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what most people would imagine when the only experience of scientific images they’ve had was their dull and probably outdated school textbooks.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.
An East German propaganda leaflet issued during the Berlin Airlift (1948-1949), when Stalin attempted to blockade the already geographically surrounded people of West Berlin into submission. American and British crews flew in food and other supplies, thereby demonstrating both the superiority of Western air capabilities and the extremes they would go to in order to check Soviet politicking. And so began the Cold War.
This leaflet about Amikäfer (“Yank Beetles”) claims that the airlift is just a pretext for ruining East German farming by dropping “imperialist weapons”: potato-devouring Colorado beetles (Kartoffelkäfer). The back cover warns about confusing them with harmless Marienkäfer (ladybirds).
Ridiculous propaganda even by the standards of ridiculous propaganda, but I have to admit that the adaptation of the beetle’s markings into the Stars and Stripes is pretty good.
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.”
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.