March 23, 2008
image from Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium
We all carry around mental pictures of the Moon - the destination of an audacious voyage, our future home, a wonderland of telescopic targets, etc, but one scientist carries a more physical image of the Moon. On his back. As a tattoo. An unidentified, 30ish year old scientist, perhaps a male - its hard to tell from the top half of a back, has contributed this image to a remarkable website: Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium . Zimmer is a successful science writer who wondered if scientists carried body art depicting their scientific interests. The answer is yes - enough for him to do a daily science tattoo website! The unnamed scientist says that his/her parents met on July 20, 1969 and he/she has always been fascinated with the Moon as a symbol for what the human race can achieve when we apply the best abilities of the best minds. This optimistic message is fitting for Easter, which after all started as a holiday celebrating the Moon.
This drawing also harkens back to the earliest days of telescopic observers of the Moon. They were not completely familiar with the lunar surface details (as the tattoo artist probably wasn't) and their drawings captured recognizable surface features but not quite the correct sizes or right locations. Although I collect all things lunar, I will forego adding one of these to my personal collection.
Yesterday's LPOD: Another Megadome
Tomorrow's LPOD: Abrupt Stoppage