Robotics: Biohybrids

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have combined tissues from a sea slug with flexible 3-D printed components to build “biohybrid” robots that crawl like sea turtles on the beach.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have combined tissues from a sea slug with flexible 3-D printed components to build “biohybrid” robots that crawl like sea turtles on the beach. Photo by Vickie Webster.

“We’re building a living machine—a biohybrid robot that’s not completely organic—yet,” said Victoria Webster, a PhD student at CWRU who is leading the research.

Interesting development in robotic was reported in CWRU’s The Daily: Researchers build a crawling robot from sea slug parts and a 3-D printed body.

Oh god, don’t let my wild, unscientific imagination run amok. Is “not completely organic—yet” robot-slug just the beginning of  yet another branch of robotics — completely organic robots?

Meet The Photographer: Albulena Panduri


Only Hope

Фотохудожник Panduri, concept artist from Albania, concentrates her art on imparting surrealism on objects that don’t necessarily go together had they been seen from a normal perspective. She takes things a step further away from reality by playing with one’s prospect, expressing different concepts that at times will provoke questions in one’s mind such as “What if I had looked at the world at this angle?” is the creator of an unbelievable world, surreal and full of color.

Just Another Day To Live

Just Another Day To Live

She is the creator of an unbelievable world, surreal and full of color.

Her photos enhance the environment that surrounds the main character, emphasizing how small and insignificant this is in this world it lives in.


Words Apart


Walking On A Dream


The artist thinks that things always look better when you put them in a square. And this adds a certain harmony to the entire series.

Her photos enhance the environment that surrounds the main character, emphasizing how small and insignificant this is in this world it lives in.

Albulena doesn’t own a blog, but you can view her portfolio on her personal Deviantart profile, where you can also find simple, unretouched photos, that are just as incredible as the photo-manipulated ones.

Amazing Shoebill

китоглавThis fabulous bird is a royal heron otherwise known as shoebill. The homeland of royal herons are marshy areas of sub-Saharan Africa. The birds’ habitat is quite large, but shoebill population is very small and fragmented. The largest group of them make its home in Southern Sudan.китоглав2 Shoebill can stand still for long hours in shallow water. китоглав1 Shoebills are well adapted to life in the marshes — their long legs with wide apart toes allow them to move easily through the mud.китоглав5The bird is most active at dawn, but sometimes it hunts during the day.китоглав4

Shoebill [C]

A Shoebill shot in Ueno Zoo, Tokyo.

Mammoth Hunters

1-Бивень мамонта торчит из земли Photographer Evgenia Arbugaeva‘ s project Mammoth Hunters is a set of fascinating images of the indigenous peoples of Siberia searching for, finding and excavating tonnes of mammoth tusks. I read a Russian article featuring these photographs and was about to retell the story for this post, but found an article in English that pretty much word for word repears the content — Extraction of Mammoth tusks in Siberia.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Java. Sulfur. Flaming Hell.

java1Indonesia’s Kawah Ijen Volcano, on the island of Java, has two of the most unusual occurrences on Earth. The first is an active solfatara that emits hot, flammable sulfurous gases. These ignite as they enter Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere and burn with an electric blue flame. Some of the gas condenses in the atmosphere to produce flows of molten sulfur that also burn with an electric blue flame. The flames are difficult to see during the day but illuminate the landscape at night.javaThe volcano remains active. The last magmatic eruption occurred in 1817. Phreatic eruptions occurred in 1796, 1917, 1936, 1950, 1952, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002. These have caused very little damage but present a danger to anyone mining sulfur or visiting the caldera.java2The second occurrence is a one-kilometer-wide caldera lake filled with turquoise-blue water. The color of the water is a result of its extreme acidity and a high concentration of dissolved metals. It is the world’s largest highly acidic lake with a measured pH as low as 0.5. java4The cause of its acidity is an inflow of hydrothermal waters charged with gases from a hot magma chamber below.

Electric blue flames caused by burning volcanic gases and molten sulfur. A night scene at the solfatara in the caldera of Kawah Ijen Volcano.

Electric blue flames caused by burning volcanic gases and molten sulfur. A night scene at the solfatara in the caldera of Kawah Ijen Volcano.

A continuous stream of sulfur-laden gases blasts from fumaroles at the lake-side solfatara. These hot gases travel underground in the absence of oxygen. If they are hot enough when they emerge from a vent, the sulfur ignites upon contact with oxygen in the atmosphere. Often the temperature is low enough that the sulfur condenses, falls to the ground as a liquid, flows a short distance, and solidifies. This produces a renewable deposit of mineral sulfur that local people mine and carry to a local sugar refinery that buys it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Miners walk up the flank of the mountain and then descend dangerous rocky paths down the steep walls of the caldera. Then, using steel bars, they break sulfur from an outcrop, load their baskets, and make the return trip to the refinery. Miners make one or two trips per day carrying up to 200 pounds of sulfur. The refinery pays them based upon the weight of sulfur that they deliver. The rate of pay amounts to a few dollars per trip. Ambitious and physically fit miners can make two trips per day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Miners have carried hundreds of sections of pipe up the mountain. These have been used to capture the gases produced by numerous vents and route them to a single area where their sulfur spills onto a level work area. This makes collection more efficient and safer for the miners.

Sulfur mining at Kawah Ijen has its hazards. The steep paths are dangerous, the sulfur gases are poisonous —  young boys look like old men, and the average life expectancy of about 47. Occasional gas releases or phreatic eruptions have killed many miners.

Should the aluminum sheet be dipped into the lake for 20 minute, it’ll immediately blister and soon turn as thin as a piece of cloth.javazSome miners don’t fully realize that the air they breathe is dangerous to their health. Many use old respirators, unable to afford replacement filters. As a protection from  poisonous fumes miner use wet strips of cotton. They bite into a wet fabric with their teeth and breathe through it. Almost everyone smokes. Miners say that smoking helps them to obliterate a smell of sulfur that is nearly impossible to bear.

Meet The Artist: Claude Verlinde


Claude Verlinde is a French painter who works in the vein of “fantastic realism”, sometimes called “magic realism”, and his work shows the lineage of fantastical art from Bruegel and Bosch to the Surrealists and contemporary magic realists. He was born June 24, 1927 in Paris, his lineage is Flemish.  claude verlinde 15
Early on, the school art teacher pointed out young Claude’s artistic talent to his parents and persuaded  them to enroll their son in an art school.ver1

He entered the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. His studies, however, were interrupted by the German occupation.
While the Verlinde family escaped the occupied Paris, the family home was destroyed. ver3

Returning to Paris, Claude resumes his artistic pursuits at the  School of Fine Arts in Paris.
He also attended workshop of anatomical drawing of the Grande Chaumiere.

The turning point of his life as a young artist came on the day he declined an unexpected and lucrative offer of a position of a lead designer of public projects in a large company, to paint freely.Claude Verlinde  (14).jpg

His often darkly themed works employ the dark earth tones of the early Renaissance, as well as some of the visual staging and precise rendering characteristic of that period. He sometimes uses a brighter palette, but his work always has a feeling of referencing another time, if not another world.

There is a trove of larger versions on the Russian Blog Beyond time, beyond space. There are also galleries on beinArt Surreal Art Collective and Ten Dreams.

Br Exited

brexitWell, then. Britain exited, all right. One would suspect — or hope — that British people were well informed of every one of the five subjects listed below BEFORE the Brexit referendum, rather than AFTER the result has been officially announced. Abandon all hope, Google Trends tell us. People are funny that way. Even British. The good news is that now many of them would know so much more about the EU, Google help them.  brexit1

Golden Adele

klimt.jpgGustav Klimt kept no diary. In a rare writing called Commentary on a non-existent self-portrait, he modestly admits,

 “I have never painted a self-portrait. I am less interested in myself as a subject for a painting than I am in other people, above all women…There is nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from morning to night…Whoever wants to know something about me… ought to look carefully at my pictures.”

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) is one of the most notable works of Klimt’s “Golden Phase.” It has a tumultuous biography, this portrait. Both the portrait and the woman on it, to be sure. Love, lust, jealousy, death, bequest, reversal of fortunes, war, occupation, expropriation, immigration, international courts of law… The story of this picture’s travails is truly amazing. Since 2006, the portrait is exhibited at the Neue Galerie, New York.

All of the above is just to feature this GIF image. Klimt would’ve been pleased… or, perhaps, horrified?Klimt Gif.gif

Spam. 1864

dentist.PNGPresumably, the first spam message by telegraph was recorded in 1864.



 On my arrival home late yesterday evening a “telegram,”
by “London District Telegraph,” addressed in full to me, was
put in my hands. It was as follows: —

“Messrs. Gabriel, dentists, 27, Harley-street, Cavendish-square.
Until October Messrs. Gabriel’s professional attendance at 27,
Harley-street, will be 10 till 5.”

I have never had any dealings with Messrs. Gabriel, and beg to
ask by what right do they disturb me by a telegram which is
evidently simply the medium of advertisement? A word from you
would, I feel sure, put a stop to this intolerable nuisance. I
enclose the telegram, and am,

Your faithful servant,

Upper Grosvenor-street, May 30. M. P.

Yes, it has been dentist’s advertising services.

Meet The Artist: Ali Alamedi

ali alamediTurkish artist Ali Alamedi created a miniature copy of the 1900s photo-studio. Every single tiny item is handmade.ali alamedi1To make the diorama the author used plastic, wood, copper and paper. ali alamedi2 The artist scrutinized every original object of the early twentieth century photo studio. The entire project took close to nine months.ali alamedi3Alamedi carefully studied the specifics of the photographers’ work of the time. He admits that to evoke the spirit of the place on such a tiny scale has been by far the most difficult thing in pursuing this project wa. ali alamedi4

ali alamedi5

ali alamedi6

ali alamedi7