Category Archives: Arts

Van Gogh’s fading Sunflowers… and other tales of decaying art

van gogh1

Like people, works of art inevitably change with time. They get restored, are preserved in perfect environments by conscientious museums, and yet there is still no way to freeze a masterpiece for ever. Even the comparatively recent paintings of Vincent … Continue reading

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Featured Artworks – American Gothic – Grant Woods


Grant Wood adopted the precise realism of 15th-century northern European artists, but his native Iowa provided the artist with his subject matter. American Gothic depicts a farmer and his spinster daughter posing before their house, whose gabled window and tracery, … Continue reading

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Zachary Quinto: Leonard Nimoy was like a father to me


Zachary Quinto pays tribute to Leonard Nimoy I first met Leonard Nimoy in 2007 at the Comic-Con conference in San Diego where it was announced I would be taking over the role of Spock. I was really excited to meet … Continue reading

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What would Wittgenstein say about that dress?


“What colour is that dress?” The question has been fascinating people all around the world, including Prof Barry C Smith of the University of London’s Institute of Philosophy. We all assume that we see what’s before our eyes, and if … Continue reading

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Picasso stolen from Paris museum recovered in US


Authorities seized a priceless Picasso painting stolen from a French museum when someone tried to smuggle it into the US, shipping it in a package that labelled it as a cheap $37 Christmas gift to avoid detection. Painted by the … Continue reading

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This Australian prefab home generates more energy than it uses

What’s being called the world’s first carbon-positive prefabricated house has been unveiled in Melbourne, Australia, and we really want one. Created by Australian manufacturing company ArchiBlox, the prefab homes can be ordered, built and delivered, ready to move in within … Continue reading

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Space Oddity

Thanks to Phil Krause for suggesting this for Deskarati A revised version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.

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Where do the terms Utopia and Dystopia come from?


Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, oil on oak panels. Utopia The term utopia was coined in Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island society in the Atlantic Ocean. The word comes … Continue reading

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Circling Balls Optical Illusion

circling wheels optical illusion

I have got a feeling this optical illusion might just blow your mind. We have put three clusters of circling balls above, but can you tell me how many of the three are going in the same direction? If you … Continue reading

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New Exhibition: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War

By Martin Evans The more that historians arrive at an understanding of the 20th century, the more the Spanish Civil War stands out as a pivotal event. This is because, if the 20th century was, to cite Eric Hobsbawm, an … Continue reading

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Which Line is Longer?

optical spy box optical illusion

  The Optical Spy box is split into the top third and the bottom two thirds. So which line is longer, the diagonal splitting the top third A-B or the diagonal splitting the bottom two thirds B-C?

Posted in Deskarati Q&A, Illusions | 4 Comments

New study identifies key design features that boost violins’ acoustic power

Some of the most prized violins in the world were crafted in the Italian workshops of Amati, Stradivari, and Guarneri—master violinmaking families from the 17th and 18th centuries who produced increasingly powerful instruments in the renaissance and baroque musical eras. … Continue reading

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Featured Artworks – Autumn Effects at Argenteuil – Claude Monet


A great new post by Alan Mason for our Featured Artwork category. Claude Monet, (1840 – 1926) lived a long life, and was such a productive artist, that it is quite difficult to choose one single painting to represent his … Continue reading

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The 8 books Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks everyone should read

Back in 2011, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the host of the revamped Cosmos, completed a Reddit Ask Me Anything. In-between sharing his thoughts on time travel (not happening, kids, sorry), where in space he’d travel (far enough away to look back at … Continue reading

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Gauguin painting breaks sale record at nearly $300m

A painting of two Tahitian girls by the French artist Paul Gauguin has been sold for $300m (£197m), making it the most expensive work of art ever sold. Nafea Faa Ipoipo, or When Will You Marry?, was painted in 1892 … Continue reading

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Animated Impossible Triangle

Here is a great little animation made by our friends over at optical spy

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Illusion of Lights

Illusion of Lights introduces you to the concept of movement and time that visually explores our night skies. Beginning with the dazzling chaos of urban light pollution, the film takes you on a magnificent trip across pristine wilderness areas and … Continue reading

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The Life and Work of Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley got a start as an illustrator working in an advertising agency, J.Walter Thompson.  She found her true calling when she visited the Whitechapel Gallery exhibition held by Jackson Pollock in 1958. Before discussing the impact she’s had in … Continue reading

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Popeye the Philosophy Man


We are in a bit of a whimsical mood today, so we have modified this great Bud Sagandorf illustration of Popeye to give him a more Descartes feel. – Deskarati

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Neodymium Magnets – Will they blend?

Not everything in science has to be serious and so – meet Tom Dickson. Tom runs a very successful YouTube channel called ‘Will it Blend’. Every week he puts something different in his industrial strength blender. This week it’s neodymium … Continue reading

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