Arts and Literature of the Twelve Colonies
From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
Additionally, many functional items produced on the Colonies adhere to an aesthetic, even at a cost to efficiency.
The Physics of Religion and Spirituality
Tom Zarek's book
Tom Zarek's book is a political book of Tom Zarek's beliefs, which he wrote while imprisoned. The manuscript is smuggled from his prison and published, but due to its yet-unspecified content, the book became banned in certain places throughout the Twelve Colonies, particularly the fleet academy.
My Triumphs, My Mistakes
After returning to the The Fleet months after the exodus from New Caprica, Gaius Baltar wrote his manifesto, in which he criticizes the Colonial government system and highlights the class factions between the "Caprican elite" and the lower classes in the Colonies. Much like Tom Zarek's book, Baltar's manifesto was smuggled out by his lawyer and published, despite attempts to ban and destroy the book by Laura Roslin and her supporters (TRS: "Dirty Hands", "The Son Also Rises").
Edward Prima is the author of the novel Dark Day.
William Adama, who had Dark Day in his personal library on Galactica, gives it to Laura Roslin as a gift (Water). She considers it to be "one of those classics I've never gotten around to reading." Given the context of their conversation, notably Roslin's reference to A Murder on Picon, it is likely a mystery.
The French Lieutenant's Woman
The French Lieutenant's Woman is part of William Adama's formidable library of books on Galactica.
A Murder on Picon
A Murder on Picon is a mystery novel, apparently taking place on Picon.
Blood Runs at Midnight
Love and Bullets
A murder mystery written by Nick Taylo that is set in Caprica City. Adama reads part of the book to Roslin when she lies in Galactica's sickbay to receive Doloxan treatments (TRS: The Ties That Bind).
Another book Adama reads to Roslin. Adama calls it a classic, and both say that it is one of their favorites (TRS: Escape Velocity). Roslin takes it with her when she visits the rebel baseship (TRS: Guess What's Coming to Dinner) and Adama finds it shortly later in a derelict Raptor that escaped from a battle with the Cylons. When Adama decides to stay behind the Fleet in a Raptor in order to find Roslin, he takes the book with him (TRS: Sine Qua Non).
A Poet's Dream
From the darkness you must fall
At least one of the poems from this compilation is quite well-known amongst Colonials. Kara Thrace recognizes the above quotation, recalls from which piece it comes, and knows the poem's quality relative to his other works. D'Anna Biers identifies Palladino's copy on sight in a recording she is editing (TRS: Final Cut). Later, Gaius Baltar has a copy of this book in his cell on Galactica (TRS: Dirty Hands).
Muffit's Really Big Adventure
Dragon Fighters of Kobol
Trial Tactics and Strategies and Law and Mind: The Psychology of Legal Practice are two books about the the practice of law, written by Joseph Adama, William Adama's father (TRS: "The Son Also Rises", "Crossroads, Part I").
Monclair was a Colonial painter. One of his original paintings, a stylized depiction of the Cylon War, adorns William Adama's quarters on Galactica. He is apparently of considerable renown, given Gaius Baltar's impressed reaction to the piece (TRS: Bastille Day).
Between tours of duty, Kara Thrace was an enthusiastic painter. Karl Agathon is surprised to discover this side of her when they visit her apartment in Delphi (TRS: Valley of Darkness). Curiously, a specific design that Thrace has doodled as a child would be found more than two years later inside an ancient temple of the Thirteenth Tribe, without Thrace or Helo understanding why she would be aware of the design (TRS: Rapture).
The Tauron Line
The plot of the film is unknown. At one point in the film, the antagonists booby-trap an item with explosives, then wait for the protagonists to pick it up and take it somewhere before detonating it. Samuel Anders uses this scene as inspiration for the Caprica Resistance's first attack on the Cylons (TRS: The Plan).
Many Taurons sport tattoos, from which can be read essential aspects of their life stories. The most extensive tattoos are found among members of the Ha'la'tha crime syndicate, and many Capricans associate the practice with the Ha'la'tha (CAP: Gravedancing). However, members of the Heraclitus militia also wore Tauron tattoos (CAP: Dirteaters).
Instead of wearing wedding rings, Samuel Anders and Kara Thrace created tattoos on their arms that, when they embrace, form a unified circle with wings. The symbol for the colony of Caprica is also in view.
From a behind-the-scenes perspective, Michael Trucco adds that it is their wedding band, but that this is never fully explained in the show. Further, these matching tattoos are applied by the makeup department.
Felix Gaeta displays a tattoo of a rather large tiger during his interview with D'Anna Biers (TRS: Final Cut). Gaeta indicated he was quite inebriated with ambrosia to minimize the pain of the tattoo.
An unnamed pilot has many tattoos on both upper arms, depicting a tiger and a dragon, among other things.
In addition to the Arrow of Apollo, the Delphi Museum of the Colonies contains a large collection of ancient pottery. Located in numerous display cases in the exhibit halls spanning the museum's levels, this large collection of vases, jars, pots and stone fragments form a rough outline of the Colonials' artistic history. Many of the artifacts and art pieces are quite elaborate and appear to be in the detailed Corinthian Style.
Dreilide Thrace was a pianist. His daughter Kara kept recordings of some of his piano arrangements in her Delphi apartment (TRS: Valley of Darkness). At some point in his career, he recorded an album, Dreilide Thrace: Live at the Helice Opera House (TRS: Someone to Watch Over Me).
The Colonial anthem is heard as a short fanfare over the Viper flyby during Galactica's decommissioning ceremony and as a background music at the beginning of Baltar's television interview (Miniseries). Its third, and longer, appearance is as background music for the rousing closing speech of D'anna Biers's documentary on the Colonial military (TRS: Final Cut).
Popular Colonial music can be heard in Boomer's apartment on Caprica in the episode "Downloaded" and in Joe's bar in "Taking a Break From All Your Worries". Another song is playing as Lee Adama enters the bar on Prometheus (Black Market) .
In addition, a popular sing-a-long song is "99 Bottles of Ambrosia", which Marcia Case throws out there as a recommendation after Kara Thrace comments on the humdrum of their up-until-then-uneventful search and rescue mission for a missing Raptor (TRS: Razor).
Roughly 60 BCH, musical styles emerged on Caprica and Tauron, themselves later repeated more than 150,000 years later on the second Earth; these include alternative hip-hop, of which the only known artists are Tauron (CAP: The Reins of a Waterfall) as well as forms of punk rock and dance music (Caprica pilot).
Colonial aesthetics lead to an avoidance of right angles.
Colonial printouts, photographs, videos, and data discs are rarely rectangular; the corners are trimmed at 45 degree angles, creating snub rectangles, i.e. octagons. The reasoning for this is likely based on their aversion to right angles, as rectangles are, particularly for paper, more efficient.
This design choice is also evident in Colonial computer systems with windows and menus often having clipped corners.
In the Re-imagined Series, hexagons feature significantly as dog tags, playing cards, glass bottles and many other objects. This likely reflects both the dislike of right angles and the simplicity of polygons over curved shapes.
While not a part of Colonial society per se, pentagons play a large part in the architecture of the lone Thirteenth Tribe structure encountered by the Colonials thus far, the Temple of Five. Much like the Colonials, it appears at least the ancient members of the Thirteenth Tribe were also wary of right angles.
This style was mix of older and newer trends, utilizing traditional stone facades along with glass and steel. This architecture was found throughout Caprica City, Delphi, and other unnamed cities prior to the Cylon attack.
Several buildings in Caprica City had the form of a pyramid, but the cultural significance of this design choice is unknown .
In "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I", Roslin looks at schematics for the City of the Gods on Kobol. Its buildings, such as the Temple, Forum, and the Opera House, were made of stone and range in shape and size, and resemble classical Greco-Roman architecture.
Later, the ruins of the Opera House are seen when Gaius Baltar and others crash-land nearby. The building was made of stone and utilized decorative columns and pillars. While there, Baltar has a vision which may have represented the original appearance of the Opera House before it fell into disrepair.
Many places and objects within Galactica reflect early aesthetic choices that eschew right-angular forms. Many corridors, including ship bulkhead doors, are hexagonal. CIC elements, particularly the Command & Control Center table, the tactical station table, and even the alignment of the displays of the DRADIS console, form a hexagonal appearance.