Friday, December 9, 2011

Snowy Owl pillowcases

It is an irruption for snowy owls this year; a favorite biological phenomenon our household. When winter food supplies are low these arctic birds travel south in search of food and show up in unexpected places like Hawaii. To commemorate it I made Snowy Owl pillowcases.
Read more about irruptions and snowy owls here

Bonus picture: Photo editing FAIL or WIN?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Darwin Glass Facebook Contest

Today is Darwin Day, the day that we celebrate the man who gave us "On the Origin of Species" and also a good opportunity to celebrate and promote science in general.

In honor of the 202nd birthday of Charles Darwin. I made a set of hand-painted drinking glasses, two pint glasses and two shot glasses, depicting various iconic images from the Voyage of the Beagle. First up is a large glass depicting Charles Darwin himself:

Next up is one of Darwin's Finches, that group of related birds showing a variety of interesting adaptations to widely divergent lifestyles that played such an important part in the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.

This is the Large Ground Finch (Geospiza magnirostris), the largest of the finches, a bird primarily adapted to a terrestrial lifestyle with a very large bill for cracking the hard shells of the seeds that it feeds on.

Here is another species, the Warbler Finch (Certhidea olivacea) which is the most un-finch-like of all the Darwin's Finches, having adaptations similar to a warbler. It has a small warbler-like bill, and not only does it feed almost entirely on insects, but it is even capable of taking insects on the wing in the manner of a warbler (something unknown among other finches).

Finally, a more abstract figure, this is Page from one of Darwin's notebooks around July 1837 showing his first ever sketch of an evolutionary tree.

Here are some more shots of the set:

The exciting thing is that I'm offering these glasses in a contest on my facebook page - look up "Nikki Skeleton" on Facebook. My goal is to have 125 friends of Nikki Skeleton. So go to my facebook page and check the glasses out, friend me, and then invite all your friends, neighbors or strangers to friend my page. Then they need to write on the wall saying who sent them. The person who sent the most people when we reach 125 wins! The prize is a Darwin themed drinking set. Hand painted by me. We are starting today because it is Darwin’s Birthday (Well it is in England by now, we’re a bit early here.) So Happy Birthday Darwin! Let the contest began.