Saturday, July 11, 2009


Everyone thinks Albert Einstein was such hot stuff because he shattered Isaac Newton's classical model of the universe in which all matter conforms to quantifiable laws of physics.

In his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy) and other works, Newton postulated a universe that operated much like a giant mechanical clock governed by mathematical formulae for time, space, gravity and motion. For centuries Newton's explanation seemed to work just fine.

Then along came Einstein who demonstrated that no matter how accurate Newton's laws appeared on the surface, they failed to account for the behavior of matter at either the subatomic or cosmic ends of the spectrum. His special and general theories of relativity transformed our perception of light, energy, time/space and gravity. Together with Planck, Heisenberg, Bohr and others, Einstein established the foundations of quantum mechanics which opened our eyes to an unpredictable universe of quarks and neutrinos. We now know that classical concepts of causation are an illusion; that light can simultaneously be a particle and wave; that a subatomic particle can move from point A to point B without passing through the space in between; that under the principle of complementarity, matter can have two or more mutually inconsistent characteristics.

Well, I say big deal.

Illustrators, with their sharp eyes and keen powers of observation, already detected many of the same phenomena for which Einstein now claims credit.

For example, Einstein uprooted Newton's concept of gravity by explaining that gravity is not a universal "force" but only the movement of objects along paths in space/time that have been curved by the presence of matter. Below we see how theoretical physicist Art Frahm recorded an event contrary to the rules of Newtonian gravity:

Obviously, this young woman curved the path of space/time. It is likely that Einstein stole his theory from Frahm, whose numerous observations of this phenomenon were well documented as The Falling Panties Collection. Yet, to this day Frahm is ignored by the history books.

Illustrators were similarly prescient about the physical properties of light. The history books would have you believe that Einstein's Equivalence Principle first showed that light is not straight but bends around masses as a result of the curvature of space/time. But look at the aura of light that physicist Frank Frazetta discovered bending around these masses as a result of the curvature of space/time:

Once again, the scientific community has conspired to deny an illustrator the credit he is due.

As another example, illustrators were the first to discover that Newton's explanations for the properties of matter were inadequate to account for the behavior of flowing cloth on beautiful women. Only cloth engineered at the subatomic particle level using the latest nanotechnology could simultaneously flow so freely and yet cling so tightly:

Sadly, it is probably too late for illustrators to receive the credit they deserve for their important contributions to theoretical physics. The history books have been written and there are too many jealous scientists standing in the way.

But illustrators have identified other anomalies in the physical world that could affect other scientific disciplines. For example, note the following unusual behavior of plants that seems to contradict all known rules of classical botany:


Harold von Schmidt

Could we be far from a quantum theory of botany? And when that day comes, will illustrators finally get the credit they deserve?


Anonymous said...

funny and informative...just really good blogging,
thanks again,
Derrick H.

Rob Howard said...

That sounds like the sort of informed insanity I'd have written. My God, David, you've somehow managed to steal my brain. Good luck with trying to control the damned thing.

Ah, I feel twnty pounds lighter!

Michael Grills said...

This is hilarious. Way to make my Monday.

Diego Fernetti said...

Well well well! There you have, a few examples of the famous plant "pandanus pudica"

Anonymous said...

>>For example, note the following unusual behavior of plants that seems to contradict all known rules of classical botany<<
It's the well known botanical chapter of Murphys Law.

David Cowles said...

Hey, David

Nothing specific on your last post, but as a new discoverer of your blog, I just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying it. The art you've posted is great, especially the breathtaking detail shots. And so far, I've agree with everything you've said. Rare in a blog.

Thanks, Dave Cowles

Anonymous said...

If only Richard Feynman were alive today, this would have made his quantum thermodynamics shake. He was certainly well known for his art and I believe dabbled a little in the behaviour of subatomic particles, to be known forever more as 'the falling knickers principle'. I certainly believe your examples to be the equal of Richard Feynman's 'Diagrams', and hope to introduce them at the next semester.

Kevin said...

I am a long time reader, first time commenter, not an artist or illustrator. While all of your posts are great, this was a particularly great post. I loved the wit and sarcasm. It was just plain funny. :)

I also LOVE that last painting by Harold von Schmidt. It is the most "effective" porn I have seen this morning. ;P

Seriously though, thank you for always introducing me to so many great works and artists, as well as helping me find a perspective to enjoy them.

Anonymous said...

Oops did I say thermo. Just testing, I meant electro.
Excellent blog as always.

phessnog said...

Necessity (and titillation), who is the mother of invention.

Dave, if you and Rob ever do sit down together, you should seriously consider that idea of Dinner with Dave. It could just be an art niche-hit, the start of something interesting.

phessnog said...

Oops, my apologizes, David!
Dinner with David

Jack R said...

LOL. I've long wondered why some enterprising young 'illustrator/classical physicist' hasn't reworked the Frahm series from the 'guy's-eye-view' perspective.

K said...

Once again, physicists are getting the credit where engineers are actually responsible.

The "falling panty effect" was a function of the state of the art for 1950s elastomeric chemical properties. In particular the elastic tended to wear out quickly and resulted in allowing normal Newtonian gravitation to take it's course. If Newton had been around in the early 1950s, he would have discovered the laws of gravitation at a much younger age (around puberty) due to the practical application of this effect.

Naturally, some blue noses got wise and longer lasting elastic bands were soon made and not only did panties (unfortunately) stay up longer, but now women were fortifying them with garter belts, which served double duty as hose keeper uppers as well as redundant panty securers. This spelled an end to a great age and it's been downhill from then on.

David Apatoff said...

Derrick-- thanks! I appreciate your writing in.

Rob: careful-- if your local authorities find out that you think the way I do about something, there's no telling how they might react.

Michael: always good to hear from another fan of theoretical physics.

Diego and anonymous-- it's agonizing the way that stray branches have thwarted the curiosity of young boys through the ages. Generation after generation of boys has sat in church looking at images of the Garden of Eden and praying that an errant breeze might magically move those leaves a few inches to the right or left to reveal at long last an unobstructed view of Eve. (PS-- I like "pandanus pudica.")

David Apatoff said...

David--thank you! I think that if I bring one thing to the table, it's scans of details or close ups from the originals so that people can see just how talented some of these illustrators were. You often don't get a sense of the artist from poor quality reproductions on inexpensive paper. I am delighted that there are people out there paying attention.

Second anonymous, I am a huge fan of Feynman. (I suppose everybody was except for all those angry husbands). I am tickled by the connection, thanks. Maybe I should do a post about bongo drums next?

Kevin, it was a treat to get your comment. That's why I do this stuff.

David Apatoff said...

K-- Obviously I have underestimated the complexity of the problem. It is going to require the combined talents of an interdisciplinary team if we are ever going to fully understand the ramifications of the falling panties phenomenon. It sounds as if your engineering team has the elasticity issue under control, but how do we account for the simultaneous anti-gravitational effect of the skirt or dress billowing up just as the panties fall? Also, Frahm's field notes seem to suggest that the falling panties phenomenon only occurs when some blue collar guy is walking up. I'm not sure which field of science is best suited to address that particular piece of the puzzle. All I know is, if we are to be true to legacy of this gifted thinker, pioneer and cosmologist, we must apply ourselves to the clues he left behind for humanity.

Matthew Adams said...

Hmmm, I think that the friction of the falling panties, specially since they rub against nylon stockings as they fall, causes a static discharge powerful enough to raise the skirt.

In the future, when fossil fuels are no longer considered viable, we will use the energy generated by thousands of beautiful girls wearing cheap undies and nylon stockings to power our cities.

This sexual energy, for want of a better term, will still unfortunately cause global warming. But not even the most fanatic male enviromentalist is gonna protest against it. And I will be the first to chain myself in protest to one of these pretty girls when the government decides to turn them off.

Rob Howard said...

David, theoretical Physics is so 20th century. What you have done is blaze the trail for the new Theatrical Physics...Xray glasses, hand buzzers, dribble glasses and falling panties...the entire Johnson Smith catalogue.

David Apatoff said...

Matthew-- more proof that it is the artists, not the scientists, who are the creative visionaries in this field.

Hey, Rob-- do those Xray glasses really work?

Kendra Melton said...

I just received this link from a friend and thought it would be a great topic to discuss and find out other artists views. Being that your blog has such a good turn out of people expressing their differing opinions I thought it could turn into a great post.

Yesterday Congress passed the “Artistic Expression Protection Act.” This would make it illegal to criticize works of art under penalty of fines up to $35,000. (along with other stipulations)

I believe in our First Amendment right to freedom of speech and that people should be able to say anything they want including but not limited to art. The concept that there could be an act against this just seems unnecessary.

Since you have a passion for art I was just curious what your feelings were on the matter.


Anonymous said...


It's a spoof, my dear.

David Apatoff said...

I dunno... I thought the “Artistic Expression Protection Act” fit kind of neatly into a discussion about X ray glasses and the "falling panties syndrome."

kenmeyerjr said...

hahhahah, boy....that must have been a helluva lot of fun to write! And, once again, my verification word seems way to coincidental (MEnaLONS). I apologize, female readers.

Enkidu said...

Not only science but theology too...

As in "Spicy Detective" image. A painter painting a nude, who's not nude, obviously deserves to be shot

Rob Howard said...

David, with the rapid demise of the newspapers in the face of the democratizing wave of the Internet comes the rise of a new approach tothe ongoing comicstrip. Most are what one would expect from Everyman unleashed from his bonds, but some are using the old format in new and inventive ways.

I'd like to see you bring that clear eye to examining, what I believe will be, a sea change in how we will perceive sequential art. Also, the drive to do it and the economics behind it would be equally interesting studies for many of the young illustrators who read this blog.

An interesting approach has been Chris Muir's Day-by-Day strip in which he has a library of heads and bodies and backgrounds that he cuts and pastes. Of course, the important part of any ongoing strip is the writing and getting the reader involved with the characters. The marvelous Leonard Starr did that with his Mary Perkins strip. Like Starr, Muir draws sexy women and knows how to bounce back and forth between sub-plots.

WARNING: contains heterodox political views!!!

Anonymous said...

The presence of the blue collar guy, as observer confirms the relativistic phenomenon of the observer affecting the outcome of the observation.

The panties are obviously affected by the curvature of space-time around the thighs.

Nathan Fowkes said...


Anonymous said...

>I am a huge fan of Feynman. (I suppose >everybody was except for all those angry >husbands). I am tickled by the >connection, thanks. Maybe I should do a >post about bongo drums next?

Feynman had another part-time aside from his bongos and lock-pickers: drawing.

I had never seen these, but your comment drove me to do a quick googling:

The "Dancer at Gianonni's Bar" seems appropriate for this post :)

Antonio (omwo)

StimmeDesHerzens said...

re: we will use the energy generated by thousands of beautiful girls wearing cheap undies and nylon stockings to power our cities.
Matthew ... women have thankfully dumped stockings, back to the drawing board for you! gee that Art Frahm illustration was really reminsicent of the Monroe pose... curving hearts and minds around her little finger...

Matthew Adams said...

Oh well, so much for girl power!

Job said...

"Obviously, this young woman must have curved the path of space/time. It is quite possible that Einstein stole his theory from Frahm, whose numerous observations of this phenomenon were well documented as The Falling Panties Collection. Yet, to this day Frahm is ignored by the history books."

This is definately true of this guy. Wow. What a drawer. Ow. Shades of Robert Williams. This guy
is smokin. I love this stuff. It's like Rat Fink gone wrong. I would love to own this guy. I remember researching Rockwell and finding out he traced everything. What a drag. I know tracing is cool; but original drawing is a lot cooler. That's probably real stupid of me to say. Is Mozart like Metallica? I will always think original drawing is cooler than tracing.

- what do you think? Am I a Jethro? Drawing is way cooler. Yes, or no.

It's not hard to understand that Frahm is mis-understood to this day. Subject is always sensitive - artwork understood. Hard subject is not much followed these days I think. Too bad. That's where all the good shit is. Can I say that? I believe it though.

Ara'a said...

As a feminist these images speak to me of female subordination and in this regard artists need to look to their consciences when creating scenes of female exploitation for a 'cheap thrill'.There seems to be a part of the male ego that responds to the supplication of the female form perhaps thru fear of their own masculinity.

Anonymous said...

Ara, I guess this proves that girls don't understand science.

Ara'a said...

Yes of course the 'Anonymous' male ego hides behind mockery rather than address the issue.Tediously, one responds with Rosalind Franklin,Rachel Zimmerman,Marie Curie, need one continue? because the list is considerable despite historic difficulties in female access to advanced education, which I suspect Anonymous also passed by.

David Apatoff said...

Ara'a, I agree there is abundant evidence of male exploitation of females in the world, although I am not sure I see it-- at least in any of its pernicious or tragic senses-- in the pictures here. Perhaps I am not well positioned to recognize it.

I suppose some women might perceive these pictures as oppressive, but I think a great many would view them as evidence of male obviousness and inferiority (what I referred to earlier as the "huge clanging dumbnicity of men.") Nothing too subtle here.

Ara'a said...

Imagine if, Mr Apatoff, a person of color was portrayed in those humiliating poses occupied by women on your blog, I imagine you would be inundated with complaints.Imagine also if the woman with her pantie hose around her ankles was a member of the Apatoff family or the lady being threatened by that(Freudian,no doubt,pistol) was your mother, I rather doubt whether your readers would take so light hearted a view. I come from a nation where women are subjected to vile abuse on a daily basis so perhaps I see these misdemeanours in a different context.

David Apatoff said...

Ara'a, I am sorry for the pain you have obviously experienced, just as I am sorry for the pain of women anywhere who "are subjected to vile abuse on a daily basis." I suspect that your awareness will affect what you see for a long time (just as everyone's perceptions are colored by their personal experiences). We need to do what we can to counter such problems in the world but for me the solution does not include your reaction to these pictures. I don't believe them to be your enemy. As Mark Twain said, "We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there." I don't believe these pictures have been presented or discussed in a way that is threatening or demeaning to women. To the contrary, everyone here seems quite aware of the silliness of these pictures.

Finally, while I have not shared your experiences and have no basis for telling you how to react to them, you might want to consider Auden's famous poem on the nature of suffering, Musee Des Beaux Arts. Auden says, and I believe he is correct, that it is in the nature of the world for tragedy to coexist in close proximity to laughing, lusting, and ridiculing the folly of the sexes.

Ara'a said...

Although I am foreign I do understand that this blog is in no way a serious forum and the images were posted in a comedic context. It is just that in my land there is less of this salaciousness that I have seen demonstrated in the USA and humor when applied to women in undignified scenarios is abusive. I can only repeat if your family member -a younger sister perhaps were being ogled as in one of your images- I suspect you would remonstrate with the ogler and possibly react with violence as seems common in America.These are merely my observations.

Ara'a said...

So cesorship is alive and well and residing in your forum, Mr Apatoff?

David Apatoff said...

Dear Ara'a-- I am sure you inquire about "censorship" on my blog because I did not immediately release the comment you added last night. I apologize for the delay. I have never censored a comment in the long history of this blog, but like many bloggers, I was forced to adopt a screening feature for older posts (such as this one) because spammers from Asia often deluge blogs with advertisements (some of them for distasteful material exploitive of women) and if a blogger doesn't want to waste a lot of time going back and plucking spam out of historical posts one at a time, the blogger needs the ability to filter them out that way.

I think your assumption that I was deliberately trying to censor your views was a little hasty, just as I think your reaction to these pictures is a little intemperate.

It is also inconsistent. On one hand you write, "I come from a nation where women are subjected to vile abuse on a daily basis" but on the other hand you write, "in my land there is less of this salaciousness that I have seen demonstrated in the USA." You say "these images speak to me of female subordination" just as precipitously as you jump to the conclusion that I must be trying to censor you.

I believe that if you approached this subject with more of an open mind you would not really believe that Durer's painting of Eve from the Bible has to do with "female subordination." There is another painting of Adam that goes right next to it, and Adam is just as naked (again concealed by a branch). Was Durer exploiting Adam as well as Eve on that church altarpiece? Or the Harold von Schmidt illustration of the woman skinnydipping-- that was for a story written by a woman for a magazine read almost exclusively by women. Was she subordinating women too?

I am not in a position to judge your personal experiences and I am sorry for any trauma you have been through, but I think your reactions to these pictures would be more sound if you were willing to test your own personal filter with a moment of self-reflection.

Ara'a said...

As a woman who has been beaten by members of my own family for breaking with traditional dress codes I have had many moments of self reflection over the years.This would be my own personal filter.And in regard to the naked bather, I assume a similarly picture of a naked man would not be countenanced.
Apologies for the spam filter sitation.

David Apatoff said...

Ara'a, I am very sorry for the pain of your situation with your family. If we can all agree that it is wrong to be beaten for "breaking with traditional dress codes," can you tell me what solution you see that does not involve permissiveness and open mindedness about attire? Some women may like to wear short skirts; some may like to expose bare arms; some may like to go to the beach and wear bikinis to show off for men. I assume you don't believe these women should be beaten for their preferences.
It seems to me that you bring an unusual perspective to this discussion, which should be valuable, but I genuinely can't tell if your experience has left you more censorious or more permissive about revealing clothing.

As for your question, of course a similiar picture of a naked man would be "countenanced"-- I have seen several such illustrations(in addition to Durer's Adam) but they are far less prevalent only because males seem far more interested in seeing revealing pictures of females than females are interested in seeing revealing pictures of males. Perhaps you will tell me that means women are fundamentally better human beings. I would not dispute that.

Ara'a said...

Mr Apatoff,I suppose my punishments have been occasioned by trying to break the bonds of female subjugation by dressing in a non-traditional way,exploitation of the naked female figure continues a history of female subjugation,Do you see?

David Apatoff said...

Ara'a, it sounds to me like you are on that slippery slope that has bedeviled generations of liberators before you.

From the time of the French Revolution the world has been crowded with well intentioned people who want to "break the bonds of subjugation" for us all, but who become vexed by the consequences of that liberation. They usually end up becoming the next generation of despots.

If you break the bonds of female subjugation so that women are no longer beaten by their families, and those women choose to go out and flaunt their bodies and pose for Girls Gone Wild and send naked pictures to their boyfriends by cell phone, I might not blame you for wanting to return to some form of subjugation. (Revolutionaries everywhere can be heard wailing, "this isn't what I intended!!") But I don't think you can legitimately claim that scolding women for wearing bikinis to attract men, or scolding men who look at them, is consistent with your initial ideal as liberator. Instead, you have merely replaced your family as censor.

History suggests that it is a common mistake of liberators to believe they can cure the problem by transforming the nature of the men who these women are trying to attract. I agree you might improve behavior of men on the margin through cultural conditioning, but you are now working in the honored tradition of Robespierre, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. Their social forumula would be absolutely perfect if only human nature could be changed so men wanted something different from what they think they want. We just have to change a few of those nasty and untidy aspects of human nature through some helpful social engineering in the gulag....

Diego Fernetti said...

I guess that my chances of dating a girl like Ara'a are quite low. Especially if she would insist on going Robespierre on me.

Ara'a said...

Mr Apatoff, I do not know if you have a daughter,but I believe that if you did you would not make lascivious suggestions or advances towards her because it would be 'wrong' as well as illegal.Is it then right for you to make seductive advances or attempt to take what you Americans call 'upskirt' photographs of your neighbor's daughter or the daughter of your priest, I suspect not.So then we see in your argument that it IS permissible to behave this way to the daughters of people you do not know personally.Well I do not see a consistent moral principal at work here,perhaps you do.
I hope you realise I am not suggesting that you are a seducer, I merely use you as a hypathetical example of this form of behavior.
In my land many women cover their bodies for fear of vile rape,it is not a 'fashion statement' as I think you are arguing.

David Apatoff said...


You write, "I do not see a consistent moral principal at work here,perhaps you do."

Actually, I do see a consistent moral principle here, and I feel certain that you can see it as well. (We are now far afield from where this post began and I would not plan to go too much further down this path, but I can tell that you are honest and sincere and troubled by what you have witnessed. So let me see if I am able to articulate what I believe to be a "consistent moral principle" that satisfies your requirements.)

I think it is absolutely fine for an (unmarried) man to make seductive advances to his neighbor's daughter but not to his own daughter, just as it is fine for such a man to marry his neighbor's daughter and have children with his neighbor's daughter but not his own daughter. Nothing inconsistent there.

I don't think you really mean to draw a distinction based on whether I know the woman's parents. Every woman is somebody's daughter. I think it is far more sensible to draw a distinction based on whether the daughter is willing. That rule applies consistently whether it is the daughter of my neighbor, my priest, or someone "I do not know personally." In my view, each of those daughters should have the ability (and the personal empowerment) to say "no" with authority, as well as the right to say "yes" if they think that such a relationship is in their best interest. That same power of choice should apply to women who wish to wear bikinis or go skinnydipping. (I would think you would defend that right based on your experiences with your own family trying to force you to wear garments you didn't want to wear.)

As far as I am concerned, that principle also applies to women who wish to participate in "upskirt" photographs but strictly prohibits tricking women into participating. Isn't that the real evil you were trying to address?

There are very few straight lines that can be drawn in human relations, and it seems to me that you are attempting to draw one line in a place that ultimately is internally inconsistent. I think that the only place where such a line can be drawn is one based on the free, uncoerced will of the adults involved.

Ara'a said...

David,I believe you write with great honesty and I am only trying to articulate my thoughts in an alien language that I learned from reading discarded newspapers in the streets of a large town.
Please answer this question with an honest heart so that I can understand your point of view.
This is based on personal experience;
A single man aged in his early fifties moves in to an adjoining apartment to yours and proceeds to project lascivious glances at your daughter aged 17 as she sits on the balcony in a knee-length skirt studying for school. He makes suggestive remarks to her when family members are not around and speaks of pornographic situations to her while maintaining cordial relations with the girl's parents. He then attempts to seduce the girl's sister and inveigle his way into the family circle.Man then discusses possibilites of an arranged marriage with an older daughter,father eventually believes his young daughter's words and beats up neighbor.Father is then charged for assault,as man is Chief of Police's younger brother.
"I think it is absolutely fine for an (unmarried) man to make seductive advances to his neighbor's daughter but not to his own daughter"
Do you still stand by these words?

David Apatoff said...

Ara'a, this is not really a blog conversation. If you would like my private perspective on the situation you describe, I would happy to offer my thoughts if you write me at