To be pedantic, bees don’t really have knees, just a number of joints in their legs. But if they did, their knees would be clearly viewable with a new imaging device that combines the functions of a microscope and a cell analyser: Cytell. Follow the link to find out how it genuinely was inspired by a bee leg.
I’m mainly interested in the detailed, hypersaturated and Pixar-esque aesthetic of the images produced by the Cytell. So different from what most people would imagine when the only experience of scientific images they’ve had was their dull and probably outdated school textbooks.
Mosquito’s head and proboscis. No… no, thanks.
Lingual papillae, which are found on top of the tongue. Actually looks sort of… appetising?
Praying Mantis leg.
The Cytell images are also interesting to me in the slightly more narcissistic sense that real science has finally caught up with the micro-made-macro rainbow look I devised in 2007 for a video installation and book about genomics and cellular biology that I did with the University of Edinburgh. Though to be fair, that aesthetic was in turn inspired by the real life microfluoroscopy that was obviously an ancestor of Cytell.
ABOVE: Drosophila (fruit flies). BELOW: Still and book pages from my ‘Three Times True’ project, 2007.
It’s like a Samuel Beckett play with animal costumes. Transcript:
<ムシューダ ムシューダ ムシューダ ムシューダ ムシューダ ムシューダ ムシューダ ムシューダ…>
ムシューダ. ムシューダ– ムシューダ.
ム シ ューダー
防虫の季節です (Bou chu no kisetsu desu / “It’s the season for bugs”)
Mushuda is (perhaps unsurprisingly) headline news in Japan’s English-language publication of record for Mushuda related issues, the Daily Mushuda Journal.
PPS: More Mushuda in Mushuda II: Miscegenation.
Last of the splendid vintage Hashime Murayama insect illustrations that I found in a neglected folder from 1997, and some of the jolliest/most pretentious descriptions: “Scarabs that might have made a Pharaoh envious”, “From which Golconda do the beetles get their gemlike garments?”, “Dung Beetles in habit, but in armor royally clad.”
… arrayed in resplendent robes.
Emphasis on the buzz. Top sixteen illustrations of bees it took me three clicks to paste into the content management system that you need to see before you die screaming in a swarm of angry stingers.
‘Z z zzz and Z z z’ By Paul McCartbee and Beebee Wonder.
Continuing Hashime Murayama’s meticulous vintage illustrations. Like the night shift posted yesterday, some of these butterflies have names evocative of much more than a small, short-lived insect. Orange Sulphur. Great Purple Hair-streak. Ochre Ringlet. Ridings’ Satyr. Leto Fritillary.
Next time: ants.
More Hashime Murayama illustrations, this time of moths. What beautiful, poetic names these tiny, mostly unseen creatures of the night have. Striped Morning Sphinx. Blinded Sphinx. Satellite Sphinx. Humming-bird Clear-wing. Darling Under-wing. Night-flying Luna. Pandora. Fall Web-worm.
Next time: butterflies.
Unfortunately I don’t have page 186, so I can’t show you the giant sphinx moth commanding attention with its tongue. You can see the length here but not necessarily the quality. It’s what you do with it that counts, etc.
A rich seam of hard drive detritus uncovered recently: a whole folder full of insect, spider and butterfly images scanned in the mid 1990s (somewhat haphazardly in a few cases, although not by me) from vintage magazines. Some of the illustrations are obviously from National Geographic; possibly all of them are. Many of them are signed by Hashime Murayama, who did indeed work for National Geographic between 1921 and 1941. Unfortunately he was arrested several times as an enemy alien during WWII, although like 99% of Japanese-Americans he was completely innocent of any crime. He died in 1954.
First of all, some spiders. I really enjoy the jolly, gung-ho captions, but then I’m quite fond of spiders. I suspect for some people calling a befanged skitterer on too many legs an “athlete” is not enough to affect any form of rapprochement.
Next time: moths.
Fabrics of many designs come from these assorted spinners’ looms.