American Elephants


An Interactive Graphic of the Scale of the Universe by The Elephant's Child

Understanding everything from microscopic to unimaginably vast: An Interactive Scale of the Universe.  Or you could call it an interactive visual essay on size. Fascinating. At the same site are also “Powers of Ten.” “The Most Astounding Fact,” and “the Observable Universe.”

Changes your perceptions a little, or a lot. What a lot of work went into this video. Aside from just being really cool, it gives a hint of what education could be, if it were enhanced with interactive maps and timelines, pictures and portraits. You can read about a person, read their writings, but they don’t become fully real until you have some sense of what they look like.

I was unfortunate enough to have a history professor in college who was date obsessed. He would even give Saturday morning pop quizzes in which we had to construct a timeline of events from, say, 1872—1882. Developed a deep dislike of history for me, and it was only several years later that I began to read history and learned that it could be fascinating after all.

 

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