This month's selections roam the worlds of art and science, from Italy to the cosmos and from stitchery to pencils. Choose your favorites from our February selections.

From the Metropolitan Museum in New York comes a small exhibit called "American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765 - 1915". There are only nine pieces in the slide show, but some are exquisite: John singleton Copley, for example, and Winslow Homer are two of my favorites.

Massimo Vitali is a photographer whose chromogenic prints look like bleached oil paintings. There is an ethereality to these images, an airy sense of distance and unreality combined with a delicate palette that makes them quite charming.

We suspect that these images are colorized, but nevertheless they deserve the title, "NASA's Most Extraordinary Images". NASA describes them as "the Red Planet's craters, dunes, gullies, and even avalanches in stunning detail".

Scientific American takes us on a slide tour of complex patterns developed from basic mathematical concepts. Lovers of fractals will particularly enjoy these images.

From the San Jose, California, Institute of Contemporary Art comes an exhibit called "By A Thread", fascinating works created using stitchery. The artists present a fresh and innovative way to think about handwork and delicacy.

Scientists in Japan have produced see-through fish whose skin is so transparent that their hearts can be seen beating through it. The fish will live for roughly 20 years, during which time the researchers can study the life-cycle of the pale goldfish. The work follows that of see-through tadpoles and frogs which were produced in 2007 at the Institute for Amphibian Biology of Hiroshima University. As would be expected, animal rights groups are asking that the work be done using computer simulation rather than live animals.

Take a careful look at these two images. The one on the left comes from The Natural History Museum which has produced a book and video on photographs of the worlds beyond ours. Then look at the digital painting on the right, called "What the Ancients Saw", which I created months before seeing the photo from outer space. The resemblance is eerie.

Next time you want to send an eCard, think of the Exceptional Children's Foundation. These lovely cards are created by physically and emotionally challenged youngsters and they are free. It would also give the kids a big boost.

I was familiar with the works of Theordore Gericault, the great 19th century French romantic painter, from his masterful paintings of horses. I did not realize, however, how splendid were his portraits. After looking at these images, (the text is not in English), you might surf over to Art History for some background.

I have seen several examples of Pencil Art recently but I think Jennifer Maestre's is superior. It is not often that fine craftsmanship combines with a lively imagination (and not a little sense of humor).

Kimura Takako makes the kind of work that the child in you will immediately respond to. Tiny creatures made of board, stickers, fabric and plastic collaged together with a sense of delight.

c.Corinne Whitaker 2010