Science used to be classy

science history, class, and aesthetics

smithsonianlibraries:

Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea, 
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height; 
And far away into the sickly light, 
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

-Alfred Lord Tennyson, “The Kraken” (1830)

The Smithsonian is no stranger to sea monsters. In the 1916 Annual Report to the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, the curator of marine invertebrates, Paul Bartsch, introduces us to the molluscan class Cephalopoda, with the biography “Pirates of the Deep–Stories of the Squid and the Octopus,” Go to page 347 of the Annual Report to read more, although he doesn’t get to sea-serpent myths until 364.) It’s from this report that we’ve pulled these images to celebrate Kraken Day of Cephalopod Awareness Days. 

Are they real? Most assume that the giant squid is responsible for most of these myths and legends. In the Oceans Hall of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, there is a long, counter-height tank with a specimen of a giant squid available to see in all its glory. It wasn’t until 2006 that anyone had actually documented video of the giant squid in its natural habitat.

Dr. Clyde Roper tries to measure up to a giant squid specimen. Credit: Ingrid H. Roper

Our upcoming exhibition, Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910, opens mid-2015. If you’re a fan of the intersections between science and fiction, it’ll be worth the wait! We might even include something sea-monster related from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. You might also like a t shirt bearing an image from another aspect of the exhibition–space travel.

theatlantic:

A Bionic, Mind-Controlled Arm, From the Inventor of the Segway

The Segway was supposed to change everything … until it became the preferred transportation of walking tours and shopping mall security. But now its inventor, Dean Kamen, is back with a new creation that might be slightly more revolutionary.
Enter the DEKA limb, the first FDA-approved robotic arm that’s powered by the wearer’s mind. Electrodes attached to the arm near the prosthesis detect muscle contraction, and those signals are then interpreted into specific movements by a computer, the FDA announced on Friday.
"The device is modular so that it can be fitted to people who’ve suffered any degree of limb loss, from an entire arm to a hand," Bloomberg Businessweek reported. ”Six ‘grip patterns’ allow wearers to drink a cup of water, hold a cordless drill or pick up a credit card or a grape, among other functions.”
Read more. [Image: DARPA]

theatlantic:

A Bionic, Mind-Controlled Arm, From the Inventor of the Segway

The Segway was supposed to change everything … until it became the preferred transportation of walking tours and shopping mall security. But now its inventor, Dean Kamen, is back with a new creation that might be slightly more revolutionary.

Enter the DEKA limb, the first FDA-approved robotic arm that’s powered by the wearer’s mind. Electrodes attached to the arm near the prosthesis detect muscle contraction, and those signals are then interpreted into specific movements by a computer, the FDA announced on Friday.

"The device is modular so that it can be fitted to people who’ve suffered any degree of limb loss, from an entire arm to a hand," Bloomberg Businessweek reported. ”Six ‘grip patterns’ allow wearers to drink a cup of water, hold a cordless drill or pick up a credit card or a grape, among other functions.”

Read more. [Image: DARPA]

(via we-are-star-stuff)

asapscience:

Nike iss commemorating the 45th anniversary of the first lunar walk with these *out of this world* Air Max Lunar 90s (had to). Available July 20 for $145USD here.

asapscience:

Nike iss commemorating the 45th anniversary of the first lunar walk with these *out of this world* Air Max Lunar 90s (had to).

Available July 20 for $145USD here.

savage-america:


Andriopoulos’s book puts the TV into a long line of other “optical media” that go back at least as far as popular Renaissance experiments involving technologically-induced illusions, such as concave mirrors, magic lanterns, disorienting walls of smoke, and other “ghostly apparitions” and “phantasmagoric projections” created by specialty devices. These were conjuring tricks, sure—mere public spectacles, so to speak—but successfully achieving them required sophisticated understandings of basic physical factors such as light, shadow, and acoustics, making an audience see—and, most importantly, believe in—the illusion.

An Occult History of the Television Set

savage-america:

Andriopoulos’s book puts the TV into a long line of other “optical media” that go back at least as far as popular Renaissance experiments involving technologically-induced illusions, such as concave mirrors, magic lanterns, disorienting walls of smoke, and other “ghostly apparitions” and “phantasmagoric projections” created by specialty devices. These were conjuring tricks, sure—mere public spectacles, so to speak—but successfully achieving them required sophisticated understandings of basic physical factors such as light, shadow, and acoustics, making an audience see—and, most importantly, believe in—the illusion.

An Occult History of the Television Set

darksilenceinsuburbia:

Space Teriyaki 7

Visions of space and the future in Japan in the 70s and 80s

1Gan Hosoya, 1973, “Silence” poster

2. Tadami Yamada, c.1975

3. Genpei Akasegawa, c.1975

4. Hajime Sorayama, c.1975

5. Hiroshi Manabe, early 70s

6. Hisashi Saito, 1983, catalog illustration

7. Kazuyuki Goto, c.1975

8. Sadao Sato, 1983, original work

(via karathraceisontop)