The Palette of Dunloe

Gap of Dunloe (County Kerry, Ireland); Photo Credit: Josh Witten (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In 2011, we took the family to County Kerry in Ireland for Easter (I was working at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK at the time). One of the highlights of the trip was walking at the Gap of Dunloe. The gorse was in full bloom, providing a bright contrast to the greens, greys, browns, and blues of the landscape.

We didn’t really do much. Just walked. And looked. Among all the wonderful mornings we have had as a family, that morning at the Gap of Dunloe is a stand out. Afterward, the kids fell asleep in the car and we took a leisurely drive around the Ring of Kerry.


cropped-dunloe-vintage-fp-banner-trans-3 Since Mike and I founded The Finch & Pea, we’ve slowly and steadily made superficial changes to the site’s style, without getting away from our original “online science pub” idea. We still love the concept; but we (by which I mean me) like to fiddle with things. So, over a series of incremental changes, we’ve changed quite a bit – as you can see from looking at our various site headers.

Maybe it is the approaching winter and shortening days. Maybe it is the pessimistic feeling that our Internet home is a bleak Mad Max wasteland roamed by gangs of sociopaths, pock-marked by outposts of civilization. Maybe I was procrastinating. Whatever the reason, we decided to brighten up some of the colors around the joint, while still being recognizable and feeling like home. We wanted to keep the same general theme to our site colors, but draw the updated versions from nature.

Gap of Dunloe (County Kerry, Ireland); Photo Credit: Josh Witten (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Gap of Dunloe (County Kerry, Ireland); Photo Credit: Josh Witten (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Continue reading “The Palette of Dunloe”

A work of staggering genius

Ben Young Landis has done the smartest thing I’ve seen all day – adding a smartphone camera friendly abstract panel to a comprehensive poster design, in order to make it easy to capture the poster’s soul.

by Ben Young Landis
by Ben Young Landis (Used with Permission)

For many of us, working a research conference using smartphones has become second-nature…It was the poster aspect that had me thinking for a while. How can we make a better poster layout that will be more friendly to smartphone users…and…will stand out from the crowd?

You can see the beginnings of my experiment with this design I created for Kevin Lafferty, a P.I. with the U.S. Geological Survey and UC Santa Barbara. A key innovation is the “Project Snapshot” — this is actually where I’ve tucked all the technical language, the citation, the coauthors, the email addresses, and all the “usual” poster elements. Essentially, I’ve written up your notes for you in this 9×12 inch space, and the camera icon is a reminder that you literally can just take a snapshot of this box, and not have to write all this down. – Ben Young Landis

Continue reading “A work of staggering genius”


When I first heard about a radiator shaped like a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, I instantly thought “must have”1. After all, I am a fan of both making the functional inspiring and dinosaurs2. It is a great idea and at first I loved it.

Then something bothered me; and, being me, it has bothered me so much that I don’t think I could have one of these radiators in my house. Continue reading “Tyranniator”

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