Map of an Island

Map of an Island, loosely (by my standards…) based on an island at the southernmost tip of Norway where I spent my summers as a child. (CC: BY-NC-SA-2.5-SE)

The Pica pica challenge continues, this time with the word “Map”. So far enforced creativity works rather well. I decided to go for a classic fantasy-look, since I had recently procured some new calligraphy pens that I wanted to try out  (also, I rather like that kind of map). I’m very pleased with the result, though of course there are things I would like to change or improve.

The map of an is loosely (by my standards…) based on the island Hidra at the southernmost tip of Norway, where I spent my summers as a child. It’s a lovely place, remarkably lush despite the dramatic geology. One of my absolute favourite places in the world. To the North of the island is a narrow strait; on the opposite side from where the small channel dug at the end of the fiord — effectively dividing the island into two islands — is the most beautiful mountain I know.

As usual, thelicence is CC:BY-SA-2.5-SE, so share and enjoy!


"Bandings" Two recently banded Deinonychus sceptically investigate their new adornments.

“Bandings” Two recently banded Deinonychus sceptically investigate their new adornments. (CC: BY-NC-SA-2.5-SE)

This piece is called “Bandings”. It shows two dinosaurs of the genus Deinonychus that have recently been banded (given bandings) for science — a practice used on modern dinosaurs (aka birds) to keep track of their migratory patterns. The picture is an entry into the newly re-instantiated Pica pica challenge, where, based on a semi-random word, me and my friend Pica pica try to create something (text, picture, whatever — anything goes so long as it can be said to be creative) based on that word in a weeks time. It was a quick work (approximately 42 minutes) and I’m not confident at drawing (especially not with colours), but I’m rather pleased with the result.

As usual, thelicence is CC:BY-SA-2.5-SE, so share and enjoy!

[Notice that I have changed from Miss B. to Miss C., for a variety of reasons. The older ones will be renamed at some point as well, but I can't be bothered to do so just now.]

Like most gentlemen my age, I take an interest in rodents. I am, of course, a member of the prestigious Vole Club in Bardshead – two times Acting Secretary or, as it is wittily referred to, ”Head Rat” – and in my youth, I was in a somewhat ”jazzy” little ensemble, alternatively called “The Glires Boys”, “The Rat Pack” or, when ladies were present, “The Gallant Gerbil Quartet”. I even penned a light – some say whimsical – poem on the subject, called “Ode to Rodents, or: Rode to Odents”; it starts thus:

To be a Rodent – oh! what joy!
The dream, I think, of every boy.
Their dreamy little whiskers – bless! –
A-quiver with adventurousness

Continue Reading »

Public Service Announcement:
It is that that time of the year again — the exciting start of the annual celebration of scientific achievements known as the Nobel prize. As usual, there is a confusion regarding the nomenclature, so I thought I would set the record straight: One does not win the Nobel Prize, one is awarded it. To quote from the FAQ of the NobelPrize.org homepage:

Why do you use the word Nobel Laureate and not Nobel Prize Winner?

The awarding of the Nobel Prizes is not a competition or lottery, and therefore there are no winners or losers. Nobel Laureates receive the Nobel Prize in recognition of their achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, or peace.

Therefore there are no winners this year, nor have there been any in previous years. There are, however, some well-deserving laureates who deserve recognition for their work.

Three cheers for Science!


Another one from last year’s Pica pica challenge, this time the word was “gulps”. Not much to say about it, except that I am at least semi-fond of it…
Continue Reading »

A sonnet

In last year’s Pica pica challenge, one of the words was “heartquake”. It felt natural to write a sonnet on the topic. I dedicate it to Baron Faucon de la Santé, and of course to Sir Patrick.
Continue Reading »

I realised that using the script I had written to make the maps of Tau Ceti, it would be a simple matter to make an animation giving the illusion of a rotating planet. The orthographic azimuthal projection approximates this very well, and once one has access to the equirectangular map, there is nothing special about the two particular hemispheres used in the original maps — any meridian can be used as the centre meridian of the projection!

Edit: I have now added an animation of Gethen as well.

Continue Reading »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.