Posted on 23rd August 2007 by Ryan Somma in

ideonexus, a blog seldom capitalized, began in November 2003 as an attempt to figure out what I thought about the world. Through it, I came to understand how much I valued empiricism and the ideals of the Enlightenment Era of Western Civilization. In August 2007 I committed to having strong opinions in defense of science and rationality. Science became my core political issue and the focus of my life’s philosophy. In May of 2010, I realized my scientific focus in life was Computer Science and redirected myself from general science to begin writing mostly on technology issues and computational thinking… we’ll see how this last development pans out. : )


One of my hobbies is science fiction writing, which I disseminate through Creative Commons books. I currently have three titles polished and posted online, free to download. My favorite and most accessible is a novella titled Clones, a collection of short, dramatic stories about people raising clones of themselves as children, and the unique parenting issues that arise from it. My earliest book is The Spiraling Web, about an emergent artificial intelligence that appears on the World Wide Web, but is mistaken as a virus by those of us in meatspace. My most recent book is Entropy of Imagination, about artificial life on an abandoned World Wide Web that has long forgotten there is an outside world and is falling into stasis. My writing has also appeared in the Science Creative Quarterly science humor and popularization journal, 365 Tomorrows science flash-fiction website, and the Coast Guard’s Engineering and Logistics Quarterly technology magazine.


Another of my hobbies is cataloguing science, technology, and the natural world through my Creative Commons Flickr Collections, which document museums, zoos, gardens, and other science-themed locations. Because the photos are licensed Creative commons, meaning anyone may use them for any purpose without having to ask permission, I have earned photography credits in books such as Life: The Science of Biology, Prehistoric, Exploring Bioinformatics, and Shiatsu; websites such as the New York Observer, Discovery, Discovery Channel, New York Magazine, Life Magazine, Discover Magazine, Guardian.co.uk, TreeHugger, and Physorg, as well as 267 Photos in Wikipedia and numerous blog posts all over the WWWeb.


  1. Ryan,

    I would like permission to include one of your photos in a noncommercial newsletter, The Santa Barbara Rose Society Newsletter. The photo is a beautiful shot of ‘Bronze Star,’ which appeared in a collection of rose photos for the Norfolk Botanical Arboretum. The photo would be credited to you, of course.

    May I have your permission to reprint this photo of ‘Bronze Star’?

    Mary Ellen Guffey

    Comment by Mary Ellen Guffey — October 16, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

  2. Ryan,

    May I have your permission to use in my meetup website your Mercedes-Benz bionic car.jpg published in Wikipedia? I have not been able to find a more beautiful photo illustrating the process of shape evolution from the box fish to the concept car. I must confess I am in love with that photo. I am an artist too, so I call things by their name. The link to my meetup website is http://www.meetup.com/Biomimicri-Michigan/

    Thanks for your time. I look forward to your reply.

    Ruben Bernardino

    Comment by Ruben Bernardino — December 10, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

  3. ryan,

    is there any scientific data and graphs showing the consumption of co2 by plants and organisms. i’m trying to find this and having a ard time

    Comment by Darryl Erickson — February 7, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

  4. Darryl,

    You’ll need to do some math to get an answer from it, but the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii has been tracking CO2 levels in the atmosphere for over 50 years. An interesting phenomena about the levels is that, even though they are increasing overall, they also fluctuate regularly up and down over the year. It was discovered that the CO2 levels were dropping in the Summer time, as plants in the Northern Hemisphere were growing and consuming CO2.

    If you take the average drop in CO2 levels from each summer, you can figure out how much CO2 plants in the Northern Hemisphere consume each year to grow.

    You can see the yearly up and downward tick of elevating CO2 levels in the atomosphere on these graphs:


    and you can get the raw data here:


    Best of Luck! Post you results, every bit of data helps fight back the disinformation!

    Comment by ideonexus — February 7, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  5. Hi Ryan, Nice website. We have one too for gardeners, YourGardenShow. Each day i try to post an almanac tip and today the tip is to be:

    Prune all those spring-flowering shrubs as soon as the blooms have faded. But please, resist your inner Edward Scissorhands tendencies! No bizarre shapes on the azaleas, please. Some late blooming azaleas fall victim to evil Ovulina petal blight. You’ll know by the way the flowers get mushy and die. If you’ve encountered this in previous years, consider applying a protective fungicide this year just as buds begin to open.

    i would like to use your photo, with full attribution of course, to accompany this tip on our Facebook page. May I?

    If you get a chance, check out our new Citizen Science initiatives which may introduce the idea of phenology – or perhaps you’re already there.

    Thanks for your time,


    Lisa Marini Finerty

    Comment by Lisa Finerty — May 28, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

  6. May I have your permission to reprint the photo called
    “Active Phytoremediation Project Area Aircraft Repair & Supply Center, Elizabeth City” in a college textbook called BIOLOGY OF PLANTS by Raven?

    Comment by Lisa Reider — June 28, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  7. Lisa,

    You don’t have to ask for permission. The photo is licensed Creative Commons, meaning you can use it for any purpose you wish so long as you provide credit.


    Ryan Somma

    Comment by ideonexus — June 29, 2011 @ 11:35 am

  8. Dear Ryan Somma,
    I want to reuse some of your pictures of the jeffersons cipher wheels and confederate cipher disks for posters about ciphering. I want to make 2 different posters whith each 3 prints to be shown in the rooms of a client, an enterprise in berlin whith a lot of international guests. Which are your preceptions to reuse?
    I want to use the objeks without the backrounds, so I want to alter the pictures.
    Diana Scheuenmann

    Comment by Diana Scheunemann — August 30, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  9. Diana,

    Please feel free to use any of my photos from my flickr collection for any purpose. They are licensed creative commons so that you may modify and use them for profit. All I ask is that you provide me credit. I’d be very interested in see the posters when you make them available.

    Thanks and Best of Luck,

    Ryan Somma

    Comment by ideonexus — August 31, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  10. Ryan;
    My name is Inma Benedito; I’m a spanish journalist working on a reportage about ARCO; the spanish exposition of Contemporary Art. The work will be published on BEIS magazine.
    I’m interested in this image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ideonexus/6866816050/ and I was wondering If You would gve me your permission to use it.
    Thank You very much. I will be looking forward your response.
    Inma Benedito

    Comment by Inma — January 7, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

  11. Hello Inma,

    All of my photos are licensed Creative Commons, meaning you can use them for any purpose you like. You can find more Creative Commons photos for your work by clicking on the “Advanced” link next to the flickr search button, scrolling to the bottom of the page, and filtering your results to only Creative Commons images.

    Best of Luck!


    Comment by ideonexus — January 7, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

  12. Ryan?
    It’s a pleasure to see your blog. I’m a Chinese student majored in Palaeontlogy, and I find your blog very insightful. But I have some trouble to understand the name “ideonexus”. Would you mind to maybe explain it a little bit? That would be really helpful because sometimes I need to translate something from your article. Thanks a lot.
    P.S. I’m sorry if my English bothers you.

    Best Wishes.

    Comment by Tera — September 25, 2013 @ 7:10 am

  13. Hello Tera,

    Your English is fantastic! Much better than my very poor Mandarin. : )

    The name “ideonexus” is not an English word, but it is a combination of two words: “ideo” and “nexus.” The “ideo” is a version of the word “idea” that we use in compound words, like “ideology.” The word “nexus” means “intersection,” “relationship,” or “connection.” So the name “ideonexus” is something I made up to symbolize my interest in connecting and relating ideas to one another.

    Thank you,


    Comment by Ryan Somma — September 25, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

  14. Dear Ryan Somma,

    I just complete a book manuscript, in which I create a new evolutionary theory to replace the Darwinism. It will be published by an American press. I have tried to rebuild the origin of all species, from the virus and viroids, including the Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes, and the extinct and extant. Therefore, too many images have been used as evidences. I have found your images that are the best for illustrating the characteristics of species and my idea. Here, I beg your permission to use your images. Also, I would like to pay the copyright fee according to my income from this book if you required. Your prompt reply will be much appreciated.

    Li-Yuan Liu (liu.liyuan@263.net)

    Comment by Li-Yuan Liu — October 19, 2013 @ 1:32 am

  15. I am creating a Visual Novel based on your screenplay “Schrodinger’s Cat”. The Visual Novel would be from the perspective of the person behind the camera. The player would be able to control the availability of things (Computer, Food, Outside Access) to see the different effects. After a few play-throughs, the player would meet the Professor.

    I was wondering if you had any insights as the author of things I could include or expand on.


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