Sketch of a place like Havana

This is a drawing of what I imagine Havana to be like, based off of pictures I have seen. The buildings I drew only loosely represent what you might see in old Havana; this is by no means a sketch “of Havana.” Still, I hoped to include some of the defining charms of real Havana…

Tattooing the Quantum Thought

This site is based on a thought that links the curiosities of the universe around us with those of the world inside our heads. Physicists devote much of their minds to unraveling the former wonders. For example, they may ask: what are the laws that govern how particles interact with one another? How do those…

Sketch of a Hummingbird

…More specifically, a sketch of a ruby-throated hummingbird pollinating a shrub of Autumn sage, but never mind those details. Hummingbirds are well-known for their small size (a few inches long), swift wing-beating rate (50-80 times per second), iridescent feathers, and, well, their consistent appearance in “fun facts” and “did you know?” nature graphics. Although hummingbirds…

Sketch of a Chickadee

Black-capped chickadees are songbirds living in the forests and woodlands of Northeastern America. They famously hide small quantities of food in distributed locations in their environment. Remarkably, memory for these “cache sites” can persist for around 28 days (Hitchcock and Sherry 1990). (Would you remember where your keys were after weeks of hiding them? What…

Ovid, Carpets, and Nature

“So things evolved, and out of blind confusion Found each its place, bound in eternal order.” – Ovid, Metamorphoses (“The Creation”) The quote from the Metamorphoses above celebrates the ordered and layered designs of the natural world. As we know, matter collects into diverse forms—from stars, galaxies, and interstellar dust to trees, oceans, and brains. But what we should take…

Sketch of a magnetically sensitive life-form (a European robin)

The Earth’s magnetic field is something we humans take little notice of on a daily basis. Although we can perform experiments and build machines that detect magnetic fields, our bodies have no intrinsic “magnetic sense.” This is not the case for many animal species, who perceive and rely on the Earth’s magnetic field in navigation….

String Theory and the Multiverse—Do we share our universe?

*This essay aims to summarize how seriously the concept of a multiverse should be taken, based off of theoretical, mathematical, and experimental evidence. As we as humans accumulate vast amounts of information through science, we will surely come across some surprises; it is important to know how to rationally come to terms with new knowledge that challenges the way we…

Hippolytus and the psychology of fanatics

Around 2400 years ago, the celebrated Greek playwright Euripides produced several dramatic tragedies, which we moderns continue to enthusiastically study today. Medea is perhaps the most famous of his plays, telling the story of how the sorceress Medea exacts a brutal revenge on her husband, Jason, who left her for a new wife. In addition to witnessing how Medea viciously calculates her revenge, we also are…

What makes something beautiful?

We know beauty when we see it. A snowy Himalayan landscape, a Tchaikovsky symphony, or a Bernini sculpture can all inspire a deep sense of wonder and emotional pleasure within us. To a more or less degree, we tend to equate this feeling with the experience of beauty. If we find something beautiful, our emotional and…

Why study (or draw) a fruit fly?

A few years ago, I had never imagined that I would spend several hours of my winter holidays sketching the central nervous system and muscle plan of a fruit fly. Perhaps you feel share the same thought—why would anyone looking for artistic inspiration turn to the fruit fly? If you want to showcase an animal subject, it may…