Frozen Urine

Micrographia (1667), the first book in English to illustrate the microscopic world, was popular in part because it presented an enormous range of subjects. The meticulous illustrations of a flea and other minute creatures, foretold a new chapter in natural history, in which organisms could be classified according to precisely detailed descriptions of their anatomy—even the tiniest. 

This image, by author and illustrator Robert Hooke, depicts geometric formations in frozen urine (presumably his own).

See this and other illustrations from the Museum’s Rare Book Collection in Natural Histories: 400 Years of Scientific Illustration from the Museum’s Library.


Ain’t you thinkin’ what’s it gonna be like when we get there? Ain’t you scared it won’t be nice like we thought?

No, she said quickly. No, I ain’t. You can’t do that. I can’t do that. It’s too much - livin’ too many lives. Up ahead they’s a thousan’ lives we might live, but when it comes, it’ll on’y be one.

John Steinbeck :: The Grapes of Wrath


Before the advent of photography, Japanese fishermen created a novel technique for documenting their catch. Gyotaku is a form of printing that creates accurate renditions through a relief printing process. Rubbing sumi ink onto the body of a fish, and then gently pressing rice paper onto it and peeling it away will net an impression of the fish—distinct enough to note the shape and size of the species as well as the subtle patterns and textures of scales, fins, and gills. 

Dating back to the 1800s, original gyotaku prints were minimal in their appearance—made only in black ink without embellishment of texture, color, or added elements. The emphasis of these early prints was to prove the size and species of the fisherman’s “trophy fish” and to record this permanently. It was not until later when gyotaku became an art form that composition and color were considered.

Gyotaku is still widely used today in Japan and other coastal communities. Often in restaurant signage, this technique allows chefs to advertise their seafood specials with immediacy and honesty. Traditionally, the fish is printed with non-toxic ink allowing it to be cleaned and prepared as a meal after the printing process has been completed. The natural precision of gyotaku offers a pure form of graphic clarity—its simplicity demonstrates detached documentation yet highlights the personal achievement of the proud fisherman.

(via stjn)

A B I D E / F U T U R E S

move to the seaside, do some science, be with my future dog every day on the beach

(I imagine wearing pastel linen)

read fervently of tales old and far away

learn to play the mandolin

make art, maybe dancing to records and abstract paintings

walls of other people’s crafts, because today I am overwhelmed by the so many wonderful eyes of the universe

and friends around fires, and friends around songs

everyday making heaven on earth.

 - hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven -

even though it is hard to think my daily bread is… not very nice all of the time, it is best knowing that it’s in Jesus’ hands.

just kind of wondering what the baker will make for me tomorrow.


Thinking about this holy, salty, life abundant desert. circa 2010.


Spending the weekend in the great outdoors? Here are some tips for identifying poison ivy:

POISON IVY (Toxicodendron radicans)


  • Compound leaves with three leaflets (leading to the saying “leaves of three, let it be”)
  • The stalk of the middle leaflet is much longer than the stalks of the two side leaflets
  • The edges can be smooth or coarsely toothed
  • Surface can be glossy or dull


  • Climbing or straggling vine (poison ivy)
  • Sprawling shrub (western poison ivy)

Anyone that thinks they might have touched poison ivy should wash thoroughly with soap and water. Any clothes that have been in direct contact with poison ivy should be carefully removed and laundered. The unpleasant itching of poison ivy can be relieved by applying calamine lotion or a paste made of baking soda.

Learn more about poison ivy

Off to the mountains this morning. Seeeee ya.

running in a northeast rainforest: fluorescent flies, mosquitoes, black and white dotted butterflies, jump over a snake, a many singing robin, bunny, wooly caterpillar, green forever. I take back being mad at the rain yesterday…! (at Middlesex Fells Reservation)

Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Things I want, things I have: a big family of love, whom without I would be homeless and naked. Literally. A man who is genuine, patient, at once a rock and the silliest, friendliest. Friends as old as and as reliable as the hills. New friends that feel like old souls. A sunny apartment with wood floors. Today, sun. I’m going to try to make a habit of thankful lists.

Even the birds

Today I am thankful for: church bells chiming the hour, little birds in the tree, and that my little waif of a life stands on a rock. I imagine a massive, dark slab of granite stood against the sea, weathered only on the surface.


"There is so much deep contradiction in my soul. Such deep longing for God - so deep that it is painful - a suffering continual - and yet not wanted by God - repulsed - empty - no faith - no love - no zeal. Souls hold no attraction - Heaven means nothing - to me it looks like an empty place - the…

dulces de la mañana (at Somerville, MA)

“Somerville came to science by way of the arts, the era’s traditional domain for young girls. When her art teacher made a passing reference to Euclid and his theories of geometry to explain perspective in painting, noting that they also illuminated the foundations of astronomy and physics, young Mary found herself mesmerized by the promise of a science so expansive and dimensional.”

Woodlands how you delight! Soul is full. Miraculously had a two hour run yesterday over blue icey toppling snow. Wet socks, twisted ankle, a little lost, silence and peace abounding. 1530 Monday and didn’t see a human for an hour. At Middlesex Fells Reservation outside Boston.