The Plastic Brain

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I heart diatoms.

Via infinity-imagined:

Diatoms are single celled photosynthetic algae that are abundant in Earth’s lakes and oceans.  These organisms create intricate nano-scale glass exoskeletons that protect their cellular interiors and focus specific wavelengths of light into photosynthetic protein complexes.  Clusters of silica tubes on the surface form pores that are used to gather nutrients from the environment.  The mechanism by which diatoms construct such beautiful symmetrical shells remains a mystery.

Image Credit: James Tyrwhitt-Drake, University of Victoria.

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Erasmus Darwin’s Zoonomia doesn’t get the popular recognition it deserves. Maybe this won’t bring it to the big time, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Via jtotheizzoe:


Typographical scientific artwork by Dr Stephen Gaeta

  1. Extraocular: Text from Zoonomia, the 1794 masterpiece of Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles), in which he attempted to catalog and explain human anatomy, pathology, and physiology, including the visual system. (SOURCE)
  2. Beat Poetry: Text from the seminal 1809 work of cardiologyCases of the Organic Disease of the Heart, with Dissections and Some Remarks Intended to Point Out the Distinctive Symptoms of These Diseases, by John Collins Warren. In this work, Warren describes the symptoms of 11 of his patients with heart disease as they presented in his office and, later, on his dissecting table. (SOURCE)
  3. Reactant: Text from the The Sceptical Chymist by Robert Boyle (1661), in which he provided the foundations of modern chemistry by proving that matter is comprised of individual atoms. (SOURCE)
  4. Transgenic:  Text from Chromosome 1 of the human genome.

[found by Atavus]

I love these more than you love these. I’ll bet you money.

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Caroline Lucretia Herschel (16 March 1750 – 9 January 1848)

Discoverer of comets, and more

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Maths FTW! So useful when it comes to creating gaming environments. Favourite quote: “maths lets us do what our budget does not”

Via prostheticknowledge:

The British Countryside Generator 

Indie gaming level creator using procedural methods – “In short: maths lets us do what our budget does not.”

The British Countryside Generator, as we’re calling it, is our procedural world engine for Sir You are Being Hunted. It’s plugged into Unity, which we are using as our overall development toolbox. It’s still a work in progress, but already delivers much of what we want for our game world, without us having to hand-place environmental features, as you might in traditional level editing. You can see some examples of the environments produced by our system here and here.

There are a few main reasons that we chose to use procedural generation over less code-based approaches. The most important one, of course, is that as a small independent developer we could never afford the resources, production time, or team size to produce the large, explorable game worlds that we all love at Big Robot. Procedural content generation allows us to use sneaky maths and coding to overcome many of those issues and stay closer to the open world style vision that we are aiming for. Another reason for using procedural techniques is that it gives us the ability to generate a huge number of environments that will be unique to each player and really increase the levels of replayability and emergence in the game.

More Here

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Via innitboc

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Nimbus MkIII – Pareidolic Robot 

Design project by Neil Usher that identifies faces in clouds:

Robots are designed to perform precise and repetitive operations with relentless efficiency, performing the tasks we find too laborious or  dangerous. However, could these robots be deployed to improve the efficiency of our leisure time by performing tasks we enjoy? Could intelligent machines bird watch for us or look for four-leaf clovers? Could they optimise our pastimes, searching for patterns and spectacle in nature that would be imperceptible or too time-consuming for us to find for ourselves? 


Via prostheticknowledge

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Untitled Part 1

The string tied to my left ring finger is tugging rhythmically, Red must be awake. I tug back my reply.

– G’morning Red. Sleep well?

My cell is small, barely more than my arm span, and not so tall that I can stand to my full height. It is smooth and warm; a soft grey infused with light from an unknown source. The floors and walls curve to meet each other, cocooning me, seamless, save for the ten small holes which provide my only connection to a world outside.

Through each hole runs a fine, taught thread, each of which terminates at one of my fingers. Some have colours, like my friend Red. Others are patterns, like Throbber and Slow-wave. Jerk is aggressive, Faint is hard to feel, and Silent hasn’t tugged once. Ever.

– Not at all, signals Red, something’s wrong.