Death masks of famous scientists

This is Isaac Newton's face, frozen in plaster and wax. It's one of two death masks owned by the Royal Society. (The other preserves the face of mathematician, physicist, and early-20th-century science communicator James Hopwood Jeans.) Why take plaster casts of the faces of the dead? The tradition dates back to the pre-photography era where, if you wanted to see what a person actually looked like, a cast (whether of their face in life, or death) was the most accurate way to do it.

The Royal Society has more on the history of death masks, and pictures of the two they own. Read the rest

Accessorizing with cats

Photos of famous people with cats thrown jauntily over their shoulders: It's my new favorite cat meme. Visit Heather Archuletta's Facebook collection for more shots like this. Besides Frank Zappa, she's got David Bowie, Freddy Mercury, and more.

Thanks, Joanne Manaster! Read the rest

Dear Mr. Spielberg, please give the raptors feathers

"There had better be feathers on the raptors": Dino-blogger Brian Switek's open letter to Steven Spielberg upon the occasion of rumors about the possibility of a Jurassic Park 4. Read the rest

Bertrand Russell's advice to internet commenters

Sure, it's not really what he had in mind. But I'm rather struck by the fact that pretty much every flame war ever could be avoided if we only listened to him. Shorter version: Recognize that you could be wrong, be tolerant of people who say things you hate and kind to people with whom you disagree, and, for god's sake, don't feed the trolls*.

*He didn't actually say that last bit, but it's just assumed at this point, right?

Video Link

Via Joe Dwyer

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