge, intuition, and years of experience to make the best possible decisions; however at the end of the day it still remains an “Educated Guess.” At Roots Run Deep we have done all of the Guesswork for you, and produced the richest, ripest, and most complex wines you can buy for the money. So when you won’t settle for less, Buy Educated Guess.

Oh, and everyone wants to know about our unique label. Our label was designed to tell the story of how you can make an educated guess in winemaking, not to give you nightmares about your high school chemistry class. It shows you actual winemaking formulas that are either induced or naturally occur during a specific winemaking process.

If you want to know about the chemistry behind the 5 formula strings on the label, they have provided some more info in this PDF.

Image of PDF from Roots Runs Deep explanation of chemistry behind label

. Go visit their site and poke around some more.

I’m thinking we need to convince the winery to provide some of their wine for the next ScienceOnline conference (report on blog and media coverage of ScienceOnline2011 here; program plans already being discussed for ScienceOnline2012 here)!