Thursday, February 27, 2014

theolduvaigorge:

OsteoMenagerie 7: The Vertebrae

  • by Jess Beck

Word on the street is that the third polar vortex will hit Michigan later this week. After trudging through this year’s record amounts of snowfall, shivering angrily at the bus stop while the temperature experiments with establishing its true seasonal nadir (-20˚C? Nah, let’s live a little. Aim for -30!), and staring forlornly out the window, pining for the sun, I am ready for a break. In the spirit of truly throwing in the towel until spring hits, I’m dedicating this week to the easiest of osteomenageries: the vertebrae.

Admittedly, I’ve already discussed how easy it is to identify categories of vertebrae by using the superior articular facets. However, if you want to quickly identify whether an isolated vertebra is cervical, thoracic or lumbar,  have I got a trick for you. We’ll start low and work our way up.

1. Lumbar vertebrae look like moose. Orient the vertebra so that the spinous process is facing you, and the superior articular facets are up (as if the vertebrae were in anatomical position in the spine of someone standing immediately in front of you).

See? It’s now impossible to unsee. The superior articular facets look like moose antlers, while the purportedly “hatchet-shaped” spinous process is inarguably a large, clunky moose nose.

2. Thoracic vertebrae resemble giraffes. The superior articular facets are both positioned so that they face straight back posteriorly, and are relatively evenly spaced and flat….much like the horns of a giraffe.

The transverse processes are short and flare laterally, just like giraffe ears. Similarly, the spinous process of the thoracic vertebrae is much thinner and more gracile than that of the lumbar vertebrae, making it look far-more giraffe-like in posterior view.

3. The cervical vertebrae look like extremely happy fish. Admittedly, this one is a little bit more of a stretch, but if you orient the cervical vertebrae so that the transverse foramina are highest up, while the spinous process points down (basically the position you would be in if you were behind someone, staring straight down their spinal cord while hovering above their head), you’ll see it. In this position, the transverse foramina resemble eyes, the superior articular facets resemble pectoral fins, and the spinous process looks like a pelvic fin. As a caveat, this only works for C3-C7. C1 and C2, the atlas and axis, are structurally distinct from the ‘regular’ cervicals because of their articulation with each other and with the occipital bone” (read more).

***This is cute.

(Source: Bone Broke)

Monday, February 3, 2014 Wednesday, January 29, 2014
thecatsmustbecrazy:

morning

evening

thecatsmustbecrazy:

morning

evening

(Source: addelburgh)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
thebrainscoop:

scenesfromthestores:

Emily Graslie in the Chicago Field Museum stores (via How Emily Graslie went from YouTube science star to full-time at the Field Museum | Feature | Chicago Reader)

I’ve been profiled by the Chicago Reader! and Hank Green was kind enough to answer some questions for Janet Potter, as well as Claire from Brilliant Botany! I DID A PROFESSIONAL PHOTO SHOOT! and there’s a VIDEO INTERVIEW TOO 
 and I said “shit” during the interview :o oops

Fantastic article - so neat to see how the Brain Scoop came to be

thebrainscoop:

scenesfromthestores:

Emily Graslie in the Chicago Field Museum stores (via How Emily Graslie went from YouTube science star to full-time at the Field Museum | Feature | Chicago Reader)

I’ve been profiled by the Chicago Reader! and Hank Green was kind enough to answer some questions for Janet Potter, as well as Claire from Brilliant Botany! I DID A PROFESSIONAL PHOTO SHOOT! and there’s a VIDEO INTERVIEW TOO 

 and I said “shit” during the interview :o oops

Fantastic article - so neat to see how the Brain Scoop came to be

Friday, January 17, 2014 Sunday, January 12, 2014

This is fantastic!  Ever wonder how Alfred Russel Wallace came up with the idea of natural selection independent of Darwin? Or what Wallace thought of The Origin of Species?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

atlasobscura:

Curious Fact of the Week: How to Make a Bone Chandelier

The unsettling celebrated Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic is best known as the “Bone Church” — and with good reason. It’s estimated the bleached bones of between 40,000 and 70,000 dearly departed souls grace the walls. However, in all the skull garlands and charming touches like a bone bird plucking at a gaping eye socket, the centerpiece is without a doubt the chandelier.

It can be hard to make out in the ornate jumble, but there’s at least one of every bone in the human body in the chandelier. It’s arguably the masterpiece of the macabrely eccentric Frantisek Rint, a woodcarver who approached the ordering of the thousands of bones in 1870 as an artistic task. Perhaps surprisingly to everyone but Rint, the ossuary has become quite the tourist destination. 

Why are there so many dead people in this one small space? Story goes that back in the 13th century, the Sedlec Monastery Abbot brought back some earth from the Holy Land. Unfortunately, he didn’t carry much, so the spare land where he sprinkled the dirt became quite crowded with people who wanted to rest eternally in its gritty grace. So the ossuary was the result, where everyone in a way could be close.

As for the chandelier, once you know that a whole anatomy is up there details like femurs and jawbones start to emerge. The crowning touch is the ring of skulls topped with candles, which are illuminated each year on All Soul’s Day. 

(Curious Fact of the Week: How to Make a Bone Chandelier on Atlas Obscura)

A while back, I posted photos I took while visiting this ossuary in the Czech Republic. Here are the details on how the bone chandelier was constructed and why this exists.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 Tuesday, January 7, 2014
This is how I feel about it already being 2014 for a full week. So many things to do this month!

This is how I feel about it already being 2014 for a full week. So many things to do this month!

(Source: miss-anthropia)