These beautiful digital collages of wildlife are made out of old maps by artist Jason LaFerrera. Archival prints are for sale on his Etsy shop. These are really striking, and would make a great, unique gift for lovers of wildlife and/or maps!
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The Center for Biological Diversity is distributing free “endangered species” condoms, to raise awareness of the effects of human overpopulation on endangered species. Six different package designs are available, highlighting endangered species such as the polar bear, spotted owl, and jaguar. If you’d like to help distribute condoms (and probably keep some for yourself), they’re still looking for volunteers. You can even enter to win a lifetime supply of free condoms!

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Mike Libby crafts amazing art pieces from an unlikely partnership: dead insects and antique watches. His work explores the intersections between science and science fiction (although they look more steampunk to me), and the whimsical pieces are far less creepy than you’d think, with more than a hint of childlike fantasy.

longhorn beetle

I’d much rather have this grasshopper displayed on my wall than find him in my garden.

The 48 works of “art” chosen for Princeton University’s third Art of Science Competition are available in an online gallery. The exhibit includes work by undergraduates, faculty, research staff, graduate students, and alumni, and drew from a pool of over 200 submissions.

The 48 works chosen for the 2009 Art of Science exhibition represent this year’s theme of “found art.” These extraordinary images are not art for art’s sake. Rather, they were produced during the course of scientific research. Entries were chosen for their aesthetic excellence as well as scientific or technical interest.

“Aesthetic excellence” is a pretty strong phrase for some of these, but this year’s first prize winner is really quite a charming photo. At least, about as charming as a photograph of squid embryos could ever be…

I’ve had this link bookmarked for so long I can’t remember where I found it, but it’s time to share with you some lovely prints for sale from Transmission Atelier Editions. The shop sells digital pigment print reproductions of vintage anatomy, natural history, and mythology drawings. Most of the prints are available in small (11×14″) and large (16×20″) sizes, but they note that custom size orders are also available. I’m not shilling for them; I just think the drawings are really neat. Here are a few of my favorites:

1849 Antique French Vampire Bat Print by Charles DOrbigny

1849 Antique French Vampire Bat Print by Charles D'Orbigny

Originally published in 1820 by Abraham Rees, Longman, Hurst, Paternoster, London

Originally published in 1820 by Abraham Rees, Longman, Hurst, Paternoster, London

California condor, 1876, by Theodore Jasper

California condor, 1876, by Theodore Jasper

See larger versions of these and many others here.

[Update: Should have hosted these locally instead of linking to the blog! The photos are no longer available, sadly. Hope you were able to see them while they were up.]

James Pardey’s The Art of Penguin Science Fiction website is one of the coolest things I’ve seen all year. He’s collected a wealth of information about the cover design of Penguin’s science fiction books from 1935 to 1977. The evolution of designs is striking. Take a look at these four covers of Day of the Triffids , by John Wyndham. It was first published in 1951, and published by Penguin Books in January 1954. The first Penguin edition features a cover illustration by John Griffiths based on sketches Wyndham himself provided, at a time when cover illustrations were very rare. On the left are the 1962 reprint and 1963 reprint, both with illustrations by John Griffiths. Finally, it was reissued as a Penguin Film Classics this year.

I love the simplicity of them, and that little line drawing of a triffid is just too cute. The designs varied a lot more widely than that though, so I strongly recommend you visit the site. Here’s a teaser, in case you’re still not convinced.