Vegetarian fireworks: Fruit and vegetable MRIs

July 19, 2010


Broccoli, in an MRI

Broccoli, as seen by MRI

Looks like fireworks to me.

From Inside Insides, a site dedicated to MRIs of food.

Oddly beautiful.  Interesting.  Nerdy.

Tip of the old scrub brush to P. Z. Myers at Pharyngula.

X-ray nudes: Safe for classrooms?

June 23, 2010

Here’s one way to make study of x-rays interesting:

X-ray nudes, from Eizo Pinup Calendar 2010, via A Quantum of Knowledge

Miss September - EIZO X-Ray Pinup Calendar 2010 - via A Quantum of Knowledge; ad agency, BUTTER

See this one, a couple more, and a good explanation of x-rays at A Quantum of Knowledge, “X-rated X-rays.

Um, also there is disturbing news for Kermit the Frog.

They are x-rays.  Are they still too risqué for use in, say, a senior physics class?  Let’s stipulate that the images are sexist (did they do any nude males?).  Could they serve any educational purpose?  If a physics teacher used some of these in a presentation on x-rays, would the principal and school board complain?  Would they get students — males students, especially — interested in studying x-rays?

Maybe the best way to get kids interested, in the best Tom Sawyer fashion, would be to tell them not to go to A Quantum of Knowledge to look at the x-rays.  Does your school’s filtering block these pictures?

A Quantum of Knowledge found out about the pictures from Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy.  Phil asks the question, “Are they racy?”

Look at the comments there — it sort of boils down to the shoes, doesn’t it?  Well, that, and the series of the poses.  Any one of the poses might be clinically interesting as an x-ray, but together, they spell “pornography.”

Do they?

In the comments at Bad Astronomy:  A discussion of footbinding in China, complete with x-rays; links to more x-rays of feet (presumably female) in stiletto heels; a discussion about whether the calendar photos from EIZO might be photo-shopped or otherwise edited, and not straight up x-rays.

Science nerds, you know?


Millard Fillmore’s 1856 campaign poster, on the Native American Party ticket

December 31, 2009

Millard Fillmore 1856 campaign poster - Library of Congress

Notes from the Library of Congress:



A large woodcut proof for a campaign banner or poster for the Native American party’s 1856 presidential candidate. A bust portrait of Millard Fillmore appears in a roundel, flanked by allegorical figures of Justice (left) and Liberty (right). Both figures wear classical gowns and tiaras. Justice holds a large sword and scales, Liberty a staff and Phrygian cap and the Constitution. Atop the roundel perches an eagle, with American flags on either side. Below are a document “The Union” (left) and bundled fasces (right).

Entered . . . 1856, by Baker & Godwin . . . New York.

The Library’s proof was deposited for copyright on July 10, 1856.

Published in: American political prints, 1766-1876 / Bernard F. Reilly. Boston : G.K. Hall, 1991, entry 1856-6.

Notice the striking resemblance to this 1860 campaign poster:

Poster for campaign of Abraham Lincoln for President, 1860 - Baker & Godwin, publisher; Library of Congress

Poster for campaign of Abraham Lincoln for President, 1860 - Baker & Godwin, publisher; Library of Congress

The Library of Congress notes:

SUMMARY: A print for a large campaign banner or poster for Republican presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln. It features a central roundel with a bust portrait of the candidate, flanked by standing deities Justice and Liberty. Justice (left) holds scales and a sword, while Liberty (right) holds the Constitution and a staff with Phrygian cap. An eagle with wings spread perches atop the roundel, behind which are several American flags on pointed staffs. Below the roundel a document “The Union” and a fasces lie on the ground. The image appears to have been printed from the same blocks (or a stereotype of them) as Baker & Godwin’s 1856 banner for Millard Fillmore (no. 1856-6). Only the central portrait has changed.

MEDIUM: 1 print on calendered paper : woodcut with letterpress ; image 39.3 x 55 cm.

CREATED/PUBLISHED: [New York] : Published and for sale by Baker & Godwin, Tribune Buildings, N.Y., c1860.


President Millard Fillmore, by John Sartain

December 31, 2009

John Sartain’s (1808-1897) engraving of Millard Fillmore as President, published by William Smith in Philadelphia, sometime between 1850 and 1853.  Image from the Library of Congress’s collection of portraits of the presidents.

President Millard Fillmore, by John Sartain - Library of Congress

President Millard Fillmore, engraving by John Sartain (1808-1897) - Library of Congress

January 7, 2009, is the 209th anniversary of the birth of Millard Fillmore.

Millard Fillmore’s birthday, January 7 – How will you celebrate in 2010?

December 30, 2009

In honor of Millard Fillmore’s birthday on January 7, I’ll post a collection of images of Fillmore and his administration that I’ve come across over the past year.  Though photography was invented in 1837, and though Fillmore was thought to be a handsome man, not many images of our 13th president survive on the internet.  For that matter, there is not a lot of good biographical information, either.

Many of these images come from the Library of Congress’s collections.

Millard Fillmore, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection - Duval image

Millard Fillmore, undated lithograph, Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has one copy of a print of this image.  A note with the image says “Duval,” but little is known about it otherwise, at least to the Library of Congress.  No date is given.  Judging from the color of his hair, I think this may be an image done for his unsuccessful 1856 campaign.

Only a tiny handful of images of Fillmore show up regularly — this is not one of them.  I wonder whether my posting it here will have any effect in spreading its popularity.

Fillmore will perhaps always remain enigmatic, out of step with his own times in many ways, and forced to the edges of history by other events and people more in the mainstream.  Fillmore was born January 7, 1800, 24 days after the death of George Washington (d. December 14, 1799), and lived through the administration of Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War.  Fillmore had some things in common with both of those great presidents, but no real dealings except for his opposition to Lincoln.

History uneasily deals with such men, who refuse to be put into pigeon holes.


Typewriter of the moment: John Lennon’s Imperial

October 4, 2009

John Lennon's manual Imperial typewriter, used when he was a teenager - now owned by Steve Soboroff - Image from Playa Vista Today

John Lennon's manual Imperial typewriter, used when he was a teenager - now owned by Steve Soboroff - Image from Playa Vista Today

Steve Soboroff, CEO of Playa Vista Capital in Playa Vista, California, collects celebrity typewriters on the side.  Earlier this year he acquired the typewriter John Lennon used as a teenager, according to Playa Vista Today.

Lennon’s Imperial (The Good Companion Model T) was among the late Beatle’s possessions originally auctioned by his Aunt Mimi to a Liverpool charity involving musical therapy. Soboroff came across Lennon’s writing instrument during an estate sale overseen by Bonhams auction house in England. The portable was originally auctioned through Sotheby’s in 1999. However, the owner succumbed to the economic downturn and put it up for sale earlier this year.

‘I was going to get on an airplane to go get it,’ Soboroff says regarding his summer purchase, which was probably used in the late Beatle’s first attempts at songwriting as a teenager. ‘He was living with his aunt when he owned it,’ he says.

And here’s a photo of John Lennon working at a typewriter other than the Imperial:

Autographed photo of John Lennon working at a typewriter - Image from Playa Vista Today

Autographed photo of John Lennon working at a typewriter - Image from Playa Vista Today

Soboroff also owns typewriters used by sportswriter Jim Murray, Ernest Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw, Tennessee Williams, and Jack London.

India today, in photos

August 3, 2009

Geography teachers, get out your PowerPoints and Keynotes.

Photo of life in Delhi, India.  From a collection by Belgian photographer Frederik Buyckx, 2009

Photo of life in Delhi, India. From a collection by Belgian photographer Frederik Buyckx, 2009

Thought provoking, occasionally breath-taking photos from a 6:00 a.m. walkaround in Delhi, India; Belgian photographer Frederick Buyckx promises more photos from his recent trip to India and Pakistan, at his blog.

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Great images of art, for world history and geography

April 20, 2009

About 75,000 images, most very high quality, for classroom use.  Images are sorted into categories that should align with all state standards and any textbook series — at the California State Universities, World Images Kiosk.  There are a lot of images from ancient cultures, a lot of images from pre-Renaissance times, and a rich panorama of other images.

For example, Jasper Johns’ 1961 pop art map of the United States . . .

JOHNS Jasper | Map. | 1961 | American | Pop Art | | North America. | | ©Jasper Johns ; Kathleen Cohen

JOHNS Jasper | Map. | 1961 | American | Pop Art | | North America. | | ©Jasper Johns ; Kathleen Cohen

David Bergman’s gigapan photo of the inauguration

February 3, 2009

Can’t embed the photo here.  Panoramic photos are cool things to use to capture history.  Photographer David Bergman made a colossal, 1,464 megapixel photo of the inauguration of Barack Obama — you gotta see it.

Bergman described it:

I made a panoramic image showing the nearly two million people who watched President Obama’s inaugural address. To do so, I clamped a Gigapan Imager to the railing on the north media platform about six feet from my photo position. The Gigapan is a robotic camera mount that allows me to take multiple images and stitch them together, creating a massive image file.

My final photo is made up of 220 Canon G10 images and the file is 59,783 X 24,658 pixels or 1,474 megapixels. It took more than six and a half hours for the Gigapan software to put together all of the images on my Macbook Pro and the completed TIF file is almost 2 gigabytes.

Bergman is offering prints for sale.

Were you at the inauguration, on the Capitol grounds?  Check Bergman’s photo, and zoom in to see whether you can see yourself in history.

A smaller version of Bergmans GigaPan photo of the inauguration of Barack Obama

A smaller version of Bergman’s GigaPan photo of the inauguration of Barack Obama; go see the zoomable version at Bergman’s site, and marvel at the detail of faces

Tip of the old scrub brush to julie@century.

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