I would make some snide remark about how this is totally a vanity project, but it’s just too cool!
The X and Y-chromosomes found in humans are now wearable. Electron microscopist, Louise Hughes, has created a jewelry collection designed to mirror the look and shape of human chromosomes. Hughes designs every piece from microscopy data and produces it using 3D printing technology. Having already used the structures of organisms to create other jewelry pieces, Hughes felt she could not leave out the essential DNA and chromosomes. The 46 chromosomes found in our cells have never before been so beautifully displayed and worn.
Sometimes big concepts are best explained visually. Or taking huge piles of data and graphing them makes them digestible.
Big data, infographics, visualisations – the pop words of a modern phenomenon. But while information accumulation has become a 21st-century obsession, our generation is not the first to discover that a picture is worth a thousand words, as a new British Library exhibition will reveal.
Revelling in the power of illustrations, tables and figures, Beautiful Science charts the course of data dissemination across the centuries, from the grim ledgers of death recorded by John Graunt in the 17th-century “bills of mortality” to the digital evolutionary tree dreamt up by an Imperial College researcher, complete with a mind-boggling zoomable function. “You can use almost fractal-like patterns to explore all of life on Earth,” says Dr Johanna Kieniewicz, lead exhibition curator.
But diagrams can also be agents of change. Indeed, Florence Nightingale’s talent at wielding data to push for health reforms shows she was not only the lady with the lamp but the girl with the graphics. “She was actually a very eminent and hard-nosed statistician,” says Kieniewicz. The brutal message of her “rose” charts of mortality, constructed using data from the Crimean war, was both informative and highly influential, showing in stark, uncompromising terms that the numbers of soldiers dying from disease and squalor far outweighed those dying from battle injuries.
The idea of electronic music taken to a whole new level:
And it is glorious.
It was created by YouTube user Gigawipf who is also responsible for the doing of version of the ‘Inspector Gadget’ theme tune amongst others…
The fact that everything gives off some kind of beat that can be captured and turned into music, even fruit, has been underutilized. Until now.
Ever dreamed of owning a melodic melon, harmonious horseradish, or pitch-perfect pineapple? The Ototo synthesizer developed by London-based Dentaku allows musicians of any level to turn the produce aisle into an orchestra. Powered either by batteries or a USB cable, the device is set up like a piano keyboard with 12 different notes. Two alligator clips attach to the inanimate object of choice, and a simple touch of the hand creates a sound. A built-in speaker and headphone port allows players to take their band on the go, or amplify their instruments.
Music seems to make sense for a lot of not neurotypical folks, from autistic people to dyslexics. But why?
Dyslexia is a frustrating disorder that gives otherwise smart people trouble with reading. Nobody knows exactly what causes it, but one popular hypothesis is that the root of the problem is a deficit in the brain’s ability to process sounds, especially during childhood. Kids who have a hard time parsing all those talky sounds that grownups make also struggle to learn the connections between speech sounds and words on a page. And that’s what causes the reading difficulties, or so the thinking goes.
But if parsing sounds is really the whole problem, how do you explain dyslexic musicians? After all, musicians are supposed to excel at making sense of sound. But a small number of them, it turns out, have dyslexia. Now, a team of researchers at Hebrew University in Israel has tried to sort this problem out–by rounding up, for the first time, a cohort of dyslexic musicians and testing their language abilities.
The researchers, led by psychologist Merav Ahissar, tested 52 musicians on basic auditory perception (such as their ability to tell similar tones or similar time intervals apart) as well as auditory perception related specifically to music (distinguishing different rhythms or melody) or language (like the ability to discriminate words from similar-sounding non-words they heard). They also gave the musicians memory tests and tested their reading speed and accuracy.
It took years, in part because dyslexic musicians are rare, Ahissar says. (No one knows exactly how rare though — Ahissar says she couldn’t find any studies on whether the disorder is any more or less common in musicians than in the general population, where estimates range from one to ten percent). Eventually, Ahissar’s student Atalia Weiss, a graduate of Hebrew University’s music academy, was able to recruit 24.
What did they find? On most tests of auditory perception, the dyslexic musicians scored as well as their non-dyslexic counterparts, and better than the general population. Where they performed much worse was on tests of auditory working memory, the ability to keep a sound in mind for a short time (typically seconds). In fact, the dyslexic musicians with the poorest working memory tended to have the lowest reading accuracy. Those with better working memory tended to be more accurate.
There is a lot of science behind nature, such as butterflies’ flight, and in this case that very phenomenon can be used to visualize math.
Rafael Araujo’s illustrations are bafflingly complex—so complex that you might assume the artist uses a computer to render the exacting angles and three-dimensional illusions. And true, if you were to recreate his intricate mathematical illustrations using software, it probably wouldn’t take you long at all. But the craziest part of all is that Araujo doesn’t use modern technology to create his intricately drawn Calculations series—unless, of course, you count a ruler and protractor.
The Venezuelan artist crafts his illustrations using same skills you and I learned in our 10th grade geometry class. Only instead of stashing those homework assignments deep into the locker of his brain, Araujo uses these concepts to create his da Vinci-esque drawings. In Araujo’s work, butterflies take flight amidst a web of lines and helixes, a shell is born from a conical spiral, and the mathematical complexity of nature begins to make sense.