Sun and Moon

The winning images from this year’s Astronomy Photographer of 2016 have been announced.

Kolbein Svensson photographed an aurora entirely in black and white –


Catalin Beldea (photograph) and Alson Wong (processing) use 12 images to convey the beauty of an eclipse –


Dani Caxete took Man on the Moon, using a telescope, while his friend posed on Pena Munana, in Cadalso de los Vidrios, Spain –


Ainsley Bennett took a picture one early morning when he saw the Moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter all in close conjunction. The mist added an extra dimension by accentuating the brightness of the crescent moon and Venus, making them look like glowing spheres –


Walking on Water

17christoItem-superJumbo.jpgA new installation by the artist Christo, “The Floating Piers,” consists of temporary bridges spanning Italy’s Lake Iseo and connecting two small islands.

17christo-5-master675.jpgThe saffron-coloured platforms float on specially designed plastic bottles.


The installation attempts to reframe a familiar landscape. Some visitors wonder what its purpose might be and ask the artist to explain. “Look!” Christo said, pointing to a juncture where two pathways joined to form a bright saffron-colored V, contrasting against the deep blue of the lake. “You see! It falls in that way so you can see the movement,” he said. “It’s actually breathing.” They still find it hard to accept.


(thanks to The New York Times.)




Chernobyl Zone (II) is empty of human life and marks an area without people. It is the deserted urban zone of Pripyat, just 4km (2.5m) from the reactor, and which was evacuated thirty years ago on 27 April 1986.


At the time of the accident, the Ukrainian town had a population of 49,000. One survivor  says: “Chernobyl is the name which stands for the catastrophe, but Pripyat is the truly unbearable place.”p03s8hvm.jpg

Russian photographer A Krementschouk has documented some of the penetrating scenes of what is left behind and some of the people who survive.




Too Much of a Good Thing

Today is William Shakespeare’s 400th birthday.

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Most days, we quote his words:

1. “With bated breath” – The Merchant Of Venice

2. “The be all and end all” – Macbeth

3. “Break the ice” – The Taming Of The Shrew

4. “Dead as a doornail” – Henry VI, Part II

5. “Faint-hearted” – Henry VI, Part I

6. “Wild-goose chase” – Romeo And Juliet

7. “Laugh yourself into stitches (in stitches)” – Twelfth Night

8. “Zany” – Love’s Labour’s Lost

9. “I will wear my heart upon my sleeve” – Othello

10. “What’s done, is done” – Macbeth

11. “At one fell swoop” – Macbeth

12. “Though this be madness, yet there is method in it (There’s method in my madness)” – Hamlet

13. “Spotless reputation” – Richard II

14. “Laughing-stock” – The Merry Wives Of Windsor

15. “Eaten out of house and home” – Henry IV, Part 2

16. “Fair play” – The Tempest/King John/Troilus And Cressida

17. “In a pickle” – The Tempest

18. “Send him packing” – Henry IV, Part 1

19. “Too much of a good thing” – As You Like It


Cold Tea

A spectacular photo taken in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, is generating a lot of attention on social media.



The photo shows local resident Markus Siivola throwing hot tea into the air as he bends backwards. In the –40 C weather, the tea freezes as soon as it’s tossed.


Photographer Michael H. Davies said the whole photo shoot was planned after he saw a similar photo elsewhere and decided he could top it.


Art & Design

The winner of this year’s Turner Prize for Art is the architect practice Assemble. Their work is as much technological and scientific as artistic: it involves, measurement, testing, repeatability, as well as the use of theory from physics, chemistry and biology.




The three other nominees included Bonnie Camplin’s “The Military Industrial Complex (Patterns),”


It is an installation that includes stations at which viewers can don headphones and hear about alien abductions and displays of books about conspiracy theories, hypnosis, religion and trance states;

two.jpgNicole Wermer’s “Infrastruktur,” is an installation that explores the intersection of art, design and consumer culture with objects like fur coats sewn onto steel chairs;


“DOUG,” an operatic cantata by the artist Janice Kerbel, whose protagonist navigates a landscape of imagined disasters.


You can think of Space as being built from Entanglement.


In it, the Crab Nebula is one great big collection of particles.


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Quantum Entanglement suggests that information is exchanged faster than the speed of light between these particles. The idea was deemed impossible by Einstein in his Theory of Relativity but is now receiving much attention by quantum physicists. Even when the space between them is empty, quantum fields in the two regions are entangled with one another.


These ideas may even connect to other kinds of patterns and theories, chaos theory and fractals.


This image is a theoretical nebula with particles entangled yet separate.

See Nature 527, 290-293, November 19 2015.