Archives

Science

A Stopgap as Design Curiosities becomes Curiosity and Curiosities

curiosityandcuriosities

In an effort to bring more unique and thoughtful content to our site we’ve been discussing and working on what changes we need to make. As those changes are taking place behind the scenes, and to let you know that we are still here, you can find us at Curiosity and Curiosities. We are sharing visual content as a stopgap for this transition.

 

 

 

 

Curiosities: Photographs of Mount St. Helens Erupting

mountsthelens_Stoffel_01

On May 18, 1980 Mount St. Helens erupted, becoming the first major volcanic eruption in the States since 1915. Keith Stoffel was attending the Yakima Gem and Mineral Show as a representative of the Division of Geology and Earth Resources for the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA DNR). He and his wife Dorothy charted a plane that day with pilot Bruce Judson, unknowing of what was to come. From their vantage point they watched the volcano erupt, narrowly escaping thanks to the efforts of Judson. They captured a few photographs (including the one above) and Keith later summarized what he saw in a WA DNR paper (PDF):

Within a matter of seconds, perhaps 15 seconds, the whole north side of the summit crater began to move instantaneously. As we were looking directly down on the summit crater, everything north of a line drawn east-west across the northern side of the summit crater began to move as one gigantic mass. The nature of movement was eerie, like nothing we had ever seen before. The entire mass began to ripple and churn up, without moving laterally. Then the entire north side of the summit began sliding to the north along a deep-seated slide plane. I was amazed and excited with the realization that we were watching this landslide of unbelievable proportions slide down the north side of the mountain toward Spirit Lake. We took pictures of this slide sequence occurring, but before we could snap off more than a few pictures, a huge explosion blasted out of the detachment plane. We neither felt nor heard a thing, even though we were just east of the summit at this time. Dorothy saw the southern portion of the summit crater begin to crumble and slide to the north just after the initial explosion.

From our viewpoint, the initial cloud appeared to mushroom laterally to the north and plunge down. Within seconds, the cloud had mushroomed enough to obscure our view. At about this time, the realization of the enormous size of the eruption hit us, and we focused our attention on getting out of there.

They were not the only plane in the sky that day. A private plane flown by a former fighter pilot had been divereted to Seattle with his family, on return from vacation. In no apparent danger, he flew near the eruption and captured these photographs. His Grandson recently shared them (r/pics), but doesn’t have all the details of the day at the present.

mountsthelens_he1theycallfish_01

mountsthelens_he1theycallfish_02

mountsthelens_he1theycallfish_03

Fifty Weeks of Work: Machines in Space

Growing up in a suburb of Houston, so close to Space Ceneter and Ellington Field, it was nearly impossible not to have an interest in space and NASA. To go from watching shuttle launches on TV to being connected to astronauts on Instagram and other online platforms has been such a curious and wonderful thing.

Steven has done these kinds of typologies before, but this series of illustrated NASA satellites feels fitting…machines in space. You can follow along here, or on his Instagram.

Print

Week II
Cygnus Orbital-1
NASA / Oribital Sciences

Marking the first private spacecraft to resupply ISS, Cygnus Oribital-1 launched on the Antares rocket from a facility in Virginia. It delivered 1,300 lbs. of non-critical gear, was loaded with trash and was relaunched and burned up over the Pacific Ocean.

Print

Week I
Voyager I & II
NASA / JPL

Voyager I and II were twin spacecraft whose primary mission was the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn. Among other discoveries, they found active volcanoes on a moon of Jupiter, and the details of Saturn’s rings. Voyager II continued on to Uranus and Neptune, the only craft to visit those planets. (NASA)

Curiosities: Library of Dust by David Maisel

davidmaisel_libraryofdust02

davidmaisel_libraryofdust06

davidmaisel_libraryofdust05

davidmaisel_libraryofdust09

davidmaisel_libraryofdust04

davidmaisel_libraryofdust07

davidmaisel_libraryofdust01

davidmaisel_libraryofdust08

davidmaisel_libraryofdust03

These photographs are a part of David Maisel’s book titled Library of Dust. It documents canisters of patient remains at Orgeon State Hospital. The stigma of mental illness left many of these individuals forgotten and abandoned, even after death. The Oregon State Insane Asylum, it’s name upon opening in 1883, amassed 3,500 canisters of unclaimed remains from 1913 until 1971—a result of displaced burial grounds. Unfortunately, the remains were shuffled around and stored poorly. Exposed to moisture their contents leaked and their surfaces decayed. Maisel documented the transformed canisters, along with other found objects. A beautiful series no doubt, filled with bright mineral tones and textures, but one filled with deep sadness.

(Referenced A haunting memorial in ‘Library of Dust’)

Curiosities: Marion Catusse

marioncatusse01

marioncatusse04

marioncatusse06

marioncatusse03

marioncatusse07

marioncatusse02

marioncatusse05

A familiar intersection, art and science. Marion Catusse experiments and uses a number of interesting materials and subjects in her pieces. Minerals, stones, and bones combine with resin, inks, and agar. From what I understand (Her biography is in French), she calls the shapes in her pieces, cells. At times they are subtlely paired with small items—other times however, they are larger in scale, overtaking the object. Taking a look at her instagram, she has some really beautiful things in store for 2016. I’ll definitely be following along.