science crafts


Complex Wooden Book Reveals Story with Solving Stages Of Puzzles

Industrial designer Brady Whitney designed an innovative puzzle, Codex Silenda, in the form of a book, which can only be unlocked and read once the puzzle is solved. The brain wracking device is diabolically complex book composed of laser cut wood panels that have mechanical keys to unhinge. 

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Bringing Luminous Skeletons to Life with @ericfranklinstudio

For more photos and videos of Eric’s work, follow @ericfranklinstudio on Instagram.

Sure, skulls and skeletons carry a certain postmortem weightiness, admits Eric Franklin (@ericfranklinstudio), a glass artist from Portland, Oregon. But Eric insists his work comes from an optimistic, intuitive and visceral place. “These pieces describe and define the dynamics and interconnection of everything that makes us human — from our bones to our psyche,” he says.

To make his luminous skulls, Eric starts with one glass tube, and then adds more of various diameters to slowly “draw” the piece. Once sculpted, which can take as many as 80 hours, the skull is sealed and filled with neon gas — each curve and ripple of the glass impacting how the light flows within. “I’ve deliberately chosen to keep the history of my hand in the glass,” says Eric. “The wrinkled surface not only gives the pieces a more lifelike feel, but it makes the light exponentially more interesting.”


Textile Art + Science = Crocheted Chemistry

Dallas, TX-based textile artist Lauren Espy just completed crocheting the cutest chemistry set we’ve ever seen. Each handmade piece of amigurumi lab equipment, colorful beakers and test tubes, and a fiery little bunsen burner (our favorite), wears a smiling face that clearly says they’re ready to do some awesome science.

Follow Lauren Espy on Instagram to check out more of her crocheted creations. Espy sells some of her pieces via her Etsy shop, where she plans to list smaller pieces of crocheted chemistry equipment in the near future. So stay tuned!

[via A Menagerie of Stitches]

Pluto in Combined Color

What is fascinating about Pluto is how young its surface is. We can see some canyons, planes, and mountains in this image - which is an indication of a young surface. This image of Pluto was taken when the New Horizons spacecraft was only 280,000 miles away from the surface. In the image you can see features as small as 1.4 miles! Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this enhanced color global view.

Credit: John’s Hopkin’s APL/NASA JPL


Art + Science = Awesome

Today the Department of Extraordinary Embroidery is checking out the work of Maryland-based photographer and textile artist Emma Mattson. She uses felt, thread, and french knots to create pieces of embroidery that look like botanical specimens, sometimes finished with pieces of fake moss or lichen to make them appear even more lifelike.

Follow Emma Mattson on Instagram to check out more of her moss embroideries. And keep an eye on her Spectremma Etsy shop where she sometimes sells them as well.

[via Colossal]


Insect Hotels

Over 30% of solitary bee species are wood nesters, some spending up to nine months of their lives as larvae incubating in forest deadfall. Ladybugs hibernate over winter in stacks of twigs, and other beneficial creatures – like wasps, lizards, moths, hedgehogs, beetles, and dragonflies – love to find little nooks and crannies to hide from predators and the elements, at any time of year.

An insect hotel is ideally placed in a sheltered location, but still in the sunlight. Ants sometimes eat bee larvae, so a solitary bee hotel is best placed off of the ground. Often, a wire mesh is placed on the outside to prevent bird predation. Ideally, the surrounding area should host flowering and insectary plants, to provide food for the guests!

These natural habitats are often missing from a domestic or overly-landscaped garden, and are absolutely vital to the health of your plants, local life web, and for the pollination of your garden. Designing for your native wildlife is crucial for a long-term healthy, productive, and sustainable space. Good, ecologically-minded design also minimises the amount of work you have to do: for example, I find that when I practice companion planting with insectary Apiaceae-family plants, I never have an aphid problem, because predatory beetles abound, and they eat problematic insects before they get established. Creating balanced ecosystems is a form of biological pest control.

An insect hotel is easily made from twigs, wood, tiles, pinecones, bricks, bark, grass, and other natural or salvaged materials. The form can differ, depending on what sort of creatures you would like to attract, and your aesthetics, but it should basically be designed from a “bug’s eye” view of the world: research what your local species are and what they require in terms of a habitat, and then create it for them in a manner that appeals to your eye.

These are also excellent projects for kids: they are fun and easy to make, interesting to observe, and help foster an early understanding of biology and ecology.

#DIY #bees #insects #entomology #biomimicry #permaculture #kids #art

Pre-made insect hotels: North America / Europe



4 Cool Science Tricks!

1. Build a solar cooker. Use an old pizza/cardboard box to build a cooker that bakes cookies, reheats food, etc. Try out different recipes!

2. Demonstrate capillary action. Use food dye to see how plants get the water and nutrients they need through tiny capillary tubes.

3. Make oobleck. Crazy things happen when you mix cornstarch with water. 

4. Grow crystals. Use evaporation to create intricate crystals on sugar, salt, or ice. Diamonds take thousands of years, but these can grow much faster.