art and science: part 3

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, with exams and all things have been horribly horribly crazy. Today I’ve decided to go in a bit more of a science using art direction. While some may claim that psychoanalysis is not quite a science, it was at least at one time regarded as one. So I think that Rorschach ink blots fit very well into this theme. Regardless of what their inherent scientific merit is judged to be, they are quite mesmerizing. Of course in a art to science to art way, the music video for Crazy by Gnarls Barkley uses variations of Rorschach ink blots throughout the song.

Art meets science: part 2

I’ve actually known about Giant Microbes since high school. Since then not only has their collection grown, mine has too. There’s something just so satisfying about giant microbes (viruses, bacteria, and now other cell types) with cute, beedy eyes. My obession has only been fueled by my entire family seeing microbes as an easy gift. Sometimes I wish I had thought of the idea myself.

science and art: not mutually exclusive (part 1)


I’ve decided to start a series showcasing scientists and artists that have found ways to combine the two. Keep in mind that these two things are horribly broad, blanket ideas, and that there is more overlap than any one gives credit. I’ll start off with my own painting of an MRI of an MS patient, showing the characteristic “Dalton’s Fingers”. I’ll try to post a new one everyday. 


Boring backstory (you have been warned):

It started off from a very young age, when my mother first gave me a toy dinosaur. Of course, it was not just one toy dinosaur, it became a dinosaur model collection, along with many, many, many other scientifically-based toys. Along with these came the usual art supplies the parents often give their children. I love both. A lot.

And so began my intense love of both science and art.

When I was very little, I was convinced I was going to be a paleontologist. I had it all planned out. Much more than someone more than a decade away from even beginning university really should. This was not the usual phase of wanting to study dinosaurs that most children pass through, this was an intense obsession.  As I got older, the art started to grab hold, not just the art, but the love of creation. I would spend hours crafting little figurines out of Fimo (sort of like a cross between Playdoh and clay).

Then I hit highschool and a new career path dawned – that of graphic design. This was my first real consideration beyond paleontology, but it held me just as strongly. Then came the big deciding time when I had to choose between following art and science (or at least so it was implied).

I chose science.

And now, 4 years later and what seemed like a reasonably straightforward path at first has had more convolutions than the surface of the brain (ha ha). Part of me just wants to run away and become a graphic artist per the original plan, but at the same time I’m all signed up to head off to medical school. So I figured that I may as well show some people who have made the two work together, gathering inspiration from one and applying it to the other.

First snow of the season

Though I already posted today, I figured this warranted posting again. The last two days have been very miserable. Lots and lots of rain and wind. Today wasn’t a whole lot better, mostly just cold rain blowing sideways (not umbrella-friendly weather). But this evening the temperature dipped down just enough for snow. I’m pretty excited, even though it’s kind of slushy gross snow.

Micrograph #2

So it’s a tiny bit later than expected, but here is the second micrograph. I personally think this one is really cool because you can see a white blood cell (the blobby-looking one), a red blood cell (the disc-shaped one) and dendrites of a neuron. What makes me proud is that if you go to either the WBC or RBC pages on wikipedia, you will notice that they look the same.

I love colours

Not to say I don’t love a good monochromatic image, but I must say, I do love colours. So I’m pretty stoked by the website colourlovers. Not only does it let you play with colours on their website using sliders, but you can also upload images and create swatches. This is a swatch I made (using a photo). 

New micrograph tomorrow!


Finally, as promised, one of my scanning electron micrographs. This one is of the ends of photoreceptors. Rods to be precise. You may all remember them as the light/dark photoreceptors, while cones are the colour/high acuity ones. The eye is organized is a very counterintuitive way, first the light passes through many layers of cells, then it hits the photoreceptors, then the signal travels back up through the layers of cells then out through the optic nerve.


I’ve developed a fascination for letterpress recently. I think it has something to do with the technique requiring very nice paper. I am a paper fiend. Now I find myself wondering how much a letterpress costs. This is, of course, completely unreasonable. Though I know there’s a local (very) old school one at the art college, so maybe I can bum off theirs.

In other printing news, I’m getting into screenprinting now too. Hopefully I’ll burn my first screen later this week. I’m thinking of doing christmas cards, but my first project is going to be part of a fundraiser for Ink Storm (the printing collective). So to all of you local Halifax people, make sure to check out the upcoming craft show in December.

Oh, the micrographs are coming (tomorrow hopefully). I’ll be sure to post some of them then.

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