Ex Laboratorium

The E. coli long-term evolution experiment, or LTEE for short, is approaching its 30th birthday, which will be on February 24th, 2018. In honor of all the people who have worked on this project, I thought it would be neat to commission a special, but shareable, piece of art. Given the history of science and …

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Beirut, Nairobi, Paris

After I had posted my “Paris, City of Love” design on FB, my friend Pilar Quezzaire posted on my wall the following question: What about Beirut and Nairobi, Punya? Can you make one for them as well? In another posting she linked to the website http://www.warsintheworld.com/  and a quick glance through it shows just how much conflict …

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Paris City of Love

Paris has been on my mind for the last 24 hours (as it has been for many others around the world). I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to spend some time in the city – and Paris is one of my favorite places in the world. Paris, anyway you look at it (a new 180 …

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Ambigrams & Math: In one embeddable ebook

Over the past two years Gaurav Bhatnagar and I have written five columns for the Math education journal At Right Angles  on the topics of mathematics and visual wordplay, specifically Ambigrams. In this five articles we have explored everything from symmetry to self-similarity, fractals to paradoxes. I have posted these articles on this website as they have been …

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MSU Fight Song: MAET style

The summer of 2015, there were 133 students and instructors in the hybrid and overseas components of the MAET program. These people were spread out across three locations: East Lansing, MI (with 2 cohorts, Yr1 and 2 of MAET); Chicago, IL (with 2 cohorts of the MSUrbanSTEM program) and  Galway, Ireland (with 3 cohorts, Yr1, 2 & …

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Paradoxes & Ambigrams: Article 2 of 2

A few months ago I had posted about publication of the first of two articles on mathematics, visual wordplay and paradoxes. The second article (part of our series on Art and Math co-authored with my friend Gaurav Bhatnagar and published by At Right Angles) is now available. You can download all of the articles in the series Of Art & Math by following the links below …

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Drone Art

I saw this video at one of the Scifoo sessions on drones. Beautiful stuff! I find this much more pleasing than fireworks. The amount of waste and debris generated by a big fireworks display is horrendous. Tweet

Magnetism and Mysticism

The Pedvale Open Air Art Museum lies in a magnetic field. The magnetic force lines of this field interact with the large granite and iron sculptures to create some unusual magnetic effects. The lifting ring on my sculpture, Sekimori Ishi attracts the north pole of a magnetic compass. On the other side of the park, …

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Tannate Patination of Iron

Tannic acid patination is an ancient technique for forming a dark protective coating on iron objects. It may have been discovered accidentally, after iron objects were lost or buried in peat bogs, then recovered later in an unrusted condition. Iron Age bog bodies have been found with intact iron blades, more than a thousand years …

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The Movement

Last week I watched an old BBC documentary about Jacques-Louis David’s famous painting “The Death of Marat.” (Since this puts us in late 18th century France, it will help if you silently pronounce David as Dah-VEED and Marat as Mah-RAH throughout the rest of this blog.) Simon Schama was prattling on about how Marat was …

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Stand – 7.11.2014

I had gotten off the plane a few minutes before from a couple long flights back to Michigan from the Great White North up in Alaska. Of course we had been packed into the plane, which really isn’t too bad on a regular shorter flight, but the lack of leg room at my height adds …

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Happy Teacher’s Day (new ambigrams)

September 5 is Teacher’s Day in India. It is celebrated on the birthdate of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Indian philosopher and statesman who was also the first Vice-President and the second President of India. He famously said, “teachers should be the best minds in the country.” To celebrate this day, here are three new ambigram designs (see image below). …

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Embroidery Stop Motion Music Video. Say What?

Throne, a London-based metal band, recent video for their song, “Tharsis Sleeps,” is a visually stunning stop motion masterpiece created entirely with embroidery. ::insert sound of record scratch:: Come again? Metal band…stop motion music video…embroidery. Yes, indeed! Here’s some of the mindblowing stats: “3,000 hand-drawn frames, 250 square metres of denim, 12 million stitches, 40 …

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Vijay Iyer, polymath & a fantastic example of trans-disciplinary creativity

Vijay Iyer,  (http://vijay-iyer.com/) is an Indian-American jazz pianist and composer. He is a MacArthur Genius grant winner and is currently Franklin and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University and is widely regarded as being one of the most innovative composers and musicians today. His music transcends national boundaries through creatively bringing together traditional …

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Ambigrams in new book

The Art of Deception: Illusions to Challenge the Eye and the Mind is a new book edited by Brad Honeycutt. Brad is a graduate of Michigan State (Go Spartans!) and maintains a blog (anopticalillusion) devoted to optical illusions. A few of my designs have ended up on his site (see here for previous mentions of Brad on this …

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HKUST IAS

I have a new candidate for coolest research institute architecture. HKUST’s Institute for Advanced Study is housed in an amazing building with a view of Clearwater Bay in HK. The members of the institute will be mostly theoretical physicists and mathematicians :-) Stiff competition from Benasque’s Center and the Perimeter Institute, however. Also Caltech’s IQIM! …

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Making Sekimori Ishi at Pedvale

My plans changed a bit from the initial proposal, which was to cast iron directly around the granite.  See my previous post about cultural resource management, and choosing the stone.   I could not have completed this sculpture without the help of my assistants, Sutton Demlong and Justin Playl.  Both were highly recommended by Tamsie …

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Art in Real Life in Latvia

This is one of my favorite pieces at this years conference: No, It isn’t a work of Andy Goldsworthy, but the Pedvale team stacking firewood for the winter.  Click on the link below to see. the team at work They did several of these while we were there.  Click on twin peaks. twin peaks Tweet