'the artforms of nature

ID #22622

Name: Jasmin
Age: 24
Country: Germany

Hey :),

as you can see I am a girl from Germany looking for friends all over the world! I’m very interested in learning new languages and thought this would be a very good way to do so and make new friends! I would love to improve my English as well as my French and my poor Italian skills. :D I would love to find a language tandem to help learn a new language together!
Im a very outgoing, happy and positive person. I absolutely love music, nature and almost every artform there is. I study art history, eastasian art history and archeology in university. Also I absolutey love wriring letters and calligraphy.

Preferences: I have no preferences. Just be nice, yourself and interested to get to know someone& something new. Age doesnt matter at all. I would love to do snailmail inside of europe. Worldwide of course airmail. Hopefully someone is willing to write me. Have a beautiful day and write me soon!

smol-bon-bon  asked:

What made you wanna do drag?

I think drag is such a beautiful rebellious queer artform that meshes so many things that I love about art - performance, makeup, aesthetics, a telling of whatever story you want to tell. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid, and quite frankly, did as a kid but I considered it cosplay but looking back, I was totally doing drag.

In its origins, it enabled queer people to live a fantasy they couldn’t live due to the restrictions and prejudice the LGBT+ community faced. It gave homeless queer people an ability to make a buck for food while also feeling beautiful and fabulous. It’s not just getting on stage, and doing a death drop. Yes a lot of it is performance, and nowadays drag is huge because of mainstream tv shows. But it started as a “fuck you” at cisheteronormative standards placed upon queer people, it was always us questioning what gender even meant and breaking down those walls of the gender binary and gender roles. It was always us sharing our own intimate queer experience with our community. 

I’m talking about drag as the artform. Naturally, with how big drag is, there are people who will be misogynistic, transphobic, etc but these people do not represent drag or what drag has done for SO many people and certainly 100% go against the founders of the art. I’m really fortunate to be in Miami cause the drag scene down here is so vast in its representation. All shapes, all races, all ethnicities, all gender identities, everything. They embrace with open arms whatever fantasy you want to create and immediately denounce those who try to be racist/transphobic/misogynistic/lesbophobic/biphobic/etc literally any type of prejudice is 100% not tolerated. That’s the drag community I know and the only one I’m ever willing to be a part of.

I started drag because I love theater, and I love costuming. But the draw that I had to drag was different than the draw I have for theater or constructing an outfit. Plays/Musicals don’t fulfill me in the same way Drag does and it’s because of that unique queer experience I mentioned earlier. I don’t see Andro Gin as a role, but as a facet that I couldn’t ordinarily express. I know they look like a creature, and is camp but there’s a lot of realness and truth behind his persona that’s very embedded in who I am as a person. I’m comfortable being AFAB so this isn’t me coming out as trans/nonbinary but I think as queer people there’s always more going on under the surface that’s more complex when it comes to our gender expression than cishetero individuals could understand. The friends and community I’ve gained from this art I’ll cherish forever. Their stories, their fantasy, their talent, has been such a treat to be a part of and cheerlead. And then to have that love reciprocated back? It’s just been an incredible ride. 

Life as a Microscopist -  Q & A with Igor Siwanowicz

“Life as a microscopist” is a series about men and women behind the microscopes. I was very honored to exchange a few messages with Igor Siwanowicz - scientist, photographer and microscopist - who gives us some insight into the biology of the tiny organisms he likes to study, and how he became interested in them and in microscopy. It was all so interesting, I kept everything. Enjoy.

1) About your winning entry at the Nikon Small World: can you tell us more about that organism?

Aquatic bladderworts prefer clean, nutrient-poor ponds and lakes; they satisfy their nitrogen needs by trapping minute prey – water fleas, copepods, rotifers etc.  – in specialized organs called bladders, which are considered the most sophisticated trapping organs in the plant kingdom, a true testimony to evolution’s ingenuity.

Finding the specimen was one of those serendipitous events – I stumbled upon bladderwort while collecting dragonfly nymphs for my research in a pond located few miles away from my institute (Janelia Research Campus of HHMI in Ashburn, Virginia). Perhaps it is the perversion of the role reversal when a plant is devouring an animal that makes flesh-eating plants so interesting; I have been fascinated with carnivorous plants since early childhood – watching “Little Shop of Horrors” might have something to do with igniting my fascination. Admittedly, bladderwort is – at the first glance - far less spectacular than, say, a Venus flytrap or a pitcher plant; when magnified though its trap reveals amazing complexity.
I had a very fruitful run with this plant – with the samples I collected I was able to produce a series of images, and several of them won prizes.

This pictures depicts the awesomeness of the bladderwort trapping organ and scored the 1st place in 2013 Olympus Bioscapes contest.
The image shows the inside of a trap of the aquatic carnivorous plant, humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba). Several elements of the bladder’s construction are visible in the image, giving some insight into working of this tiny – only 1.5 mm long – but elaborate suction trap. The driving force behind the trapping mechanism is hydrostatic pressure: the plant “cocks” the trap by pumping water out of the bladder, accumulating potential energy in its thick and flexible walls like in the limbs of a bow. Specialized cells called bifid and quadrifid glands are responsible for the task of active transport of water. They line the inner walls and are visible in the image as bright-blue elongated shapes. An unsuspecting prey – usually a tiny aquatic arthropod – is guided toward the trapdoor by antenna-like branches surrounding the entrance. Quite literally, the trap has a “hair trigger” – touching one of the trigger hair cells extending from the bottom of the trapdoor (their bases are visible right in the center of the upper half as 4 small bright circles; they are much better visible in the Nikon contest image where you can see the entrance to the trap (or the bladderwort’s “mouth”)) causes the entrance – or “valve” – to bulge inward. Once the equilibrium is disturbed, the walls rapidly spring back to their initial position and the prey is sucked in within a millisecond (1/1000th of a second), experiencing acceleration of 500 G! In the image, the valve resembles a mosaic-covered Byzantine arch; it is made of a single layer of tiny, densely packed cells regularly arranged in concentric fashion. Once inside, the prey dies of anoxia and is digested by enzymes secreted by the bifid and quadrifid glands.

The intricately shaped objects visible in the lower part of the image are those aforementioned green algae called desmids; two species belonging to the genus Micrasterias and three species of Staurastrum can be identified. Various authors have described algae in Utricularia traps as commensals (algae that thrive and propagate in the nutrient-rich interior of the trap), symbionts (bladderwort benefits from the carbohydrates produced by algae) or as prey. Recent studies show that algae are able to survive only inside older, inactive traps; more than 90% are killed inside vivid, young traps. It may be that late in the season when I collected the specimens, most of the traps were already inactive, which could explain why the trapped desmids seemed to be doing fine.

2) How did you start in the field of microscopy? Do you think that microscopy can be considered a form of art?

My interest in natural sciences and nature photography were developing simultaneously - my parents are biologists and I grew up surrounded by biology textbooks. I enjoyed browsing through the illustrations and photographs long before I learned how to read. It wasn’t until 14 years ago – 2 years into my PhD studies - that I bought my first camera and found myself on the supply side of nature photography, with the special focus on macro technique. I quickly realized that microscopy would perfectly complement that activity and give me an even more intimate perspective of my “models.”

Six years ago - after abandoning protein biochemistry and moving to the field of neurobiology - I finally gained an access to a confocal microscope. For the past four years I’m spending most of my working hours imaging various bits of invertebrate anatomy – mostly dragonflies, since that is our group’s model organism. In this way I managed to merge my extracurricular expertise of macro photography and insect anatomy with scientific approach.

Although it is not the primary objective of scientific visual data, surprisingly many research-related images have aesthetic merit; to fully appreciate the beauty of those often abstract and surreal forms one needs to approach them with an open mind. A French polymath and philosopher of science Jules Henri Poincare said that “the scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful”. Not many scientists these days have the privilege and comfort to apply this somewhat utopist approach to their research, but lots do share the appreciation of beauty and are fully aware of the aesthetic aspects of their work. The marriage of scientific approach and artistic talent can be best exemplified by awe-inspiring work of Ernst Haeckel, who’s “Artforms from Nature” is a continuous source of inspiration for me.

Olympus And Nikon contests are organized with such people in mind. Images are rewarded for the artistic merit and visual aspects on par with and often above their scientific importance; that definitely grants those contests a broad appeal among non-experts and contributes to redeeming the image of science as a somber, wonder-less, unexciting affair utterly unintelligible for a layperson.

A bit about sample preparation and data collecting:

Back in the laboratory I embedded isolated traps in agar-agar gel and cut them into 0.5 mm-thick slices with a vibrating razor blade. Due to the chance component inherent to the process, in only 6 out of two dozen or so specimens, the razor passed either through the midline to produce two nearly equal halves, or through the plane parallel to the bladder’s trapdoor – a satisfactory success rate.

To produce the image, I used a laser scanning confocal microscope, a device that collects images in a very different way than a brightfield microscope (your standard biology class microscope). The confocal microscope is a fluorescent microscope; it means that the imaged specimen is illuminated (excited) with light of certain wavelength and emits light of a different, longer wavelength. The source of the excitatory light is a laser; a confocal microscope can be equipped with several lasers producing light of different frequencies (i.e., wavelength, or simply color), since each fluorescent molecule (a pigment that emits light) used in research only absorbs certain specific wavelengths of light. The specimen is illuminated, point by point, by a focused laser beam that moves somewhat like an electron beam producing the familiar scanned image on the phosphorescent surface of a cathode-tube TV or computer monitor. The light emitted from the specimen is collected by the objective and passes through a pinhole aperture that cuts off stray rays of light arriving from fragments of the sample that are not in focus – only light that is emitted from the very thin area (optical slice) within the focal plane can pass. Emitted light is then detected by the microscope’s photodetector (photomultiplier), and the image is reconstructed – point by point – on the computer screen. Because most specimens are much thicker than the focal plane, a series of images - called a “stack” - is collected by moving the specimen up or down. From those images, a three-dimensional image of the sample can be reconstructed.

In most cases samples have to be made fluorescent by the use of dyes or conjugated antibodies specifically binding certain intra- or extracellular structures. To be able to image cellulose (building material of plant’s cell walls) I used Calcofluor White, a dye first used in the textile industry for its propensity for binding cellulose fibers but then abandoned because of its toxicity; Calcofluor still finds use in medicine for identification of fungal pathogens in animal tissues.

A confocal microscope “sees” the sample very differently than we do - to our eyes the specimens appear very different than the final image. The amount of ultraviolet light in sunlight is – fortunately! – too low to appreciably excite Calcofluor, and all we see is green from the natural pigment chlorophyll. When illuminated with UV light (405 nm), the dye present in cell walls glows bluish-green. The same short wavelength light is absorbed by chlorophyll, which emits red light.

To produce the image, I recorded emission in three channels (colors) simultaneously. Assignment of the color in the captured image to any given channel is purely arbitrary; however, I do assign blue to the channel recording light of the shortest wavelength, green and red in similar fashion, in the “natural” order. Combining the three channels - three prime color images – into one produces the whole palette of colors – in effect, it is like the microscope had trichromatic “vision,” just as we do.

Bonus : Rotifers !

Thanks a lot to Igor Siwanowicz for all the information, kind words and amazing images.
The series #life as a microscopist can be seen on frontal-cortex.tumblr.com

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Ernst Haeckel, Kunstformen der Natur (Artforms of Nature), published between 1899 and 1904.

anonymous asked:

It's open YEET. Ok so headcanons? reactions? Not sure what to call it but rfa when they find out their gf is a total theater buff and does tons of plays and whatnot and is very good at it Thank u 😋😋😋

Yoosung: He thinks it’s a very interesting hobby and would love to see his s/o on stage once! He doesn’t understand much when it comes to the subject of theater and similar things, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care at all. If it’s possible for him, he won’t message even one of his girlfriend’s shows.

Zen: He’s all the more happy with his partner, knowing she shares the same hobby as him. If she’s up for it, he’ll suggest that they participate in a play together once and she gets to see his shows whenever she wants to, of course. Probably has numerous tips for her and asks her for advice for his own plays too.

Jaehee: She’s a very huge fan of theater plays, movies and what not and sees it as an artform, so naturally she thinks it’s absolutely amazing! She’s the one to give most constructive criticism and full on support as a fan.

Jumin: Very understanding of the amount of work these shows need. He’ll do his best to advertise her plays and supports her on a way to become more successful. He probably won’t be able to see every single show, but he will always ask “how was practice?” and “did the play go well?”

Seven: Maybe he recognizes her and knew about her acting before they met each other? Either that, or he immediately finds out after seeing her for the first time while doing research on her, so it’s not much of a big surprise, but it definitely leaves him amazed.

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Art Forms of Nature

Artforms of Nature

The 19th century German biologist Ernst Haeckel is famous for his fantastically illustrated book Artforms of Nature.

Haekel’s artistic interpretation of the biological forms he studied have a clarity of symmetry and detail that has been a source of inspiration for many artists and engineers over the years. They provide the perfect subject matter for the Fractal Explorer plugin.

Source: sublue.com

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Ascomycetes, Cyrotoidea, Acanthophracta, Blastodea, Teleostei, Siphonophorae, Cubomedusae, Echinidea and Platodes from Ernst Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur (Artforms of Nature), 1899-1904.