Have you heard of William “Strata” Smith? Well I hadn’t until 2001, when I read a review in a weekend magazine and bought Simon Winchester’s book about him, called The Map that Changed the World. He has been one of my heroes ever since. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Science’ Category
Please indulge me while I share some shiny things with you.
I always get like this in Spring, when the sun grows stronger and nature has a certain sheen to it.
I think it’s a woman thing, a gatherer trait inherited from our Stone Age forebears, who must have spent their whole lives looking for bright, shiny berries to pick and eat.
And in many species it’s the male who displays and the female who appreciates it. Apparently not in humans, but diamonds are still a girl’s best friend. So here I am exploring both sparklies and more subtle lustres – as I look at the words iridescence, opalescence and pearlescence. (more…)
Recently a reader of the newspaper for which I work wrote to ask why on earth we always publish such ridiculous artist’s impressions every time there is an outbreak of a disease (the latest was Legionnaires’ disease).
I explained that we needed an illustration of some sort and couldn’t always take a photograph of a victim. The artist’s impression cost us nothing as it was in our archive already – and anyway the images were pretty and colourful.
I am reminded of this as I illustrate one of my “favourite words” – APOPTOSIS. It’s a (more…)