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Anthology Cover: It wasn’t all me

January 16, 2007
Anthology Cover

I’ve seen a couple of comments on the cover, so to avoid taking credit for something I haven’t done: The base of the above image is by Emin Aykut Erdogan and is available from iStockPhoto. I spotted it while looking for an image suitable for the i-Science Centre at Leicester and this one seemed useful as it could be biology, chemistry or physics depending on how you look at it. My contribution was thinking, “That could be used for a science blogging anthology cover” and deciding Garamond was the right typeface. The only lesson I can recall from GCSE art is either have a strong image and plain lettering or else a plain image if you have ornate lettering. If anyone wants to design next year’s cover the figures are front and back cover 1837 pixels each, plus spine width plus one pixel for luck,* height 2775 pixels. It’s also important to save the image at 300dpi resolution.

SavilleIn so far as I think about design I tend to be heavily influenced by Peter Saville. I love the Joy Division Closer font, though I don’t use it much. It has very thin strokes so it scales badly. I also like New Order Republic which I over use to compensate. If you have an interest in 80s record design then Designed by Peter Saville, is an interesting read. The cover, right, is 100 pulses from the first pulsar discovered, PSR B1919+21.

If I were really good here I’d announce the re-design of the i-Science Centre’s website, but that’s still a couple of weeks off.

*The front and back covers together should make 3675 pixels, which isn’t helpful to divide by two, so I’d suggest that you add the two half pixels as extra width on the spine.

  1. January 16, 2007 12:48 pm

    Thanks for clearing that up ALun. However, you are credited with designing the cover on the inside! Perhaps we should withdraw the book and amend it!!

  2. January 16, 2007 1:07 pm

    I was seriously worried for a moment – and wondering how you’d read it already. Now I can see from the preview that the image is attributed I’m a lot happier. I had a horrible feeling I’d forgotten to tell Coturnix. I picked out the image and added the text. From the way it was talked about it looked as though people thought I’d done the drawing bit too. I’ll amend the title.

    Anyway I think I haven’t mentioned here yet that I’m in the book on page 164 with a bit about Anaximander. If anyone wants to steal my idea for next year they can write about an experiment conducted by Empedocles.

  3. January 16, 2007 1:12 pm

    Empedocles and the water-thief? I nearly wrote about that for my Sagan tribute, as that portion of Cosmos always stuck in my mind from an early age as a “wow, so this is how we can use reason to understand the Universe” moment.

  4. January 16, 2007 10:36 pm

    Definitely a wow moment, but not science in my opinion. There’s an argument that it was more a simile than an experiment. If it hadn’t worked then would Empedocles have just found something else to make his point, rather than think he was wrong? He wrote his cosmology in verse too. Though some modern cosmologists still do.

  5. January 17, 2007 4:21 am

    Well, I didn’t actually use the word “science” … admittedly more by chance than not! Probably lucky I didn’t write about Empedocles though …

    Is the passage from Empedocles the one here starting at 287? I agree that it doesn’t sound like a formal experiment to test an hypothesis, but it seems a bit harsh to call it a mere simile (but I suppose that comes down to the translation). It looks more like an observation to me — he clearly knew what actually happened, so he presumably saw a klepsydra in action at some point — from which he deduced that air was a physical substance. Perhaps his theory wasn’t falsifiable (or more to the point, that he didn’t think like a modern scientist, or even a philosopher of science) but it was still a clever bit of thinking, to my mind. But it’s your area not mine, so I look forward to reading your eventual post!

  6. January 17, 2007 9:15 am

    I agree absolutely that it was a clever bit of thinking. Observation might even be a better word. It also looks like science. If/when I write it up I think it’s the reasons why it isn’t science that are interesting. In some ways the reasons why the ancient world wasn’t scientific is a European Needham Question.

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