Astronomy is useful because it raises us above ourselves; it is useful because it is grand. It shows us how small is man’s body, how great his mind, since his intelligence can embrace the whole of this dazzling immensity, where his body is only an obscure point, and enjoy its silent harmony.
—  Henri Poincare

Brunnian Link Tiling by Ross Hilbert
Via Flickr:
A hyperbolic tiling created using the Fractal Science Kit fractal generator. See www.fractalsciencekit.com/ for details. A Hyperbolic Tiling replicates a polygon over the hyperbolic plane represented by the Poincare disk in such a way as to form a hyperbolic tiling pattern. The Poincare disk is a model for hyperbolic geometry that maps the hyperbolic plane onto the unit disk.

The scientist does not study
nature because it is useful to do.
He studies it because he takes
pleasure in it; and he takes
pleasure in it because it is
beautiful. If nature were not
beautiful, it would not be worth
noting and life would not be worth
living …
I mean the intimate beauty which
comes from the harmonious order of
its parts and which a pure
intelligence can grasp.

 Henri Poincaré, preeminent 19th-century 

mathematician and scientist