The Weekly Smörgåsbord #12
Posted by Darin Hayton on 05/30 at 09:46 AM
While many of the links this week fall into groups, these first few links are related only by not being related to each other:
- An etiology of angelic vision — A review of a recent article on John Dee.
- Book review of Tech Transfer — Tech Transfer is the deceptively mild title of a mordant satire about scientists and universities and how they do business.
- The Language Barrier — Specialized scientific language as impediment to communication?
Perhaps because Martin Gardner died this past week, I seemed to read a number of pieces on skepticism and denialism:
- Anti-Science Debunking Conservatives And Progressives Agree On — Hank Campbell’s piece argues that both sides of the political spectrum should
- Living in denial: Questioning science isn’t blasphemy
- Living in denial: The truth is our only weapon
- Martin Gardner: A Major Shaping Force in My Life
- How Martin Gardner warned us to beware the bee people from Mars
Revisiting, yet again, the relationship between science and religion:
Steve Benson’s recent comic on Craig Venter’s creation of synthetic life oddly relates to the links on art and science below—
- Religion has nothing to do with science – and vice versa — another version of Stephen J. Gould’s “Non-Overlapping Magisteria”
- Northern Ireland minister calls on Ulster Museum to promote creationism — “Nelson McCausland, who believes that Ulster Protestants are one of the lost tribes of Israel, has written to the museum’s board of trustees urging them to reflect creationist and intelligent design theories of the universe’s origins.” What more can I say?
This week seemed to be the week for interpretations of art:
- Giorgio Vasari and Galileo — Apparently Vasari made Galileo’s work possible. Who knew?
- Michelangelo’s secret message in the Sistine Chapel — Physicians + Dan Brown + Sistine Chapel = bad art history & history (this is not the first time and surely won’t be the last).
- Botticelli as drug pusher? — The Guardian’s article on Botticelli’s “Venus and Mars” and the identification of the fruit in the lower right as a hallucinogenic plant.
- Botticelli’s “Venus and Mars” alludes to sex and drugs — The Times Online’s article that started the Botticelli speculation.
I have a hard time seeing this little green blob as much more than, well, a little green blob. I guess that’s why I’m not an art historian.