Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sea Water in soluble graphite

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is fluid.

It stumped me for a bit. Oh sure, a person could do waterfalls, or the wind in tree leaves. If she felt like it, which I obviously didn't. Not that there's anything wrong with either (there definitely isn't)... I wasn't feeling terribly poetic, really.

I thought about just throwing paint splotches.

Then I remembered sea water.

When I was in elementary school, we were shown a film (yes, film. Not video. The world has changed a lot in a fairly short amount of time. Read that as: don't you make me feel old, all right?) about blood. It was a cartoon featuring Captain Haemo or something like that. The details didn't stick. What did, though, was the fact that blood -- forgetting the immune system for just a moment -- is really just a fancy substitute for sea water.

It's true, you know. Small organisms bathed in fluid can get all of their oxygen needs (and many of their nutrient needs as well) directly from that fluid. As an organism gets bigger, though, its internal cells get farther and farther away from the sea water they need. Add that to the fact that bigger organisms develop more complicated external defences (from other bigger organisms) that prevent the sea water from getting in at all, and you have a big problem that needs to be overcome if that organism's going to continue to survive.

Our bodies -- and those of most other animals and plants -- have developed some incredible, complicated systems to ensure the constant supply of sea water. I won't go into full-on anatomical rapture since I'm by far not the first person to find the workings of the body fascinating, but let me just say that I think that the fluid lines of the systems built to deliver fluids are pretty darned amazing.

In other words, anatomy's cool.

Today's doodle (and it really is a doodle. I wouldn't have got many marks for this inaccurate mess back in my comparative anatomy classes) is based on the abdominal arteries of a cat. I know some of you would rather not have known that, but for those who are interested, some of the arteries represented (in purposely mixed-up order, just to be screwed up because I'm like that sometimes) are the:
  • aorta
  • hepatic
  • splenic
  • gastroduodenal
  • pyloric
  • left gastric
  • middle colic
  • celiac
  • superior mesenteric
And yes, I did have to look them up. It's been over twenty years since dissection labs (did I warn you about making me feel old?). Names like that don't ride around in my brain anymore. Surprising to think that they ever did, really. My life's a bit different now...

Anatomy's still cool, though.

1 comment:

ArtSnark said...

great post & illo - nice use of negative space. Soluble graphite? Very cool - like the furry effect visible in the closeup

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