Drawings of dodo’s (generally assumed from to be life) by Joris Joostensz Laerle (1601) & Cornelis Saftleven (1638)

“Compilation of the first depictions of dodos (Raphus cucullatus) on the island Mauritius (Indian Ocean), made during the voyage of the VOC Gelderland in 1602. The caption says “These birds are caught on the island of Mauritius in large quantities because they are unable to fly. They are good food and often have stones in their stomachs, as big as eggs, sometimes bigger or smaller, and are called ‘griffeendt’ or ‘Kermis goose’.” (Fuller, Errol: Dodo – From Extinction To Icon, 2002)”

“Dodo specialist Julian Hume argued that the nostrils of the living dodo would have been slits, as seen in the GelderlandCornelis Saftleven, Savery’s Crocker Art Gallery, and Ustad Mansur images. “

via Dr Nick Crumpton


Also in observation:


From Errol Morris, a list of 10 things you should know about truth & photography

1. All photographs are posed.

2. The intentions of the photographer are not recorded in a photographic image. (You can imagine what they are, but it’s pure speculation.)

3. Photographs are neither true nor false. (They have no truth-value.)

4. False beliefs adhere to photographs like flies to flypaper.

5. There is a causal connection between a photograph and what it is a photograph of. (Even photoshopped images.)

6. Uncovering the relationship between a photograph and reality is no easy matter.

7. Most people don’t care about this and prefer to speculate about what they believe about a photograph.

8. The more famous a photograph is, the more likely it is that people will claim it has been posed or faked.

9. All photographs are posed but never in the same way.

10. Photographs provide evidence. (The question is of what?)

via kottke

“Art observation skills can transfer to the medical lab”

“If you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with how art and science can mingle to produce something clinically beneficial, it’s a study premise that might seem far-fetched — but it didn’t seem that way to Gurwin, an ophthalmology resident at Penn, in part because she’d already seen the benefits of art education on a medical career firsthand.

“Having studied fine arts myself and having witnessed its impact on my medical training, I knew art observation training would be a beneficial practice in medical school,” she said. “Observing and describing are skills that are taught very well in fine arts training, and so it seemed promising to utilize their teachings and apply it to medicine.”

“Gurwin and Binenbaum’s findings, published in the journal Ophthalmology in September: The medical students who’ve dabbled in art just do better.

“It’s a glimpse at how non-clinical training can and does make for a better-prepared medical professional. Not only does art observation training improve med students’ abilities to recognize visual cues, it also improves their ability to describe those cues.”


“Isaacson argues that Leonardo’s observational powers were not innate and that with sufficient practice, we can all observe as he did. People talk in a precious way about genius, creativity, and curiosity as superpowers that people are born with but noticing is a more humble pursuit. Noticing is something we can all do.”

also via

Adriaen Coenen’s Fish Book (1580)

Adriaen Coenen’s Fish Book (1580)

Adriaen Coenen’s Fish Book (1580)

Adriaen Coenen’s Fish Book (1580)

Adriaen Coenen’s Fish Book (1580)

Adriaen Coenen’s Fish Book (1580)

“Selected double-page spreads from Adriaen Coenen’s Visboek (Fish Book), an epic 800+ page tome on all things fish and fish-related. Coenen began work on this unique book in 1577, at the age of 63, and in three years gathered an unprecedented amount of information on the sea and its coasts, coastal waters, fishing grounds and marine animals. The information was largely gathered in the course of Coenen’s daily work in the Dutch sea-side village of Scheveningen as a fisherman and fish auctioneer and, later on, as wreck master of Holland (allowing him access to every strange creature that washed ashore). Coenen was also a well respected authority in academic circles and used this reputation to receive learned works on the sea from The Hague and Leiden, copied extracts from which find their way into his Fish Book.”

Public Domain Review

Galilei Galileo (1564-1642) The Pleiades – Sidereus Nuncius

Galilei Galileo (1564-1642) The Pleiades - Sidereus Nuncius


Sidereus Nuncius (usually Sidereal Messenger, also Starry Messenger or Sidereal Message) is a short astronomical treatise (or pamphlet) published in New Latin by Galileo Galilei on March 13, 1610.[1] It was the first published scientific work based on observations made through a telescope, and it contains the results of Galileo’s early observations of the imperfect and mountainous Moon, the hundreds of stars that were unable to be seen in either the Milky Way or certain constellations with the naked eye, and the Medicean Stars that appeared to be circling Jupiter.”