Functioning ‘mechanical gears’ seen in nature for the first time

Previously believed to be only man-made, a natural example of a functioning gear mechanism has been discovered in a common insect – showing that evolution developed interlocking cogs long before we did.

See the research article by M. Burrows and G. Sutton in Science, and a report in the Research section of the University of Cambridge website

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40,000 Years of London’s history made entirely of paper

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Fabergé paper Egg

paperpino fabergé paper egg

Note: texture modified from the original by 3DTaxi

A Fabergé egg (Russian: Яйца Фаберже́; yaytsa faberzhe) is one of a limited number of jeweled eggs created by Peter Carl Fabergé and his company between 1885 and 1917. The most famous are those made for the Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers, often called the ‘Imperial’ Fabergé eggs. The House of Fabergé made about 50 eggs, of which 43 have survived. Two more were planned for Easter 1918, but were not delivered, due to the Russian Revolution. [from Wikipedia]


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Giant RRC in Cleveland

Christopher Busta-Peck at the Langston Hughes branch of Cleveland Public Library built this giant version of my Rolling Reels Circus “for the enjoyment of children and adults alike“.

Video by Ron English.

It is a work in progress – further work will involve running the device off of an electric motor as well as use of the driveshaft to power other types of paper automata, Christopher said.

Thank you, Christopher, I like it very much!

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“Blue Marble: Next Generation”. Twelve Earth Globes (Christmas Edition)


In 1972, from a distance of about 45,000 km (28,000 mi), the crew of Apollo 17 took one of the most famous photographs ever made of the Earth.

AS17-148-22727_350This original Blue Marble inspired later images of the Earth compiled from satellite data. In 2000, NASA data visualizers compiled an image of the western hemisphere using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-8 and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer, and NASA and Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor.

In 2002, NASA produced the Blue Marble, the most detailed true-color image of the Earth’s surface ever produced. Using data from NASA’s Terra satellite, scientists and data visualizers stitched together four months of observations of the land surface, coastal oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, photo-like mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. In October 2005, NASA released a new version of the spectacular image collection that provides a full year’s worth of monthly observations (referred to 2004) with twice the level of detail as the original. The new collection was called:

Blue Marble: Next Generation

Here, twelve projects of Jan. to Dec. 2004 Earth globes in the Christmas ball version (15 cm diameter) are downloadable. Choose your favourite month, download, print and build it.

          Jan Feb Mar Apr
          May Jun Jul Aug
          Sep Oct Nov Dec
Read more at:
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Romeo was our most beloved cat. He died last year. Last spring we adopted a new kitten, who was lost in the middle of the Karst, where we live. We gave him the name of Romeo, again, because of its likeness to the previous Romeo.
This paper model derives from the original 3D model by Xavier Abaziou, downloaded from and subsequently modified. The model is 35 cm high and was optimized for A3 format paper (200 g/m2).

Romeo fu il nostro gatto più amato. Morì l’anno scorso. La scorsa primavera adottammo un altro gattino che si era perso nel Carso, l’area dove abitiamo. Gli abbiamo dato il nome di Romeo, di nuovo, a causa della sua somiglianza col primo Romeo.
Questo modello di carta deriva dal modello 3D originale di Xavier Abaziou, scaricato dal sito e successivamente modificato. Il modello è alto 35 cm ed è stato ottimizzato per il formato A3 e carta da 200 g/m2.


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Amazing Tissue Paper Stop Motion Animals by Yuki Ariga

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Fragile like an egg…





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Coelum Stellatum Christianum (Christmas Ball Ornament)


Merry Christmas

Happy 2015

Coelum Stellatum Christianum (Christmas Ball)

Coelum stellatum Christianum (Christmas Ball Ornament)

A new year full of paper to cut, fold and glue!

Coelum Stellatum Christianum (Christmas Ball)


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Coelum Stellatum ChristianumWhilst Kepler was studying the planets motion, his son-in-law Jacob Bartsch, astronomer, Wilhelm Schickard, the astronomer and professor of Oriental languages at Tübingen, and Julius Schiller (c. 1580 – 1627), a lawyer from Ausburg, together with others were planning the re-organization of the celestial system. In particular, Schiller substituted all the pagan constellations with christian subjects: zodiac became the “Cycle of Twelve Apostles”; boreal and austral emispheres were populated by characters and symbols from Old and New Testament, respectively; the Sun became Christ, and the Moon the Virgin Mary. Since the mythological tradition survived intact to present day, we can deduce that this reform did not have great success. The identification of the stars and the comparison of new observations with those of past scientists appeared unnecessarily complicated. Therefore, the astronomers of the time continued to prefer the mythological figures.

Julius Schiller, Coelum Stellatum Christianum (1627) - engraved image from title page

(from Wikipedia)

Schiller’s maps are distinguished by a good graduation of stellar magnitudes, three new stars, and several newly discovered nebulae. While some of these, seen through newly invented telescopes, have since proven to be ghosts, others proved true. The most interesting of these objects is the great nebula in Andromeda, now known as M31. This object, clearly visible to the naked eye, was not reported by Ptolemy, and it was apparently not noticed by any of the medieval or Renaissance astronomers whose work followed from his. Nor, surprisingly, was it noted by Tycho Brahe, even though he had observed a great many non-Ptolemaic stars …[from W. P. Watson, quoted in].

Hemisphaerium Caeleste Prius   Hemisphaerium Caeleste Alterum

The twelve gores for this celestial globe (250 mm diameter) were designed from two Schiller’s planispheres, edited after his death in coloured version by Andreas Cellarius in 1660, within his Harmonia Macrocosmica (pictures above from Andreas Cellarius, Harmonia Macrocosmica, ed. by TASCHEN).


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