27 May 2008

House plants vs. toxins

Good Magazine has published a chart outlining common sources for 3 household chemical compounds (trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene) and the houseplants that naturally detoxify them from the air.

I'm not sure how each plant species actually accomplishes this detoxification (perhaps I should hunt down their vague sources) but I love the graphic design of this chart. I also think that maybe I should move the Philodendron from my bedroom to my living room that contains several IKEA particle board containing furniture pieces.

(Via Boing Boing)


21 May 2008

Flying Spaghetti Monster Brooch

The Flying Spaghetti Monster was the creation of Bobby Henderson back when the Kansas school board was first considering introducing Intelligent Design along with evolution in the classroom. You can read his original letter here. Since then the FSM has become a cultural icon to bring attention to the ridiculousness of presenting non-scientific alternatives to evolution.

So I created a Flying Spaghetti Monster brooch in His likeness, complete with noodly appendage and two tasty meatballs. He is made with oven bake clay, two button eyes, felt backing, and a 1 in. bar pin.


18 May 2008

Green Porno Online

I blogged previously about Green Porno, a new series of short films, starring Isabella Rossellini, about insects (also a worm, snail) and how they copulate. Sundance now has them all online, go here to check them out. I haven't watched them all yet, but "Earthworm" and "Bee" are pretty fascinating and a little disturbing all at the same time. In other words, they're awesome.


On a rainy Sunday afternoon

Here are two things to check out on this gloomy Sunday courtesy of the Craft Magazine Blog.

Fold away your troubles and make a origami lily, the step by step directions can be found here.

Also take a look at these neat robot animals made from recycled electronic parts. The artist, Ann Smith, has a whole gallery of animals over on her website.


16 May 2008

Plush evolution

I just stumbled upon Fur Will Fly's shop on Etsy which has lots of cute science-y plush dolls, and "On the origin of plush..." caught my eye right away. As their creator says, "This is an evolving family of 4 plushies, each one slightly more developed than the last. (But please treat them all equally)."


07 May 2008

Plant cell brooch

I've been browsing Etsy a lot lately, and it inspired me to craft a few projects myself. My first project was making a cross stitch brooch of a stylized plant cell (of my own design). Here are the labeled parts and organelles, with links to descriptions from Cells Alive:

A. Vacuole
B. Chloroplast
C. Nucleus
D. Endoplasmic reticulum
E. Mitochondria
F. Lysosome and Peroxisome
G. Golgi apparatus
H. Cell wall (tan) and plasma membrane (green)


02 May 2008

Banana podcast

I blogged earlier about bananas when they were the topic of a show on Good Eats. And now Scientific American had a very interesting podcast this past week on bananas, as part of their weekly "Science Talk". In just under 25 minutes, you can learn a little about the biology of the banana, the history of bananas (including what the term banana republic really means, besides being an upscale Gap), and take a audio tour of how bananas are grown on plantations. You can listen to it here.