Blogroll: John Muir Laws / Drawing Frogs

Author and nature artist John Muir Laws blogs many interesting things at One interesting recent post explains how to draw a frog step-by-step (the image below shows steps 4 and 17). He has also written about drawing insects, plants, and birds. Anyone interested in nature should take a look!

Laws also helped develop the CNPS Nature Journaling curriculum, which may be of interest to parents of young biologists.

Blogroll: IanVisits

Ian Mansfield, at, blogs many interesting London-related things. He recently posted some very nice cleaned-up versions of axonometric diagrams of all the London Underground stations (the diagrams were originally released by TfL). For example, this is the deepest station (Hampstead), where the platforms are 58.5 metres below ground level:

Blogroll: Carnot Cycle

Carnot Cycle is a thermodynamics blog (yes, it’s great that such a thing exists!). The image above is from a post on the ideal gas equation. Other interesting posts include converting relative to absolute humidity and lessons from science history. Definitely a blog worth reading!

Ingredients of an all-natural banana (Blogroll)

I have previously mentioned Melbourne chemistry teacher James Kennedy and his clever educational posters. The poster below (click to zoom), which gently makes the point that “chemicals” are not necessarily harmful, has now gone viral. Similar posters are also available for other foods, and the posters are also available in the form of T-shirts and other merchandise. Take a look!

Blogroll: Randal Olson

Randal Olson always has something interesting to say about data visualisation. He’s now running a series of posts on visualising the evolution of chess, as the result of data mining a large repository of games. Randal has looked at match lengths and outcomes and at opening moves by white and black (one of his many plots is shown below). Anyone interested in chess and/or data visualisation should certainly take a look!

Blogroll: Astronomy Picture of the Day

The NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day always has something spectacular. The picture above, from 21 December last year, shows a montage of images taken at different wavelengths by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. The wedges run from 170 nm (UV, shown in pink) through 9.4 nm (X-rays, shown in green), with the background image taken at visible wavelengths. Some of the wavelengths highlight features of the solar surface very well.

Update: NASA also has a beautiful video version of this image (hat-tip to sparkonit):

Blogroll: Thumbs Up Viz

Thumbs Up Viz is a blog which collects good examples of data visualisation. One post from a while back shows the NASA image below of all 12 Gemini launches, as an example of the “small multiples technique” (although I’m not quite sure what the message is supposed to be in this case). However, there’s lots more to see on the blog, including a fantastic other example of small multiples on the Washington Metro.

Blogroll: AntarcticArctic

AntarcticArctic is a blog by a “Waste Management Specialist” at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station over the dark Antarctic winter. It has covered several interesting topics, such as the Aurora Australis and Aurora Borealis (see satellite image below).

I’m not sure if the blog will survive its author’s return to warmer climes – but, through both words and photographs, it has succeeded in sharing a perspective on our planet that most of us will never experience.