Draw Me a Picture of Nature

The literary critic Raymond Williams once wrote that “Nature is perhaps the most complex word in the language.” It’s a head-scratcher right up there with love, or goodness: We depend on it for survival, but we’re often not quite sure where it is, what it is, or whether we’re a part of it. Jessica Mikels-Carrasco, […]

Guest Post: The Art (& Science) of Lefty Portraits

If neuroscientists could pick one idea to pack into a wormhole and expel to the outer reaches of the galaxy, there would be several worthy candidates. Some would probably pick the notion that you can “read” people’s tastes and preferences and even political ideologies on brain scans. Others might banish all talk of “neuroplasticity” and […]

Drawing What I See

Last year I started drawing again after about a 16-year break. I say “again” like I ever really drew in the first place—really, I took a few classes, produced a few things that bore some resemblance to the thing they’d been based on, and quit. Then, one day toward the tail of last winter, I […]

Beauty & Truth in Writing about Science

  A little while ago I was on a panel for the local science writing association, and each panel member was assigned to talk briefly about writing about science in a way that’s both literary and beautiful. I gave my talk and a few days later, it was posted on the association’s website.  Much social […]

TGIPF: Look! International Symbol!

“Look!” our guide said, and he pointed to a frieze at the top of a nearby building. We looked. The figures were inscrutable at first, but then the guide explained: The building had been a shop belonging to a wine merchant. We ahhh’d, not so much at the fact that the shop had belonged to a […]

Do Peepguins Need Sweaters?

On Monday, I asked: Do Penguins Need Sweaters? Answer: Not really. But my friends Joanna, Kate, and I thought penguin sweaters were perfect for the Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest. Our entry: Sweaters for Peepguins After the bunny peeps read on Peepbook that peepguins in the Southern Hemisphere needed sweaters, they met up at their […]

Voyage of Discovery: Art and the Arctic

Right now at the headquarters of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, here in Washington, D.C, is an art show about climate change in the Arctic. Three local artists worked together on the show, called Voyage of Discovery. I know, art about climate change in the Arctic. It sounds depressing at best and […]

Total Immersion

How could it happen? Was it the wrath of God or the malice of Poland? Was the crew drunk or was the Vasa wrongly built? The town was alive with rumours. I’ll bet it was. On August 10, 1628, the warship Vasa—the pride of Sweden, the talk of Stockholm—set sail on its maiden voyage. It didn’t […]