Category Archives: Nature

Damned Tornadoes Interfereing with My Art

All I wanted to do today was to go to Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas and install about 700 arrows in the ceiling of a hallway there for an exhibition at the school called “Temporary Occupants”. My piece is called “Inhale-Exhale” and it involves the arrows interacting with the intake and output air vents in the ceiling of the hallway…

But just like every other time it seems like I have to install or transport artwork, mother nature just HAS to show me who’s boss… Fifteen tornadoes were spotted in the DFW area this afternoon, many just miles from my location, and so two hours of my precious install-time were spent sitting in the basement awaiting the impending doom…

And if that image is not enough, here is a video from the same storm of some semi-trailers being tossed about like balloons… And THAT is the tornado that was still headed toward Mesquite, exactly where I was installing artwork.

Amazingly, we dodged that bullet and my truck survived without even a hail dent. I was finally allowed to continue my installation and I was finished by around 9:00 tonight. So at least mother nature was simply a road-block and not a wrecking ball for my artwork…In retrospect, the mechanics of fluid motion that are at play in a storm are exactly the things I am interested in with the air currents in this piece on a much smaller scale. Coincidence? I think not… 😉 Here are some images I got of the finished work tonight.

"Inhale-Exhale" 2012 detail image

"Inhale-Exhale" 2012- detail image


Filed under Art, Nature, News

Tree Lobsters On Ball’s Pyramid

 No, it’s not a Roger Dean album cover.  It is a real place right here on Earth.  Ball’s Pyramid rises like a wizard’s hat out of the Pacific Ocean 12 miles off the coast of Lord Howe Island between Australia and New Zealand.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and probably warrants a post all to itself.  But the remarkableness of this remarkable piece of rock isn’t the most remarkable thing about it.  This is:

That is a pair of Dryococelus australis, aka the Lord Howe Stick Insect, aka the “Tree Lobster,” aka the world’s rarest insect.  It was believed to have been  extinct since the 1930s.  But in 2001, two Australian scientists scaled sheer face of the tiny island on a hunch that perhaps a few of the insects were hiding out there.  On their first excursion, they found an encouraging sign– bug poop.  They returned at night to find about 30 of the handsome critters gathered around a single plant.

I recommend reading the entire story of the expedition at Robert Kurlwich’s NPR science blog.

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Holy Cow!

Photograph by Mariajoseph Johnbasco

Today’s National Geographic Photo of the Day is divinely bovine.  Or is that bovinely divine?  Maybe I should let the photographer clarify:

“I shot this calf on the road in 2011 on the eve of Diwali at Neyveli, which is my hometown. Due to crackers going off everywhere, the cows couldn’t rest near homes so they sought the middle of the road for rest. The fog, noise, and the backlighting of the streetlight made me take this picture.”

Now, I’m from Texas and when you talk about crackers going off shooting calves, it means something completely different.

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Live Science has a nice gallery of deep sea creepies, including the sea cucumber pictured above.  It’s called the Halloween Holothurian, but I call it Destroyer of Worlds.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that’s a face not even a mother could love.

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The Museum Of Life

My mom tipped me off to this really nice BBC series about the Natural History Museum in London and how it functions as not only a repository of artifacts, but as an active research facility.  I have to say the star of the show is the building itself.  Built in 1881, its impressive facade and exhibition halls only tell part of the story.  Many of the museums real treasures are housed in the labyrinthine halls, corridors, and basements, which are not open to the public.  The series gives a decent look at what goes on behind the scenes in the building and in the field.  If you enjoy visiting natural history museums, this series is pretty hard to beat.

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Something From Nothing ? A Discussion between Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss

It is definitely worth your time this weekend to sit down with this discussion. Two of my favorite thinkers hold a two-hour discussion on the really big topics of life and the universe, as well as thoughts on the ever-expanding frontiers of those two hefty subjects.

Join critically-acclaimed author and evolutionary biologist Richard
Dawkins and world-renowned theoretical physicist and author Lawrence
Krauss as they discuss biology, cosmology, religion, and a host of other

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Meet The Micro-meleon

Whachoo lookinat? The newly discovered Nanosaurus Rex

Via Live Science— Scientists announced the latest contender for the title of World’s Smallest Vertebrate (competition includes the world’s smallest frog and the world’s smallest angler fish) in the shape of this micro-mini dinosaur.  Pictured on the match head above is a juvenile Brookesia Micra, one of four new species discovered on a tiny island off the coast of Madagascar.  The adults reach a staggering half an inch in length.


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