Mad Quickies

Mad Quickies: cosmos/art synergy, beautiful Baikal, hand-painted moth animation, and a long overdue obit

Oh, hello! I didn’t see you there! I’m busy ending this week and starting my decompression for the weekend. Won’t you join me in perusing these fine items we call the Mad Quickies…


“Science and art are often thought of as incompatible. In most universities, they’re housed in separate buildings. In bookstores, they’re shelved in different aisles. But astronomy and art have been inseparable for centuries.”

Early in Mara Johnson-Groh’s “Sketching the Stars: How Art Can Advance Astronomy” is this quote, now one of my favorites ever: “We believe that art, as much as science, seeks to say something true about the nature of existence.” The substance of this excellent piece is nicely telegraphed by its subhead: “From Galileo’s drawings of the moon to the Hubble Space Telescope’s celestial images, science has a long history of animating the cosmos through art.”


“Located in southern Siberia, Lake Baikal has been capturing the imaginations of locals and visitors for centuries. Created somewhere between 25 and 30 million years ago, Lake Baikal is considered the world’s oldest lake and is home to more than 3,500 plant and animal species. While the lake is beautiful year-round, it really comes to life during the winter when a thick crust of ice forms over the water, transforming the area into an icy playground.”

Gorgeous photos of the lake dominate this post. “Lake Baikal is known for its crystal clear water when it ices over, and the transparency is nothing short of marvelous. Deep cracks and trapped methane bubbles can easily be viewed through the 1.5- to 4.5-foot-thick ice layer that takes hold during the winter months.”


The New York Times has begun running a series of obituaries about noteworthy people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, they should have reported. The series called Overlooked is focusing on LGBTQ figures in June in honor of Pride Month. Their first entry is “Overlooked No More: Alan Turing, Condemned Code Breaker and Computer Visionary.” Turing’s ideas “led to early versions of modern computing and helped win World War II. Yet he died as a criminal for his homosexuality.” It wasn’t until 2009 that the government apologized for the treatment inflicted on him. And it’s not until exactly right now that the NYT gives Turing a well-deserved write-up.

I know you all thought that by 2019 the world would be well on its way to tolerance and love, but now more than ever, we all need to be loud and proud in support of our LGBTQ communities and the rights that every individual should enjoy.

[steps off soapbox…]


I have something quite special for you: “A Hand-Painted Moth Animation by Allison Schulnik Explores Motherhood and Metamorphosis”

“A moth, or maybe many, mutates through several different forms throughout the course of painter, filmmaker, and ceramist Allison Schulnik‘s 2019 short film MOTH. The work is somewhat haunting in its painted portrayal of a constantly evolving subject. It transforms into larvae, serpents, other brightly colored moths, and a human to the song Gnossienne No. 1 by Erik Satie, performed by Nedelle Torrisi. The film was inspired by a moth that hit Schulnik’s window, and is described as ‘wandering through the primal emotions of birth, motherhood, body, nature, metamorphosis, and dance.'”





Geologic Universe, vault-keeper. Sheer Brick Studio, principal. Empty Set, designer. Bethlehem Mounties, media. WDIY 88.1FM NPR station programmer. Skepchick.

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