Abelardo Morell - using the camera obscura techniques to take the beautiful outdoor (Venice canals and Panteon no less!) inside his living room.
Family of Eight (2008) by Tim Pitsiulak
Illustration by Meg Hunt, for Radiolab’s Desperately Seeking Symmetry
The mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson posed a big question about mirrors in one of his best-known books: Through the Looking-Glass (yup, Dodgson’s pen name was Lewis Carroll). Natasha Gostwick ofStorynory reads an excerpt that gets at the heart of the trouble: is mirror milk any good to drink? Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why this is a serious question, and introduces us to chirality, or the handedness of molecules. In fact, as Neil and Marcelo Gleiser of Dartmouth point out, all living molecules are left-handed. Which brings us to Marcus du Sautoy, who tells us the story of thalidomide…a cautionary tale about right-handed mirror molecules.
Up next, we meet a man named John Walter who swapped places with his mirror self. Kind of. He explains how changing his hair part changed his life, and how the experience convinced him that mirrors (and the reversed images they reflect) lie to us. We run John’s theory by Mike Nicholls of the University of Melbourne, who admits John might be on to something about the way we perceive faces.
I did these illustrations to be projected during the live show of RadioLab’s ‘Desperately Seeking Symmetry’ podcast [link]
They illustrate the Aristophanes speech of Plato’s Symposium. It’s an explanation of why people in love say they feel ‘whole’. The jist is that there were originally three types of people, each with two heads, two sets of limbs and two sets of genitals (men-men, women-women and men-women.) Zeus, annoyed about something or other and presumably overreacting, decided to chop them all in half and since then we’ve spent our lives wandering around trying to find our original other half, thus explaining our longing for a partner and our inclinations towards homosexual or heterosexual love. Read a better summary here [link]