When I graduated from architecture school, I knew almost nothing about science or the body. As an example, I though our digestive system simply separated food into solid or liquid and then pushed both down toward our no-no parts. I was amazed to learn about how food is broken down and either absorbed or excreted. Somewhere in this lesson, I picked up the tidbit that pee actually comes from your blood. Yeah… your blood. Grossly simplified, the nephrons in your kidneys filter blood, removing waste products and send them down to your bladder. In the microgravity of space, your bones don’t need to be as sturdy, so osteoclasts start acting on your bone matrix, leeching calcium and sending it into your bloodstream. The calcium is removed and excreted. So not only does pee come from your blood, but an astronaut can pee out his or her bones.
I was really fascinated by this article about a typeface designed specifically to help people with dyslexia make fewer reading errors. Folks who have dyslexia tend to have trouble reading because the text doesn’t sit still; their brains flip, rotate and rearrange letters while they try to make sense of the words. This apparent movement stems from structural differences in parts of the brain, and I was surprised to learn that there are quite a few typefaces designed specifically to address this disorder. There are likely many more, but I easily found Open Dyslexic, Dyslexie, Lexie Readable and Read Regular.
Without having to crowd around a microscope, the lastest Shane Hope exhibition at the Winkleman Gallery gives all of a turn exploring the exceedingly tiny and complex architecture that hides inside our bodies. Well, sort of. Hope creates his work using molecular modeling software and a series of self-made 3-D printers. He pairs these technologies to produce these amazing but absurd assemblages of morphologies we might be more familiar with if we were either nanometers tall or histologists on an acid trip. The text for the exhibition is… a trip itself, predicting a world where we can building whatever matter we want using 3-D printers.
Nick Bowers describes his work as an exploration between the natural and man-made; his statement reads, “His landscapes expose the paradox of grand oppressive spaces with their delicate and vulnerable details. His portraiture and still life series are revealing studies in intimacy.”
Polish born, New York based artists Joanna Malinowska and Christian Tomaszewski realize fantasies of the future as imagined by the Communist Era Soviet Bloc in their Mother Earth Sister Moon installation. The installation takes form in a massive space suit replica of the Soviet Space Sweetheart – Valentina Tereshkova, the first lady in space. The belly of Valentina’s goliath galactic get-up serves as a home to a curated fashion and design showcase that weaves narratives of Soviet sci-fi and its space program. With the lens of architecture, music, fashion and style, the future in female dress forms are realized.
Mihoko Ogkai’s ongoing series Milky Ways explores the ideas of life, death and rebirth. The dead or dying human life forms are constructed with fibre-reinforced plastic and embedded LED lights that project star-like fields of light on the surrounding gallery walls. Tiny holes dot the figures; the light emitted transforms these tortured, decaying bodies into incredible portraits of the night sky.
Illustrator Jay Fleck‘s work is full of childhood ambition: his work illustrates fantasies born while staring at the ceiling on top of bunk bed during summer camp. On a large scale, his work depicts giraffes, whales, rocket ships and other figments of a healthy childhood imagination. The only way I know describe is work is that he pieces are fun–some are clever and others are more cheeky, too. All are full of childish fun pared with aspiration and daydreams.
During stressful launches, NASA’s jet Propulsion Laboratory mission control eats handfuls of peanuts for good luck. Peanuts have been a part of space exploration for a long time. A dedicated reader passed along the above Peanuts Snoopy astronaut action figure: Snoopy was the NASA Manned Flight Awareness Program mascot (with the blessing of Peanuts creator Charles Schultz) and spoke out for flight safety. NASA even awards a “Silver Snoopy Award” to employees and contractors for outstanding human flight safety achievements.
Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan of Apollo X named their Lunar Module (LM) Snoopy. The Command Service Module was named Charlie Brown.
Nothing makes me happier than finding a science-centric video that is also well designed. And that’s what this video is: a mesmerizing and sleek animation that explains the very basics of DNA. What is it? Why is it such a big deal?