Strange Victorian Journeys Into the Fourth Dimension

The last gasp of Victorian spirituality infused cutting-edge science with old-school mysticism. Theosophy was all the rage; Many weird and and wonderful ideas being developed at the turn of the century around death, ghosts, the fourth dimension filled the Victorians with a palpable sense of possibility.

Book Review: The Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson

Ant-lover and Professor Emeritus of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, Edward O. Wilson has been arguing for the unity and connectedness of all human knowledge for many decades. In his latest book The Origins of Creativity, Wilson singles out creativity as humanity’s most important legacy which has allowed us to evolve and dominate other organisms onContinue reading “Book Review: The Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson”

Five rare and awe-inspiring mountain and river maps

When it comes to design – the Victorians did it better. Nothing quite matches these 19th Century comparative river and mountain maps for exquisite hand-drawn detail, meticulous scale and luminous beauty. It makes me wonder, how can anyone not love old maps? A New Cartographic Convention One of the forerunners for this kind of mapContinue reading “Five rare and awe-inspiring mountain and river maps”

Travel: Mushroom Reef Sanctuary, Flinders, Mornington Peninsula

Following on from my previous post about Tyabb Packing Centre, here is another little known wonder from the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne where I return to whenever I get the chance.  The Mushroom Reef Sanctuary is home to a gigantic mushroom shaped basalt reef near Flinders in Westernport Bay. Located 86 km from central Melbourne,Continue reading “Travel: Mushroom Reef Sanctuary, Flinders, Mornington Peninsula”

Exquisite Marine Invertebrates of the 19th Century

In this blog in previous years, I’ve talked about how humans and cephalopods are oddly similar, explored the underwater realm of Sydney Harbour in great detail, and the invisible realm of microscopic creatures rendered by Ernest Haeckel. But in terms of delicate creatures, the Blaschkas were the 19th Century heavy-weights. I originally posted this postContinue reading “Exquisite Marine Invertebrates of the 19th Century”

Starman, Bowie and the symbolism of SpaceX’s new world

Bowie needs no introduction in his ability to induce wonder, awe and beauty in anyone he touches. And now even after death, his legacy lives on in the form of a mannequin Star Man set to take a silence-filled orbit around our dark solar system and towards its final destination of Mars. The poetry andContinue reading “Starman, Bowie and the symbolism of SpaceX’s new world”

Book Review: The Domesticated Brain by Bruce Hood

This is a riveting read from one of the leading lights of modern psychology, Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol. The book’s main premise is that 20,000 years ago our brains were 10% larger than what they are today. And that the reason for this is primarily the influence of social practices, culture andContinue reading “Book Review: The Domesticated Brain by Bruce Hood”

How slow-growing lichen opens up the vast universe

The Lichenologist from Matthew Killip on Vimeo. Hidden within this remarkable short film The Lichenologist is the slowly-growing story of the unassuming and vividly beautiful botanical wonder of lichen. Kerry Knudsen has the auspicious title of  Curator of Lichens at the University of California. He dispels common misconception between lichens and mosses. The latter beingContinue reading “How slow-growing lichen opens up the vast universe”

<3 The Internet: eSkeletons of primates, monkeys and homo sapiens

eSkeletons is an ingenious online resource that compares the skeletons of primates and including the most notorious of the bipeds homo sapiens. Created by the Department of Anthropology at the Univrsity of Texas in Austin, eSkeletons provides an interactive environment where visitors can examine skeletal anatomy through an osteology database. It’s a very engaging andContinue reading “<3 The Internet: eSkeletons of primates, monkeys and homo sapiens”

Microscopic treasures: Abstract art discovered under the microscope

Sometimes the most unimaginable beauty comes from the world cannot be seen with the human eye, but yet still exists in the invisible netherworld of the microscope. Here are some artistic treasures, spied on the Reddit Microporn page, have a look and you will become hooked. Crystalline acetylsalicylic acid viewed under polarised light at 10XContinue reading “Microscopic treasures: Abstract art discovered under the microscope”