Nerdling art!

By Phil Plait | April 8, 2009 4:02 pm

This is so cool, so pretty, and even accurate!

Tiffany Ard art about gravity for kids

Tiffany Ard, the artist, has a great eye for children’s art, and there’s lots more like this on her site. And how cool would it be to have your kid growing up familiar with "The effect of gravity is inversely proportional to the distance squared", rather than something about faeries or elves? I love fantasy as much as the next person, but there is still romance and wonder and coolness in the world, even when you know the rules it runs by.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Science

Comments (33)

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  1. Making science fun « Watchful eyes, thoughtful mind | September 8, 2009

    Err… Phil, you’ve misspelled fairies.

  2. Azdak

    ‘Faerie’ is a valid spelling.

    And my cynicism was held at bay by the pretty colours.

    Also, ‘colours’ is a valid spelling.

    ; )


    @ Azdak,

    So it is! “Faeries” is archaic, according to the OED. My apologies, Phil.

  4. Mena

    You don’t think that they fundies would get their skivvies in a bundle over “Pat Schrodinger’s Kitty”, do you? (It’s under the “Books for tiny nerds” section at the link in the post.)

  5. John Powell


    Astronomers are always looking into the past!

  6. Trebuchet

    Gee, Phil, why didn’t you put in the one with the squid?

  7. Becca Stareyes

    Those are some beautiful watercolors. Not only scientific, but also very well done.

    (Also, as a preschooler, I would have loved the books and cards, even if I would had to have my-dad-the-chemist explain a lot of them. We had a pop-up book about astronomy that had things like stellar life cycles and cosmology and was written for a much more advanced audience than preschool-me, and it was one of my favorite books to puzzle through.)

  8. I love these!

    However, while we’re all in a nitpicking mood, the “rainbows” chart says “continual” where it should say “continuous” :(

  9. I need to send this to my daughter! She’ll love it! :)

  10. hheb09'1

    And under Well, Technically…, “Cretaceous” is spelled “Cretacious” although it is correct on the actual artwork.

  11. hheb09'1

    At least, they didn’t go with C’eci n’est pas une brontosaurus

  12. Brian

    Holy smoke! These are adorable!

  13. Flying sardines

    Your new tattoo design found? 😉

  14. Flying sardines

    @ hheb09’1 :

    At least, they didn’t go with C’eci n’est pas une brontosaurus.

    As a non-french speaker who only recognises the word brontosaurus inall that can I just say : What?

    Pardon? Je ne non-comprehendez! (Scratches head.)

    (That’s meant to mean “I don’t understand …” but I don’t understand whether it does or not or even whether its french or spanish so .. )

  15. Grisha

    Holy Smoke! Ceci n’est pas une pipe either.

    Keeping the obscure references going…

  16. Siphoneuphoria

    But again, I have to ask. Why does it have to be one or this other–this rather than fairies? Why not both?

  17. Siphoneuphoria

    Oh also, Mr. Sardines, I think that says ,”This is not a turtle.” Which i guess means either:
    This is not a turtle, it is a picture of a turtle.
    This is not a turtle, it’s a tortoise. :)

  18. anon

    The real question is why is it C’eci and not Ceci in C’eci n’est pas une brontosaurus?

  19. Julienne

    I am SO in love with these – the art reminds me of Charles Vess and his work on Neil Gaiman’s Blueberry Girl. I can’t wait to put these on my future child’s walls.

  20. Magnus

    I think I found a mistake. In Nerdy Baby 1 2 3s the picture says “one electron in a hydrogen molecule,” but a hydrogen molecule has two electrons. The picture is of a single hydrogen atom with its one electron.

  21. It’s a nice idea, but the artwork leaves something to be desired. (For example, that kid’s legs appear to be something on the order of four or five feet long.

  22. Mike

    Magnus, you are correct a hydrogen MOLECULE has two electrons a hydrogen ATOM has one!

  23. killyosaur

    Actually the mistake would be calling Hydrogen a “molecule.” It is an atom and yes it can have 1, 2, etc. or no electrons, depending on a whole host of factors relating to the nature of the hydrogen.

  24. rob

    hmmm…nitpick! isn’t the moon in the picture above rather large? shouldn’t it only be 1/2 a degree wide?

  25. There was an amusing 1951 science fiction story called “Nice Girl With Five Husbands” by Fritz Leiber. A man is transported into the future. The punch line is that he doesn’t realize that the seemingly nonsensical rhyme the little girl is skipping rope to is actually a mnemonic for Einstein’s relativity theory.

    The idea is that you can’t start too early teaching science to young children.

  26. @rob: How do you know it isn’t half a degree wide? It could be a very long telephoto lens.

  27. Radiance

    That’s a pretty cool way of teaching children science! I just worte a blog post on mine about making science fun through interesting experiments :).

  28. Radiance

    Just added a link to my post about this post of yours :). Check out,

  29. Good art is the art that makes you feel an emotion. Whether it be love or hate, if it’s good art you should feel something. If you’re indifferent to the piece then ,to you, it is not good art. Of course any piece of art work will cause different reactions to different people. This is the subjectivity of art.

  30. dadio

    These are wonderful

  31. Re: Hydrogen! You are right, it is a typo! Fixed on the next reprint. I also made the covalent bonds image clearer.

    And Re the other stuff: It’s true that my drawing style is rather hit-and-run these days. My work was much more detailed and realistic before I had kids but now I’m lucky if I get 10 minutes to paint a day. But! In this case, the little girl is standing in the shallow water on the beach — it’s easier to see in the print, but that’s her foot sticking out of the water on the left. If you can’t tell that, yeah… the legs look freakishly long.

    And the moon only *appears* to be huge because it’s close to the horizon. :-)


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